Jan 31, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes were busy on day two of a rare three-day break during the abridged regular season, making a pair of transactions and hitting the ice for a well-participated skate.
Off the ice, Carolina recalled Andreas Nodl and placed forward Zach Boychuk on waivers.
The move to place Boychuk on waivers was necessary in order for the forward to be assigned to the Canes’ AHL affiliate in Charlotte. Teams around the NHL have until noon Thursday to put a claim on the former first round pick. If that claim is placed, Boychuk would have to remain on the NHL roster for the remainder of the season.
Nodl was assigned to Charlotte two weeks ago and recorded a goal and three assists in five games.
On the ice, there was even more action Wednesday as practice saw the return of two key skaters.
Chad LaRose returned to the ice after missing Tuesday’s practice due to an allergic reaction. LaRose said he is not sure what caused the situation, but he hasn’t been able to eat for a few days due to his throat swelling. He should be able to play on Friday and he hopes to be eating by then, too.
Defenseman Justin Faulk was also back on the ice Wednesday and sported the yellow jersey signaling ‘no contact.’ Head coach Kirk Muller said Faulk has to face some contact before the team will put him in for game action. Barring any setbacks, Faulk is expected to see some contact Thursday and could potentially dress for the game against Ottawa on Friday.
“We ask them three things; work hard, execute and focus,” Muller said. “You have to do that in practice every day and they came ready today. I loved their practice. They worked hard, they were sharp, they passed well, they executed. I thought we had a really productive practice.”
The Canes unveiled a new look on their top power play unit Wednesday: Jussi Jokinen and Jiri Tlusty joined Eric Staal, Alex Semin and Joni Pitkanen. The second unit had Jordan Staal centering Jeff Skinner and Chad LaRose with Jamie McBain on the point. Bobby Sanguinetti and Joe Corvo worked in on the opposite point. The changes to the power play may also pay dividends with five-on-five play as the new look more closely resembles the top lines.
Jokinen is pointless through the first five games of the season while centering the third line. Muller said he understands what Jokinen is going through. The Canes head coach was also asked to transition his identity from an offensive role to a third line center. That role isn’t about scoring, it is about being a solid unit line that can counter attack. For Jokinen, who is not that far removed from a 30-goal campaign, the chance to play on the first power play unit is where he can get his “cookies.”
The Canes ended practice Wednesday working on penalty shots as the forwards took aim on Cam Ward and Dan Ellis. Tim Brent made the move of the day using a head fake with a deke and going top-shelf to score. After practice, Brent said modestly, “I think anyone can do that one. It’s pretty simplistic in the actual move department, but it seems to work.”
Asked if a move like that might warrant a look in a real shootout, Muller wryly chuckled, “Maybe.” The coach then pointed out that that Brent had success with the move in the AHL.
For the record, Muller had only one penalty shot during his NHL career. It suited him as he converted the attempt. Muller added that with New Jersey, there was an exhibition against a Russian team where he had another chance that didn’t go so well.