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andrew_h

Early thoughts on 2012-13 playoff chances

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Hey guys,

I've been meaning to stop by here more often. I'm one of the Canes' featured columnists at Bleacher Report, and I'd love to get some input from you, the fans. I wrote a column today on the team's early chances at making the playoffs next season in hopes of raising awareness for just how good they've been over the past few months.

I'd like to post the column here because I think it could create an interesting discussion. Had it not been for their miserable start, there's every reason to believe the Canes could take the SE Division this season. That is, of course, just my opinion.

I'd love to hear what you guys think. If you have a moment, give it a read and let me know.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1113381-carolina-hurricanes-recent-play-bodes-well-for-2012-13-playoff-chances

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Nice Article Andrew.

However, I disagree with the premise that JR can stand pat with this group going into next year (big surprise I think that right?).

Yes, if this team had started better or won some OT games, or played just a little better 4 on 4, we'd be in the playoffs. Yes, this team has had a very nice run this year. Good enough, in fact, to significantly drop down the draft board. This team as constituted, over a long season is still an 8th place early exit team.

The Canes have made late runs with scrappy talent before. Even under the much maligned P.Maurice. Never really held up the next year.

We have seen a lot of back up goalies and a lot of teams taking us lightly.

I love the emergence of Tlusty and Staal's rebirth like Phoenix has been nothing short of breathtaking, but we still need one more piece up front to be a legit threat to do more than try once again to slink in at #8. Outside of Tlusty, none of our prospects up front have really broken out (Bowman might still get there).

Despite Staal's exuberant play now, another season with second liners on the first line and third liners on the second line is not a good plan. LaRose back on the first line? Haven't we seen that play before?

So, I agree with everything you write, except going into next year without that first line winger. But that's a big except. Very big. If JR does nothing to improve LaRose as the third top line winger, I'm going to want my money back.

Edited by remkin

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Great positive spin on the season and a healthy way to deal with a long hockeyless off season.

Here is my two cents!

On pace for 109 points means nothing and is much easier over thirty games as opposed to a full season. We have 75 points after 70+ games. The NHL hockey season is not a sprint, it is a long drawn out grind that rewards constant play around 60% wins gets you in the playoffs.

I believe the two UFA need to be resigned and the RFA should be looked at real hard before signing a contract witht hem. I think Mcbain is a liability and needs to be let go, Bowman stays on a two way deal with the checkers until he is really ready and Tlusty gets signed to a few year deal.

Spoiler role!!!! Maybe but doubtful with the only team we can maybe spoil the playoffs for being the Jets who after last night bad dream come true in Columbus are 3 points ahead of us. so I don't think we will be spoiling anyones playoff plans except our own.

Staals play has been commendable under Coach Muller however it needs to be there from the start next year. our dismal play in Oct and Nov set us up for failure. In a league where the season is as long as the NHL's every point counts. We need to get some how a solid D-man to take Mcbain's spot. and at least one talented center. We need balance across the lines, and when guy like Larose (who I Love) is getting top line minutes we have issues. and Stewart too. we have many of the peices in place but we are still missing two or so spots to solidify things across the lines.

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We'll start slow out of the gates and trade some dead weight around December or so. Then we'll go on a run to put us in position to possibly make the playoffs (maybe a 3 or 4% chance) and then we'll self-destruct against the worst teams in the league and cost ourselves a top 5 draft pick in the process.

Rinse and repeat...every year.

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Definition of insanity, repeating the same behaviour over and over again, i hope JR has learned, we have to get top 6, and a another top 6 dman thats a free agent.. Cole, whits, verbata has come back to haunt, but it is, what it is..

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Great positive spin on the season and a healthy way to deal with a long hockeyless off season.

Here is my two cents!

On pace for 109 points means nothing and is much easier over thirty games as opposed to a full season. We have 75 points after 70+ games. The NHL hockey season is not a sprint, it is a long drawn out grind that rewards constant play around 60% wins gets you in the playoffs.

I believe the two UFA need to be resigned and the RFA should be looked at real hard before signing a contract witht hem. I think Mcbain is a liability and needs to be let go, Bowman stays on a two way deal with the checkers until he is really ready and Tlusty gets signed to a few year deal.

Spoiler role!!!! Maybe but doubtful with the only team we can maybe spoil the playoffs for being the Jets who after last night bad dream come true in Columbus are 3 points ahead of us. so I don't think we will be spoiling anyones playoff plans except our own.

