Hurricanes seek better finish against Devils following holiday break

Chris Baird, Triangle Sports Network

Chris Baird, Triangle Sports Network

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes hit rock bottom the last time they faced the New Jersey Devils.

A 5-1 loss at PNC Arena back on Dec. 3 brought out some of the most emotional reaction from players and head coach Bill Peters alike that local media had seen or heard all season.

Having lost their third game in a row at the time, the way the Devils took advantage of the Hurricanes’ defensive lapses and the speed at which they moved the puck and scored left a bad taste in many people’s mouths.

Currently sitting with 31 points with a 13-16-5 record, Carolina is not in playoff contention.

Sure it’s seven points more than the Hurricanes had last season coming out of the Christmas break, but four points less than the 2013-2014 season when they held a 14-13-7 ledger with 35 points.

It’s all relative.

The bottom-line numbers, wins and losses along with a handful of ties, shows little change in how the Hurricanes have waded through the NHL pool.

Though they haven’t fallen deeper, the weights that have continued to slow their progress hasn’t allowed for much forward progress, at least at this point in the season.

Currently possessing a 5-4-1 record in its last 10 games, Carolina may have benefited from a relaxing and enjoyable holiday break with family and friends, even following a 2-1 loss to the Eastern Conference leading Washington Capitals earlier in the week.

Hopefully for those in attendance, Saturday’s return match-up with the Devils, the second of five that will take place between the two teams, will end with a much more palatable finish.