Jackets Adjust Lines

You can read great breakdowns of today's practice from The Hockey Writers today, as well as The Dispatch, but the theme is the same: Shoot, don't pass. Mistakes can be corrected. Seize your opportunities.

One player who has seized his opportunity with both hands would be Nikita Filatov. After answering the coach's request to get more aggressive in puck battles during a stint on the fourth line, he's earned his way back into the top six, slotting in next to R. J. Umberger and Antoine Vermette on the second line. I would assume that Derek Dorsett will slide back into the fourth line at this point, but with Chris Clark off on a maintenance day, it's difficult to be certain as the previous third line did not practice together.

Meanwhile, both Jan Hejda and Mike Commodore seem to be approaching a return. Both played through the full practice with the team, and though each has continued discomfort (Hejda described his as constantly feeling like he'd blocked a shot, while Commodore can either wear a brace that allows mobility to play, but does not relieve pain, or a brace that relieves the pain but restricts his mobility), Coach Arniel sounds like he'll be talking to the medical staff to see just what each played might be cleared for.

I think the coach is approaching things the right way, though, and the best sign (to me) was this quote from practice discussing the team's need to shoot, rather than pass up chances:

"We’ve done a pretty good job. We had forty-some against Chicago and against Edmonton we had forty-two. We’re starting to do more of it. Would I like to see all 40 of those go in? I’d love it. We need an outbreak here (goal scoring) badly. If we could have a couple of games where we could run the score up, that would really be what the Doctor ordered for us."

Here's hoping he gets that prescription filled soon.

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