Ed. note: This was originally included in yesterday’s About Last Night, but we decided to break it out into its own story, both to make the length of ALN more manageable and to give some context to where the roster sits heading into tonight’s matchup with the Flyers. Enjoy!
Player by Player
Hockey is a team game and teams must work together to win games. But individually each player on the Hurricanes roster needs to be evaluated from the past two games, and that is what we have done below.
- Sebastian Aho - You keep doing what your doing Seabass. Everyone loves you I promise. I wish I could tell you it gets easier carrying this team on your back, but sadly it does not. Just ask the old Jeff Skinner.
- Jordan Staal - You have thrived since receiving the co-captaincy this offseason. Centering Aho has improved your offense and your effort is noticeable on most nights.
- Teuvo Teravainen - The last two games have not been your best, but your line was the only one to even try. You’ve had some good chances but just missed. Work on that shot, Turbo, and you’ll be fine.
- Jeff Skinner - Mr. Skinner, what has happened to you since November came around? You were one of the top goal scorers in the NHL last year and a serious candidate to be the captain of the team. You seem to be catching a case of the Eric Staal woes which is very contagious in these parts. We all know you have raw scoring ability and when you show up to play are very dangerous. But your defense is...um, subpar might be a polite way of putting it! At this point you may be playing your way out of Carolina.
- Derek Ryan - Why are you on a NHL roster? Can we have Riley Nash back?
- Lee Stempniak - You are getting a mulligan here because you missed half the season. You have some sort of weird relationship with Skinner and you two seem to gel, for whatever reason. Please take him out back and straighten him out before tonight.
- Justin Williams - The grizzled vet who says all the right things. The guy who should have been named Captain. The true leader in the locker room. For most of the year these things have been true — but where have you been the last two games? Seems like a time when the team could really have used one of your speeches.
- Marcus Kruger - Boy, Ron Francis was wrong about you. Nobody thought the 4th line center could be worse than Jay McClement, then you came along. Your calling card was supposed to be on face offs and the penalty kill. So far our PK is way below where it was last year and most people still think you are Elias Lindholm skating on the ice.
- Brock McGinn - Your effort is admirable. You try so hard, but sadly, you are not very skilled. You lead the league in hitting posts and your only real use is your physicality. The fight Sunday did bring a bit ofshort-lived energy. Please do this more often.
- Joakim Nordstrom - If you didn’t do a good job at blocking shots and killing penalties, nobody would know your name. You have good qualities for the 4th line like McGinn, but really you can be easily replaced. At one point you had some offensive promise and now you really have nothing.
- Victor Rask - What on Earth are we paying you to do, Victor? You take so many shifts off and surely do not produce enough points to make up for it. Your contract is terrible and you are not earning a dime of it so far. You are one of the people that is truly pulling this team down. Step your game up or get out of the lineup.
- Elias Lindholm - Son, you confuse me. We all wanted to see you score 20-25 goals this year and you actually have a chance to. But on the other hand your work ethic is as hot and cold as ever. Granted, it must be degrading to be a top five pick and end up on the fourth line, but it is truly what you have earned. You and Rask are a huge part of the problem here and both of you could be/should be replaced by guys like Valentin Zykov and Warren Foegele.
- Brett Pesce/Jaccob Slavin - You guys were great the past two years and so far just average after your big contracts. We have faith in you so long as you are paired together. The moment you are broken up you both look like lost children trying to find their parents. Pesce, you knocked a Sharks player directly into Cam Ward on Sunday which resulted in their third goal. Why?
- Trevor van Riemsdyk - You are an okay bottom pairing defenseman with playoff experience. Your status remains as indifferent, which on this team is a mark in your favor
- Haydn Fleury - A young defenseman still trying to find his way in the NHL. You make mistakes but ultimately you are a rookie so you have to get a pass. It would greatly benefit you having a older veteran to play with who can teach you the ways.
- Noah Hanifin - The All-Star himself. You are playing horrible since the calendar turned to 2018. You have singlehandedly cost us games and finished minus four in the past two games. Some time in the press box would benefit you well.
- Justin Faulk - Ah, the other All-Star. Your play has gone downhill drastically over the past two seasons and you need that C taken off your chest immediately. No part of you plays like a captain and you are often among the worst players on the ice for Carolina night in and night out. The team needs scoring and you need to be on your way out to help us find that.
- Cam Ward and Scott Darling - Both of you guys have taken undeserved losses in the past two games. You cannot produce goals and you kept the teams in the game. Keep your heads up, we need you both.