The mountain just got alot bigger as the Hurricanes dropped back down to 13th in the east after a 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Only 29 seconds into OT, Martin St. Louis charged through the defense and put one past Manny Legace to essentially crush any hope the Canes had of making the playoffs.
It’s technically not over but… well… it’s over.
The only thing left is for guys to play for roster spots and contracts for next season, so don’t expect the boys to give up anytime soon.
On a more positive note, how good is Joni Pitkanen? He played nearly 30 minutes again last night, picked up an assist, and is currently tied with Nik Lidstrom for 8th in points among defensemen with 45. He’s also played 8 fewer games than Lidstrom.
Now, we have seen this before from Joni, back in his second season with the Flyers he racked up 46 points in 58 games, but his defensive work was lacking. This season however, he has managed to be one of, if not THE, best Canes defenseman in his own zone. He’s also quietly slipped into a leadership role, helping ease the transition to the NHL game for the young d-men like Carson, Rodney and more specifically Jamie McBain, who has 5 points in his first 5 NHL games.
So here’s to Joni Pitkanen, the most underrated defenseman in the NHL, and the Hurricanes Best Player this season.
Until next time, Adieu Caniacs
About the Author
Written by Chris Cote
Originally from Cadillac, Saskatchewan, I've been a Hurricanes/Whalers fan for as long as anyone can remember. I have completed two years of Journalism studies from the University of Regina and love to write...