3-3-3: I got nothin'.
Full house of forwards at practice - Canes Now Coach Paul Maurice said Tim Brent would play tomorrow against the Chicago Blackhawks at the RBC Center. Anthony Stewart, who has been slowed by a lower-body injury, will be a game-time decision. Brett Sutter and Zach Boychuk both were at practice today, so there has been no reassignments to the Checkers -- for now. ★★★
- Canes Want More Effective 5-on-3 - Michael Smith, Tracking the Storm "There’s always somebody working the puck and you’re working plays, but we don’t care what side it comes off of whether it’s Skinner or Jokinen," Paul Maurice said. "We’re looking for two or three things to happen as quickly as possible for the shot. Pretty simple." ★★★
- 'Finns & Skins' line suddenly scoring for Canes - Chip Alexander, NewsObserver.com The subject was goal scoring, and how some players can't seem to find the back of the net, then suddenly can't miss it. ★★★
- Canes Search for Offense, Juggle Lines - Tracking the Storm "There are no easy games for us. The bench never folded. We stayed in the fight," Maurice said. "And that’s a really important trait to develop in your team – that they never quit." ★★★
- Staal to wing? Go ahead...Tell me I'm crazy - Matt Karash, HockeBuzz.com Following on my game blog from last night, I think it would be interesting to move Eric Staal to wing, not necessarily permanently but to see if it can jumpstart things a bit. ★★★
Few more on the hometeam
following that baffling shoot-out loss Tuesday
- Next Day's Notes: Senators-Hurricanes - Kurt Dusterberg, HurricanesBeat.com The Zach Boychuk Question is front and center on the minds of many Hurricanes fans. ★★★
- Boychuk needs his NHL shot - Luke DeCock, NewsObserver.com Zach Boychuk had a pretty good seat for the comeback. As the Carolina Hurricanes fought back from two goals down late in the third period on their way to a 3-2 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, Boychuk watched from the bench. ★★★
- Carolina Hurricanes: Game Day - Alec Hardy | Sports Carolina Monthly talks to a Tim Brent, Brian Boucher and Jeff Skinner about their routines (and superstitions) on game day. ★★★
- Carolina Hurricanes vs. Ottawa Senators 10/25/11 Scoring Chances | Shutdown line Carolina couldn't seem to out-power the Senators top-line so Maurice elected to play the smart matchup and put Brandon Sutter 's line against Jason Spezza's which seemed to pay off. I can't stress enough how good Tomas Kaberle and Jay Harrison were last night. Just look at what they did against the Sens top line and the Kuba-Karlsson pairing. ★★★
- This post-gamer from the Ottawa game has several bullet-points worth reading: Cheapseats: Pronger injury triggers painful memories | Toronto Sun The morning after a scary eye injury to Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger prompted yet another discussion on visors — and had reporters asking the two Pauls at the RBC Center about similarly dangerous experiences of their own. ★★★
- Jussi Jokinen with Chuck Kaiton This interview aired Tuesday during the 2nd intermission, recorded prior to the game vs Ottawa that night. ★★★ [ AUDIO - 5 mins]
- Canes vs. Senators 10.25.2011 - Jamie Kellner's set on Flickr
Taking a broader view
The Player: Can we trust NHL, Shanahan’s judgment on hits? - Puck Daddy Clarity. Transparency. Logic. What a novel idea. ★★★★★
Mostly because it compared Cam Ward to other elite goaltenders, Perception and reality: A look at what amounts to greatness in a NHL goalie - Chris Johnson, Canadian Press ★★★
But it's virtually impossible to find any consensus when trying to identify who the NHL's best goalie is. A straw poll of nine people with close ties to the league — one current goalie, seven former players (including five goalies) and a former coach — produced six different answers when asked Wednesday to name the goalie that would give a team the best chance to win the Stanley Cup this season. Reigning champion Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins, Nashville's Pekka Rinne and Buffalo's Ryan Miller received two votes apiece while Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina's Cam Ward got one.
- Blades' Justin Shugg named ECHL Player of Week - Naples Daily News ...19-year-old Justin Shugg scored three goals, added three assists and was a plus-1 for Florida during the Everblades' three-game road trip this past weekend.
- Recruited to play football for Iowa, Alt chose Gophers hockey - mndaily.com "I think I’m turning into more of a defensive defenseman," Mark Alt said. "I can be offensive and it’s something I’m working on — patience with the puck at the point, especially. But what I really want to focus on is being a shutdown defenseman in our zone." ★★★
- WHL: Impact imports paying early dividends - Buzzing The Net - Yahoo! Sports
Victor Rask, Calgary Hitmen— Despite there being a lot of uncertainty whether Rask would join the Hitmen or go back to Sweden, the 6-foot-1, 192-pound centre made Calgary his new home after his new boss and Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford expressed a strong interest in him playing in North America this season.
Rask, 18, has gotten off to a fast start, scoring six goals and 11 points in 10 games — including a hat-trick against the Swift Current Broncos last Saturday. The Hitmen will be relying heavily on Rask for points. His play will have to be the difference-maker in order to edge the likes of the Regina Pats and Prince Albert Raiders in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Picking on the Bruins
Wednesday Wake-Up Call: Dennis Seidenberg | ProHockeyTalk The Boston blueliner was a key piece of last spring's Stanley Cup run. But this fall? Different story.
Courtesy of PHT Morning Skate: Hardcore phony fans of the Bruins (get through the ads - it's worth ★★★★★):