As a result the Jets have gone from the far edges of the Stanley Cup Playoff chase to just four points behind the eighth-place Vancouver Canucks. Mauricehas managed to get the most out of his new team without an overhaul.
"In the games toward the end when the coach is in trouble, you can see it in the players' body language," Maurice said. "But here they were going, they were trying. They just needed a little adjustment, a little refocus. There were a lot of good things in the Winnipeg Jets' game and we tried to keep those."
Maurice felt the players were beginning to feel the pressure of playing in a market where wins and losses are scrutinized closely. With the recent run of success the players are reacting differently.
"They're listening to the coach, but more importantly they're talking to each other," Maurice said. "That's the big thing here. Now the bench is talking, they're talking on the bus. They're re-establishing those positive relationships because they have a reason to feel good about themselves."
Hurricanes defenseman Ron Hainsey spent the past five seasons with the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise. He's seen past teams go on hot streaks so he's not surprised to see Winnipeg on a roll.
"My assumption is they want to be a playoff team at the very least and they're clawing their way back," Hainsey said. "We'll be expecting a tough game, no question."
Hurricanes goaltender Anton Khudobin, the NHL's First Star of the Month for January, will make his seventh straight start and 15th straight appearance. Cam Ward will serve as his backup after being sidelined with a knee injury since Dec. 31. Ward made two starts with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League during the weekend, stopping 59 of 63 shots.
Here are the probable lineups for Winnipeg and Carolina: