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Gloves Come Off During Scrimmage

Tuesday, 09.20.2011 / 3:51 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gloves Come Off During Scrimmage
We knew that this season’s training camp would be physical and high intensity, partly due to the numerous scrimmages built into the schedule.

Michael Smith
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That physicality and intensity took a leap forward today when 24-year-old forward Justin Soryal sparred with Tim Gleason in the second period of the scrimmage.

For Soryal – who racked up 220 penalty minutes last season in the AHL – it was a chance to display what kind of toughness he can bring to a lineup. For Gleason, it was a good test of what he might face this season.

“It’s what exhibition scrimmages in training camp are supposed to be like,” head coach Paul Maurice said. “I don’t want to see 10 of those, but I’d like to see one of them.”

Just as fights can do during the regular season, this bout seemed to light a fire under both sides after an otherwise clean first period.

“They came out with more energy in the second, and after [the fight] it was on for awhile,” Maurice said. “That’s what you need to have happen. It was great.”

A contrast from years past, the coaching staff has scheduled more scrimmaging this year in an effort to get some of the younger players into game-like situations, increase the physicality of camp and acclimate the new players to the Canes’ system.

“I’m trying to get used to the guys and the system. It’s a good pace,” defenseman Tomas Kaberle said. “Everybody’s enjoying a good time on the ice and working hard. No one is letting up at any point.”

“You run your drills and the drills are defined. Everybody knows where they’re supposed to go,” Maurice said. “It’s fine for conditioning and teaching, but unless you’re doing a tremendous amount of battling, there’s not enough chaos in practice to simulate a game.”

Today’s scrimmage ended in a 3-3 draw. Scrimmages will continue this week, with one slated in each of the next two days before the Canes face the Nashville Predators in the preseason home opener on Friday night.

“We’re looking to have a certain level of intensity in our training camp. It’s been good, but I think our standard can still get better,” Maurice said. “We have a young team, and they have to learn how to work hard. The next five days will be tougher than the first five.”

A Look Back at Last Night’s Preseason Game in Buffalo

The Canes dropped their preseason opener in Buffalo last night, losing 3-1 to the Sabres. Buffalo rallied for three goals in the final 20 minutes after Brandon Sutter gave the Canes a lead early in the second period.

But because it’s preseason, results aren’t the chief concern. More important, perhaps, might have been the performance of the young players getting their first taste of NHL action.

Last night, the spotlight was on Justin Faulk and Ryan Murphy. Both saw time together on the power play, forming a pairing that will most likely be a familiar sight in years to come.

“It’s been a lot of fun so far,” Murphy said. “It’s a lot different from junior hockey – you have to think a lot quicker.”

“I thought he played a pretty good game himself,” Faulk said of the 18-year-old Murphy’s first game. “We got a few shifts together on the power play, and I think for both of us it went pretty well.”

Faulk logged over 20 minutes of ice time, while Murphy played just under 19 minutes. Both known for their offensive abilities, neither factored in on the scoresheet, but Maurice liked what he saw. He said he is comfortable knowing now that he can insert them into a game-situation if needed.

“I like the way our back-end played last night with three young players,” he said. “That second period, it didn’t look like an exhibition game for us. We were on the puck, and I really liked that. The pieces are there, we just have to drive up the intensity level.”

Maurice said that one of the two defensemen, if not both, would see another preseason game. For Murphy, he’s simply taking it all in and enjoying what his first days in the NHL have offered.

“It was a great atmosphere for my first game,” he said. “It’s a dream come true, and I had a lot of fun.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 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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