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Tracking the Storm

No Standings Help for Canes This Week

Wednesday, 04.01.2009 / 10:29 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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No Standings Help for Canes This Week
Although their current position as the Eastern Conference’s fifth seed is nice to look at, the finish line hasn’t yet arrived for the Carolina Hurricanes, and they know it.

Paul Branecky
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“We feel good based on the wins, but I don’t think we feel all that good based on the standings,” said Coach Paul Maurice. “You’d like to think that if you went 10-1-2 in March you might have put a gap, but everybody around us, behind us and on top of us is playing great too.”

The lack of help the team has received from around the league during their current four-day break underlines that sentiment. On Monday, the New York Rangers took care of New Jersey with a 3-0 shutout. On Tuesday night, Florida and Montreal had relatively comfortable wins over Ottawa and Chicago, respectively. 

If the Rangers were to come away from the RBC Center with a regulation victory tomorrow night, they would pull even with Carolina with 91 points, although the Canes would own the tiebreaker by way of more total wins.

Make no mistake – the Canes are still in a very good position to make the playoffs, provided they get a few more wins in their last five games, four of which are at the RBC Center where they’ve tied a franchise record with nine consecutive wins. Their destiny is clearly in their own hands, and they won’t need help from anyone if they keep the pace.

However, it’s also easy to see why the Hurricanes have had no choice but to remain focused on maintaining the momentum that has gotten them this far, rather than exchanging high fives over just how close they are to the postseason.

“We can’t think like that,” said captain Rod Brind’Amour, who has remained hot with 16 points in his last 12 games. “Every game is still so important as long as the teams around us keep winning.”

A few updates from in the system:
  • With a hard slap shot from the point, defenseman Jamie McBain scored his first professional goal in just his third professional game in Albany’s 5-3 loss to Bridgeport last night. The River Rats were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention earlier this week and have just seven games remaining.
     
  • As was mentioned in yesterday’s prospect update, Zach Boychuk could join McBain in Albany if his junior team in Lethbridge loses Game 7 of their first-round series with Saskatoon tonight (although not on a tryout contract as I mentioned yesterday - apologies for the potential confusion). Boychuk has had an excellent series so far, with eight points in six games. Look for more on him in the next few days, as he’s the subject of the next installment of our prospect profile series.

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