Semin out indefinitely with concussion; Skinner close to return
Posted November 20, 2013
Carolina Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin is out indefinitely after sustaining a concussion on Saturday against the St. Louis Blues, head coach Kirk Muller confirmed Wednesday.
Tuomo Ruutu will replace Semin on the top line with Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty, Muller said.
After a 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins Monday, the Hurricanes will be back in action Thursday when they visit Detroit for a 7:30 p.m. (Fox Sports South, 99.9 FM The Fan) meeting with the Red Wings.
Muller said forward Jeff Skinner, who has not played since an Oct. 24 loss to Minnesota, could return Thursday.
“He is capable of making the game breaking play that can put you in the lead or tie a game," said Muller. "He has that different dimension that we need right now as far as all these tight games having a natural goal scorer and that’s what he is.”
The Canes have played 11 games without Skinner and the team has scored just 17 goals. With him in the lineup for the first ten games of the season, the team scored 23 goals.
Adding to the goal scoring drought the team has had power play problems in November. The team is 2 for 28 on the man advantage or 7% for the month.
“We just have to simplify it. We’re just not playing with authority on it,” said Muller. “We’re in that 20 game ratio here, we’re like okay we have to make some decisions. It is not always going to be the top five guys on the power play. We have to make some adjustments and we got to get production from it.”
Defensemen Jay Harrison and Ron Hainsey will likely be in the lineup Thursday despite recent bouts with the flu.
The coach wasn't ready on Wednesday to commit to a starting goaltender for Thursday's road game in Detroit.
No. 1 option Cam Ward returned to net on Monday in the loss to Boston, but Muller said Wednesday he will decide before the game on whether Ward or backup Justin Peters will be in net.