Led by Eric Staal
and Alexander Semin
, the veterans took charge in the annual Red-White scrimmage, as Team Red topped Team White 3-1.
Drayson Bowman, Semin and Staal netted goals for Red, while Zac Dalpe potted the lone goal for White as the annual Caniac Carnival attracted 9,200 fans on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
“I was pleased with the effort, and I thought some of the veterans took hold of it today,” said Canes head coach Kirk Muller. “I thought Semin was really good. Eric, Jordan and the leaders of the group had strong games. That’s what you want to see.”
Without linemate Jiri Tlusty, who should return to the ice as early as Monday, the coaching staff rotated Bowman and Chris Terry onto Staal and Semin’s line. The two responded with noticeable performances.
Bowman’s goal, which opened the scoring, came off a tic-tac-toe play from Staal to Semin to Bowman for the easy tap-in on the power play. In the second period, Bowman found Staal open for a one-time shot that beat Mike Murphy.
Terry was stoned by Ward on a chance on the doorstep early in the first period, and in the second period, Terry out-waited a sliding Tim Gleason on a two-on-one to dish to Semin for the goal.
“I thought Terry was really good,” Muller said. “Bowman continued to skate well.”
In net, Cam Ward saw a fair amount of work before being relieved by Murphy at the 11-minute mark of the second period. Muller said he was pleased with the all-around netminding.
“I thought he (Ward) was strong today,” Muller said. “He seems focused, ready, working and in shape.”
On the back-end, Muller noted that newcomers Andrej Sekera and Ron Hainsey looked more comfortable.
Gleason continued to play with a snarl today. At the end of the first period, he mixed it up with Jared Staal, perhaps a spillover from the physical edge present during Friday’s scrimmage.
“Maybe I’m really good-looking, and they want some of my looks,” Gleason quipped. “I just play my game. Maybe because I’m known to fight here and there or have a little temper and they want to test it out.”
“Gleas needs to play on the edge,” Muller said. “He needs to play physical.”
Today’s scrimmage was the third in as many days for the Canes, who now turn their attention to the upcoming preaseason schedule.
“Overall, I think the depth of our organization right now, that’s the fun thing,” Muller said. “Guys are going to push for those few open spots.”
What to Expect Moving Forward
The Canes made their first two cuts of training camp following the scrimmage, returning defenseman Trevor Carrick and forward Sergey Tolchinsky to their respective junior clubs.
Muller said the team’s focus would shift slightly to more X’s and O’s in the next couple of days in preparation for the team’s slate of four preseason games in four days.
“These next few days, we’ll start working more on systematic stuff,” he said. “The key will be these exhibition games.”
The Canes host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday to open the preseason before traveling to Buffalo, Quebec and Montreal in the three following days.