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djharley

EXPECTATIONS?

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I think they have it in them but so much of our fate relies on the team's 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).

This is one of the main reasons I have kept my expectations in check. Let's face it, our D and PK are among the worst in the league. Boston and Pitts are among the best, and we just can't cut it against them...we keep it close (usually), but that isn't enough. The only teams I can see falling out are the current bottom 3...Rangers and Montreal have been hit hard with injuries and no one thought NYR would be this good (credit Torts, as much as I don't like the guy). Atlanta has been off lately and is probably the prime target. The real difference getting those teams through is goaltending, and while Cam has had periods of brilliance he can't keep it up forever in the face of the onslaught of shots he faces nightly. And don't look now but Buffalo and Toronto are playing well currently (though Toronto is a mess in goal).

We will see...but I have a bad feeling about 9th place...

Edited by JLP

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BTW, does willing partner = patsie, etc.? Is there any GM that wants the tag of "willing" near their name?

Not at all. By willing I mean someone who is willing to give up what we want for what we have at the right price. JR has said he won't make a trade just for the sake of a trade. I also believe we will make a move or two. Just not sure what direction we will take.

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JR definitely has a lot of options. With an abundance of forward prospects, he can definitely move forwards. Then there's the whole Joni thing. If he doesn't think he is going to sign Joni, he might just up and trade him. That would be a very disruptive move though, so I really only see that happening if we are flailing. Then there's cap room, and picks/prospects to give for a short termer for the playoff run. Not sure if there is budget for it this year though.

Boychuk/Tlusty/Dalpe/Bowman/Samson (I know Tlusty is up now). But then there's another level Osala, Nash, etc. down in Charlotte also. Likely Sammy is not part of our future also.

Could get interesting.

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Tell you what, 10-11 Canes are the most consistent team I've ever seen, regardless of sport. Bad teams - W; Good teams L, excluding divisional games. I'm going to have start putting money on these guys.

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Well, with two weeks to the trade deadline the picture is still unclear. That probably should have been our expectation and will be mine through the trade deadline. Joni's play against Tampa is an example of that uncertainty, where he showed something for everyone. Two excellent assists and a boneheaded cross check leading to a Tampa PP goal. There is a whole thread about stay/go/softy, etc. and we'll get the answer soon.

To make a run the Canes will need resolve the productivity issue among smaller forwards. Cole as a big, physical forward has been outstanding, and likely won't be dealt. However, Samasonov, Dwyer, LaRose and Boychuk have to contribute and their physical profile is worrisome for the stretch run (or beyond).

Lastly, I for one can use some schedule and probability help. Looking up, Montreal and the Caps seem distant, yet they have played many more home games and have excellent home records. Subtract that factor and the teams are likely closer. In the end, beating the teams you need to will likely be the difference. Our records against Montreal and Washington thus far are the difference at present. Beating them will be the true test later this season.

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My expectations remain cautious. The expectations ebb and flow like the team we have on the ice. I do notice the veterans appear to be showing some of the drive and determination it will take to make the playoffs. Can our young players step up (Skinner yes) and make a difference in the stretch. I'm still not sure.

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....I don't think JR is even considering trading Pitkanen.

That likely depends on what they've discussed, or if they've discussed anything. I don't think any of us know whether Joni has expressed a desire to stay, or if JR feels he's affordable, or have a true feel for what the market is for him. IMO there are too many dynamics impacting whether "JR is even considering trading Pitkanen" but you're certainly welcome to think it.

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Pitkanen has already said he wants to stay. And JR has said in the last few days that they are not giving up on this season. Trading the best d-man this team has had for the past 2 seasons, would look like giving up unless he got something spectacular in return, and you don't get spectacular returns from teams in the Cup hunt, you get draft picks.

I understand that you want nothing more than for JR to trade Pitkanen, but I really just don't see ANY scenario that leads to that happening...except maybe a 7 game losing streak between now and the 28th.

Edited by TheBigKahuna

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Have to agree with the BigKahuna. While most of us recognize his value is likely highest among the UFA's, JR's comments about making the playoffs makes a Pits move seem unlikely unless we really fall out of the playoff hunt between now and the deadline. But, I could be wrong.

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Sorry, to say but I see this team finishing between 7th-12th. If we stand pat at the trade deadline that will likely lead to a 9th or 10th place finish.

I do not want to see us mortgage the future to finish 7th, or 8th just to see us get knock out in the first round by Philly, or Boston. So, I would not trade one young player, or pick to help out this year's team.

Instead, & this opinion might be unpopular, but I would continue the re-build & trade any & all UFA for picks & prospects. Then bring up the kids from Charlotte for the end of the season. If we happen to finish 8th then great, but think of the future, not the present. We have an opportunity to be good for many years!!! Look at Washington, Chicago, & Pittsburgh, who all went young & built it up over a few years.

