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Manwolf

Forward Lines and Power Play v2010-11

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After last night's scratch, and the alleged Press Conference, I'm not sure about O'Sullivan.

Something is very wrong, and blaming Mo isn't the answer. I think Mo is handling whatever the situation is, or if he's part of something with the PC, then JR is handling it. I don't have anything specific to point to as a reason, but I know there is something very odd going on with O'Sullivan.

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Not sure what to make of the Cane's site and depth chart going into the Sharks game. We'll see when the game is played. As listed at the site, I like that Staal has Jussi and Rosie as wingers, with Cole sliding to 3rd line. I find the rest of what is listed a little suspect (Ruutu as 3rd line center, etc.).

I'm cool with Mo adjusting to find some chemistry given the lack of production thus far. We'll see.....

Go Canes!

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Not sure what to make of the Cane's site and depth chart going into the Sharks game. We'll see when the game is played. As listed at the site, I like that Staal has Jussi and Rosie as wingers, with Cole sliding to 3rd line. I find the rest of what is listed a little suspect (Ruutu as 3rd line center, etc.).

I'm cool with Mo adjusting to find some chemistry given the lack of production thus far. We'll see.....

Go Canes!

Thanks for pointing that out. I'm not sure what it means either. Ruutu can play center and Cole has the speed to keep up with Skinner. If this is how it shakes out I expect both Ruutu and Cole will stick up for Skinner if he is targeted again.

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Well, the Ruutu experiment worked out great so far. I can't see any changes as long as the Ruutu line with Cole and Skinner keeps creating chances like they have.

Sutter still needs a scoring winger, where I hope O'Sullivan gets his chance.

The 4th line is a bottleneck, where something has to give. I suspect Dalpe or Bowman (or both) go to Charlotte. For now it is a great problem to have.

Is there anything about the league minimum that would cause the Canes to hold onto both Cole and Samsonov and make them permanent parts of the Forward Line picture?

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Is there anything about the league minimum that would cause the Canes to hold onto both Cole and Samsonov and make them permanent parts of the Forward Line picture?

No, they are well above minimum cap...could lose both of them and still be good from that standpoint. But I think it's safe to consider them here for the year.

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No, they are well above minimum cap...could lose both of them and still be good from that standpoint. But I think it's safe to consider them here for the year.

I wouldn't be so sure.

We have too many wingers. Right now Cole and Sammy seem to have the inside track, but if O'Sullivan and Skinner are able to perform then especially Sammy is entirely expendable. I have this sneaking feeling that Sammy is being shopped. It is based on entirely nothing but that it makes sense.

When Sammy is on, he creates space and can be a near a point a game. But Sammy doesn't ever seem to be on for very long, and he is a small body. If he starts putting up some points, he might be tradable. With all the wingers waiting in the, uh, wings, we will be ok without him.

Cole is a dilema. The man can still skate and hit. He also puts on the occasional sweet move and even some pretty nice passes. He just can't seem to score goals anymore. But being a big, fast guy on a smallish team, combined with his lack of goal production making him a tough trade, it is harder to see Cole moving. But recall that Cole has been traded once.

In the long run, it doesn't make sense to keep both of these guys. We need room for our young wingers, and I'd rather take a shot at O'Sullivan than Sammy. If Sammy can get it going a little, he might be tradable. If he gets it going a lot, then we'll keep him.

If I had to bet, I'd say 60-40 Sammy is moved at some point in the season, and I'd not be shocked if it was soon.

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rem, you hit the nail on the head. I would add that it is hard to sit Sammy. he hasn't done anything wrong. Its hard to sit O'Sullivan until he gets a good shot and it is hard to sit Tlusty (when he is fully recovered) because you want to see what he can do. Something has to give.

I think Cole stays but at trade deadline if the Canes only have a slim chance of making the playoffs that might change. If we go into a full rebuild I'm not sure where Cole fits into future plans. The dilemma for Cole (I think) is that the better he plays the more likely it will be that if the team tanks he would be traded. We would need room for the prospects and Cole would fetch a good return. But that is a long way off and I think for now we are trying to find a line-up that can make a playoff run. IMO that would include Cole.

