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About top-shelf-1

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    Dr. Gonzo

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  1. But not consistently, and that's the problem: You never know which Canes you're going to get. Boston--you freakin' know, every time out. Over the years, rem, we've both watched innumerable games where this team comes out strong, flying. The forecheck's going, they're finishing checks in every zone, they score early--and the next thing you know, they are letting the play come to them, instead of continuing to dictate it. Or they come out totally flat and lose big to a mediocre team--only to completely dominate the next game, which always, somehow, seems to be against whomever's in first place in the conference. Physicality is definitely finishing checks and standing up for each other, but it is so much more. It's having both the stamina and the will--no, the burning desire--to play hard for every puck, and to take the play to the opponent every single shift of every single period of every single game, all season long. And guys who play that way tend to miss fewer games due to injury, because when someone does get hurt, 99 times out of 100, it is not the aggressor. (Except Micheal Ferland.) To me, the culture on this team will not be where it needs to be until this is how everybody approaches every game, and possesses both the skill and the physical capacity to play that way, 60 minutes a night.
  2. And it's all about awareness, and being unwilling to get rolled. It is not a difficult play, but you have to want the contact and to make the guy think twice next time he's thinks about targeting you. Our guys are too often shying away from contact, and I literally cannot recall the last time any Cane threw a reverse.
  3. If by this you are inferring that L.A. was not BOTH a highly skilled and physical team, I know a bunch of players who lost to them that would love to debate that with you. Chicago won two Cups in that same period and were willing to be physical when they had to be. The Craps were very arguably as physical as they were skilled, and so were St. Louis. And that's really my point: If we agree that hitting cleanly and being willing (and knowing when) to toss the mitts adds a dimension--and I think we do--why would you not teach it, and require guys to learn it and to use it, the same as you do every other aspect of the game?
  4. Yes, but they have to do it right, meaning not only legally but so they are not getting hurt, and while I'd like to think Roddy can make that happen, I believe we need a coach specifically detailed to the task of teaching guys how to hit--because despite Roddy and Peters before him preaching it again and again, nobody on this team would consistently go to the net in the past five years, save one, and it's the last guy to drop the mitts: Willy. All the players you list, Rem, need to both learn how to hit and then to do more of it, by which I mean finish checks. And speaking of Finnish Czechs, TT, Aho, Necas and future "elite" (read: European) players need to know how to hit too, because if you don't understand physics in this game, you're going to be on the losing end as often as not. Hitting is a part of it, just like sniping and stickhandling and passing. It's a skill--and if you don't possess it, you will pay in both lost man-games and lost games period. Anyone on the ice who cannot anticipate a hit from an opposing player and throw a reverse shouldn't be on the ice in the first place. It should come as naturally as wanting to score goals.
  5. I think you hit the nail on the head. McAvoy and Marchard look like pests (at best) to our homer eyes (and flagrant takers of liberties at worst). But we'd change our tunes if they were Canes. I am hoping both that we can hang onto Fleury and that he becomes the kind of intimidating Dman you're talking about. I'd like Pesce to turn up the "in-your-face" level of his on-ice persona, too. Hams and Slavin don't need to be "those" guys, but every D needs a guy or two who plays lots of minutes, and spends most of those minutes playing the man. When you've got that physical element and speed, you've got the two things that tip games in your favor late, because together, they wear teams down.
  6. On the whole physicality topic, first and foremost, can we please stop equating "goonery" and physicality? Nobody's advocating going back to the days of four-hour games with 135 penalty minutes. But it is also inaccurate to claim that "the other guy won't dance" or that you're assured of being shorthanded if you answer a clear challenge to match physicality, or make someone pay for a cheap shot. McAvoy's hit on Jordan was both of those things, and if somebody on the Canes had called him out and he didn't respond, the Canes still get what they needed at that point in the game: motivation to win. Also, regarding the claim that there are not enough skilled physical players to go around: Horse hockey. If you're playing a game requiring 40 pounds of protective gear and are not both expecting to get hit and convinced that you'd better know how to hit back, you're in the wrong sport--and shame on us for putting you on the roster.
  7. Staal basically admitted what I and many others could see was true the whole time he was here: He's a freakin' blame-everybody-else crybaby who wasn't qualified be the captain of a rowboat.
  8. Eric Staal couldn't keep up with Jeff Skinner five years ago. He sure won't be doing it now.
  9. On the physicality issue, yup: We're going in the wrong direction. But there are still moves to be made, still dead weight to be shed (Nino, Dzingel, in a perfect world Staal) and I have to trust that those slots will be filled by a couple of non-Ferland Ferlands (i.e., guys who can throw hits and/or punches without missing the next 10 games).
  10. On Dudley, here's what happened. I don't know if you all remember, at the time of Forslund's sayonara, the organ eye zay shun saying that all but two people had agreed to reduced compensation, but given the timing, it's pretty clear who the other one was.
  11. And Dr. Strangelove does The Beatles:
  12. Getting back to soca... from 1970:
  13. And speaking of legends who may have or are known to have died of this cursed pandemic, can it really be an eclectic music thread without this guy?
  14. Sadness this morning: https://apnews.com/2a0dcb66494c00661df1bbb6c25f9907 R.I.P. Toots, and thank you. His song "Do The Reggay" brought the word and the genre to the world.
  15. TD is doing exactly what smart business owners do. Improving his investment from top to bottom to build its value, and yes, probably pressure the city for a new arena at the end of those nine years. Does he threaten to move the team if it says no? Does he play the card at all? Will he be positioned to? And what about Naomi? Who cares? We'll find out in a decade. Let's enjoy the ride.
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