Flyers vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Canes Face Desperate Vancouver Tonight

Tuesday, 02.3.2009 / 9:47 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Canes Face Desperate Vancouver Tonight
When previewing this road trip in this blog and on the podcast over the last week, we kept stressing the fact that the Canes would be facing three playoff teams.
Paul Branecky
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Well, in a Western Conference race that’s even tighter than the one we’re used to, things change in a hurry.

Both Vancouver and Phoenix have dropped out of the top eight spots over the last few days, but are still right in the mix. Phoenix is part of an incredible five teams tied at 53 points, and only loses out on a proverbial berth due to a tiebreaker. Vancouver is only one point behind.

San Jose, in case you were wondering, is still San Jose.

All of that is not to suggest that tonight’s game will be any easier for the Canes now than it would have been last week. Expect the two games on the front and back ends of the trip against the so-called “bubble teams” to be very intense as each team fights for precious points.

There are a few interesting subplots for tonight’s game against the Canucks. Although they don’t get out there very often, the Hurricanes haven’t won in Vancouver in almost 10 years – October of 1999, to be exact. Since then, they’ve lost four straight, including the last two in overtime.

On the Vancouver side, the Canucks are now winless in their last eight games and have lost an eye-popping nine straight at home, which is obviously a big reason why they find themselves below the bold line in the standings after a good start. 

Since superstar goaltender Roberto Luongo was injured on November 22, the Canucks are 9-14-6. He’s been back in the lineup for the team’s last five contests, but is still returning to form and yet to pick up his first win. I’ll be very interested to see how he holds up against the Canes tonight.

Also, there’s that Mats Sundin guy, who has just three points in nine games since finally choosing the Canucks in December. Canes coach Paul Maurice knows him well from their days together in Toronto and addressed that, among other things, to the media after yesterday’s practice.

As we’ve seen a few times already this season, a team on the ropes doesn’t always translate into an easy game, and the Hurricanes will be aware of that. Hope you can stay up late to watch it. For the true insomniacs out there, the brave Mike Maniscalco will be doing his usual postgame show on 99.9 The Fan.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 70 21 28 -12 49
J. Faulk 75 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 74 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 70 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 73 11 20 -12 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 71 8 17 -13 25
J. McClement 75 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 47 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 39 4 16 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60