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Tracking the Storm

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.”



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 71 22 28 -12 50
J. Faulk 76 15 32 -19 47
E. Lindholm 75 16 21 -20 37
J. Skinner 71 18 13 -22 31
V. Rask 74 11 20 -13 31
N. Gerbe 72 9 17 -13 26
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. McClement 76 7 13 -5 20
J. Staal 40 4 16 -6 20
J. Liles 51 2 17 -8 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 22 5 .909 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60