The Carolina Hurricanes announced today that All-Star defenseman Justin Faulk is considered “week-to-week” with an upper body injury. Faulk was injured in the third period of the Hurricanes game against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday and will be out of the lineup for the rematch tonight. Although Faulk has not yet been placed on injured reserve, that does not mean that he will not be out of the lineup long-term. Coach Bill Peters said that more will be known about the undisclosed injury once preliminary MRI results come back.
Carolina’s second-round pick in 2010, Faulk has quickly developed into a star on the blue line in Raleigh. After becoming a regular player at just 19, the 24-year-old now sits in a leadership position as the centerpiece of a young defense core for the Hurricanes. Faulk has 161 points in 337 career games, all while logging top pair minutes. Thus far in 2016-17 he leads the ’Canes in ice time and is fourth on the team in goals (3) and points (3).
Faulk’s rank among Carolina skaters is a good indication as to how well the team is playing. At 3-5-3, the Hurricanes sit at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division. Not only have they been unable to score, but even with a healthy Faulk the defense has struggled. Carolina is currently allowing 3.5 goals per game, and with Faulk out of the lineup, the pressure is on for youngsters Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, and Noah Hanifin to prevent that mark from further inflation. Replacing the minutes and production of Faulk is a daunting task, and it seems like more hard times are on the way for the rebuilding Hurricanes.