RALEIGH — They first went to Boston for a game against the Brawlers, er, Bruins.
They then got a taste of World Series excitement in St. Louis before a game with the Blues.
Finally, there was the first regular-season trip - more of a trek, actually - up to Winnipeg, the anti-Atlanta of hockey.
For the Carolina Hurricanes, a six-day, three-game road swing produced a 1-1-1 record. There were good moments and bad on the ice, the worst being a sloppy 5-3 loss Saturday to the Winnipeg Jets.
"We went 1-1-1 but we're not going home feeling good," Canes coach Paul Maurice said after the game. "It was a difficult way to end the trip, but good for us to be unhappy with that. To go .500 is bare minimum on the road."
A year ago, the Canes began the season with two games in Finland, followed by five straight on the road once back in North America. They didn't cross nearly as many time zones this past week but did have a chance to mesh as a team away from the rink.
"I think it was good," forward Jeff Skinner said. "Obviously early in the year it's good to sort of build team chemistry, sort of get to know the new faces.
"It's fun to sort of get out on the road and be with the guys and get to know each other. I think off the ice we accomplished that this road trip."
In St. Louis, about a dozen players were able to get tickets to the opening game of the World Series at Busch Stadium. In Winnipeg, the Canes were at the same downtown hotel as teen icon Justin Bieber, a big hockey fan who also took in the game at MTS Centre with Selena Gomez.
Some pundits like to call Skinner the "Justin Bieber of hockey," so it was Bieber and "Bieber" under the same roof.
Skinner, who is older, taller, and considerably bigger than Bieber, had a goal and two assists against the Jets and has a team-leading nine points in the Canes' 3-3-2 start. His first-period goal gave the Canes a 2-0 lead as they quickly chased starting Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.
But the Canes then took four first-period penalties. The Jets matched their season total with two power-play goals - the second by Kyle Wellwood with 1.4 seconds left in the first - for a 2-2 tie.
The Jets burned the Canes off the rush for second-period goals by Jim Slater, Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane to roar to a 5-2 lead. But Tuomo Ruutu scored in the third for Carolina, and the Jets suddenly began sending players to the penalty box as the Canes pressured in the Jets' zone.
With the sellout crowd growing anxious, the Canes had power-play chance after power-play chance, including a long 5-on-3. But goalie Chris Mason, who relieved Pavelec in the first, and the Jets held on. Carolina was 0-for-7 on the power play in the game.
Maurice elected to start Brian Boucher in goal to close the back-to-back set after Cam Ward faced 43 shots Friday in the 3-2 overtime loss to the Blues. Ward also was in net for the Canes' 4-1 win Tuesday in Boston.
"I don't think anything was going for him," Maurice said of Boucher. "We didn't do him any favors. ... But he's a pro and his job was to grind through it tonight."
Some of the problems of last season - a power play that lacked punch, faceoff woes - may be creeping back into the Canes' game. So there's work to do.
With the N.C. State Fair at an end, the Hurricanes will play five of the next six games at home. Carolina will face the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday at the RBC Center on "Hockey Fights Cancer Night."
"We played six of our first eight on the road and played some pretty good hockey teams in that," Maurice said. "So I think we're in pretty good shape."