3. Rotate the Extra Forwards
One of the biggest reasons that the Carolina Hurricanes went on a deep run in the playoffs last year was because they were healthy. The reason they didn’t make their third Stanley Cup appearance? They got less healthy quickly.
The sweep of the Islanders cost them dearly as both TVR and Mrazek went down. Mrazek did get back in time to play against Boston, but at that point, it was already too late.
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But how did they keep so healthy? Well, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Bill Burniston is probably the biggest reason for it. He turned the team into a very strong and very resilient roster of hockey players.
But carrying an extra forward or two also helped them on that deep run.
The rotation of the players helped keep them fresh and ensured that everyone was on the same page of the game compared to random call ups from the AHL. Now granted, guys like Geekie can come up and tear a new hole through the league, but others like Julien Gauthier can end up with less stellar performances.
The solution is to keep the guys like Geekie on the roster and rotate them in to give other a break on a game by game basis. Guys like Jordan Martinook, Ryan Dzingel, and even Nino Niederreiter can always use the break and get back to 100%.
With the AHL season done, it wouldn’t hurt to bring up another prospect to carry as needed as well. Let them train and practice with the team, so the moment they are actually needed, they fit in like a glove.
All goes well, this team could be well on its way to becoming a threat to the entire Eastern Conference once again.
Question for CC Readers: What other adjustments can this team make?