|Division Rank||7 Metro||7 Central|
|Conference Rank||11 EC||13 WC|
|Last 10 Games||6-3-1||3-6-1|
|Streak||Lost 1||Lost 1|
|ES Goals For %||46.3%||51.6%|
|ES Corsi For %||53.1%||51.4%|
|Power Play % (Rank)||16.1% (28)||16.2% (27)|
|Penalty Kill % (Rank)||81.5% (12)||77.2% (27)|
|ES Save %||.911||.943|
|ES Save %||.909||.907|
*Stats from NHL.com and War on Ice
- Western Canada has not been kind to the Carolina Hurricanes. Under the subject of "things I found in search of other things", I stumbled across an interesting statistic. Since the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season (during which time no cross-conference regular season games were played), the Canes have a road record of 1-7-3 against the four Western Canadian teams (Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Winnipeg). That record is inclusive of Wednesday's frustrating 4-1 loss in Calgary, where the Canes haven't won since 2002. If there is a bright spot, the one Western Canada win was against tonight's opponent, the Winnipeg Jets, and the Canes are 3-3-1 in Winnipeg since the former Thrashers relocated there, though the Jets swept the two-game series against the Canes last season.
- Coming out of Wednesday's loss, with 54 points and 30 games remaining, the math is easy. The Canes need to win two out of every three games (or equivalent points) for the remainder of the season to remain relevant in playoff discussion. As of last night's game, they are currently four points out of a wild card spot and have two teams to jump, each with three games in hand.
- Like the Canes, the Jets have two cornerstone players on expiring contracts and have decisions to make at the deadline. Also like the Canes, one of those players is their captain, Andrew Ladd. Ladd has been the captain since before relocation and leads the Jets all-time in goals (104) and game-winning goals (20). The other player is defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who is fourth all-time in scoring (212 points) and first in time on ice and power play points. Big Buff is also currently tied for the team lead in goals with 15.
- The Jets are wrapping up a six-game home stand where so far they have gone 1-4-0, their latest a 5-3 loss to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday. Both Ladd and Byfuglien scored for the Jets. Also scoring was Adam Lowry, who recently returned to the lineup along with Mathieu Perrault. Nikolaj Ehlers has five game point streak (4g, 3a). Yesterday, forward Alexander Burmistrov was fined $2,000 by the NHL as a repeat offender for diving, from a game played Jan. 26 against the Coyotes.
- Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, on injured reserve with a knee injury, has been skating with the team but is still a ways off from returning to the lineup. In his place, rookie netminder Connor Hellebuyck has started 20 of the last 22 games for the Jets which doesn't sound like a Paul Maurice thing at all. Hellebuyck is expected to get the start again in tonight's game, backed up by Michael Hutchinson, though that decision has not been confirmed.
- Coming out of Wednesday's loss to the Flames, there are no updates at this time as to any player status or lineup updates for the Canes. The team did not practice yesterday, instead heading to Glencoe Sports Club in Calgary to go curling for a team-building event before flying to Winnipeg. Elias Lindholm and Jeff Skinner both have points in their last three games.
- Bill Peters has not announced tonight's starting netminder. Eddie Lack has started in six straight games for the Canes and has a 3-3-0 record including two shutouts. He is 4-2-0 with a 2.77 GAA in six career games against the Jets. Cam Ward, who returned from injured reserve Wednesday to back up Lack, is 22-12-4 with a 2.94 GAA and one shutout in 39 career games against the Thrashers/Jets. (Update 10:00 am Cam Ward will be tonight's starter, stay tuned for further information after the morning skate).
- Congratulations to Andrej Nestrasil, who will play in his 100th career NHL game tonight.
- Update: Tonight's game is showing on the NHL.com site as the free Game of the Week on NHL.tv (formerly Game Center Live) so check it out (subject to local blackout restrictions).
Hurricanes (2/5 morning skate)
Kris Versteeg - Eric Staal - Phillip Di Giuseppe
Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Andrej Nestrasil
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Nathan Gerbe - Jay McClement - Riley Nash
Ron Hainsey - Justin Faulk
John-Micheal Liles - Jaccob Slavin
Noah Hanifin - Michal Jordan
Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (IR ACL), Brett Pesce (IR foot), Chris Terry (healthy), Brad Malone (healthy), Ryan Murphy (healthy)
Jets (2/3 vs Stars)
Nikolaj Ehlers - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler
Mathieu Perreault - Bryan Little - Drew Stafford
Andrew Ladd - Adam Lowry - Alexander Burmistrov
Chris Thorburn - Andrew Copp - Joel Armia
Jacob Trouba - Dustin Bfyfuglien
Toby Enstrom - Tyler Myers
Mark Stuart - Ben Chiarot
Adam Pardy - Paul Postma
Injuries and Scratches: Grant Clitsome (IR back), Ondrej Pavelec (IR knee)
- Canes Gameday Hub [CH.com].
- February will determine Hurricanes fate this season [Today's SlapShot].
- Tweetmail tackles the trade deadline, NHL.com's digital media changes, and Sunday's big game(s) [CH.com].
- Chuck Kaiton joins Mike Maniscalco on the Canes Corner Podcast to discuss the important month of February [WRALSportsFan].
- In Triangle business news, construction is set to begin on a new competition center in Morrisville, which may have a future as a Hurricanes practice facility [N&O] [Triangle Business Journal].
- Patrick Clarke shares an 'unpopular opinion' on a future prime trade candidate for the Canes [Clarke Hockey].
- Hurricanes must get out of no-mans land (editorial note: this is from a few days ago but too precious not to share since the author suggests Andrew Ladd as a great add for the Canes since he has Stanley Cup experience - with the Blackhawks! SMH) [The Score].
- Jets find positive in fact they are generating quality scoring [Winnipeg Sun].
- Repeat offender Burmistrov fined $2,000 for diving [Winnipeg Free Press].
- Attitude adjustment is needed to keep Jets aloft [Winnipeg Free Press].
- Finally, some great news to share. Tweet below and attached link are in Finnish, but the photo is of former Hurricane Joni Pitkanen, who will return to the ice tomorrow night for Kärpät Oulu, his first professional game since suffering a devastating broken heel injury in a game played in Raleigh on April 2, 2013. Wishing Joni all the best in his triumphant return.