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Roster issues loom as Carcillo, Leighton get their practice on

Dan Carcillo returning to the ice is just a great excuse to use this picture again.
Dan Carcillo returning to the ice is just a great excuse to use this picture again.

Dan Carcillo returned to the ice today at the Skate Zone, according to Tim Panaccio, Steve Whyno, Sam Carchidi and Dustin Leed, all at the scene in Voorhees. Carcillo didn't wear the white jersey with the red cross on the chest to indicate injury, nor did he wear the yellow "don't touch me!" jersey, but he told the folks in Voorhees that he has yet to be cleared for contact.

At the end of the skate, as is typical with those out of the lineup, Carbomb and Michael Leighton teamed up to work with each other. According to Leed, both looked sharp.

Carcillo is about a week away from his return date while Leighton is a little further off, but the two do share one thing in common. It's not going to be easy for them to get regular playing time when they do return.

We've already been over the issues in goal. Bottom line: someone has to move, or the team will carry three goalies, and since it's unlikely that the team can afford to carry three goalies, in a roster-sense or a salary-sense, somebody will be moving.

A few weeks ago when Carcillo suffered his injury, it seemed like he'd be right back in his spot on the fourth line when he was ready to return. Now, that's not so certain. James van Riemsdyk has turned up his game. Andreas Nodl has turned up his game. Darroll Powe has kept his game highly consistent.

Most challenging to Carbomb's chances of returning to the lineup right away, however, is the play of Nikolay Zherdev. He's ramped up his game quite a bit recently and Peter Laviolette has rewarded him with more playing time and even power play time.

Who comes out of the lineup when Carcillo returns in a week or so? Here's what Lavi told the media, as quoted by Philly Sports Daily:

“There have been guys that have played well. JvR has picked up his game and is playing well, Nodl’s come in and played well,” Laviolette said. “Those things usually sort themselves out. We don’t have any decisions to make just yet. When we do, we’ll make ’em.”

What's the cliche? "Good problem to have?"