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PenaltyKiller17

The Usual Suspects

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So, after tonight's loss to Tampa, i officially think it's impossible to make the playoffs.  At this point i'd rather them not get a playoff spot and get completely embarrassed.  The blame has to go somewhere, but they're a lot of factors i think could possibly be the downward spiral we are in now.  Some of the suspects are obvious, and some are even more.

 

General Manager

 

We're going to start here.  I've always been skeptical of Rutherford ever since i started watching the Hurricanes.  2 Playoff appearances in 10 years is the obvious red flag.  I think to a certain length that if a GM cannot build a consistent team, then why shouldn't the blame go to him.  Even going into offseasons, it seems like he's always winging it.  One year we need skilled guys, one year we need scrappy guys, one year we need blueliners.  And i think in some instances, he's overpaid players on this team.  Even though i think highly of these players, E Staal, J Staal, Ward, Ruutu, Gleason, and Pit (even though he could make more elsewhere for the price we're paying we're not getting enough out of him).  And with our self-imposed cap, I hope said contracts haven't hindered us getting what we really need.  I can't fault him 100% of the offseason because we plugged holes we'd been missing, which leads me to my next point.  I didn't think he put any good effort whatsoever in building a 3rd line.  It scared me before the season even started where he said we could have as many as 6 or 7 checkers playing on the team.  For a team trying to make the playoffs, that's unacceptable.  Granted Nash has improved significantly, Bowman's regressed a little, and Jussi should have never been put as the center.  I think they just saw the money given to Semin and J Staal and didn't want to spend anymore.  And in all honesty, i didn't think not having a 3rd line would hinder us the way it has.  Also, i don't think we've ever had a true 2nd line as well.  It's not fair in a way to J Staal and Skinner, who've never played together, to expect them to produce consistenly when they're paired with a different person every other game.  They've had Dalpe, Larose, Jokinen, Boychuck, Bowman, Dwyer, Ruutu, and probably others play with them.  Lastly, we have to have the softest defensive corp in the league.  It amazes me how much they lack physicality.  I know they want puck movers, but when you get a bunch of dmen that don't hit, combined with a bunch of forwards who don't hit, who hits?

 

I'm not saying he should resign, but he should give it a thought.  He needs to dig down and ask himself some tough questions.  

 

Players  

 

Bottom line, the only players that have played consistently to me are E Staal, Semin, and Faulk.  To me, Gleason hasn't been the same since the winter olympics.  I think he left there thinking he's better than he actually is.  His physicality has gone way down since then as well.  Skinner, at this point, i'm questioning if he this franchise should move forward with him.  It's as if he's the only person on offense.  And to think a lot of thought one day he'd be better then Staal.  I could go on individually about each player, but you all know their flaws, and this is going to be too long of post as it is.

 

Coaching

 

On paper, Carolina is more talented than all but maybe 2 teams that's currently in a playoff position. But what are we now like 10th, 11th?  I put the majority of this recent slump on Kirk.  We lost a lot of games we should've won.  This team has no sense of urgency.  Completely terrible in the neutral zone.  No offensive or defensive structure.  We look like a group of individuals instead of a team.  I look at how other teams currently in a playoff spot play.  They aren't the most talented, but they play great together as a unit.  We're completely undisciplined on D.  Teams know all they have to do is just pepper our netminders with shots, because they're giving up a lot of softies, and they know how mediocre our dmen are.  We are amongst the worst on the PP and PK.  

 

But in the same boat, how much can you blame a guy that's been given soft players, and even though he's been here a year and a half, he still hasn't had a full training camp or season to get the most out of this team.

 

Will finish this later.  I'm very tired.

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This is like an old Scooby-Doo mystery.  When they finally pull the mask off the culprit, you'll see that the actual criminal is not any of your suspects at all.  You forgot the actual guy.

 

Hint from your own analysis:  "And with our self-imposed cap, I hope said contracts haven't hindered us getting what we really need."

 

Go open up a business, hire a guy to be the GM, and then tell him he only gets to spend 70% of the resources that all his competition gets to spend.  See how your business does.

 

If it still managed to win a Cup in spite of it, I'd say the guy you hired was darn near a genius, lucky, or both.

