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2013 In Season News, Practice Updates & In-between Game Talk

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Thus far, it looks like there aren't too many "disgruntled" fans out there.

21 of 30 teams are averaging 100% attendance

28 of 30 teams are averaging >90% attendance

2 of 30 teams <90% are Colorado (89%) and Phoenix (79%)

Maybe Bettman was right.

That is amazing considering the latest lockout debacle. I really thought they'd done more damage with the fans, apparently not.

Yeah, they lost a certain percentage of the "casual fans" but it just shows you how many die hard hockey fans are out there.

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After thinking about this for awhile, I wanted to reply to this thought.Semin is electric so far in this young season, a fact that I think everyone will agree with? Isn't it a shame that we have to start qualifying him in terms of cost? How long has this fanbase been crying for someone to complement Eric, and has anyone been able to do so yet?Do we like Larose on the 1st? Have any of our youngsters shown that they can assume that position? I suppose the 1 question I ask in terms of his cost is how much is a Stanley Cup run worth to the franchise? while it's far to soon to see how this season will play out, I think unquestionably Alexander Semin helps this team to dream of the playoffs, and I, for one, hope JR weighs out all the pros of resigning him! You never know, Sasha might consider a "favorable" deal to a team that took a chance with him.

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Is Ellis going to be our no1 goaltender now? Just out of interest....

If you take a look at his stats, you would say yes. Although he started 2 games he did play an excellent 2 periods filling in for the " #1 " goalie. And you can make a strong case using the GAA.

Edited by winger52

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Hardly possible. At least for now. He played only two games. I guess it can only happen if Cam is gonna constantly be extremely bad. Which is impossible.

Started 2 games , but in 2 periods he cleaned the stink off the ice when he was the replacement.

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Thus far, it looks like there aren't too many "disgruntled" fans out there.

21 of 30 teams are averaging 100% attendance

28 of 30 teams are averaging >90% attendance

2 of 30 teams <90% are Colorado (89%) and Phoenix (79%)

Maybe Bettman was right.

I would give it more time to see what happens after all the "we're sorry" promotions run their course. Half price tickets, kids for free, prizes, reduced cost concessions and BOGO's will fill the arenas but skew the numbers.

If they released the revenue numbers and compared it to previous seasons that would be a better comparison. Might as well make two more wishes while I am at it...

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I would give it more time to see what happens after all the "we're sorry" promotions run their course. Half price tickets, kids for free, prizes, reduced cost concessions and BOGO's will fill the arenas but skew the numbers.

If they released the revenue numbers and compared it to previous seasons that would be a better comparison. Might as well make two more wishes while I am at it...

I bet you're right. Also I'd like to see what happens as some teams start to really falter in the standings, I bet fans will have much less patience and will be much quicker to stop draining precious finances to support their teams than in previous years. Listening to folks sitting around me after the opening night debacle against Tampa, the common theme was "I gave them another chance for this?" IMO It won't take much for fans to do another 180 because while the fans seem committed right now, it won't take much to trigger all that negativity and blame of the lockout.

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Started 2 games , but in 2 periods he cleaned the stink off the ice when he was the replacement.

Who started two games? Ellis? He started one, Cam started three. Ellis was the replacement, and a good one, but does that make him our #1 goalie?

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Sunday Chip Tweets

Chip Alexander@ice_chip

Faulk is at practice

Chip Alexander@ice_chip

Top three lines remain unchanged. No surprise there after 2 wins. Dwyer, Brent, Westgarth, Boychuk alternating on 4th line.

Chip Alexander@ice_chip

Sanguinetti 7th D as pairs stay same.

Chip Alexander@ice_chip

Judging by the velocity of Faulk's shot, nothing appears to be slowing him down as far as an "upper-body injury."

Sunday M Smith Tweets

Michael Smith@MSmithCanes

Big crowd at the STH cookout today. West side of the arena pretty much full.

Michael Smith@MSmithCanes

Judging by jersey color, forward lines remain unchanged. Sanguinetti, Boychuk working with Ward and Ellis.

Michael Smith@MSmithCanes

Defensive pairings appear unchanged. Faulk with Gleason, McBain with Pitkanen, Harrison with Corvo. Sanguinetti the extra.

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Thus far, it looks like there aren't too many "disgruntled" fans out there.

21 of 30 teams are averaging 100% attendance

28 of 30 teams are averaging >90% attendance

2 of 30 teams <90% are Colorado (89%) and Phoenix (79%)

Maybe Bettman was right.

