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At the Rink blog

Hurricanes stuck with game plan despite slow start

Friday, 10.21.2011 / 2:18 PM

By Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Hurricanes stuck with game plan despite slow start
ST. LOUIS -- The Carolina Hurricanes, after starting the season 0-2-1, have reeled off three straight wins and are going for four in a row tonight against the St. Louis Blues.

Captain Eric Staal said it was just a matter of sticking with the game plan despite the winless start.

"We've come with energy and aggressiveness every game," said Staal, who has 3 goals and 1 assist in six games. "I think we're pretty comfortable with the way we need to play to win. We were doing that for parts of games the first couple of the year but weren't getting results. We didn't alleviate from that and stayed with it and have gotten the results the last three. We want to keep it going."

The Hurricanes, who won 1-0 here in the only matchup between the teams a season ago, realize this is a desperate team they will face tonight.

"For us, it's we want to make sure we're matching or bettering that aggressiveness and intensity every single game," Staal said. "It's a good test for us. It's a team we don't see a lot, but it's a team that plays hard every time we've been in this building. It's been a close game and we need to expect that and look forward to bringing our work ethic and worrying about our game.

Carolina coach Paul Maurice expects the Blues to be flying.

"It's a similar situation to Boston," Maurice said regarding their 4-1 win over the Bruins Tuesday. "Desperation does kick in very early for teams. We all know what that means. It's difficult to have a rough start and then you're fighting for it the rest of the year. Confidence is very important to develop and we expect them to come hard, chip a lot of pucks, try to get their forecheck established early."

Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp