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  1. I was just thinking today, if we were to not beat philly and MTL were to beat TOR and end up a point behind us, THAT FABULOUS OT winner by Svech a couple sunday nights ago will have turned out to have been the difference in our rising season. Talk about impact. We have a few rather grizzled vets whose impacts are beyond measure for sure, but what a season of maturation for the highly successful drafts(Aho, Svech) and off season pickups(TT, Marty) we've had in recent years.
  2. 20 minutes from avoiding TB round 1. Hang on Rags.
  3. Awesome list and breakdown. I wish I had the time and patience to rewatch 40 games or so, just to find the plethora of times when a player here, a player there dominated even as little as a shift or half period. I think you can go deep in this lineup and find instances where individual players took on "beastly" qualities and work ethic above and beyond their pay grades, and absolutely facilitated the growing of a team culture and bond. And that's just from sheer memory over the season with no formal documentation to support it, yet I'm sure many would agree nonetheless. It's basic personal experience I guess, having labored as a purely blue collar low level minor league pro with no high end skill, I came early in life to so profoundly appreciate the unheralded athletes who provide sheer backbone for winning sports teams and are in my eyes every bit as important in the long term as headline grabbers. I LOVED this team of achievers from the preseason and 9 point start out of the gate, and even though Nov/Dec was disappointing, I never once(check my first season of posting I would think) gave in to the bantered notion here by some that this was the same old same old. IT wasn't, but it did take a half to a whole season to really see the fruits of what RB could do with the team. I have to agree wholeheartedly with Hag I think that commented about RB's deserving of the award. What he's done in forcing a group of players that weren't too sure of themselves in the 2nd and 3rd months, I think is a far harder and more outstanding job than any of the other guys in the discussion, who have taken established cultures of winning and tweaked them and coached them to top areas of the league. Thanks Roddy. It's been an enjoyable 6 months, not just 3 for me.
  4. I just find it rather (ironic), (amusing), (laughable), (indicative), that the so called FACES of our franchise for all the hopeless, lean years(E. Staal, C. Ward, J. Skinner), find themselves with clubs that are on the outside looking in, just as a rejuvenation of our culture, fan base, league relevance, and competitive spirit return to respectable places in the league. I don't touch on this with any disdain for them as professionals, citizens, or involved members of the NC community, for they were stand up people, only equally ironically stating that the man obviously at the center of what's turned around here, RB, was right in their hip pocket in one form or another through it all for available leadership, guidance and influence. They also had less to work and blend with as we all know, but I can't help but think with so much of their careers and lives given to the Canes, that there isn't a sharp twinge of regret that they, moving past 09, were never able to be key figures in restoring and succeeding. I guess if I had to choose, I would feel something for Ward, who had to find great disappointment in never recapturing any of the glory of his young career here. Times change, athletes move on in this day and age, and so be it, but sentimentality exists in pros like anyone else, whether ever stated or acknowledged. You can bet, ES and CW, they've payed close attention. Skinner, probably not so much.
  5. The nightly scoreboard is speaking directly to the balance, urgency, and "elite" disparity between the east and west. WASH, TB, BOS, are clearly more resolved teams than the cruising, clinched upper crust teams in the West. CAR, PITT, CBJ, even MTL have been forced by circumstances to remain in urgent mode and play desperate hockey, and considering outcomes in head to head in the east, each at one time or another has proven worthy and urgent in their resolve. For a really good, not great, CAR team to have racked up the season record they have against the West, shows how much stronger the east is, top to bottom. I'd say 12 of the top 16 teams are EC, and makes this playoff drive for the CANES and holding the spot for this extended period, all the more impressive. More work to do. No matter what happens, the team's that get in will be well deserving of it. The West, I'd say not so much for a few of them...
  6. I see the week having different implications in different 2 game sets but neither irrespective of the other. Pitt/TBL speaks more to our chances of overtaking 3rd or 2nd, and MINN/MTL more impactful to locking down a spot, all other things being equal and remaining status quo. I think MTL basically needs to beat Philly and the Isles to insure the game with us has the impact it looks to now and they haven't really looked like they are poised to make any significant push based on the last 8 or 10. If we get 2 or maybe 4 leading up to next sunday, that game could lose its ability to hurt us as far as getting in. Lot can change in a week of course, but it sure is fun speculating this late in a season. HA.
