Coming off one of their better performances in recent memory against the Buffalo Sabres, the Winnipeg Jets now head south to North Carolina where they will face the Carolina Hurricanes in their second game of a five-game road trip.
As part of our gameday coverage, we had a few questions relating to the Sabres before puck-drop later this evening.
With that, here's Brian LeBlanc of Canes Country in today's instalment of Gameday Questionnaire:
1.How big of an addition has Alexander Semin been to the Carolina Hurricanes this year and do you see him sticking around for the long term?
He's been a huge addition, maybe the most impactful free-agent signing this franchise has had (excepting contract extensions and re-signing of the team's own free agents) since Ron Francis. That's heady company, but it's not unwarranted. Semin has been a revelation, especially defensively where it's becoming more and more obvious the Caps didn't get anywhere near his potential out of him during his time in Washington. Eric Staal just had an eleven-game point streak snapped Monday night in Montreal, one short of tying his own franchise record, and Semin had a huge hand in that streak. He's been more than advertised, no question, and the biggest uncertainty surrounding the team right now is whether they will pay Semin market value in a contract extension - and whether they can fit him under the cap, which our own C-Leaguer explored a couple of days ago. There's no doubt that Semin is a great fit here, and I would expect the Canes to do everything they can to keep him around.
2. If management was forced into a situation where they could only keep one of Justin Faulk or Jamie McBain, who should it be and why?
No question, it would be Faulk, who has emerged this season as the Canes' undisputed #1 defenseman and played more than half the game in Montreal. McBain is a serviceable defenseman, for sure, and it isn't a knock on him per se, but he has served as a healthy scratch already three times this year and is obviously rather replaceable. Faulk really isn't replaceable, especially on a blue line that's as banged up as the Hurricanes' defense corps is, and in fact there's a good chance McBain doesn't play against Winnipeg after suffering some sort of undisclosed injury in practice on Tuesday which necessitated the emergency call-up of Ryan Murphy from the Kitchener Rangers. There's no doubt that, would the Canes only be able to keep one, they would do absolutely everything possible to keep Faulk.
3. Explain to the commoner how His Airness (Michal Jordan) has only suited up for two (!) games this year? What does Kirk Muller have against MJ and/or the utilization of greatness?
Never mind that, I want to know why Jordan didn't take number 23 (which he does wear with the Charlotte Checkers) upon joining the Hurricanes. And, let's be honest, unless you're Gordie Howe it's pretty rare that you're getting much ice time at age 50. I can completely understand wanting to protect your assets, especially when there's always the spectre of a moonlighting career in baseball lurking in the background.
Ed. Note: We thank Brian for giving us his time in this edition of Gameday Questionnaire. Look for our next edition Saturday with our pals at Broad Street Hockey.