I was able to attend practice today and noticed a couple of "returnees" out on the ice. Captain Rod Brind'Amour was skating aggressively and looking no worse for wear. Dennis Seidenberg was among the blueliners, giving them a total of eight for now. Both skaters had missed previous games because of groin issues.
When the team broke down to specific lines for various scrimmaging drills, Brind'Amour was centering Brandon Sutter and Ryan Bayda. Jussi Jokinen was still centering Chad LaRose and Patrick Eaves. The other lines were unchanged. When asked about the lines after practice, Paul Maurice said that he was happy with the top lines in Phoenix, and planned to start off with them again for the next game. While Brind'Amour and Seidenberg skated well in practice, he said that tomorrow would be the key day in determining whether they could play against Florida.
The coach indicated that he had a lot of confidence in newly acquired Jussi Jokinen. "He can play center, or on either wing. He is an extremely intelligent hockey player", Maurice stated.
The coach said the team would keep eight defensemen for now, and see what happened in the next few days. It appears like they are very impressed with Bryan Rodney and seem reluctant to return him to Albany.
Reporters also asked about the status of Scott Walker and the coach responded that the team was going to take their time with the forward. Apparently, Walker is still dealing with vertigo related issues and "just doesn't feel right". It looks like it will be awhile before number 24 returns to the ice.
Tim Gleason was sporting a shiner from his run-in with heavyweight Daniel Carcillo in Phoenix. I was going to ask the defenseman about the altercation and see if he thought he might have been cheap-shotted while down on the ice, but my lunch hour was running short and I had to fly.