Numbers game at Canes Camp
Posted January 17, 2013
CAMP NOTES: DAY 5
• Head coach Kirk Muller really likes the combination of Chad LaRose, Jussi Jokinen and Jiri Tlusty. Muller has liked that line so much it was the second time that he pointed out that his team does not have a first, second and third line, but rather three good lines all capable of scoring.
• Keeping that line together could hinge on how Zach Boychuk and Zac Dalpe produce with their combinations. It was the third day in a row that Boychuk skated with Eric Staal and Alex Semin, while Dalpe stayed on a line with Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner. Muller told the media, what we’ve seen that last few days might not be what the lines are on Saturday, but those players are going to have chances to keep it that way.
• As far as the defensive pairings the team likes the competition and the play of Bobby Sanguinetti has given the coaching staff a lot to think of with his play in the abbreviated camp.
• Right now the Canes are at 23 players; 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goalies. That is the maximum roster number in the NHL.
• The lockout might have made it a tough year for blue liner Ryan Murphy to get an extended look with Carolina. He would have to be returned to his junior team (Kitchener) in the OHL if he doesn’t make the roster. Muller says it is going to come down to numbers numbers thing, between keeping extra forwards or D. The organization loves his skill set, but with the condensed schedule, it is not a typical season to keep a player in Murphy’s situation.
• The team had a 10 minute scrimmage Thursday with the ‘first’ and ‘third’ lines taking on the ‘second’ and ‘fourth’ combinations. Neither side scored in regulation or in the five minutes of 4-on-4. A shootout was held to determine a “winner”, Jeff Skinner and Drayson Bowman got the better of Cam Ward while Eric Staal was the only player of three shooters to beat Dan Ellis.
• Andreas Nodl and Brett Sutter cleared waivers on Thursday allowing the team to send both to the AHL affiliate in Charlotte, where both will report. Tim Wallace was placed on waivers today; if he clears he would be sent back to Charlotte.
• From the follicle files: Tim Gleason returned to his more familiar short hair style, Joe Corvo has shaved the beard, but Jeff Skinner is still sporting the longer flow.
*Kirk Muller on how the forwards have kept the pace high in practice, “I really liked the forwards today as a group, skating hard the tempo is great. Dalpe and Bowman these guys were driving the net better than I have seen them do before in the past. Being hard to play against at the end of the day that’s what we want.”
*Muller on the anticipation of the first game of the year, “It’s been a long haul, this weeks been fun for a lot of people to get back into it and all that, but the last two days actually feel like we are waiting and waiting to get that first game in. I’m sure the boys will be anxious tomorrow, it will be interesting at practice, get on a plane and just like that you’re back into the routine of a season and it won’t stop once it gets going.”
*Forward Patrick Dwyer on finally getting the Canes season started, “It’s very exciting since the deal got done last Sunday, guys have been itching to get back at it. It’s been eight plus months to sit back on what was a good finish for us, but disappointing at the same time because we didn’t make the playoffs. The organization went out and made some changes and really improved this hockey club, the guys are excited and there’s a lot of excitement to get going.”
*Defenseman Justin Faulk on getting to play in the AHL during the lockout, “Obviously I played in Charlotte and had about 30 games under my belt, it was nice that I was able to play during the lockout and stay fresh. Camps going though and everyone is excited and there is a lot of energy so I don’t really know how much that matters I guess we’ll see in a game.”