 

In the end though, Shaggy is going to pull off the mask, to reveal...

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This is like an old Scooby-Doo mystery.  When they finally pull the mask off the culprit, you'll see that the actual criminal is not any of your suspects at all.  You forgot the actual guy.

 

Hint from your own analysis:  "And with our self-imposed cap, I hope said contracts haven't hindered us getting what we really need."

 

Go open up a business, hire a guy to be the GM, and then tell him he only gets to spend 70% of the resources that all his competition gets to spend.  See how your business does.

 

If it still managed to win a Cup in spite of it, I'd say the guy you hired was darn near a genius, lucky, or both.

 

In the end though, Shaggy is going to pull off the mask, to reveal...

 

This made me laugh.  Thx hag.

 

Mo?

Edited by coastal_caniac

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...Cam Ward?

 

This isn't a M. Night Shyamalan movie, Dave.  You are starting to sound like those 'New-Ward Order' conspiracy theorists.

 

And our defense is really just a hologram from a hidden film projector in the rafters.

 

  :lol:

Edited by jb_online

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They made some big splashes this year with Semin and JStaal and now some new ownership partners coming in, so maybe (just maybe) Ownership will no longer be a problem? (Please??) 

 

I agree with the OP though, no way in heck we are making the playoffs.  Playoff probability 0.0%.  

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I'd have to disagree with the point on JR.  I think he's very good at what he does.

 

I really don't think this losing skid is an indication of where we're at player wise.  When we are playing to our potential, we are a top team in the league.  The biggest problem has been injuries and our lack of depth to fill those voids.  Although Ellis and Peters had some good nights, overall they have been a weak link in net.  I think it's pretty obvious we're needing a lot of attention on the defense, but I don't feel like we are totally lost there.  McBain isn't playing particularly well, but I think we need to give him time.  Gleason, while he hasn't had the greatest of seasons, is a top d man and will perform.  Faulk is awesome.  Harrison should be playing on a third line pairing with someone like Joni, which leaves a spot open for a d-man.  It would be nice to try and grab a free agent after this season.

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In the end though, Shaggy is going to pull off the mask, to reveal...

...Pete Friesen!

What else could explain the above average injuries and slower than expected recoveries by the team through the years? And the lower energy levels on the ice versus other teams most nights? The poorer than average record on back-to-backs?

Coaches have changed, players have changed, JR has changed approaches, the ownership mix has changed. The one constant is Pete Friesen...he must be the problem!!!!!

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Its the coach and lack of veteran leaders

 

Either Staal are not leaders for this team.  This is evident when the moment controversy comes the team gives up.  Great leaders (Brindy, Francis, etc) dont let that happen.

 

I say the coach.  He continues to beat the same strategy as if the results are going to change.  I understand the strategy use to work but if it isnt anymore then change is needed.  His lack of ability is apparent as he refuses to change.  Also, the notion of waiting for a good break to change this team is pathetic.  He can't really believe that there are no issues with the team but with luck. 

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It's too much to explain but both those guys did suffer from controversy and both times wound up with retirement.

 

Its the coach and lack of veteran leaders

 

Either Staal are not leaders for this team.  This is evident when the moment controversy comes the team gives up.  Great leaders (Brindy, Francis, etc) dont let that happen.

Edited by legend-1

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Blaming Muller is ridiculous. This team was on fire less than a month ago.

 

Calling for the coach's head is the first answer of people who don't understand hockey. Due to its speed, it's a very different game from others in terms of the immediate and profound effect of confidence on team performance, which is why players talk about their confidence level so much in interviews. Lack of confidence in hockey manifests quickly because one bad decision and the puck is in the net. In games played more slowly (on foot, as opposed to on skates), there is a wider margin of error. In hockey, it is razor thin. 

 

Confidence is why this slide has only worsened the longer Ward has been out. Our chances of making the playoffs dropped exponentially when he went down, and no matter what they may have said at the time, everybody in the room knew it. Not because our backup goaltending is inconsistent (which it is) but because every player grows up learning that a team needs two things to be successful: Goaltending and puck possession. If you lack either, you will lose more than you win.

 

For proof, just look at Philly. Loaded with talent, but saddled with that nut-job Bryzgalov. Even if they get into the playoffs they will not win, because the man, to quote Hank Hill, is "just not right."

