Staal recorded a power-play assist along with two shots on goal in 20:08 of ice time during Thursday's 3-2 OT loss to the Wild. Following a very rough start to the season in which he was held off the scoresheet in six of the Canes' first eight games, Staal has really come alive in recent weeks with six points in his last eight games. At 31 years old, the days of 70+ points are likely over for Staal, but if he continues at his current pace, he's got a decent shot at 60. Keep him rolling.
Staal was plus-2 with a goal in the empty net Tuesday, as the Hurricanes defeated the Red Wings, 3-1. Staal failed to get on the board in four straight games leading up to Tuesday's contest, so this was a welcomed performance for fantasy owners. As long as Carolina allows more goals than they score, which has been the case thus far with a minus-9 team goal differential, it will force Staal to elevate his game and create more opportunities on his own in order to avoid falling on the bad side of the plus-minus most nights. It won't be an easy task, as the long-time Hurricane hasn't recorded a plus rating since 2012-13, when he finished the season at plus-5.
Staal had a great night Friday, potting his second goal of the season and adding two helpers in a 5-3 win over Detroit. The eldest Staal also skated to a plus-2 and took three shots on goal. The perennial 70-plus point seasons appear to be in the past for the 11th-year NHLer, but he's far from past his prime at 30 and is still the top offensive threat in Raleigh.
Staal ended Pekka Rinne's shutout bid with a late-third-period goal in Thursday's season-opening loss to the Predators. With 1:40 remaining and the Carolina net empty on the other end, Staal fired what was intended to be a pass to the low slot that ended up deflecting off a defender's skate and right past Rinne for the Canes' only goal of the game. It's not the most impressive goal, but Staal is in line to again play heavy minutes this year, and it would be no surprise to see his point total rebound after he slumped to a career-low 54 last season.
According to Sportsnet analyst Elliotte Friedman, Eric Staal and the Hurricanes are not close to agreeing on a contract extension beyond this season. "The last I heard about this is that they're not close, so that's going to be interesting," Friedman said.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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