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djharley

EXPECTATIONS?

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I don't know what to expect this year. My guess is we'll fall anywhere between scratching and clawing over the final playoff spot to being in the draft lottery again.

Winning our first two games against the top Cup contending Wild *sarc* is great and all but I didn't see much that impressed me enough to set the bar higher. Hopefully, we gained enough confidence to steal a few more points the rest of the month but I'm sure that our next eight opponents will expose the shortcomings we all have been worried about.

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I really think that this team will improve over the next 15 games. The early plan is dump and chase and keep it real simple. My guess it that's the road trip plan and probably through Pittsburgh. They will try to keep it close, clog things up, dump and chase etc. Starting with the Nov 3rd game at home vs. the Islanders, we start carrying the puck in more and playing a better offensive game.

This is of course, pure speculation. Just seems likely.

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I really think that this team will improve over the next 15 games. The early plan is dump and chase and keep it real simple. My guess it that's the road trip plan and probably through Pittsburgh. They will try to keep it close, clog things up, dump and chase etc. Starting with the Nov 3rd game at home vs. the Islanders, we start carrying the puck in more and playing a better offensive game.

This is of course, pure speculation. Just seems likely.

Keeping it simple seems to be working especially for our D. Unlike early last season it's a really nice surprise not seeing them cave in everytime they get pressured. But then again, even if we add the pre-season, sofar we have only managed to beat Nashville's prospects, the 0-5-1 Thrashers and 0-4-2 Wild and to be honest, I thought we really didn't look all that great doing it.

I hope we see some improvments too but with Mo intending to hold on to his unorthodox line combinations, our struggling first line, face-off woes, little grit, average PP and PK, a bunch of give-aways each game, I can't see where this improvement is supposed to come from though.

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Keeping it simple seems to be working especially for our D. Unlike early last season it's a really nice surprise not seeing them cave in everytime they get pressured. But then again, even if we add the pre-season, sofar we have only managed to beat Nashville's prospects, the 0-5-1 Thrashers and 0-4-2 Wild and to be honest, I thought we really didn't look all that great doing it.

I hope we see some improvments too but with Mo intending to hold on to his unorthodox line combinations, our struggling first line, face-off woes, little grit, average PP and PK, a bunch of give-aways each game, I can't see where this improvement is supposed to come from though.

Face offs are so bad there's no where to go but up. I have a sense that our powerplay will end up improving as will our pk. Our power play has the guns, especially on the blue line, to be above average with Sully and Skinner adding punch up front.

The main thing is that Mo likes to lay in the defense first thing, then start to open it up as the lines firm up and guys find some chemistry. Personally I think getting our top line going makes a lot of sense. I would consider putting Jussi back up there with O'Sullivan and give them a long look. Put Dalpe on third line center and let him have a shot. It may be a bit uneven, but it is the third line. At least get O'Sullivan up on the first line and see if at least he and Cole and Staal can get something going.

I guess my main thought is that we've got a bunch of young/new guys who should get better over time. Not only that, but if a couple of guys are not getting it done, there are capable guys in the wings. We have absolutely not been tested, but we do not have to spring out of the gates this year. Our schedule is set up for us to drop back and catch people in the homestretch.

If we can hang around, even a few games out by Feb 18, our schedule from Feb 18 to the end of the year is 67% home games (16/24). Not only that, but we can absolutely be buyers at the deadline this year if we are close, and still have a solid core for years to come.

Edited by remkin

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The main thing is that Mo likes to lay in the defense first thing, then start to open it up as the lines firm up and guys find some chemistry. Personally I think getting our top line going makes a lot of sense. I would consider putting Jussi back up there with O'Sullivan and give them a long look. Put Dalpe on third line center and let him have a shot. It may be a bit uneven, but it is the third line. At least get O'Sullivan up on the first line and see if at least he and Cole and Staal can get something going.

