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bluedevil58

Will we make the playoffs?

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I am really liking what I see on the ice. I am not liking how many shots Ward has been seeing as of late. We have some decent speed. Size is a concern. I feel we are right where we need to be. We have maintained above a .500 record going into the break(for now). The second half of the season is much more favorable. I see us making the playoffs but not getting very far. Thoughts?

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I clearly think that the schedule really lays itself out for us to make a run. In some ways, given the challenges of the season, we might even be a touch ahead of schedule for a playoff run. We've had a pretty good history of late season runs. I'm optimistic.

However, the flat odds are against us.

I think that 5 teams are pretty much a lock:

Philly, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Boston, and yes, Washington (just too much talent, something will give here).

That leaves 3 spots and baring major runs/collapses there could be up to 7 teams in the running for those 3 spots.

Tampa, Atlanta, NYR, Carolina, Ottawa, Buffalo, Florida. Most likely we are going to have to beat out Atlanta, Tampa, NYR for a spot.

Still, I like our chances. Our best chance will be if we are sitting in the #6-8 slot near the deadline and JR reverts to his rent a Recci days and goes out an rents a legitimate scorer for the stretch.

A long way off, but to sit at #9 after a brutal opening 2 months makes thinking playoffs far from a pipe dream.

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Too soon to tell and the rest of our division except the Panthers are playing well. The Caps are struggling but with all that skill they'll come around again (hopefully no time soon). I'd like to see where we are at the All Star break before drawing any conclusions but if they keep competing at the current level and stay somewhat consistent, anything is possible.

Wonder if the Flyers will falter with Pronger out for 4-6 weeks? If they do, that could open the East to all kinds of possibilities.

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For some reason, the Canes seem to make a late-season playoff run. But, loses such as this one will send them to the golf-courses. It's tough to say that two road games in January are must wins, but the games against the Leafs and Sens seem to fall into this category.

Edited by colliefan

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Depends on if you're a Canes fan or a hockey fan.

If a Canes fan, you likely focus only on this team and how they're playing (or not). You'll likely say maybe, or yes until they are eliminated.

If you're a hockey fan, you look at reality. Montreal and Boston are sure things, since their division rivals are weakest. Philly, Pens and probably NYR are in, for the same reason. With three spots left, misfortune would have to strike the Caps, Tampa, or ATL. You'd look at the Canes and say they'd have to improve, but it isn't likely they'd get in. If they did, it would be like Dog catching car - then what?

Edited by Manwolf

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I hope so. This franchise needs it. I'll take an 8th seed if that's all we're gonna get.

They'd get rolled by the #1 seed in no more than 5 games.

The LAST thing this franchise needs is to be within sniffing distance of the #8 spot before the trade deadline. As much as I want this team to succeed, they simply aren't built or coached to do so. This is a bad team with a worse coach. They aren't going anywhere. Making the playoffs, of being in a position to have a shot to make the playoffs, really just hurts the team in the long run/big picture.

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One of your points was:

"Everyone is frustrated. The fans and the players because things are continually not going quite right. I think we're

seeing some frustration in the players now. The snowball effect. And it manifests itself in other forms."

The problem I have is when the Canes are getting blown out, or playing badly, or not getting calls, they quit skating. As a group, this team shows no heart. No fire. Just once I'd love to see the Canes play a really hard, mean spirited game when they are down 4-1 or worse. But they don't. They play like a bunch of disinterested whiny little kids who didn't get their way. That lack of fire and toughness as a group, is exactly why this team is not going to the playoffs, as much as the bad powerplay, stupid line groupings, defensive gaffs, etc.

When you are getting blown out in front of the home fans after a long road trip, and just roll over and take it.....that's disgusting to me. Get mad. Get even. This group won't.

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I AM GOING TO SAY NO TO THE CANES MAKING THE PLAYOFFS!!!We are an ok team, there are too many other teams that are just better than us. We just don't seem to have any chemistry on any line. Mo seems to be searching for that and it's just not there. IMO alot of changes have to be made,from players all the way thru coaching.

