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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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72