The injury bug keeps getting worse for the Carolina Hurricanes as it was announced that forward Teuvo Teräväinen suffered a broken hand during the third period of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Islanders on April 19. Islanders’ forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau slashed him while the Hurricanes were on the power play, and Teräväinen left the game shortly afterward.
Canes’ head coach Rod Brind’Amour did not mince words about the injury stating after the game, “4:25 marker, broke his hand. With the puck, he [Teräväinen] takes the shot, and the guy absolutely tomahawk chops him; absolutely. And I know we had all the power plays, so you’re not going to make it a five-on-three; take a look at the video. He’s out for the series. So, there you go. And they’re [Islanders] going to complain about all the power plays, but the tomahawk chop, you just watched it. He has to have surgery tomorrow. There you go. So, I’m a little pissed, to be honest with you.”
Brind’Amour’s anger is justified. Although Pageau likely did not intend to hurt Teräväinen, the frustration stems from the fact the team keeps losing their top players in crucial moments. They have been playing without Max Pacioretty since Jan. 19 due to a torn Achilles, and they have also been without one of their top scorers, Andrei Svechnikov, since March 11 due to a torn ACL. Those two players will not play in the postseason, so the one player they didn’t want to go down is Teräväinen, who has been playing on the first line with Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis. Teräväinen did not record a point in two games, but he is a team leader in plus/minus being a plus-2. During the regular season, Teräväinen was tied with Svechnikov for third-best on the team in power-play goals (5). Because the team’s power play has been a weak point all season long as they were ranked 20th in the league, and so far in the postseason, they have gone 3-for 10, Teräväinen is a tough loss for them.
Carolina’s Offense Takes Another Hit
One of the biggest concerns surrounding the Hurricanes is their offense. They have been knocked all season for not having a “superstar,” although you could argue that Sebastian Aho is. They have also been questioned if they have the offense to win the Stanley Cup. Their offense was ranked 15th in the league during the regular season, with 3.20 goals scored per game. Teräväinen was eighth-best on the team in points (37). The encouraging news for them is that their team scoring is ranked fourth-best in the postseason, and they are currently leading the series against the Islanders 2-0.
With Teräväinen out, the team relied on Jack Drury to fill his spot on the first line, but it’s unclear if he will fill that spot going forward. It’s known injuries in the playoffs can make or break a series, but the Hurricanes are no stranger to adversity. Despite their injuries during the regular season, they finished second-best in the NHL and first in the Metropolitan Division. They showed they could dominate the regular season, and it’s possible they can do the same in the postseason. They have a tough road ahead of them with the Eastern Conference matchups, but the key is for everyone to step up. Injuries happen, but if Jarvis, Martin Necas, Jordan Staal, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and others can contribute, that should be enough. Even though Teräväinen went down in Game 2, the team still came together to pull out a gutsy 4-3 win in overtime, courtesy of Jesper Fast. So, despite unfortunate circumstances, they have already shown they can pull out tough wins.
Although Teräväinen will miss the rest of the series, the team did not say he is out for the remainder of the postseason should they advance. It is a tough break for the Hurricanes, but the team still has plenty of skill on the roster. The question is if that will be enough, but if they play as a team, it should be. The road to the Stanley Cup is not easy, but now is the Hurricanes’ chance to prove they can overcome their woes.
Next: New Maple Leafs Referee Drama, Even as McCauley Sits Game 2
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