There is no shortage of blame to go around for how this season has gone for the Carolina Hurricanes. You can blame a lack of production from key players, you can blame injuries, you can blame a lack of defensive depth, or you can just throw your hands up and blame it on all three.
There’s no doubt that the Hurricanes have had their issues fighting off injury (Cam Ward) and have demonstrated that they have virtually no depth on the blue line. But while they may be the biggest reasons for the struggles of the Canes, there’s no denying that some important players have struggles.
One of those players is Tuomo Ruutu. Ruutu actually kind of fits the bill as an injured player and a big name that has struggled. One has very likely led to the other.
Ruutu has only played 11 games, having been activated on March 21st. That return was much earlier than anyone had expected, as he had undergone hip surgery and was expected to potentially be out until May. Since his return, he has just four assists in 11 games, with no goals.
He’s jumped right back into things from a physical standpoint, though. He has 37 hits in 11 games. So while one may want to look at his injury as a reason for his slow start from a points perspective, it hasn’t slowed him down along the boards. He hasn’t seen a ton of ice time this year, though, with just over 13 minutes per in those 11 games.
Coming off of a pretty poor season last year, Ruutu likely wants to get this season behind him so he can start fresh next year. It’s possible the injury has played some sort of part in his absence on the stat sheet to this point, but regardless of the reason, it’s extremely disappointing, as this Hurricanes season has become.