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djharley

EXPECTATIONS?

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Mixed. After Saturday's game I thought the Canes could be a serious playoff contender. After this afternoon's game, they are back to being a pretender.

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Let's see what happens in Raleigh vs Boston before we jump to any conclusions. They better put the 7-0 loss in the rearview quickly with 3 tough games coming up.

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I've chosen to be a little quiet around these parts for a couple of weeks, allowing the schedule nerds to pat themselves on the back. Yes you told us so. Now we we will see how this defense carries us through the remainder of the season.

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I've chosen to be a little quiet around these parts for a couple of weeks, allowing the schedule nerds to pat themselves on the back. Yes you told us so. Now we we will see how this defense carries us through the remainder of the season.

Reality does indeed bite.

(We should know by All-Star break which way this team is headed)

Edited by OBXer

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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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I've chosen to be a little quiet around these parts for a couple of weeks, allowing the schedule nerds to pat themselves on the back. Yes you told us so.

Yes, we did. yahoo.gif

Edited by remkin

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Fixed that for you. ;)

I've always suspected you put words in my mouth. I wouldn't call you uneducated though.

Edited by remkin

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I've always suspected you put words in my mouth. I wouldn't call you uneducated though.

Sorry if I touched a nerve, I was just giving you a hard time. Obviously that didn't work out too well. :blush:

Yes, we beat the pretenders when we really needed the wins to stay in the hunt. Getting past the run you so eloquently predicted, how is the schedule going to rectify a 5-11 record against teams now above the cut line? And that cut line hasn't changed with respect to the top 8 teams in quite some time.

My point is I think the defense (along with our inconsistent PP and our consistently bad PK) has been and continues to be our achilles heel, and is what has tempered my expectations for this team.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Sorry if I touched a nerve, I was just giving you a hard time. Obviously that didn't work out too well. :blush:

Yes, we beat the pretenders when we really needed the wins to stay in the hunt. Getting past the run you so eloquently predicted, how is the schedule going to rectify a 5-11 record against teams now above the cut line? And that cut line hasn't changed with respect to the top 8 teams in quite some time.

My point is I think the defense (along with our inconsistent PP and our consistently bad PK) has been and continues to be our achilles heel, and is what has tempered my expectations for this team.

I agree with you about the defense. We remain a pretty easy team to cycle against, and I would be surprised if Cam Ward doesn't have the record for "point blank shots faced". Our goals against is near the bottom of the conference, and we're #25 in the league in PK. That with an All Star goalie. Particularly with Cole playing out of his head and Ruutu and Jussi at their best, and young Skinner doing his thing, we are pretty decent up front, so as out of character as it is for me, I am agreeing that the next move might have to be to shore up the defense one way or the other.

Oddly Mo is known as a defense first coach, and the playoff run year he built the team from a defense first mindset, then loosened up as the year rolled on.

Yet somehow I get the feeling that the team is building something. The other day when the team was well on it's way to the 0-7 debacle in Boston Mo said basically, I'm not worried about one game, we're not going to sacrifice what we're building to try to get back into one game. There is a master plan. Or at least I think there is.

I also completely agree with you that this team has really struggled to put up actual regulation W's on the best teams. They've played them very strong most of the time. Come back from deficits to get a point several times, but if they're going to make the playoffs they can not go 0 for the top 4 teams. They need to find a couple of wins there.

On the defense, there's the Joni thread, but I wonder what the problem is. When I watch, McBain seems the most unsteady guy back there, but his +/- isn't terrible. Given all of Joni's points, his +/- suggests he's on the ice for a lot of goals against. White seems steady, his +/- is about even with the Canes. Corvo doesn't seem particularly bad. Harrison is not an All Star but seems more solid than expected. Is there a goat on defense? Joni? Are the forwards not getting back?

I am thinking the forwards might be the problem. Staal has 47 points but is still a minus 9. Really?

I know the +/- is a problematic stat, but if you're scoring goals left and right and your a minus 9, by definition a LOT of goals are going in while you're out there also. Then Mr. LaRose is -10. Yes White is -9, but he brought that with him. Then Bodie, then Boychuk. So not counting White's +/- from Calgary, 4 forwards are at the bottom at -30 collectively. Gleason and Corvo are next at -5 each, but they draw the top lines more often than not.

