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Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Skinner, Dwyer Scrap as Canes Keep Fighting

Wednesday, 02.15.2012 / 1:27 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Skinner, Dwyer Scrap as Canes Keep Fighting
In perhaps the most unlikely of scenarios, forwards Jeff Skinner and Patrick Dwyer had a bit of a fray at the tail-end of practice on Wednesday.

Michael Smith
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Skinner and Dwyer had bumped a few times in the midst of a one-on-one battle drill. As Skinner came toward the net, Dwyer gave him a shove up high. Skinner responded, sticks were high and the two drifted entangled into the corner.

The other forwards participating in the drill were quick to break up the small skirmish. Some were smiling and laughing about it. Skinner and Dwyer weren’t at the time, but it didn’t take long for cooler heads to prevail.

“It’s definitely not that I don’t like him,” Skinner said. “We already apologized and shook hands. Everything’s all right.”

Skinner was even joking about it afterward.

“It’s a tough drill out there at the end. Maybe tougher for Petey [Peters],” Skinner said. “He didn’t have anyone to fight him.

“Suttsy [Sutter] got in there pretty quick,” he added. “Saved me.”

Head coach Kirk Muller whistled for the end of practice following the dust up but said sometimes things like this just simply happen.

“Our guys care right now. They’re playing hard,” he said. “They’re trying to win every game. That’s a great sign we’ve got going here. When we’re practicing and doing battle drills and things like [a fight] happen, it shows there’s a competitive level going on with the guys.”

Skinner echoed the coach's sentiments.

“It’s not something you want to do every practice, but maybe once in awhile. You don’t want to look for it, but sometimes it happens,” Skinner said. “Guys are working hard in practice, showing they’re still caring. That’s what happens sometimes.”

On. Jan. 31 in the second period of a game against the New York Islanders, Skinner chopped at the stick of defenseman Mark Streit after not getting a call in his favor. Since then, channeling his emotions has been a point of emphasis, something he said he's had to rein in during the last couple of games.

“I play my best when I’m competitive and emotionally involved in the game. Sometimes, there’s a line that you can’t really cross,” he said. “That’s when it becomes more negative. I’ve got to do a better job keeping my emotions in check.”

Skinner was the last off the ice in Wednesday’s practice. Still thinking about what happened? Possibly. It also said a lot about his competitive nature and was noted by Muller.

“It’s a growing pain,” Muller said. “He knows that he’s going to get attention. He’s got to take that energy and focus and turn it into the competitive side of ‘play that way against me and I’ll [make you pay] by scoring and producing.’”

Assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour tapped Skinner on the helmet following the scrap and told the sophomore forward that “sometimes you just have to get that kind of stuff out of your system.” While Skinner admitted to not playing as well as he’d like to lately, today’s events weren’t a result of pent up frustration.

“I still don’t know if that’s the reason because you don’t want to take it out on your teammates,” he said. “The best I can sort of explain it is that it was a tough, competitive drill.

“I maybe could have reacted a little bit differently, but he’s a competitive guy also.”

In a way, today’s tussle is a microcosm of what the Hurricanes, as a team, are doing on the ice – they’re still fighting for the playoffs, even if the odds stack up against them.

“You always like to believe. You can’t go into games thinking you’re not playing for something,” Skinner said. “The gap isn’t that big. We know it’s a steep hill, and there’s going to be a lot of three point games. We just have to try to find a way to – every night – come to play and chip away at it.”



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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 61 26 31 4 157 191 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 61 12 28 -16 40
E. Staal 56 18 19 -10 37
E. Lindholm 60 11 16 -16 27
J. Skinner 56 16 10 -16 26
R. Nash 58 7 15 -9 22
N. Gerbe 57 7 15 -11 22
V. Rask 59 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 61 6 12 3 18
J. Staal 25 4 12 -2 16
A. Nestrasil 33 4 10 4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 19 4 .913 2.37
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60