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djharley

EXPECTATIONS?

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It all comes down to one thing..MONEY. Until this team gets the go ahead to spend closer to the cap like the big boys do, we'll live in mediocrity with a few unlikely runs sprinkled in every so often to tease us fans.

I disagree almost completely.

It's not all about money. Ruutu makes 4 million this year, 4.5 next year. Add in the salaries of Sasmonov, LaRose, Cole....and that takes up a HUGE chunk of salary cap. And what are you getting from them? There are better players to be had. There are players that are a better for for this team. Rutherford overpaid for both Cole and Rosey. They both wanted to test the free agent waters, and neither got offered didley squat...so Rutherford signed both are sizeable increases and overpaid dearly for what he got in return.

Another trend is taking another teams' trash and turning it into treasure. It works once or twice, but it's not a magic formula. There's a reason most teams give up on a player. How many times has Rutherford taking a flyer on a player who is very inconsistent, that player comes in and has a good two months, and Jimmy gives them a 3 year deal? Too many times.

The Canes have failed pretty miserably at drafting quality players and then developing them through their system. Jeff Daniels really seems to be turning around half of that problem in Charlotte. And the drafting...well, that's still open to debate. Skinner was a heck of a diamond. But Rutherfords track record has improved over the last 8 years. Before that, it was horrible.

Edited by TheBigKahuna

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expectations any different for our boys, 3 out of 4 points against 2 of betetr teams in western conf, and caps get shutout at rangers 6-0.. gotta love it

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It amazed me to see we are only 8 points out of first place in the southeast. i thought that ship had sailed long ago. Perhaps I should reevaluate my expectations. I know 8 points are a lot and I know the Caps should break out of their slump but heck why not set our sights on first in the south. For now I'll be happy as we chase 8th place in the conference but maybe...just maybe.

Edited by OBXer

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One game at a time. We have up to 4 games in hand on teams who are in early play-off positions so anything is possible. We can only control how we play and fight for wins, everything else is out of our hands. One game at a time.

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Of course your right Whaler. One game at a time is the way to take it. This team is still on the edge although they are beginning to look like a team finding an identity. For now I'll take your advise and just take it one game at a time but maybe...just maybe.

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Of course your right Whaler. One game at a time is the way to take it. This team is still on the edge although they are beginning to look like a team finding an identity. For now I'll take your advise and just take it one game at a time but maybe...just maybe.

Oh, I like the "maybe...just maybe" too, don't get me wrong lol. After our first little win streak I have been reevaluating my expectations too but before I bring my hopes up too much I want to see first how we respond to the next loss. And I agree, eight points out doesn't sound too impossible since we have 50 games to go yet but, in order to make up the needed ground that also means that we would have to be at least as good as WAS, ATL and TB against the rest of the league and more often than not better than them in those all important '4 point' divisional head to head games. That's where I'm still a little skeptical because of consistancy. That's why I think setting our sights on a playoff spot for now seems a lot more realistic and attainable since we are only four points out and if we do happen to go on a roll we can always look a little higher up. Our wins haven't been all that pretty this month but our 5-1-1 record does show the guys are slowly coming together and learning how to win one way or another. Let's hope they can keep it up.

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Oh, I like the "maybe...just maybe" too, don't get me wrong lol. After our first little win streak I have been reevaluating my expectations too but before I bring my hopes up too much I want to see first how we respond to the next loss. And I agree, eight points out doesn't sound too impossible since we have 50 games to go yet but, in order to make up the needed ground that also means that we would have to be at least as good as WAS, ATL and TB against the rest of the league and more often than not better than them in those all important '4 point' divisional head to head games. That's where I'm still a little skeptical because of consistancy. That's why I think setting our sights on a playoff spot for now seems a lot more realistic and attainable since we are only four points out and if we do happen to go on a roll we can always look a little higher up. Our wins haven't been all that pretty this month but our 5-1-1 record does show the guys are slowly coming together and learning how to win one way or another. Let's hope they can keep it up.

All good points. The real test will come after we lose. A playoff spot will be fine but we got a lot of hockey to play so I will enjoy it while I can.

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Of course only time will tell, but we are now looking at a much better schedule moving forward. That game in Tampa was a set up for a loss in my opinion, but now we have great spacing and only one real back to back until February 26th. (The other two back to backs the other team is back to back also). So basically from now until the end of February we have one disadvantageous back to back and really great spacing.

