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Maurice: The Time is Now

Tuesday, 12.30.2008 / 10:12 AM ET / 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 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
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 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
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 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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