For once in quite some time, the Carolina Hurricanes have a chance to take a breath. The game schedule has let up a bit in the meantime.
The Hurricanes were able to have two straight days of practice and begin to prepare for a light week or two ahead of them.
Additionally, the NHL and the Canes will get a break from the All-Star weekend at the beginning of February.
This week, the Canes will have two games and next week they will have three games. Four of the next seven games before the All-Star break are at PNC Arena, with visits to New York and Dallas.
Players could always use a break but for the most part, they are creatures of habit that would like consistency in games played.
Carolina has their fair share of injuries as most teams do halfway through the season.
It has been a good point for Frederik Andersen to not only get back into game action but have the extra time to recover from that competition.
The number one netminder will have plenty of time to get game action in the final months of the season, but it is vital to prevent any setbacks.
Another player that recently returned from injury is Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty had a nice string of games but suffered a minor injury to keep him out recently.
It appears that Pacioretty is close to returning to the lineup but the easier load on games gives his body the proper time to get back on the ice.
Ondrej Kase continues to make his way back from injury as well and should benefit from more full practices.
The light schedule is good, but the opponents will be difficult with two fellow division leaders on the calendar.
The Boston Bruins will visit Carolina and the Canes will take a trip to the lone star state to face the Stars.