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dabrams

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  1. Aaron Ward should be traded for anything Jim Rutherford can get --- a 6th round draft choice in 2020 is fine. Aaron Ward has been the worst performer per dollar of salary I can remember. Having his $2,500,000 salary off the books would be a huge step forward.
  2. I think management would have to look closely at the possibility of sending Kaberle down to Albany and then having him come back up through re-entry waivers. Kaberle was simply awful this year. Wallin is by all accounts a fine person and has times when he plays quite well (although when goes into mind freeze mode it sends me ballistic). In an ideal world, Wallin would stay in Raleigh over the summer and spend hours reviewing tapes and working out. I doubt that will happen; but one can always hope. Adding two physical shut-down men would be ideal; but one would make an enormous difference. JR is just too smart a hockey person not to see the need to fix the defense as the number 1 priority for 2008-2009. I'd really, really hope to avoid trading Cole to make that happen; but it is also clear that at the moment the Hurricanes have tremendous talent at forward and center.
  3. It's a reasonable question. I base my opinion that nervousness took over on the fact that the errors which were made to give away goals were the type that players using their best judgment don't make. An NHL player knows absolutely with 11 seconds left in a half and down 2-1, never, ever, ever try a shot or pass from the wing unless you are 100% positive it will not result in an end of the period goal and that the point is covered. I base my opinion on the fact that the Hurricanes had gone years without losing to Florida at home. I take zero pleasure in reaching the conclusion that they choked. I also see no reason to rationalize. The Hurricanes were a far superior team and they didn't get the job done. They didn't lose because the Panthers had a super human game. They lost because the Hurricanes made mistakes that they never should have made. To use your analogy about child-rearing -- children need love when they are the least lovable; but they also deserve the respect of being told when they make mistakes. Actions have consequences. One learns from taking responsibility for one's mistakes. Teams only learn from their mistakes when they recognize they made a mistake in the first place. In the case of the Hurricanes after the arrival of Samsonov, Corvo, Ruutu, and Eaves and the RATs, the Hurricanes gave tremendous effort and showed courage. Unfortunately, in the last four games, they really didn't perform to that same level. So as I see it, when a superior team at crunch time loses to an inferior team as a result of poor judgment that's choking. Everybody who is honest with himself or herself who has played competitive sports will admit there has been at least one game where despite his or her competitive spirit, he or she choked. It could be a free throw with no time left, missing an open receiver, shooting from the wing without the point covered; but it happens in sports. To me, loser athletes always have an excuse and winners admit they screwed up and don't let it happen the next time.
  4. I hope Wesley stays one more year. We need his stability and I assume JR will bring in some new talent. One more year and then retire is my hope.
  5. Here's the definition of choke: American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This choke Audio Help (chōk) Pronunciation Key 4. To fail to perform effectively because of nervous agitation or tension, especially in an athletic contest: choked by missing an easy putt on the final hole. In my book by this definition we choked. Carolina was the superior team. We were at home. We failed to perform effectively because of nervous agitation or tension. We blew it. I am still in mourning.
  6. In my view, it's a very reasonable observation. We didn't have any backup goalie to play even for a game to give Ward a night off. Ward should have found the resources within himself to come up big on the stops against Florida; but if Carolina had a backup goalie, the odds go up that Ward would have been fully rested. We need Ward to make ony one stop to get into overtime and the odds were in our favor in overtime.
  7. Here's a link for the Hurricanes and contracts: http://www.nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=CAR''>http://www.nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=CAR' target="_blank">http://www.nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=CAR[/post]
  8. I am in 100% agreement with your premise that when in doubt opt for being aggressive and to the style of taking the game to the opponent rather than depending on the counter-attack. The occasional breakdown in communication is outweighed by the benefit of being the team that controls the tempo. The number of breakdowns gets diminished when players on the ice have instinctive hockey sense. My complaint with Hedican, Kaberle, and Wallin is that they often make decisions that are bewilderingly poor in terms of ice presence and none of them hit anybody unless they accidentally collide with an opponent or a teammate. I have zero problem with Corvo not always exercising perfect judgment and the same is true for Gleason. Wesley seems to be the model of a defenseman who uses great judgment and positioning. We have that kind of talent on the offensive end, and have three players, Gleason, Corvo, and Wesley who can play that style on defense. If we fix the defense, the team has enormous potential to play aggressive, smart, and exciting hockey.
