I will try to revisit this after we get some indication of lines and who is in/out of the lineup (roster sheet is at 24 last I saw). Most interesting would be line combinations and if Boychuk and/or Fleury who played yesterday actually draw into the lineup (seems unlikely).
Yesterday, the Canes played a 1st preseason game in Washington that saw Eddie Lack stand out the positive, the offense mostly look sluggish and a young blue line mostly hold its own against a Caps lineup featuring much of its regular season fire power. You can find my notes from that game HERE.
Tonight the Canes catch another lineup with plenty of star power. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and many of their scoring accomplices will be in the lineup in Pittsburgh tonight. It will be a big test for some of the Canes young defensemen and also a tune up for more expected regulars tonight.
The early roster includes 24 players, 2 extra on both defense and at forward, so we will not know what the lineup will be until at least afternoon. A couple things jump out at me.
1) Skinner/Rask/Lindholm are all in the lineup and seemingly poised to remain a unit.
2) Noah Hanifin, Roland McKeown and Jaccob Slavin all make their NHL (albeit preseason) debuts (if not scratched) against a good Penguins team.
3) Zach Boychuk and Haydn Fleury are the only 2 carry overs from Monday’s game. If Boychuk does play, I think it would be a bit telling that the coaching staff wants to see him in more game action, but my guess is that the more likely explanation is that he is an extra. Same goes for Fleury.
4) Cam Ward should get his 1st game minutes
5) With training camp so short these days, I think we are already at the point where players like Brendan Woods, Brock McGinn, Rasmus Rissanen, T.J. Hensick, Rasmus Rissanen, Patrick Brown, Lucas Wallmark, Erik Karlsson and Justin Shugg need to make statements to avoid being on the 1st bus to Charlotte.
The game is at 7pm. Supposedly we get a tape delay version on NHL Network at 3:30am, but after last night’s surprise blackout I am not going out on a limb and saying anything. Yesterday there was a stream on Youtube, so if you hunt around a bit on Twitter, there is a decent chance you find a way to watch it on a PC or tablet.