Carolina Hurricanes: The Impact of Svechnikov’s Absence

The Carolina Hurricanes will be without Andrei Svechnikov tonight

After suffering what is rumored to be a high ankle sprain against the Boston Bruins in game three, how is Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov’s absence going to impact the team?

This is the worst possible outcome. Andrei Svechnikov is injured and it doesn’t look like a short term injury. There may not be a more important player for this team to lose. Sebastian Aho would be the only other player who comes close. Carolina has lost their star Russian sophomore and at the worst possible time.

Andrei Svechnikov is one of only two Canes players to be over the point per game rate, along with Sebastian Aho. He’s one of only seven players to have recorded multiple points in this playoff run so far. For a team that was struggling with depth scoring to lose one of their high-end forwards like this, it’s going to be a tough ask.

With four goals and three assists for seven points in six games this post-season, Svechnikov was a vital part of the Carolina Hurricanes sweeping the New York Rangers and a pivotal part of the Canes success in game 2 against the Bruins. You cannot replace someone of the talents and abilities of Andrei Svechnikov, so how can you minimize the effects on the lineup?

Well, you need to start with his offensive upside, which is incredibly difficult to do. With Ryan Dzingel likely to be the forward to come in for Svechnikov, you’re going to have to look to add scoring on the blue-line. Obviously, we’ve seen the impact of Dougie Hamilton on the lineup and it needs to be another like him. Can you guess where I’m going yet?

Jake Gardiner. No, I promise you this isn’t groundhog day. Gardiner is going to be the key to replacing Svechnikov. This is because of Gardiner’s ability to move the puck from the blueline, his ability to stretch the ice, and his pure offensive control. Defensively, okay, Gardiner will not be so good, but that’s easier to replace. His offense is going to be vitally missed if it cannot be replicated.

So, how do you replace his defense? This one is far easier. Nino Niederreiter. People think because Nino has had some difficulty scoring, he’s not a good player, which in reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Defensively, Nino is as good as they come. It’s not an easy role he plays, but it’s one he usually does well. When he is scoring like he was last year, that’s a bonus. It cannot be expected.

How else can Carolina manage the effect of losing Svechnikov while still keeping their hopes of a series win alive? Well, they need someone to step up who’s been very quiet for his lofty standards. His name is Teuvo Teravainen. Turbo hasn’t been as good as the standards he sets himself, and it’s not been easy for him. If the star can’t reach the heights he did last year, Carolina could be heading home soon.

Another who may be essential in replacing the production of the Russian maybe his close friend Warren Foegele. The very man who downed the caps last year. If he regains that form he shows in the first round of the 2019 Stanley cup playoffs, Carolina may be able to see the return of their superstar within the time they’re in Toronto.

Really, there’s no one player who’s going to replace someone like Svechnikov. You’re going to need everyone to do a little bit more of everything. Maybe minus Aho who’s been a freak in this post-season. With the Canes already down 2-1 in the series to the bruins at the time of writing this, it seems a tall ask for the Canes to get back into this series,

Question for Cardiac Cane Readers: Who do you think will need to step up in the absence of Svechnikov?
Next: Canes fall in game three, give up series lead
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