For the first 25 or so games in the season for the Carolina Hurricanes, it was an up-and-down season. They would string together a couple big wins, then lose a few games, with the worst stretch coming at the end of October, early November when the Canes lost five in a row.
The inconsistency led to the team falling to as low as sixth in the Metropolitan and never finding a groove that made the Hurricanes look like real contenders in the division.
The losses also caused GM Jim Rutherford‘s “patience to wear thin,” which led to rumors of trades involving Tim Gleason, Tuomo Ruutu and Jiri Tlusty. And while, trades involving those players could still happen, Rutherford has to at least be happy with what the team is doing now.
Carolina is on a three-game winning streak, the longest of the year, in one of their toughest stretches of the season with eight games in 14 days. The Canes have been getting strong goaltending from both Cam Ward and Justin Peters, balanced offense and the team is battling through injuries.
It’s also coming at one of the best times for the Hurricanes. Around January, it starts to become more clear which teams will make playoff push, and which will be bottom-feeders. The Canes were right in the middle at the start of December, but are starting to migrate to the top.
It may be better, standings wise, if the Hurricanes were earning more of these wins over Eastern Conference opponents, but they did beat the San Jose Sharks, one of the top teams in the league, and two points are two points. If you win your games, you don’t need to worry about how other teams are doing.
Things may start getting harder – fatigue will start to set in more, while also dealing with travel on the Western Conference – but if the Canes can play like they have at the start of this stretch, winning games shouldn’t be too difficult.
The Hurricanes started this stretch with a loss against the Vancouver Canucks last Sunday. On Monday they’ll get another chance against the Western Conference opponent, and it will be a good factor of how the rest of this stretch could go for the Carolina Hurricanes.