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That burns: Flames trounce Hurricanes 5-0

Carolina Hurricanes v Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB - OCTOBER 23: Cam Ward #30 of the Carolina Hurricanes reacts to a high shot against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on October 23, 2014 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

It’s probably fair to say that the Calgary Flames are a prime candidate to regress as the season goes along (and the Karri Ramo - Jonas Hiller duo slows down), but the Carolina Hurricanes made them look like a legitimate playoff team tonight.

Calgary smeared Carolina 5-0 on Thursday, dropping the hapless ‘Canes to 0-4-2. The Hurricanes are the only NHL team remaining without a win in 2014-15.

Hiller only needed to make 16 saves to shut the Hurricanes out. Meanwhile, Cam Ward’s 2014-15 stats continue to look ghastly enough to somehow sink his trade value even lower.

One must mention that the Hurricanes have indeed been shellacked by brutal injury luck, yet it’s difficult to totally disregard calls to trade core players away. Even if Carolina has more room for improvement this season than other low-end teams (the Buffalo Sabres came into tonight’s action with a terrible -17 goal differential and that might slip even lower against Los Angeles), it’s troubling to see them get dominated in puck possession by a Calgary team prone to losing that battle:


(Chart via Natural Stat Trick.)

While the Hurricanes underwent a front-office makeover this summer, head coach Bill Peters and GM Ron Francis went into 2014-15 with largely the same group of core players. One cannot help but wonder how patient they can be if the misery continues.

Related: Eric Staal trade talks reportedly took place this offseason

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins