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About ZCAB

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  1. So why did they miss the playoffs in 02-03, 03-04, 06-07, and 07-08 with this approach? And why did they make it to the ECF without it? And for the record, Coffey made the playoffs in one out of his two seasons here and same with Ozolinsh, while the seasons after without the lack of "standout D" prior to Pitkanen's arrival resulted in two playoff appearances in six seasons. Seems to me that intentionally icing a defense full of second/third-pairing defensemen and hoping that some combination of a goaltender standing on his head, a powerplay operating at 25% over the course of four series, or trapping your way to the finals isn't a good idea. To be honest, what you have is mostly a record of missing the playoffs here regardless of what the approach is, because the approach always results in a substandard defense. Either they put a defense of four second pairing defensemen and two bottom pairing D, or a defense of one top-pairing, two second-pairing and three bottom-pairing defensemen. Both approaches are destined for failure, but it's only the extremely myopic Carolina Hurricanes fan viewpoint that believes the the Option A rather than "none of the above" should be the approach. It's great the 'Canes made two trips to the Finals without a top-pairing defenseman. But find me one other Cup winner that didn't have a top-pairing D. Or another recent Cup fianlist. Or even Conference finalists. Since the 'Canes won the Cup, the Cup winners have had Pronger/Niedermayer, Lidstrom/Rafalski, Gonchar and Keith/Seabrook all as legitimate top-pairing defensemen. The Conference finalists have had Redden (back when he didn't suck), Gonchar, Lidstrom/Rafalski, and Pronger/Timonen. There are lots of teams every year that miss the playoffs with top pairing defensemen, but there are very few who make the playoffs or go far without them.
  2. It seems that the hatred for Pitkanen is so fierce among some people that you just replace him with a career #6 defenseman like Alberts and you suddenly haven't gotten considerably worse, but have actually improved. Pitkanen was -2 playing 25 minutes a game for a team with a -7 even strength goal differential. Alberts was even (0) playing 15 minutes a night on a a team with a +51 even strength goal differential. Simply removing Pitkanen and replacing him with bargain bin fodder does not help us. An argument can be made to replace him with a more consistent, more defensively reliable TOP-PAIRING DEFENSEMAN, but as was written earlier, icing a defense comprised entirely of #4/5/6 defensemen does not work. Gleason-Corvo completely sucked this past year and had shown to be an extremely mediocre pairing even when Gleason wasn't playing like garbage, yet it's the top pairing in everyone's lineup. Does anyone not see a problem with that? And it only gets worse after that, with the only player who is arguably a top 4 defenseman in these lineups being McBain. So, let's evaluate our D: Gleason - #3 if he returns to form Corvo - #4 McBain - #4 Allen - #5 Joslin - #5 Harrison (UFA) - #6 Forget that Pitkanen even exists for a moment. Please look at that D and tell me that you can add another middle/bottom-pairing D and you've got anything closely resembling a playoff-calibre lineup. People really need to realize that 2006 was an exception and not the norm. The 'Canes had an absolutely elite offense and got out-of-this-world goaltending in the playoffs, and thus were able to ice a bargain bin defense full of second/third pairing. What happens if Cam Ward merely posts a respectable .910sv%, or the Hurricanes don't have a powerplay operating at 25%? You either pay Pitkanen or you pay someone other quality defenseman his money.
  3. ZCAB

    Erik Cole

    The team is currently tied for 8th in the league in goals-per-game, was 13th last year and was 10th during the games Mo coaches in 08-09. The Leafs under Mo were 11th and 8th in goals scored. Cole has still gotten huge amounts of scoring chances over the last few years. He just blows 95% of them by failing to elevate the puck or completely missing the net. That's not on the coach.
  4. Well, that would be pretty horrific asset management to outright wave him. He's 22 years old and is making league minimum. He was playing really well right before he got hurt, and was coming off an ACL tear that caused him to miss most of training camp. It would be quite sad to give up on a 22 year old former first rounder who was starting to play well while players like Samsonov who make nearly six times the salary and will be in the KHL next year get to stay on the team. But, I guess if you can save a couple 100k, it must be done! Meanwhile, continue to give tons of ice time to players like LaRose who haven't scored an even strength point since mid-November. Those players who score at 30 point paces while getting top 6 ice time are rare commodities because they skate really hard and hit people!
  5. Those do count as blocked shots, which is why Pitkanen is tied for the team lead with Gleason with 61. This is key. Gleason goes down and takes a shot off the shinpads and he's a WARRIOR, yet Pitkanen just sticks out his stick and accomplishes the same thing. Fans will remember Gleason's blocked shots more than Pitkanen's, yet both accomplished the same thing. Similarily, Pitkanen can brilliantly gain possession of the puck in the defensive zone by "standing around" and using his stick (strange concept), make a pass that works 9 times out of 10 and gets picked off once and he's a TURNOVER MACHINE. But Gleason can wildly skate around the boards throwing checks at invisible players, throwing himself ten feet out of position, and poking the puck up the boards to the other team and he had a great shift because he showed EFFORT.Interestingly, Pitkanen is third on our D in giveaways with 17. Corvo has 27 and Gleason 21. He also has the best +/- and the most points. The Sens are a terrible offensive team to begin with and were missing Spezza on top of it, and still got 37 shots on goal and were denied by the post 4 times. Do you think the Pitkanen haters here would be bumping this thread to say they were wrong if the team sucked without Pitkanen in the lineup? You know, like when they got destroyed 7-4 by the Panthers earlier in the year, or allowed three shorthanded goals on the same powerplay last year? And what about Gleason? The team went on a huge hot streak at the end of last year when he was hurt, so obviously he sucks. I *hope* Pitkanen misses the game against the Devils and we win, because I'll be amused to see the Pitkanen haters trying to make a big deal out of a game against a team with a -53 goal differential.
  6. Yes, I remember that. I also remember Pitkanen playing nearly four hundred minutes more than anyone else on the team last year. I guess that doesn't count for anything as far as alleged "toughness" goes? You'd think that someone who leads the league in ice time and was the sole puckmover on the team for most of the year (read: lots of hits taken) would have to play through pain. I guesss not. Oh and I do recall multiple times last season where Pitkanen would block a shot, limp to the bench and be out for the next shift. And if we're really counting, he's played more games than Gleason has since he was traded here. Anyone who misses games with minor injuries is a softy, I guess?
  7. Tlusty was sent down because he wouldn't have been able to play in the AHL during the Olympic break had he played any more games at the NHL level prior to it. As for Jokinen, he's needed an 18.2 shooting % to get to 20 goals in 57 games. He won't keep that shooting percentage up and he's been on a huge hot streak lately which inflates his goals-per-game rate and sh%. More likely you are looking at a 25 goal, 55-60 point per season guy. Predicting 30-40 goals and 70-80 points from someone who doesn't even average two shots on goal per game is just having unreasonable expectations.
  8. Well, I would note that Pitkanen was -12 through 12 games. Since then he's been a cumulative -4 through 37 games playing by far the most minutes on defense on a bad team. And who is the lowest on the defense? His defensive partner AaronWard. That may have something to do with it. You can't view stats in avaccuum, or otherwise you could make an argument to say that Cam Wardhas been terrible due the fact that he is 28th in GAA among qualifyinggoalies. That would ignore the defensive play of the team in front ofhim. And I also note that Pitkanen is usually on the ice whenwe pull the goalie, whereas Alberts and Carson never are and Gleason isonly part of the time. Empty net goals count against . Let's look at like this: Pitkanen has 7 empty net goals against, while Carson has 0. Let's say thereverse were true (Pitkanen 0 against and Carson 7). All of the sudden you have Carson at -7 and Pitkanenat -9 with Pitkanen playing significantly tougher minutes. That'sanother thing: Carson and Alberts play limited minutes against 3rd and4th liners. There was a game recently (against Edmonton) where Pitkanenplayed close to triple that of Alberts. To say that those guys are better defensively than Pitkanen is like saying that Babchuk was way better than Seidenberg because he was +13 vs. Seidenberg's -9. Look at the role, the minutes, the teammates and the opposition. You mention that you are a big Cole fan. Well, Cole is -9 through just 20 games. Pro-rate that to Pitkanen's 49GP and you get a beautiful -23 rating for Cole. Would it be fair to use Cole's as an example of why he sucks and isn't worth the money? I am not personally a Cole fan, but even I wouldn't use against him as I think it's a total garbage stat. You say it's his job to playdefense. While true, it is also clear that his role is also to createoffense and that also involves taking chances at times, which *sometimes* results in him getting burnt. Do you thinkthe coaching staff plays him close to 30 minutes a game because he's sosuper awesome defensively? No, it's partly because they need him to createoffense and he has been the only defenseman on the team for the lastfew months (with Corvo gone) capable of doing so. Saying "he's a defenseman, he should play defense" is an incredibly simplistic look at things. That's like saying that forwards shouldn't have to backcheck because it's there job to score. Pitkanen has twice as many points as our next closest defenseman (33 to Gleason's 16). He is tied for 10th among all defensemen in scoring despite missing 8 games.
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