- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
COACH Paul Maurice (4th season)
LAST SEASON 40-31-11 (9th in East)
KEY ADDITIONS D Tomas Kaberle, LW Alex Ponikarovsky, RW Anthony Stewart
KEY LOSSES LW Erik Cole, D Joe Corvo
UNLIKE MOST teenagers, Jeff Skinner voluntarily spent the summer in school, hitting the weights with former NHL power forward Gary Roberts, who trained Skinner and some 20 other promising talents. "I need to get stronger and faster," explained the 19-year-old 2011 Calder Trophy winner. "The speed of the game here is just so great, just that one extra step can make such a difference."
The same could be said for the Hurricanes, who amassed 91 points and closed the season on an 8-2-1 run but lost their bid for a playoff spot on the season's final day. The Canes couldn't survive their shortcomings. Carolina allowed the most shots per game (33.2) in the NHL, and only Edmonton was worse in the face-off circle. That put immense pressure on ace goalie Cam Ward, who played in 74 games and made 209 more saves than any other netminder last season. The acquisition of Brian Boucher, who struggled in the playoffs for Philadelphia last spring (3.13 GAA, .904 save percentage), will offer some needed rest to Ward. Carolina also added veteran Tomas Kaberle, fresh off his Stanley Cup win with Boston, to inject some discipline into a mediocre defense. With able forwards such as Skinner, Eric Staal, Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu, the goals should come; the wins will be harder to find.
COACH Kevin Dineen (1st season)
LAST SEASON 30-40-12 (15th in East)