Record TV ratings too. I think the NBA learned last season, and perhaps the NHL this season, that a shorter season has a lot of appeal to fans--now if they could just do it without all the labor drama....

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I would give it more time to see what happens after all the "we're sorry" promotions run their course. Half price tickets, kids for free, prizes, reduced cost concessions and BOGO's will fill the arenas but skew the numbers.

I said "thus far" and "maybe" Bettman was right.

I bet you're right. Also I'd like to see what happens as some teams start to really falter in the standings, I bet fans will have much less patience and will be much quicker to stop draining precious finances to support their teams than in previous years. Listening to folks sitting around me after the opening night debacle against Tampa, the common theme was "I gave them another chance for this?" IMO It won't take much for fans to do another 180 because while the fans seem committed right now, it won't take much to trigger all that negativity and blame of the lockout.

Most fans around me were all happy to be back, and enjoyed themselves despite the outcome. I've never had so many requests for our extra tickets.

I'm sure some crappy teams attendance will drop off. It doesn't take a lockout for that to happen, so, I think that's a pretty weak argument.

Regardless, I wasn't trying to open old wounds, I just thought it was interesting that a lot of the predictions about fans not coming back just haven't happened, at least as attendance is concerned.

I'll revisit the stats after another 15-20 games, and as both of you have pointed out, maybe a different trend will emerge after the promotions blitz's around the league have ended.

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Who started two games? Ellis? He started one, Cam started three. Ellis was the replacement, and a good one, but does that make him our #1 goalie?

Sorry, he played so well I thought he started, but so far stats make him our #1.

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Judging by the news coming out of practice it appears Faulk is ok. That would be good news. Boston should be a real test for us.

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Sorry, he played so well I thought he started, but so far stats make him our #1.

I agree with that. According to the stats, he should be our #1. But I'm more than sure that it won't influence Muller's decision to let Wardo play more games.

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Judging by the news coming out of practice it appears Faulk is ok. That would be good news. Boston should be a real test for us.

That is a big relief, we need his D against Boston, they'll be tough again, as always. Love watching this kid play, he is becoming my favorite defenseman.

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Most fans around me were all happy to be back, and enjoyed themselves despite the outcome. I've never had so many requests for our extra tickets.

I'm sure some crappy teams attendance will drop off. It doesn't take a lockout for that to happen, so, I think that's a pretty weak argument.

It will be interesting to see as time goes on. The 15 or so teams that sell out every game, not so much, but the others.

Of course to me it all comes down to Cane's attendance. I agree, in an odd way the lockout got hockey in the news, and the shortened season can create an "I better see a game quick if I'm going to get there". My sense is that fans like us have been talking up our new acquisitions to whoever will listen and even casual fans know that the Canes went for it this offseason. I am betting that this creates a buzz, and attendance will be good so long as the team plays well. Then it will hopefully be a dash for the playoffs creating more interest. Typically Canes attendance seems to fall off pretty fast early on, then build (based on me looking around, not real numbers). So it will be interesting to see what kind of attendance we get Monday, then Thursday Toronto, and finally Feb 21, Thursday WPG. If those numbers look good and the team plays well we should be good.

I figured fans would come back this year. If they had canceled the whole season...not so much.

I agree that once Columbus is out of it, and similar teams, they'll probably drop off. But the Canes are a great indicator. Lowish attendance, growing fan base, but no where near sold out, but put together a good team w/ solid offseason moves. If the NHL is going to bounce back it should show up here.

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Thus far, it looks like there aren't too many "disgruntled" fans out there.

21 of 30 teams are averaging 100% attendance

28 of 30 teams are averaging >90% attendance

2 of 30 teams <90% are Colorado (89%) and Phoenix (79%)

Maybe Bettman was right.

Or 50% or more opening weekend discounts on tickets, $1 or free drinks/hot dogs etc on most buildings got people to come back for opening weekend.. be alot more interested to see week 3 and 4 on the attendance numbers and tv ratings

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Regardless, I wasn't trying to open old wounds, I just thought it was interesting that a lot of the predictions about fans not coming back just haven't happened, at least as attendance is concerned.

I didn't think you were, its a valid observation/discussion and Iv'e been watching it too. I'm pleasantly surprised that the fans have been as receptive as they have been and will be very curious to see what happens once all the big promos slow down and if the team stumbles. I'm with those that feel a strong base is here through good and bad, they just need to find a way to hook the casual fan and keep them long term.

Its been said a million times here and everywhere else....winning cures all.

