- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 30, 2001

The Washington Capitals called up Trent Whitfield last year on Thanksgiving and the center played the remaining 61 games with the team, quickly making a reputation as a hard-nosed defensive player who rarely was on the ice for an even-strength goal against.
Whitfield also proved an old point after training camp this fall it's what-have-you-done-for-me-lately that counts most. He had only a so-so camp and it was decided it was time to send a wake-up message via some time back in the minors.
Whitfield rejoined the Caps yesterday to take up where he left off, centering the fourth line and hopefully bring a stagnant unit back to life. He arrived from Portland, Maine, with two other reinforcements, rookie Chris Corrinet and Matt Pettinger. All are expected to play tonight against Philadelphia.
Pettinger, wings Stephen Peat and Peter Ferraro had been sent down Saturday morning with the promise from general manager George McPhee that the one who played the best over the weekend with the Pirates would be back yesterday to fill manpower vacancies and given the opportunity to stay for the rest of the season.
What the Caps are looking for is some scoring distribution. The club is averaging 2.6 goals a game but 24 of the team's 29 goals have come from just five players, while a defenseman (Calle Johansson) who hasn't played in nearly two weeks has two himself. That leaves three goals for the rest of the team.
Corrinet, who was playing at Princeton last season, led the Pirates with seven goals and was second with 10 points. His plus-8 defensive rating also led the club. Whitfield had four goals with Portland but all came on the power play; Pettinger had three goals and six points with the Pirates.
"The last couple games we've generated a whole ton of chances, it's just a matter of time before some guys break through and score some goals," said coach Ron Wilson. "Obviously we're hoping [Dainius Zubrus] and [Trevor Linden] can get a couple goals and relax a little bit. What we have to do is drive wide, go to the net, look for rebounds and screens. That's what we have to do if we want to score."
There is another need to have Whitfield around at this time, a lack of centers on the roster. The team has been minus one pivot since rookie Brian Sutherby was returned to junior and now there is some question about the availability of first-line center Adam Oates for tonight.
"Our penalty-killing hasn't been what we want it to be and Trent's always been responsible," Wilson said. "We need to get more from our fourth line, at least from penalty-killing and forechecking points of view. We're comfortable with what Trent can do and hopeful his confidence from playing in the minors is where it should be."
Jaromir Jagr left practice early to have his bothersome left leg checked out. Wilson said the wing would play against the Flyers tonight. … Oates did not practice because of an ankle injury suffered in the third period of the game in Atlanta Friday night. Team officials said he was "day-to-day" with no decision on his availability expected until this afternoon. …
Johansson took the full practice yesterday and is expected to play tonight. The defenseman hasn't played since Oct. 19 with an injury in a location that still hasn't been revealed. Johansson has missed five games; he missed only six games during the previous two seasons combined.

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