The Carolina Hurricanes announced some very bad news on Tuesday, March 14, when they announced that Andrei Svechnikov will not return to the ice this season.
Svechnikov last played for the Hurricanes on Saturday in a matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights. He left that game early with an apparent knee injury, and now, a few days later, it is known that Svechnikov tore his ACL.
The Carolina Hurricanes sit in first place of the Metropolitan Division, but their roster is depleted going into the final stretch of the season.
The Hurricanes have the same amount of points as the New Jersey Devils as of this writing. However, they have played one fewer game than the Devils. With their roster now without Svechnikov, the Hurricanes are going to have to find another level to keep the top spot in the division.
Martin Necas leads the Hurricanes in points this season with 60, but tied for second was Andrei Svechnikov before he was injured on Saturday. Svechnikov has put up 55 points in 64 games, including 23 goals. Svechnikov has been an impressive player for the Canes, and losing him is not going to be easy for the Hurricanes.
The Carolina Hurricanes now have to approach a playoff run with holes in their lineup.
Not only did the Canes lose Max Pacioretty this past January after he played in just five games, but now they are also without Svechnikov – a top-line winger who has long been one of the most hard-working players on the team.
The Hurricanes are a talented team with 15 players with at least 20 points, but losing one of those top guys is never easy to fix on the ice. Now the Hurricanes are by no means going to throw in the towel on this season. Their head coach echoed that earlier today via a tweet from Cory Lavalette of the North State Journal and The Athletic.
There is one player who can have an impact on the top line. Jesse Puljujarvi joined the Hurricanes at the trade deadline just over a week ago. He was envisioned to be a final depth add to the bottom six, but now he can step into a bigger role with the Canes.
Puljujarvi is going to get a crack in this spot with the Canes. He has experience playing alongside Sebastian Aho, as was mentioned when he was initially traded to the Canes. The two played together previously at the World Juniors in 2016, where Puljujarvi and Aho combined for 10 goals and 31 points for Finland. If they can rekindle some of that success, maybe this season could end on a high for the Hurricanes.
Carolina is back in action on Tuesday when they take on the Winnipeg Jets, then again on Friday when they head to Toronto for a matchup with the Maple Leafs.