PP-not good

PK- ok

defense-not good

offense- somewhat ok

goaltending--ok @ best

so put all this into the mix,,and we come out on the short end of the stick,,,,AGAIN

Hope to be ordering and nice big plate of Crow,,,@ the end of the season ,,but if I am proved wrong(which I hope I am) I'll gladly eat it....along with a nice cold beer!!!

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The Canes are almost at the mid-point of the season and by now should have carved out a team idenity. With the exception of the games against the Oil, Isles, and the Sens, the Canes have scored more than three goals just once.

The Canes have a very suspect defense and a very inconsistent offense. I don't know where the blame lies be it the players, coaching, or management but something needs to change if the Canes are going to field a consistent playoff contender. Some of the blame needs to be placed on the owner who lets talent move on to other teams. All must share the blame for cooking a very bland soup.

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The coach is doing a good job, you are just being a troll.

can you prove that Mo is doing a good job?

Edited by colliefan

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The coach is doing a good job, you are just being a troll.

can you prove that Mo is doing a good job?

The Canes are rebuilding and have still managed a .500 record. Compared to the Oilers or the Islanders, Mo has done a good job of putting a competitive team on the ice. But this topic is not about Mo... as far as the Canes making the playoffs, I don't think they will. But you never know, down the stretch, the Canes could pick up their game and some of the teams above us could falter. That's hockey.

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The Canes are rebuilding and have still managed a .500 record. Compared to the Oilers or the Islanders, Mo has done a good job of putting a competitive team on the ice. But this topic is not about Mo... as far as the Canes making the playoffs, I don't think they will. But you never know, down the stretch, the Canes could pick up their game and some of the teams above us could falter. That's hockey.

The question is if the Canes will make the playoffs. Mo is part of the team. He is one of the Canes not as a player but as the guiding force of the Canes. I am not a troll. I am a season ticket holder. Why would we settle for this as a franchise? (Maurice has earned a career NHL coaching record of 412-413-152 in 13 seasons with the Carolina franchise and the Toronto Maple Leafs) He is a .500 coach and that is where we are.

Colorado was supposed to be in a rebuilding mode last year and look what some new young blood has done there with a new coach. It can be done but probably not with Maurice as the guiding force.

I hope he proves me wrong.

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The playoffs are a coin toss. We are in the 9 slot despite a horrendous opening schedule, and .500 despite that. The schedule and our history are set up for a run. Will it come? That's the question. If a serious run never materializes then we miss. If it does, we make it in the 6-8 seed.

On coaching that's such a tough one. That this team, that has marginal total talent and a brutal opening in #9 and .500 is generally good. That this team really does compete well and does not fold like a house of cards (unlike last year's team) is encouraging and suggests good coaching.

But being nearly dead last at BOTH ends of the powerplay has to lay at least in large part on the coaching.

I guess my big question is this. When do we try the semi-rebuild? Might that inject some energy into things? For a team supposedly in a rebuild, our top 9 is remarkably free of brand new players. Last year we had the likes of Boychuk, Tlusty, Bowman, Samson et. all up here injecting energy and getting NHL experience. Early in the year we had Dalpe and Bowman up here. But the plan seems to be that the vets will continue to fill the top 9 until hell freezes over, and only a future superstar (Skinner) can crack the top 9. The only way to crack the top 9 is to somehow show something during your 20 second shifts, 5 minutes of 4th line time.

To this point it still makes sense to think that Cole, Sammy, LaRose are probably pound for pound better than Boychuk, Dalpe, etc. However, at some point it is going to make sense to shake things up by shifting at least 2 (or even 3) guys up into the top 9 and let them really bring their effort to make the team for good. And I don't mean after we're out of it. Odds are that we will be in it by the deadline, though we may end up missing, we will be within shooting distance. There needs to be a fundamental change in thinking at some point in the next few weeks. Bringing up some young guns can actually contribute to making the playoffs.

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I've not waivered in my projection for this team since the first puck was dropped. I still say when the dust settles, we will finish no better than 10-12 in the Conference . This team is minus at least one top-6 forward, has at best a shaky defense, and continues to have one of the worst special teams in the league.

