The Carolina Hurricanes schedule the rest of the season looks absolutely great. The Eastern Conference leading Boston Bruins are living out of suitcases for the rest of their season.
Much like the Metro Division 2nd place New Jersey Devils, the Boston Bruins face a tough away schedule during the most critical time of the season, making a down hill slide into the playoffs and uphill battle. During that same crux of the season, Carolina will be right at home in Raleigh.
January will be a make or break month for the Bruins. They have a total of nine away games to only five at home. Boston ends the month on a four game road trip which includes division rivals Tampa and conference rivals Carolina in Raleigh on the 29th.
Should the Bruins survive January, March includes a five game pavement pounder starting in Detroit (Boston will have played the Red Wings the night before in Boston) and ends in Buffalo against what could be by then, a good Sabres team. Carolina will again host the Bruins on the 26th sandwiched between two home games for Boston.
Carolina’s schedule on the other hand sets the Canes up for a serious momentum build going into the playoffs. While Carolina’s closest competition is tacking up the DO NOT DISTURB signs, the Carolina Hurricanes will play 31 games in Raleigh to only 18 road games. Most of those away games are between home games which are not as taxing as the long road trips the Canes faced early in the season.
Both times Carolina is scheduled to host Boston, the Hurricanes will have been at home for at least one, if not two games.
The Bruins are good, but will they be able to weather the road like Carolina? I highly doubt it. Carolina’s schedule was stacked hard against them in the front half of the season. Legs are fresher, old injuries are not as painful in the morning.
Road games play differently after 30 or 40 nights on the ice reminding you to pack your Tiger Balm.
Had Carolina faced that same schedule on the back end of the season, I highly doubt their point total would be as high.
Boston will be in Raleigh twice before the playoffs. By that time, their baggage will be a little heavier with all those checked baggage tags.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes will be rested. It will certainly be their on ice play that gets the Canes into the playoffs, but Carolina’s schedule could keep them playing at home well into the spring.