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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81