Philip Botti The Hockey Writers
Jordan and Eric Staal Are Together At Last
The Staal brothers reunited this season when Jordan Staal returned from a broken leg. When the ‘Canes acquired Jordan Staal in 2012, excitement spread throughout the fan base, hoping that these brothers would become a force to reckon with. The Staal brothers were going to push the Carolina Hurricanes over the top. The success has not come as fast as fans would like, and this season was the first time that the two are primarily on the same line. The short-term results have been productive, and the ‘Canes are giving fans exciting games to watch. The Staal’s brotherly love is starting to prove its worth league wide.
The Easy Points
Eric Staal is leading the ‘Canes with 31-points. Since Jordan’s return on December 29th, Eric has a total of 12-points, which makes up almost half of his total points this season. Jordan Staal has 10-points in his 14 games played this season. The brothers have provided a punch for the struggling ‘Canes, and finally give the ‘Canes the power of having a legitimate first line threat. The Staal’s performance has the team playing inspired hockey. The Staal line has given the team a legitimate threat that they haven’t had all season. Most recently in a scoring battle with the league leading Anaheim Ducks, the ‘Canes top line worked together to treat Jordan Staal to his 2nd goal of the season.
Jordan Staal and Eric Staal Helping the ‘Canes Record
Since the return of Jordan Staal the ‘Canes are 7-4-3. Jordan Staal not only has helped his brother, but since his injection into the lineup the ‘Canes have an extra 17-points in the standings. With a strong first line, the ‘Canes are competing a lot better than other NHL teams. Another aspect of the this line meshing well helps solidify who the ‘Canes will “sell” if they start making moves at the trade deadline. Eric Staal has expressed his want to stay with the Hurricanes past this season. The fact that his production has really grown since gaining Jordan on his line should help the ‘Canes brass in their decision on which players the team needs to build around. It’s easy to root for both brothers staying together, especially when they get to pal around together away from the rink.
Thanks to Eric and Jordan Staal of the @NHLCanes for stopping by PIR today! #CampingWorld500 #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/2gzN8nxKXg
— Phoenix Raceway (@PhoenixRaceway) February 5, 2015
The Most Consistent Forwards on the team
When the Staal brothers are on the ice together, they are a threat. They both have great positioning, and wear down other teams with their large frames. Dan Rosen of NHL.com recently spoke with all three of the Staal brothers, and got some great quotes on what makes them such a powerful force. From the same Dan Rosen article, Marc Staal commented on his brothers line:
Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, the other Staal brother in the NHL, compared his brothers on the same line to one of the best combinations in the League over the past several seasons.
“It’s like playing against [Ryan] Getzlaf and [Corey] Perry because of their size,” Marc Staal said.
Jordan Staal has been the lines center, and Eric has moved over to wing to good effect. Both players express the advantage of having two big centers on the same line. The joint points and goals aren’t league leading but that it is a good turn around for a struggling team. It’s hard to argue against having them on the same line since they are becoming such a strong force. Right now, they are the two best forwards on the ‘Canes without question. Before the season, Eric Staal was getting flack that he had lost a step in the off-season, and wasn’t playing at a high level anymore. His leadership this season is changing people’s minds. No one else on the ‘Canes has been as consistent.
Having the Staal brothers on the first line, and having them mesh well gives the ‘Canes something to build their future on. It is one less thing that the coaching staff has to worry about every game. If the ‘Canes had more depth coaches could even throw Jeff Skinner on that line. The speedy winger could definitely benefit playing with the two gifted centers, but the low depth of skilled high level players seems to shy them away from that. Having a line like this is very helpful for the future of the ‘Canes. This team needs to build, and having two legit first line players with strong chemistry gives the ‘Canes an important building block. Combining the Staal brothers, and All-Star defenseman Justin Faulk, the ‘Canes have three strong building blocks for the future. In my mind the ‘Canes can compete if they can add some more skilled depth players and build another threatening line. With players like Jeff Skinner, and Elias Lindholm on the team the ‘Canes have a good base of young talent that can still grow into threats like the Staal brothers. Time and the trade deadline will tell which direction the Hurricanes are taking towards the future. For now, ‘Canes fans can enjoy the great hockey that Eric and Jordan Staal are playing now in Raleigh and across the league.
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