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Jokinen Expected to Miss 1-2 Weeks

Wednesday, 02.2.2011 / 1:47 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Jokinen Expected to Miss 1-2 Weeks
Jussi Jokinen’s most recent lower-body injury does not appear to be serious, but it will be enough to keep him out for a week or two, starting with Thursday’s contest in Toronto.

Paul Branecky
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Following Wednesday’s practice, Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said that Jokinen would not accompany the team as it departs for Canada. Jokinen left Tuesday’s game against Boston in the first period and did not return, although he apparently wanted to play in the third period, and would undergo tests to determine severity.

Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford later said that he expects Jokinen to miss 1-2 weeks as a result of those tests. The team believes that this latest setback is related to the one that kept the Finnish forward out for six games in late December and early January.

“I think it’s a re-occurrence of his old injury, and I don’t think he’s coming to Toronto with us,” said Maurice.

Both injuries came at unfortunate times for Jokinen, who has been playing his best hockey of the season since mid-December. Since coming back from his first absence on Jan. 11, he scored 12 points in 12 games, including two 3-point nights and an NHL First Star of the Week award. For the season, his points-per-game average (0.84) is the highest of his career.

The Canes may be able to take some comfort in the fact that they fared well without him last time, posting a 5-0-2 record. One of those who played well in his absence then, Zach Boychuk, will get another opportunity now as he was recalled from the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday morning. Boychuk scored 2 points (1g, 1a) in two NHL games last week to go along with a +4 plus/minus rating.

Although they missed practice on Wednesday, Eric Staal and Tim Gleason should be available to face Toronto. Staal was given the day off after his whirlwind weekend as a captain and host player for the NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, in addition to his responsibilities with his club team.

“I marveled at the job he did,” said Maurice of Staal. “I thought he was just a fantastic ambassador of the game and for our city. He also played 24 minutes last night and didn’t need to be on that ice (at practice).”

Gleason missed practice for personal reasons, but is expected to join the team in Toronto either Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Given the teams’ last meeting on Jan. 24 that featured a game misconduct penalty for Gleason’s punch on the Maple Leafs’ Nikolai Kulemin, he may get an interesting reception from the home crowd. The players may not be too happy with him either, with Clarke MacArthur leaving that game “disgusted” with Gleason and feeling as though he was “not that smart.”

As far as the Hurricanes are concerned, they’ll just be hoping to maintain their excellent 13-3-1 record against the 10 teams behind them in the overall standings as of Tuesday’s games.

“I hope I’m not jinxing things, but when you split our record, I’m far more concerned about our ability to beat the high-end teams,” said Maurice. “We’ve mentally prepared very well for the teams below us in the standings and played well.”


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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 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 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 54 25 23 6 153 166 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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