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2011-12 Team News, Practice Updates & In-between Game Talk

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If Chip Alexander is correct in his blog, and I have no reason to believe he is not, Karmanos and Rutherford show incredible arrogance, lack of understanding of what the "real world" situation is and offer a slap in the face to the fan base of this team. After 14 years of supporting this team and literally spending nearly $100K in season tickets over those years, I AM DONE!!!

It's adding up. The team is failing to make playoffs more than they make them. Too many home games this year have been disasters, not even close. One of the close games, Ottawa, was really a stolen point. And this pattern of slow starts to seasons is really, really, really getting old. Patience is wearing thin.

The waning fan support is one thing. But what about players? For a while after the cup, I think you had players who genuinely wanted to come here. Is that true anymore? I'm worried about that.

Edited by wxray1

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Projecting the conference standings at the end of the season, I used the current # of games played and points accrued to date. First column is games played, second is points, third is points/game, and last is projected points at end of season. Is it surprising that we project 76 points (11th place) and that the playoff break is between 89 and 94 points?

Washington 12 18 1.5 123

Pittsburgh 15 21 1.4 115

Toronto 14 19 1.4 111

NY Rangers 13 17 1.3 107

Philadelphia 14 18 1.3 105

Buffalo 13 16 1.2 101

Florida 13 15 1.2 95

Tampa Bay 14 16 1.1 94

New Jersey 12 13 1.1 89

Ottawa 15 15 1.0 82

Carolina 14 13 0.9 76

Montréal 13 12 0.9 76

NY Islanders 11 10 0.9 75

Winnipeg 14 12 0.9 70

Boston 12 10 0.8 68

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Projecting the conference standings at the end of the season, I used the current # of games played and points accrued to date. First column is games played, second is points, third is points/game, and last is projected points at end of season. Is it surprising that we project 76 points (11th place) and that the playoff break is between 89 and 94 points?

Washington 12 18 1.5 123

Pittsburgh 15 21 1.4 115

Toronto 14 19 1.4 111

NY Rangers 13 17 1.3 107

Philadelphia 14 18 1.3 105

Buffalo 13 16 1.2 101

Florida 13 15 1.2 95

Tampa Bay 14 16 1.1 94

New Jersey 12 13 1.1 89

Ottawa 15 15 1.0 82

Carolina 14 13 0.9 76

Montréal 13 12 0.9 76

NY Islanders 11 10 0.9 75

Winnipeg 14 12 0.9 70

Boston 12 10 0.8 68

SportsClubStats guy's simulation does it a different way, and gives us only a 1 in 5 chance of making the playoffs. His simulation also factors in strength of opponent. All in all, they both say the same thing, and it isn't good.

None of these guesses are in stone right now. But it shows the trend, and it ain't pretty. It is all depressing. Canes now need a run of at least 3 wins to right the ship. If this losing continues, and they'll need 5 or 7 in a row to just get to playoff level.

Edited by wxray1

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The really bad thing is if you look at the preseason as well, we have won 6 out of 20 games. Good thing the preseason doesn't count, but it is very telling, especially when you consider whether anything significant has really changed since then.

Edited by MeleeRayRay

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I'll tell you one thing. I have come to realize that JR best not trade our first couple of draft picks. We might be drafting high.

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If I was coach (and I wish I was at this point because Mo has no common sense when it comes to our lines) then I would set the lineup as follows:

Boychuk-Staal-Ruutu

Dalpe-Jokinen-Skinner

Tlusty-Sutter-Stewart

Dwyer-Brent-LaRose

Gleason-Pitkanen

Allen-McBain

Kaberle-Harrison

Ward

Boucher

When Jussi comes back, there is no need for Poni. LaRose can't be playing in the top 6 and Boychuk/Dalpe need to be on the top two lines. I say both of them can score 20 goals if given the chance. I am praying for a big trade..

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well, just got back from beautiful North Carolina, the wife and i had a great time... EXCEPT.. for the last 2 games.. Went to two practices, the team was so loose, both practices before caps game, Larose is the jokster, eric looked a bit uptight, but was more thsn willing [maybe he had too] as captain, stop and give autograph, larose and ward went flying out of parking lot, cammer never signs, but thats not what is important.. this team is not tough mentally, while losing to top teams in each conference, once it falls behind, they lose it.. Eric has to be hurt, i love tlustys game, move him to first line, and seriously sit Staaal , especially if hes not 100 percent.. no time to let pride get in way..Also, dwyer ws the best playr out there sunday, Harrison has looked great as well as joslin , in for mcbain.. If a move, either coach wise,or trade wise, doesnt happen if its a losing week, im going to FINALLY realize THAT Karmonas is happy with just missing playoffs.... I have lowered my expectations, i wont be standing at home watching, i will be sitting.. staal usually plays well in nj.. and cam is ticked from sundays outing.. so except a big effort from him. Maybe since i couldnt log in from down there, a deal has been made?? Please, tell me so.. let me go look.. bet moose is in there tonight, , instead of brodeur.I love to move down there, maybe i can convince the wife.. SOME DAY.. LOL

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So I think it's time to do a little grading of our GM, coach and players. We're 15 games in, we're 5-7-3. We've only won 1/3 of our games, which is, frankly, hideous.

