Originally posted on Shutdown Line  |  Last updated 3/6/12

The Hurricanes closed out the last three games of their home stand by going 1-1-1 and slightly outchancing their opponents at even strength by owning 52.5% of the scoring chances. This will be the second week in a row that the Canes outchanced their opponents in the span of the week, which is a good sign for the team moving forward. Although, it's worth mentioning that they only outchanced one team this week (Tampa Bay 16-10) and it was by a wide margin so that likely had a an impact on their overall score. I still think it's a good sign that this team isn't getting shelled at even strength every game like they were earlier in the year and are actually managing to keep things close with most of their opponents. They could have easily been 2-1-0 this past week but they still have some areas they need to work on, one of the biggest being staying out of the box. After the jump, we will take a closer look at how the Canes did this past week and single out some top performers.

OZ QOC Graph

There were some minor changes made to how players were used over the last week. Drayson Bowman is starting in the offensive zone a lot more, which is likely a product of him playing with Skinner & Jokinen. On the flipside, Tim Brent is being used in the defensive zone more and it's interesting because his usual linemate, Anthony Stewart, is not. My guess is this is a result of the coaching staff sending Brent out to take face-offs in the defensive zone since that's one of his strong points. Also of note is that Jamie McBain is facing tougher competition than he was for the last month. He was around zero in February but he's now facing the same quality of opponents as Jay Harrison. I thought that was interesting.

Top Performers

Eric Staal - Seven points in three games, +3 scoring chance rating, 66.1% effective in the faceoff circle and he was on ice for every chance Carolina had on the powerplay. Just another week at the office for him.

Jay Harrison - He had the highest scoring chance rating on the team with a +7 and possession was generally going in the Hurricanes' favor when he and Justin Faulk were on the ice. He also scored his first goal in awhile on Thursday. Nice bounce back week for Harrison, the defense's leader in GVT. More on that later.

Justin Faulk - Similar numbers to Harrison this week only he had an assist and did some great work on the powerplay. It's also worth noting that he and Harrison were on ice for only one shorthanded chance against. Faulk is getting it done at even strength and on special teams.

Jeff Skinner - I said that Skinner was going to have more bounces going his way if he kept pushing play in the right direction. Skinner didn't have a terribly active week at even strength (+2 rating, but was only on ice for 7 chances) but he's still driving possession the right way and he had three points in three games. Starting off March on the right foot.

Under Achievers

Cam Ward - Before his injury, Ward was playing some of the best hockey of his career. Unfortunately, he didn't start his comeback stint on the right foot by allowing 10 goals in three games and having an even strength save percentage of .881. He also did not have any quality starts in the past week.

Bryan Allen - He scored his first goal in forever on Tuesday night against Nashville but he gave plenty back but he was on ice for four goals against and was outchanced at even strength this past week.

Jamie McBain - The Hurricanes gave up eight goals at even strength last week, McBain was on ice for six of them. Some of it was bad luck since he wasn't terrible possession-wise but he and Jaroslav Spacek didn't exactly have a great week defensively. 

Jaroslav Spacek - Was on ice for only four goals against but he looked ugly on just about all of them.

Derek Joslin - Joslin got to play on the third line on Thursday and ended up being outchanced by four at even strength despite not playing many minutes. For the week, Joslin was on ice for four goals, was outchanced by five at even strength and had a whopping two shots on goal. I'm about ready for this experiment with him at forward to end.

Other notables

Jerome Samson - He played a good game against Nashville, was held to under 10 shifts against New York and was scratched against Tampa Bay. I don't really understand why he wasn't playing over Joslin but I guess Muller sees something that I don't.

Drayson Bowman - Once again, Bowman was held off the scoresheet completely despite outchancing and outplaying the opposition at even strength. This is with him playing on the team's shutdown line for one game, too. I honestly feel bad for him now because he has to have the worst luck on the team.

Brandon Sutter - Solid week defensively for Sutter as he outchanced his opposition, had five shots on goal and looked like the team's best player on Thursday night against the Rangers. Sutter may have been held off the score sheet but he was driving play in the right direction (60% corsi) despite facing the toughest competition that the opposing teams had to offer.

Jussi Jokinen - He had identical numbers to Skinner but fewer shots on goal and he had two points instead of three and was lit up a bit on the PK. Still, a good week for Jokinen.

Jiri Tlusty - Three points in three games (all assists) and a decent week in scoring chances (+1). Tlusty had a solid week offensively but he gave back a lot at the other end which could be a problem.

Zach Boychuk - Didn't have an eventful week and was on ice for two goals against. As a result, he is now back in Charlotte after playing only two shifts against the Lightning.

Andreas Nodl - Was on ice for three goals against at even strenght and had a negative scoring chance rating. Although, he gave up only 10 chances on the week, which isn't too bad of a number and had a very solid corsi rating.

Tim Gleason - Gleason ended up being outchanced by two at even strength, which is actually an improvement compared to the rest of the year, but he wasn't on ice for a goal against when playing five-on-five. He did get burned on the PK, though.

Tim Brent - Continues to get demolished at even strength while being a force on the powerplay. He also won 60% of his face-offs.

Anthony Stewart - He had a two-goal game against the Lightning and was promoted to the first line. That could have easily put him in the top performers category but Stewart's underlying numbers are brutal. He was outchanced by six, lowest on the team, was on ice for as many goals against as he scored and was pinned in his own end more times than not. I'll be interested to see how he does over the next week.

Chad LaRose - Was finally inserted back into the lineup on Saturday night and played pretty well aside from taking a penalty.

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