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Crucial period ahead for Hurricanes

Updated: November 22, 2011, 7:21 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The defining moment for an NHL franchise doesn't necessarily come with the Stanley Cup in the building or in a deciding game or at the draft or on July 1.

No, the defining moment for a team often comes with everything going sideways and fans screeching for a coaching change and the losses piling up and the hopes for a playoff berth sliding quickly below the horizon.

The defining moment for the Carolina Hurricanes is now.

In the coming hours and days, every person ...

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