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Did you notice? ‘Canes are in playoff position

Dec 9, 2013, 11:10 AM EDT

Jay Harrison, Riley Nash, Jiri Tlusty AP

OK, so it’s not the world’s greatest accomplishment to hold down third place in the Metropolitan Division — congratulations, you’re tied with the Rangers in points, and you have a game in hand — but it’s a playoff position nonetheless.

With Friday’s 5-3 come-from-behind win over San Jose, the Carolina Hurricanes have won five of their last seven, and now they get to start a four-game road trip feeling good about themselves.

“That has got to be a big confidence builder for our guys tonight — to beat a team like that who we have a lot of respect for tonight,” said coach Kirk Muller after the Sharks game, which saw rookie Elias Lindholm score once while adding two assists.

Carolina’s road trip starts tonight with a tough one, in Vancouver against a streaking Canucks side that won its fourth straight last night. Games in Edmonton, Calgary and Phoenix will follow.

The ‘Canes haven’t made the playoffs since 2009, and they’ve only made them once since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006. Certainly if their division continues to struggle as a whole, it bodes well for their chances of getting back to the postseason in 2014.

  1. lowenni - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    The Canes are a decent team on paper. Not contenders, but a playoff team. The problem is they always seem to lack confidence. They have a great goalie in Ward, and some good defenders in Sekera (who’s having a fantastic season, my dark horse Norris candidate so far), and a good offense led by the two Staal’s Semin, and Skinner (who seems reenergized and is scoring goals). In such a weak conference I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make the playoffs, and maybe even upset a team or two.

    • shaundre93 - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      Had no idea about sekera, I’ll have to check em out more. Its too bad pitkanen is gone so long, they would be way better with him in the lineup

  2. deeboy - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Sekera and Faulk have been a fantastic top pairing for the Hurricanes. So far, the biggest problem has been injuries. Semin has been out for almost a month, Ward and Khudobin spent considerable time on the shelf, Skinner missed a few weeks. If they could get back to somewhere close toe healthy, I think they have the goods to be #3 in the Metro at a minimum….

  3. endusersolutions2013 - Dec 9, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    That they are in contention is a demonstration of the huge imbalance in conferences and divisions. Hurricanes are only in the hunt at the moment due to being in the weakest conference in the NHL by far. In contrast, the Dallas Stars (5th in the toughest conference) would be in the hunt (3rd?) in the Atlantic, especially if they were playing EC teams more frequently. They’ve had the 2nd toughest schedule so far. They’d be in 2nd in the Metro, pushing the Pens.

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