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Blues vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Canada Tries Staal on the Left

Tuesday, 09.01.2009 / 1:43 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Canada Tries Staal on the Left
With the Team Canada organizers facing a logjam at center, it appears they’re being a little creative in trying to fit the best players on their roster.

Paul Branecky
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Eric Staal, who hasn’t played on the wing since his rookie year in 2003-04 and spent only a small amount of time there as a youngster, spent all of last week’s Olympic orientation camp on the left side. During the camp’s final scrimmage, he started on a line with Jason Spezza and Corey Perry.

“It’s different when you’re used to playing center most your life and at certain times you play wing, but in the end it’s still hockey,” said Staal. “There are little adjustments you make as a player, but I feel like I’m a pretty versatile guy that can play in any situation and play it well.”

It isn’t a lock that Staal would be on the wing if he makes the team for the Olympics in Vancouver – a number of things can happen before the final roster is set in a few months – but the camp shows that it’s a real possibility. Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Vincent Lecavalier, Joe Thornton, Mike Richards and Eric’s brother Jordan headline the group of centers invited to the orientation camp, meaning that the team could maximize its roster by sliding one over to the wing. 

In that scenario, his versatility will help him make the team.  Even though he's admittedly more comfortable at center, he’d gladly take that move.  Still, he hopes that it won’t turn into a permanent thing with the Hurricanes, even if they’re another team with a solid group down the middle.

“I’d rather stick to my natural position for my team here,” he said.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 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