New Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters addressed fans at the team's Summerfest on Saturday, and the message delivered - particularly in regards to forwards Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal - clearly provided a veritable downpour of hope.
First, on Skinner:
The 22-year-old, 2011 Calder Trophy winner is entering his fifth NHL season, with two 30+ goals years already on his resume. While the 63 total points registered in his rookie season stand as his career high, Skinner hit 33 goals on 274 shots in 71 games this past season, good for 38 goals over the course of a full 82 game season.
Overall, he registered 474 shot attempts, second only to Alexander Semin for the team lead.
While the value of becoming a "plus player" is up for debate, his 51.2 Corsi For rating at even strength indicates a positive level of play, and Skinner could very well hit 40 goals sooner than later, especially is Peters is pushing him to that end.
Next, here's the coach's thoughts on Staal:
The lone power-play goal acts as an exclamation point on Staal's down year in 2013-14; in 79 games, the Hurricanes' captain recorded 61 points, well off his career average of 73. On the man advantage specifically, his 12 overall points mark half of his yearly output of 24.
In order for the team to improve, it would behoove Peters to help Staal back on track, with the power play acting as a potential spark to that end. As such, the coach's plan is to get the defense more involved in the offense, with specific ideas in terms of his ideal power-play deployment.
Peters added the key is "getting five guys on the same page," a statement met by applause from the fans, who clearly approve of the competitive storm brewing under his leadership.
Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Brace Hemmelgarn