Hurricanes fans see structured play in Red-White scrimmage

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes held their Red-White scrimmage in front of thousands of fans attending the team’s annual Caniac Carnival at PNC Arena on Friday.

For anyone who was interested in the score, the team’s Red squad ended up outscoring its White counterpart, 5-4, on a combination of goals from scrimmage and shootout sequences.

Captain Eric Staal was the sole multi-goal scorer – netting one each during the scrimmage and in the shootout.

White forwards Brock McGinn, Jay McClement, Jeff Skinner and Brody Sutter scored, while Red’s other scorers included Alexander Semin, Victor Rask, and Nathan Gerbe.

Head coach Bill Peters looked at it as a valuable exercise in working on various game situations, particularly after finishing a full week of training camp.

“It was good,” Peters said.

“I didn’t mind it. I think the guys put a good effort in. We got to see a little 4-on-4 work. We haven’t had any in the three games we’ve played, so we worked on it a little bit this morning and got to use it a little bit. So it was productive.”

Though not playing against another team, it was still important for Peters and his staff to emphasize playing with intensity, but with some caution, in light of recent injuries that the team has experienced during preseason games.

“It’s a unique situation,” Peters said.

“You’re three exhibition games in and then you’re playin’ your Red-White game. We had a good skate this morning. We went a little longer than we wanted to. We wanted to get everything in.”

“I think the format was good,” Peters continued.

“You got to see some power plays both ways. You got to see a 5-on-3 both ways, and those again are situations that if we don’t do them in this situation where we have control, it’s gonna’ be for the first time (in a game).”

As far as the intensity level, it was high.

However, it was tempered with the understanding that the season is more a marathon rather than a sprint – particularly when playing an intra-squad scrimmage during camp.

“We just had to use our common sense out there,” forward Zach Boychuk said.

“I think it was more for the fans and to work on a few things – power play, penalty kill, and staying in a little bit of game shape.”

It has become evident that structure is the signature of Peters’ coaching style and the Red-White scrimmage was a perfect example of what the coaching staff wanted to get out of the session for the players and the fans alike.

“We worked on some things,” Staal said.

“The intensity and the physicality is the same obviously. It was good to sign some autographs and meet some fans and get out there and work on some things…It’s good to see people who support us throughout the year be out to support us today. To go out there and work on a few things – we did that. Now, we’ll come back and be ready for practice.”