Hurricanes

Canes scrimmage tests top pairs, young talents

Posted January 15, 2013

— The frigid temperatures inside Raleigh Center Ice Tuesday morning were no deterrent for the couple hundred fans that packed in to watch the team’s lone scrimmage of an abbreviated training camp. The heat created on the ice by the red and white teams of teammates was just enough to clear the glass of condensation, allowing the Canes threaded devotees to take in the action – a 5-2 win by the red team.

While the score was less important for the coaching staff than the gameplay of the veterans and the youngsters, the scoreboard lights were changed on the afternoon in large part to the usual suspects – and the delight of the spectators. Carolina Hurricanes Logo More Hurricanes Stories

“The big boys scored so they’re happy, that’s good.” head coach Kirk Muller said. “Honestly, the pace and the tempo and the energy of the guys was better than we were expecting.”

Following a Drayson Bowman goal for the red team, it was Jeff Skinner that tallied the equalizer for the white. Newly acquired Jordan Staal scored the other white-team goal, Alexander Semin, playing for red, lit the lamp on a rocket of a wristshot past Cam Ward and then assisted on one of two Zach Boychuck goals.

“My big thing is looking to see if there is chemistry with (Eric) Staal and Semin, which obviously they connected, which was great to see,” Muller said. “Jordan Staal with Skinner, their line was good. If you look at the pairs at the top, that’s what we were looking to see. You can always put another winger in there.”

Muller: The pace was better than expected Muller: The pace was better than expected

As Muller and Canes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford took in the game from a perch in the corner, the sides skated with the offense taking the lead over the defense in the scrimmage of friendlies. Ward in net for the white team and Dan Ellis, who was the recent recipient of a new deal, manning the red net, each saw a host of shots. The highlight save of the day went to Ellis who made a diving, cross-crease save with his stick to deny Jordan Staal on a seemingly open net.

Veteran defenseman Tim Gleason set the defensive tone for the day with an early first-period check on Skinner. As the day went on, he took on Chad LaRose, Jordan Staal and anybody else that went to the boards on his side of the ice.

“It started yesterday a little bit and it carried on to today,” Muller said of Gleason's intensity. “It’s great, good clean hits. He’s making guys aware that pretty soon we will be in opening night so it’s not the typical camp.”

As far as the younger guys and the recent Charlotte call-ups, Muller said they all had a role in the scrimmage and deserved their shot.

“When you bring those guys up you have to put them in a position to play and see what they can do,” Muller said. “I thought (Bobby) Sanguinetti was really good. He’s moving the puck, he’s confident, he’s healthy. He’s pushing for that spot. (Ryan Murphy) brings a different dynamic to the game. That’s a small rink, not much space for a young guy, but he’s so smart he was able to capitalize. Boychuck, he scored, he’s a goal scorer. (Zac) Dalpe I thought looked pretty good.”

Shortly after the scrimmages, forwards Jeremy Wesh and Riley Nash were sent back to Charlotte ahead of the Checkers game Wednesday against Grand Rapids. Muller added that the roster will probably not be finalized until Friday, the day before the Canes’ season-opener at Florida.

Carolina will practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at PNC Arena.

Mike Maniscalco's Camp Notes: Day 3

• Zach Boychuk has the most to gain from Tuomo Ruutu’s hip injury. With a spot open on the Canes roster the forward took a big step forward during the Canes scrimmage. Boychuk played on the Red Team’s top line with Eric Staal and Alex Semin, and he netted two goals on Cam Ward.
• Alex Semin looked the part of the guy that the organization has been looking for to play along side Eric Staal. Semin had a goal and an assist in the Red Team’s 5-2 victory, his goal was was highlight-reel material, firing an absolute laser that beat Ward high to the glove side. Equally impressive was his cross ice pass that set up Boychuk’s one-timer. A pass that looking at from the sidelines seemed like a feathered assist but Boychuk told me he didn’t expect the pass to get there that hard.
• Tim Gleason was the defensive stalwart of the game for the Red Team, setting a physical tone early with a fierce open ice check on Jeff Skinner in the first period. Gleason continued to set that tone and finished on a high note, eliminating Jussi Jokinen with a slean hit in the corner late in the third period to snuff out any chance of a late White Team scoring threat.
• Players and coaches were both happy with the pace of the scrimmage, Canes head coach Kirk Muller added that the smaller ice surface at Raleigh Center Ice had something to do with that. He compared it to the old Boston Garden, and the condensed rink didn’t allow players time to dangle with the puck and there wasn’t a lot of open space to hide.
• Dan Ellis had a solid performance in the pipes for the Red Team. While there was no official shot clock the veteran goalie made several outstanding saves. I also learned he might be the most honest man in the NHL, when asked about his most spectacular save of the afternoon, Ellis gave the credit to his defenseman Ryan Murphy, saying the rookie deserves the credit for the save.
• Jeff Skinner netted the first goal for the White Team and was on the top line with Jordan Staal and Zac Dalpe. There was some good chemistry between Skinner and Staal that generated quite a few scoring chances.
• There was a brief shootout after the scrimmage, Jordan Staal was the only goal scorer, using a rush move and going five-hole on Ellis. Cam Ward Stopped All three Red Team shots he faced.
• The Canes will keep defenseman Ryan Murphy around as long as they can. With the shortened season Carolina can keep him with the big club at least 5 games before they would have to return him to Kitchener of the OHL.
• Kevin Westgarth, known more for his toughness than his scoring prowess had a few solid scoring opportunities. The newly acquired winger set up some decent scoring chances for his linemates on the White Team. Kirk Muller has said that being able to role four lines in the shortened season will be a big key to keeping players fresh during the season.
• This was the only time the Canes will appear at Raleigh Center Ice during the mini training camp.

