According to, the Carolina Hurricanes were dealt a load of bad news today in terms of the prognosis for injured wingers Erik Cole and Tuomo Ruutu, both of whom were injured during the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals.

“It’s not likely (Ruutu and Cole) will play (on Thursday),” Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford told “Definitely not Ruutu; Cole’s probably a little better than Ruutu, but whatever the case may be, we do have some time left before Game 2, so we’ll have to see.”

Coach Paul Maurice added that, “They are day-to-day and we’ll make an assessment (Thursday) morning. They may skate, they may not. Our trainer (Peter Friesen) will make that decision for them and then they’ll be game-time decisions. So it could have been worse, but we’ll move forward positively.”

Ruutu was injured after being slew-footed by Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton early in the game. The incident, which can result in a tripping penalty and possibly even a suspension — depending on the severity and intent — went unpunished, both during the game and after.

Cole was at the wrong end of a similar borderline play which saw Penguins forward Matt Cooke use knee-on-knee contact to make a hit.

Rutherford said that regardless of the players’ availability, his team is deep enough to at least partially compensate for the injuries.

“We’ve got a couple of other players there in Pat Eaves and Ryan Bayda. They can both move up, so we have some good depth, but if (Ruutu and Cole) are out, we’re certainly going to miss them.”