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The fact that multiple people have stated that Sutter should be our top center when he is CLEARLY a defensive shutdown guy makes me laugh.

On a team clearing lacking a top 6 forward, why is it so funny that some would be curious to see what a solid 2-way center who has improved greatly in the faceoff circle could do since nothing else has worked consistently? I would think that trying a defensive shutdown guy on a line that's been defensively challenged at times may help with something? At the very least he could win us some face offs, right? Possession of the puck, especially in the offensive zone is worth something.

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On a team clearing lacking a top 6 forward, why is it so funny that some would be curious to see what a solid 2-way center who has improved greatly in the faceoff circle could do since nothing else has worked consistently? I would think that trying a defensive shutdown guy on a line that's been defensively challenged at times may help with something? At the very least he could win us some face offs, right? Possession of the puck, especially in the offensive zone is worth something.

Because the one line that has looked fantastic this year has been the third line. You don't change that type of chemistry. And more so in a big picture, Sutter takes on the other teams top line night and night out. His skills are much better on the defensive side of hockey and you don't use those skills on a scoring line.

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Here's a mind-bending Zen question for you.

If you put Sutter on the first line and dropped Staal to the second line...wouldn't the second line become the de facto first line? That would be the one the other guys would put their top d on.

No one is really suggesting that, just made me think.

The MAIN problem is just having another first line caliber player. I agree that the fact that we are discussing Sutter for the first line shows the seriousness of the problem. At the least, a first line winger would cover some of the deficiencies just by getting the first line going offensively. But what if JR had a first line center trade lined up...would Staal move over? I think Staal sees himself as a center. But what an act of leadership to make the move...

It is interesting that, while we have a bunch of guys who have played center and even came up as centers, we really only have one guy who embodies that position.

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Because the one line that has looked fantastic this year has been the third line. You don't change that type of chemistry. And more so in a big picture, Sutter takes on the other teams top line night and night out. His skills are much better on the defensive side of hockey and you don't use those skills on a scoring line.

Point taken, and I completely agree that moving him up will definitely create more problems and holes elsewhere. His skills are excellent on the defensive side but have we ever really seen him play on a scoring line? Enough to make the assumption he's better on the defensive side? That said, defensive forwards are worth their weight in gold and like you, I'd rather resolve the top line issues without disrupting the other lines. But .......I'm not opposed to trying Sutter out on the top line if there's no other resolution in sight.

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But what if JR had a first line center trade lined up...would Staal move over? I think Staal sees himself as a center.

I think you would see a situation like you do in Pittsburgh when Malkin and Crosby are healthy. They play seperately 5 on 5. They play together on the PP. They play together late in games when the team is down.

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I think you would see a situation like you do in Pittsburgh when Malkin and Crosby are healthy. They play seperately 5 on 5. They play together on the PP. They play together late in games when the team is down.

Well, and we're doing that already by putting Juice and Staal on the PP together. And we saw that work like magic in Boston.

I still think that we should be looking for a 2nd line center that has Juice-like skills. Then we could move Juice to 1st line with Staal and Poni. 2nd line would be Skinner - New Guy - Ruutu.

But it all boils down to really needing one more top 6 guy, which we've been saying for years.

Hell, I'd consider bringing Stillman back at this point. At least he has the playmaking ability that works on that top line, which Staal definitely needs. Staal's best years come when he's got a playmaker alongside him: Whitney and Stillman are guys who are great passers, Cole is someone with speed who opens up the ice.

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One thing is for certain. Staal is a slumper, and hot streaker. He's starting in a slump. Do you panic and change his position or give him a few weeks and wait for his hot streak? You know his hot streak is coming, it always does. I have been waiting for the year when Staal and Ward stop slumping. Ward seems to have gottent there, its early maybe this will be staals only down time this year. I gotta give him a few more weeks to work out his problems before I say change his position. I beleive he will be leading the team in goals by end of november.

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I took your advice.. thanks.. YT is so addicting at times.. lol

Good to have you back....I think? :lol:

Looks like Maurice is calling for the captain to step up his game tonight as well:

In his last six games, Staal has just 1 point (a goal) and is minus-7. Overall, he has 4 points (3g, 1a) and is a minus-10.

“I’m not looking for him to break out. I’m not looking for that game,” Maurice said. “The opposite is true – I’d like to see that confidence and that patience in his game where he knows it’s going to come.

“He knows he has to drive this team in terms of points, and he usually does. But that’s not the most important thing for our team winning because him scoring goals wasn’t the difference in Boston, Buffalo, Boston.”

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One thing is for certain. Staal is a slumper, and hot streaker. He's starting in a slump. Do you panic and change his position or give him a few weeks and wait for his hot streak? You know his hot streak is coming, it always does. I have been waiting for the year when Staal and Ward stop slumping. Ward seems to have gottent there, its early maybe this will be staals only down time this year. I gotta give him a few more weeks to work out his problems before I say change his position. I beleive he will be leading the team in goals by end of november.

And at what point do you worry about the size of the hole that has been dug. 9th in East last year, watching other teams play in May. 11th place in the East in 2009-2010, watching other teams play in May.

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The fact that multiple people have stated that Sutter should be our top center when he is CLEARLY a defensive shutdown guy makes me laugh.

Yeah, CLEARLY. Perhaps he is the shutdown guy because that is what he has been asked to do. He OBVIOUSLY has offensive talent but maybe if he was the center with Staal on the wing it would let Staal concentrate on his offense and let Sutter deal with the defensive aspects - because right now, Staal is -11 compared to Sutter with the same number of points.