 

So in terms of 2013 for the 'Canes, losing Cam was huge. JR, as a former keeper, knew this the moment it happened, and had to make a choice: Go out and get a battle-tested keeper who has played well in recent years, or take a chance that Ellis will return to the form he showed in getting the Preds into the 2008 playoffs. JR chose the latter and the sad truth is that Ellis responded, then got injured himself. 

 

So when we look at it as objectively and unemotionally as possible, it is injuries which took the wind out of the Hurricanes' sails this season. Simple as that. They were firing on all cylinders, Cam went down, and they've struggled ever since.

 

That said, there are other long-term issues afflicting this team which, if not addressed, *could* continue to hurt us.

 

#1 - Puck possession. I'd sure like to have seen what the first line could have achieved if Cam hadn't gone down. It was - literally - the hottest line in hockey, and then came that confidence-shattering injury to #30. Still, puck possession - which begins with winning face-offs - is very important. Eric has had five years to get better, and has worked very hard at it. His numbers have improved - and his line's chemistry has catalyzed. Still, I would say that next season, if the first line doesn't pick up where it left off when Cam went down this year, it may be time to put Jordan at center on the first line with E on one wing and Tlusty or Semin on the other. I realize this still leaves us hurting for centers further down the depth chart, but we are already, and having a better chance of winning period-opening face-offs and those on the PP and PK is more important than letting Eric keep taking them. 

 

#2 - Lack of a consistent offensive assault, specifically pucks on net (as differentiated from shots; they're not the same thing). We looked very good offensively last night against the Rangers - save for that crucial Keystone Cops defensive lapse in the second period - and if Lundqvist doesn't stand on his head all night long we win that game going away, despite that lapse. But Henrik was nothing short of incredible. That's the kind of assault we have to bring every night.

 

#3 - All-around lack of physicality. The extent to which we AVOID contact, especially in our defensive zone, is unbelievable for anything purporting to be a hockey team. Anyone who disagrees need only watch any game involving any two NHL teams, provided neither of them is the 'Canes. 

Edited by top-shelf-1

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defence and the lack of a physical game is definatly a issue.this lies directly on JRs shoulders. hes the one that assembled this team. worst part about this is that two defencmen that have been allowed to walk away are exactly what this team needs... those two people are allen and seidenberg. everyone is complaining about corvo and mcbain but they are playing in rolls they shouldnt be.they both need to be a third pairing. dwyer and bowman are fine, dwyers effort is there, bowman is young and actually will hit people. you put any young player on a line with checkers and see how much they produce. too many one dimensional players. JR seems to like players that are skilled players,and not physical player. carolina is simply a easy team to play against and does not scare opposing teams.... and untill we get more physical or more dominating we simply will not win.im sure this team will go on a late season win streak and manage to screw up a top 5 draft pick as ussual.........

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defence and the lack of a physical game is definatly a issue.this lies directly on JRs shoulders. hes the one that assembled this team. worst part about this is that two defencmen that have been allowed to walk away are exactly what this team needs... those two people are allen and seidenberg. everyone is complaining about corvo and mcbain but they are playing in rolls they shouldnt be.they both need to be a third pairing. dwyer and bowman are fine, dwyers effort is there, bowman is young and actually will hit people. you put any young player on a line with checkers and see how much they produce. too many one dimensional players. JR seems to like players that are skilled players,and not physical player. carolina is simply a easy team to play against and does not scare opposing teams.... and untill we get more physical or more dominating we simply will not win.im sure this team will go on a late season win streak and manage to screw up a top 5 draft pick as ussual.........

 

Yup, I screamed probably loudest of anyone here when Seids was allowed to waltz and while it is absolutely true that he has benefited greatly from being paired with Chara, there would have been a similar effect here if he teamed with Pit. And please please please don't even get me started about Justin Williams, who is now wearing his second ring...

 

Also, those calling for Skinner to be traded are really without clue. Hands like his are a rarity in this league, and he's still a kid. He will become our Marty St. Louis if we allow him to, and it's a credit to management that they have supported him through his (understandable) impatience as he adapted to becoming a target of opponents after winning the Calder. I'll take one guy with the heart and skills of a Jeff Skinner (or Chad LaRose) over ten E. Staals any day.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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In the end though, Shaggy is going to pull off the mask, to reveal...

