Forward Jussi Jokinen (lower-body injury) and defenseman Joni Pitkanen (upper-body) will not play Monday against the Florida Panthers, Canes coach Paul Maurice said today.
Maurice said Jokinen and Pitkanen, who have missed the last two games, may accompany the Canes on the two-game road trip his week to New York and Florida and possibly could play. They're being listed as day-to-day.
"They're both getting better," Maurice said. "If it was in the playoffs we'd probably have them in the lineup right now. But so that we don't set anything back we're going to do everything we can to heal them to 100 percent."
Forward Jiri Tlusty (upper-body) continues to skate with a yellow, no-contact jersey. Maurice said the injury is not healing quickly and that Tlusty was "at least a week" away being able to return.
Even when Tlusty is healthy, the play of Zach Boychuk could make for an interesting roster decision. Boychuk, recalled Dec. 17 from Charlotte (AHL), had the two-goal game against Ottawa but has impressed with his all-around play.
"I've liked Boychuk's intensity," Maurice said. "I know he's got hands and if he gets power-play time and enough offensive time eventually he will score. The question is how many shifts can he get.
"He's taking some hits, he's giving some hits. He's not playing a small man's game which is the key to those guys being real good players -- their size not being a factor. A Chad LaRose-type game,
"I don't expect (Boychuk) to be banging everything that moves but he's got to compete like a grinder. And then his hands mean he's got something special."
The Canes called up forward Zac Dalpe and defenseman Brett Carson from the Checkers on Friday, and Dalpe scored his first NHL goal in the 6-3 win Saturday over New Jersey. Maurice said he liked the look of the fourth line with Dalpe and Troy Bodie on the wings and Ryan Carter at center.
"They were positionally very sound. I did feel comfortable with them," he said.