Tracking the Storm

Canes Pushing Through Tough Stretch

Saturday, 02.21.2009 / 1:04 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Canes Pushing Through Tough Stretch
The Hurricanes aren’t getting much of a break in between games these days, so they took one on Saturday instead.

Paul Branecky
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In the middle of a stretch where they play 10 games in 17 days, the team held an optional skate today at the RecZone, in which only six players participated.

“You won’t see a lot of practices between now and the end of next week,” said coach Paul Maurice. “You just can’t do it. It’s too hard.”

The Canes won’t have a significant break until the first day of March, when they only play one game on in Washington during a five-day stretch. After that, however, it’s back to the grind with six contests in just nine days.

“We’re very pleased with the schedule-maker at this point,” Maurice said, cracking a smile in the process.

Besides slumping at the end of the Tuesday’s game against Boston, which Maurice suggested may be related to fatigue, it may be a good thing for the Hurricanes to roll with the positive momentum from winning their last two games against the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning by a combined score of 10-3.

“In our last four games, we’ve played consistently as well as we have all year,” said Maurice. “But the same time, two of those opponents are at the bottom of the standings, so take it for what it’s worth.”

Joni Pitkanen (upper body) and Scott Walker (concussion) were among the six players who took the ice today. No decision will be made on Pitkanen until tomorrow morning, when the Canes will prepare to take on the Colorado Avlanche at 3 p.m. Walker is progressing nicely and was extremely positive and upbeat today, but his return is still uncertain.

If Pitkanen can play, that leaves Maurice with a decision to make regarding his lineup. Tim Conboy, recently recalled from Albany, would seem like the first choice to sit, but his physical play and versatility – he’s been playing both defense and forward – could keep him for tomorrow.

“We’re going to work different things around and talk about it, because there’s a value to having Tim Conboy in our lineup,” said Maurice.

The Avalanche, in a playoff fight of their own in the Western Conference, will be on the second game of a six-game road trip, which began with an impressive 4-1 victory in Washington last night.

“We certainly appreciate what it’s like to beat Washington and how difficult it is in that building to do it, so we’ll be fully aware and have a tremendous amount of respect for that team coming in,” said Maurice.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72