A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Staal battle coming down to the wire

Much has been made of the emergence of the Staal family as a dominant clan in the NHL. Many people are saying that the four Staal brothers are this generation's version of the Sutter brothers. Many more are saying that they will be better than the famed set of six Sutters.

Presently, there are two Staal brothers in the NHL, and another "in the system". Of course you know that Eric is with the Hurricanes and that Jordan is with the Penguins. Marc Staal, the second oldest of the pack, is a defenseman in the system with the Rangers after being selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2005 NHL entry draft. He's presently with the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL. Also on the Sudbury Wolves is the youngest of the four, right wing Jared Staal. Jared is only 16, and won't be eligible for the NHL draft until next summer.

The Staals are not related to Kim Staal, a Danish player who is in the Predators organization.

Jordan is off to a much quicker start than his that of his older brother. Eric scored 11 goals and had 20 assists in his rookie season. Jordan has 29 goals and 13 assists in his own rookie campaign.

After scoring 45 goals and 55 assists last season and setting the playoffs on fire with 9 goals and 19 assists, Eric has cooled down this season. Although 29 goals and 39 assists is nothing to sneeze at, it's a significant drop.

So both brothers, who are extremely competitive with one another, have 29 goals. Both have one game remaining.

Tonight, Eric and the Hurricanes will take on the Panthers while Jordan and the Penguins will take on the Rangers.

Eric won't play again until October, but Jordan will have at least four games in the "second season".

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