4.18.24 Notebook

RALEIGH, NC. - "It's the best time of the year," could be heard several times throughout the Carolina Hurricanes' locker room on Thursday.

Since the onset of training camp, this was where the group wanted to be.  It's not the final destination, but it is the entry point toward that.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are here.

An 82-game regular season was a formality, but it was far from meaningless.

Earning wins in 52 of those contests, the team learned several lessons that they can carry with them as they begin their quest for 16 more.

Adjustments were made, obstacles were overcome, and acquisitions were brought in.  Now it's time for the group to try and put it all together, in an effort to be the last team standing.

Fast's Injury Status Still Largely Unknown...

After having to be helped off the ice during Tuesday's second period in Columbus, forward Jesper Fast did not participate in today's practice.

A concerning situation, it is the third injury that is causing him to miss time in 2024.

The veteran winger suffered a concussion on December 30 in Toronto that held him out for three games and then on March 19, against the Islanders, he suffered an upper-body injury that caused him to miss another six games.

Rod Brind'Amour didn't have much to offer on the situation following the skate, other than saying it is doubtful he'll practice tomorrow. When asked if it is an injury that could keep him out long-term, the head coach said, "I don't know. We'll see."

Responsible at both ends of the ice, Fast plays an important role within the Canes lineup and was a key contributor during last year's run.

"Quickie" had two overtime winners during the 2023 postseason, including Round 1, Game 2 against the Islanders.

Fast scored the overtime winner in Game 2 against the New York Islanders in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Svechnikov Eager To Contribute This Year...

On the healthier side of things, Andrei Svechnikov is itching to make the most of the playoffs after having to watch last year's from the press box.

An ACL tear in March robbed the now 24-year-old of a fifth consecutive postseason, but now he's 100% and looking forward to rising to the occasion.

"I feel great. I feel (like I'm in) the best shape ever, to be honest," #37 said as he fielded questions from reporters.  "I feel confident... I feel light on the ice and today felt pretty good.  Now I need to move that confidence and that game to the playoffs."

Outside of a 10-game goalless stretch during March, Svechikov was an impact player for the Canes this season.

Producing 52 points in 59 games after starting his season late and then missing time due to an upper-body injury in December and January, he'll be counted on for scoring over the next few weeks.  He'll also be called upon to bring some physicality to the group.

"I love it.  It's kind of my game," he continued when asked about the level of intensity rising during the postseason.  "Whatever it takes, I will do it."

Potential Lineup Preview...

Svechnikov worked alongside Jordan Staal and Jordan Martinook at Thursday's skate, a combination that we'd seen with some frequency over the back half of the regular season.

Albeit Rod Brind'Amour cautions the media to not read too far into who skates with whom at practices, here's how Carolina looked on Thursday morning -

Guentzel - Aho - Jarvis

Teravainen - Drury - Necas

Martinook - Staal - Svechnikov

Kotkaniemi - Kuznetsov - Noesen (Lemieux)


Slavin - Burns

Skjei - Pesce

Orlov - Chatfield

Morrow - DeAngelo


Frederik Andersen was in the net closest to the team's bench, normally denoted as the "starter's crease" during morning skates, while Pyotr Kochetkov was at the opposite end of the ice.

Spencer Martin skated with Jackson Blake and Bradly Nadeau before the team's full skate, the beginning of the team's "Black Aces" group.

And in case you missed it, Dylan Coghlan and Max Comtois were reassigned to their respective AHL teams on Wednesday.