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MeleeRayRay

A new captain?

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Staal had a great 10-12 minutes last night, I will grant him that. But one game does not a captain make. He needs to produce consitently.

Ding!

Be careful, carteret, or you'll be called a "hater" or a "complainiac."

I wonder how many of those employing such monikers against others would tolerate, say, THEIR HIGHEST-PAID EMPLOYEE performing as abysmally in their job as Staal has in his. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Staal sought the C. Staal sought the mega-deal. Staal must therefore accept the scrutiny and accountability that comes with those things - and I think HE does.

I really don't care whether the leadership of the Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows Brigade does.

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i'll second what has already been said. him having a few good moments last night, or even a full good game - that's not the issue. i would still argue against him as captain EVEN IF he was playing to the level as he was in his best year. he has one good game and you act like he is magically better. he has always had periodic good games or strings of two sometimes three games. i don't think anyone will argue against that. it's the inconsistency. it's not just a lack of production. let's say he does start playing consistently good hockey although he has never once done this in his career. NOTE that I say consistently good. the larger issues here are his lack of leader-like qualities. I know that some argue for the most productive player to be given the C regardless of all else. Well guess what? he is still far from the most productive player on this team so what gives

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The question being: A new Captain? the answer is "fuggedaboutit"!

I respect opinions on all sides of this as expressed here, but a listen to Muller's post game from 12/29 answers the original question. He even states that Staal's performance was "only one game" but as a coach trying to build on what he has is squarely behind Captain Staal.

I'm with Muller on this, and hope Staal has finally found his game beyond just one night. Go Canes!

Edited by Manwolf

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I think Staal is acting like a captain. He has not ducked the media, he has been working hard, he appears to have bought in and is executing Muller's system.

Leaders are forged in adversity and I think as Staal finds his place and his game he will emerge as the leader many of us think he is capable of being. He may already be that captain.

Last night was only one game but it felt like a break through moment for Staal.

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Staal will overcome this adversity in his career. I honestly believe that.

And when he does, as a Captain, it will be the best thing he could pass on to guys like Skinner, Sutter, McBain, Faulk, and all the other young players who will eventually see their careers start here, like Dalpe, Bowman, Murphy, etc. All of these players will face the same thing at some point in their careers.

The players believe in him, the coach believes in him, and the front office believes in him. I've watched his whole career, and have witnessed first hand most of his greatest moments as a player. I still believe in him.

Ignoring everything he has done as a Cane to throw him on the garbage heap when he is down, well I'll leave that to the....

Pass the lollipops please, and open the window so I can see some sunshine, and wow, a rainbow.

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Let Staal use the remaining games to prove he dserves the "C." If his play indicates he doesn't deserve that honor, let a new captain be named at that time. Seeing the Canes are out of the playoff hunt, it doesn't make sense to name a new captain at this point in the season.

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Staal had a great 10-12 minutes last night, I will grant him that. But one game does not a captain make. He needs to produce consitently.

haha.. You'll "grant him that"? Who are you? Yeah, I'll grant him that, as well, along with scoring 70 or more pts in all of his seasons, sans his rookie year. The very first year Staal hits a snag and you people are ready to strip him of his C and trade him away. And what's this about questioning his leadership skills? I'm sorry, I didn't realize you guys spent consistent time in the locker room. Give me a break.

This is honestly verging on disgusting.

Edited by jeromeo87

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Staal has had a rough 3 months...that's months, not years. In his 7 full seasons coming into this year, he has averaged 80 games played per season, 32 goals, 39 assists, and 71 points per game. That ain't too shabby. He had the 100 point year in 05/06 that we all yearn for him to get back to, but that team was loaded with scoring and certainly helped with his numbers. Up until this season, he has been close to a point per game type of player. I just don't think you can overlook that when you look at his slow start this season.

What makes a leader or a captain on an NHL team? How do fans know what type of leader any player is? When someone says that Staal is lacking in leadership qualities, what are they saying that he is lacking? The only thing I can say that is lacking in Staal is scoring this season...for 3 months.

I think this team is lacking in leadership as well as in top line players. Maybe both can be addressed. Losing guys that are behind the scenes leaders (like Cole) and not replacing them makes it harder for a guy like Staal.

Edited by super_dave_1

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haha.. You'll "great him that"? Who are you? Yeah, I'll grant him that, as well, along with scoring 70 or more pts in all of his seasons, sans his rookie year. The very first year Staal hits a snag and you people are ready to strip him of his C and trade him away. And what's this about questioning his leadership skills? I'm sorry, I didn't realize you guys spent consistent time in the locker room. Give me a break.

