2008/09 Florida Panthers Season Preview
2008/09 Carolina Hurricanes Season Preview
The Hurricanes pushed Washington for the division last year but finished in 2nd and failed to make the playoffs. I expect them to miss the playoffs again this year and end up 3rd in the division.
Carolina has a good foundation at forward with Eric Staal, Rod Brind’Amour and the underrated Ray Whitney. Patrick Eaves will look to prove that he is a top 6 forward and Tuomo Ruutu will try to stay healthy and try to establish himself as a top 6 forward as well. Justin Williams gone for a long period of time will really hurt this group but will give players like Eaves and Ruutu opportunity to prove themselves.
On defence the Hurricanes are fairly solid. Joni Pitkanen and Joe Corvo are good offensive defencemen who will help the power play. Tim Gleason and Frantisek Kaberle round out the top 4. Anton Babchuk, Josef Melichar, Dennis Seidenberg and Niclas Wallin will fill out the 3rd pairing.
Between the pipes Carolina is set with Cam Ward as the #1 but is lacking in the backup role with Michael Leighton.
The Hurricanes have a good defence and will get solid goaltending from Ward but their weakness at forward will hurt them and have them looking from the outside in when it comes to the playoffs.