The pairing of Justin Faulk and Tim Gleason has been stellar in the Carolina Hurricanes last two games. Young star Justin Faulk came out of nowhere last year making the Hurricanes squad out of camp. He was very impressive last season leading all rookies in ice time. He shows a great two-way game that leads towards the offensive side.
Gleason has been a solid defensive defenseman for the Hurricanes for years. While he doesn’t put up the points of other more offensive defensemen, he gets the job done in his own zone. Gleason will do anything for the win and is a great heart and soul player for the Hurricanes.
After the Hurricanes lost their second game of the season, coach Kirk Muller used the top defensive pairing of Faulk and Gleason. The two worked well together shutting down the other team’s top forward line. They both have rejuvenated the Hurricanes penalty kill after a poor penalty kill performance in the first game. Both players are not afraid to sacrifice their bodies to block shots.
Faulk and Gleason have a natural chemistry that is not regularly found in defensemen. Being paired with Gleason, Faulk has the freedom to join the rush offensively knowing that Gleason will stay back to prevent a large odd man rush. Faulk is second on the Canes defense with two points in four games. He scored his first goal of the season on Thursday playing the penalty kill with Gleason.
Gleason had a great game on Friday with his first point of the season assisting on Jeff Skinner’s empty net goal. He also fought Steve Ott in the first period after Ott elbowed Faulk in the corner. Gleason brought some much needed physicality to the game that the Canes had lacked in previous ones. Gleason standing up for Faulk showed his character as a player and sends a message to other teams that they will not be pushed around. Muller would be wise to keep these two defensemen together although Faulk is day to day with an upper body injury and is questionable for Monday’s game against the Boston Bruins.