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No Standings Help for Canes This Week

Wednesday, 04.1.2009 / 10:29 AM ET / 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 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
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81