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Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

More Chances, More Goals for Power Play

Wednesday, 12.17.2008 / 12:24 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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More Chances, More Goals for Power Play
Audio: Paul Maurice | Frantisek Kaberle

The Canes got an unexpected day off on Wednesday, as the “ice” at the RecZone was more like a lake, preventing the team from having practice. If that was a result of a player coming in early and messing with the thermostat, no one admitted it.

Paul Branecky
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According to head coach Paul Maurice, today’s session would have been a short one anyway, designed mostly to “get the hands loosened up” for tomorrow’s game against the Florida Panthers, who are 6-2-0 in their last eight and suddenly only two points back of Carolina in the standings.

The practice would not have been used to work extensively on the power play, which wasn’t always pretty in converting three of 11 chances last night against Montreal, but did enough to earn the win.

“Some nights you’re snapping it around and they go for you, but last night it wasn’t the case and they still stuck with it and found a way,” said Maurice.

It has been an adventure at times, but the power play has been cashing in more often in the Canes last six games under Paul Maurice and Ron Francis. They’ve scored seven man-advantage goals in that span, including three on eleven chances in their most recent game against Montreal.

The conversion rate is better – 17.9 percent over that six-game period – but a big factor in the increase of goals is an increase of opportunities. Prior to the 11 chances they got against Montreal, they had eight on Saturday against the New York Rangers and seven on Thursday against Philadelphia.

The Canes have been one of the NHL’s best-behaved teams after some trouble with discipline in the first few games of the season, but haven’t been drawing penalties at this rate for quite some time.

“We’ve controlled the puck more,” said Maurice. “Another thing to look at is hits, and teams are out-hitting us because we have the puck. We are making a concerted effort to hang on to the puck and not dump it as much. You’ve never seen a guy with the puck get a hooking penalty, and you never will.”

Frantisek Kaberle did manage to find a dry spot on one end of the ice and did some light skating on his own minutes after being activated from injured reserve (Tim Conboy was reassigned to make room). He’ll be ready to go tomorrow.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61