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Blues vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Tonight's Lineups, etc.

Thursday, 09.25.2008 / 11:47 AM / 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 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 42 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 47 9 19 -13 28
E. Lindholm 47 9 11 -11 20
J. Tlusty 40 12 7 -11 19
J. Skinner 42 10 9 -7 19
R. Nash 47 7 12 -4 19
N. Gerbe 43 5 13 -3 18
V. Rask 47 6 9 -10 15
A. Sekera 45 1 14 -6 15
C. Terry 34 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .918 2.30
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45