Jordan Martinook is the embodiment of a leader. We take a look at why losing Martinook to injury proves how irreplaceable he really is.
The Carolina Hurricanes didn’t look like the same team when they traveled to California. It started off promising with a 2-0 win against the Los Angeles Kings, but things turned south fast. The San Jose Sharks steamrolled the Hurricanes 5-2, thanks to a first period hat trick by Evander Kane.
Two days later the Anaheim Ducks beat the Hurricanes 4-2, with the Ducks scoring the games first goal of each game. The same thing can be contributed to both losses. The Hurricanes didn’t have an edge to their game.
It took Erik Haula being injured on a hit by Ducks defenseman Josh Manson and a fight between Joel Edmundson and Manson for the Hurricanes to wake up. The Hurricanes play at their best when they are physical. Although they want to play fast, the Hurricanes can control a game with their physical play in a more effective way.
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Jordan Martinook being out with an injury is a huge blow to how this team plays. Martinook is a gritty, hard-working forward that is exactly the type of player that Rod Brind’Amour wants. He works the forecheck and isn’t afraid to play a physically demanding game of hockey.
He thrives on playing tough and when he plays tough his energy radiates to the entire team. During the playoffs last year, you saw Martinook firing up the team any chance he got to.
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The Carolina Hurricanes in just a short period of time have missed what Martinook has provided and it shows with a string of call ups and lineup changes. Nothing they have tried to temporarily replace him has worked. Whether it was calling up Julien Gauthier or Brian Gibbons, even using seven defensemen, nothing has been able to replicate Martinook’s contribution.
You must remember how valuable he is to the Hurricanes penalty kill. Since Martinook has been out, the Hurricanes have allowed four goals while shorthanded. Martinook is known to be a force on the penalty kill with his aggressive style and knowing how to get the puck cleared from the defensive zone. He gets in scrums along the boards in order to prevent chances.
Also, Martinook provided depth scoring last year for the Hurricanes. Predominantly on the fourth line, he scored 15 goals and added 10 assists. Depth scoring was a huge key for the Hurricanes success last season. Martinook is valuable in more ways than just his leadership to this team.
Nobody the Carolina Hurricanes put on the ice has the value that Martinook has. He is one of the most irreplaceable players the team has. He is the straw that stirs the drink for the Hurricanes. He may not be the most talented hockey player, but he plays hard and he cares for his teammates no matter what. His play will be missed by his teammates and the coaching staff while he is out.
Question for CC Readers: Is Jordan Martinook the most irreplaceable Hurricanes player?