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Penguins vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Maurice: The Time is Now

Tuesday, 12.30.2008 / 10:12 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Maurice: The Time is Now
In terms of strength of schedule, December was one of the toughest months of the year for the Hurricanes. Now that they’ve posted a 5-4-3 record heading into the month’s final game against Atlanta on New Year’s Eve, coach Paul Maurice is looking to make a run in a lighter January.

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“Now we’ve got to make hay,” he said. “Now we’ve got to go. We know the numbers that we’re going to have to reach, but now is the time. We can stick around .500 or a little above .500 against some of the best teams in the league if we want to use that, but now we’ve got to go.”

Including the upcoming Atlanta game, nine of the team’s 13 games in December are against teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today – more than in any other month. In addition to those nine, one of the games against a “non-playoff team,” a trip to Minnesota to end a travel-heavy road trip, wasn’t exactly a pushover.

Now they’ll enter January, where only five of their 13 games are against teams currently on pace to make the postseason. That’s the lowest of any month with more than five regular season games on the schedule.

It even goes deeper than that. In today’s no-tie NHL where win/loss records and point totals are inflated across the league, only seven teams are under .500. The Hurricanes play seven games against those teams in January.

With the calendar setting up favorably in the first part of 2009, Maurice feels like the team played well enough through arguably the toughest part of their schedule to move up in the standings going forward.

“In the last two or three weeks we’ve got three regulation losses, and that’s two against Boston and one in Minnesota at the end of a tough trip,” said Maurice. “I would suggest that we’re playing reasonably well.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 24 16 7 1 62 59 33
2 PIT 22 15 5 2 78 53 32
3 TBL 23 15 6 2 81 63 32
4 NYI 23 16 7 0 74 64 32
5 DET 23 13 5 5 69 58 31
6 BOS 24 14 9 1 61 58 29
7 TOR 22 11 8 3 70 67 25
8 FLA 21 9 6 6 45 53 24
9 WSH 22 10 8 4 63 59 24
10 NYR 22 10 8 4 63 62 24
11 OTT 22 10 8 4 60 59 24
12 NJD 23 9 10 4 57 68 22
13 PHI 22 8 11 3 59 69 19
14 CAR 22 7 12 3 52 65 17
15 BUF 23 7 14 2 39 73 16
16 CBJ 22 6 14 2 51 81 14

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Nash 22 4 11 0 15
E. Staal 17 6 8 -7 14
J. Faulk 22 2 12 -10 14
J. Tlusty 22 10 3 -9 13
E. Lindholm 22 6 5 -5 11
J. Skinner 18 5 6 -5 11
N. Gerbe 18 3 6 2 9
A. Sekera 21 0 8 -6 8
C. Terry 17 4 3 1 7
V. Rask 22 3 3 -8 6
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 7 8 1 .907 2.57
A. Khudobin 0 4 2 .898 2.97