Can Brian Gibbons remain continue to fill in for Jordan Martinook?
When Jordan Martinook will return is unclear. For now Brian Gibbons remains with the big team filling in his role. But in four games with the Carolina Hurricanes Gibbons has failed to get on the board in any way possible. He has only registered a disappointing total of three shots on goal during that time.
Now granted, Martinook also only registered three shots on goal in the four games before his injury. He did however earn himself a point on an assist to Lucas Wallmark’s season opening goal. His real value comes from his attitude and leadership. The “A” on his chest was given to him for his leadership on and off the ice. Gibbons has some massive skates to fill.
Perhaps that is putting some pressure on him to perform. So far the best takeaway from Gibbons in the four games that he has played is that he is excellent on the defensive side of the puck. While the fourth line has yet to score with him in the lineup they have also yet to allow a goal either. That has given him a nice crisp clean zero plus/minus.
But the line has attempted to score several times, and have gotten close several times with linemates McGinn or Foegele. Perhaps Gibbons needs to shoot more. Perhaps he needs to change nothing. After all as long as the other lines are contributing to the scoring and he can help hold the line defensively, the Hurricanes will skate happily into the locker room with a win.
Gibbons should stay for now. Obviously 11 forwards and 7 defenders is not the way to go, considering the team went winless with that strategy. Julien Gauthier, hero of the preseason, needs time to develop and simply isn’t ready to take a larger role with the Carolina Hurricanes.
With Martinook still around four weeks away from returning to the lineup, Gibbons might have a chance to prove his worth with the month of November. It starts tonight against the Red Wings and continues tomorrow against the Devils. Both teams with soft defenses that might be what he needs to get himself rolling. Will he take advantage of it?