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Canes Getting Look at Final Group

Tuesday, 09.28.2010 / 12:18 PM ET / 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 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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