This is honestly verging on disgusting.

Expressing one's opinion disgusting? Especially one you do not agree with? I guess we no longer live in the U.S. where divergent views are tolerated.

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Expressing one's opinion disgusting? Especially one you do not agree with? I guess we no longer live in the U.S. where divergent views are tolerated.

Really? You're pulling the whole, "Yeah well, it's a free country!" on me? Are you sticking your tongue out at me, as well? I'm sticking with what posted.

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I'm with Jerome and Super Dave. Really getting tired of all the negative posts about Staal. Sure express your frustration, it has been a bad season so far. But it's because the entire team has struggled, with the exception of maybe Sutter. My problem is with all the people who want to trade Staal away. What in the world do you think we would get that's better? He is in a slump and I think we owe it to not just him, but our team to wait it out. We know what kind of player he is and what he's capable of. You don't just give up on that kind of player after a couple of months.

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I literally laughed out loud when I saw this topic. Staal is the leader and face of this franchise, period. All year long I hear people questioning Staal and I just don't get it. Do they not see who he has been playing with? He's not going to score 70 points with third line wingers. Add to that his first 30 or so games were in Coach Mo's system that never produced many goals to begin with. The coaching change was the start of a second season for us. It came with a philosophy that I love and was expecting at the start of this year. They're playing our skilled youngsters big time minutes rather then 4th line minutes where it's very hard to get a consistent game going. I'm optimistic about the rest of this year for Staal with the younger guys. I've never questioned Staals effort this year. If anything he's been pressing too much, thinking he had to do it all for his line to produce. There's much more to being Captain then leading your team in points. You don't strip the C from him for having low point totals for half a season.

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The question being: A new Captain? the answer is "fuggedaboutit"!

I respect opinions on all sides of this as expressed here, but a listen to Muller's post game from 12/29 answers the original question. He even states that Staal's performance was "only one game" but as a coach trying to build on what he has is squarely behind Captain Staal.

I'm with Muller on this, and hope Staal has finally found his game beyond just one night. Go Canes!

As do I, Manwolf. I sincerely do.

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I literally laughed out loud when I saw this topic. Staal is the leader and face of this franchise, period. All year long I hear people questioning Staal and I just don't get it. Do they not see who he has been playing with? He's not going to score 70 points with third line wingers. Add to that his first 30 or so games were in Coach Mo's system that never produced many goals to begin with. The coaching change was the start of a second season for us. It came with a philosophy that I love and was expecting at the start of this year. They're playing our skilled youngsters big time minutes rather then 4th line minutes where it's very hard to get a consistent game going. I'm optimistic about the rest of this year for Staal with the younger guys. I've never questioned Staals effort this year. If anything he's been pressing too much, thinking he had to do it all for his line to produce. There's much more to being Captain then leading your team in points. You don't strip the C from him for having low point totals for half a season.

Wait - really??

Skinner - last year's NHL rookie of the year, and STILL the 'Canes points leader this year 9 games after going down - is a THIRD LINE winger? And Jokinen? and Ruttu? Please.

It sounds more and more like only the return of Eric Cole (with whom Staal's performance was only marginally better) will convince some here that planting oneself BEHIND the net in the O-zone is NOT an NHL center's job! What impressed me most about the last home game against the Pens, despite the loss, was the fact that Staal WENT TO THE FRONT OF THE NET every trip down the ice. He knew he had to deal with Sid, and that if he parked himself behind the net in the O-zone, he gave himself 20 to 30 more feet - and an obstacle, the goal itself - to negotiate when trying to get back on D. So he didn't do that. He stayed in front and was rewarded with 5 shots (two of which were blocked), three hits, three takeaways, and a faceoff win percentage of 56. If he would play every game as if the opposing team had a Sidney Crosby on the ice, he'd likely be PLUS 20 instead of minus 20 on the season. Eric Staal in FRONT of the net, consistently, would be absolutely LETHAL to opponents.

Eric needs to put on 20 pounds and do that EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, and if you think he'll be okay without the extra weight and attitude, ask yourself what happens NEXT YEAR when divisional play is history, and the 'Canes conference becomes TWICE as rough-and-tumble as it is now.

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top-shelf...I cant figure out your above post.