What do you think is the problem on d?

Anyway, more than I planned on putting in here. I'm still optimistic. We drastically outplayed Boston in Raleigh. We are going to start picking off a few of those games. If we tighten a little on defense we can make the playoffs. Go deep? Probably not, but who knows?

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Well I made a big post about how I agreed on the defense and some other sterling points, but while I was listed as the last one to post, my post seems to have vanished.

I will say this after tonight's game. I think that there is a master plan, and it's starting to show. The first 10 minutes of the Boston debacle, the Boston bounce back loss and this game we are starting to look pretty good. My expectations are rising. Oh and did I mention we have a ton of home games after mid February?grin.gif

Edit: OK that's weird. Now my other post is showing up. Was it always there but just I couldn't see it? Hmmm.

Edited by remkin

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... Oh and did I mention we have a ton of home games after mid February?...

Edit: OK that's weird. Now my other post is showing up. Was it always there but just I couldn't see it? Hmmm.

I count on you to highlight the schedule quirks, so don't let me down now...

As for the missing post, it happened to me yesterday, too. Seems when a new page started it wouldn't show. It eventually did (in Boston GDT, not this one).

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I agree with you about the defense. We remain a pretty easy team to cycle against, and I would be surprised if Cam Ward doesn't have the record for "point blank shots faced". Our goals against is near the bottom of the conference, and we're #25 in the league in PK. That with an All Star goalie. Particularly with Cole playing out of his head and Ruutu and Jussi at their best, and young Skinner doing his thing, we are pretty decent up front, so as out of character as it is for me, I am agreeing that the next move might have to be to shore up the defense one way or the other.

Oddly Mo is known as a defense first coach, and the playoff run year he built the team from a defense first mindset, then loosened up as the year rolled on.

Yet somehow I get the feeling that the team is building something. The other day when the team was well on it's way to the 0-7 debacle in Boston Mo said basically, I'm not worried about one game, we're not going to sacrifice what we're building to try to get back into one game. There is a master plan. Or at least I think there is.

I also completely agree with you that this team has really struggled to put up actual regulation W's on the best teams. They've played them very strong most of the time. Come back from deficits to get a point several times, but if they're going to make the playoffs they can not go 0 for the top 4 teams. They need to find a couple of wins there.

On the defense, there's the Joni thread, but I wonder what the problem is. When I watch, McBain seems the most unsteady guy back there, but his +/- isn't terrible. Given all of Joni's points, his +/- suggests he's on the ice for a lot of goals against. White seems steady, his +/- is about even with the Canes. Corvo doesn't seem particularly bad. Harrison is not an All Star but seems more solid than expected. Is there a goat on defense? Joni? Are the forwards not getting back?

I am thinking the forwards might be the problem. Staal has 47 points but is still a minus 9. Really?

I know the +/- is a problematic stat, but if you're scoring goals left and right and your a minus 9, by definition a LOT of goals are going in while you're out there also. Then Mr. LaRose is -10. Yes White is -9, but he brought that with him. Then Bodie, then Boychuk. So not counting White's +/- from Calgary, 4 forwards are at the bottom at -30 collectively. Gleason and Corvo are next at -5 each, but they draw the top lines more often than not.

What do you think is the problem on d?

Anyway, more than I planned on putting in here. I'm still optimistic. We drastically outplayed Boston in Raleigh. We are going to start picking off a few of those games. If we tighten a little on defense we can make the playoffs. Go deep? Probably not, but who knows?

Weird, this didn't show up till this morning, but sounds like some others are having the same issue.

I don't have an answer for the defense that makes any sense really. Seems when the defense has a bad night they look really awful, but when the defense has a really good night, they just look average.

I questioned the signing of Corvo, not because of Corvo the player, more because it just looked out of character for an NHL team to suit up so many "puck movers". But for the price, he's been okay.

I still think we are missing that one guy on the back end. A guy like Marc Staal, for example. A guy who can play night in and night out against the other teams top line. Personally, I thought Gleason was that guy, but to be honest, I've been disappointed in his play. He's come on of late but boy did he start slow.

