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Tweetmail No. 89: Power-Play Goals, Lottery & the Crease

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Hello and welcome to a weekly feature on in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.

Let’s get to it.

That would be Sheldon Souray, who scored 19 goals on the power play with the Montreal Canadiens in the 2006-07 season. Souray tallied 26 total goals that season, ranking second on the team.

Justin Faulk scored his 10th and 11th power-play goals of the season on Tuesday night in Dallas, surpassing Anton Babchuk’s previous team record of nine power-play goals by a defenseman in a single season. Faulk is now just padding his statistics and is one goal shy of equaling defenseman Risto Siltanen’s franchise record of 12 power-play goals in the 1983-84 season.

As prolific as Faulk has been – all 11 of his goals have been scored on the man advantage, and he’s played just 28 games – certainly the franchise record and probably the NHL record are in his crosshairs. The 23-year-old (let that sink in for a moment – 23!) is on pace for 32 goals (all scored on the power play, at that) and 61 points. That may not be sustainable, but there’s no sign of his record-setting season slowing down.

In case there was any question about it, Faulk will be enjoying a weekend in Nashville in January.

Now time for an email question! (If you don’t have Twitter and want to submit a question, you can drop an email here.)

The Canes have the Kings’ first-round pick this year. If both Carolina and LA miss the playoffs, does that give Carolina a second draw in the draft lottery? – James

Indeed it does, and it’s important to consider how the lottery is changing this season. Beginning in 2016, the lottery will be utilized to assign the top three drafting positions as opposed to only determining the first pick. Three separate draws will be held, with the first lottery determining the first overall pick, the second lottery determining the second overall pick and the third lottery determining the third overall pick. The 11 clubs not selected in the lottery will be assigned picks 4-14 in inverse order of regular-season points (as they were ordered for lottery odds). What this means is that the team that finishes with the fewest points could potentially fall to fourth overall, however slim those chances may be.

So, should both Carolina and Los Angeles not qualify for the playoffs, the Hurricanes will have not one but two sets of odds to win any one of three lotteries.

A first-round pick is a coveted item in any situation, but the chance that it could transform into the first, second or third overall draft pick makes it an incredibly valuable commodity.

Speaking of draft picks, the Hurricanes have five picks in the first three rounds in the 2016 NHL Draft (two in the first, one in the second and two in the third) and five picks in the first three rounds of the 2017 NHL Draft (one in the first, one in the second and three in the third). That’s a treasured stockpile of potential and a critical building block for the future.

Here’s what head coach Bill Peters said about goaltending on Monday before the team departed from Dallas: “We want to get both goaltenders going better. We want our team defense to be real stout in front of them to give them a chance, and we’ll get there. They’ll both get a chance to get on an extended run, and right now it looks like Wardo is the guy. … We’ll make the decision on a per-game basis, but at some point, [Lack] will get some good starts.”

Obviously things didn’t go so well for Cam Ward on Tuesday night, as he surrendered four goals on eight shots in the first period. Eddie Lack entered the game in relief to begin the second period, and he didn’t have a great night, either, stopping 10 of 12 shots and taking the loss in a 6-5 decision.

Friday night’s game in Anaheim presents an interesting situation in that neither goaltender stole the show in Dallas, so who do you turn to? I sense that it might be Lack just to see, as Peters said, if he can string together some good, quality starts. But that’s just my best guess, and I could very well be wrong.

More than anything right now, the Hurricanes need one of their two goaltenders to step up, and whoever that may be will be rewarded with a consecutive string of starts.


Join me next week for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you’d like answered or you’d like talk about “Fargo” – because, seriously, holy jumping is it fantastic – you can find me on Twitter @MSmithCanes or drop an email here.

Michael Smith
MICHAEL SMITH is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.

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