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Not sure teams are going to fall twice for Cole. He's like Mariusz Czerkawski who was only good on the Islanders.

There is that. Since he was less than a sensation on the Oil there would always be some doubt. I guess it would depend on if a playoff bound team needs a role player with cup experience. But far to early to tell and since we will be playoff bound (fingers crossed)ourselves it may never come up.

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Cole is a catch 22. He'd have to have a really great season of 20+ goals to be desirable at the trade deadline. But, if he did that, the Canes would need him, and Rutherford would want to keep him. I just do not see Cole being traded again. I do not think Jimmy will do that to "his boy". But as he's going right now no one will want him or his contract.

Samsonov, same thing. Who would trade for him, and why?

If JR makes any deals, he's going to have to move puck moving defensemen and small skilled type forwards.

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I don't have an epic defense for why Cole/Samsonov are here to stay (at least to the deadline, probably all year), but here are the bullets:

  • little to no movement in the NHL in general until near trade deadline (essentially, the market favors the buyer, not the seller)
  • JR is not the type of GM to make a deal just for the heck of it - if he really wanted to clear those salaries no matter what he'd have done it over the summer
  • the deal would have to make sense to another team considering salary, history of player, etc.
  • JR has gone out of his way to get Cole back, why move him now?
  • we don't have too many forwards - we have three guys on two-ways right now (actually 4 if you count Sutter) - we are just going through an intro phase trying to figure out where guys fit (plus Tlusty was hurt and the long trip made keeping an extra guy or two around a good idea)

Also I should point out I don't buy into the irrational exuberance for O'Sullivan. The notion that he would never clear waivers is interesting considering anyone could have had him with a 1-way this summer before JR signed him. Waiver claims are also the exception, not the rule. But even if he did leave we have several young guys capable of sticking in his place. That said, I do think he will stick and prove a good value for his contract, but all this talk about wasting him on the 4th line and panic over scratching him is over the top considering where he is in his career. He's got a lot to prove.

Edited by JLP

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Production rates, 10 games in...

I previously posted these for last season, and thought it might be interesting to take a snapshot at this point this season.

This is a very small sample, so take it for what it's worth. Keep in mind that there are a number of players that have not even played 10 games, and others that have not had a lot of ice time yet. Still, perhaps it is of some interest this early in the season.

Because it is already a small sample, I have combined even strength and power play stats instead of tracking them separately. (Shorthanded stats are not included.)

The production rate reflects goals + points per 60 minutes played.

(i.e. goals + points / toi * 60)

(i.e. goals count twice as much as assists.)

This only shows production - obviously players bring more to the game than this will indicate.

I have included the equivalent production rate from last season (after the player's name) for players who were here.

3.66 Jeff Skinner

3.02 Erik Cole (2.47)

2.82 Sergei Samsonov (2.68)

2.67 Jussi Jokinen (4.19)

2.59 Tuomo Ruutu (3.33)

2.42 Eric Staal (3.88)

2.10 Brandon Sutter (3.07)

2.05 Chad LaRose (2.66)

1.98 Patrick Dwyer (1.57)

1.71 Patrick O'Sullivan

1.30 Zac Dalpe

0.61 Tom Kostopoulos (1.69)

0.00 Drayson Bowman (2.22)

0.00 Jiri Tlusty (1.86)

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Also I should point out I don't buy into the irrational exuberance for O'Sullivan. The notion that he would never clear waivers is interesting considering anyone could have had him with a 1-way this summer before JR signed him. Waiver claims are also the exception, not the rule. But even if he did leave we have several young guys capable of sticking in his place. That said, I do think he will stick and prove a good value for his contract, but all this talk about wasting him on the 4th line and panic over scratching him is over the top considering where he is in his career. He's got a lot to prove.

