Short Leash for Andersen Tonight?

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers - Game One
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers - Game One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Starting off the series on the road in Madison Square Garden against the President's Trophy winners is never the best way to start a series but managing a split on the road before heading home is bigger than anything. After losing Game 1, the Carolina Hurricanes are faced with a tall task before heading South to friendlier pastures.

The New York Rangers are a dangerous scoring team and that has been evident all season. The Canes got a taste of it Sunday in the 4-3 defeat. The New York power play had its way with the Carolina penalty kill and that will be one important factor tonight in Game 2. Stay out of the box!

Although going home is always a nice thing for a team, going home down 2-0 in the series to a team like the Rangers is something they may not be able to recover from. That puts a little more pressure on this game than originally thought.

Rod Brind'Amour will have to treat his goaltending situation similar to a baseball manager's handling of a pitcher in a must-win game. A short leash will be on Frederik Andersen with a viable backup option on the bench in Pyotr Kochetkov.

It is nothing against Andersen, generally, but things cannot get out of hand in this game. The offensive skill on Carolina's roster will keep them in any game, as long as it is not an impossible task. This is more of a situational issue and a compliment to how good Kochetkov has been this season.

Ideally, no one wants to see a goalie play after an extended period of rest but this happens every year and does happen on Stanley Cup runs. Andersen has made some huge, clutch saves this playoffs but some of the goals have been questionable at best.

Overall, the Islanders series was solid for Andersen but the Islanders are a scoring-challenged team and Andersen suffered three, 3-goal games against them. The Rangers will be bringing much more heat than the Islanders so things could get messy early.

Andersen has the confidence from the coaching staff but Kochetkov does as well so depending on how the beginning of this game goes, Kochetkov may be thrown into the game to change things up and bring life to the group.