, Dennis Seidenberg and Cam Ward
all returned to the ice today for the first time since suffering various lower-body injuries over the last few weeks.
Other than goaltender Justin Peters, they were actually the only players on the ice at the RecZone. The rest of the team got the day off after yesterday’s huge win over Washington, the team’s third game in four days.
Although every practice day is precious for Paul Maurice as he tweaks the Canes’ system, he said he’s pleased enough with the way the team is adjusting so far to let the majority of the players stay at home.
”I do think that they’re trying to grab it,” said Maurice. “If we weren’t exactly where we were supposed to be, we were trying to get there. There was an awareness of where we should be.”
Maurice used Eric Staal as an example of a player who seemed to be buying in to his message of patience even though the goals hadn’t been coming before last night.
“The things he did without the puck were hard-work things, and he didn’t cheat to find that goal,” Maurice said. “He wasn’t hanging high all night thinking, ‘I’ve got to get a goal to make myself feel good.’ He played the game to win, and it turned out he scored the game-winner.”
Although admittedly a little sore afterwards, Ward said he felt good for the most part after today’s skate and sounded hopeful for the Canes’ next game on Thursday in Philadelphia. Unless there’s a setback between now and then, it appears Seidenberg is on track to return for the game as well.
Gleason will be out a little longer but is still on the radar - he's aiming for Saturday's game against the New York Rangers.
“Tomorrow will be a big day for everybody,” said Maurice. “Some guys are going to try and get through practice tomorrow. With Seidenberg, he’ll practice and we’re not going to keep our eye on him or monitor him. We’re going to allow him to participate in every drill, and with the rest of the guys we’ll have to scale them back a little bit.”
Although Gleason and Seidenberg are progressing, Maurice said fellow blueliner Anton Babchuk would be out for a minimum of two weeks after appearing to injure his right arm or elbow in last night’s game.