I don't know what others have seen, but the guy isn't that strong on the puck, is a weak forechecker, and has a tendency to coast around between the bluelines. I couldn't say what the coaches see, because nobody is saying anything. I just can't imagine its anything other than his play. So, he's fast becoming just another player in the system, upside or not. Good points on waivers, JLP.

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I don't know what others have seen, but the guy isn't that strong on the puck, is a weak forechecker, and has a tendency to coast around between the bluelines. I couldn't say what the coaches see, because nobody is saying anything. I just can't imagine its anything other than his play. So, he's fast becoming just another player in the system, upside or not. Good points on waivers, JLP.

I can tell you what i have seen. O'Sullivan looks like a guy who is trying to hard. He has a tendency to drift out of position. I think my hope is he gets enough time to prove he is the scorer some of us think he is. So far he hasn't shown this. I don't think he has been given enough of a chance to write him off yet. Do you?

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I can tell you what i have seen. O'Sullivan looks like a guy who is trying to hard. He has a tendency to drift out of position. I think my hope is he gets enough time to prove he is the scorer some of us think he is. So far he hasn't shown this. I don't think he has been given enough of a chance to write him off yet. Do you?

I don't believe I said we should write him off. Just the contrary. I'm trying to point out the fact we rely on a strong forecheck, and we expect those on the ice to get back quickly to transition the puck back to our own zone. It's Mo's system, not mine. So, maybe it's his play ability to do that which dictates his assignments at this point in the season.

We are also looking at alot of other players. So, as I said, he is fast becoming just another player in the system, which just happens to be next door. Many of those, like Matsumoto, have played well enough to get their chance as well. Boychuk, along with Samson, are also deserving, based soley upon their play in Charlotte. And then there is Tlusty, who's on a one-way.

I've gone on record recently as saying the Staal line needs a jumpstart. I'd certainly be on board with OS getting a look, and soon. Until then, he's just another guy, is all.

I'm also a little frustrated with the fact that our fourth line is often looked at as some dungeon of doom (yeah, its Halloween), where players are sent to be punished. As I remember, we rolled 4 pretty good lines in '06, same in '09.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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I don't believe I said we should write him off. Just the contrary. I'm trying to point out the fact we rely on a strong forecheck, and we expect those on the ice to get back quickly to transition the puck back to our own zone. It's Mo's system, not mine. So, maybe it's his play ability to do that which dictates his assignments at this point in the season.

We are also looking at alot of other players. So, as I said, he is fast becoming just another player in the system, which just happens to be next door. Many of those, like Matsumoto, have played well enough to get their chance as well. Boychuk, along with Samson, are also deserving, based soley upon their play in Charlotte. And then there is Tlusty, who's on a one-way.

I've gone on record recently as saying the Staal line needs a jumpstart. I'd certainly be on board with OS getting a look, and soon. Until then, he's just another guy, is all.

I'm also a little frustrated with the fact that our fourth line is often looked at as some dungeon of doom (yeah, its Halloween), where players are sent to be punished. As I remember, we rolled 4 pretty good lines in '06, same in '09.

Sorry Coastal i didn't mean to imply you said we should write Sully off. I was asking, apparently badly, if you thought we should give him a better look before we write him off. Since you go to most of the games I thought you would have seen things we TV viewers might not be seeing. Your right it is Mo's system and your observation on Sully is valid.

I also agree with your point about the fourth line being more than a punishment line. It takes more than one line to make a good team and a strong fourth line can make the difference in many games. I'm just not sure Sully is the type of player that can fill a 4th line role. But I'm not convinced yet a player like Sully can fit our system. I still hope he can.

Edited by OBXer

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I think if we start getting the 4th line involved more maybe our guys won't be completely gassed on some of our better looking breakaways. So far this year at least 4 breakaways have been ruined from long shifts and guys being caught up to.

That and their might be more gas in the tank for late game pushes.

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I think if we start getting the 4th line involved more maybe our guys won't be completely gassed on some of our better looking breakaways. So far this year at least 4 breakaways have been ruined from long shifts and guys being caught up to.

