My fandom for Jordan Martinook is unabashed. Still his hat trick game last Thursday against the Blues has only elevated my appreciation for Martinook’s play and the energy he brings to the team consistently.
Stat sheets do not record the quality of shots on goal but if they did, Jordan Martinook would be lighting them up. With 15 SOG in the last five games, at least 5 (or one a game) of those have forced the opposing goalie on his head.
As the Hurricanes integrate the returning Teuvo Teravainen and the Canes’ offense begins to hit their stride, these quality shots are going to start falling more and more for Martinook. Opposing goalies can only do so much to get in the way of quality shots from every angle and Martinook’s additions to the volley will keep the puck in the back of the net.
That is the offensive end of the ice. Martinook, who played his 500th NHL game in the Hurricanes win against Pittsburgh last Tuesday, however, is a two ends player with plenty of away from the puck intelligence that puts him in place to help the Carolina Hurricanes the most.
Martinook’s third goal Thursday night is perhaps the best example one could offer
With an empty net and less than a minute left in the game, Martinook had the foresight to move away from play in the Carolina zone and field Brent Burns’ pass for an easy empty net goal that blew the final note for the Blues.
That was the kind of veteran maturity you can only get from having played in 500 games, and playing those 500 games as hard as Jordan Martinook has played them.
For all those that might still be on the “Hook Hater” train, take a minute to hang that hatred on a hook.
Count just how many scoring plays, or quality shifts Martinook puts out. With some study, you will see just how valuable Jordan Martinook has been for the Carolina Hurricanes, and just how important he will continue to be as the Canes make a serious run for the Stanley Cup.