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Someone was asking what we do if Semin does work out. I have a feeling JR has a plan for both outcomes. The contract was made so he could dump Semin if all the 'BS' about him ended up being true. We're only 4 games in, but it's apparent we made the right choice in giving him his shot. I'm sure Semin and his agent have some verbal agreement about an extension or a follow-up contract with JR. I think it also plays into how the team does (duh), so if we are out of the playoff picture by the deadline, Semin could fetch some assets for the team. BUT, let's not think about that, because we are making the playoffs, and we are going really far this year. right? ;)

As far as Ellis starting more games, it depends on if he can keep outplaying Wardo. I was laughing when during the first game against the Sabres, FSC put up a graphic on the screen on most starts by a goalie in the 1995 shortened season while talking about Ward. Hah! Not this year. I have a feeling both goalies will play around the same number of games, one or the other getting an edge. Depends on if Ward can play like he should be playing, and if Ellis sticks to his current form.

Who knows, if Cam comes back and improves to "elite" level of playing, Ellis may attract a few teams who may need goaltending. We still have Peters, and John Muse needs to be starting games in the AHL asap. But in this season, I can also see JR keeping both if they are both tearing it up. Depends on what our team needs look like at the time.

Edited by SuckaPunchd

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I've said it before. Several Capital fans have told me that Semin is/was their best player. To be honest I've never seen a guy like him before on the team. Is it just me or is Semin always in the right position? He is just so smart and most importantly he looks to be having a really good time with this team so far. You can really see it in his face that he is truly enjoying being a Cane. I think the guys like him too.

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I've said it before. Several Capital fans have told me that Semin is/was their best player. To be honest I've never seen a guy like him before on the team. Is it just me or is Semin always in the right position? He is just so smart and most importantly he looks to be having a really good time with this team so far. You can really see it in his face that he is truly enjoying being a Cane. I think the guys like him too.

Yeah he's always smiling. 8407849936_40dbecc565_m.jpg

Here's an

with Semin. Translator did his best, but here's what Semin said according to RMNB (Russian Machine Never Breaks):
Question: Alex, you look at this as a new start?

Semin: Inarguably [i see this as a new start]. I’ve never changed teams before, it’s the first time in my career. I think it’s nothing special. I changed a team, but hockey is the same, we’ll go out there and play.

Translator: Obviously this is the first time he’s been traded in his career. He just sees it as the same sport, hockey, and he’s out here to do his best and help his team in any way possible.

Question:How much does playing against Eric Staal [when you were in Washington] help you blend with him [here]?

Semin: I don’t know, how many [games we'll need to blend with Eric Staal]. I think we’ll help out each other, everything will be good, the team will be winning. That’s not like we two are the only ones playing. The team is playing.

Translator: He says, uhhh, the two of us are playing as a team with all the players. Together we should be fine and help the team win.

Question:You’ve scored a lot of goals in this building. Do you have a good feeling here?

Semin: It would be good to keep it up this way. [Translator doesn't hear, Semin repeats and smiles.]

Translator: It would obviously be very good if the results continue in this building.

For those interested in the RMNB article.

Edited by SuckaPunchd

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The word on Faulk is he made it through practice alright but he will be evaluated tomorrow to see if he will be able to play against the Bruins.

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The Russian language sounds so angry and depressing.

I think it is because the translator is reciting it "verbatum" they do not put the emotional speech inflections into the translation. When I hear Russians speaking freely to one another, they are quite animated :D

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As far as the attendance goes, it's good to see the barns full for the most part. I don't know about the rest of the league, but the Canes have really run promotions to try to move tickets. I was watching TV the other morning and Doug Warf was on and he was talking about how they were looking at it as if the immediate costs didn't matter and they were looking at the long term. Folks were glad to see hockey back and I didn't think the first handful of games would be a tough sell. I'm waiting to see what it starts to look like after 15 or so games.

I am one of the "disgruntled" that pulled out as a STH. Does that make me a bad fan? I don't think so. I will go to some games this year and will watch the rest on TV. To each his own, and I made my decision for my own reasons. If I lived in Raleigh or close by, my decision may be different. As it is, I have an hour drive each way (yes, I know some of you have much longer drives) and I was giving about half of my tickets away to my daughters and to friends. I'm not giving up on the Canes or on hockey, but I know my decision hurts the team in some very small way. As I've said before, my ticket money is the only vote that I had in the process and the only way I thought that I could voice my displeasure at the way the league was doing business. I don't care what the Canes do, if the league is going to shut down every few seasons and kill any momentum the organization has built, it is going to be hard to build the fanbase the team needs.

My question is, what does the league do to assure fans and more importantly, corporate sponsors that there will be some labor stability from this point on?

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