We know that Brett Pesce will not be present for this game after sustaining an injury in the game in Chicago. He has been listed as week-to-week as the Carolina Hurricanes are going to lose their most defensively reliable defenseman at the early point of the season where they would like him. Obviously, you’d rather he miss time now than in the playoffs, but you don’t want him missing time at all.
Carolina will need to adjust for the absence of the Tarrytown, New York native. This will not be easy. When you lose one of the best defenders in all of hockey to injury, it becomes hard to replace them. But when one man misses out, another slot in. We will see someone make their Carolina Hurricanes debut tonight and get his chance.
Brendan Smith will draw in on the back end. Getting his debut with the Carolina Hurricanes, Smith is going to need to play a big role if the Hurricanes are going to survive this stint without their fantastic right-handed defenseman. It’s not just going to alter his pairing, it will change the lineup to an extent. Rod is going to mix and match at points, and this isn’t when you want to be testing things.
Tonight is going to be a test of how good this Carolina Hurricanes team is in its own end. We know that in the game a Zamboni driver was forced in behind this team, Carolina played their guts out in their own end, giving one of the best defensive performances in NHL history. Tonight is bigger stakes but without the challenge of protecting an EBUG.