Staff video by Chris Seward and Chip Alexander
PITTSBURGH — The Hurricanes are being diplomatic in what they say publicly about Erik Cole's injury in Game 1 and the knee-to-knee hit he took from the Penguins' Matt Cooke.
Here's what center Eric Staal had to say today about the hit:
"I think when a guy doesn't see you coming and you're in a vulnerable position, it's one of those plays where you should maybe just get out of the way instead of coming across. But things happen quick. You're coming across the ice, I understand that. But I think when a player doesn't see someone coming and you finish him, it's a difficult play."
PITTSBURGH — Officially, the status of forwards Erik Cole and Tuomo Ruutu for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals is "day to day" and a "game-time decision."
That's what Canes coach Paul Maurice said today after the team practice at Mellon Arena.
But the word from the Hurricanes camp is that Ruutu will not play against the Penguins on Thursday night and there's a chance Cole could. Ruutu suffered an injured right ankle and Cole still feeling the effects from his knee-to-knee hit from the Penguins Matt Cooke in Game 1.
"We'll make an assessment tomorrow morning," Maurice said. "They may skate and they may not. We'll let our trainer (Pete Friesen) make that decision for them and then they'll both be game-time decisions.
"It could have been worse, I guess. We move forward positively."
PITTSBURGH — The Penguins' Matt Cooke said today he has not heard anything from the NHL about his knee-to-knee hit on the Canes' Erik Cole in Game 1.
"Nothing yet," Cooke said. "It's not my call."
But Cooke said the collision in the third period, which may sideline Cole for one or more games in the series, was accidental and just part of the game.
"He cut across the middle, I was going to hit him, he shot the puck, I looked to find my man and I wasn't even looking at him when we clipped legs," Cooke said after the Pens' practice at Mellon Arena.
PITTSBURGH — Hurricanes forwards Erik Cole and Tuomo Ruutu are questionable for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Penguins, general manager Jim Rutherford said this afternoon.
Rutherford said Cole and Ruutu, who have lower-body injuries, underwent MRI's today and that he then talked to head trainer Pete Friesen about their condition and availability.
"I do not think it looks good for either player," Rutherford said. "Pete Friesen was not overly optimistic about either.
"But we have two days between games and extra time. Certainly if we played tomorrow night, they would not be playing."
Join Canes beat writer Chip Alexander at 3 p.m. to discuss the first game of the Canes-Penguins series, Tuomo Ruutu and Erik Cole's status and any questions you might have.
PITTSBURGH — The Canes have been in this position before.
"Been there, done that," defenseman Tim Gleason said today.
True enough. The Canes did lose Game 1 to both New Jersey and Boston in their first two playoff series, then bounced back to win both.
"Done it twice. Kind of like a routine of ours," Gleason said.
But the Canes have not had an opening loss like the 3-2 defeat Monday to the Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals. It was a hard-to-take loss, not one that can be explained away to emotional fatigue. And two key players — Erik Cole and Tuomo Ruutu — were injured.
Staff video by Chris Seward
PITTSBURGH -- Canes forward Tuomo Ruutu was feeling sore today but said he hopes to be able to play in Game 2 on Thursday against the Penguins.
"Having the extra day off should help," he said. "I feel like I should be ready."
Ruutu suffered a lower-body injury in the first period of Game 1. Ruutu fell and said a Penguins player fell on him.