On the brink of elimination, the Carolina Hurricanes and Rod Brind’Amour need to find something to spark the team and change the momentum of the series in their favor. Naturally, line-up adjustments are to most obvious but line changes could help as well.
Many fans are calling for players like Martin Necas to take a seat for tonight’s game but I am a believer that you win or lose with the guys that got you to this point and Necas arguably had the best season of any player on the team.
It feels like a change is needed and Jesse Puljujarvi may be a good option at this point. Don Waddell made this the only forward picked up at the trade deadline so let’s see if he can infuse some offense.
He has a big body and puts the puck into the net. The physicality and willingness to shoot will be very helpful against a hot Sergei Bobrovsky.
Teuvo Teravainen is a player that is not healthy and just not having a solid season. Additionally, Teravainen has got to be rusty after missing the prior series and there is little room for mistakes right now.
Another option would be Jack Drury. Drury has not played poorly but has also not been much of a factor in this series or arguably all playoffs.
A slight change in the lineup would provide a hungry player looking to capitalize on every shift to stay in the good graces of Brind’Amour.
Whether the lineup has a newcomer or not, it is time to start shuffling the lines more often to generate some more offensive consistency. The quality chances seem to be falling on the sticks of the same players.
The captain, Jordan Staal, needs to be reunited with Jordan Martinook and Jesper Fast.
This was the anchor of the successful regular season and even had some hot streaks producing points. It is just the energy and grit that will be needed in big moments this evening.
It is also time to try another winger on the Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis line. I think these two players are producing the best chances and could use someone more versatile on that line than Stefan Noesen.
Noesen’s focus and energy will be needed in front of Bobrovsky on the power play.
This will be a game of inches and bounces for both clubs and the Canes will need to capitalize on the majority of their chances if they expect to bring this series back home.