Staals play has been commendable under Coach Muller however it needs to be there from the start next year. our dismal play in Oct and Nov set us up for failure. In a league where the season is as long as the NHL's every point counts. We need to get some how a solid D-man to take Mcbain's spot. and at least one talented center. We need balance across the lines, and when guy like Larose (who I Love) is getting top line minutes we have issues. and Stewart too. we have many of the peices in place but we are still missing two or so spots to solidify things across the lines.

They need to bring back Corvo! He's a UFA this season! Puck moving defender with a bomber shot from the blue line!

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They need to bring back Corvo! He's a UFA this season! Puck moving defender with a bomber shot from the blue line!

We have enough offensive-minded D-men. Definitely need a first-line winger to get to the next level.

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Nice Article Andrew.

However, I disagree with the premise that JR can stand pat with this group going into next year (big surprise I think that right?).

Yes, if this team had started better or won some OT games, or played just a little better 4 on 4, we'd be in the playoffs. Yes, this team has had a very nice run this year. Good enough, in fact, to significantly drop down the draft board. This team as constituted, over a long season is still an 8th place early exit team.

The Canes have made late runs with scrappy talent before. Even under the much maligned P.Maurice. Never really held up the next year.

We have seen a lot of back up goalies and a lot of teams taking us lightly.

I love the emergence of Tlusty and Staal's rebirth like Phoenix has been nothing short of breathtaking, but we still need one more piece up front to be a legit threat to do more than try once again to slink in at #8. Outside of Tlusty, none of our prospects up front have really broken out (Bowman might still get there).

Despite Staal's exuberant play now, another season with second liners on the first line and third liners on the second line is not a good plan. LaRose back on the first line? Haven't we seen that play before?

So, I agree with everything you write, except going into next year without that first line winger. But that's a big except. Very big. If JR does nothing to improve LaRose as the third top line winger, I'm going to want my money back.

remkin,

I actually agree with you that another top-six forward needs to be added.

I said that "heading into next season with virtually the identical team doesn't seem so bad," which I think may have been misinterpreted. It would not be ideal, but at the same time it wouldn't be terrible, given how much better this group is playing than during the beginning of the year.

Right before that I said, "With the exception of a potential trade, Jim Rutherford won't have much of an opportunity to reshape his club in time for October, leaving the general manager with nearly the same group in tow heading into 2012-13," implying that even with a big addition, the team will still look extremely similar.

Based on your opinions I think you would like a column I wrote a few weeks ago (you and I seem to be on the same wavelength): http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1086672-carolina-hurricanes-need-to-add-goal-scorer-to-contend-in-2012-13

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Great positive spin on the season and a healthy way to deal with a long hockeyless off season.

Here is my two cents!

On pace for 109 points means nothing and is much easier over thirty games as opposed to a full season. We have 75 points after 70+ games. The NHL hockey season is not a sprint, it is a long drawn out grind that rewards constant play around 60% wins gets you in the playoffs.

I believe the two UFA need to be resigned and the RFA should be looked at real hard before signing a contract witht hem. I think Mcbain is a liability and needs to be let go, Bowman stays on a two way deal with the checkers until he is really ready and Tlusty gets signed to a few year deal.

Spoiler role!!!! Maybe but doubtful with the only team we can maybe spoil the playoffs for being the Jets who after last night bad dream come true in Columbus are 3 points ahead of us. so I don't think we will be spoiling anyones playoff plans except our own.

Staals play has been commendable under Coach Muller however it needs to be there from the start next year. our dismal play in Oct and Nov set us up for failure. In a league where the season is as long as the NHL's every point counts. We need to get some how a solid D-man to take Mcbain's spot. and at least one talented center. We need balance across the lines, and when guy like Larose (who I Love) is getting top line minutes we have issues. and Stewart too. we have many of the peices in place but we are still missing two or so spots to solidify things across the lines.

I think being on pace for 109 over 30 games means quite a bit when there's a direct correlation between that success and change within the organization. Of course, I don't expect the Canes to be able to play to that exact level over the course of an entire season, but the team's upswing over the past several months needs to be considered as a strong positive sign for next year.

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I'm already planning on a playoff revival next year I think that management is taking it very seriously to end the rebuild and start moving forward. The seasons not a total loss because Tlusty was finally able to come into his own and prove Mo was right on something he just couldn't get it out of him.

