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  1. The Ronnie Francis management era's benefit was to strengthen the team's prospects pool. In MLB, team's minor league prospects are rated. I don't know if they do that in hockey, and I can not say I know much about other team's prospects, but it would be hard to believe any other team has a deeper pool of prospects than the Canes do. Besides having Ned to compete at goalie, they have 9 forwards who could realistically compete for a position on the Canes in the fall in Saarela, Kuokkanen, Necas, Geekie, Roy, Brown, Mattheos, Poturalski, and Gauthier. In addition, they have 3 defensemen who could also, if the team was not so loaded on D in Bean, McKeown, and Carrick. Wallmark, Foegle, and Saku made the jump this season. Does that guarantee them spots on the roster this fall? Well, probably Foegle does not have to worry so much. The others had best take a look in the rear view mirror, because when Rod says the team has to get better, some very good young players are knocking on the door. Roster spots are pretty assured for Nino, Aho, Staal, Turbo, Foegel, Svechnikov, Martinook, McGinn, and JW (if he resigns). That is 8, and hopefully 9. I don't see Ferland returning, and I don't know if they choose to resign McKegg if they want to open up roster spots for the prospects and/or a FA signing. That would leave competition for 3 forward spots, including Saku and Wallmark in the mix. Looking forward to which prospects take the next step like Foegle did this season.
  2. Due to their success, expectations may be set unfairly high for next season. Parity in the NHL makes anything possible, so the team may repeat, but also may fall short. There has been a chemistry built in the Canes locker room that bodes well for future success. We all hope JW decides to come back for 1 or 2 more seasons. He will probably play only as long as he is not pooping on the ice, so that is a no lose situation for the team. Who knew Martinook would become a leader on this squad. I trust that management will make good decisions, and if I am allowed to make a request, that would be, do not trade either Slavin (as if) or Pesce (named too often in rumors for my liking). Otherwise, do what is best. Sign Aho, Mrazek or equal, let Ferland go, let a few Checkers compete for forward jobs. Can't recall enjoying a sports season more than this year's Canes performance.
  3. The truth is that the NHL is the league of parity. The Canes deserve all of our admiration for rising above the mean average to not only earn a spot in the playoffs, but take 2 rounds. Were they better than the Caps, better than the Isles? Well, in their series they were, but the margin of victory versus defeat is so very close in this league, that the intangibles of Rod's and JW's leadership rate high. We have so many prospects approaching playing time in the NHL that it makes for great internal competition. McKeown was a +30 this season, and I am not sure why the team resigned TVR when we have that kind of guy knocking on the door.Obviously, if JW wants to continue his career, signing him back is without question. Signing Aho long term must get done. The next biggest decision is how to move forward between the pipes. What more can Ned get from playing in Charlotte? Hasn't he earned a spot on the Canes? If so, the team needs to sign Petr or another #1. McKegg was a nice role player, but will probably be allowed to leave, along with Ferland. That should create 2 or 3 opportunities to be filled from either outside the organization or internally. The next Foegle will hopefully show up at camp.
  4. Championship teams have to go through learning curves to get to the next level. It doesn't matter so much that the Canes lose the series. They need to continue to play hard until the last tick of the clock, leave it all on the ice. A win or two would be great. They are playing with the house's money now and it has been a fantastic ride. Management is not only learning a lot about the players, but also the prospects doing so well at Charlotte.
  5. I have to say, Washington did not overpower the Canes in either of their 1st two home ice wins. One was tight and turned on the Ferland call, and the 2nd went to OT and could have gone the other way. The 1st game against the Bruins turned on a couple of questionable calls, but the 2nd game was like the blowout against the Caps. Let's just forget about it. Home ice has been huge for the Canes and I am looking forward to game 3.
  6. Nothing about what has happened in games 1 or 2 has surprised me. Even when the Canes appear to be outplaying the Bruins, Rask has kept them neutralized. The Bruins are so effective at taking advantage of any opportunities. The fact that on more than one occasion the officials have handed the Bruins favors (I still can not believe Svechnikov can get plowed from behind without possession of the puck with a no-call while Hamilton is getting called on a ticky tack one) just makes it more of an uphill struggle. Hopefully, Bruin fans and their team think the series is over. We need to take the one shift at a time, one period at a time, one game at a time approach that has been effective these past 5 months, and go from there.
