Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Peca, Foote, Modin Return to the Ice and Fedorov Loses PK Privileges

Tom Reed of the Dispatch reports that three of the Jackets' top veterans are returning to the ice following off-season injuries. All three will skate this week in preparation to play in Friday's opener.

Peca's practices this week will be of particular importance. Because he was acquired just this summer, he hasn't had the opportunity to play much with the team, and has not had true in-game experience since midway through last season. He is expected to center the second or third lines this season, pending the performance (and injury) of other centers.

In the same article, it is stated that while Fedorov will take the top line center position, he will not play on the Penalty Kill unit. This is an unfortunate consequence of the Jackets' failure to come up with a viable solution to the center problem. With an aging Fedorov needing to play more minutes at full-strength on the top line, he'll have to reduce his special teams play to conserve energy. This is unfortunate because Fedorov is an excellent defender. Simply recall his service late last season on the defensive lines, or his two Selke awards to understand what the special teams are sacrificing to leave Fedorov on the top line. With any luck, one of the younger centers will be able to step up their game to take that top spot and allow Fedorov to play the second line and serve on the PK unit.

Let's hope the veterans can be ready to rock on Friday night.

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