The Carolina Hurricanes started off the season stronger than anyone expected, taking control of the Southeast Division for a long period of time.
Alex Semin was having a comeback season creating one of the top lines in the Eastern Conference with Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty. The acquisition of Jordan Staal looked brilliant as he created secondary scoring with line mate Jeff Skinner. Cam Ward was also playing well in goal earning wins to cement the Hurricanes as playoff favorites.
But in the past month, the tracks have fallen off for the Hurricanes, who currently sit at 13th in the Eastern Conference and have been taken over by both the Winnipeg Jets and Washington Capitals in the Southeast.
It was a simple icing touch up. One that happens close to 10 times a game, but this one went so horribly wrong for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Defenseman Joni Pitkanen was in a race with the Washington Capital’s Troy Brouwer, in a close 4-3 game, to touch the puck first. Brouwer got his stick caught in the Finnish defenseman’s skates and while most likely not on purpose, it caused Pitkanen to go awkwardly into the end boards.
The next moments featured Pitkanen writhing in pain on the ice before a stretcher had to be brought out to take him into the dressing room.