Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 01/25/10 at 09:40 PM ET
When the Hurricanes named Eric Staal captain last Wednesday, there was an unrelated but simultaneous shift, moving him back to his natural position of center. All he’s done in the three games since then is score five goals, and for the first time all season, he has a three game goal streak. More importantly, he looks fully healthy and is shooting the puck with authority.
As an added bonus, his teammates are finding him in open ice with great scoring opportunities. And he’s not missing. In the last three games, he’s recorded 14 shots and has scored on five of those shots. I’ll take that any day of the week. With 31 games left, he needs 15 more goals to keep his streak of 30+ goal seasons alive. He’s up to speed, and I think he’ll make it. Just.
Alex Oveckin, and Dany Heatley have already hit the 30 goal plateau for the fifth straight season. Ilya Kovalchuk has done it for the seventh straight season. Jerome Iginla hasn’t yet, but will. When Iggy hits 30 goals, it’ll be his ninth straight NHL season hitting that mark. At 12 goals and currently as cold as ice, Henrik Zetterberg is going to have a tough time extending his streak of four seasons of 30+ goals.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.