Tracking the Storm

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

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72