The Carolina Hurricanes have struggled to win games, and it is no surprise when you look at the players they had out of the lineup. They were forced to call up multiple rookie defensemen and some young forwards. The inexperience showed with the team only winning one of their last five games. The team will get a boost tonight when Jamie McBain, Tim Gleason and Jeff Skinner return from injury to play the Pittsburgh Penguins.
When coach Kirk Muller released the information that Jeff Skinner had another concussion, the news was devastating. Skinner had been one of the Hurricanes best forwards with 14 points in only 13 games. Skinner also missed 16 games last year with a concussion and seeing a player have multiple concussions is never a good sign. But to the fans surprise, it looks like Skinner is ready to play against the Penguins tonight. After being shut out by the Washington Capitals last game, the Canes could really use Skinner’s offensive talent.
The Hurricanes defense was in a bad position after losing three of their top four defensemen in Joni Pitkanen, Gleason and McBain. Without these players, the defense struggled allowing at least three goals in four of the last five games. Gleason is the team’s best defensive defenseman and should have a nice impact tonight against the Penguins powerful offense. Muller now has the choice to pair Gleason and Justin Faulk against superstar forward Sidney Crosby. McBain should also be able to play solid defensively and contribute on the power play. With these key players back in the lineup, the Hurricanes will look to get an important win against one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams.