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 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 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