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Tracking the Storm

Canes Feeling Good for Florida

Wednesday, 02.11.2009 / 12:26 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Canes Feeling Good for Florida
Paul Maurice audio

After practicing fully yesterday, it seemed that Dennis Seidenberg’s injured groin had healed to the point where he could return to the lineup for tomorrow’s game against Florida – all that remained to be seen was if he could make it through today’s practice.
Paul Branecky
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Well, he wasn’t out there at all, so that’s probably not looking good. Bryan Rodney and Niclas Wallin were paired together, and since Seidenberg’s absence caused there to be an odd number of blueliners, Assistant Coach Kevin McCarthy was paired with Frank Kaberle.

Although an accomplished defenseman and one-time All-Star in his 10-year NHL playing career, McCarthy took a big spill while skating backwards on one particular drill, much to the delight and cheers of all involved. Even Paul Maurice was seen raising his arms in a bit of good-natured fun. 

Clearly, the team is in a pretty good mood after winning six of their last eight. 

“We encourage it,” said Maurice of the loose atmosphere. “We encourage a positive mental attitude going into this game, and really something we wanted to improve with this team is communication on the ice. We try to get these guys talking as much as they can, and that usually leads to the occasional jab and shot, which brings your practice to a new level.”

That isn’t to say that the Canes were goofing around, which definitely was not the case. Maurice was also happy with the work ethic, which has been consistently good dating back to their trip to Buffalo two weeks ago. They’ll need that again for tomorrow night’s game against Florida, which is about as big as they can get, at least in February.

While recent slumps by Montreal and the New York Rangers have opened up the playoff race a little more, Carolina and Florida are among a group of teams that will be competing for playoff spots down the stretch. Heading into the game, the Panthers, who have one more point than the Hurricanes with a game in hand, have the upper hand in the standings. Carolina could reclaim the eight seed with a regulation win tomorrow.

Both teams have been playing well lately – Florida has won five of seven and is 10-3-3 in 2009 – but Maurice is counting on home-ice advantage to give the Canes the edge tomorrow.

“The last game that we played against Atlanta, the fans were buzzing before the puck was even dropped, and I think that had a big part to do with it being our best period in two and a half months – we were flying,” he said. “I think clearly Florida will put up a lot stiffer defense against that kind of game, but I think if we can do enough on the ice to get our crowd going, it energizes our team and we’re tough to beat.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 43 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 48 10 19 -13 29
E. Lindholm 48 9 11 -12 20
R. Nash 48 7 13 -4 20
J. Tlusty 41 12 7 -12 19
J. Skinner 43 10 9 -8 19
N. Gerbe 44 5 13 -4 18
V. Rask 48 6 9 -10 15
A. Sekera 46 1 14 -6 15
J. McClement 48 1 9 -2 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 11 17 4 .914 2.37
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .914 2.41