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Injured Veterans Make Way for Others

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes’ long list of banged up veterans will present another chance for others to prove themselves heading into a home-and-home series with Philadelphia this weekend.

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Coach Laviolette has said that the Hurricanes will try to have something resembling their opening night lineup together for the final few preseason games, but a collection of day-to-day injuries will likely prevent that from happening until the final two contests against Nashville beginning next Thursday night.

“Our veterans are down and wounded,” said Laviolette.  “They’re not available. You’re seeing what we’ve got out on the ice.  I hope that we get through the weekend and get some health back so we can get [Tuomo] Ruutu in the lineup, [Ray] Whitney back in the lineup, [Joe] Corvo and [Niclas] Wallin and [Tim] Gleason.  You’re seeing what we’ve got right now.”

Although referenced by Laviolette in the above list of injured players, Corvo did practice with the team on Friday.  Ruutu, Whitney, Wallin and Gleason, along with Anton Babchuk and Rod Brind’Amour, did not.

That means extra game action for some players heading into tomorrow night’s game, the last NHL game ever to be played at the Philadelphia Spectrum.  Laviolette said Eric Staal will make an appearance in the Philadelphia series – expect that to be for the second game Sunday afternoon in Raleigh – before playing in both Nashville games.

“I think that’s just right for him,” said Laviolette.

Of the players remaining in camp not named Bowman, O’Neill and Sutter (all of whom will be in the lineup tomorrow night), defensemen Brett Bellemore, Mark Flood and Bryan Rodney have been under the radar thus far but will be intriguing to watch going forward. 

The Canes were impressed with Flood and Rodney in last night’s game against Washington, and they have also looked good in practices.  Bellemore hasn’t seen any preseason action thus far, but Assistant GM Ron Francis has spoken highly of him in the past, saying he was arguably Albany’s best defenseman in their seven-game playoff series last spring, despite having played only four games as a pro just prior.

Of the veteran standouts in Thursday’s loss at Washington, Laviolette called the play of Frank Kaberle and Michael Leighton “terrific.”  He also praised Dennis Seidenberg, who has a combined four assists from the Red/White game and last night’s contest, for a good game and a good hit on Alex Ovechkin.

“When it comes to Alex on that you’ve really only got two choices – you can either let him hit you or you can hit him,” said Laviolette.  “I was glad to see Seids take a pop.”

Broadcast Notes: You might have noticed the streaming video of last night’s game on Washington’s site – and ours.  That was only supposed to be available in the D.C. market (I double-checked), but it ended up working in our area as well, probably just because we’re not too far away.  Sorry I wasn’t able to alert you to that or post it sooner.

As for the Philly series, tomorrow night's game will be on the NHL Network for those who get that.  I’m not aware of anything the Flyers are doing Web-wise for tomorrow night, but we will have a link to 99.9 FM the Fan’s audio stream on our site.  Streaming video of Sunday’s home game will be on our site, and the audio issues from our last home game should be completely resolved.


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