The Second Pairing
Note: stats are currently through 10/11 game versus the Islanders.
*Denotes team leader
Joel Edmundson wasn’t brought in for his offensive contributions. Instead, the 26-year-old blueliner brings Stanley Cup experience and a solid, defense-first style. He’s also shown some great passing skills early on, both in offensive zone setup and breakouts. Save for his hiccup against the Panthers, Edmundson has played very well for his new team and meshes well with his new partner on defense.
Brett Pesce, coming off of his best offensive season to date, has resumed his status as a defensively reliable player with some offensive flair. While I am more than a bit surprised that he has yet to be credited with a hit, there’s no denying that Pesce has great defensive instincts and he uses his 6’3″ frame to make life as difficult as possible for opposing players.
On the offensive side, Pesce has shown intelligence in jumping into the play to ensure that he doesn’t put his team at a disadvantage. There’s more offense in his game to be had, and Pesce has done a great job of tapping into it without forcing anything. Take a look at the goal that he netted against the Islanders:
This pairing has racked up the highest amount of ice time on the PK and, while the Hurricanes shorthanded unit hasn’t been flawless, much of that can be chalked up to overuse. As of the writing of this article, the Hurricanes rank as the most penalized team in the NHL, a trend that Rod Brind’Amour is no doubt addressing.
While not as flashy as the top pairing, the Pesce/Edmundson combo has the potential to be one of the best shutdown pairings in the league. They possess size, mobility, situational awareness, and enough offensive ability to be a threat. A large part of the Carolina Hurricanes finding success this year will hinge on how well these two perform.