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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.”

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81