Eric Staal (Photo credit to espn.com)
Eric Staal is the current team captain for the Carolina Hurricanes. The sad part about that statement is that he’s put forth very little effort to help his team win. Sure the man has talent, but is that enough to carry his team to an improvement in their showing this season? I would like to think the answer is no. Please, allow me to explain here.
As of this article being written, the Carolina Hurricanes have had five regular season games. They hosted the Red Wings on October 4th, the Flyers on the 6th, and the Kings on the 11th. They’ve also traveled to face off against the Penguins on the 8th and the Capitals on the 10th.
In these five games, Eric Staal has played in every single one of them and scored just one lonely goal. As far as the league statistics go, he isn’t on fire to say the least. Staal is 95th in the league in goals at the moment and 192nd for assists with merely one.
So that brings the Hurricanes’ captain’s total to two points five games in. Normally, these would be really depressing stats, but the fact of the matter is that the Hurricanes, in general, just aren’t doing very well. However, one has to consider the possibility that the team is looking at the 28-year-old captain and expecting a little bit more than a “show up and see what happens” effort.
I mention his effort based solely on his current standing for shots on goal. The average per game is 2.8 for Staal, with a small outlier of 5 in the loss against Pittsburgh, in which he earned his only goal for the season. For a center and captain, that strikes me as unacceptable. I feel like with the team being so light and agile this year with such a professed focus on getting quicker and improving their skating and fundamentals in the game, that his example is not one of leadership, but of apathy. His low stats aside, his demeanor on the ice is one of reservation and a winded performance following each three minute mark. All this can possibly do for the morale of the team is bring them closer to thinking that the situation they’re currently in is just going to stay the way it is without any chance of improving their game.
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Just because the ‘Canes are running second in the Metropolitan division of the Eastern Conference does not mean that they’re showing a great game this year. The team has two wins, under the leader the Pittsburgh Penguins that has 4. Simply put, Carolina holding the second spot with 6 division points is not that impressive.
The Carolina Hurricanes should thank their lucky stars for Nathan Gerbe; at least he isn’t letting the downswing keep him down as evidenced by his three goals thus far.
Eric Staal isn’t contributing to the marginal successes that the Carolina Hurricanes are garnering this season. I would say that he’s contributing to the stagnant showing of the team. Hopefully, the team actually listens to what they’ve been preaching and actually decide to “improve”.
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