Jordan Staal came to Raleigh with enormous expectations and in his first 105 games, he has lived up to half of his reputation. When it comes to playing well away from the puck, the Hurricanes don't have many better forwards on their roster, as Jordan is one of the team's best players at driving possession at even strength. He is also used heavily on the penalty kill and is usually matched up against the opposing team's best lines. Most knew this about Jordan when the Hurricanes acquired him. However, something they were expecting was to him to make more of an impact offensively.
Through Jordan's first 105 games, he has only 21 goals and 58 points. Some might look past that because of how much he contributes in other areas, but the Canes were expecting more for someone who plays as many minutes as Jordan does. He might not have the offensive upside that people hyped about in his Pittsburgh days, but he should be better than a .5 PPG player, which is what he has been since joining the Hurricanes. Although, it's hard to say how much control Jordan has over his low point total.
When it comes to getting the puck into the offensive zone, creating shots and dominating territorial play, his line is usually the best and it doesn't matter who is on his wings. So why hasn't it translated to more points? Since joining the Hurricanes, Jordan has seen his shooting percentage dip from 13.1% to 9% and his on-ice shooting percentage has gone from around 8.5-10% to 5-7%, currently sitting at 4.5%. So not only has Jordan's goal-scoring gone down, his linemates have as well. Finding out why is the hard part.
I mentioned earlier that his offense probably isn't as good as it was hyped, but he was a high percentage shooter in Pittsburgh and this was with some less-than-ideal linemates. He regularly scored at least a 15-goal pace there while getting third-line minutes & special teams duty and had some decent chemistry with players like Tyler Kennedy, Matt Cooke & Pascal Dupuis in various years. Jordan's had chemistry with players in Carolina, as well but it hasn't resulted in many goals. After the jump, we'll take a closer look at his linemates and what can be done to get more offense out of Jordan.no comments