by Chris Zadorozny (@Zads07)
n the first of a 15 team preview of the Detroit Red Wings upcoming Eastern Conference opponents, Sports Radio Detroit kicks off with the Metropolitan Division, starting with the Carolina Hurricanes.
- 19-25-4 (42 points)
- 25th overall in the League
- 13th in the Eastern Conference
- 3rd in the Southeastern Division
- 1 Stanley Cup (2005-2006)
- 2 Conference Championships (2001-2002, 2005-2006)
- 3 Division Championships (1998-1999, 2001-2002, 2005-2006)
General Manger: Jim Rutherford
Coach: Kirk Muller
Captain: Eric Staal
Eric Staal (18 goals, 35 assists, 53 points), Alexander Semin (13 goals, 31 assists, 44 points), Jiri Tlusty (23 goals, 15 assists, 38 points), Jordan Staal (10 goals, 21 assists, 31 points), Jeff Skinner (13 goals, 11 assists, 24 points)
2013 Team Rankings
13th in Goals/Game (2.65), 29th in Goals Against (3.31), 27th in Power Play- 14.6%, 28th in Penalty Kill- 77.6%
- Cam Ward (17 GP, 9 W, 6 L, 1 OTL)
- .908 SV%, 2.84 GAA
- Anton Khudobin (14 GP, 9 W, 4 L, 1 OTL) –with Boston
- .920 SV%, 2.32 GAA
It’s assumed that Cam Ward will take over the starter spot that he didn’t have last year because of a sprained MCL. He missed the last 27 regular season games, but should be healthy for training camp.
Khudobin was Tuuka Rask’s backup last year, only playing in 14 games during the shortened season, and zero in the playoffs. As long as Ward’s healthy, don’t expect to see a lot out of Khudobin.
Additions: D Andrej Sekera (Trade/Buffalo), D Mike Komisarek (Free Agent/Toronto), G Anton Khudobin (Free Agent/Boston), D Matt Corrente (Free Agent/New Jersey), F Aaron Palushaj (Free Agent/Colorado), F Nathan Gerbe (Free Agent/Buffalo)
Losses: D Jamie McBain (Trade/Buffalo), G Dan Ellis (Free Agent/Dallas), F Jerome Samson (Free Agent/Winnipeg), D Joe Corvo (Free Agent/Ottawa)
Games vs. Red Wings
- Friday, October 4, 2013 @ Carolina (7:00pm)
- Thursday, November 24, 2013 vs. Carolina (7:30pm)
- Friday, April 11, 2014 vs. Carolina (7:30pm)
The Hurricanes have a good core to build around with the Staal trio, especially with Eric as their leader. Jordan is one of the scorers, along with up and coming Tlusty and proven scorer Semin.
Their defensive core has been the same for the past few years, with a few different changes. Out goes Corvo and in comes Komisarek and Sekera. Komisarek will be the veteran leader on the back-end while Sekera is coming into his prime.
Ward should become the leader in the net once again, barring any injuries. The Hurricanes are still a young team looking to contend in a heavyweight division, filled with the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Captials, and the up and coming New York Islanders.
The Hurricanes shouldn’t be a big concern for the Red Wings with just three games this upcoming season. They could prove to be a fun opponent, but since the ‘Canes are still young and looking to find the right chemistry, the Red Wings should take care of this team quite easily.
To read the original piece, that appeared online on Sports Radio Detroit on August 14, 2013, go to www.sportsradiodetroit.com