The schedule and line changes aren't going to make this team better in and of itself. In this game it has to come from within.... from toughness (both mental and physical), guts, and from a consistent will to win no matter what's thrown at you. I don't see that out of this group.

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...On coaching that's such a tough one. That this team, that has marginal total talent and a brutal opening in #9 and .500 is generally good. That this team really does compete well and does not fold like a house of cards (unlike last year's team) is encouraging and suggests good coaching...

...But being nearly dead last at BOTH ends of the powerplay has to lay at least in large part on the coaching.

...I guess my big question is this. When do we try the semi-rebuild? ...

...There needs to be a fundamental change in thinking at some point in the next few weeks. Bringing up some young guns can actually contribute to making the playoffs.

Responses below follow your sequence as quoted above:

1. .500 is not what it appears when shootout wins are counted as "W" and Shootout/OT losses are not in the "L" column. Technically, by performance it is below average. Also, I disagree about the coaching and attribute their "compete" to the team chemistry and youth (maybe they don't know better, and for the better).

2. I Agree about Special Teams.

3. Until the team is sold, or at the trade deadline when more salary is dumped and roster spots open.

4. Not until the team is sold, and the rebuild includes a higher budget for JR, or coaching changes. Ask yourself this: If the current staff had a young team poised for greatness could you see them MANAGING it to attain greatness? I'm skeptical, and think they'd manage it to .500 hockey.

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The Canes are rebuilding and have still managed a .500 record.

Wrong on all accounts. Maurice is not doing a good job, and the Canes are not rebuilding. I don't call bringing on McBain and Skinner full time a rebuild. No one who knows the game does.

Maurice is a horrible coach with a career record that is under .500...and it always will be.

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I think the biggest problem with this team, as many have said, is the lack of a "warrior" mentality, both in the sense of physicality and in a never-give-up attitude.

I think, as bad as Rod Brind'Amour was getting as a player, as a leader he was still as good as ever. He never took a shift off, and no one dared take a shift off in front of him. Same with Glen Wesley, who was as smart and sound as there ever was in franchise history. True as well of Scott Walker, who hit everything that moved. We don't have anyone like that anymore and it shows...and frankly, it makes me question the choice of giving Staal the C. While I don't doubt he's our best player--and the numbers bear that out--he hasn't made others around him better the way that a captain should. I think we miss Ray Whitney more than anyone would care to admit; even if he was slowing down, he was another guy who never missed a shift and he made others better than they were.

It goes beyond that, though. We don't have anyone who can go out there and just throw punches when the team needs it. Look at the Boston Bruins; not a great team, and getting carried to a large degree by absurd netminding, but the game against Atlanta, coming off of a tough loss, Shawn Thornton starts a fight two seconds in and the Bruins routed a team that by any measure is way better than they are. It lit a fire under the team. We don't have an emotional leader, we don't have a Shawn Thornton. Running Troy Bodie out there for four or five minutes a game doesn't cut it...I'm not suggesting that the best thing for us is to have Tim Gleason sit for five minutes every night, but it might be what he has to do because no one else on this team is close to capable.

It goes to coaching as well that we don't have that kind of leadership. Paul Maurice was never one for the tough-guy attitude, and that was never the style of Francis or anyone else behind the bench either (Barrasso might, but he's the goalie coach, and sending Ward to do the dirty work is a bad idea for many obvious reasons.) More to the point, Maurice has never had the ability to set the team off. That scene from the movie Miracle might be an extreme, but our team needs a guy that can kick everyone in the *edit* once in awhile the way that Brooks did. It's too bad the Devils hired Lemaire back, because I think he could have really set this team straight.

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The thing is that nearly every year in the NHL there are only 2-3 teams in each conference that are truly out of playoff contention at the deadline. Heck we were about as out of it last year as could be, but managed to get within at least sight of it for a while. This year may be different, but probably not. Teams that are hot cool off, look at Washington for crying out loud. In the end there are a handful that are locks in, a handful that are locks out, and everyone else is slogging it out for a spot. That's why the "competitive non playoff team" thing only makes no sense to say at the start of a season. It is an oxymoron. If you are competitive, then you have a very real chance of making the playoffs. You are only a competitive NON playoff team after you are eliminated at the END of the season. You can be out of it early, but then you really are not that competitive. Anyway...