As long as Jussi's line is successful I doubt Mo will mess with it. With Sammy and Tlusty ready to come back I'm sure we'll see a left wing shuffle first before he moves Jussi. Hopefully the new lines won't leave too many of us perplexed again. Moving Sully or Sammy into LaRose's spot makes a lot more sense and unless Bowman starts making a statement and becomes more visible, I wouldn't mind seeing Tlusty to get a shot.

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Chip speculated the other day that "If Samsonov is cleared Tuesday, look for him to make 5-game road trip and Jiri Tlusty to have 2-week conditioning stint in Charlotte." Given the comments Coach Mo has made regarding Tlusty's game readiness, that would make sense.

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Chip speculated the other day that "If Samsonov is cleared Tuesday, look for him to make 5-game road trip and Jiri Tlusty to have 2-week conditioning stint in Charlotte." Given the comments Coach Mo has made regarding Tlusty's game readiness, that would make sense.

That make perfect sense. Tlusty gets to rehab from the knee. Sammy gets a shot to show what he can do, and hopefully O'Sullivan gets a shot also.

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Ok Canaics,,,Still the same expectations or have yours gone up like mine have? Skinner---way above anything I could have imagined. I think this next week or so will really make a difference with the team. Looks like the wear and tear from all the travel is going away so why not raise the expectations!!! May be setting myself up. but what the heck!!Go Canes!!!

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The schedule is definitely starting to turn in our favor a bit. But I would still expect around a .500 pace, say 6-6 or 7-5 for the rest of the month. I agree Skinner has been a surprise, even with the lofty expectations before the season.

BTW, did anyone notice we're playing in Boston at noon on Thanksgiving? Yikes.

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The schedule is definitely starting to turn in our favor a bit. But I would still expect around a .500 pace, say 6-6 or 7-5 for the rest of the month. I agree Skinner has been a surprise, even with the lofty expectations before the season.

BTW, did anyone notice we're playing in Boston at noon on Thanksgiving? Yikes.

Yes, me because I'll be there ;)

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Ok Canaics,,,Still the same expectations or have yours gone up like mine have? Skinner---way above anything I could have imagined. I think this next week or so will really make a difference with the team. Looks like the wear and tear from all the travel is going away so why not raise the expectations!!! May be setting myself up. but what the heck!!Go Canes!!!

At this point in the season I'm happy with our .500 record but, .500 and little to no chance to take the Division over the much improved Bolts and Thrashers isn't going to get us into the playoffs. But who knows, the season is still young.

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The schedule is definitely starting to turn in our favor a bit. But I would still expect around a .500 pace, say 6-6 or 7-5 for the rest of the month. I agree Skinner has been a surprise, even with the lofty expectations before the season.

BTW, did anyone notice we're playing in Boston at noon on Thanksgiving? Yikes.

Noon game is Friday, day after Thanksgiving.

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At this point in the season I'm happy with our .500 record but, .500 and little to no chance to take the Division over the much improved Bolts and Thrashers isn't going to get us into the playoffs. But who knows, the season is still young.

Whale, I will give you that the Bolts have improved ... a lot but I will gladly bet you a bar-b-que dinner (with drinks) that we will finish ahead of the Thrashers. Now I'm not saying that we will make the playoffs but this team very well could be fighting for the 7-8 spot come April.

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Noon game is Friday, day after Thanksgiving.

Oops - I am too used to looking at my 5 day work week calendar. :wacko:

Whale, I will give you that the Bolts have improved ... a lot but I will gladly bet you a bar-b-que dinner (with drinks) that we will finish ahead of the Thrashers. Now I'm not saying that we will make the playoffs but this team very well could be fighting for the 7-8 spot come April.

We may very well...but I'd bet Atlanta will be fighting for 6-7 in that scenario. 4 teams from the SE in the playoffs would be something, eh? Could happen if NJ continues to blow. I'm still thinking we end up at 9 or 10, but there's a long way to go.

