Tracking the Storm

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 - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 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