The impact and upshot of Victor Rask’s injury

The impact and upshot of Victor Rask’s injury

I have in process a somewhat formal preseason preview series that I drafted last week and then shelved temporarily late last week with the news of Justin Williams being named captain and the potential Hurricanes impact of Erik Karlsson being traded. My hope is to tie up loose ends and have this preview posted before the team takes to the ice for preseason action on Tuesday against Tampa Bay.   On Thursday just before the start of the Carolina Hurricanes first training camp practice, the team announced that Victor Rask would require surgery on his fourth and fifth fingers which were injured in a kitchen accident earlier in the summer. Then on Sunday Rod Brind’Amour declared that Rask’s injury would keep him out for “months”. Rask injury will be “months,” Brind’Amour said. It was a major surgery that included repairing tendons. — Cory Lavalette (@corylav) September 16, 2018   Looking backward Looking backward to Victor Rask’s 2017-18, his injury might not seem like a big loss for the team on the ice. Rask had a sub-par season. His production and play in general was sluggish out of the gate and well into the season. He did rebound modestly in the second half of the season, but in total the season was not a good one for Victor Rask. His scoring plummeted from 46 points in 2016-17 to a mere 31 in 2017-18 even after a modest push late in the season. With Sebastian Aho moving to center and Martin Necas hopefully on the way, Rask entered the offseason as a fourth line center if everything else worked out as...
The case and possible place for Victor Rask

The case and possible place for Victor Rask

I touched on this topic recently but wanted to go into it in more depth. Hence, today’s Daily Cup of Joe considers the case and place for Victor Rask.   Acknowledging the offensive struggles of the 2017-18 season A starting point is acknowledging that the 2017-18 season in total was not a good one for Victor Rask. He had too many stretches of invisible, and his meager 31 points in 71 games as a top 9 forward just do not cut it especially considering his $4 million salary. So the aim of this article is not to defend Victor Rask’s 2017-18 season in total.   But also recognizing Rask’s ‘high floor’ But for as much as Rask struggled to produce offensively, the defensive part of Rask’s game which is not exciting but is generally sound functions independently of his offensive game. The result is that even when his offensive production was spiraling downward, it did not creep into other areas of his game with gambling to score more or just playing with defensive issues that stemmed from struggles on the offensive side of the puck. The result was that despite underperforming offensively, Rask’s line still held its own 5-on-5. Over 71 games of not enough offense, Rask was still even in terms of plus/minus which ranks only behind the dynamic duo of Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen who were the only plus forwards (not counting short-timers Zykov and Foegele). When you net it out, even the struggling version of Rask’s game tends to tread water because of decent two-way play that seems to be unaffected by his offense.  ...
Victor Rask: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

Victor Rask: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

Victor Rask is first up in what will hopefully be a May full of individual player report cards that both assess their 2016-17 season and also look forward to 2017-18. After being a bit late today, my hope is to try to post one ‘report card’ per day in time for lunchtime reading, so please grab a sandwich and stop by, and if I miss a day please remember that it is the off-season. 🙂  I did a late-night writing binge into the wee hours of the morning to get ahead of the schedule, so I should be able to hold schedule for at least 10-12 days. My tentative plan is to work through the forwards first in random order based on what I feel like writing and then follow up with the defensemen and goalies.   Victor Rask’s starting point for the 2016-17 season Victor Rask had a strong 2015-16 campaign that saw him take a significant step up from 33 points in 2014-15 to 48 points in 2015-16. Along the way, he solidified himself in the slot next to Jeff Skinner and just generally took a step forward in his sophomore season. For his effort, he was rewarded with a 6-year $4 million per season contract that figured to lock him into a top 9 slot with the Hurricanes for the foreseeable future.   Victor Rask’s 2016-17 season with the Carolina Hurricanes With multiple new forwards joining the team, the lines had the potential to be jumbled, but he found himself in a familiar role centering Jeff Skinner’s line in training camp with newcomer Lee Stempniak on his...
Victor Rask rising

Victor Rask rising

The 2015-16 headline Hurricanes stories of the 2015-16 season for the broader hockey world are Justin Faulk’s goal-scoring binge and Eric Staal’s contract situation. And for a small market team currently on the outside of the playoff chase, that seems to be all the news that the broader NHL community wants right now. But past that, they are missing 2 great stories both tied to the Hurricanes future. The first is the rapid emergence of the Hurricanes young blue line that currently features 3 rookies. The second is Victor Rask. I have written in some detail about the young blue line, and today will highlight Victor Rask. From everything that I read, Victor Rask yet to break onto the radar at a broader level, but Hurricanes fans who watch the team game-by-game are seeing it.   Built a solid defensive foundation in 2014-15 Rask burst onto the scene from a spot or 2 off the depth chart last training camp. When Jordan Staal broke his leg in a preseason game, Rask was forced prematurely up the depth chart despite having no NHL experience. He performed admirably when more or less parachuted into the NHL at 21 years old and with only 1 season of professional experience, all at the AHL level. What stood out right from the beginning was his ability to read situations correctly and play good positional hockey on both offense and defense and with and without the puck. That is the fancy way of saying that he was instantly qualified as a sound checking line center. He showed flashes of skill and offensive ability but put...