 

Mike1_slide.jpg

 

fooling even me...   Even I thought it was PK, but isn't that the essence of the mystery...  It's never who you think it is.

 

Who ever thought repetitive series of 3 plastic horn blasts had such an effect on hockey?

 

Mike, Mike, why did it have to be you???

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JR chose the latter and the sad truth is that Ellis responded, then got injured himself. 

 

I was going to write a silly rebuttal to an earlier post of mine which originally said that JR was a genius for getting Ellis.  I'm going to back off my rebuttal to my earlier post.  I think JR was smart to try Ellis.  Still do.

 

What we didn't see coming was Ellis' injury right on top of Faulk's.  Killer.  Danny is back, but he is not the same.  This injury screwed with his pscyh.  He is constanly fighting it now.  He was NOT fighting it earlier in the season.  I think he said it was just a hair away from cutting an MCL or something?  Surely, this has to get to you.  And, heck, he may still be feeling the effects of the wound, perhaps limiting his flexibility.

 

The more I think about this season, the more I'm now just writing it off and going to reboot next season and see what happens.  There are injuries every team has, then there are injuries.  The Canes got pretty badly hosed.

 

Also, those calling for Skinner to be traded are really without clue. Hands like his are a rarity in this league, and he's still a kid. He will become our Marty St. Louis if we allow him to, and it's a credit to management that they have supported him through his (understandable) impatience as he adapted to becoming a target of opponents after winning the Calder. I'll take one guy with the heart and skills of a Jeff Skinner (or Chad LaRose) over ten E. Staals any day.

 

I was hard on him last Thursday, comapring him to MSL unfavorably.  But you have a point.  He is a kid, had a tough season already, and is gettng pushed around.  Most would still be in the minors at this point.  Let's give him a chance. 

Edited by wxray1

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All of my ridiculous kidding aside, does anyone not believe:

 

There is a cumulative effect of consistently spending significantly under the cap for many years, when other teams consistently spend to the cap.

 

I am not saying that our small market team should spend to the cap.  But I am saying that to not think there is an effect is incredibly optimistic.  It means that everyone in the rest of the org from GM, coaches, players, trainers, and even Big Mike (there I go again) need to do more with less. 

 

We did, in the cup year.  But we have also seen the other side of the coin when they do not.

 

I am as frustrated as anyone else at our repeated failure to make the playoffs since, but I am not mystified as to how it is happening.

 

And spending more in last season and this season does not make up for the entire franchise history of spending less.  You don't build a team in one or 2 years.  This team has been built over the last 10 years.  The lack of spending on D goes back as far as you wish to look.  So there is your answer, in my oh so humble opinion.

Edited by hag65

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I think that expectations were very high for this team and as well as we were playing a paultry 3 weeks ago, we were all very excited to finally have some playoff hockey this year.  For me, I'm calling it a wash...injuries have been brutal and we can't find much secondary scoring. 

 

I think you have to take a big picture look and hope for greener pastures in the years to come:

 

1) Semin E.  Staal Tlusty...about as good a first line any team could hope for

 

2) J. Staal...I'm giving him a pass...new home, new wife, pressure of wearing the "A", new team, pressure of playing with your brother, HUGE expectations from the team and fan base...how would you handle that at 24?  Give Ruutu J. Staal Skinner 10 games in a row together and let's see what happens

 

3) Defense...crushed by injuries and not as good as we wanted....upgrades to definitely be made here and players not signed and traded...If your last name is not Faulk or Murphy, or maybe Harrison (good 3rd pairing guy and really good role model), you should be worried about whether you are playing on this team next year. 

 

4) Goalies...Ward was rusty, that's for sure but was showing signs of life before the injury, Ellis and Peters have shown flashes of brilliance but more flashes of :facepalm2: :facepalm2: recently...combine that with your best D-Man down and you get where we are. 

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I think that expectations were very high for this team and as well as we were playing a paultry 3 weeks ago, we were all very excited to finally have some playoff hockey this year.  For me, I'm calling it a wash...injuries have been brutal and we can't find much secondary scoring. 

