Justin Faulk Not Being A Star At Winter Olympics Helps Carolina Hurricanes

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While the Carolina Hurricanes have a nice complement of players headed to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, none will be more scrutinized than defenseman Justin Faulk.

While the debate on Eric Staal‘s omission from the Team Canada roster rages on, the question of Faulk’s place on Team USA remains. In recent months, Faulk is putting numbers up, however, he’s also becoming a part-time liability. On a pairing with current golden boy Andrej Sekera, Faulk has all the tools to succeed.  The only problem is he isn’t — and thinks he is.

As does the Hurricanes PR department.

As Faulk’s visibility rises in Carolina, the only logical thing to do was make a case for the Olympics. Nobody blames anyone for this. Every NHL team wants a player on as many Olympic squads as they can, and Faulk seemed to be the only real candidate for the American team. With a big build-up, his issues with in-game situational awareness and rink vision tended to get glossed over.

However not qualified Faulk might be for Sochi, it can ultimately be a teachable moment for him.

Faulk is a big fish in a small pond in Carolina. He’s a top line defenseman on a team with no real superstars. Carolina has their share of stars but none on the level of a Zach Parise or Jonathan Toews. Staal, Alexander Semin, and Jeff Skinner are stars but not stratosphere superstars. So Faulk is able to be the big man on a small campus. In Sochi, he’s behind some more qualified guys. It is never a bad idea for any top line player to be reminded what the bench feels like.

For Faulk to enter the Olympic tournament with any sense of entitlement is to allow his ego to rule his skates. Faulk made that team by the tape on his stick and needs to not only compete for the gold, but learn a thing or two about his place in the hockey community.

There’s a lot of work to be done when Faulk returns to Raleigh after the break. A lot of that work needs to be done on the back end where Faulk ought to be in charge. Coming down the stretch, Faulk is going to need to be the shutdown man — and not the leader. Staal and the rest of the elder statesmen have this covered. Sitting number two or three behind some other folks ought to be the shock to Faulk’s system he needs to gain the humility needed for a late season run.

Michael Peckerar is a Hurricanes writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @peckrants, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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  • Jonathan

    You’re way off in your assessment about Faulk, to the point where I question whether the Hurricane writer for RantSports actually watches the Hurricanes at all.

    • Al Willig

      My heavens, yes is he ever wrong. He’s so wrong that it seems like a personal vendetta. I’m not a Hurricanes fan but I watch them quite a bit and Faulk’s play clearly stands out for the good things he does.

    • TU

      I am a 10 year+ Canes fan. Faulk gets a lot of love, some of which I attribute to his good looks, great attitude, and strong skating. That said, the writer is spot-on in his comment regarding “in-game situational awareness and rink vision”. Too many goals where 5 seconds before I think, “Faulk’s lost out there”.

      Endless potential, but needs to work on his game on both ends of the ice. For the Canes, his own end is of primary concern. Some games, he’s a defensive liability. Shouldn’t be with the tools he has to work with.

      A few recent -3 games leading up the Olympic break probably impacted his playing time so far.

  • Michael Patterson

    Did Faulk bang your sister or something dude? What are you his dam father?? Talk about someone needing an ego check……. For a being just a damn internet writer you sure do think highly of yourself to make judgments on a persons psyche like that.

  • butts@butts.com

    Picking young D-men for your roster never works out right? Just ask Doughty…Faulk wasn’t even a bubble player to make the roster if you were listening to anybody that actually knew what they were talking about and not just skimming bleacherreport and this site.

  • David

    Actually, he’s a big fish in a quiet pond. If Faulk played in NY, Toronto, Chicago..etc.. he’d be a household name. And if that was the case and he had not been selected for the Olympic team, you would’ve written an article about what an injustice it was.

  • ICatchBadGuys

    Faulk is as solid a responsible, stay at home defenseman as the “modern” game will allow. He is rarely out of position, moves the puck well and never “panics” when under pressure. I am a Hurricanes fan that lives on the west coast and watch him EVERY game. You couldn’t be more wrong about his play. In fact, I can’t believe the USA benched him in the opener. He is a much more solid player when it comes to the international game than a guy like Orpik or Martin.