4. Justin Faulk’s momentum to continue
A big season from co-captain Justin Faulk was expected after he was one of the more productive offensive defensemen in the past three seasons in the NHL. However, Faulk had just one goal through the first 34 games of the season.
A two-goal performance, including his first-game winning goal of the season, should help give Faulk some momentum that he can build off of. The Canes could really use some more production from the blue line.
Before Faulk’s two point performance in the win over the Sabres, Jaccob Slavin had the second most points among Carolina’s defensemen, but he only had nine. Noah Hanifin has done it all for this team, offensively, from the blue line.
Hanifin’s 19 points are well-above Faulk’s 10, to lead all the defenders on the team. Yet, Faulk is regularly at least a 15-goal scorer and the Canes need that out of him again this season. But, 12 goals in the second half of the season is a lot to ask out of a defenseman.