Tracking the Storm

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 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