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The may have finished 5th in NHL scoring last season, but the Hurricanes are going to score even more in 2008-09.
No, the Hurricanes will not explode because Eric Staal suddenly finds himself a kazillionaire. Actually, the reason dates back to February 11, 2008. That was when the team acquired Joe Corvo. Up until that point, Carolina had averaged 2.88 goals per game. After that it was 3.46.
That prorates to an extra 34 goals in the season ahead. Will they do it? I believe that they can.
Carolina GM Jim Rutherford has known for several years that this team needed a dynamic power-play quarterback. He didn’t realize how much until he saw what this team did after Corvo came to town. So impressed was he, that he added a second one in Joni Pitkanen. So now the ‘Canes have two threats on the back end.
There is little doubt in my mind that Corvo will set career highs this season. The 31-year-old had 21 points in 23 games with Carolina to finish with his current best of 48. Write this down and throw it in my face if I’m wrong: he will beat that number by the trade deadline (end of February).
As for Pitkanen, who will turn 25 in a few days, all that is stopping him is his health. He has missed an average of just fewer than 15 games per season in his NHL career. A potential 60-point def