Then, in March and April we have 12 home games vs. 7 road games to finish out the year (of course there are 5 back to backs in there, but what can you do?)

January is a fairly balanced schedule. Good teams, not so good teams, lots of spacing, an All Star game...

January should be a balanced test is my point. I know that teams will win or lose despite the schedule, but other than some late back to backs and one well spaced east coast road trip, this team's schedule woes are in the rear view mirror.

Despite last night's debacle, prior to that we'd found 9 or 10 points, and I'm still optimistic.

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Remkin, I wouldn't worry so much about the spacing of the games as the quality of the opponents. Eleven of the next 16 games

are against either divisional opponents or teams that are below the 'Canes in the standings. That's opportunity knocking for

a chance to add some points. On the other hand, in February, 9 of 13 opponents could be labelled as "good" so it would be best

if the Hurricanes simply win the games they're supposed to from now til the ASG.

Is this team capable of putting together a streak? Well, the next 4 games notwithstanding, no. Not as it's presently constructed.

The team we are looking at now is not necessarily the team we'll be seeing in March. That's where JR comes in.

The quality of the opponent is a key component, I agree. Part of my other analysis of other parts of our schedule has taken that into account. The spacing and home/away are also important factors. To the quality point you are right about the next several games. The next 9 are all winnable opponents. The Ottawa back to back is really the only spacing issue. Thus the schedule is open for us to go on a run right now.

I think we are capable of it. We just need things to come together. We need a run where we don't get horrendous calls and we catch a key break or two. This team has never lost more than 3 in a row. That's something. The special teams need to come around quick. We've got the goalie to make a run. I think we can.

The Canes have made late runs nearly every year, even bad years. JR hasn't really made any blockbuster moves since the cup, but we've managed those runs anyway. I'd like to think that this year JR would pull the trigger on a top offensive forward rental, but it is probably a long shot. I still would not rule out some lesser shake up where a veteran or two get traded for a decent guy and one or two Checkers come up to inject that late season energy. We'll see.

I am really holding out hope that we put a little run together over the next 10 games. Yes, we've lost 3, but we have not been terrible. Here comes the streak!

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Remkin, I hope you're right. However, counting on runs seen in prior seasons is unrealistic.

I'm sure most opponents are looking at the Canes on their schedule and counting that as a potential "W" or easier game. For this team to underestimate ANY opponent would be a big mistake, and out of touch.

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Remkin, I hope you're right. However, counting on runs seen in prior seasons is unrealistic.

I'm sure most opponents are looking at the Canes on their schedule and counting that as a potential "W" or easier game. For this team to underestimate ANY opponent would be a big mistake, and out of touch.

Please don't get me wrong. I don't expect the Canes to take any team lightly. If they do that, we're done (ok maybe the Islanders or Edmonton). This is an expectations thread so I'm just saying that when we're facing the best teams and back to backs and jet lag etc. etc. my expectations for the outcomes of those games is lower. Not that the Canes should let up at all.

The flip side of this, is that the schedule is now letting up. So my expectations are rising. A playoff bound team should chew up these softer parts of the schedule. If we're still .500 heading into our home and home with Boston, my read on this team will slide to non playoff team. But, even that can change. Maybe if that happens we shake things up and get a youth infusion and go on a run.

You are actually right about not counting on past runs translating to this year, but it is actually kind of amazing how consistent this has been since the cup year. I think we've closed strong every single year. I could be wrong, but I think we have. This year we have a ton of home games at the end and on balance lower quality opponents, so another run is certainly possible.

This is not a Stanley Cup Contender. But if the goal is the playoffs, that is a much lower bar. As bad as things get, as long as Cam is healthy we have a shot.

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My expectations are rising. At the beginning of the season I was hoping for a competitive team that had a chance at the playoff. That still remains my expectation but the difference is that at the beginning of the season I wasn't sure we would meet those expectations. Now I fully expect the Canes to make a run at a playoff spot. I'm still not sure if we will make the playoffs but we have a good chance.

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All they have to do is stay close and hope Montreal goes into

the tank. Just like they did a couple of seasons ago.

Montreal, Atlanta and the Rangers could all drop below us and the Slugs are starting to play good so we have to watch our back as well. There is a long way to go, he season's only half over but I do believe that it is going to be a very interesting couple of months.

