Those hoping for clarification on a potential lineup change after today’s morning skate were let predictably disappointed by the league-wide tendency to keep things under wraps come playoff time.
“We’ll look at moving some people around,” Hurricanes Coach Paul Maurice said with a wide grin and no further elaboration.
If there is a change to be made on the defensive end, Dennis Seidenberg would re-enter the lineup after serving as a healthy scratch for Games 1 and 2. The German blueliner doesn’t move the puck as efficiently as a Joni Pitkanen or isn’t as steady defensively as a Tim Gleason, but he is arguably the most well-rounded of all Carolina defensemen in that he can do a solid job in both areas. That’s not to mention his 160 blocked shots during the regular season, which led the team and ranked 17th in the NHL through only 70 games played.
If Maurice is looking for someone who can help shut down the Devils’ top line, move the puck out of his own zone and possibly give a different look to the power play, Seidenberg can contribute in all those areas.
Any speculation as to who would exit the lineup in his stead would be just that – speculation. In what can sometimes be a telling sign, Frantisek Kaberle was the last defenseman to leave the ice today, although not by a wide margin. Kaberle was a healthy scratch for Game 1.
Matt Cullen sat out the morning skate, as he has done earlier in the series. As stated above, Maurice didn’t confirm or deny any lineup changes, but I would still expect him to play tonight.