Defenseman Cam Fowler “has made huge strides the last couple days, and hopefully he’s an option for us in the short term here. We’ll make a decision based upon how he tells us he feels,” head coach Randy Carlyle said Friday.
The 18-year-old has missed four games since breaking his nose against the Phoenix Coyotes on Oct. 17, a longer absence than was initially expected. Fowler skated on his own after the morning skate, and Carlyle said “he is a quite possible option for tonight.”
One player the coach ruled out for tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils is Josh Green. The veteran left wing was recalled from Syracuse of the American Hockey League, where he had one goal, three points and six penalty minutes through seven games.
“Josh Green was based upon (the fact) that we have back to back games,” Carlyle said. “I don’t think it’s fair to our players to expect them to come out of the lineup when they’ve been here and we’ve recalled a player from the American Hockey League. He’s here as a safety net. As far as using him, it will basically depend on the performance and health of our team.”
That means Jason Blake will re-enter the lineup after becoming a healthy scratch Wednesday in Dallas.
“What we’ve asked (Blake) to do is be quick and be first on the forecheck,” Carlyle said. “He’s got to be, as I call it, somewhat of a more tenacious player with the puck down below the goal line. Finishing the body checks, stopping progression — we ask every member of our hockey club to do that and to basically out-work the people he’s up against. Be a safe, responsible hockey player. That’s what we’re asking of him and of everybody.”