 

I think you have to take a big picture look and hope for greener pastures in the years to come:

 

1) Semin E.  Staal Tlusty...about as good a first line any team could hope for

 

2) J. Staal...I'm giving him a pass...new home, new wife, pressure of wearing the "A", new team, pressure of playing with your brother, HUGE expectations from the team and fan base...how would you handle that at 24?  Give Ruutu J. Staal Skinner 10 games in a row together and let's see what happens

 

3) Defense...crushed by injuries and not as good as we wanted....upgrades to definitely be made here and players not signed and traded...If your last name is not Faulk or Murphy, or maybe Harrison (good 3rd pairing guy and really good role model), you should be worried about whether you are playing on this team next year. 

 

4) Goalies...Ward was rusty, that's for sure but was showing signs of life before the injury, Ellis and Peters have shown flashes of brilliance but more flashes of :facepalm2: :facepalm2: recently...combine that with your best D-Man down and you get where we are. 

 

I agree completely with all of this. 

 

Add to this: 

 

  • A new system implemented halfway through last season, with a new coach hired halfway through last season.  And since the new system and new coach, new players have joined, some have left (in addition to all the injuries) - and no training camp or pre-season to really establish the system.  For all those now saying the system doesn't work ... well, if it doesn't work now, why did it work a month ago?  If we were still winning at the pace we were then - or even at half that pace, would anyone be questioning the system?  Or the coach?  Did you question the system, or the coach at the end of last season?

 

The old adage is true:  winning solves everything.  Losing brings questions and theories about what needs to be fixed.  I don't have a clue as to why we fell off the cliff, or how to stop falling, and I'm not going to pretend to.  But I do think that throwing the baby out with the bathwater is rarely a successful approach.  And so far on this board "baby" can be any or all of:

 

The owner(s)

The GM

The system

The coach(es)

E. Staal

J. Staal

Skinner

Ward

Ellis

The defense (collectively or individually)

The offense (collectively or individually)

 

The only thing I would truly like to get rid of is all the injuries.  And - of course - the losing streak.  :cry:  :dizzy:

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As a Penguins fan all I can say is that I'm glad you guys got Jordan Staal at the lovely price of $6 million a year for ten whole years. I'm also really glad we didn't.

 

IMO, he is one of the most over rated players in the game today.

 

Sure he played behind Malkin and Crosby but I guess it never crossed anybodys mind that if he was actually the player that everyone thought he would be that he'd be challenging at least one of those guys for their spot from time to time. Or better yet that his numbers would have improved when one or both of those guys went out with injury.

 

Anyway, I'm glad I don't have to watch him from night to night and complain about how much we would have paid him. He's all yours now in all his spectacular "Gronk" glory.

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Well there's no doubt we've made our bed w/ Jordan and Eric. Eric is over a PPG, so the Eric haters have receded somewhat. But what of Jordan?

 

His last two years is Pittsburgh he put up .77 PPG, and .92 PPG in the playoffs. He was a plus 18. That was two years and 13 playoff games. Not a fluke.

 

He has had difficulty so far here. His productivity is down, his plus/minus not good. 

 

J.Staal will improve as a Cane. But even as is his productivity is good for #39 for NHL centers even this year. Effectively top 10 of second line centers.

 

He and Skinner are -18 each. At this point it is hard not to see J.Staal and Skinner on the same line. These two have to get there game together figured out. 

 

J.Staal is not a top flight playmaker, and while Skinner is showing signs, neither is he. I had thought maybe Jussi could have helped. I think that line needs a guy that can pass and create. 

 

Anyway, I still have serious faith that J. will find his game as the team does. Probably next year though....

Edited by remkin

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Don't feed the trolls.

 

Well I've been wanting to make that point based on other posts too. 

 

It is funny though that he thinks that to be any good he needs to be better than Malkin or Crosby. Why not throw Gretsky in there?

Edited by remkin

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Well I've been wanting to make that point based on other posts too. 

 

It is funny though that he thinks that to be any good he needs to be better than Malkin or Crosby. Why not throw Gretsky in there?

J.Staal's performance on this team needs discussion.  Your post was great.  Thanks for not quoting it and troll feeding.

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