With a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in their last game, Carolina returns home to PNC Arena to take on the Philadelphia Flyers with a chance to move to the top of the NHL standings. After seeing both the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers struggled recently, the Canes need a win tonight to move into first place in the league with multiple games in hand on their rivals.
This doesn’t mean that being the best team in the league should be the end-all and be-all. It very seldomly matters. Win enough games to get into the playoffs, and from there anything is possible. In this respect, Carolina is currently 8 points clear of the first team outside the playoff places, even if it is early in the season.
Tonight, Carolina goes toe to toe with a division rival and a potential playoff opponent as they welcome the Flyers down from Philadelphia. With the Flyers currently sitting one point outside the 2nd wild card place, they will be looking to get into the playoff places tonight as they sit at 6-3-2 on the season and 6th in the division.
With all eight Metropolitan teams currently sitting above NHL .500, a win tonight for the Carolina Hurricanes would go a long way in assuring their presence when the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin in a few months. Beating divisional foes is something Carolina has struggled with in the past, especially their Metro foes, so expelling those demons in a win tonight would be therapeutic for all of us.