The Carolina Hurricanes have lost just one game in the past month.
That’s good, but the footnote is that they haven’t played much.
They’ll be back on the ice to face the visiting Calgary Flames on Friday night in Raleigh, NC.
“It’s not under our control, all of these breaks and how many games we can play,” Hurricanes goalie Frederik Andersen said.
The Hurricanes have only played two games since December 18. They have won eight of their last nine games, with that streak starting on December 4.
The latest layoff came after a 7-4 victory at Columbus on Saturday.
Following the gap in the schedule, the Hurricanes will have back-to-back games – with the visiting Florida Panthers on Saturday.
“It’s nice to play,” said Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour. “I feel like we’ve got a little stale here, that’s for sure. You try not to do it. We’ve only played two games forever. We have to sort of pick up a rhythm. “
Only one of the games – in mid-December – was canceled due to hurricane-related COVID concerns. The other postponements were related to the opponents’ situation or the extension of vacations throughout the NHL.
Carolina could be full for the Calgary visit.
“It’s good to have a healthy group,” said Brind’Amour. “This is what all coaches and all teams want. This is what you need if you want to be successful in the long run.
The Flames have played three times this week. They have fallen in their last two games, including a 4-1 loss Thursday night at Tampa Bay. Combined with a loss to Florida, their visit to the Sunshine State saw them dominated by a combined 10-3.
Calgary travels to Carolina in hopes of a turnaround.
“We have to be ready for a big challenge, but I think that’s what we need right now,” said Flames left winger Matthew Tkachuk.
The Flames were one of the best teams in the NHL, but they had a few hiccups.
“Sometimes you learn lessons the hard way in this league, and I think we’ve learned a lot,” center Blake Coleman said of the latest loss.
The Hurricanes had a memorable game in Columbus, where they erased a four-goal hole to win 7-4. A game scheduled for Tuesday in Toronto has been postponed due to regulations in Canada, so it has been almost another full week without games.
“We’ve had some good practices,” Hurricanes center Martin Necas said. “We have a good group. With (Brind’Amour), it’s never an easy practice. We are delighted to go there and play.
Andersen was on COVID protocol and had run out of time. He said he watched from the couch for over a week before being called up for a relief effort and clinching the goaltending victory in the Columbus game.
He hopes he will get back into a groove.
“It’s all about the habits,” Andersen said. “This week has been good for me. We also had a good chance of getting back on our feet as a group. … Keep working to get back to where I was before.
Carolina defeated the Flames 2-1 in overtime on December 9.
“Calgary is a little more determined to really shut you up,” said Brind’Amour.
–Field level media
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