  7. When it comes to hockey and who plays who seeding wise, it's the right format as is, IMO. Furthermore, the difference between #1 and #8 seeds in the NHL, I think is a slimmer margin than most other sports as well as the mention by someone of "luck" in hockey that decides many periods and games in a parity filled equation of teams. NOT that some teams are lucky, but's its no secret that solid, consistent play produces fortunate circumstances over time. As someone else noted, NHL playoffs tend to reflect the late season trends more also. #8 seeds have produced a cup winner this decade, and several more that made deep runs. GET IN trending the right direction and all bets are off given a measure of the same consistent play. And like someone else said, we have been winning 7 game series for some time now and have shown consistently(minus WPG of course) the work ethic and enough offense to be a partner to stellar goaltending. I look at it like, we have all the pieces, and if all those pieces were to come together and be at their best in the form of peaking in the post season, I would expect us to be a really hard out for anybody.
  8. Point taken. But I think you have to consider the ICU life support this franchise and sub par roster has been on for too long. The roster upgrades, a somewhat rejuvenated fan base, the relatively consistent on ice competitiveness that has evolved over this season can hardly be called failure. Certainly they should finish it off and qualify to make all these things complete, there's no question of that. A dying franchise taken over by new ownership was no guarantee of anything, even that the franchise would remain in NC was questionable. In seeing some basic questions answered in this regard by the change of atmosphere and culture, I've seen it as almost coming back from the dead, no easy job. I call that much of it, a huge success.
  9. At this point, agreeing that the tests have been numerous, they've passed them all, and a few spectacularly. I couldn't even look at not getting in now as failure, though I'm sure they would. I can honestly say it would be a situation for me where no one else failed in the least, yet I'm almost sure at least one of those teams will. They dug their December whole on par, though this time around we have enough of everything needed to have overcome it, many of those things woefully lacking in years past. This group of players and leaders, from the top down, have all contributed and achieved at a level that had us thinking in December the 4-0-1 start was a complete fluke, and it wasn't. I have said all along and still do, that start WAS indicative of new attitudes and mentality, and also that it would somewhere down the line have made a difference. IT HAS in my view when the 9 early points are laid out there in the current scenario. Then, there's the other side of tempered optimism, one where it's obvious with a developing and improving PP, if it could just function consistently, there are probably only a couple teams that could take us out in a 7 game series. Overly optimistic, maybe, but I haven't seen much else they can't do.
  10. The WEEK of FISHING or CUTTING BAIT. Just maybe the deciding stretch for all concerned, or at least the one that lines up the dominoes of games that become "MUST HAVES" Canes have COL, CBJ, BUFF, then Pitt. NOT our toughest by any means. Pitt has BOS, WASH, BUF, STL. Then us.Tougher stretch than ours. CBJ have NYI, BOS, CAR, BOS. That's NOT pretty. And 1 more after that with BOS. Ouch. MTL has DET, NYI, CHI. Then PHI. MEH, but they're not exactly rolling either. Nothing sets in stone in this league, but I would qualify it as a week that we COULD create enough separation on 1 of them to keep us all from heart attacks in the last 10.
  11. And with no leadership from top producing players, the annual Buffalo sabres mega collapse is now officially complete. If I were J. Eichel, I'd get as far away from that stupid contract about to be awarded to his linemate as I could. LOL.
  12. Great trends Remkin, not random at all but all on coachpoint. The goal diff has been jumping out at me all along moving at a +34 pace. That's even more telling, I think, when you consider a B2B 4 goal loss to NYR and 3 goal loss to OTT in january. The trends to me all say the same thing, in fact I'm thinking PHI may be more threatening than CBJ at this point even with 7 more points to make up. I see us as the #3 team based on trending, yet the two games with Pitt will likely decide that. The good thing about this playoff push is having at least 1 game with everyone fighting with you. Whoever ultimately deserves it,, will get it.
  13. Depending how many plan on showing up, might wanna make it an hour or so earlier. Won't be seating for a large group usually by around 4. Being saturday, lot of groups watch their college basketball there on saturdays too.
  14. I just keep looking at it like I said and have all through January. Every point(s) you get going forward are points you aren't forced to GET later on. Traditionally one of the teams in the top 8 fails down the stretch(don't be that one) and a spot is there to be taken. The golden apple this year is that we have put ourselves there to take it. Yes, March is tougher schedule wise, buts it's hard to see this team as it's played for the entire 2nd half as potential to completely fail. I see them doing enough to at least KEEP pressure on any of the teams in the mix to also themselves be pressured and have to avoid any prolonged losing of 3 or 4 games. The metro has so much parity that it has the potential to keep the final number down from the usual. I am beginning to think the injuries on D have Pitt in some trouble, but if we can put together the same 6 weeks or really even close to it, it really doesn't matter who fights for 7 and 8 spots, we'll be fighting for 2nd.
  15. Fenton is rather desperate after his last highly craptastic trade. lol. Any takers for the "one possibility" mentioned in the nhl.com article? Kinda p'd me off when he dogged it the last year here, but the rental help might be rational for a stretch run..
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