So you replace your captain, and number one center, with you alternate captain, who's making third line money, all the while asking him (Staal) to play wing?

Not sure why it matters how much Sutter is making. And this discussion is in progress because apparently not everybody agrees that Staal is the best center on the Canes.

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The fact that multiple people have stated that Sutter should be our top center when he is CLEARLY a defensive shutdown guy makes me laugh.

Is this you doing a Mo impression? The exact problem is the role being specified. Take a step back, look at the player, and you'll see Sutter does it all. He should center the 2nd line, though he'll clearly show he's the team's best center through the remainder of the year.

Since this is the Staal thread I'll say it again: He needs to pick up his game, and fast! His wingers are not the problem at present.

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Here's a thought: what if we take our best offensive centerman and use him as such? Why can't Jeff Skinner center the top line? In fact...looking at our depth chart...cripes, Staal is our fourth best center in terms of pure overall talent. Drop him to second line wing.

Tlusty-Skinner-Ruutu

Staal-Jokinen-LaRose

Poni-Sutter-Dwyer

Stewart-Brent-Boychuk

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Not making playofs last few years, puts us all on edge.. i have gotten on staal, i guess we need to call out someone.. its clear, as everyone has noted, he needs a whitney or cole type player, i get bummed, always repeating what we all know.. So, is it a salary thing, not wanting to get rid of one of the high ranked dman with great potential, or teams wanting too much.. But its 9 games in, parity in league, so caps may run away and hide, we know what they do in april.. detroit lost to columbus 7-1, the other night.. granted, columbus was way over due.. lets see, what this tough 2 week stretch brings, usually good teams bring out the best in us.. expect alot of 3-2, 2-1 type games.. and cammer having to stand on his head..

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Interesting write up from Dave Droschak (Hurricanes Beat) with some head scratching quotes:

This one is more head gouging.

“I like how our third line has played and those guys aren’t in the league to play with Eric Staal,” Maurice said of the possibility of any more changes. “They are in the league to play with Brandon Sutter. We’re not moving everything around." ---Mo

This quote was a few days ago. Unless he's faking Chicago out he is doing exactly what he said he wouldn't do.

I am fine with giving Tlusty a shot, but LaRose? WHY?!!!!!

Not sure what I'm missing. Mo of a couple of days ago got it. Current Mo is like a LaRose addict, just has to have one more hit. I just don't get it.

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When Lavi was here, and Staal was in a funk, he used him on the PK. This got him more involved, and helped take his mind off of his production. It's worth a try.

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Actually, I believe Staal plays on the PK. One thing I've noticed from Staal is he seems to need familiarity with his wingers. He had great chemistry with both Cole and Whitney when they were here. They also had similar skill sets (Cole; Power, Whitney; Playmaker, Staal; Speed). Having Whitney out there was like having a second center out there to make those crisp, on time passes. Now, he doesn't have that same kinship with his new line-mates, mostly because the lines keep getting changed.

Relationships between players take time on the ice for them to understand what each players' strengths and weaknesses are. Example of the Skin/Finn line developed great last year because they all play a similar style, but it took time for them to gel.

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I'm not sure that simply a move from center to wing is going to make much of a difference. I don't think the Staal line has consisted of players that complement each other. Ruutu and Staal have never meshed and neither is a playmaker. Poni and LaRose have been used with them and neither of them are playmakers. I don't think the center has to be the playmaker, but I think you need one on the line. Whitney and Stillman have served that role in the past.

After thinking a bit this afternoon, I think more and more that the Staal's failure to win faceoffs really is hurting his production more than I had originally thought. Staal takes an offensive zone faceoff and loses it. The opposing team gets the puck deep and by the time Staal's line gets the puck back, it's time for a line change. A center that is going to win a better percentage of faceoffs with Staal on the wing is going to allow Staal more touches in the offensive zone. I know this is obvious to many of you, but I guess I hadn't thought about it quite so much.

Edited by super_dave_1

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In the end any skilled top line player or second line center will work.

But the maximum benefit would be a first line center with Staal to the wing, though it may be a tough task to find that player.

First, we need centers. Worst case, that guy slides to the second line a la Malkin as mentioned by GolfPro827. Then slide someone else up.

Best case play him with Staal to unlock all that Staal potential while unloading all that Staal baggage.

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I've read through most of this thread and I don't know if it's been mentioned before, also I don't want to be THAT guy who proposes the off the wall, never gonna happen, that's a dumb idea that alienates my fellow Caniacs, but has the thought of trading Eric crossed anybody's mind?

Now before I get completely blasted, I promise I know the magnitude of what I'm saying. He's our guy, our franchise player, our C. Drafted by us, home grown, etc. I know that the thought of trading away the (arguably) best piece of a team is completely crazy. But think of the possible return. Want some solid players? You got it. First round draft picks? Got it. He's been thought of as untouchable for so long that it seems insane to even propose the idea.

Obviously trading our first line center away would create a heck of a lot of problems. We'd have to replace him with whoever we get in the trade, we'd have to rebuild around new guys. And obviously this scenario will never play out, but it's worth discussing in my mind in the Eric Staal discussion thread. I think Sutter will eventually be our first line center. I think we have a TON of young up-and-coming centers in the organization that could play good NHL minutes. I just think if Eric can't bust out of his current funk (which i fully believe he's more than capable of doing), he's not doing us justice with his natural talent and ability. On the flip side, I'd hate to lose him, have a fire lit under his butt by another coaching staff, and have him torch us when he returns to Raleigh.

Just a thought, thought it might keep the discussion going even if people think I'm crazy. :twilight-zone:

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