It Pays to Have Depth
The Carolina Hurricanes’ depth played a vital role
One of the first things the Carolina Hurricanes quickly learned last post season is that it pays to have depth up and down the lineup. With several injuries throughout to guys like Trevor van Riemsdyk, Micheal Ferland, Calvin De Haan and Jordan Martinook they were forced to play Clark Bishop, Patrick Brown, Greg McKegg and Aleksi Saarela a lot more than what they were probably planning on/hoping for.
While Ferland and Martinook’s injuries upfront caused a slight shift in the lineup, Andrei Svechnikov’s absence completely changed how opposing teams went about defending the Hurricanes’ attack.
On defense, it was clear that the coaching staff didn’t have the faith in Haydn Fleury to play him which, in turn, impacted the play of the Canes top four guys once TVR went down. In his nine appearances in the post season Fleury averaged only 7:42 of ice time per game versus the 26:10 and 25:29 of Jaccob Slavin and Justin Faulk.
In game 3 vs the Bruins he played just over three minutes while Slavin hit the 30 minute mark. Now Slavin is more than capable of playing big minutes, but to expect him to play each and every shift at a high playoff intensity level isn’t that realistic even with his great conditioning.
Luckily for Carolina this (hopefully) won’t be a problem this time around. Now possibly nine deep on defense, depending on when everything officially starts back up, there’s enough depth and quality players that Dean Chynoweth can evenly distribute ice time without seeing a big drop off in play from each of his defense pairs.