Sebastian Aho’s recent streak of good luck has come to an end. The Carolina Hurricanes star forward had posted 14 points in his past 10 games entering the team’s match-up against the Calgary Flames yesterday, but was unable to notch another point or even finish another game after taking a big hit from Flames captain Mark Giordano. While the hit was high – and drew a match penalty – head coach Bill Peters indicated after the game that Aho may have suffered a knee injury in addition to his head injury.
While it remains unclear which injury is to blame (most likely a combination of both), ’Canes beat writer Chip Alexander reports this evening that those initial post-game concerns were warranted. Carolina has revealed that Aho is out indefinitely with a concussion and lower-body injury. Alexander does add that the lower-body injury, suspected to be a knee injury, did not require Aho to undergo surgery, which could help him return to action sooner rather than later.
While the Hurricanes are fortunate enough to have activated veteran forwards Lee Stempniak and Marcus Kruger off of injured reserve last week, their presence alone won’t be enough to make up for the loss of Aho. The 20-year-old winger leads the team with both 16 goals and 37 points and has been especially effective of late as Carolina looks to stick around the playoff picture in the ultra-competitive Metropolitan Division. What may help to offset the Aho injury is the fact that the ’Canes have just begun their bye week, potentially lessening the impact of Aho’s absence if he returns within a relatively short amount of time. Only time will tell how long the team will be without Aho, but the longer “indefinitely” lasts and he remains sidelined, the less and less likely it is that Carolina makes the playoffs this season.