McBain is a rookie, so I cut him alot of slack. He's still learning the game at this level. I think the addition of White has helped, but it hasn't solidified the defense to the point I am completely comfortable with it going down the stretch.

I'm not touching Pitkanen because that's covered in another thread. But for the $$, that might be a place where the value going forward would be better placed in a shut down guy.

Ironically, I think Harrison has been our most consistent defenseman and has been able to play with just about anyone in that bottom pairing. Good for him.

I don't care if we have 6 All Stars on the back end, the forwards have to get back and help, and we certainly have been a little mediocre in that department, but now awful.

I agree completely that this team is building something, particularly on offense. But my expectations are still tempered by this defense. It's too inconsistent. Hopefully, JR can remedy that going forward.

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Good summary coastal. The whole Pitkanen thing...one reason I'm willing to let him go is that I feel like we need to spend those $ as you said on "that one guy", a solid shutdown type. We don't seem to develop them so we will need to get him via FA and that will take some $. White is a poor man's Pitkanen (and we know how much JR loves that "poor man's" category) with a physical edge. Problem is White hasn't exactly lit the world on fire like I was hoping, but he is playing a lot better with Harrison (who is playing great) than he was with Pits. McBain will hopefully take this year's experience and build on it. Corvo has been playing great lately and in my opinion is holding our D together right now; if he weren't playing as well we'd be in big trouble. Last but not least, I hope Gleason continues his upswing, but he has been inconsistent and we can't afford that.

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On the defense, there's the Joni thread, but I wonder what the problem is. When I watch, McBain seems the most unsteady guy back there, but his +/- isn't terrible. Given all of Joni's points, his +/- suggests he's on the ice for a lot of goals against. White seems steady, his +/- is about even with the Canes. Corvo doesn't seem particularly bad. Harrison is not an All Star but seems more solid than expected. Is there a goat on defense? Joni? Are the forwards not getting back?

I am thinking the forwards might be the problem. Staal has 47 points but is still a minus 9. Really?

I know the +/- is a problematic stat, but if you're scoring goals left and right and your a minus 9, by definition a LOT of goals are going in while you're out there also. Then Mr. LaRose is -10. Yes White is -9, but he brought that with him. Then Bodie, then Boychuk. So not counting White's +/- from Calgary, 4 forwards are at the bottom at -30 collectively. Gleason and Corvo are next at -5 each, but they draw the top lines more often than not.

What do you think is the problem on d?

Interesting thoughts. I have nothing at all against a defense first mentality. It can't be all that bad if guys like Jacques Lemaire, Randy Carlyle, Mike Babcock and John Tortorella have owned up to it and have structured some very successful systems around it. I know Mo is none of those guys and still has a bad rep because of the 2002-2004 seasons, but I don't see him trying to force the old trap and shut-down system of the Devils anymore either. (Thank God)

What I'm missing most in our system (whatever the heck it may be) is defense by proxy like we have seen a lot under Lavi's run-and-gun fun.

About the +/- comments, I was bored this morning and posted a little more refined stats here.

Since teams generally tend to play more of an agressive and open game at home compared to a more defensive minded and tighter checking game on the road, and division games can be a lot more intense, I think it's interesting to see which players do good or have problems in those different style games.

Some that stuck out:

Home and Away - LaRose is +4 at home but -13 on the road, Cole -6H/ +7A, Pitkanen +6H/ -5A and Corvo a +2 H/ -6 away.

Division games - White +5, Harrison +4,... but...Corvo is a whopping -14, Gleason -13 and LaRose -7

All other games - Corvo and Sutter have a +10, Gleason +6, Dwyer +4, Sammy +3 but Harrison a -5 and Ruutu -4

I broke down collective stats for various lines and pairings but... the internet ate it.

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Can't beat anyone good, even when the opponent is at half strength. I do hold out hope for this team to make the playoffs, but that's a big problem. I don't believe there's been a Canes team, not even the bad ones, so reliably unable to pick up wins against good teams.

Edited by antame

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Well, hell week is over and the Canes underachieved over the last 5 games. They're playing much better, but without results against teams they NEED to beat it will be a very tough haul.

