Carolina Hurricanes' Downturn Leaves Fans Scratching Their Heads

Sterling EbyAnalyst IJanuary 20, 2009

What has changed since the 2005-2006 NHL Season for the Carolina Hurricanes, that caused them to stop getting it done? They have gone from a feared team to a team that should take a square off of their hurricane warning flag and just make it a hurricane watch flag. Or better yet, just nickname us the Carolina Tropical Storms, cuz the storm went the wrong way the past few years. Where did it go?

In that season, Eric Staal showed us exactly who he was. Scoring 100 points in the season and 28 in the playoffs. Since that time, the most he has had in a season is 82. What in the world is stopping Eric Staal from reaching his full potential? Is it the fact he is always on inconsistent lines? Or is it the fact his coaching staff, doesn't understand how talented Staal is?

Justin Williams is a former NHL All-star. At 27, he has yet to reach his full potential due to injuries. He maxed out in 2005-2006 when he scored 76 points in the Stanley Cup Season, but since then he hasn't managed to stay healthy. Only playing one full season, and then half of 2007 and so far half of 2008. How are we supposed to win a Stanley Cup if Justin Williams can't play half of the time? Justin Williams has tons of potential but just like Keith Primeau, maybe the injury bug will rule his career.

Rod Brind'Amour. Many Canes fans believe that since his injury last season that he has hurt the Canes more than helped. And I am here to sadly say: "I agree." Once able to hit 70-plus points a season, and even 82 in 2006, he cant get it done anymore. He may not even hit 50 points this season. Though he is solid on the face offs. And he is a great team player, and captain, maybe he shouldn't be on the top lines. Maybe he should be in key face off situations. He is a slower player. And he is right now, going for the worst plus/minus in his career. And he is close to having the worst plus/minus in the league. Brindy hasn't been helping the cause much, but Canes fans will always love him.

Sergei Samsonov. One of the most exciting players in all of hockey. Yet off to the slowest start in his career has been pulling his season around as of the past two months. In 38 games last season, he had 32 points. In the past 36 games, he has 32 points. He didn't have a point in his first 10 games this season though. However Samsonov has topped out at 75 points in a season, and is a former Rookie of the Year. But can Samsonov do more to help the Canes. Powerplay help? Shootout help? Samsonov is a playmaker. He is a dangler. He needs to play more aggressive and get more shots on goals. When he gets more shots on goal, he will get more points, plain and simple.

Tuomo Ruutu. He is a streaky player. He has moments where he looks completely solid. Then there are points where it seems you don't hear his name enough. Tuomo Ruutu is one of many Canes players we need to hear more of. If we hear his name more often, we should be winning games. The fact that Tuomo Ruutu only has 38 points in 60 games for the Canes is kind of depressing. He is capable of way more.

The list of Canes players who are underachieving:

Patrick Eaves
Brandon Sutter
Frantisek Kaberle
Tim Gleason
Justin Williams
Nic Wallin
Ryan Bayda
Chad Larose
Scott Walker
Matt Cullen

And to be honest. That list should be the whole team. My question to all my fellow Caniacs is, what the hell is our problem?