NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, three key statistics for the Carolina Hurricanes.
[Hurricanes 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Fantasy breakdown]
1. Shot attempts
The Carolina Hurricanes were the best team in the NHL last season in shot attempts differential (SAT) at plus-750, meaning they attempted 750 more shots at 5-on-5 than their opponents. It was the best SAT in the NHL since 2015-16, when the Los Angeles Kings were plus-922. The Hurricanes' positive shot attempts theme carried into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when they led the NHL with a plus-133 SAT. It's worth noting unrestricted free agent Justin Williams led Carolina forwards, and was fifth in the NHL, with a plus-375 SAT. The potential loss of Williams could be offset by additional ice time for forward Andrei Svechnikov, who was fourth among Hurricanes forwards with a plus-258 SAT despite being seventh in average time on ice per game among forwards (14:39).
Video: 31 in 31: Carolina Hurricanes 2019-20 season preview
2. Games for Mrazek
Petr Mrazek, who signed a two-year contract with Carolina on July 1, will be the No. 1 goalie this season after Curtis McElhinney signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on July 1. Mrazek was 23-14-3 with a 2.39 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and four shutouts in 40 starts last season; McElhinney was 20-11-2 with a 2.58 GAA, .912 save percentage and two shutouts in 33 starts. Without McElhinney, Mrazek will have to assume the majority of the workload; Mrazek was 18-21-9 with a 3.04 GAA and .901 save percentage in 50 games (44 starts) in 2016-17, the last time he played more than 40 games. It's worth noting the Hurricanes acquired goalie James Reimer in a trade with the Florida Panthers on June 30.
Video: Top 10 saves of 2018-19: Mrazek
3. Dzingel's goals
Forward Ryan Dzingel signed a two-year contract with Carolina on July 12 after he had an NHL career-high 56 points (26 goals, 30 assists) in 78 games with the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets last season. Dzingel was minus-236 in shot attempts last season, but much of that could be explained by his time with the Senators, who finished last in the NHL with a shot attempts ratio of minus-818. His goal-scoring presence should fit in the Hurricanes' top six and potentially the top power-play unit. Dzingel should help offset the loss of forward Micheal Ferland, who signed a four-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks on July 10.
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