Skinner and Dwyer Tussle

Feb 13, 2012; Montreal, QC, CAN; Carolina Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner (53) is checked by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Hal Gill (75) during the second period at the Bell Center in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-US PRESSWIRE

The Carolina Hurricanes returned to practice this morning for their first practice since defeating the Montreal Canadiens on Monday.  Two of the Canes players were clearly over Valentines Day.  Jeff Skinner and Patrick Dwyer had an altercation at the end of their practice this morning.

The two players were involved in a one on one drill when the scrum broke out.  As Skinner was skating in Dwyer gave him a high shove.  Skinner did not enjoy this shove and responded by going back at Dwyer.  A struggle broke out as the two held onto each other as they pushed and pulled each other towards the boards.

Fellow teammates broke up the entanglement, and Coach Muller blew his whistle to signal the end of practice.  Skinner’s behavior as of late is quite puzzling .  Maybe the fact that other teams seem to be targeting him each game could be playing a major role in his behavior.  The teammates made amends before leaving the building.  Out of this skirmish came some very entertaining quotes.

Skinner:

“It’s definitely not that I don’t like him,” Skinner said. “We already apologized and shook hands. Everything’s all right.”

“It’s a tough drill out there at the end. Maybe tougher for Petey [Peters],” Skinner said. “He didn’t have anyone to fight him.

“Suttsy [Sutter] got in there pretty quick,” he added. “Saved me.”

“You always like to believe. You can’t go into games thinking you’re not playing for something,” Skinner said. “The gap isn’t that big. We know it’s a steep hill, and there’s going to be a lot of three point games. We just have to try to find a way to – every night – come to play and chip away at it.”

Coach Muller

“Our guys care right now. They’re playing hard,” he said. “They’re trying to win every game. That’s a great sign we’ve got going here. When we’re practicing and doing battle drills and things like [a fight] happen, it shows there’s a competitive level going on with the guys.”

“It’s a growing pain,” Muller said. “He knows that he’s going to get attention. He’s got to take that energy and focus and turn it into the competitive side of ‘play that way against me and I’ll [make you pay] by scoring and producing.”

While you never want your own teammates fighting, it could end up being a good turn of events.  It shows that the Canes still have fight in them.  I can only imagine the frustration Skinner has been feeling.  The boys are showing that they still have some fight in them.  You have to be proud of them for that.

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