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Hurricanes adept at staying out of the box

Thursday, 09.17.2009 / 3:00 AM / 2009-2010 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

CAROLINA HURRICANES
2008-09 SEASON STATS

Category Rank (Conference)
2008-09 Points 97
(6TH EAst/11TH NHL)
Change from 2007-08 +5
Home Points 53
(6TH EAst/10TH NHL)
Away Points 44
(6TH EAst/11TH NHL)
Advantage Margin            +73
No team had a bigger differential than the 'Canes, whose 374 advantages were tied with Montreal for the most in the NHL. Most of the differential came at home, where Carolina had 201 power plays and allowed just 141.

Even-Strength Goals Margin        +5
For whatever reason, Rod Brind'Amour was in the wrong place at the wrong time for much of the season. His minus-23 rating was the worst of any NHL forward and next-to-last in the League behind defenseman Brendan Witt of the last-place Islanders.

Special Teams Goal Margin        +10
Though the Hurricanes had 28 more power-play opportunities at home, they were much more successful on the road. Given the huge disparity in advantages, Carolina's plus-10 figure probably should have been a lot higher.

Goals by defensemen            45
Getting 14 goals from Joe Corvo wasn't a shocker. But seeing Anton Babchuk connect for 16 goals (15 after Christmas) was a stunner -- and a big reason the Hurricanes got hot down the stretch and made the playoffs.

Overtime Record
Total: 10-2-5 (OT: 7-2, SO: 3-5)

The Hurricanes fared much better on the road when they were able to keep the game from getting to a shootout. Carolina went 5-1 in games decided in OT, but was just 1-5 in shootouts. The 'Canes were less busy but more consistent at the RBC Center -- 2-1 in OT and 2-0 in shootouts.

Times Scored First
39 (Record: 25-10-4)

The Hurricanes had a good home record despite scoring first just 18 times in 41 games at the RBC Center, the fewest of any playoff team and one more than Tampa Bay's League-low total.

Best 08-09 Number             9.8
Average penalty minutes by the Hurricanes in 2008-09 -- Carolina was the only team to average less than 10 PIM per game. Not surprisingly, the 'Canes allowed opponents only 301 power plays, the fewest in the East and the third-lowest total in the NHL.

Worst 08-09 Number          9
Blowout losses (three or more goals) by the Hurricanes at home -- the most in the NHL. In early February, the 'Canes lost by five, four and four goals in a six-day stretch, then didn't lose at the RBC Center until their home finale, when they again were beaten by four goals.
   
Scheduling
There are no long homestands or grueling trips for the 'Canes this season. They are at the RBC Center and on the road for no more than four games at a time. From Feb. 4 to the end of the season, the Hurricanes play just one game against the Western Conference.





Quote of the Day

This is a big year for us in a lot of ways. You can see Garth and management really trying to find that solution to get us into the playoffs and consistently have that. The pressure is great. You have to enjoy it. It just means there's a great opportunity ahead of you.

— Islanders captain John Tavares