  9. I think Ovechkin is the definition of a force of nature player. He willed the CAPs to the playoffs. No knock on Staal, but if we switched Staal and Ovechkin for the year, the Hurricanes would be in the playoffs. Staal plays with a more quiet intensity than Ovechkin and lacks the instinct to pound the opposition's player. Ovechkin is like a Michael Jordan or a Joe Montana -- athletes who rise to the occasion and who can carry a team on their backs. I would be glad to see the CAPs make a miracle run in the playoffs. I'd also be really happy if the Hurricanes developed the overall team character and attitude of refusing to allow themselves to lose that the CAPs now have.
  10. LEAST VALUABLE OVER LAST 4 GAMES: ERIK COLE: Game G A P +/- PIM PP SH S S% Shifts TOI FO% Apr 04 '08 FLA @ CAR 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 1 0.0 27 20:20 Apr 02 '08 TBL @ CAR 0 2 2 2 0 0 0 3 0.0 25 20:30 Apr 01 '08 CAR @ WSH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.0 27 19:03 100.0 Mar 29 '08 CAR @ TBL 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 2 0.0 25 21:53 0.0 MOST VALUABLE ON DEFENSE -- TIM GLEASON MOST FIESTY -- SCOTT WALKER & TUOMO RUUTU MOST INSPIRED PLAY SECOND HALF SEASON -- ERIC STAAL LEAST LIKELY TO INSPIRE: FRANTISEK KABERLE COMEBACK PLAYER OF YEAR -- SERGEI SAMSONOV BEST ADDITION TO POWERPLAY -- JOE CORVO MOST LIKELY TO HAVE 2008-2009 COMEBACK PLAYER AWARD -- MATT CULLEN AND ROD BRIND'AMOUR LEAST LIKELY TO BE CAROLINA HURRICANE 2008-2009 -- BRET HEDICAN AND FRANTISEK KABERLE BEST POTENTIAL NEWCOMER IN ALBANY -- CASEY BORER DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH AWARD -- TIM CONBOY UNSUNG HERO AWARD -- SCOTT WALKER, KEITH AUCOIN, RYAN BAYDA WIDEST GAP BETWEEN GREAT PLAYS AND DISASTROUS PLAYS -- CAM WARD AND BRET HEDICAN MOST CONSISTENT WHEN HEALTHY -- RAY WHITNEY ENERGY AWARD -- CHAD LAROSE BEST PUCK HANDLER -- SERGEI SAMSONOV AND RAY WHITNEY THE "WHAT WAS HE THINKING" AWARD -- NICLAS WALLIN MOST READY TO DROP GLOVES FOR A TEAMMATE -- TIM GLEASON AND SCOTT WALKER MOST CONSISTENT ON DEFENSE -- GLEN WESLEY PREDICTED MOST IMPROVED AWARD FOR 2008-2009 -- CAM WARD, ERIK COLE, MATT CULLEN PREDICTED BEST OFFENSIVE PLAYER 2008-2009 -- JUSTIN WILLIAMS, ERIC STAAL, SERGEI SAMSONOV PREDICTED FIRE IN THE BELLY AWARD 2008-2009 -- ROD BRIND'AMOUR
  11. I don't see being dangerously offensive and not beating yourself as mutually exclusive. For example, time after time this year, Hedican and Kaberle and Wallin would come down in the offensive zone and slap at the puck whether or not he had a shooting lane and without using peripheral vision to ensure that somebody had shifted to the point. It is similar to a point guard in basketball taking the ball to the wing and shooting before he checks to verify that the weak-side guard has the point. It's a mental mistake. Certainly with about 11 seconds in the first period, down 2-1 in a must win game, it's basic hockey sense to make certain the point is covered and that there is a shooting or passing lane open before a defenseman should left a shot or pass fly -- and particularly a defenseman who really doesn't have a history of scoring goals. Not beating yourself is not the same as playing a conservative, no-chances style. It does mean that all the players have to understand where they are supposed to be and where their teammates are supposed to be; and to recognize when a player is out of position. I agree that a no-chances style of plan is a snooze; but I respectfully disagree that being intelligent and having a sense of the flow of a game is equivalent to a no-chances style.
