Andrei Svechnikov did not make the trip to Boston for tonight's show down between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Boston Bruins. He could remain out of the line up until after the NHL All Star game. But the Hurricanes have seen this video before, and they have answered the call when the time comes. Who answers that call will be, in my mind, the bigger storyline. Certainly Jack Drury can have a big game in front of his hometown crowd, but if Jesperi Kotkaniemi decided to show up, no one would be complaining.
Jack Drury has three points in his last five games, two of those have been goals. In the eight games so far in Janurary, he has six points. December was not "Sebastian Aho Great" for Drury, but he managed nine points in the 15 games. Not too bad for the minutes he was given, so it is completely possible Captain Jack steps up and fills the role for the injured Svechnikov. Playing in his hometown might be that extra push to have the game of his season tonight.
No one would be upset if Jesperi Kotkaniemi decided to pick tonights game as his break out game of the year. Kotkaniemi has been pointless since January 11th and has managed just three points in the last 23 games. You can feel the lack of production from the nose bleeds, and there have been rampant trade rumors calling for KK to be anywhere but on the ice for the Carolina Hurricanes. A big night from Kotkaniemi won't be enough to put him in good graces with many Hurricanes fans, but it would be a great start, and perhaps what is need to get his season started back in the right direction.
If there ever was a time for Kotkaniemi to kick start the second half of his season, it would be tonight. With the Canes sitting third in the Metro Division, one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers, and six behind the Rangers, a regulation win tonight would go a long way in putting the Hurricanes in a better spot heading into the All-Star break. Given the Rangers loss last night to the San Jose Sharks, a little extra ground could be gained too.
Carolina has been in this boat before. Andrei Svechnikov missed a considerable amount of time last season including the playoffs, and the Canes found a solid replacement for him in Jack Drury. But they also had a much stronger Jesperi Kotkaniemi than what has been hitting the ice this year.