Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a set of quick hitters.
1) Jake Bean versus Haydn Fleury
In case anyone missed it, both Calvin de Haan and Justin Faulk are day to day with injuries sustained in Tuesday’s game against the Kings. Haydn Fleury and Jake Bean were recalled from Charlotte and will be with the team on Friday. If the Hurricanes need only one defensman for Friday, I lean toward Haydn Fleury. While I think that Bean’s upside could be higher especially longer-term, this decision is made not based on who has the highest ceiling but rather who has the highest floor. When you drop a young player into the lineup this time of year, you are not looking for him to win a game. Rather, you are just looking for him to be sound and steady such that the higher-end players can drive a win. With significantly more NHL experience, I think Fleury is the safer play.
2) More minutes for the remaining top 4
The Hurricanes had two days off before this game and after playing a back-to-back on Saturday again has a couple days off. With the looming Saturday follow up, Brind’Amour cannot complete empty the tank, but if the game is close in its second half, I would fully expect Brind’Amour to lean really hard on the defensemen. If the game is close, I could see a couple of the defensemen being up in the 25-minute range.
3) Friday/Saturday combinations
Speaking of the Friday/Saturday back-to -back set, the Hurricanes have back-to-back set in either of the five weekends in March. Seeing how Brind’Amour strikes a balance between going for it each and every game versus also keeping players fresh down the stretch will be interesting to watch. His playing experience is not overly relevant for this because he was off the charts in terms of conditioning.
What say you Canes fans?
1) If only one of Jake Bean or Haydn Fleury are needed for Friday’s game, who would you put into the lineup and who you send to the press box?
2) If both Fleury and Bean have to play, would you play them together and use them opportunistically? Or would you split them aiming for a more balanced blue line.