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formerwhalerfan

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Everything posted by formerwhalerfan

  1. It's funny to me, watching the games on TV, how some other announcers preview The Hurricanes by saying they have a young defense so, look for a lot of turnovers and bad defensive plays. The announcers who actually know anything about this team, know that the young defense is impressive. At times, it seems like it's the veterans that cause the turnovers that cost the team a win. I am amazed at all the young defensemen and how well they are playing. I never thought it would happen this soon. The big test will be the grind of a full season, to see how they handle that and if they can keep their level of play up. My question is, and always has been with this team most years, now that they are finding some offensive success by buzzing into the scoring areas (slot, blue paint), why why why does it take 30 games for the team to realize this? Why do other teams seem to start The Season on time, but our team has to fall out of playoff position before they realize that? I'm not tough enough to be a hockey player. I realize, no one wants to stand in front of the net and get the crap cross checked out of them. But guys, you're millionaires. That's what you're paid to do, if necessary, to score and win games. And they are doing it, now. Why weren't they doing it in October?
  2. Is Joni recovered from his broken foot? Is he still part of the team?
  3. After last night, I have to agree. The playoffs are a long shot now IMO. The Canes would have to depend on the teams in front to lose and we would have to probably win out. Not likely. Even if we did make it, we would only face teams we could barely get points on all season anyway in Washington, Boston or Philly. There is something missing from this team. When the defense seemed bad all year, they went out and got a couple of new guys, but the result is the same. The team has been pretty healthy all year, while the other teams in the race are more banged up but are finding ways to win. There just seems to be no magic this season. Even when the Canes have a third period lead, I just sit back and wait for the late tying goal, and hope they can make it to OT for a point. It's pretty sad when the game winner in a crucial tilt like last night is an empty netter from 180 feet. Staal has got to be stronger on the puck and not just let it go when he gets poke checked or bumped. Maybe he is not 100%. The long floaters or wristers to the far high glove side were beating Ward 2 years ago, I don't know why he slides across to the short side and exposes that far side again. Not sure if he can be the workhorse the Canes need him to be, this might be signs of fatigue. On the plus side, Skinner is exciting to watch and Cole seems to have better legs under him than when he was a rookie. Corvo seems capable of more minutes and still has a great shot. He just has to work on hitting the net with it. And no doubt, this is a hard working team from one end of the lineup to the other.
  4. Oooookay.... "you have to think when you play at the point you dont take wrist shots anyone knows that" Tell that to Ray Bourque, Zdeno Chara, and other offensive defensemen and I think they would disagree.
  5. Joni moves the puck a lot better than Corvo, and he looses control of it a lot less than Joe, but you are right. What is with all the lazy penalties?
  6. Leighton played good in todays game, he made some great saves especially in the shootout. I'm glad he got the win! He totally sucked on the third goal though, and the Wild Announcers described it best. They basically said he went down on the initial shot and was at a terrible angle, but then he never got up. He tried to stretch to make the save at the other post.. If he goes down, he has to get up and recover to make the next save. I hope he realizes and works on that.
  7. He's teeny...I mean I thought Irbe was small when he got down! But he's got a lightning fast glove. And he seems to stay pretty calm in goal, like when he did get out of position against the Islanders and skated across the crease to casually nab the puck from a sure goal. Everyone was like, where is it? He seems a little more weak on the stick side, which is probably why most teams are shooting there. Or, they just try to cause traffic and confusion and get him out of position. I've already seen signs that the communication with the defense behind the net is improving, it was scary in the beginning. But, even veteran experienced teams struggle with that at times (IE Tim Thomas and Wideman behind the net last night in the overtime of the Bruins game). He may come out of his crease to stop the puck behind the net, but he doesn't seem to get out of position as Leighton does. I really hate watching an opposing forward walk in and stick handle a little and Leighton over commits and follows him into the corner, like he totally forgets where the net is. It's such a scary sight when the puck gets centered and the net is vacant.
