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Tracking the Storm

Canes Not Far Off from First Win

Tuesday, 10.11.2011 / 2:10 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Canes Not Far Off from First Win

Three games into the regular season, the Carolina Hurricanes aren’t where they want to be. That said, they aren’t far off, either.

Michael Smith
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At 0-2-1, the Canes will still be searching for their first win when the Boston Bruins come to town tomorrow. The question going into tomorrow night’s national television tilt seems to be if the Canes can finish strong – in all three games, the team has been in the game heading into the third period.

“We’ve got some things we can do better,” head coach Paul Maurice said. “But there were three good, battling games. I think the battle was there.”

In the home opener, the Canes were down 2-1 to the Bolts heading into the final frame before Tampa put three on the board to win 5-1. The next night in Washington, the Canes were again down 2-1, tied it at two, fell down 3-2 in the final five minutes and battled back to tie it in the last 1:30 before losing 4-3 in overtime. Yesterday in New Jersey, the Canes were tied 2-2 with the Devils going into the third period, a game Carolina ultimately dropped 4-2.

“We really like a lot of the things we are doing,” Maurice said. “That’s our challenge right now. It’s not a matter of staying positive; it’s staying together.”

“We just have to find a way to get some wins,” forward Jussi Jokinen said. Jokinen scored the goal that put the Canes into overtime with the Capitals on Saturday.

“It’s a confidence thing more than anything else. You need to keep the confidence in what you’re doing because we don’t want to come off a lot of what we’re doing,” Maurice said. “You have to have some positive results, so it’s important. We’re at that stage where good isn’t quite good enough, and when you look at our schedule, that’s not going to change for quite some time.”

Boston comes to Raleigh tomorrow before Carolina travels to Buffalo on Friday and Boston on Tuesday. Currently, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Bruins are facing the same troubles as the Canes in not seeing the start they want; they’re 1-2, dropping games to Philadelphia and Colorado.

“They’re searching for that good feeling, too,” Maurice said. “1-2 is not where they want to be.”

And while Maurice’s team is winless, don’t expect to see much change going into tomorrow night. Maurice said a decision on who plays on the back-end will be made after reviewing video. The forward lines should largely remain the same, including the first line of Jeff Skinner, Eric Staal and Chad Larose.

With Staal and Skinner both at -4, Maurice is hoping that LaRose can bring a defensive balance to an offensive-heavy line. Skinner and Staal are leading the way in points; the sophomore forward Skinner has 5 (1g, 4a) and the captain Staal has 3 (2g, 1a).

“We need to score more goals, and we need to keep more goals out of our net, and [the first line] can do both,” Maurice said.

Even though it is just three games into the season, the Canes would like to start seeing those positive results Maurice mentioned as soon as possible. After an off-ice workout for most of the team today, they should be well-prepared for tomorrow.

“I’m sure our crowd will be ready and we will be ready for sure, too,” Jokinen said. “I think we have to play that same game we played for a period and a half here against Tampa – get that two-man forecheck going, work hard, and find a way to get those 2, 3, or 4 goals we’re going to need to win.”

“We have a few players who can bring a little more, and we do need everybody going, Maurice said. “There’s a lot more good in our game right now than things we are really worried about.”

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 48 32 13 3 128 108 67
2 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
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 49 25 14 10 144 125 60
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