Leading by example
Part of the reason Anaheim has had so much success is that they have a young phenom in their midst and he is the biggest threat on the Ducks forward core. In order to shut this team down, its going to take a great performance from the Carolina Hurricanes third line to ensure that the Anaheim Ducks star stays quiet in this game. This is where we get to Jordan Staal and his linemates.
Staal is going to be tasked with shutting down Zegras wherever it’s possible to get him out there against the youngster. Staal centers the best defensive trifecta the Hurricanes have had since the playing days of the head coach. When he takes to the ice at the Honda Center in Anaheim, he knows he’s not being asked to put the puck in the net, but to merely keep it out of his end.
Captaining a team that is as well poised to make a run for the Stanley Cup as the Carolina Hurricanes and being paid $6 million means that you will need to lead by example. He wears the C (and although, they all technically wear C’s on the road) Staal is the captain of this team. He needs to dictate what happens when he is on the ice with Anaheim’s top talent.
Staal isn’t going to go away without being shut up, so we know that he is dependable. It’s obvious that the Carolina Hurricanes aren’t going to get a result here against the white-hot Anaheim Ducks without their captain stepping up to play that solidified defensive role that he is so good at. Staal is the most important part of this Canes team, and this is the kind of game where he needs to prove it.