  8. [quote name='caniac247 wrote: formerwhalerfan'] Michael Leighton is not the same goalie he was 2 years ago. There can be no excuses playing goal in the NHL. So rust, confidence, new baby (Congratulations! ), poor defense in front are not an option. He has proved by the way he played in the two chances he had so far this year that he doesn't belong in the NHL. An NHL backup goalie has to practice hard and be ready to carry the load when called upon. You don't step into your first opportunity after who knows how long on the bench and put up a stinker like he did in Philly. As Tripp was saying late in that game, the team is struggling and you have a goalie in net who is not fighting to see the puck.The short side goal he allowed last night is a rookie or AHL level mistake. I can run up the score like that on my Playstation Hockey Game by deking right and shooting left. His head was spinning the last two games he played. The puck goes around the net in back and he immediately goes down and slides to the other post, trying to locate it. He even said about the injury to Ward "I didn't see what happened," Leighton said. "All I saw was him on the ground.".This guy is not into it, and his play shows it. Last I checked this team has ONLY won 2 games out of 16. Leighton has ONLY played in 2 games. If the team was winning in front of Cam, you might have point, but I can't even remember the last time Cam won a game. If Cam who is an elite goalie can't win games with this team, how do you expect a back up too? If we go off of what you are saying, guess Cam isn't a true #1 either since he's only won 2 games, right. I understand your point, and it's a good one. From what I'veseen in Cam's play, at times he's stood on his head already this yearto try and get the team a win. But, the team can't score to supporthim. Tripp has said many times (of the opponents too) remember Thatsave! Because that could be the difference in the game. The rest ofthe team has shown no magic and no ability to finish in spite of Cam'splay which at times has looked very good. With Cam giving upclose to 3 goals a game, the team would have to average over 4obviously to win. Cam is the go to guy in net, so in back of a teamthat can't score he gets the loses in his stats. That was oneissue I had with Laviolette, I think he wanted to split up thegoaltending duties during the season so no one would burn out. Mauricecame in and obviously said Cam has a cup, he's number one, he's theworkhorse, let's see how he does. Seems he has said the same aboutCorvo and Pitkanen. These guys are well paid professionals, let's seewhat they've got. In the opportunitiesMichael has had, he has looked weak. Most backups would relish thechance to start. He has looked amateurish, unsure, rusty, notchallenged the shooter, too deep in net, overcommiting on shots, non ofwhich are qualities that keep you in an NHL level goalie position,backup or not. Kevin Weekes, or even Steve Weeks (he relieved aninjured Mike Liut in 1986 playoffs), or even Martin Gerber, were allgood quality backups. Remember when Cam needed relief in 2006 in theplayoffs? Gerber stepped in to game in the third round having notplayed since game one in the first round and got a win. Excellent!Kudos to Mr. Rutherford for signing Legace and not throwing in the towel on this season.
  9. He's a professional (or, he's supposed to be). Ward is the #1 goalie, he won The Cup. Leighton knows this. When he does get the call, that is his opportunity to show he can be counted on in a backup roll, because obviously the team doesn't need another #1. He has failed to show me that he is prepared when he does get the opportunity to start a game, and that he is able to carry the team if Ward is unavailable. If he wants to blame his lackluster play on lack of game time or rust then he is with the wrong team because that is his role with this team. If he wants more playing time, he's gonna get it for the next 4 weeks. I will be surprised if he can handle it.
  10. [quote name='Evenstrength18 wrote: formerwhalerfan wrote: Evenstrength18']I defintely agree about Brind'Amour, he should be stripped of his C and scratched for now. The last time this franchise stripped a Captain of his C it was Coach Rick Ley doing it to Ron Francis, and it was not the answer to fix the Whalers. It just shook the foundation of the whole team. Nothing good came of it. Any organization with class just doesn't do that to a veteran player that was key in winning the Teams only Stanley Cup. Brind'Amour has lost a step somehow but he is NOT dead weight. He is playing the game and struggling just as the entire team is. And as far as coaching, is the team not trying? Are they not skating? Are they not hitting? Are they not getting chances? Even in the blow out games they lost last weekend, they did not play that poorly and they even had several break away chances themselves. The past two games, I thought their defensive coverage was good. EVERY game EVERY team will give up chances against, give up breakaways against, take penalties, miss assignments, etc. It's a game of mistakes. A different coach cannot teach players how to put the puck in the net. The system the coach and his staff employs creates defense and offensive chances, but in the end the players themselves have to dent the twine. It does not seem like Brind'Amour is leading this team. Granted we cannot see what is going on in the locker room. He has lost something, but in the past games I see him in the corners, he's had golden opportunities in the high slot and gotten off shots, to me that's leading by example. He's also not losing his cool on the ice over the whole situation. But I guess his injuries and (dare I say it) age don't allow him the ability to go wide and break in anymore. But he still seems to be doing what needs to be done to win, for whatever reason they just aren't.
