With the State Fair rolling into town, the Carolina Hurricanes are prepared to roll out.
Though they will return to Raleigh for practices on Monday and Tuesday, the Hurricanes will play their next seven games on the road, including two stops in Detroit and a swing out West to Colorado, Los Angeles and San Jose.
“We’re going to need everybody. Going to need all four lines and all three sets of D. If you go deeper than that, guys coming into the lineup have to come in and be ready to play. Going to need both goaltenders over the seven games. Some back-to-backs in there,” head coach Bill Peters said after practice on Wednesday. “We’re going to have to do it as a group and make sure we’re the hardest working team as we go on the road.”
With a recent rash of injuries that have cropped up – Riley Nash is likely out for another week with a shoulder injury, and Joakim Nordstrom is still feeling the ill effects of blocking a shot against Detroit on Saturday – the Canes recalled forward Brock McGinn and defenseman Brett Pesce to carry extra bodies on the road.
“You just don’t know in this game what can happen,” Peters said on Thursday. “You can be perfectly fine in the morning, post-pregame skate and all of a sudden, somebody becomes ill and can’t play. I don’t want to be short.”
McGinn will slot in immediately, skating on the left wing with Eric Staal in the middle and Kris Versteeg opposite.
“It’s for sure exciting. You dream of this every day coming to the rink. You want to be up here with the big club,” McGinn said after joining the team at practice on Thursday. “For it to happen and for me to get that opportunity, it’s definitely a big stepping stone for me.”
The 21-year-old winger impressed the coaching staff from Traverse City through training camp and the preseason, being one of the final players assigned to Charlotte as Opening Night neared.
“I definitely felt more comfortable and felt like I found my game,” McGinn said.
“He played real well opening weekend at the American League level, he had a good camp for us, and deserves the opportunity to play,” Peters said.
McGinn carried that momentum into the regular season with Charlotte, as he scored twice in the team’s first game, a 4-1 win.
“I definitely have confidence after getting a couple of goals in the first game,” he said. “We played a good team game and had a good comeback in the second game, as well, so I’m coming in here playing good.”
Now, McGinn has a chance to showcase his skillset, a valuable blend of sandpaper and speed, with the big club.
“I love that gritty style, and I think it helps out the team and brings energy to the guys,” McGinn said. “I definitely want to bring that for sure.”
“He’s a tenacious, gritty, two-way guy,” Peters said. “He’s got good speed to him. He knows how to play and plays the game the right way. He does a lot of the little things, a lot of attention to detail, which is what stands out to me. He’s real close to being a full-time guy, and we’ll see how this audition goes.”
The recall of Pesce gives the Hurricanes seven healthy defensemen, and whether the University of New Hampshire product works his way in to a game this weekend will be determined after Friday. Pesce, 20, was a point-per-game player for Charlotte over the weekend, notching a goal and an assist in the team’s two victories.
“We’ll see,” Peters said. “We’ll evaluate our D corps after the game tomorrow and make a decision Saturday for Washington.”
is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.Email