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wannabe

When Staal Returns

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Staal, Sutter, Cullen, Yelle
I'll agree with that and I hope Staal gets a little inspiration by the play of Sutter.

...but coastal, do you think all four of those guys will be healthy at the same time?  The way this season has gone so far, it may never happen.    

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When Cullen was re-signed (after he was gone a year) he played as a third line center. He moved to second line after Brindy

couldn"t maintain 2nd line duties.  When Staal returns, I say Staal, Sutter, Cullen, Brindy. Yelle has already been placed on

waivers. Jussi can play wing.

I am not sure anyone is going to be traded just yet. Didn't JR say he was giving the team until Christmas to improve?

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Witht he season pretty much wasted, young guys need lots of ice-time. Brandon sutter is an awesome two-way player with tons of potential. He needs to take over Cullen's minutes, get a spot on the PP and PK permanently. I think next year he'll be good for 60 points as a 2nd line center, I want young guys getting opportunities if this is gonna turn into a last-place season.

Also if I could, I'd put Yelle in for rod on the 4th line, Yelle is the only forward who is willing to actually go down and block a shot from the point.

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With the way they are playing, it is hard to see either Cullen or Sutter demoted to 3rd line minutes. Do we try them as a 2nd line pairing?

Whit Staal Cole

Cullen Sutter Ruutu

LaRose Jokkinen Sammy

Kosto Yelle/Brindy Walker

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With the way they are playing, it is hard to see either Cullen or Sutter demoted to 3rd line minutes. Do we try them as a 2nd line pairing?

Whit Staal Cole

Cullen Sutter Ruutu

LaRose Jokkinen Sammy

Kosto Yelle/Brindy Walker

Whitney and Sutter have displayed some fantastic chemistry together while Staal's been out.  I don't think you can split them.  And if you can't split Staal and Cole, I think you flip flop Ruutu and Whitney on your lines there and it'll work just fine.

And I'm still of the belief that while Staal is a "center," you can put him on the wing and he'd be just as, if not more, effective.

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It's obvious that Sutter is one of our top players right now. I love his speed, first of all, which is something that we desperately need given our average age.

I think I'd line them up this way:

Jokinen - Staal - Cole ... Cole is the banger, the Juice can be the playmaker and Staal -- hopefully 100% healthy -- need to get in front of the net and jam some rebounds in

Whitney - Sutter - Ruutu ... this line has been great... Ruutu is the banger and can score, Whitney is the playmaker and can score, and Sutter brings the speed and can score. I really like this as the 2nd line.

Sammy - Cullen - LaRose ... this is the weakest of the scoring lines... Sammy is a playmaker but does a little too much dusting off of the puck, LaRose is a banger in a Hobbit's body and can't find the scoring touch, and Cullen has been hot/cold this year. I like them on the 3rd line because at least Cullen & LaRose have some chemistry and do a decent job of back-checking

K-Stop - Brindy - Walker ... I know Rod doesn't want to be a 4th line, but guess what? He's a 4th line guy. Heck, he could even lose the spot to Yelle. K-Stop has been solid all year. Walker is a 4th line banger. If this line contributes 15 goals all season then you count it a victory.

Our defensive pairings need help too. What the heck was Corvo doing taking the puck out from behind the net while being challenged when Gleason was standing over near the boards waiting for a pass? The biggest thing I see with our D is sloppiness (Corvo, Ward) and slowness (Alberts, Ward). As good as I think our lines can be once Staal is back, our D is a dead zone... we're going to be leaving Manny/Cam high and dry quite often this year.

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This should give us all a very good idea of what will happen when Staal returns: (I'd say most here were dead on with their guess)

Although some are concerned that Sutter may return to a less prominent role on the team once Staal returns from injury as early as this week, Rutherford doesn’t see that happening. Instead, thanks to Sutter’s accelerated development, the Hurricanes may get their first glimpse at something they envision for years to come.

“That’s really the future of our franchise,” said Rutherford. “When you have Eric Staal and Brandon Sutter as your one-two punch at center ice – big tall guys that can play the way they play – I think that speaks highly for our future.

Full blog by Paul here:

http://fans.hurricanes.nhl.com/topic/15975

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I think this is exactly what Staal needs. Not really a true competition, but if Sutter is going out there and getting it done, Staal has no excuses, and hopefully this will light a fire under him. A glance at the current depth chart shows all one needs to know about where Staal is going to fit in when he comes back, which I think is perfect - see if he, Sammy and Chad can get moving on offense once again. I'm guessing Roddy will be moved to wing while Yelle is dropped back to 4th line and Dwyer is sent back.

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I was really hoping to see something like JR described when Staal returns.  I wouldn't go messing with what seems to be working right now.  We finally seem to have some consistency in our O-lines, and we are actually scoring some goals.  Nice problem to have.

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Why not put Staal on Sutters Wing instead of Cole...?

Whitney - Sutter - Staal

Sammy - Jussi - Cole/Ruutu

Rosey - Cullen - Cole/Ruutu

Kostopoulos - Brindy - Walker

...something like that

I think it's pretty simple: Staal can have his choice, first line wing or fourth line center. I frankly don't expect him to get a bunch of ice time for his first few games back, but even if he did, he needs to address the practices that have made him the most underachieving 8-million-dollar man in the NHL:

Not going to the front of the net

Not playing defense

Never - ever - forechecking

Hockey is hard work, and Eric has shown little incentive to do it. Einstein may have said that 99 percent of success is showing up, and that may be true in most things. But Eric's long string of appearances prior to his injury is not nearly as impressive to me as what he's failed to achieve during all that ice time. Time to buck up, lil buckaroo... 

  

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For the time being, there's no reason to break up the chemistry that has formed with our top two lines. Start Staal at 3rd line center to work him back into the lineup. We can also see what a little competition will do to Staal.

Whitney-Sutter-Cole

Jokinen-Cullen-Ruutu

Samsonov-Staal-LaRose

Brind'Amour-Yelle-Kostopolous

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