It was the news Caniacs knew was coming, but didn’t want to acknowledge. The team’s leading scorer and rookie of the year, Jeff Skinner, is out indefinitely with a concussion. Joni Pitkanen is also out with the same diagnosis. It also came to light today that Jay Harrison has missed the past nine games due to a concussion. Although, Harrison did skate a full practice Wednesday.
What does that mean for the already struggling Canes? It means removing the –ing from the article I wrote last week titled, “Canes Reaching Breaking Point.” Collectively the injured trio claimed 17 goals and 28 helpers before leaving the roster. The other factors, such as time on ice, shots on goal, blocked shots, penalty kills, power plays, etc… also work against the Carolina team. Basically, it blows a fat mascot. No need for sugar coating here. These injuries add to an already dismal situation.
However, it does not mean to take away from the great players remaining on the bench. Eric Staal has a point or more in four consecutive games for a total of 6 points. Chad LaRose brought energy and a forechecking prowess against the Leafs. Justin Faulk continues to impress management and nearly saved the day in Toronto’s overtime loss. Jussi Jokinen has 18 points (4g, 14a) in 29 games. Jiri Tlusty is having a solid season with 6 goals and 5 helpers. Brandon Sutter has 11 points and proves worthy in the faceoff circle. Nodl and Spacek were brought on board to offer key support.
The Canes organization boasts a respectable group of athletes that will continue to play with effort and determination. How can Caniacs fail to support that? Let’s Go Canes? Yes, Let’s Go Canes!