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Good write up Andrew but I think we're going to need to see what happens this summer with the roster. Muller definitely has his own ideas about what the line up should look like and slowly but surely we're seeing who fits into his plans and who doesn't by process of elimination.

If the obvious missing pieces are addressed, I don't think there's any doubt this team could compete with the best of them. The one X-factor will be notoriously slow starts by our star players and not coincidentally the entire team. In 2006, the team came out of the gates flying and was able to bank away enough points early so when they struggled a bit in the final stretch, they had time to right the ship. Next season this team has to come out of the gates strong and not have to play from behind just to catch up.

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Yeah, this season was doomed from the start - as Mo was still head coach. I don't mean to put all the blame on him, but just look at the turn around since Muller took the reins. I agree about being one or two players away from being a complete team, but I agree with the idea that a full off season, training camp and starting a season under Muller is going to make a huge difference. I don't think the "late start" tradition the Canes have had recently will continue with Muller as head coach, and if you look at the last few seasons, that has been the deciding factor in missing the playoffs for Carolina (those missed points). His principals of work ethic and playing a complete game will generate more wins and points in the standings with even lesser talent than our competitors, and in a tightly funded organization, that's the perfect marriage of coach-to-franchise.

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Only worries I have are whether Muller is a 4 line coach or his current depth is forcing his hand. Right now this team is gassed and the big gripe on Lavi was he didnt trust his fourth line at all. We need to find a happy balance in keeping our guys fresh for an entire season while maintaining a peak training regiment.

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Only worries I have are whether Muller is a 4 line coach or his current depth is forcing his hand. Right now this team is gassed and the big gripe on Lavi was he didnt trust his fourth line at all. We need to find a happy balance in keeping our guys fresh for an entire season while maintaining a peak training regiment.

Lavi or Mo? Part of the success in 06 was rolling 4 lines, wasn't LaRose with the Adams's back then? Maurice rarely skated his 4th line players.

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AND we have to play our back up goalie more. We cannot rely on Cam to bail us out for extended stretches. Teams that ride their goalie like a rented mule exit the playoffs early.

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Wasn't it Craig Adams, LaRose, and Letowski back there for most of the season? I remember them getting regular shifts and about 10 minutes a game, but it's been a while.

Ha,ha, for some funny reason when I think of that year I remember Anson Carter, and that Scott Walker had over 50 points. But, not to get off topic....

I believe Muller wants a 4-line attack, so I expect to see some different faces back there. Brent's been fine, a good start, IMO.

As far as the defense, I guess I'll go against the grain, cause I don't think Joslin, Spacek, or Allen will be back.

I have high hopes for this org going forward. Feels to me we are climbing out of that rut we were in and are finally gaining some steam to make it back to the playoffs. I'm on board until they tell me I can't come to games anymore.

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A spin on the DTV commercial:

When your top 6 forwards aren't in place you get anxious.

When you get anxious you sign multiple players hoping one is a top 6 forward.

When you sign multiple players you get bad contracts.

When you get bad contracts you're stuck with players that don't fit.

When you're stuck with players that don't fit you miss the playoffs.

Don't miss the playoffs. Make sure your top 6 forwards are in place.

Edited by Manwolf

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To me its really hard to tell where we are heading because of where we have stood since we won the Cup. Is it nice to be loyal to players ---yes, does it help on the ice- don't think so after a certain point! Some times you have to cut the ties and connections with players that have been 3rd and 4th line players for 4 or 5 seasons. Seems to me we have lost the players we should have kept and kept some players we should have traded or just let go. The other thing that worries me is the style of play that the Canes have had for quite a few years. The canes don't seem to have that gritty style of play game after game. Yes every now and then we get a little chippy but it rarely continues thru-out a season. Not sure if that a style of play the organization wants but since after the Cup win year the NHL is getting back to some pretty rough style of hockey and IMO the Canes have not adapted to that style enough.

Yes we seem to have gotten somewhat better since Muller got here but there also seems to be a lot of same stuff game after game that really hasn't changed as to style of play and player performance. So as much as I would like to see some major changes it doesn't seem to be something that the Canes would do. I hope I am wrong because I would love to see the Canes at least make it to the playoffs but with the ways things seem to be within the Organization I'm just not sure enough changes will be made to get us to that point! I really hope that I am proved to be wrong!!!

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