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Lightning vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Canes Getting Look at Final Group

Tuesday, 09.28.2010 / 12:18 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Canes Getting Look at Final Group
Now that the group in training camp is down to a more manageable number that resembles an in-season roster, line combinations and roles have begun to come into play.

Paul Branecky
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The forward groupings, which can be found on our online depth chart here, are still a work in progress according to coach Paul Maurice. However, it appears they will be given a trial run over the final three exhibition games to see which players gel with one another.

Most notable was the use of Patrick O’Sullivan on a line with Eric Staal and Erik Cole. The winger, who is hoping to stick with the team after signing a two-way contract on the eve of training camp, has been impressive throughout the preseason and will at least get a chance to stay in that spot.

“We’re going to look at it,” said Maurice. “There’s no question he has the ability to do it, and he’s been working hard. Now we’re looking at chemistry.”

In the first special teams practices of training camp, O’Sullivan was also on the primary unit with Staal and Brandon Sutter. The second group had Jussi Jokinen centering Tuomo Ruutu and Jeff Skinner, the latter of which had “a (heck) of a practice,” according to Maurice.

Defensive pairings on the power play were Joni Pitkanen with Joe Corvo and Anton Babchuk with Jamie McBain.

“What we really want to develop is a two-line power play team,” said Maurice. “Running one line for 1:30, they get worn down, frustrated very easily and scouted very easily.”

Back to even-strength lines, Zach Boychuk, Patrick Dwyer and Jiri Tlusty rotated in and out of set units. Maurice is hopeful that Tlusty, who was skating full-contact for the first time on Tuesday, could play by the end of the week.

“I don’t know how I feel about him yet,” said Maurice. “If he got through today and doesn’t feel sore tomorrow, then we’re on track. We’ll push him real hard for a couple of days and if he feels good, (he’ll play) Friday.”

Sergei Samsonov, who is dealing with a strained neck, was not at practice on Tuesday. Maurice said he was still uncertain as to a timetable on his return, and was not sure if he would make the trip overseas.

“We’re going to have to monitor that and see where he’s at, but if he’s not close, there really is no point in having him fly to Europe and back to watch hockey games if he’s injured,” Maurice said.

If the team chooses to have Samsonov stay home, a final cut from training camp would not be necessary as the group would then be down to the maximum of 25. If a cut is to be made, Maurice said that it would likely occur on Thursday.


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 41 15 13 -8 28
J. Faulk 46 8 18 -14 26
J. Skinner 41 10 9 -7 19
E. Lindholm 46 9 10 -10 19
R. Nash 46 7 12 -4 19
J. Tlusty 39 11 7 -12 18
N. Gerbe 42 4 13 -2 17
V. Rask 46 6 9 -9 15
A. Sekera 44 1 14 -8 15
C. Terry 33 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 5 8 2 .916 2.32
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45