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Gameday: Canes Looking to Break Loose

Saturday, 04.13.2013 / 12:05 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Canes Looking to Break Loose


If you walked into the Carolina Hurricanes dressing room a month ago, the atmosphere was lively, energetic and positive. The team was at the peak of the Southeast Division; what was not to be pleased about?

Michael Smith
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Walking into the room today you would have felt the same buzz, the liveliness, the energy and the positivity.

“At this point, if you get caught up in the games in the past, you’re going to lose your mind,” defenseman Tim Gleason said. “The only way [to move forward] is to stay lose and not play uptight.”

Understandably, an undercurrent of frustration cuts sharply through the mood in the room at times. The Hurricanes have dropped a team-record (since relocation) seven games in a row and a franchise-record eight straight at home. The team’s last win at PNC Arena came over a calendar month ago on March 9, a 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

“Obviously, when we come in after games and we’re losing hockey games, it’s not a good mood,” Gleason said. “Sure, there’s frustration, and it goes back to not winning hockey games.

“I think when you’re winning hockey games, there’s less finger-pointing, there’s less of a lot of things. You play with ease, and you play with confidence. Right now, we’re trying to find that confidence.”

With the belief that the effort has consistently been present – and it has produced tangible evidence in shots and scoring chances – the hope is that favorable results aren’t too far off in the distance.

Really, one game could be all it takes.

“We’ve shown some promise in the last couple of games, but we have to find a way to get a win,” Gleason said. “We just need a win right now, and the confidence will come.”

“The results aren’t what we want, but I think if we stay with it, I think in the big picture we’ll be OK,” head coach Kirk Muller said. “It seems like every little mistake we make, we pay the price on it. And you’ve got to fight back through it.

“I think what we need is to get rewarded for the effort they’re putting in. One of these games, I think they’re going to break loose.”

They’ll have to do it tonight against the Boston Bruins, who are knocking on the door of the Northeast Division lead, trailing Montreal by just a point. A point is also all Boston needs to clinch their six straight postseason berth.

After sweeping the season series with Boston for the first time in franchise history last season, the Hurricanes have dropped both meetings with the Bruins this season.

The last contest between these two teams was played just five days ago in Boston. Surrendering two goals on the Bruins’ first four shots in the opening eight minutes of the game quickly sank the Hurricanes, as Boston cruised to a 6-2 victory.

Justin Peters, who was yanked at the 7:58 mark of the first period in that Boston game, will get another crack at the Bruins tonight. It will be his fourth straight start, and after putting together a 28-save performance in Washington on Thursday night, Muller said Peters has earned the crease for tonight’s game.

“He’s been battling,” Muller said. “Just like the rest of the guys, if you’re going to keep fighting that way and battling, I think he deserves another crack at it.

“When you’re playing like that, you deserve the net again. Hopefully this is the night he gets his win.”

As a team, the Hurricanes will continue to fight and battle, now exactly two weeks from the end of this abbreviated season.

“The old saying is that it’s not over until it’s over,” Gleason said. Everyone in here has a job to do, and you have to do it to the best of your ability. From a personal standpoint, I think that’s what you look at.”



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