Stanley Cup Celebration
Tracking the Storm
 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Informals at RBC: Ponikarovsky's New Home

Monday, 09.12.2011 / 12:58 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
X
Share with your Friends


Informals at RBC: Ponikarovsky\'s New Home
Carolina Hurricanes newcomer Alexei Ponikarovsky first stepped foot in the RBC Center this morning for informal workouts, as training camp begins at the end of the week.

Michael Smith
Follow on Twitter
And for Ponikarovsky, camp can’t get here fast enough.

“This time of the year is always fun. It’s what I’ve been waiting for,” he said. “You practice and train for two months and it just gets kind of boring, so I’m looking forward to it.”

The 31-year-old forward signed a one-year deal with Carolina on July 1 after putting up career-low numbers (5g, 10a) in 61 games with Los Angeles during an injury-riddled 2010-11 campaign.

But that doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of producing, as he’s scored 20 goals in three of his last six seasons. His best years came in Toronto, where he put up career-high numbers in 2008-09, scoring 23 goals and assisting on 38 others (61 points).

One of his 20-goal seasons came during head coach Paul Maurice’s tenure with the Leafs, so his talent and capabilities are not unfamiliar.

Ponikarovsky hopes to find the same success in Raleigh that he had in Toronto. At 6-foot-4, 226 pounds, he also possesses a big frame that he can and has used to his advantage.

“I’ve got size. I know what I can do in front of the net and in the corners,” he said. “That’s my game. It’s always been a part of my game, so I have to bring that and score some goals.

After the media golf tournament a week and a half ago, Hurricanes GM and President Jim Rutherford expressed confidence in Ponikarovsky, acknowledging his off-year last season but noting that he’s a proven 20-goal scorer.

Ponikarovsky is eager to prove that again, as well, so he is participating in informal skates before training camp officially begins on Friday. Today, Ponikarovsky did an on-ice session before heading to the weight room for off-ice work.

“First day here today. It was pretty good,” he said. “I’m excited to be here. It’s a good group of guys with a lot of familiar faces.”

And that always helps a newcomer feel at home.

Other tidbits from the informal workouts at the RBC Center:
  • The fans’ first chance to catch Ponikarovsky in action will be Sunday, Sept. 18 in the annual Red-White game at the Caniac Carnival.
  • Cam Ward and Mike Murphy were the goaltenders on the ice today during the informal skate.
  • Eric Staal was running the show for most of the morning, as he instructed a number of drills on the ice for the approximate 15 skaters on the ice between 10:45 a.m. and 11:30.
  • Other Canes regulars were participating in off-ice work during the morning on-ice session.
  • The skate began wrapping up around 11:30 a.m., as CanesVision was setting up to do their shoots today. Tip drills and faceoffs were being worked on at either end of the ice as players gradually left the rink.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 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 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 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
Alumni Game