You make some astute remarks about hockey positioning and pull some statistics, but that is sandwiched between two head scratching statements...

"Skinner - last year's NHL rookie of the year, and STILL the 'Canes points leader this year 9 games after going down - is a THIRD LINE winger? And Jokinen? and Ruttu? Please."

Umm...Staal doesnt play with them. With the exception of a handful of games, Staal has been playing with LaRose, Tlusty, Dwyer, Bowman, etc. Those 3 guys you mentioned are the 2nd line, not the first. Im confused at how you can pull out stats and analysis without even knowing who is on our our 1st and 2nd line. Maybe you misunderstood slashvanrhoads post.

And saying Staal needs to put on 20 pounds to battle in front of the net every night and thinking its preposterous to think that he would be OK without that next year...I disagree. The guy weighs 205 lbs. Hes not underweight. He is a big forward compared to anyone in the league. I think he is just fine how he is built and any more weight would probably just slow him down and not make a significant difference in grinding in front of the net. Just an opinion, but your talking about a 6'4" 205 lb center...not Pat Dwyer.

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i basically agree with what top shelf said but i don't think the issue is that he actually needs to put on 20 pounds but rather that he plays like he is 185 pounds when he actually does weigh 205. it's more about work ethic and what is usually laziness on his part. last night was an improvement

Edited by MeleeRayRay

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Wait - really??

Skinner - last year's NHL rookie of the year, and STILL the 'Canes points leader this year 9 games after going down - is a THIRD LINE winger? And Jokinen? and Ruttu? Please.

It sounds more and more like only the return of Eric Cole (with whom Staal's performance was only marginally better) will convince some here that planting oneself BEHIND the net in the O-zone is NOT an NHL center's job! What impressed me most about the last home game against the Pens, despite the loss, was the fact that Staal WENT TO THE FRONT OF THE NET every trip down the ice. He knew he had to deal with Sid, and that if he parked himself behind the net in the O-zone, he gave himself 20 to 30 more feet - and an obstacle, the goal itself - to negotiate when trying to get back on D. So he didn't do that. He stayed in front and was rewarded with 5 shots (two of which were blocked), three hits, three takeaways, and a faceoff win percentage of 56. If he would play every game as if the opposing team had a Sidney Crosby on the ice, he'd likely be PLUS 20 instead of minus 20 on the season. Eric Staal in FRONT of the net, consistently, would be absolutely LETHAL to opponents.

Eric needs to put on 20 pounds and do that EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, and if you think he'll be okay without the extra weight and attitude, ask yourself what happens NEXT YEAR when divisional play is history, and the 'Canes conference becomes TWICE as rough-and-tumble as it is now.

I'm curious. Since Mo's only offensive strategy was to dump the puck, just whose job was it (other than the center) to give the wingers options for a pass, or a cycle? Staal had no choice but to play the area behind the net, particularly since our wingers spent most of our offensive zone time pinned along the boards in scrums. That's the one thing I hated about Mo's system, and why we all complained about no net presence.

I agree, Staal, or any of our other centers, need to spend more time in front of the crease. I think Muller's system has helped, as we seem to gain the zone with possession more than under Mo, but regardless, a center has to have the area behind the net covered. So, suggesting he spend all his time in front of the crease is just not realistic.

And oh, by the way, Crosby is lethal from behind the net, as are many other centers in this league.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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And oh, by the way, Crosby is lethal from behind the net, as are many other centers in this league.

Seems like some dude named Gretzky wasn't too shabby with the puck behind the net too.

disclaimer: Not comparing Staal to Gretzky.

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I'm curious. Since Mo's only offensive strategy was to dump the puck, just whose job was it (other than the center) to give the wingers options for a pass, or a cycle? Staal had no choice but to play the area behind the net, particularly since our wingers spent most of our offensive zone time pinned along the boards in scrums. That's the one thing I hated about Mo's system, and why we all complained about no net presence.

I agree, Staal, or any of our other centers, need to spend more time in front of the crease. I think Muller's system has helped, as we seem to gain the zone with possession more than under Mo, but regardless, a center has to have the area behind the net covered. So, suggesting he spend all his time in front of the crease is just not realistic.

And oh, by the way, Crosby is lethal from behind the net, as are many other centers in this league.

