Why Bill Peters might be right about the Hurricanes' playoff chances
The forecast is starting to look a little better for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Following a 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, head coach Bill Peters - who's guided the team to an early 7-6-4 record - sees reason for optimism about Carolina's chances moving forward.
Recent history would suggest that sentiment is not without merit.
Take, for instance, the Hurricanes' current and modest four-game win streak, which came against teams with serious playoff aspirations.
A big part of the recent success has been the play of goaltender Cam Ward, who's posted a record of 5-1-2 with a .944 save percentage in November.
His solid performance has helped boost what's sneakily been a tremendous team effort to date, resulting in a fourth-ranked Corsi For rating in five-on-five play, meaning the Hurricanes are regularly attempting more shots than the opposition.
This metric only goes so far in terms of whether the puck goes in or is kept out of the net, but generally it's a solid indicator of how well a team is playing beyond goals for and against.
While it's too much to ask Ward to maintain this level of play, his teammates - led by a talented group of young, mobile defensemen - are certainly making things easier for him by keeping the puck at the other end of the ice.
In short, Peters has reason to believe his team can remain competitive and make up the three-point difference in the race for a wild card rather than dropping closer to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.