Brent Burns spent nearly 800 games roaming the ice at SAP Center over 11 seasons with the San Jose Sharks. Tonight, he returns to Northern California and, for the first time since 2011, will enter the visitor’s locker room.
There were, of course, two sides to the trade that brought Burns to the Carolina Hurricanes in July, and we’ll get to the other side in a moment. But Burns was the centerpiece, and he will undoubtedly be the narrative tonight.
This guy was the first player on the ice this morning at SAP Center (he was about to “fist bump” Drew Remenda through the glass). pic.twitter.com/itqp1xWgL4— Corey Masisak (@cmasisak22) October 14, 2022
The mythic state fair road trip was cast aside last season, at least in part, due to the delayed start to the season and the Hurricanes’ understandable desire to not want to play the first week and a half of the season on the road. This year, though, with the NHL back on a normal schedule for the first time since (how is this even possible?) the 2018-19 season, the Canes will hit the road for the next ten days, while bacon-wrapped everything takes center stage across from PNC Arena.
Rod Brind’Amour is hesitant to make lineup changes following a win, and the Hurricanes didn't practice yesterday in preparation for their cross-country flight, but today we learned that Ondrej Kase headed back to Raleigh today with a possible concussion. As a result, Stefan Noesen will draw into the lineup, and Ethan Bear (healthy) and Dylan Coghlan (lower body) will take up residence in the press box.
Here’s how the Hurricanes lined up at the “morning” skate:
Teuvo Teravainen - Sebastian Aho - Seth Jarvis
Andrei Svechnikov - Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Martin Necas
Paul Stastny - Jordan Staal - Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook - Derek Stepan - Stefan Noesen
Jaccob Slavin - Brent Burns
Brady Skjei - Brett Pesce
Calvin de Haan - Jalen Chatfield
Injuries and Scratches: Ondrej Kase (concussion), Dylan Coghlan (lower body), Ethan Bear (healthy), Max Pacioretty (LTIR Achilles)
Five years ago, if you had thought that Steven Lorentz would be a key component of a trade to bring in a top-pairing defenseman, you’d likely be looked at cross-eyed. Then all Lorentz did was work his tail off day after day, and wouldn’t you know it, he was rewarded with a new contract and a chance to solidify his spot on an NHL roster going to a team in San Jose that desperately needs Swiss-army knives of his type.
Right on cue, Lorentz already has an assist this season, earning a helper on Logan Couture’s go-ahead goal in Prague last week that ultimately amounted to nothing — and how’s this for irony — when Lorentz’s erstwhile teammate, Nino Niederreiter, tallied his second of the night to give the Predators a come-from-behind win.
A look at the Sharks’ CapFriendly page will give you heartburn, but if the Sharks are going to make anything of this season, it’s guys like Lorentz who will need to step up. So far, so good.
(Also, subplot: tonight is the first Svechnikov Bowl of the season!)
Here’s how the Sharks will look tonight, in their home* debut (yes, they were the home team for one game in Prague, but let’s not get all picky):
Timo Meier - Tomas Hertl - Luke Kunin
Steven Lorentz - Logan Couture - Kevin Labanc
Oskar Lindblom - Nick Bonino - Matt Nieto
Noah Gregor - Nico Sturm - Evgeni Svechnikov
Mario Ferraro - Erik Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Matt Benning
Jaycob Megna - Radim Simek
Injuries and Scratches: Scott Harrington (healthy), Jonah Gadjovich (healthy), Alexander Barabanov (IR lower body), Markus Nutivaara (IR lower body)