  12. I think it's hard to argue with that analysis. At home, against a truly bad team, when one win brings them the Southeast Division title, the team failed to get a win. I'd much rather have Lavi offer an apology from the entire team to the fans and say they are going to dedicate themselves to do everything humanly possible to make up for the choke than to make excuses. I'd like to hear JR say: " We choked. We have no excuses to offer. We are going to fix what is broken and leave alone those parts of the Hurricanes machine that are working. We are going to fix the defense, the power play, the short handed goal, and the breakaway. We are not going to beat ourselves. We may lose, but other teams are going to have to beat us. I am very proud of this team and their effort in the face of adversity. They are too fine a team to have lost on April 4th. I know it. You know. They know it. On behalf of the owners, the coaches, the players, I apologize. I can promise you it won't happen again."
  13. Well said. At minimum Kaberle and Hedican need to be off the team for the 2008-2009 season. Kaberle is small, slow, and passive -- and can't shoot. Hedican is incredibly fast and is as brittle as blown glass. When he got crushed by an AO hit when we played the CAPs away, I thought they were going to need a broom to sweep up the pieces. I really think Hedican's first priority this year was to make it through the year without breaking anything. If at all feasible, I'd like to see Wallin gone as well. He is a 220 lb defense man who plays like the dancing granny on ice. He has zero hockey sense. Sometimes he looks lost like a deer in headlights when the puck comes to him. I can't tell much about Seidenberg. Maybe his high ankle sprain was the reason he was so nondescript. We need a defensive revamping badly. The new NHL is not only fast, but hard-hitting. The Holiday on Ice Skater defensemen are useless. It's a travesty that other than Corvo and Gleason, we don't have any other defenseman who would consider decking an opposing player. Name one awesome hit by Hedican, Kaberle, Wallin, or Seidenberg in any of the 82 games this season. I can't remember one awe-inspiring hit. Ruutu delivered more hits in one game than all of those four combined over the entire season. The new (post Samsonov, Ruutu, Eaves, Corvo) Hurricanes are fast and tough. Combined with the pre-trade Hurricanes who remained (and with the four exceptions noted above), everybody on the team is motivated and to quote a former coach at Grambling, they are "agile, mobile, and hostile." We do need a young Aaron Ward type of beastly defenseman. Cole needs to see a sports psychologist to work on attitude adjustment. I am not being sarcastic, I am serious. Cole has the physical ability to dominate the NHL and particularly if he worked in the off-season to enhance his shiftiness and puck-handling; but the mental side of his game is lacking. I sports psychologist potentially could help him learn how to develop the habits of a winner. If next year we see don't see a Cole who shows up at least 70% of the time, a trade would make sense. A $4,000,000 player ought to standout as a force of nature on an NHL team. If Borer comes through, if we resign the players we have, if we find two more fast, aggressive, punk-handling defensemen to go with those players, and if Cam Ward learns to stop breakaways, and if the owners break out the checkbook to give JR the resources to retain the players we have and to obtain the three players we need, the inexcusable collapse over these past four games will be far less painful, if not forgotten.
  14. Yes, it was a choke of major proportions. On the one hand, it is a team sport and the team wins and the team loses. On the other, there are obvious strengths in the team and obvious and inexcusable weaknesses. The only good thing that might come out of this is if the pathetic defense will be rebuilt. It's time to find two if not three defensemen who want to hit and who skate with intensity. Kaberle has to go. It's time for Hedican to retire -- even though his last ten games often demonstrated tremendous defensive plays. Wallin is questionable in my mind. There are really two separate Hurricanes teams -- the forwards and centers who play hard all the time and Gleason and Corvo and Wesley; and the other defensemen. Ward is the mystery. Sometimes he is all-world and sometimes he is the worst goalie in the NHL. The team did let down themselves, the management, and the fans. It is absurd to lose to the Lightning and the Panthers when winning one of those games would guarantee the Southeast Division. I can't believe JR doesn't see how ineffectual some of the Hurricane defensemen are. Still, the team that JR built this year was impressive. I do think Lavi shares in the collapse of the team. There is zero excuse for a decent NHL team to fail to cover the point on its own power play; and given the number of short-handed goals given up by the Hurricanes, it is on Lavi. Similarly, the failure of the Hurricanes to perform consistently on the powerplay ultimately rests in part on Lavi. I think he is an excellent coach, but clearly work is needed on the powerplay and on basic fundamentals of positioning. Additionally, the key players on the team largely failed to perform when the team needed them. I can't imagine how Cole can look at his last six games and feel proud of himself. Whitney is one of my favorite players, and he had a miserable performance. Cullen, I think, is the heart of the team in many ways and he didn't rise to the occasion.
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