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March by the Numbers

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

March has arrived, and the table is set for a frenetic four weeks of the schedule for the Carolina Hurricanes. Here's a glance at some numbers to note in the month ahead.

The Hurricanes will play 17 games over a span of 30 days in March, the team's busiest month of the 2016-17 season.

With 17 games in 30 days, the Hurricanes will play a game for every 1.76 days in the month of March.

"There's a certain rhythm that you're going to get in to, whether you want to or not. That's just the reality of it," head coach Bill Peters said. "Realistically, I think everyone in the league would tell you they'd want a little bit more time off in between games with the amount of travel and everything else, just for the caliber of the play and health of the players."

The Hurricanes currently have just four practice days on the calendar, consisting of two at Raleigh Center Ice and two on the road. That number won't increase and could possibly decrease as the month progresses. This, of course, does not include the amount of morning skates the team will have in March; while the Canes won't skate the morning of every game, especially in back-to-back situations, morning skates will still occur regularly and may take on more of a practice feel.

"They're going to be important coming off days off," Peters said. "If you want to be able to skate at night, you've got to be able to skate in the morning."

With eight road games on the docket, the Hurricanes are set to log 8,819 air miles in March, with 3,470 of those miles being recorded on the team's wild four-game road swing up and down the East coast in late March. The team also makes a trip out West to Arizona and Colorado early in the month.

Three of the Hurricanes 16 back-to-back sets on the schedule this season will take place in March, and two feature a constant opponent. The Canes face the New York Islanders in a home-and-home back-to-back on March 13 and 14, and late in the month, the Canes host the Detroit Red Wings on consecutive nights with March 27 being the make-up date for the postponed December game. In the middle of the month, the Canes face off with the Nashville Predators in Raleigh on Saturday, March 18, before heading to Philadelphia for a Sunday evening tilt the next night. The .5 in this number comes from the latter half of a Florida-based back-to-back set that the Canes finished off in Tampa Bay on March 1.

That's the combined record of the Hurricanes' 14 March opponents, six of whom currently occupy a playoff position.

900 & 200
With his next game played, Jay McClement will have logged 900 career regular-season games in the National Hockey League. Joakim Nordstrom could potentially also reach a games played milestone in March, as he is 15 games shy of 200 in his career.

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