Go Canes!

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... Thus the schedule is open for us to go on a run right now.

I think we are capable of it. We just need things to come together. We need a run where we don't get horrendous calls and we catch a key break or two. This team has never lost more than 3 in a row. That's something. The special teams need to come around quick. We've got the goalie to make a run. I think we can.

I am really holding out hope that we put a little run together over the next 10 games. Yes, we've lost 3, but we have not been terrible. Here comes the streak!

Sorry. I know it's indelicate to point out one's predictions, but I do get some grief when I get it wrong so...

My expectations are really rising fast now. The kicker is that through much of this run of 10 games we have not played great defense or gotten particularly great goaltending. Yet these are areas I expect to improve.

What I am seeing though is certain pieces falling into place. No doubt Skinner is the surprise story of the year. He has one more goal than Ovechkin for crying out loud. He gives us the scorer that we knew we needed but didn't think we'd get. But that by itself would not be enough.

Staal, despite being a favorite whipping boy, is on a 40 plus goal pace. And is 10th in the league in points.

Jussi has found his groove and despite the slow start, some 4th line time and injuries is just under .9 ppg.

Cole, well look at the thread about him. He has been a new man the last 6-8 games. He is playing at an amazing level 1.67 ppg over the last 6 games.

Ruutu is bringing the physicality but producing also (he leads the team in assists (with Staal) and is over .8 ppg.

Skinner: dang that boy is tied for 31st in the league in goals and 37th in points (forwards).

Sutter has more points in him, but he is shutting down the other guys and his +7 continues to lead the team.

There are some guys that will still rise. Boychuk, Tlusty, Dalpe? Maybe LaRose? And our defensive zone coverage still needs to tighten.

But when Cam gets back to his A game and if those top 5 guys keep it up. Things could look better and better. And we have the cap room to make a deal at some point.

Edited by remkin

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Sorry. I know it's indelicate to point out one's predictions, but I do get some grief when I get it wrong so...

My expectations are really rising fast now. The kicker is that through much of this run of 10 games we have not played great defense or gotten particularly great goaltending. Yet these are areas I expect to improve.

What I am seeing though is certain pieces falling into place. No doubt Skinner is the surprise story of the year. He has one more goal than Ovechkin for crying out loud. He gives us the scorer that we knew we needed but didn't think we'd get. But that by itself would not be enough.

Staal, despite being a favorite whipping boy, is on a 40 plus goal pace. And is 10th in the league in points.

Jussi has found his groove and despite the slow start, some 4th line time and injuries is just under .9 ppg.

Cole, well look at the thread about him. He has been a new man the last 6-8 games. He is playing at an amazing level 1.67 ppg over the last 6 games.

Ruutu is bringing the physicality but producing also (he leads the team in assists (with Staal) and is over .8 ppg.

Skinner: dang that boy is tied for 31st in the league in goals and 37th in points (forwards).

Sutter has more points in him, but he is shutting down the other guys and his +7 continues to lead the team.

There are some guys that will still rise. Boychuk, Tlusty, Dalpe? Maybe LaRose? And our defensive zone coverage still needs to tighten.

But when Cam gets back to his A game and if those top 5 guys keep it up. Things could look better and better. And we have the cap room to make a deal at some point.

I agree with most of that, but I think Ward has been on his A game for the most part. Ward sees more bang-bang chances against him than most goalies in the league. Sure, like any goalie he gives up the occasional soft goal, but with less frequency that most goalies IMO. Look at the struggles of Brodeur and Luongo (earlier in the season). Ward has a weak defense in front of him, period. And nothing I've seen from this team would lead me to think otherwise. For the most part Gleason and Corvo have been good, but even they look lost sometimes. Last night's goals for example... first goal was a pass right to the low shot, basically a mini breakaway. Second was a bang-bang to Lecavalier (on Corvo and Gleason), third was another pass to the deep slot to a wide open Gagne, last goal was from McBain's turnover that led to a breakaway from Gagne. Ward basically had no chance on any of those goals. Fact is, if The Canes were playing against a better goaltender last night, they could have easily lost that game. I'm not trying to take away from their effort, but I like to stay realistic, and the Defense is unsteady to say the least.

