Draw The Line: Paul Maurice Looking At Combinations

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 25: Head Coach Paul Maurice of the Carolina Hurricanes discusses a play during the game against the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena on September 25 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

According to multiple sources who attended practice today, the Carolina Hurricanes were working on special teams and specific line combinations during their skate.  Hockeymom was there and she "tweeted" that the powerplay units included:

Eric Staal, Brandon Sutter, and Patrick O`Sullivan, with Jamie McBain and Anton Babchuk at the points. 

Jussi Jokinen, Tuomo Ruutu, Jeff Skinner, with Joe Corvo and Joni Pitkanen at the points.

Some folk here have been thinking about various line combinations all summer, (some more than others), and coach Paul Maurice put the following lines into place today, with the thought that he would give them a chance to play together tomorrow night in Florida.  What he's looking for is some chemistry.

  • Staal-Cole-O'Sullivan
  • Sutter-Bowman-Ruutu
  • Jokinen-Skinner-LaRose
  • Dalpe,(Dwyer)- Kostopoulos-Tlusty

Zach Boychuk took turns mixing in on the fourth line.  Jiri Tlusty removed his yellow sweater for the first time this training camp and was skating and hitting with the big boys. 

Sergei Samsonov remains out with a sore neck.  The team will make a decision on Thursday whether he is healthy enough to travel to Europe.  If he is healthy, look for them to cut one more player, (forward).  If not, Samsonov will stay home and the team will take the group they have assembled now.

On defense, the combinations were:

  • Corvo-Gleason
  • Pitkanen-Babchuk
  • Harrison-McBain

Bobby Sanguinetti and Brett Carson are currently numbers seven and eight.

Three goalies will travel to Europe, Justin Peters, Cam Ward, and Justin Pogge.

The lines Maurice put together certainly have possibilities, but there is no telling where Samsonov will fit in when he returns.  He could move O`Sullivan off the top line, all the way down to the fourth?  Or Samsonov could replace Bowman on the second line, who would then be moved to the fourth in place of Tlusty? 

It's anyone's guess how they will perform together, but one thing is certain.  The lines will not stay this way for very long.

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