For the first half of the season, the defensive tandem of Justin Faulk and Andrej Sekera never seemed to have a bad game. With both player’s speed and two-way capability, they were great together providing a shutdown pairing and offensive contributions.
But last night was a completely different story for the two defensemen against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Instead of playing a responsible defensive game, the two made some bad mistakes and couldn’t provide the offense they usually can.
The biggest mistake came seven minutes into the first period when Sekera stepped up on Tyler Johnson in the neutral zone, only to have the center find a breaking Martin St. Louis across the ice to create a 2-on-1 against Justin Faulk. St. Louis was able to thread a pass to Ondrej Palat, who scored the second goal of the game.
While the mistake of a defenseman stepping up when he shouldn’t happens often enough, it was surprising to see a defenseman as smart as Sekera, who barely makes mistakes, to make that play.
Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, these games are going to happen to every player on the lineup, including the usually reliable Faulk and Sekera.
But I don’t believe this is a problem that will last for the two. Both of them are true professionals and the only thing they’ll want to do is improve after yesterday’s game.