With consecutive wins over the weekend, the Hurricanes are down to 15 games remaining in the 2019-20 NHL regular season.
In addition, the team has successfully navigated the first three games of a potentially treacherous road trip with a 2-1 record.
Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a look at the schedule remaining.
The road trip wraps up with two games against non-playoff teams in the Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils. Interestingly, both teams are playing decent hockey right now with respective two-game winning streaks.
After the road trip is completed, the Hurricanes will play eight out of their last 13 games at home.
The run of 10 games leading up to the final week will feature some repeat customers with a home and home set against the Buffalo Sabres and three more games against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The last week is interesting with two tough match ups against the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins and what could be a wild card play in type of game against the Columbus Blue Jackets for game #81. With the Bruins extending their lead, there is a decent chance that the Bruins will have little to play for in those two games which would be helpful.
If I had to make a short list of keys, they would be as follows:
1) Repeat on the Penguins. After the road trip, the Penguins make up nearly 25 percent of the remaining schedule, so having their number would be a huge benefit.
2) Run the table or close on the beatable teams. Beating lesser teams can be incredibly challenging this year because those teams are lose with nothing to lose. Five out of the next seven game are against teams not competing for playoff spots. How well the Canes can take care of business in the stretch will determine the starting point for the last two weeks.
3) Be strong in back-to-backs. Eight of the remaining games are back-to-back sets with travel. The Hurricanes are fresh off of winning a back-to-back set this past weekend, so hopefully they can repeat that.
What say you Canes fans?
1) On a scale of 1 to 10, how important do you think schedule is this time of year?
2) If you look at the Canes remaining schedule, what jumps out to you as key stretches or themes?