  11. I hope that happens also, or it may be too late to right this ship. It may be too late already.
  12. The point I was trying to make was to the post before mine, if Patrick Eaves was the key to our success then the other players that left may have been also, so let's get them back too and get back to the Eastern Conference Finals! The real point being, somehow the team is working very hard with the worst possible results and since they are NOT a bunch of no talent bums, the team lost it's chemistry somehow.
  13. Right! Who would want to dive down and get hit with his bomb! I don't think our D are that bad, but you are totally correct, they are afraid to shoot. They are always looking for the perfect pass to someone who will shoot. Pitkanen looks like he's been given a green light to do anything and I like it. He's playing so many minutes that at times he is not as hard on the defensive end, but I like the idea of giving this guy free reign to get something going. He's made some great rushes and setups too, which is what the team needs. Corvo has a great shot too, but I'm tired of hearing "Corvo shoots, wide" or "Corvo winds up, shoots, misses the net". Why don't these players work on their accuracy? Even some of the plays in last nights game, lift the puck up a foot off the ice when Mason was down and they would have scored. They have no problem flipping the thing up 4 feet to the linesman after a whistle, try doing that near the net during gameplay!
  14. The last time this franchise stripped a Captain of his C it was Coach Rick Ley doing it to Ron Francis, and it was not the answer to fix the Whalers. It just shook the foundation of the whole team. Nothing good came of it. Any organization with class just doesn't do that to a veteran player that was key in winning the Teams only Stanley Cup. Brind'Amour has lost a step somehow but he is NOT dead weight. He is playing the game and struggling just as the entire team is. And as far as coaching, is the team not trying? Are they not skating? Are they not hitting? Are they not getting chances? Even in the blow out games they lost last weekend, they did not play that poorly and they even had several break away chances themselves. The past two games, I thought their defensive coverage was good. EVERY game EVERY team will give up chances against, give up breakaways against, take penalties, miss assignments, etc. It's a game of mistakes. A different coach cannot teach players how to put the puck in the net. The system the coach and his staff employs creates defense and offensive chances, but in the end the players themselves have to dent the twine.
  15. Bring back Seidenberg, Kaberle and Babchuk!
  16. Congratulations to the Pens for winning The Cup! As Chuck Kaiton (and others, I'm sure) has said in the past, if your team is going to be eliminated from the playoffs you hope it's by the team that goes on to win the Stanley Cup. That way, you can say that your team was beaten by the best team in hockey and that no other team was able to beat that team that year either. Marc-Andre-Fleury, what an awesome performance in game 7! Two simply spectacular saves in the final seconds to preserve the Cup win! Watch the second save in slow motion...he doesn't just jump to his right in desperation, he pushes off his skate twice to stay in position before making the second save. Awesome! Does it take anything away from winning the Cup when it's won on the road? The Detroit fans were pretty good, and I'm all for booing Gary Bettman (lol) but it didn't seem like the fans were very respectful of the Pens win. Even in "hockeytown", once it's over, it's over and the fans should realize this and at least give some applause to both teams and to the Pens when they raised The Cup. Sure didn't seem like they were on the TV coverage. Sounded like some pretty loud boos when some players hoisted The Cup too. Not impressed.
  17. I believe in the superstition, but I liked what Crosby said afterward. They did the superstitious thing last year and it didn't work for them, so why not hoist the thing this year? And, they have Mario's history to break any superstition anyway. Crosby made a good call. Detroit won't be easy, but they do have some injuries, and the Pens are better this year than last, plus they have the experience of what it's like to lose in the finals just like the Canes did in '02. I think the Pens have a very good chance. Time to bring the Cup back to the East!
