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Did you notice? ‘Canes are in playoff position

Jay Harrison, Riley Nash, Jiri Tlusty

Carolina Hurricanes’ Jay Harrison (44), Riley Nash (20) and Jiri Tlusty (19), of the Czech Republic, celebrate Nash’s goal against the San Jose Sharks during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Carolina won 5-3. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)


OK, so it’s not the world’s greatest accomplishment to hold down third place in the Metropolitan Division -- congratulations, you’re tied with the Rangers in points, and you have a game in hand -- but it’s a playoff position nonetheless.

With Friday’s 5-3 come-from-behind win over San Jose, the Carolina Hurricanes have won five of their last seven, and now they get to start a four-game road trip feeling good about themselves.

“That has got to be a big confidence builder for our guys tonight -- to beat a team like that who we have a lot of respect for tonight,” said coach Kirk Muller after the Sharks game, which saw rookie Elias Lindholm score once while adding two assists.

Carolina’s road trip starts tonight with a tough one, in Vancouver against a streaking Canucks side that won its fourth straight last night. Games in Edmonton, Calgary and Phoenix will follow.

The ‘Canes haven’t made the playoffs since 2009, and they’ve only made them once since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006. Certainly if their division continues to struggle as a whole, it bodes well for their chances of getting back to the postseason in 2014.