Carolina Hurricanes: Where Does Morgan Geekie Fit?

Morgan Geekie of the Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Stephane Dube /Getty Images)
Morgan Geekie of the Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Stephane Dube /Getty Images) /

The Carolina Hurricanes will take on the Rangers in a Play-in Round

With everyone back to being healthy upfront, where does Morgan Geekie fit into the Carolina Hurricanes’ playoff lineup?

Before the halt in play Morgan Geekie was well on his way to proving that he was ready to challenge for a full time roster spot. Earning his way to the Carolina Hurricanes with strong play in the AHL, he was just beginning to make the most of his first NHL call up.

Bursting on the scene with three points, two goals and an assist, in his first game, he was quickly becoming the talk of the town in Raleigh. For his encore performance he, yet again, found the back of the net.

With a 1.5 goals per game average, and 2.0 points per game (yes I know it’s an extremely small sample size but that’s how it currently stands in the record books) you’d think his spot on the Hurricanes’ roster wouldn’t be in question but it is.

What originally gave Geekie his shot in the first place was a nagging injury to Ryan Dzingel. Although nothing too serious, head coach Rod Brind’amour wanted to error on the side of caution and opted to give someone deserving a shot, thus enter Morgan.

Now that everyone is back to being healthy upfront it maybe rather difficult for someone who lacks the experience to find himself on the roster once play resumes. With the margin for error extremely small, it is more than likely that Rod will favor his more veteran players over a prospect whose only appeared in two NHL games before.

Looking at the roster, guys like Brock McGinn and Jordan Martinook might be the type of players who would ordinarily be in jeopardy of loosing their spot as they’re more depth pieces. Playing on the fourth line their contributions go beyond points and, in the playoffs, their style of play is needed for postseason success.

Because of this, it is more likely than not that they’ll be in the lineup once play resumes.

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One step above them on the depth chart is someone like Warren Foegele. A guy who bounces up and down the lineup, he too might be a guy who could potentially lose his roster spot to Geekie. But, if last playoff was any indication of what’s to come, this too seems unlikely.

Sure Rod has been known to scratch Dzingel and Nino Niederreiter when they aren’t producing, but depth scoring is extremely important in a short series.

The top guys (Aho, Teravainen, Svechnikov, Trocheck, Necas, and Staal), barring injuries, are all locks to be in the lineup. Of course, Mr. Game 7 himself, Justin Williams, isn’t going to be scratched, leaving Geekie as the odd man out, for now at least.

Anything can happen during the short “training camp” but it appears like it might be rather difficult for Morgan Geekie to be in the lineup for game 1 versus the Rangers. Honestly, even someone like Clark Bishop, who Rod has been known to use over more offensively minded prospects before, might be in the playoff lineup before Geekie.

If his history is any indicator however, he tends to elevate his play once the intensity ramps up. Back in his final year of juniors he finished the postseason with 27 points in 14 games. 17 of 27 points were goals, which led the entire league.

In route to a Calder Cup Championship with Charlotte this past season, he had 18 points in 19 games. With the most points and goals by a rookie, it is clear that he can be counted on to produce in the playoffs.

Now, I am not saying that he won’t see any playing time at all, because he will probably play in a game or two at the very least, I just think the odds are a bit against him to be in the lineup for night one with a fully healthy Carolina roster.

With that in mind, if he were to earn his way into the lineup I am sure he would do just fine. The offensive output just might not be there as (let’s be honest) it isn’t realistic to expect him to be able to keep up the pace he was on.

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Question for CC readers: Do you think Morgan Geekie should be in the Canes lineup once the puck drops again? If so, who do you see being scratched?