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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.”


 

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 53 15 19 -13 34
V. Rask 51 12 19 1 31
K. Versteeg 52 10 21 1 31
J. Skinner 53 18 12 -3 30
J. Staal 53 12 18 7 30
E. Staal 53 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 53 8 16 -8 24
A. Nestrasil 46 7 12 -1 19
J. Nordstrom 42 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 53 3 11 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 5 .905 2.43
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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