The Carolina Hurricanes have struggled in the last two matches but once again find themselves with a busy weekend ahead. Saturday the Canes will head up north to play the Montreal Canadiens. They will then get back on the plane and head home to host the New York Islanders.
Montreal has been eliminated from playoff contention and currently sits second to last in the Eastern Conference.
No game in the NHL is taken for granted but it will certainly be a good chance to turn things around before heading home.
After some bad luck in Detroit, the Canes were unable to grab a road point and the New Jersey Devils beat the New York Rangers to come within one point of the Canes.
Sunday the Islanders head to Raleigh for what may be a first-round matchup in the NHL playoffs.
The Islanders have been playing much better since the acquisition of Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks. Still, the Islanders have struggled to score but rely on scoring depth and defensive play like the Canes.
With Antti Raanta due to return, you would expect to see him in one of these games to spare Frederik Andersen.
There is no doubt that this race for the Metro division may have to go down to the final games but the Canes still have a game in hand on the Devils. The Devils head to Chicago to face an beaten team in the Blackhawks.
Sunday the Devils head up north themselves for a game against the Winnipeg Jets.
Grabbing at least 3 points this weekend will go a long way for Rod Brind’Amour and the Hurricanes. The pressure is on but this may be another good test run before the playoffs begin.
This season is turning into one that you just want to get to the playoffs as healthy as possible and restart the engines. This team can play great playoff type hockey and the fresh start may be what is needed mentally.