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Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Working out the Power Play

Tuesday, 10.21.2008 / 3:59 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Working out the Power Play

The Canes had their first home practice in about a week today, and the focus was on an area that has proven to be a bit problematic since then – the power play.

Paul Branecky
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After starting the season with four goals on their first 13 chances, the Canes are in an 0-13 slump dating back to the loss against Detroit on October 13.  I’m not sure what to make of the excessive appearance of the unlucky number 13 in that stat, which I didn’t realize until I typed it just now.

The two power play units had a bit of a different look today, with Joe Corvo and Pitkanen no longer working on the same unit.  Corvo was paired with Dennis Seidenberg on Eric Staal’s unit with Sergei Samsonov and Ryan Bayda, while Pitkanen worked with Anton Babchuk on Rod Brind’Amour’s group with Ray Whitney and Matt Cullen.

“It’s just been sloppy,” said coach Peter Laviolette of the power play.  “It’s been sloppy on the breakout, it’s been a bit sloppy and predictable.  We’ve got the right guys out there – they’re guys that have proven they can excel with the power play.  We add new pieces out there too and just the chemistry and maybe just finding out what we like.”

The foot injury to Frantisek Kaberle has opened the door for Babchuk, who dressed for the first time last Sunday after being a healthy scratch for the team’s first four games.  Known for his hard shot, Babchuk, who scored 26 points in 57 Russian games last season, saw a little time on the power play against Anaheim and figures to do so again in the near future.

“He’s a skilled guy,” said Laviolette.  “He put up a lot of points last year in the Russian league.  We used him on the power play when he was here a couple of years ago.  It’s an opportunity, and he looked real good out there.”

As much of an opportunity the current situation presents for Babchuk to prove he belongs in the regular lineup, Bayda will also be looking to deliver in an increased role that he earned by scoring three points in the Canes’ first five games.  He’s only seen bits and pieces of power play time thus far, but is in line for more on Thursday if Ruutu can’t play.

Speaking of Ruutu, he skated on his own prior to today’s practice, but didn’t participate in the full team session.  We’ll see if he’s able to get more involved tomorrow.  If he can’t go on Thursday and no roster moves are made, the Canes will be forced to dress seven defenseman, opening the door for Josef Melichar to make his Hurricanes debut.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 60 11 28 -14 39
E. Staal 55 18 18 -9 36
E. Lindholm 59 11 16 -15 27
J. Skinner 55 16 9 -15 25
R. Nash 57 7 15 -8 22
N. Gerbe 56 7 14 -11 21
V. Rask 58 8 11 -16 19
J. McClement 60 4 12 1 16
J. Staal 24 4 11 -1 15
A. Semin 36 2 12 -8 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 19 4 .914 2.35
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60