Tonight, the Carolina Hurricanes embark on a three-game road trip and they start in the midwest. St Louis is the host city as the Canes have a clash with the Blues in the gateway to the West. Carolina’s recent record of 1-3-2 in their last six has shot some huge red flags up around the fanbase, but they’ve made their hay this season beating up on the Western Conference and they seek to do it again.
Teams are being eliminated from playoff contention, so it’s worth looking at Carolina’s number to clinch a playoff berth. With the New York Islanders’ loss earlier today, the Hurricanes need just 13 points from their final 18 games to mathematically be in the post-season. Carolina’s 91 points right now lead the Metropolitan Division and have them third overall in the NHL Standings.
Carolina is 17-4-2 against the Western Conference this season, and they need to find a way to continue their dominance against their cross-conference opponents. St Louis sits in third in the Central Division and they’re trying to close in on the Minnesota Wild for home ice in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
St Louis is 1-2-2 in their last five and are not having an easy time of it either. This is a game between two fantastic teams that have been struggling recently and if the Hurricanes do really have ambitions of winning the Metropolitan Division. Carolina’s struggles recently have closed the gap that was once double digits between the Canes and those below them. There’s not that luxury anymore.
At this moment, I have no idea what to expect for the team, but keep an eye on the Canes forward core. It’s going to be interesting to see where the new recruits play and how the coaching staff juggles the lines to cope with a sound defensive system like the one St Louis employs. Remember this game starts in the midwest and will be a little later than usual.