Injuries are a part of sports and certainly never an excuse from a coaching staff but there are no excuses for not preparing against injury. The Hurricanes have been hit with the injury bug at forward and goalkeeper so far this season.
Now the injury to Jaccob Slavin has caused a scare for Caniacs.
The Canes have had a very healthy season from the blue line thus far.
***Knocks on wood***
Brent Burns, Brett Pesce, and Jalen Chatfield have all suited up for every game this season. Brady Skjei and Jaccob Slavin have missed just one game heading into this evening.
Calvin De Haan has played 37 games despite battling out a spot with Dylan Coghlan, who has played 11 games this year.
Speaking of which, Coghlan is set to play his 100th NHL game tonight in Dallas. Obviously meaning that Slavin will be missing his second consecutive game.
It does not appear that Slavin will miss an extended period and the NHL All-Star break around the corner will help the games missed.
Still, it is concerning to think of the options if a defenseman or multiple defensemen go down for an extended period.
De Haan has provided a solid performance on the bottom pairing but is limited in the amount of playing time his body can take. His defensive partner, Chatfield, has played the most games in his career and could hit a wall.
Coghlan has proven that he has too many holes to play regularly for an extended period without a serious impact on the team.
What’s next? Chicago’s defensive options?
Only six other AHL teams have given up fewer goals than the Wolves this season. Granted, that is not all on the defensive group, but it cannot give you much comfort in an injury crisis.
Out of the most productive defensemen in Chicago, only two have any NHL experience and that is Max Lajoie and William Lagesson. These two players have combined for 130 NHL games over the last four seasons.
I am all for giving a young player an opportunity but at this point of the season, it is a tough spot to rely on a young defenseman in the middle of what is a Stanley Cup run.
While the focus is on replacing the injured Max Pacioretty, Don Waddell will need to sure up the defensive group.
Even without an injury, an upgrade over De Haan and Coghlan would be extremely beneficial for a deep playoff run.