Only 13 minutes into the Hurricanes 4-3 win on Sunday, Nathan Gerbe was injured on a check by Kyle Clifford. He left the ice gingerly favoring his leg or possibly ankle and did not return. I heard anything official, but he seems unlikely to play with the Canes next game on Monday night.
The most obvious and probable solution to this problem short-term is to just reinsert Chris Terry, who was a scratch on Sunday, back into the lineup. Especially with Charlotte playing in Texas and traveling home on Sunday night, timing is not great for a Checkers’ recall for Monday.
But with odds stacked against it, might this open the door for a Phil Di Giuseppe recall?
I wrote up a more radical version of this recently actually suggesting that line mates Derek Ryan and Phil Di Giuseppe be recalled and inserted into the lineup together. That post is HERE. Though I still like that option to try to boost scoring, it is a long shot.
But the possibility of recalling DiGiuseppe for Monday or possibly Wednesday’s game has greater potential. Masked by a goal scoring outburst by the Canes defenseman was another light night in terms of forward goal scoring with Skinner netting the lone forward goal. And DiGiuseppe is hot right now leading the Charlotte Checkers in scoring.
He is a left shot from the skill and scoring mold. His game actually reminds me a bit of Chris Terry in that he has a decent variety of offensive skills. I think the key difference could be that DiGiuseppe brings a bit more in terms of skating, speed and quickness which I think is what prevents Chris Terry from translating good AHL level scoring ability to the NHL.
If the Canes did go this route, might Peters go back to the well and plunk DiGiuseppe down at left wing on a line with Eric Staal and Kris Versteeg. When the Canes did this earlier in the season, the line road the rookie’s adrenaline to a huge outburst (arguably the best single game performance by a line in 2015-16) when Brock McGinn scored on his first shift and the line scored all night.
Nearing the magical quarter mark of the season, general managers usually assess their teams and look to make changes. I do not anticipate Ron Francis making big moves to add top end scorers, so the next best thing could be to look for more offense from within the system.
Right now, Phil DiGiuseppe is at the top of the list for options. If Nathan Gerbe is out of the lineup, will he get his shot?