Maybe we can consider taking the schedule over to "Mamby Pamby Land" to make it better.

Despite blowing off steam, my expectations haven't changed and I think they'll continue to improve into a very low spot to the dance.

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My expectation ebb and flow much like the play of this team. One game the team will look promising, skate with speed, determination and grit. The next game will bring less than an inspiring effort. Yet we are still only 3 points out (depending on the TB-Atl game today) of a playoff spot. with just under half a season left. Plenty of time.

I still expect we will be challenging for a playoff spot at seasons end but if it comes down to one big game to make it. I wonder if we will have the heart to win it.

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...I wonder if we will have the heart to win it.

I'm seeing "yes" to this. This team pushed back very hard after allowing those Pen goals, especially immediately after the 3rd. IMO there has been month-over-month improvement that should continue. This is all we could have hoped for from where the Canes started this season.

Also, the Tuesday Boston game was VERY hard fought. Coming off Monday's beat down that was a great sign of their will.

I don't think all of the players out there will comprise the season ending roster, and like having JR as the "X" factor with the team staying competitive. For example, how do you think this team would look if he added a couple of strong defenders as "rentals" at the deadline? With the strength of the team's forwards, they would suddenly be a very dangerous team.

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I'm seeing "yes" to this. This team pushed back very hard after allowing those Pen goals, especially immediately after the 3rd. IMO there has been month-over-month improvement that should continue. This is all we could have hoped for from where the Canes started this season.

Also, the Tuesday Boston game was VERY hard fought. Coming off Monday's beat down that was a great sign of their will.

I don't think all of the players out there will comprise the season ending roster, and like having JR as the "X" factor with the team staying competitive. For example, how do you think this team would look if he added a couple of strong defenders as "rentals" at the deadline? With the strength of the team's forwards, they would suddenly be a very dangerous team.

Like I stated my expectations ebb and flow. Of course your correct the team has showed "heart" and desire with the games against Boston and New York. I probable should have thought that through a little more. This team is much better than the team that started the season. They have stepped it up. My worry is the inability to take it to the next level of putting away good teams and taking advantage of situations. I'm still hopeful we will be in the hunt at the end of the season.

I also think JR is to much of a competitor not to make some moves to improve the team but you have to have a willing trade partner. He could ride this team and see where it goes. I'm very cautiously optimistic and hoping for continued improvement. Time will tell.

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I think they have it in them but so much of our fate relies on the team's above us. If somehow the Canes could be tied or in the 8th spot heading into the break, I'd be feeling better about our chances but it's still possible. I just don't see this team rolling over and giving up at any point.

I think JR will make some moves to improve the team for next season, but those same moves might be enough to push them into the playoffs this season as long as they keep playing hard (and with a little help from the teams above us).

The only thing that has me concerned is that they still haven't found a way to beat the teams above us, yet some of those teams have shown they can still win under adversity (Pens, Montreal).

So far we are exactly the team JR predicted us to be at the start of the season, a very good competitive non-playoff team. When JR starts changing his tune, my expectations will also change.

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...you have to have a willing trade partner. He could ride this team and see where it goes. I'm very cautiously optimistic and hoping for continued improvement. Time will tell.

The deadline is only 5 weeks from tomorrow on 2/28. Between the approaching date, injured players and clearer pictures of needs the willing partner piece should fall in place. Whether he stocks up further for the future, or tweaks the roster for a run, I have great confidence in JR. He pulled off Bodie and Carter with no apparent willing partner. BTW, does willing partner = patsie, etc.? Is there any GM that wants the tag of "willing" near their name?

Dean Lombardi is under pressure in LA, and I expect more GMs will feel the squeeze in the next month. JR is only under financial pressure IMO, and can deal from strength. There is a bottleneck in Charlotte at forward, and IMO Dalpe is ready right now, even ahead of Boychuk.

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good points, thought we were out if it at 3-0, then a squirmish at the end we almost tie, no excuses for not winning next 2, even though game against iles wont be easy..kudos to kouiv ok i mispelled it, for his return to montreal.. atlanta at tampa bay, well we have to root for tampa, yes, ur right, no margin for error, need a 4 or 5 game wining streak, cant afford any 3 game losing streaks..

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