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Tracking the Storm

Rutherford: Major Changes Never Close

Wednesday, 11.19.2008 / 3:24 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Rutherford: Major Changes Never Close

After winning their last two games and showing marked improvement since a pair of lopsided divisional losses last week, there’s reason to be optimistic that the Canes’ recent slide was just a blip in the radar over the course of a long season.

Paul Branecky
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After the low point, a 5-1 loss to division rival Washington in which the team’s work ethic was questioned by management, that conclusion would have been a tough one to make. 

However, as bleak as the situation may have been back then, GM Jim Rutherford said his finger never got too close to the trigger on making significant changes.

“With what our team’s gone through with the number of injuries and whatnot, to consider making any changes early in November I think would have been way premature,” said Rutherford. 

Now, with the team as healthy as it’s been all season (Frank Kaberle’s return looks imminent and Justin Williams is ahead of schedule on his long recovery), the team’s improvement over their last three games looks to be validating the decision to stand pat.

At the very least, the team doesn’t seem to be putting on a repeat performance from a year ago, which everyone from Rutherford on down to the players openly worried about during the losing streak.

“I was concerned and I hoped that this wasn’t the same as last year where we got off to a good start and we started to lose it in November,” said Rutherford.  “I think what’s really encouraging is the last three games where we’ve actually played better in each game in November, which I did not see last year.  Getting players back and getting them used to playing together really makes a difference.”

Indeed, the recent run of injury-related good news has provided some stability to the Hurricanes’ lineup, with Rutherford believes is a key reason to the recent improvement on the ice.

“I think Peter [Laviolette] sticking to the lines now and the defense pairings gives us more consistency and gives the players more time to work together with each other and work out whatever issues they may have,” he said.  “Now, it’s starting to show.”


 

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 70 21 28 -12 49
J. Faulk 75 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 74 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 70 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 73 11 20 -12 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 71 8 17 -13 25
J. McClement 75 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 47 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 39 4 16 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60