The schedule does not make us better. But when trying to gauge how good we are or might be it does make a difference. We've played a brutal schedule and stayed near .500, that's better than if we had all that pain in front of us. Still, the team does have to go out and win those "easier" games. We might get an idea soon as the next 9 is a pretty good stretch. The flip side is we haven't had a long losing streak either. We've survived the storm. But now we need to make way in the relative calm. Can we? That remains to be seen.

.500 can be defined two ways. Wins and Losses, or the % of points won of points available. We are .500 on the latter. The NHL sees fit to pass out points for losses so until they stop that, I choose to consider us .500 if we've won 50% of the available points.

I am just not as sure as some of you that Mo is a terrible coach. He's taken two teams deep in the playoffs that probably had no business being there. He's been given marginal talent to work with by and large for most of his career. When Laviolette had marginal talent we missed the playoffs a couple of times and played .500 for long stretches. That cup team was actually loaded with talent, especially up front. If we had Cullen and a top winger, I think we'd be well above .500 even under Mo. That's a small market, el cheapo thing more than coaching. Having LaRose and Samsonov as your first line wingers is not really the coach's fault.

I don't like the bad special teams. That is getting old. There is especially no excuse for this team to have a bad PK.

Anyway, there is no way we're seeing a coaching change this year. Zero.

I do think we might see a trade if JR can find a taker for Sammy or Cole, and then move up some young talent, but that's JR, not Mo.

Phase I of a long term plan for this team and this year's schedule was to survive to this point somewhere near the middle of the pack. Phase II will be to start to make a move with a more favorable schedule (and maybe a youth infusion). Phase III will be a trade deadline pick up and serious run.

It could happen.

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....Anyway, there is no way we're seeing a coaching change this year. Zero.

I do think we might see a trade if JR can find a taker for Sammy or Cole, and then move up some young talent, but that's JR, not Mo.

I agree we won't see a coaching change, so we all will have to learn to live with that. On the last point it isn't JR, but PK and money given the "For Sale" situation. It takes 2 to trade, and there may not be takers for Cole or Sammy. JR's last resort will be to waive anyone that doesn't fit into the post trade deadline situation, and that costs money if replacements are added. Very unlikely to happen.

I'm expecting PK will simply ask JR to field the players he's paying, with no waived payouts to call up additional players. I pray that PK finds a buyer so this franchise can truly rebuild.

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I pray that PK finds a buyer so this franchise can truly rebuild.

It's amazing what new ownership and management has done to improve the Bolts

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The Canes are rebuilding and have still managed a .500 record. Compared to the Oilers or the Islanders, Mo has done a good job of putting a competitive team on the ice. But this topic is not about Mo... as far as the Canes making the playoffs, I don't think they will. But you never know, down the stretch, the Canes could pick up their game and some of the teams above us could falter. That's hockey.

Actually I believe that Mo and the Canes making the playoffs are closely tied together. The Canes will not make the playoffs because at best they are currently a mediocre team. However more troubling is the fact that mediocre teams will never get better when they are led by a mediocre coach and a mediocre captain.

The coach and the captain apparently know what the hurdles are ("no legs or energy in the firs period"; "we need to work on our power play"; "our defense needs to play with more focus"; we need to throw the puck at the net more often"; "we need more dirty goals" -- eg translate that as being tough in front of an opponents net). However they either choose to do nothing about those issues or perhaps more likely MO can't either teach them how to correct the issues or inspire them to change their bad habits.

MO was a loser when he was here the first time, while he was in Toronto and now while he is here a second time. Until Jim Rutherfor and Peter Karmanos can get out of the "go cheap" mode and get a coach that can teach, inspire and instill a passion to play good sound hockey consistently the Canes will always be a team on the edge of making the playoffs rather than a cosistent playoff team.

My two cents after watching and following this team from game #1 in Greensboro.

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