That and their might be more gas in the tank for late game pushes.

Yeah, the Caps game. Staal took some crap in the GDT for looking uninterested, for the lack of a better description. The guy took several shifts close to 2 minutes. He was gassed, and you could see it from anywhere in the RBC. Agree completely with this thought. For my tastes, the fourth line needs a couple more minutes a night.

And while I'm on the subject, what gets me going even more is the trade talk. Especially when it involves getting O'Sullivan in the lineup. Namely Sammy and Cole. The one guy who isn't an albatross this year is Cole. He's taken a whole heapin helpin over the last couple of years but if there's one guy who I can point to who's made this team go, its Erik Cole.

I can't come up with a defense for Sammy, because he's a non-physical smurfish type forward, which we have too many of. On this team, and right now, in the mold of OS actually, regardless of his "upside" when he played in LA two years ago.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Mo knows he needs to roll 4 lines, but I think the issue is the only 4th line guy who knows that role is Tommy K. years past we've filled that line with role players with the likes of Kevyn and Craig Adams. Right now we have offense first minded guys Tlusty and Sully on that line. You can't trust them to go out and maintain the score to give the top 3 lines a breather with that kind of lineup. Expecially knowing Sully's least favorite part of the game of hockey is defense. He wants to make plays and score goals, he's good at it to. So you can't trust him to maintain the score.

You also dont want to put Bowman and Dalpe on that line because that's not the role you want those guys to develop into because if you learn to play defensive your going to stick to it. You'd want a guy like Larose on the 4th line who you know isn't going to let things get past him and can tie up the other team for a minute to a minute and a half.

I think that as long as we only have 1 4th line role player we might not play the 4th line much all season.

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Mo knows he needs to roll 4 lines, but I think the issue is the only 4th line guy who knows that role is Tommy K. years past we've filled that line with role players with the likes of Kevyn and Craig Adams. Right now we have offense first minded guys Tlusty and Sully on that line. You can't trust them to go out and maintain the score to give the top 3 lines a breather with that kind of lineup. Expecially knowing Sully's least favorite part of the game of hockey is defense. He wants to make plays and score goals, he's good at it to. So you can't trust him to maintain the score.

You also dont want to put Bowman and Dalpe on that line because that's not the role you want those guys to develop into because if you learn to play defensive your going to stick to it. You'd want a guy like Larose on the 4th line who you know isn't going to let things get past him and can tie up the other team for a minute to a minute and a half.

I think that as long as we only have 1 4th line role player we might not play the 4th line much all season.

Don't know how you can leave out Dwyer. He's perfect there as well. Larose-Dwyer-KStop sounds like a pretty good fourth line to me.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Don't know how you can leave out Dwyer. He's perfect there as well. Larose-Dwyer-KStop sounds like a pretty good fourth line to me.

Absolutely. Too bad the idiot behind the bench can't get a clue. He'd rather waste talent like Sutter by matching him up with 4th line checkers, and then bump a guy like LaRose around on the top two lines. I swear the coaching staff is not watching the same games I do.

I'm 100% positive I could do a better job coaching this team than Maurice. And I'd do it for 1/3rd of his salary! Are you listening Karmanos?

First thing I'd do is put together the most logical sets of lines, and tell the guys to get used to it, this will be your line for the next month or so! We'd roll 4 lines each night, and Peters would start every 4th or 5th game. ANY player who coasts or dogs it, sits out the next game.

