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Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Joslin at Wing, Peters in Net

Friday, 02.17.2012 / 12:23 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Joslin at Wing, Peters in Net
It’s been awhile since Derek Joslin played as a forward.

Michael Smith
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“I’ve never played the wing,” he said. “I played center when I was, like, 13.”

Joslin will go back to those early teenage roots tonight when he draws in on the fourth-line wing, something he notes he has done frequently at practice in the last few weeks when needed. It’s not all foreign, but it is an adjustment for the natural defenseman.

“I’ll be playing forward for the first two periods tonight, and if he needs me on D in the third period, it’s not like I’m going to be thinking much,” he said. “It’s pretty natural for me. It’s easy to go from forward to D; it’s a little bit harder to go from D to forward in my situation.”

Despite the unnatural shift, head coach Kirk Muller is confident in how Joslin will respond.

“We’ve got three in four nights, and we’ve got a lot of games in March. He hasn’t been playing. He’s been a real pro, and he’s been working hard,” Muller said. “More or less, we’re going with seven D and just using him up on the wing a bit. He’s probably going to see some games coming up here, and it’s not a bad way to get him into playing, so when we might need him or we might need to rest a guy, we’ve got a seventh guy ready to go on D.”

Joslin has been a healthy scratch in the last five games since the return of Jaroslav Spacek on defense. Prior to filling in for Spacek, Joslin watched from the press box for eight straight games. This all after he started the season sitting out 13 straight.

“It’s hard. I’m not going to sit here and say it’s easy,” he said. “But, the most important thing is you have to be a good teammate. You’ve got to keep a positive attitude, and you’ve got to work your hardest. It’s one thing about getting up to this level. It’s even harder to stay at this level, so that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

Before re-entering the lineup for Spacek in mid-January, Joslin completed a four-game conditioning stint with the Charlotte Checkers. In four games, he recorded three assists and was even. Though time on ice isn’t officially available, he’s certain he played over 20 minutes in each game.

“It helped me a lot. I’ve played over 200 games in the American League, so I was confident going down there at that level,” he said. “The coach threw me in all situations. I was playing over 20 minutes a game on the power play, penalty kill, against top lines. So, going from playing 14 minutes to playing over 20 was good for my confidence and my conditioning. I’m glad it went the way it did.”

Beside starting on the wing, making tonight even more special is the fact that he faces an organization he spent five years with. San Jose drafted Joslin in the 5th round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He spent a season in the OHL before jumping up to the AHL level where he played a full season with the Worcester Sharks. Three years later – a year ago tomorrow exactly – Joslin headed East to join the Canes in a trade.

Is he excited about jumping in against his former team?

“Big time,” he said. “San Jose is one of those teams where a lot of the draft picks stay in the organization, so a lot of those guys over there I’ve known for quite some time. It’s going to be pretty cool to play against them, but I’m not going to take it easy on any of them, that’s for sure.”

Even though he’s got some size – 6-foot-1, 210 pounds – Joslin also has a good bit of offensive upside. In the three seasons that he played with Worchester, Joslin was a 30-point scorer, even netting as many as 11 goals in 2008-09.

“I have a really good feeling I might pot one tonight,” he said. “It’s just going one of those nights. It’s going to be fun.”

Peters in Net

Justin Peters will get the start in net tonight, his first start since Jan. 7 in Nashville, a 5-2 loss. You have to go even farther back for Peters’ last start at the RBC Center: Jan. 9, 2010 against the Atlanta Thrashers, a 4-3 win in overtime. That was also Peters’ last victory at the NHL level and the last time a goaltender other than Cam Ward won a game for the Canes.

Muller said Ward had a slight injury concern, thus the reason for holding him off the ice yesterday and sitting him tonight.

“Wardo had a little slight tweak, so we’re going to give him one more day to recover,” Muller said. “We’ve got to get Peters in anyway, so it’s a good opportunity.

“We need him to bounce in here and give us a good game. He’s ready and excited, so it should be good for him.”



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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 42 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 47 9 19 -13 28
E. Lindholm 47 9 11 -11 20
J. Tlusty 40 12 7 -11 19
J. Skinner 42 10 9 -7 19
R. Nash 47 7 12 -4 19
N. Gerbe 43 5 13 -3 18
V. Rask 47 6 9 -10 15
A. Sekera 45 1 14 -6 15
C. Terry 34 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .918 2.30
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45