UPDATE: The blog czars say some technological issues prevented blogs from being posted most of today, but everything is working again.
Defenseman Joni Pitkanen has returned to practice. Pitkanen has missed five of the Canes' first six games and most practices, but was back on the ice today at the RBC Center.
Pitkanen said persistent soreness in his right knee has prevented him from doing anything bu some skating on his own. "Frustrating," he said today.
Pitkanen couldn't say when he might be able to rejoin the lineup but said he would be at practice Friday and go from there.
"He moved around for a good half-hour -- that's a good sign," Canes coach Paul Maurice said. "We'll wait until tomorrow morning to see how he feels. If there's an improvement or he feels good we'll consider him skating with the main group. If not he'll skate on his own."
Goaltender Cam Ward, centers Eric Staal and Matt Cullen, and forward Ray Whitney all sat out today's practice. All are expected back Friday.
In reviewing the 3-2 shootout loss to Pittsburgh, Maurice said a team's overall feeling after a shootout is based on how well it played in the game and how the scoring occurred. The Canes trailed 2-0 entering the third period but rallied behind a pair of Whitney goals to tie the score and pick up a point.
In judging the Canes' play, Maurice said, "Almost there. There is still some improvements we're looking for.
"But there was a lot more that the players, from the bench and they're watching it, they understand what we're trying to do on the ice and they see it working a little bit better. So it was better."