  7. I take full responsibility for the loss today. My wife and I were flying home from Utah and missed the game, and the results are, well, ugly. Shake it off. Forget about it. Starting Mc makes sense to me. Does that affect the team's chances of resigning Mrazek going forward?
  8. Not sure about those defensive pairings. Two LH defenders together in Fleury and de Haan. Two RH defenders together in Faulk and Pesce. I am not sure which Hamilton we will see, so I like Pesce with Slavin, de Haan with Faulk, and Hamilton and Fleury on special teams and smaller minutes.
  9. The thing is, the Bruins don't need to play well to win this series. If the league allows homers such as Emerick to drool and scream every time Boston touches the puck, then they are saying they want a big market team in the finals. If the referees are not going to call ANY penalty, on a hit on Svechnikov that may be due a match penalty, the Canes are playing on tilted ice. That said, more power to the Canes if they can put this behind them and bring it to the Bruins. They completely dominated the Bruins in the 2nd period. They should continue to try to wear them down with 4 solid lines. Ferland needs to be approached; are you ready to play your game, or should we go back to Brown? Looking forward to Sunday.
  10. The announcers are such Bruins homers that my wife, who does not normally follow hockey, commented about their bias. Seems like this game turned on the penalty call against Hamilton, when it looked like the Canes were going on the power play for the hit on Svechnikov. How could that have not been a penalty? Way worse than the Staal hit that allowed the Bruins to tie the game. Bad penalties. Ferland, Staal, and mostly Hamilton. Gave Bruins too many chances.
  11. I am in Utah on vacation visiting the 5 national parks. Lot of sun right now, so I have been wearing my Whaler's cap. Let me tell you, the Whaler's logo is a huge attraction. I have had lots of folks approach me to discuss, and many more acknowledge the Whalers as I cross their paths along the trails. One of them even identified the Gordie Howe era. If you are a Canes fan, don't flush your parents, the Whalers, down the drain. Whaler fans in New England could give the Canes some edge in Boston.
  12. beboplar

    2019 Playoffs

    All dates back to the '70's and the WHA New England Whalers, followed by the NHL Hartford Whalers. Bragging rights for the area. Bruins always tried to punish the Whalers for having the nerve to violate their territory. With the Canes donning the Whale uniform, look for more of the same in the renewed rivalry.
  13. The Canes had one of the toughest 1st round match ups. Obviously, the Lightning should have been the toughest based upon the regular season, but after that I would have said Washington and Boston. On the other hand, I think the Canes had one of the weakest opponents left in the 2nd round. The Islanders performed miracles during the regular season with a well coached squad and good goal tending, but sooner or later, in the playoffs, the opponents will match them defensively, and their offense is not good enough. Moving forward against the winner of the Bruins/Blue Jackets series is another matter. Columbus is talented and well rounded, the Bruins are hard nosed and opportunistic. The Canes can beat either, but it will be a long series, and there will be ebbs and flows. I think oddsmakers who have cast a favorites role on the Canes don't know more than we do. In any case, let's enjoy the ride.
  14. "Breezing" over Boston is NOT going to happen. Playing in a stressful 7 game series did nothing except keep the Canes on a playoff level tear that has been going on for over 4 months. Every minute of a series against Boston will be as tense, if not more, than the Washington series. I do think we have the best defense, even without TVR, left in the playoffs. Solid D + opportunistic O could add up to a series win, but don't count on them being exhausted.
  15. I've been following Whalers/Canes vs Bruins for 40+ years, and to be honest, playing against them is a war. I think they are more blue collar than Washington, and some of their play borders on dirty. This time off and all hands on deck helps the Canes some. Ferland is an X factor. They have played well without him for several weeks, but an impactful contribution from him would be a huge plus for the Canes against Boston. It is good to know that if our hitters get banged up, we have Brown and Bishop, and maybe Saku coming back, to plug in. Whalers/Bruins was like Yankees/Red Sox back in the day. Whalers seldom came out on top, but this series, if it happens, is wide open.
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