Devils vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Canada Tries Staal on the Left

Tuesday, 09.1.2009 / 1:43 PM ET / 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 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 68 20 27 -13 47
J. Faulk 73 14 32 -18 46
E. Lindholm 72 16 20 -21 36
J. Skinner 68 18 12 -22 30
V. Rask 71 11 19 -12 30
R. Nash 67 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 69 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 73 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 45 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 37 4 15 -9 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 19 21 5 .910 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62