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Tonight's Lineups, etc.

Thursday, 09.25.2008 / 11:47 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Tonight\'s Lineups, etc.

Well, at least that one didn’t count.

That’s the nice thing about the preseason – you’ve got time to adjust, work on things and get used to systems, etc.  The worst thing about last night’s 4-1 loss to Washington, according to coach Peter Laviolette, is that the flat performance made it difficult to find standouts among the crowd at camp.

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”I think what’s a little bit frustrating and disappointing is that it’s kind of hard to evaluate because we lost all the little things out on the ice,” said Laviolette.  “When you’re chasing and you’re a step behind, it’s hard to evaluate anything in a positive way.  We hope for a better effort tonight.”

While it’s easy to move on from a forgettable game, injuries that result need time to heal.  Tim Gleason came out of last night’s game with a leg injury, joining Ray Whitney (undisclosed), Tuomo Ruutu (leg) and Anton Babchuk (leg) on the list of “day-to-days” currently in camp.

None are thought to be too serious at this point – Laviolette said the team is unsure about Gleason, but hopes he would be out for two weeks at the most.

Tonight’s lineup will be very heavy on the River Rats, with only a few established Canes players in the mix.

Eaves – Sutter – Bayda
Bowman – Helminen – LaCouture
Jensen – Chaput – Dwyer
Angelidis – Blanchard – Samson

Melichar – Kaberle
Seidenberg – Flood
Conboy – Rodney

Leighton
Manzato

Some other observations from last night and from practice this morning:

  • For me, Joni Pitkanen was by far the Hurricanes’ best player last night, and not just because he had the only goal.  He was a big part of that flurry at the end of the first period, continuously getting the puck on net through traffic to set up all those scoring chances.  Washington’s goalie made a very underrated glove save on him earlier in that period as well.
     
  • As far as the other guys, I never worry about the established veterans too much during the preseason – it’s the younger guys that need to show what they can do.  I thought Brandon Sutter had his ups and downs, the biggest down being the 1-for-11 faceoff performance that Dave Droschak referenced in last night’s recap.  That needs to improve if he’s going to be counted on in defensive situations, but he has plenty of time for that.  Drayson Bowman probably would have liked to have been more of a factor on a line with Matt Cullen and Sergei Samsonov, which was quiet for most of the night.  Again, those guys will get another chance tonight.
     
  • Very interesting comment from Laviolette this morning about perhaps moving Matt Cullen to the wing.  That would create another spot at center – good news for Jeff O’Neill.

    ”We’ve thought about it, we’ve talked about it,” said Laviolette.  “There’s a chance you might see something like that coming up in one of these exhibition games.  Matt’s a guy that when we picked up Dougie Weight a couple of years ago he jumped in for the last 20 games and played the wing, and played the wing the entire playoff run with the exception of Game 6 and Game 7 of the finals when Dougie got hurt.  It’s certainly an option, and possibly something that we’ll look at for games coming up in camp.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
8 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 53 15 19 -13 34
V. Rask 51 12 19 1 31
K. Versteeg 52 10 21 1 31
J. Skinner 53 18 12 -3 30
J. Staal 53 12 18 7 30
E. Staal 53 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 53 8 16 -8 24
A. Nestrasil 46 7 12 -1 19
J. Nordstrom 42 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 53 3 11 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 5 .905 2.43
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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