Let's first look at JR's experiments for improving this team. Departures were Cole and Corvo. Here's what he did to try and fix those.

1. Anthony Stewart. I like this guy. Big body, has a little scoring touch when he goes to the net. He plays well on that 4th line. Pairing him with Tim Brent is a good move. I wish Dwyer was spending time on the other wing. I think you'd have a solid 4th line that could give you 8 minutes or more a night and could actually score here and there. Stewart can move up at times, when injuries occur. His biggest drawback is that he's just not terribly fast and sometimes he doesn't use his body to his advantage. So as a replacement for Cole, he's not it. But a decent pickup and a definite improvement over Troy Bodie.

2. Poni ('cause I can't spell the whole name without looking it up). Ugh. Not only is he not the replacement for Cole, the guy is really not performing on the 3rd line with Sutter. We did not get the Maple Leaf Poni; we got the bust who washed out in Pittsburgh and LA. If we traded him today or waived him I don't think we'd miss him. He's clogging up a spot that could be used for a prospect.

3. Tim Brent. Nice pickup. I like the way he plays. I like him with Stewart on that 4th line. Definitely an upgrade over Ryan Carter.

4. Thomas Kaberle. Ugh again. It still baffles me that JR made this move. He knew we had Pits, Gleason, McBain, Harrison, Allen and Joslin. Additionally, Faulk had made some noise in Charlotte and we had just drafted Murphy. Why spend $4M on another puck-moving d-man at that point? Why not go with what you had and see if either Faulk and/or Murphy could make the club? Toronto tried to trade this guy for two years before he agreed to a deal (he had a NMC I believe) and then Boston had no interest in re-signing him. Like Poni this is a waste of a space that could be used on either Joslin or Faulk getting some playing time. Trade him.

5. Draft picks. This is where I have some serious concern. We are all clamoring for more playing time in the top lines for Dalpe and Boychuk. But given who we have up there, is it possible that JR/Mo are correct? Is it possible that Boychuk doesn't deserve to be up that high? Is Dalpe really a 4th liner? I guess we need to see them in those roles first, but Mo sees them every day in practice. We can all doubt his judgement by now, I know, but if Boychuk and Dalpe really aren't top 6 or even top 9 material at the NHL level, then we've got bigger and deeper problems.

6. Mo. Now, I don't mind the odd 3 game losing streak. They happen. They especially happen when your arguably your best player is sidelined. It's not the losing streak I mind, it's the way the team responds to it. When we started the season 0-2-1 the team rebounded with 3 solid wins against good competition. Well, we have another 3 game losing streak. The other thing that disturbs me is that we can't seem to keep a winning streak going for more than 3 games. Does anyone remember the last time this team won 5 straight? I don't think it happened last year. Maybe the year before when we started to turn things around from the 14 game losing streak, but I can't be sure. Anyway, the thing that concerns me is Mo's ability to get this team on a winning path. I've said it before and I'll say it again: look at a guy like Danny Bylsma in Pittsburgh. Super stars out of the lineup left and right, big d-men hurt, goalie hurt, etc... and yet they were the 4th seed last season and sit at #1 in the conference this year. The guy knows how to make use of what's in his tool shed. Mo appears to have a single game plan and tries to make the players fit that plan, rather than recognizing what tools he has and fitting a plan around those tools.

Well enough said. Suffice to say this team has a tough stretch in November. I do wonder whether JR lets things roll for another 5 games, hit the 20 game mark, and make his own determination. I would think that after 1/4 of the season he'd have a real good feel for what really is working and what really isn't. The problem is that this team plays like crap for 3 games and then plays well for 3 games, so it's tough to push the panic button when you're playing poorly, because you never know when the "good" Canes will show up. I think that's on Mo, personally. And the Captain and alternates.

It's obvious that a closed door meeting didn't exactly push them to new heights of awesome hockey.

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Those remarks are right on Witchking.

It is hard to admit mistakes, but JR's plan for this year:

Keep Mo

Kabs for Corvo

Poni/Stewart for Cole

Resign LaRose/Dwyer

Resign Jussi/Pitkanen

Mostly misses. The last one has been good. Yes, Dwyer and LaRose are good role players, but along with Poni/Stewart are clogging up the lines and keeping the young guys from getting a shot.

Time for a relative overhaul. Admit that the first 3.5 on that list were mistakes and aren't working.

I my spidey sense is tingling that JR has seen enough and is working on something. If not, make sure your tray tables are up and your seats are in the upright and locked position.

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Per TSN's Dave Hodge regarding free-agent busts:

The Carolina Hurricanes have also seen Tomas Kaberle slump with just three points to open the year coming off his Stanley Cup victory with the Boston Bruins.