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The team is inconsistent thus far. The defense lacks a physical presence. I believe our youth and our lightweight D will continue to impact us points-wise for the full season. I agree we'll be, as JR put it, a "competitive non-playoff hockey team" this season. We might battle for that 8th spot -- especially when NJ and Buffalo look so bad early on -- and one never knows what kinds of injuries will happen that will impact other teams. You certainly see the Pens struggling without Jordan so far, and it's obvious that injuries played a huge role in how poorly we performed last season.

The team just needs to keep its head up, play competitively and loose, and we'll see what happens.

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Whale, I will give you that the Bolts have improved ... a lot but I will gladly bet you a bar-b-que dinner (with drinks) that we will finish ahead of the Thrashers. Now I'm not saying that we will make the playoffs but this team very well could be fighting for the 7-8 spot come April.

If we don't make the playoffs, I don't know if finishing ahead of Atlanta is gonna be enough of a consolation prize to risk a BBQ dinner (with drinks). B)

I like everyone's optimism about our playoff chances though. At this point we are doing better in the standings than I thought but I think we have way too many pieces of the puzzle missing to jump on board. Our October schedule was tough but November doesn't look much better. In 13 games sofar we have only dominated one team, the Islanders, which arguably wasn't just because we are that good. In the remaining 11 games this month we are facing only two teams below us in the standings, the Oilers being one and Florida, which seems to have our number and is sure to put up another fight tonight, the other.

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I've not changed my expectations. We finish 10-12 in the conference and out of the playoffs. Our defense, as is, just won't be enough to push through those teams fighting for the eighth spot. I also don't think we have the firepower up front over 82 games. I'll gladly eat crow, so come on Canes and prove me wrong! BBQ crow, yumm.

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Whether we make the playoffs or not depends on how well the team is managed.

How well are downsides addressed and if not fixed at least improved:

Power Play

Face Offs

Defense in our zone.

Of course if these things are not fixed, we could slip in since we have #30, but still not likely.

Right now we have had unexpectedly good play from Cole, Sammy, and Skinner. Not that we didn't think Skinner would be good, but not THIS good.

However, Jussi is in a serious funk. He can't even seem to keep the puck on his stick, and Sutter has not been the same as last year thusfar.

I think we need one more 20 goal scorer. Personally I still think we have one in the pressbox in O'Sullivan, but who knows? Boychuk is lighting up the AHL, maybe Tlusty, but one of those guys needs to start putting up points. As awesome as Skinner is, it is hard to avoid that rookie wall.

Teams can make the playoffs in and up and down year as long as they have one or two winning streaks. If we can get just a nudge above .500 by mid Feb. JR can become a buyer and buy our way in. We are strong closers every year and our schedule is filled with home games from mid Feb on. From a scheduling point of view .500 right now is fine. But we're going to need to fix our issues to go on a bit of a run.

I'm still not sure we don't end up trading Sammy, but for now, if Sutter and Jussi get back to form, and we find one more guy (O'Sullivan), I think we'll have the horses to stay a few games above .500. Then JR will have to do some work to bolster our needs for those last 2 months which are stocked with home games.

If we can't fix the issues, then we drop below .500 and it all changes.

I have to be optimistic. A competitive, low playoff team.

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I still think we'll be one of 5 or 6 teams fighting for the last 2 or 3 playoff spots. Skinner is definitely a pleasant surprise. The defense has been a predictable disappointment in their own end, and a surprising disappointment in scoring. Ward has been about what I expected.

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Well the good thing we have going for us is that so far we are really putting the puck in the net! 11th in GPG isn't that bad for how young our team is. I think we can play well defensivly. We have the speed to make defensive stops. Maybe our forwards need to pick up their play? I am a tad concerned about our size and team toughness. I hope Cam does not get injured due to this.

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Well, let's not forget we were shut out at home by Washington and Pittsburgh, two elite teams. We have a lot of our goals against Florida, the Isles, and the Oil, three very non-elite teams. Also, it doesn't do much good to score 3 or 4 if we give up 4 or 5. We're 21st in goals against (better than I thought). I'll be impressed if we beat Flyers/Caps/Pens/Bruins over the next few weeks.

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