Scott Walker missed practice today with an upper body concern, and according to coach Paul Maurice, is unlikely to play against Tampa Bay tomorrow night.
“He wasn’t feeling good last night after he got dumped pretty hard in front of the net, so it’s precautionary,” said Maurice. “Unless something changes I’m not optimistic for tomorrow night. He’s not feeling very good right now.”
Maurice added that he didn’t know for sure if his current injury is related to the hit to the head he received last week from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke, who has since been suspended for two games as a result. Walker left that game and did not return, but practiced Monday before playing in Tuesday’s loss in New York.
“He passed his neuro-psych test the day before yesterday, so we’re not sure that they’re connected, but obviously we’re not ruling that out either,” said Maurice.
Dennis Seidenberg also missed practice with what Maurice called a “minor lower-body maintenance day.” He is expected to play tomorrow.
If Walker can’t go, which it looks will be the case, that leaves the Canes with a decision to make. They can either reinsert Wade Brookbank into the lineup, or make a call to Albany. Based on his recent play, AHL All-Star appearance and the player he'd be replacing, Michael Ryan is a good bet.