Flyers vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

For Six Sent Home, Experience Unlike Any Other

Wednesday, 09.21.2011 / 4:13 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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For Six Sent Home, Experience Unlike Any Other

The Carolina Hurricanes made the first chunk of cuts today, trimming their training camp roster to 49 after day five of on-ice work.

Michael Smith
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Forwards Gregory Hofmann and Mattias Lindstrom have been returned to their European club teams. Forwards Victor Rask and Brody Sutter and defensemen Austin Levi and Keegan Lowe will head back to their respective CHL teams.

This group of cuts comes after the one made late yesterday when the team assigned goaltender Matt Mahalak to the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL. More cuts are expected in the days ahead, as camp progresses into the second full week.

For those sent home early, head coach Paul Maurice looks at it as the first step in becoming a professional hockey player.

“For a lot of these guys, this is a big deal,” he said. “They see it on TV in their small towns. They’ve never rubbed shoulders with an NHL player before. They play them on video games, and now it’s real life.”

One of the players sent home today has grown up in hockey – defenseman Keegan Lowe, son of six-time Stanley Cup Champion Kevin Lowe, who was drafted in the third round this summer. Even still, this is an experience that can’t compare.

“Lowe is going from juniors to trying to stop Eric Staal one-on-one,” Maurice said. “And that is a fantastic experience.”

The first days of camp also can provide a training experience unlike anything these players have ever completed. But Maurice said that isn’t even the biggest drain on their bodies.

“I like watching the interactions, and I like when something funny or good happens on the ice and you see a kid smile, and they break that nervousness that they carry around with them,” he said. “I think the biggest energy burn isn’t what we put them through – it’s the anxiety and anticipation that those kids go through.”

Camp will only get more competitive in the days ahead, especially as the roster continues to shrink. Assessing the situation today, Maurice said that the defensive spots would be more of a question than the forward spots.

“I think (Jiri) Tlusty and (Zac) Dalpe have pushed a little further. They can still be caught. The jobs are still open,” Maurice said. “But we may spend more time talking about the 6-7 position on D than the spots up front by the end of camp.”

The biggest roadblock for a Justin Faulk or a Ryan Murphy trying to break into the defensive group this season is that the team already has seven players under NHL contract – Tim Gleason, Joni Pitkanen, Tomas Kaberle, Jamie McBain, Bryan Allen, Jay Harrison and Derek Joslin. But Maurice said it isn’t a question of if the young guys would play; rather, it’s a question of when.

“When we put together that lineup against Tampa opening night, we’re going to put out the guys that we think will help us win that game,” Maurice said. “Age will not be a factor.”

Tomorrow, the remaining players will skate in two groups, with the first practicing at 10 a.m. and the second following at noon.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 77 42 24 11 211 194 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 PHI 77 31 29 17 202 220 79
12 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 78 29 43 6 204 249 64
16 BUF 77 22 47 8 152 258 52

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 71 22 28 -12 50
J. Faulk 76 15 32 -19 47
E. Lindholm 75 16 21 -20 37
J. Skinner 71 18 13 -22 31
V. Rask 74 11 20 -13 31
N. Gerbe 72 9 17 -13 26
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. McClement 76 7 13 -5 20
J. Staal 40 4 16 -6 20
J. Liles 51 2 17 -8 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 22 5 .909 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60