I don't think our D, or special teams are good enough to win in the playoffs. I hope that I'm proven wrong, but that is my opinion.

Edited by rocheccw

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Pitkanen has already said he wants to stay. And JR has said in the last few days that they are not giving up on this season. Trading the best d-man this team has had for the past 2 seasons, would look like giving up unless he got something spectacular in return, and you don't get spectacular returns from teams in the Cup hunt, you get draft picks.

I understand that you want nothing more than for JR to trade Pitkanen, but I really just don't see ANY scenario that leads to that happening...except maybe a 7 game losing streak between now and the 28th.

Do you have a quote from Joni, or something 3rd hand? JR not giving up doesn't necessarily translate to keeping Joni. It means he'll do what it takes to succeed. Joni has not been our best defenseman IMO,but we can disagree on that.

Any scenario? How about he'll likely seek $5.5MM or $6MM and the team is for sale? Again, we can disagree on value, but at that rate I'm a seller for the right deal. We simply disagree on his value to the Canes.

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Do you have a quote from Joni, or something 3rd hand? JR not giving up doesn't necessarily translate to keeping Joni. It means he'll do what it takes to succeed. Joni has not been our best defenseman IMO,but we can disagree on that.

Any scenario? How about he'll likely seek $5.5MM or $6MM and the team is for sale? Again, we can disagree on value, but at that rate I'm a seller for the right deal. We simply disagree on his value to the Canes.

Pitkanen hopes to stay

BY CHIP ALEXANDER Newsobserver.com

"It has been 21/2 years, and it has been great," he said in an interview. "It's a great organization, great fans and great people here."It's a beautiful area.

"All are good things. Absolutely, I would like to stay here."

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However, Samasonov, Dwyer, LaRose and Boychuk have to contribute and their physical profile is worrisome for the stretch run (or beyond).

Well, Dwyer (with 2 playoff games) and Boychuk (with none) are a bit of an unknown, but I wouldn't be too worried about Samsonov and LaRose, based on past performance. Samsonov has - by a wide margin - more play-off experience than anyone else on the team. And is second (to Staal) in points per play-off game. In the 'Canes last play-off run, he was third in goals and fifth in points. (I give him the tie-breaker over Pitkanen, since he played one fewer game). LaRose has much less experience, but in the last play-off run was tied for second in points and was fourth in goals. And both were above the team average in +/-, with Samsonov among the leaders with a +2, and LaRose even. So I don't think their "physical profile" will be an issue.

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Pitkanen hopes to stay

BY CHIP ALEXANDER Newsobserver.com

Even if he "wants' to stay will the Canes be able to afford him. I'm sure he will not take less than he is making now. With him being in the same position as Ray was last year,can you take that chance of him just leaving and not getting anything in return. Even if we make the playoffs,I don't think we are a Cup finalist team so do you go out and get someone for him that will help the team for the next few years or do you wait and see if he will sign or not. To me its pretty simple, get a player/players that will benefit the team in the long run!

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Well, with 5 days until the trade deadline my expectations haven't changed. Thanks to the inability of any team to string together multiple victories the race for 6-8 spots remains tight. Fortunately that includes the Canes.

There are several holes that need to be filled, too many IMO, and not enough resources to fill them. That includes a top 6 forward, defensive defensemen, fixes for the PK and PP, some new thinking from behind the bench, and money to spend on UFA. I give tremendous credit to this year's squad to be in a playoff position as we close out February, and not on the outside looking in. JR said he'd wait for December, and got a 2 month extension to look/see. His time is up this coming Monday, where he deals or stands pat. IMO standing pat is NOT an option.

I expect this team to struggle with the growth challenge of winning consistently, and learning to close out a game. Hopefully a more favorable schedule will ease part of the grind towards the end. Thankfully they're giving us a full season of suspense.

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My expectations are still that we will make the playoffs. I must admit they are being tempered with the reality that we might not. We are still in a pretty good position but...

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i think that we are doing well considering the beginning of the season predictions. i think that j.r. called it for the most part right down the line. we can make it to the playoffs, and that would be the cherry on top, but if we do not make it, and are close, and keep the slugs from going, then i am happy.

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James Mirtle of the Toronto Globe and Mail discusses what he thinks it will take (i.e. records) for each team to reach the playoffs.

The Playoff Push: 90+ Points or Bust

That is interesting. Looking at that, barring a major collapse or major hot streak, it comes down to the Canes, Buffalo, and NYR going for the 7,8. And little chance of anything else.

We have a very slight disadvantage, but whoever can put together a nice streak will take it. Or whoever falls appart will leave it there for the other two.

Edited by remkin

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to feel good about this team, no first, for THEM :deadhorse: to feel good, could a 3 game winning streak show up ??

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