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Tracking the Storm

Canes Face Desperate Vancouver Tonight

Tuesday, 02.03.2009 / 9:47 AM / 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.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 59 11 27 -16 38
E. Staal 54 18 18 -9 36
E. Lindholm 58 11 15 -16 26
J. Skinner 54 15 9 -16 24
R. Nash 56 7 14 -9 21
N. Gerbe 55 6 14 -13 20
A. Sekera 57 2 17 -7 19
V. Rask 57 8 10 -18 18
J. McClement 59 4 12 1 16
J. Staal 23 4 11 -1 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 19 4 .914 2.35
A. Khudobin 6 11 3 .901 2.73