So we've had two games to see what Joel Quenneville has in mind for his young Chicago team and pretty much nothing has changed, no real big shifts in how ice-time is allocated and he's still rotating his goalies. One thing to note is that Pat Kane, despite balling when Denis Savard was fired, seems to be enjoying the new coach as he has 6 points in the 2 games that Quenneville's been behind the bench.
Michael Leighton got his 2nd start and 2nd win last night for Carolina... this guy had a great year in the AHL last year and seems to think nothing of continuing it in the NHL this year. If Cam Ward is never going to come close to the form he showed in the Stanley Cup run 3 years ago then maybe Leighton will get a shot at the #1 spot this year?
We're starting to get a little concerned about Joe Corvo, thought after he exploded upon being traded to Carolina last year that he'd continue that this year but he's off to a slow start with only 1 point in 5 games. His ice time is slipping, as he was 5th amongst Carolina Dmen in ice time last night and seems to have been passed over by Joni Pitkanen as the offensive leader from the backline.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page which will give you a consolidated list of injury status):
- No update on Andrei Kostitsyn but he'll miss tonight's game and will be re-evaluated in the next few days.
- Kevin Bieksa returned to the lineup and played a very solid 32 minutes last night, so he's back.
- Sami Salo hurt his groin in the warm-up last night and only played three shifts... beware of this guy, he's about as brittle as a piece of gum that you'd find in an unopened pack of 1984-85 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards.
- Tuomo Ruutu has missed the past two games with a sore groin suffered in pre-season, this guy might actually be more brittle than Salo.
- This is an older one but its starting to linger on, Jere Lehtinen is out with a groin injury and was only supposed to be out a few days but days have become weeks so who knows.
- Frantisek Kaberle has a foot injury, read that it could be broken but that is unconfirmed, consider him day-to-day.
Distraction of the Day
What's distracting us today... interview yesterday with Toronto GM Cliff Fletcher where he says, "We're one shootout goal away from being a .500 team."... also known as 1 win and 4 losses. Alright, we already talked about this at great length a while back but the whole ".500 team" is no longer relevant under the NHL's new point system... unless you're satisfied with being in the elite class of the 24 teams that were above .500 last year?
Oh and Fletcher also made a point of saying that he is not afraid to part with draft picks... citing Mikhail Grabovski as a great player that he acquired for a draft pick, "I think Grabovski is going to prove to be better than what generally is available in the second round," said Fletcher. "I know he hasn't gotten a point yet, but he's a competitive hockey player with skill." So, GMs, as long as you've got players who are "competitive with skill" then step right up, Cliff's got plenty of DraftSchmaft picks to dole out.