The Carolina Hurricanes practice today starts at 11am, with Drayson Bowman joining Zach Boychuk as recent recalls. Zac Dalpe is on the road with the Checkers for a short-term conditioning stint and could be back with the big team as soon as next Tuesday. All of these moves are made much more significant as the Canes most versatile and reliable forward Jussi Jokinen is likely sidelined through this critical 15 game set over the month of November.
Following further evaluation from an MRI performed yesterday on his left leg, we may learn his recovery will take even longer. How Paul Maurice will configure his lines with Jokinen absent is worth a lengthy conversation. It is also totally contingent on how well the highly touted prospects are ready to step up and seize the opportunity knocking on the door loud and clear.
***UPDATE 12:15pm: Maurice addressed Jokinen's status after practice today with much better news than originally expected. After two MRI's yesterday, Jokinen is now regarded as closer to "day-to-day". He may be able to skate with the team Friday. Maurice went on to say, "He's feeling a lot better today. We caught a break there ... it could have been a season-ender. We dodged a bullet there." More from: @MSmithCanes and CanesNow.
Canes' Jokinen to miss 3 to 4 weeks - Chip Alexander, NewsObserver.com "Jussi is the real key piece to that" line, coach Paul Maurice said after the game. "His intelligence defensively kind of allows you to move your lines around a little bit. If they get out against the other team's best, you don't worry about it too much." ★★★★★
Next Day's Notes: Lightning-Hurricanes - Kurt Dusterberg, HurricanesBeat.com Opportunity knocks...for a prospect? So the big question is this: who will fill out the top six forwards? Assuming Jokinen is out for three weeks, that's 10 games. ★★★★
***UPDATE at 11am: Today's lines in practice show Anthony Stewart moved up to Skinner's line with Tuomo Ruutu playing at center. Bowman and Boychuk are playing on Tim Brent's wings on the fourth line. Staal and Sutter lines are unchanged.
More after the jump.
This just in: Brandon Sutter on NHL Home Ice (XM Radio), from a few minutes ago, discussing Movember, Sutterstache and playing in Raleigh as a leader for the Hurricanes. They ask him about Maurice too. [Audio, 11:20] ★★★★★
Couple more postgame stories from Wednesday:
Chad LaRose on the David Glenn Show Wednesday Courtesy of Ranger Rick, [Audio, 7:40] ★★★
Canes dodge trouble - Luke DeCock, NewsObserver.com frames the win Tuesday as an unusual 60 minutes effort (and keys in on what Chad LaRose brings every night).
About the next opponent: Ovechkin on benching: "I was pissed off" | ProHockeyTalk Confirming the blindingly obvious, Washington's captain says Tuesday night's benching pissed him off. ★★★★
Joe Pavelski and Jeff Skinner taking charge of San Jose Sharks and Carolina Hurricanes, Fantasy Hockey - ESPN Skinner has been on the ice for every single one of Eric Staal's points. ★★★★
No slumps for skilled sophomores - moi, Red Light District Hockey The anticipated "Sophomore Slump" is nowhere to be found for the three rookies who burst into the NHL league in 2010-11 and earned nominations for the Calder Trophy.
Jeff Skinner called into NHL Live yesterday evening and insisted he's just lucky. ★★★★
October recaps and statistics
October 2011 Monthly Report - Michael Smith, Tracking the Storm Looking back at the first month of the 2011-12 season for the Carolina Hurricanes. ★★★
Hurricanes sightings - Mike Maniscalco, WRALSportsFan.com The Canes head into November just a point out of a playoff spot. The team has improved in the face off circles, one defenseman has stepped up, and I lower myself to ask what Halloween candy does the team prefer. ★★★★★
Carolina Hurricanes October Scoring Chances | Shutdownline.com Only three forwards have created more chances than they gave up and the team's best player is getting demolished at even strength. That player being Eric Staal.
Hot button topics
Lest anyone finds himself in the market for a new hockey coach: Looking at 10 Potential NHL Head Coaches - Darren Dreger, TSN.ca names: Marc Crawford, Ken Hitchcock, Mike Haviland, Lane Lambert, Kevin McCarthy, Dallas Eakins, Kurt Kleinendorst, Craig McTavish, Kirk Muller, David Quinn. ★★★★★
For the Chad LaRose apologists: Blackhawks learn locker room leaders are keys to the Stanley Cup - Adrian Dater - SI.com It's something of an inside NHL slogan: "If you want to be good on the ice, you must first be good in the room." ★★★★★
The Fourth Line - Corey Sznajder, Shutdown line.com provides a handy pie-graph to illustrate how TOI is distributed by Paul Maurice to his four lines. ★★★
Leading off on the subject of Eric Staal's poor plus/minus and establishing his wingers on a scoring line: John Forslund on NHL Home Ice (XM Radio) Tuesday afternoon [Audio,14:11] ★★★★★
Alumni and Prospects
Cole on a roll - Montréal Canadiens.com - Since finding themselves together on the same line, beginning with the Maple Leafs' visit to the Bell Centre, Erik Cole and sophomore David Desharnais have been demonstrating some impressive chemistry. Cole has notched two goals and an assist in his last three games, while Desharnais has posted three points of his own. ★★★
From Charlotte, JasonShaya's 10 thoughts, Nov 1 - gocheckers.com Sampling: 4) Sporting the best hair on the team this season, Matthew Pistilli, scored the game-winning goal on Friday night against OKC with 44 seconds left. ★★★★★
NBC Sports Network will carry 16 college hockey games this season | ProHockeyTalk including Harvard (and Biega) vs Yale on Jan 27 and Boston College and their top defenseman Brian Dumoulin on Feb 10, followed up by the Hockey East Tourney in March.
Finally, please welcome the newest member of the greater Hurricanes blogosphere over at Puck Buddys bringing a non-traditional viewpoint of dedicated hockey fandom: But is there not always a rainbow after the storm? In 2000 I came out of the closet and in 2002 the Canes came out as well as they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, introducing the world to the Hurricanes.