Today’s Daily Cup of Joe is a short list of what the Canes miss most right now about the players out of the lineup.
In a season where the Hurricanes have had three incredibly good defensemen and at times a bit of an adventure finding a fourth to round out the top two pairings, Brett Pesce anchored the second pairing and made it work reasonably well regardless of how well his partner was playing. The subtle but significant thing that Pesce does so well is erase or at least minimize errors of others.
He would be a nice upgrade defensively, but I still think what the Canes miss most is his offense. The first power play is not the same with Jaccob Slavin at the point. He just does not have the natural instincts to step into shooting positions which makes that unit much more predictable and easy to defend than when Hamilton was on it. And at even strength, Hamilton also has an incredible knack for knowing where and when to join the rush as a fourth forward to help generate scoring chances.
With the Hurricanes struggling a bit to figure things out defensively of late both on the blue line but also just as a complete team, I think the biggest thing that Mrazek could provide is calm and confidence. Trying to play in front of a goalie that you do not quite trust yet is hard, and with the team struggling it becomes even harder. No doubt the team could use a hot stretch like Mrazek had this time last year, but more simply I think the team will benefit from just having a known quantity in net.
In James Reimer, I think the Hurricanes miss having a reasonably steady veteran for some of the tougher road starts. It will be interesting to see how Nedeljkovic and Forsberg fare on the upcoming road trip. Steady goes a long way this time of year, and Reimer generally brought that in a backup role this season.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Do you agree with what I miss from the four Canes players out of the lineup? What might you add?
2) What, if anything, do you think the Hurricanes miss from Lucas Wallmark and Erik Haula who departed via trade?