Carolina Hurricanes Elite Blue Line gets the Job Done
If there was ever a night to dress seven defensemen, tonight was undoubtedly it. Tampa Bay’s dogged offense is nothing to scoff at, and the addition of van Riemsdyk back into the lineup helped lead the Hurricanes to victory. While not every blueliner got on the score sheet, every one of them made an impact and contribution to the Canes victory.
Haydn Fleury, while getting the least amount of ice time at 7:18, played exceptionally well tonight registering one of Carolina’s twenty blocked shots, with Trevor van Riemsdyk logging four solid hits with 12:46 time on ice. Jake Gardiner, for all that we have been expecting out of him, also had a hit and two blocked shots tonight with 12:49 time on ice. These were some of the minor contributors, but not all of them.
Five-year veteran Jaccob Slavin, in true fashion, was all over the place tonight. From playing emergency on-ice goaltender behind James Reimer, to stealing pucks (he registered four takeaways), to blocking shots (1), and putting pucks on net (2 shots on goal). Both his offensive (one goal, one assist) and defensive contributions tonight led to the Carolina Hurricanes heading to Boston on a win and earned him the second star of the game with the game-winning goal.
Dougie Hamilton (is a forward) also came out in full force tonight, showing his offensive prowess and adding two assists, as well as his defensive capabilities with two blocked shots and a hit tonight. You might be wondering why I put “is a forward” in parenthesis, but the reason for that is the fact that Dooogie is currently on pace for an eighty-two point season as a defenseman. In twenty-seven games, he has registered ten goals, eighteen assists, or 1.04 points-per-game. How many defensemen in the league have that kind of record?
Then there’s Joel Edmundson. From what we saw, this man has to be a glutton for punishment. He played exceptionally well and blocked five shots tonight. That’s right, five. The most of any Hurricanes player on the ice tonight. If that isn’t dedication to the team and to winning, I don’t know what is.