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I'd like to be more optimistic, but this team is still inconsistent. Things are looking up - lines seem to have gotten fairly stable (as stable as they will ever be under Mo), chemistry seems to be good up front, we are scoring well. Not so good on the D side though...while we are 8th in goals for, we are 22nd in goals against and 28th in shots against. Gleason and McBain are still shaky. Pitkanen is Pitkanen. White and Harrison are doing well, and Corvo is doing very well. We need to improve our D or Ward is going to wear down and we will remain inconsistent.

The coming week will tell a lot about where this team is - back to back against Boston, NYR, then the Pens. If we can get good momentum going into the break it will bode well for the team. If we win tomorrow we will be in 8th place (finally!). Atlanta has been struggling lately, and it looks like we will be fighting them and the 'nads for 8th. Frankly I have a hard time seeing either of those teams out of the playoffs, so we still have our work cut out. Not impossible but still uphill. And we won't get far even if we get in if we don't improve the D.

Edited by JLP

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My expectations were rising with December's success since my past post in this thread. Since then, the good has gotten better, and amazingly the bad parts remain. Yet, the team has achieved even more as December turned to January.

The Tampa win was a very big deal. Heading into 4 tough games the Canes could have stumbled if they dropped 2 in a row. Instead, they showed more determination IMO than any other time this year. Coaches, Players and Fans all showed intensity for the Tampa game. What a difference that can make.

Heading into the home-and-home with Boston, tha Canes are playing with house money with the Tampa win. They have a chance to pick up points Monday in Boston, and then continue that into Tuesday and beyond. All against important foes. If they had lost to Tampa this team would have been in a MUCH tougher spot.

Come on Canes! This is a very big week and one I'm thankful we can all look forward to given the modest expectations from pre-season.

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I agree with most of that, but I think Ward has been on his A game for the most part. Ward sees more bang-bang chances against him than most goalies in the league. Sure, like any goalie he gives up the occasional soft goal, but with less frequency that most goalies IMO. Look at the struggles of Brodeur and Luongo (earlier in the season). Ward has a weak defense in front of him, period. And nothing I've seen from this team would lead me to think otherwise. For the most part Gleason and Corvo have been good, but even they look lost sometimes. Last night's goals for example... first goal was a pass right to the low shot, basically a mini breakaway. Second was a bang-bang to Lecavalier (on Corvo and Gleason), third was another pass to the deep slot to a wide open Gagne, last goal was from McBain's turnover that led to a breakaway from Gagne. Ward basically had no chance on any of those goals. Fact is, if The Canes were playing against a better goaltender last night, they could have easily lost that game. I'm not trying to take away from their effort, but I like to stay realistic, and the Defense is unsteady to say the least.
I think Ward has had a truely All Star year. I also agree that he faces more point blank shots than just about anyone. But he has all year. It just seems that since his supposedly minor injury he's been very good instead of great. I can't fault Ward on many goals, but he might have stopped on or two of them when he was in spectacular mode. We've given up 12 goals in 3 games. I'm not puttting even most of it on Cam, but if he raises his game back a touch, we'll be that much better. I'm not sure there is not still something nagging him. Of course no one would say if there was. Anyway, it's a finer point really. I expect a stellar outing from Cam next time. Edited by remkin

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Obviously I don't post here much, but chiming in; remkin sort of laid it out for this team's playoff chances depending on the past 10 game stretch, which I tend to believe is correct. Canes did very well. I'm pretty confident we'll make the playoffs, but please Canes, win a non-divisional game against a good team, do you mind?

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Of course I had to bring up Ward's play... just to see him look like Swiss cheese today. That's as bad as I've seen him play in a long long time. He wasn't challenging at all. Pulled him after 2 goals, but The Canes look like a minor league team next to the Bruins. They were completely unprepared, and that's coaching.

How in the hell can the players remember their assignments when lines are CONSTANTLY being shuffled? Leave the frickin' lines ALONE! Sometimes the team loses. I tolerated it at the beginning of the season, but now it's just ridiculous. It's every game! I've refrained from saying it all year... but here it is...

MO MUST GO!

Maybe The Bruins game isn't completely his fault... but I'm tired of mediocrity. This team isn't THAT bad. If The Canes make a playoff push before the trade deadline, JR needs to focus on getting one or two more D-men in here, and a real coach.

Ah well, I guess I could always watch Lavolette's Flyers take the East.. they sure do look a lot like The Canes of 06.

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