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Power Rankings
Still fighting for a playoff spot, Hurricanes GM Ron Francis faces a tough decision. He has pieces that other teams would value in a trade, allowing Carolina to nab some assets that will help down the line. But waving the white flag this close to a wild-card spot is going to be tough. These next two weeks are huge.
What a turnaround for the Hurricanes, too. They are one point out of a playoff spot thanks to a 7-2-1 run over their last 10 games. Eddie Lack's .924 save percentage in January has been a big help.
With wins in six of their past nine games, the Canes are still just on the outskirts of the playoff picture. Eddie Lack's improved play in net is one reason they're in it still. He has a .914 save percentage over seven January starts.
Wait a second, the Hurricanes are two points out of a playoff spot? Yeah, that's a fact. The Canes have had great underlying numbers all year. Improved play from the goaltenders has finally allowed Carolina to build on that, but it's anyone's guess as to how long that holds up.
The Canes have seemed like a team that's better than their record for a lot of this season, but still can't seem to get the level of consistency needed from their goalies. They're 5-3-2 in their last 10.
As the Hurricanes struggle to win games, you have to wonder when or if they start considering dealing top forward Eric Staal. This team is improving despite its record, but maybe they need a big trade to jolt the lineup for the future.
Carolina is one of those teams that might actually have a fighting chance in the Metropolitan Division race if they didn't have a team save percentage of .896. They've been getting better goaltending of late though, and it's showing with seven wins in their last 11 games.
The Canes play everyone tight it seems, especially of late. Seven of their last nine games have been decided by one goal. Carolina has won five of those as Jeff Skinner heats up. He has nine goals over his last nine games.
It is still shocking to see the Hurricanes as one of the league's top possession teams, but it hasn't done them much good. A team save percentage of .890 is as big a reason as any they haven't found much success.
In some ways it's miraculous the Hurricanes have won eight. In others, they look like they should have more. They've been one of the league's top possession teams, but are having trouble converting, with an extremely low shooting percentage of 6.78 percent.
Preseason Power Rankings
Rookie Noah Hanifin has been as good or better than expected, which is a good sign. The Canes were in both games that they ended up losing, too. This is going to be a tough year, but this should also be a year of growth for Carolina.
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