Hurricanes’ Faulk returns to practice, admits he probably came back too soon last time

Associated Press

The Carolina Hurricanes aren’t in the playoff picture, but they’ve had a better season than many had anticipated. The Hurricanes were in the thick of the postseason picture for a while. Unfortunately for them, things kind of fell apart for a number of reasons.

One of those reasons is because they’ve been without their offensive force on defense, Justin Faulk. The 24-year-old came out of the lineup because of an ankle injury on Feb. 12. He missed six consecutive games before making his return to the lineup in a big game against Philadelphia on Feb. 23. In hindsight, that probably wasn’t the best idea.

“At that point I think we were four points out (of playoff position),” Faulk said, per The News & Observer. “Games are important at that point and I tried playing through it and things didn’t go as well as I wanted in that game and the next practice, too. It just didn’t look right and we took a look at it again and decided I should take some time off and let it heal.”

Faulk has been out of the lineup ever since, but he and the ‘Canes finally got some good news, as he was able to return to practice on Monday. He definitely makes the Hurricanes a better team, but at this point their hopes of making the playoffs are all but extinct because Carolina went 6-6-5 during Faulk’s absence.

“We hope to get him back soon,” coach Bill Peters said. “He’ll be a big boost, not only on our five-on-five play but on the power play.

“A big injury that changed the dynamic of our team to a degree. Now, we’re not as heavy. We don’t spend as much time in the offensive zone.”

The Hurricanes are seven points out of a Wild Card spot with just 10 games remaining.

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    VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

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    Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

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    Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

    The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

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    Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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    SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

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