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Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Canes vs. Flyers

Friday, 10.02.2009 / 11:26 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Gameday: Canes vs. Flyers
The Canes’ one pending item of injury news didn’t turn out as well as had been hoped this morning, as defenseman Joni Pitkanen will not play tonight against the team that drafted him, the Philadelphia Flyers.

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“The injury is fine and it’s healed, but it’s a matter of only having three days of skating after missing most of camp,” said Coach Paul Maurice. “We all agree he’s not far off, but he’s just not right where we need him to be yet.”

Maurice didn’t officially rule Pitkanen, who is recovering from knee surgery, out of tomorrow night’s game in Boston, but that seems somewhat unlikely at this point. At least for tonight, offseason signing Jay Harrison will take his place.

After spending the summer adding size, grit and toughness to the lineup, the Canes get to see how they stack up against one of the best in that department tonight against the Flyers.

The Flyers have had that rough and tumble reputation ever since the Broad Street Bullies days of the 1970’s, but it’s not always completely fair to the team they put on the ice year after year. However, with players like Dan Carcillo, Ian Laperierre and Chris Pronger now wearing orange, this season would appear to be the norm rather than the exception. Hey, even their goaltender can throw ‘em from time to time (Exhibit A | Exhibit B).

The Canes didn’t necessarily make that their own primary identity with the acquisitions of Andrew Alberts, Tom Kostopoulos and Aaron Ward, but they should now have the pieces in place to play that rugged style of game, if need be.

”We have to be very, very disciplined with what we do,” cautioned Coach Paul Maurice. “We can’t take a lot of penalties against them, and you have to physically be ready to match their team.”

Carolina still won’t be expected to start most of the rough stuff, as Maurice said the main goal of adding bigger, stronger players to the team was more about the long haul than individual cases.

“It’s more durability, and we would like to be more physical in our own end of the ice to break up cycles and things like that, but at the end of the day the biggest team doesn’t necessarily win,” he said. “We do feel that a bigger team will weather the season better.”

The Flyers have one of the best teams in the league on paper, causing The Hockey News and others to name them early Stanley Cup favorites, but a potential weakness could be in goal. Ray Emery, of the two video clips above, spent last season in the Russian league and has had mixed results as a starter in the NHL. His backup, Brian Boucher (currently out with a lower-body injury), has spent most of his career in that role. Will that be enough to propel an otherwise deep and talented roster to a title?

Here’s today’s game clips:


SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 61 12 28 -16 40
E. Staal 56 18 19 -10 37
E. Lindholm 60 11 16 -16 27
J. Skinner 56 16 10 -16 26
R. Nash 58 7 15 -9 22
N. Gerbe 57 7 15 -11 22
V. Rask 59 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 61 6 12 3 18
J. Staal 25 4 12 -2 16
A. Nestrasil 33 4 10 4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 19 4 .913 2.37
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60