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Canes Resting Before Final Push

Monday, 03.16.2009 / 11:51 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Canes Resting Before Final Push
The Hurricanes knew last week’s road trip was going to be a tough one, and they were right.

“We’re in the fight, which is where we hoped to be coming out of this mess,” said Paul Maurice after the third and final game of the voyage.

Paul Branecky
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Although the Canes didn’t get a victory, they got two hard-fought points in a pair of shootout losses in Chicago and Washington. Despite the obvious fatigue that comes with playing six games in nine days, the team was actually able to dig deep and put together some strong third periods along the way.

“I think the guys get to the games some nights and they’re not sure what they’ve got in the tank and they don’t feel great,” said Maurice. “After that, I think you can mentally wrap your head around leaving it all there for the last 20 minutes.”

The Hurricanes also managed to keep themselves in playoff position, as they still hold the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed as of Monday morning. With three full days off from games heading into Wednesday’s game against New Jersey, the schedule sets up favorably going forward.

The Canes have 11 games remaining, eight of which are at home, where they’ve won five in a row. There are only three more road games on the schedule, and all are quick single game trips – one to Florida and two to New Jersey.

They also get a few periods of rest along the way, with a four-day break to finish March and only one set of back-to-back games (with no travel involved) coming this weekend against the New York Islanders and Washington.

Call it an evening-out of the schedule following the trials of the last 30 days.

“You would hope that,” said captain Rod Brind’Amour. “That’s the whole idea that we got through that stretch and we’re home now, but that doesn’t guarantee you anything. You’ve got to take advantage, and we’re not in a position that we can sit back.”

“The three days off is important to us right now just to get our energy level back, and then being at home is important for sure,” said Maurice.

Cam Ward, who has started 18 consecutive games, got the day off practice to rest. The team’s Television Analyst and former professional goaltender, Tripp Tracy, filled in.

“I think the guys enjoy shooting on him, which is a problem,” said Maurice. “If it was someone they didn’t know they would have taken it easy on him, but I think he was getting both barrels.”

Patrick Eaves also missed practice with an upper body injury he sustained Saturday at Washington, but the team is optimistic he will be able to play on Wednesday.

Scott Walker, who did not go with the team on their road trip, practiced today but it is still uncertain as to when he could return to the lineup. Wednesday is a possibility, but Maurice said that would depend on how he felt after tomorrow’s practice.

Brandon Sutter was reassigned to Albany prior to practice. Now that his old junior team in Red Deer has finished its season, Sutter is eligible to play in Albany for the remainder of the regular season (see here for clarification).  Albany is not expected to make the playoffs.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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