Erik Cole is off to a slow start so far this season and is 12th on the Habs in scoring, (2G 2A) - Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE
While it was previously reported that Riley Nash was with the Carolina Hurricanes in Montreal, the team made it official with a press release announcing such, late this morning.
According to Chip Alexander's Twitter updates at this morning's skate, Nash was centering a line with Drayson Bowman, and (Kevin Westgarth alternating with Tim Wallace) while Tim Brent was centering Chad LaRose and Andreas Nodl.
Jussi Jokinen will fill in for the injured Jeff Skinner on Jordan Staal's line.
But later in the morning, Alexander then reported that Brent left practice early and would not be playing tonight. The unofficial word is that the team will try to recall Jeremy Welsh in time for the game tonight.
((UPDATE: Welsh has been recalled))
Michael Smith also reported this morning that Tim Gleason was put on the injured reserve. The defenseman also did not make the trip, along with Joni Pitkanen. The Canes will use the same defensive pairings they did on Friday night against the Leafs.
There are other points of interest about the game tonight as well. Andrew Berkshire of Eyes on the Prize is telling me that P.K. Subban could miss tonight's game because of illness, (flu like symptoms) and Peter Budaj will get the start in goal. Budaj is not having the best of seasons so far.
Brian is on vacation, so I took over the "three questions" segment for this game and of course I had to ask Andrew about Erik Cole, who was very outspoken during the lockout but has been pretty quiet to start this season with just two goals and two assists in 14 games. Apparently, the winger is creating chances, although things have just not clicked for him yet.
It looks like Tomas Kaberle could get a start tonight (if Subban cannot play) and Andrew warns us to look out for under-rated Lars Eller, who is playing on the fourth line.
A big thanks to Andrew Berkshire for his input.
1. Former Hurricane Erik Cole seems to have gotten off to a slow start, (2G 2A) and is 12th on the team in scoring. Why do you think he is not doing better?
There seems to be an execution problem with Cole. He's bobbling pucks here and there, but at the same time he's always a slow starter. Last year he had 2 goals after 11 games then he took off. He's still driving the play like a beast and getting shots and chances, they just aren't going in. Hopefully the game against his former team tonight will be the spark that lights his fire.
2. Speaking of former Hurricanes, I see Tomas Kaberle has only played 6 games. How has he been doing so far this season when he has played?
Kaberle is far past his prime, it seems. He's slow and a bit of a mess without the puck. When he did play, he was heavily sheltered at even strength, but with Markov in the lineup he's not offensively gifted enough to be the top PP quarterback, so keeping him in the lineup was kind of redundant. You may end up seeing him tonight though, as P.K. Subban is sick with the flu and may not play today.
3. Who is the most under-rated Hab this season who has been consistent, but under the radar, that the Canes must watch out for?
That's a tough one because there are a couple, but I would say Lars Eller. He's been playing the toughest minutes on the team lately on a 4th line that can actually cycle the puck and create chances. He has speed to burn and a dangerous shot when he has the time to get it off. His personal shooting percentage this year is one third of what it was a year ago, so that number is bound to bounce up soon.
To check out Andrew's questions and my answers, check out the following link:
Three Questions with Canes Country
Finally, in other news Jiri Tlusty was just named the NHL's third star of the week. The winger had six points, (4G 2A) in three games for the Hurricanes in the team's three wins last week. Congrats to Tlusty!
Jiri Tlusty named NHL's third star of the week