Without Sebastian Aho, the Carolina Hurricanes are 5-0-1 with their win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday. Already there is (the seriousness depending on the jowls) tongue in cheek speculation of “Do we need Sebastian Aho?”
Let’s clear this up right here and now.
Carolina Hurricanes Coach Rod Brind’Amour has proven quite often that line tinkering is a big part of his overall plan for success. With the exception of the Staal Line, there have been very few lines that aren’t consistently maneuvered.
Even that line has seen it’s third player mixed up. Jesper Fast being the most prevalent, though Jack Drury, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi have appeared recently due to Fast’s injury
The Canes have shown, again pretty consistently, that on any given night any guy in the line up, from any spot on the ice, at any point in the game can go scorched earth.
Take Derek Stepan, and Stefan Noesen as your examples here. This duo has produced 7 points in their last five games. Neither with more than a hole period of ice time.
Let’s not forget Martin Necas in this arsenal as well. He’s added two against Dallas alone.
So who in their right mind would want to trade away a key component of a concoction that is primed to go?
To do so pulls one element from Brind’Amour’s mad scientists approach of mixing and matching for the best pairings. Plus it subtracts a quality player more than capable of randomly popping off a two or three game points streak at the drop of a hat.
If this isn’t convincing enough, let’s look to much anticipated arrival of Max Pacioretty. Depending on how things go, he could very possibly be the spark to an already dynamite line with Aho.
Was that not what Pacioretty was brought to Carolina to do? Add another atomic element to an already combustible line up featuring Sebastian Aho.
Or maybe, just maybe Rod Brind’Amour staggers Aho and Pacioretty to force opposing coaches to spread their top shelf defensive lines thinner. It doesn’t take a rocket science to isolate one player, but even J. Robert Oppenheimer would be left bumfuzzled trying to cover Aho and Max Pacioretty on different shifts.
Who knows what combination will explode?
Quality depth with hair trigger volatility is what kept the Carolina Hurricanes going through their road heavy first quarter of the season. For the first half, that depth chart included Sebastian Aho.
That same quality depth chart is only going to be improved upon by Sebastian Aho and Max Pacioretty when Pacioretty returns. Why tinker with anything that disrupts that potential.