With just two victories from their first eight games, the Carolina Hurricanes need to turn things around — and fast — to stay on track with their goal of snapping a seven-year playoff drought.
And tonight, they’ll get some help in that department.
Ryan Murphy, who hasn’t played at all this season due to a lower-body ailment, will make his debut when the ‘Canes take on the Sens in Ottawa.
The former first-round pick will be a welcome addition to the lineup. Specifically, for sophomore Noah Hanifin, who’s struggled to find a consistent d-man partner this year after playing extended lengths of time with Murphy last season.
Head coach Bill Peters said Murphy’s presence in the lineup will make an impact.
“He’s a valuable guy,” Peters said, per the ‘Canes website. “He’s a puck-mover, and we’ve had a hard time moving the puck out of our zone in transition.”
Murphy, who’s really struggled with injuries over his four-year career, is a good skater and has nice passing vision — two attributes that should help Carolina get the puck out of its own end, which Peters alluded to.
This is also the time Carolina needs to make up ground in the standings. Having survived a tough six-game road swing to start the year, the ‘Canes have a quick two-game trip through Ottawa and Nashville before a nice stretch at home, which will see them play six of seven at PNC Arena.