TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - It's not the game in which they wanted to compete tonight, but that's all a part of the learning process.
The Carolina Hurricanes will face off with the Minnesota Wild in Tuesday's NHL Prospects Tournament third-place game. The Canes finished 2-1 in round-robin play, and it's a bounce-back effort they're in search of. After winning the first two games of the tournament, the Hurricanes were defeated 9-2 by the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night, denied their second consecutive berth in the championship match.
"We didn't compete enough last night. They outplayed us in all areas of the game. They worked harder than we did," head coach Mike Vellucci said. "We didn't have any attention to detail. That's what we talked about today."
Video: Mike Vellucci: "How do you respond?"
In the grand scheme of wins and losses, tonight's game is rather negligible. What is on the line is a final chance for this group of 20-plus to impress the coaching staff and front office before Hurricanes training camp begins later this week.
"Bounce back. We had a horrible game last night, a really tough game, so how do you respond? What are you going to do?" Vellucci said. "Are you going to work harder, compete harder and do the things it takes to win, or are you going to go back to the way you played the other night? We'll be taking into account who comes to play tonight."
Forward Steven Lorentz and defenseman Adam Thilander will re-enter the lineup tonight. Additionally, Vellucci and his staff will get a glimpse at some new-look lines tonight. Warren Foegele, Martin Necas and Janne Kuokkanen comprise the team's top line. Size reigns on the second line with Spencer Smallman (6-foot-1, 200 pounds), Roy (6-foot-4, 208 pounds) and Gauthier (6-foot-4, 225 pounds). On the back-end, Haydn Fleury will skate alongside Roland McKeown, a familiar pair. And in net, the Canes will turn back to Callum Booth.
"The size, skill and speed is very, very good," Vellucci said. "Now we need to teach them the game. It's a growing experience with a young team and young guys. Hopefully they can take some bits and pieces from this tournament and turn it into a great training camp for themselves."
Tonight's NHL Prospects Tournament finale will be streamed live on FOX Sports GO, and we'll be rinkside at Centre Ice Arena one last time to provide in-game updates on @CanesTracking.
Scratches: Boka, De Jong, Hollowell