Both Steve Staios and Ladislav Smid are set to return to the lineup tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes. To make room for them on the roster both Taylor Chorney and Alex Plante have been sent back to Springfield. Both clubs can certainly use the help. Since Chorney's recall on January 25th the Falcons have allowed 33 goals in 6 games, or 5.5 goals per game. Chorney may not be the best defensive defender, but I have to believe that he and Alex Plante will help that number to come down. Both players showed pretty well in Edmonton, though I myself liked Plante's game more and am quite encouraged by his progress as a prospect this season.
As for the NHL team, the combination of Chorney and Visnovsky did not look good. A lot of that has been Visnovsky. Hopefully a return to a more familiar partner in Smid will help to improve his effectiveness. It sure would be nice if the same could be said for Staios' return. When he went out Souray was healthy and playing with Tom Gilbert while Staios played with Denis Grebeshkov. With all of the defenders out of the lineup Grebeshkov's defensive responsibilities increased but his performance did not make the requisite improvement. Unfortunately, Souray is still out of the lineup so the coaches have decided to leave Grebeshkov with Gilbert and have returned Staios to the ever-awesome paring of Staios-Strudwick.