  18. Canes fans are the best. Period. From the New York Times online, back in 1993: "As recently as the 1990-91 season, the Whalers averaged 12,621 fans. But last season, when at one stretch the team went 14 games without a victory, the Whalers averaged only 10,659. Ironically, they drew even fewer spectators during their playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens, usually a big hockey attraction even in Hartford. At one (home playoff) game against Montreal, only 5,602 people attended, while another playoff game drew fewer than 8,000 spectators." I remember people in the stands during those playoff games with signs saying "where they hell is everyone?". It was shameful, I'll never forget it. It was so sad. In Hartford, there were a solid small group of good fans, but the fans in Carolina really know how to support your team. I was moved by the ovation at the end of the game, and I feel the same. They had a great season and gave the fans great memories in the post season. I know the players and coaches appreciate the excellent fans they have in Raleigh.
  19. The defensive lapses cost them the series. Pitkanen has to either take Crosby, or take the pass away, he did neither. And Babchuk should have latched onto Guerin and riden him out, instead he stopped skating and watched him score. These are mindset problems, that can be corrected. And this defense corps is very young, so this serves as a learning experience. It's too bad that Cullen waited until the third period of an elimination game to make one of the best Crosby / Malkin like moves I've ever seen down the slot to get to the net and get a shot on goal, along with drawing a penalty. What a move! But, too late. He should have been doing that in game 1. It's too bad Corvo waited until late in the third period to dazzle, out manuever and rush the puck into the zone, finally. Again, start in game 1. I was so hoping it wouldn't end @ 4-1. The game winning goal, was the worst I've ever seen against this franchise. To borrow a Chuck Kaiton phrase: "UNBELIEVABLE!" Congrats to the Pens and their fans. And congrats to The Canes! First trip back to the playoffs since The Cup, and it was a great run! History making games, excitement like I've never seen! Lots of firsts. Two game seven wins on the road, a game seven win in OT, first time beating the Bruins in post season. A successful season, in my book, that ended a bit too early. They went farther than I expected, a lot farther.
  20. Anyone saying the Canes can't offensively keep up with the Pens, I disagree with. Sure some of the chances the Canes have had would have been put in by the more talented Pens players. But offense we have, defense we don't. The Pens are walking all over our defense. Good defense is a state of mind more that an act of talent. Anyone can play good defense, if they put their mind to it. All the 5 players on the ice have to do is move up and down as a group, take your man, have patience and put your head on a swivel. That doesn't take talent, it takes mindset and effort. Ok, so maybe a 5-10 winger won't be able to effectively check Zdeno Chara. But the Canes have good, sizable mobile and smart defensemen and forwards who are for some reason all having brain fade at the same time. Eric Staal is a big powerful forward with speed who isn't able to walk to the net in this series because he's being run into. Why is someone, anyone, not running into Malkin? Why isn't someone tying up Crosby, even if there's a penalty on the play? The refs are letting lots of interference go, but the Canes players refuse to be physical on these talented players until the play is already in our net. Why? Canes out of gas? But the Pens only played one less game than the Canes. Ward injured? I would guess no, he just can't stop talent of this level if left out to dry by the rest of his teammates. The Pens are that good, and are playing at the top of their game. The Canes are not that bad, their group of forwards and defensemen are a good talented group. For some reason, mentally, they are not there. Being down 0-3, would it be any easier to take as fans if they had lost 2 of those blowout games in OT instead? Look back to how close the Finals were in '02. Was that an easier series to take, losing in 5 to Detroit? Would it be easier to take, if the Canes were "just that close" or "one shot away" in every game? Losing is losing. Two teams have come back to win from 0-3. The Pens would need to have a massive collapse, and the Canes would have to all of a sudden snap out of their mental funk and solve the Pens offense for that to happen. Canes record in the playoffs round three: 2-0
  21. Isn't that what an unbiased broadcast is supposed to do? I mean, isn't it better to show his mom than to show a replay on a penalty or actually to do a proper call and analysis on a game being played?
  22. But is that coaching, or bad decision making on the fly by the players? I've always wondered that. When the Pens on the defense, you can watch their players slowly zero in on the puck handler, and check and pin him to the boards even if he passes the puck. The Canes players skate away from defensive zone checks sometimes, instead of finishing them, in somewhat of a passive box. Over and over again. Why? Is it the coaches, or are players tired and unwilling to be physical? Look at the Malkin goal to make it 3-1. The Canes had 4 if not 5 players in the slot area, plenty to defend, and not one player forgot the puck ran into Malkin. I'm all for swinging sticks at pucks to break up passes and stick handling, but at some point they have to latch on and slam these talented players, not just let them skate free. The Crosby goal...he should have been in the net on his behind, or into the boards. That pass was a mile away, time for the Canes defenseman to react and check the pass receiver, Crosby. They are letting plays happen, waiting for Ward to make the save, and then regaining possession. Over and over, it's not working in this series. Again, is this the Canes coaching strategy and system against the Pens? Or, are the Canes players just outmatched?