I absolutely agree with you re Mo's system. The point is that, as captain (and remember, this thread is about leadership qualities) Staal had an opportunity to contribute to the on-ice strategy, simply by executing differently. Staal had that opportunity for the remainder of the season when Mo was rehired and didn't take it, and after that it was too late. You probably know the old saying, "Authority is 90 percent granted and 10 percent taken." Staal has been in the league more than long enough to know a perimeter offensive game does not work. It never has in the NHL. It never will. My point is that he is the coach's on-ice eyes and ears - or at least he can be, if he seizes the opportunity.

You are also absolutely right about there being terrific behind-the-net centers. I grew up watching one of the best ever, Bobby Clarke. Yes, Sid is another. But Eric is not that kind of "stealth" player, like a Clarkie or Crosby. His gifts are his height and soft hands, both of which are best used in front of the net. With a little more bulk, Eric Staal could be a Phil Esposito-style center. In the slot, drawing penalties, setting screens and tipping shots. Espo "covered" the area behind the net by never leaving the front of it. This allowed his wingers to do their jobs down low and cycle the puck to him, to the point, to wherever created the best scoring chances. That's the kind of play E Staal is made for, and I think that the longer Staal works with Muller, the more you'll see him working that way.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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top-shelf...I cant figure out your above post.

You make some astute remarks about hockey positioning and pull some statistics, but that is sandwiched between two head scratching statements...

"Skinner - last year's NHL rookie of the year, and STILL the 'Canes points leader this year 9 games after going down - is a THIRD LINE winger? And Jokinen? and Ruttu? Please."

Umm...Staal doesnt play with them. With the exception of a handful of games, Staal has been playing with LaRose, Tlusty, Dwyer, Bowman, etc. Those 3 guys you mentioned are the 2nd line, not the first. Im confused at how you can pull out stats and analysis without even knowing who is on our our 1st and 2nd line. Maybe you misunderstood slashvanrhoads post.

And saying Staal needs to put on 20 pounds to battle in front of the net every night and thinking its preposterous to think that he would be OK without that next year...I disagree. The guy weighs 205 lbs. Hes not underweight. He is a big forward compared to anyone in the league. I think he is just fine how he is built and any more weight would probably just slow him down and not make a significant difference in grinding in front of the net. Just an opinion, but your talking about a 6'4" 205 lb center...not Pat Dwyer.

Staal is 6-4 205. Ovechkin is an inch shorter and 25 pounds heavier. Toews is two inches shorter and 3 pounds heavier. Iginla is 3 inches shorter and 5 pounds heavier.

The point is that Staal, one of the tallest centers (and franchise players) in the league, is indeed underweight when you consider his position and skills set. He is not a finesse player on the order of a Crosby, and therefore needs to use his strengths: soft hands, height and good (not great, but good) release. To use those talents optimally in this league means one of two things for forwards. For centers, it means being in front of the net in the offensive zone. Soft hands tip shots home and size screens goalies' vision. Otherwise, it means playing a wing. If Staal won't do the latter, he needs to get in shape for the former, and to be able to position himself in the slot and not get pushed out of position means an extra 20 pounds.

As for the wingers I listed, check the stats over the last two years. They've all been tried on Staal's wing. Indeed, shortly after he joined the team last year Skinner was put on Staal's wing and it looked promising - until Mo decided to "distribute" Skinner's talent deeper in the lineup. The Skins/Staal combo was showing signs of life again after Mo (finally) put Skinner back on Staal's wing maybe a week before being fired. Muller has kept him there, or would have but for Skin's injury, which is without a doubt a huge factor right now. But another hallmark of a truly great player is the ability to adapt his game to other players, specifically because injuries happen. Yes, there is that indefinable chemistry that must also exist, but the notion that seems so popular with many 'Canes fans, that Cole is the only guy in the entire league Staal can work with, and that Cole's departure earns Staal a pass for his lackadaisical play, is just insane. Lineup changes and roster moves are a part of hockey.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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Top-shelf, I hope the trainers figure this out. Particularly if 20 pounds can avoid a major faux pas.

I'm confident Muller already has figured it out. During his playing days Muller went the same weight as Staal - as a winger - and he's four inches shorter. I'd be very surprised indeed if Eric is not already on the "bulk-up diet plan," knowing what we already know about next year's conference re-alignments.

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I'm confident Muller already has figured it out. During his playing days Muller went the same weight as Staal - as a winger - and he's four inches shorter. I'd be very surprised indeed if Eric is not already on the "bulk-up diet plan," knowing what we already know about next year's conference re-alignments.

Noted. It is an interesting perspective though. ;)

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