Of course we couldn't have known that Faulk would be ready right now, but it still burns me that we made this deal despite all the red flags. It strikes me as a deal that resulted from Mo's love affair with all things Toronto. In the case of Jay Harrison it worked out but the results with Kaberle, White, and Tlusty have been mixed at best.

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Per TSN's Dave Hodge regarding free-agent busts:

The Carolina Hurricanes have also seen Tomas Kaberle slump with just three points to open the year coming off his Stanley Cup victory with the Boston Bruins.

Of course we couldn't have known that Faulk would be ready right now, but it still burns me that we made this deal despite all the red flags. It strikes me as a deal that resulted from Mo's love affair with all things Toronto. In the case of Jay Harrison it worked out but the results with Kaberle, White, and Tlusty have been mixed at best.

Let's not forget Poni. He's a bust, too. Though I think Brent has done well.

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It looks like if Jussi can't go Mo will make some drastic line changes. If he can the Finns and Skins line is back together.

Canes Now

(If Jokinen is ready to play) Maurice indicated he likely would have Jokinen back at center with wingers Jeff Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu on the "Finns and Skins" line.

(Talking about the Staal line) "I didn't see enough offense out of that line and I saw a whole lot of bad defense," Maurice said

(If Jussi can't play) "If he's not going to play, then I'm going to move a bunch of guys around twice before we even hit the ice (Friday)," he said.

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(If Jussi can't play) "If he's not going to play, then I'm going to move a bunch of guys around twice before we even hit the ice (Friday)," he said.

Does he mean in the hotel lobby? How exactly does he move a bunch of guys around twice before they play? Do they re-arrange themselves on the bench before the game? Just not quite getting that one.

Anyway, I would love to see Boychuk and Dalpe get looks on the top line, but other than that, we're just shuffling the deck chairs..

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Does he mean in the hotel lobby? How exactly does he move a bunch of guys around twice before they play? Do they re-arrange themselves on the bench before the game? Just not quite getting that one.

Anyway, I would love to see Boychuk and Dalpe get looks on the top line, but other than that, we're just shuffling the deck chairs..

I'm not sure but he clearly wasn't happy with how the Staal line played. I expect he will try out different line combos in practice. Maybe even shift positions. I just don't know and Mo didn't say in that article. If you read we could see some D pairs change too.

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Chip Alexander's Twitter is pretty blunt:

ice_chip Chip Alexander Of Staal with Skinner, LaRose: "I didn't see enough offense out of that line and I saw a lot of bad defense. I don't think it works."

ice_chip Chip Alexander Jokinen will skate today with a few other players. Full practice tomorrow. Maurice said line decisions to be made then.

ice_chip Chip Alexander Maurice said if Jokinen is not ready to play, he would make a number of line changes. Some, he said, could be "drastic" but left it at that.

ice_chip Chip Alexander Decisions on back end likely to come tomorrow. Ward will start against Rangers, Maurice said.

ice_chip Chip Alexander Canes Now - Another day and line changes on the way |newsobserver.com blogs: bit.ly/tSp1EV

Brenter37 Tim Brent by ice_chip@EhStew13 @ZacDalpe22 Hey @pattydwyer39 @ZachBoychukand @jbain4 how was the team lunch? Bag skate was awesome

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I guess I'm officially on the move Sutter up bandwagon.

Not a lot of options left that haven't already been tried.

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Moving Sutter up might not be a bad idea. He seems to be capitalizing on a lot of his chances. Trying these two top lines out might be fun to watch (The only reason I have LaRose on the top line is because I know Mo wants him there). Does anyone know if Jokinen will be ready to go Friday? I'm sure Brent could handle 3rd line duties..

LaRose Staal Jokinen

Skinner Sutter Ruutu

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If Jokinen can play it read like Mo will put the lines back to where they were before he got injured.

The drastic shakeup could happen if Jokinen can't go or perhaps a little later down the road.

I think the Raleigh hockey world is about to get very interesting.

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I think things have already started to become very interesting. Am I the only reading a very different tone and message in many of Maurice's comments to the media lately? I might be imagining it but he's taken some subtle swipes about the make up of the roster he has to work with, and has done this on more than one occasion. I'm sure some would say they're just more excuses by Mo to deflect responsibility but to me the words are different than his usual post game coach speak and seem to be directed toward JR.

Maurice isn't stupid and knows pretty soon someone will have to take the fall for all the losses and I'm sure he's well aware that person is likely him, but he's made it pretty clear in the past couple of interviews that pieces needed to compete with the playoff teams are missing and he's doing everything he can with what he has to work with. He's also mentioned more than once that the team isn't going to out skill any other team and will have find wins by grinding them out.

Who knows if I'm reading this right, but it sounds to me like there are some messages being sent via the media. Could there be a rift growing in management? If they're getting close to firing him, wouldn't we start to see a cracks in the united front or some subtle finger pointing?

Edited by TSA

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The Canes' record is the same as last year this time and better than 2009. Mo didn't go then. For whatever reason, I just don't see him being fired this year.

It could always be my apathy taking hold, but, who cares?

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