Edited by TheBigKahuna

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I don't have an epic defense for why Cole/Samsonov are here to stay (at least to the deadline, probably all year), but here are the bullets:

  • little to no movement in the NHL in general until near trade deadline (essentially, the market favors the buyer, not the seller)
  • JR is not the type of GM to make a deal just for the heck of it - if he really wanted to clear those salaries no matter what he'd have done it over the summer
  • the deal would have to make sense to another team considering salary, history of player, etc.
  • JR has gone out of his way to get Cole back, why move him now?
  • we don't have too many forwards - we have three guys on two-ways right now (actually 4 if you count Sutter) - we are just going through an intro phase trying to figure out where guys fit (plus Tlusty was hurt and the long trip made keeping an extra guy or two around a good idea)

Also I should point out I don't buy into the irrational exuberance for O'Sullivan. The notion that he would never clear waivers is interesting considering anyone could have had him with a 1-way this summer before JR signed him. Waiver claims are also the exception, not the rule. But even if he did leave we have several young guys capable of sticking in his place. That said, I do think he will stick and prove a good value for his contract, but all this talk about wasting him on the 4th line and panic over scratching him is over the top considering where he is in his career. He's got a lot to prove.

You may be right about all of this. I may be "irrationally exuberant" about O'Sullivan, although all I've really said is that he has serious offensive skill, and it is probably worth seeing what he can do before tossing him aside. Especially considering that our top line is floundering, and we've been shut out at home all year, adding a little fire power to the top line seems like a low risk, high reward proposition.

As for all the guys who can take his place, yes, but. None of the guys who might take his place have scored diddly at the NHL level. They come up, they play hard, they don't score goals. The only new body who does is young Mr. Skinner. We've got a lot of nice players who skate fast and check and throw the puck across the crease, but as of yet have not shown that NHL scorer's skill level. Many seem to have the potential, but even the most promising: Boychuk, Dalpe, Bowman. All in the AHL trying to get their offensive game to the level O'Sullivan's already is.

I agree that a trade might be tough, but I disagree about not having too many forwards. We do. Bowman, Tlusty, Dalpe, Samson, and probably even Boychuk could be playing right now in the NHL (and apparently now Matsumoto also). My guess is that JR is trying to move one or more forwards, but for all the reasons you stated above it is hard to make a move right now. But that need to move someone maybe affecting who plays.

THE logical guy to try to trade is Sammy (if we can get someone to want him). Another small forward who is hot and cold. I think that this is informing some of what we are seeing. They have to play the guy they're going to try to trade. No one wants a guy who finds the press box multiple times. Along those same lines, as long as O'Sullivan is in and out of the press box and seeing only 5 minutes/night, it is less likely that anyone would claim him off waivers. If they put him in and he starts showing his stuff, forget waiving him.

I will say this. I do admit that the coaches may well be seeing something in O'Sullivan's game that I am missing. While he does seem a bit soft in the corners, I have seen him back check. As to the floating, one forward is assigned to stay high. It may be with his serious breakaway skill that that is where the coaches want him. That's where I'd want him.

Cole. The only way JR trades Cole is if some other team will really give something up. While the guy can't seem to bury his chances, he is doing just about everything else well, leading the team in +/- by a MILE, and is 3rd on the team in points. Of course this may make him tradable, but then he is mentoring Skinner, he's JR's favorite. I agree, he would only be moved if the deal were too good to pass up, which is very unlikely. That's why I think Sammy's the guy to go. Cole stays.

Anyway, at some point I sill think we'll see O'Sullivan get a legitimate chance. We'll see how people feel when he starts setting Staal up and potting a few goals. Wouldn't him getting Staal going be enough by itself? If he gets a fair shot and doesn't play defense, then just release him. But no one knows what would happen if he got top line minutes and linemates until it happens. Obviously, I'd like to see that before relegating him to "just another piece" status.

Edited by remkin

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Matsumoto in, Sully out.

OK, I give. whiteflag.gif

No more about Sully until Mo either plays him on a top line, tries to send him down, makes a comment about him, or he does something egregiously bad or good from the 4th line. For now: th_sad.gifand I wait.

I will tell you this last thing. If our top line keeps putting up goose eggs, and our power play slips from it's lofty perch at #23, I may not post it, but I'll be thinking: shock.gif and then Aarrg.gif.

For now I'll just have to trust in Mo and company. I'm hoping that there's a longer term plan in play here.

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