Quotes

* Winning goaltender Dan Ellis liked how the scrimmage played out, “I thought it was a good pace for a training camp scrimmage, you know guys were hustling, guys had the energy out there and stuff like that. It’s going to take a little while to get things a little bit more crisp, but I thought the energy level and the effort level was there and it was a good pace. It was nice to have one of those NHL type scrimmages with NHL players and that kind of talent and get just up to speed at that level.”
*Zach Boychuk on playing on the top line, “Walking in this morning I was a little bit surprised I practiced kind of with the fourth and fifth line all week and all of a sudden today I was moved right up to the first line. there was a little bit of nervous excitement, right when that first puck dropped I think I was a little bit nervous but as the game went on I realized that I have been doing this for five months already and I’ve been playing lots of games in Charlotte and I felt I was in good game shape and I thought I played well.”

5 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • caniacman Jan 16, 8:47 a.m.

    I saw the first half of the game and Semin and E Staal looked really strong. Semin has an incredible wrist shot! J Staal and Skinner both scored and looked good together as well. Cuts are going to be hard. Bowman and Boychuk look really good. I think Nodl may be out. Other interesting race will be the 6th d between Sangs and McBain. Who wins? Do they carry 7 D?

  • Jimmytwotimes Jan 16, 8:18 a.m.

    All good news so far, J. Staal and Skinner gelling and E. Staal and Semin gelling. Looking foward to having that big tough 4th line, probably gonna be Westgarth,Brent,Wallace?

  • StunGunn Jan 16, 6:23 a.m.

    The addition of Jordan Staal and Semin should give a good boost to the Canes' offense. Hope the guys have a strong start to the season - there's no time to dig themselves out of a hole to make the playoffs.

  • Cragsdale Jan 16, 2:04 a.m.

    based on talent, lines one and two are nicely stacked with an opportunity to rotate a 2nd winger in whenever Kirk wants to. He can easily drag Jordan up to play on 1 if the need arrises, or even rotate the wingers around as he needs to. having a solid line one and two pair on both is a huge asset and a blessing. It's also something this team hasn't had in a long time. Not since the Stanley Cup win anyways.

  • PanthersFan45 Jan 16, 1:46 a.m.

    "My big thing is looking to see if there is chemistry with (Eric) Staal and Semin, which obviously they connected, which was great to see," Muller said. "Jordan Staal with Skinner, their line was good."

    I'm hoping to see some good offense in the opener at Florida. Kirk Muller sounds pretty optimistic about these lines. Semin could really work out great w/Eric who does a great job of working down low.

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big 10: Michigan at Michigan State

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Kentucky at Missouri

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
NBA
1st
ORL 13
MIL 25
 
1st
IND 10
NYK 19
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
CHI
Final
PROV 83
DEP 72
2nd
RUTG 36
MSU 54
 
1st
ARMY 11
BU 18
 
1st
RFLSH 18
BRY 16
 
1st
MERC 27
CHAT 15
 
1st
LIU 19
CCST 18
 
1st
TOWS 13
COC 9
 
1st
UMASS 26
DAY 21
 
1st
FUR 11
ETST 12
 
1st
ODU 9
FIU 8
 
1st
RMU 21
FD 14
 
1st
CHAR 15
FATL 17
 
1st
LIB 6
HIGH 20
 
1st
UNF 30
KNST 11
 
1st
FLGC 21
LIP 15
 
1st
OSU 14
MD 8
 
1st
Terriers 12
MNTER 18
 
1st
STET 25
NKENTUCKY 13
 
1st
WAGN 11
SHU 18
 
1st
GMAS 8
STLU 11
 
1st
JVU 2
USCU 4
 
1st
VMI 11
WCU 23
 
1st
LATU 13
WKENT 13
 
1st
UNCG 12
WOFF 6
 
1st
DET 16
YOUNG 4
 
7:30pm Tonight
GSOUT
APP
 
7:30pm Tonight
TENNM
EILL
 
7:30pm Tonight
GHND
HC
 
8:00pm Tonight
CIN
UCONN
8:00pm Tonight
NDST
DEN
 
8:00pm Tonight
SD
MAST
 
8:00pm Tonight
UWMIL
ILLCH
 
8:00pm Tonight
BEL
JVST
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMISS
MARS
8:00pm Tonight
TXSA
MTST
8:00pm Tonight
PETE
RIDE
 
8:00pm Tonight
SEMIZ
SIUE
 
8:00pm Tonight
TENST
TENT
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
WEBER
 
8:05pm Tonight
SALA
LALAF
 
8:15pm Tonight
TXARL
UGST
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARKST
ARKLR
 
8:30pm Tonight
TROY
LAMON
 
9:00pm Tonight
MURST
EKENT
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
IDST
 
9:00pm Tonight
MIZZ
KENT
9:00pm Tonight
GONZ
PORT
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
UAB
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
UMKC
 
9:05pm Tonight
WLVRN
CHIST
 
9:30pm Tonight
USC
COL
10:00pm Tonight
UCI
CPSL
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSNO
HAW
 
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
PEPP
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
SCU
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UCSB
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
UTAH
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
MONT
 
10:05pm Tonight
SACST
MNTST
 
10:30pm Tonight
CSFU
LBSU
 
10:30pm Tonight
GAELS
LMU
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASU
CAL
11:00pm Tonight
BYU
USF
 
1st
NYI 0
BOS 0
 
1st
NYR 0
MON 0
 
1st
PHI 1
WIN 1
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
ARI
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CLB
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
DAL
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
DET
8:00pm Tonight
STL
NAS
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
MIN
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
BUF
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
ANA