  23. That was an awesome shot by Eaves! I think in the past Mo has said something like the team has to play in such a way as to give Ward a chance to be a difference maker in a game. I thought the team played well enough to give him that chance. There were some goals that just couldn't be stopped, but I didn't see any huge breakdowns. I've seen this type of play for years, it's like a pattern play. The Team while on defense allows the opposition to come in to the zone and take their shot on goal, the save is made and then puck possession is regained and the team goes on offense. The flaw is the team waits for the shot on Ward, before they take puck possession again for offense. If the save isn't made, you're in the hole. The key is to block shots, swing the sticks along the ice to break up passes and pursue the puck and TAKE possession BEFORE the shot is taken. They did it for part of the game. But the team allowed 42 shots last night. While Cam has made great saves....the goal to tie it at 3, he has to stop....The goal to make it 4-3 Pens, he made the first move and was down....Malkins hat trick goal, he goes down and was down whenever someone goes behind the net with speed. Backhanders are deceptive, but watch the replay. If he's standing, he makes the save. When you can pinpoint goals like that and if he made the saves, The Canes would have outscored them it could have made the difference in the outcome. BIG saves at the right time. After the Pens went up 6-4, there was a perfect centering pass and deflection on goal, Fleury made the save. Then, Whitney bombed one from top of the circle, off Fluery's shoulder and off the cross pipe. Same as game one. The Canes have chances, Fleury has the answer. Even with some true Pens fans saying they have no confidence in Fleury, he is making the big saves when needed and he's outplaying Ward right now. On Malkins hat trick goal, the Canes defenseman was shadowing him close and was right on him for coverage, skating right with him. He got off a blind backhand, which is all the defenseman gave him. If Ward stands up, no goal. The Canes players, as with any players, just get mesmerized watching the speed of the Pens. They have to skate with them. The Canes are a fast team too, but the Pens on defense are skating with our forwards, limiting some of the Canes chances. The Canes defensemen are not keeping up with the Pens forwards, they are just too quick. Next game, all checking on Malkin and watch Crosby break out. This may get ugly.
  24. Fleury was just amazing, he robbed several goals. Ward robbed a couple too. The Canes always seem to play a clean game by the rules, and don't seem to get away with a lot of violations without getting called for penalties. Here we are again in another series, where I am seeing plenty of interference of their players on our forwards in front of the Pens net, away from the puck and play. Staal checks someone in the corner with the puck at his feet, and that's interference? Cole goes to the net, gets good position on the Pens defender who goes flying into Fleury, and Cole gets interference and wipes out the tying goal? Whoever posted that The Canes would be playing this series 5 on 9 most of the time was pretty accurate so far.
  25. The Bruins announcers did say that there was an electric feeling in the building, it sure didn't sound like it. When you can hear each slap of a stick on the ice on a TV broadcast....guess what....it ain't that loud. It seems like the Bruins fans have become so used to their team taking over games offensively like they did in game 1 that they just wait for it to happen and cheer when it does. Let's hope the Canes give them reasons to keep quiet in game 2. The rivalry began 20 years ago when the teams were 100 miles apart geographically. Since they haven't played against each other in the playoffs in 10 years and never faced each other in the more intense second round, this is uncharted territory. I think the Bruins are too hot to stop, the only chance the Canes have is to be more patient and wait for chances. But they HAVE TO CASH IN WHEN THEY GET CHANCES. Everyone saw last night the Bruins are just too dangerous and talented when given odd man breaks. And last night they were GIVEN the breaks on a silver platter. Blind passes cross ice with traffic? This was not the Canes "A" game. And just so I understand, coming off a 7 game series in which there was mild controversy about goalie interference outside of the blue paint.... So, our player AFTER A GOAL WAS SCORED tries to jump over and avoid Tim Thomas when Thomas was 2 feet outside the blue crease and gets goalie interference penalty, but after the third Boston goal the Bruins player runs into Ward when Ward is completely in the blue paint and there's no penalty?
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