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TRACKING THE STORM - Michael Smith

 

"You really don’t want to mix up chemistry. Nash’s line, so far, seems to have good chemistry and is playing well and producing. They’ve been pretty strong, and Jordan’s line has had great chemistry,” Muller said. “Guys that have missed time, it’s tough to get in and eat a lot of minutes, so if he does get in, maybe he starts on the fourth line and builds himself up.”

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In all seriousness, we might have one of the most if not the most underrated blue line in the NHL. Is this a homer of me to think this way?

 

Canes are 2 games into an 82 game season. It is a bit early to start sizing those championship rings.

Note that BD said "underrated" not "best".  Given the complete lack of respect most analysts have shown us preseason, that doesn't seem like an unreasonable hypothesis to me.

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FWIW ESPN has us ranked at number 10 in their power rankings. A bit surprising, but its ESPN so take that for what its worth. Although Burnside is pretty good imo. 

 

http://espn.go.com/nhl/powerrankings/_/season/2014/week/1

 

Burnside turning his ship towards Remkin Island.

 

Not sure where Ruutu slots now, but eventually it is 2a or 2b.Not going to leave that scoring and skill on the 4th for long. Wherever, he makes us substantially better.

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In all seriousness, we might have one of the most if not the most underrated blue line in the NHL. Is this a homer of me to think this way?

I think many people forget we were sporting Sangs in a top 4 spot at times due to injuries, and Oh no Joe Corvo in top 2. Also, Mcbain, I think was -13 last year, stinking things up. I think losing those three alone might have something to do with an improved outlook on our D. I don't think many of us really know what we got just yet, but so far its been good.

Edited by Ichigo-1

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Burnside turning his ship towards Remkin Island.

 

Not sure where Ruutu slots now, but eventually it is 2a or 2b.Not going to leave that scoring and skill on the 4th for long. Wherever, he makes us substantially better.

I agree with you rem. Ruu might work himself back in lineup on the 4th line but it won't be long before a choice must be made.

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He'll make his debut on the 4th I'm sure to gain some game conditioning like most do when they come back from that long off but he won't stay there long. He'll swipe that 2nd line job from Dwyer fast.

 

That's if the first line finds their scoring touch, if not by the time Ruu's ready they might shake up the top 2 lines.  It's great our depth is scoring (how weird is that from last year) but now our bread and butter seems a bit cold.

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Note that BD said "underrated" not "best".  Given the complete lack of respect most analysts have shown us preseason, that doesn't seem like an unreasonable hypothesis to me.

 

Yeah, but I'm not ready to make major evaluations after 2 games.  They look much better, but one bad game and everybody is back on the ledge.  Remember that just a week or two ago, many didn't have high expectations.  Remember that just last Friday night, many were saying they were the same old "choking in the 3rd" Canes. 

 

I'm happy with what I have seen so far.  Give it some time and we will see where this team really is.

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Canes are 2 games into an 82 game season. It is a bit early to start sizing those championship rings.

 

They are working on the parade route in Toronto.

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I woke up this morning and I wasn't on Remkin island.  I got through the day.

 

For some it is a nice slow leisurely journey. No rush.

Edited by remkin

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I think many people forget we were sporting Sangs in a top 4 spot at times due to injuries, and Oh no Joe Corvo in top 2. Also, Mcbain, I think was -13 last year, stinking things up. I think losing those three alone might have something to do with an improved outlook on our D. I don't think many of us really know what we got just yet, but so far its been good.

Having players overslotted was a big issue last season. I am not convinced that won't be an issue this season as well, should there be significant injuries, especially to Faulk.

However, for whatever +/- is worth, McBain was one of the top defensemen in the league in +/- around the middle of the season. He and Pitkanen played primarily with the top line, and they all had very good +/- numbers. By the end of the season (including stretches with Pitkanen out and often being paired with Sanguinetti and Bergeron), his +/- went down quite a bit. He still ended up even - which was third (behind Pitkanen (+2) and Faulk (+1)) amongst Hurricanes defensemen.

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If we win against the Pens and Caps in the next two games, I'm going to start building an underground living space here on Remkin Island. Complete with enigmatic hatch entrance. 

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Jeez...I catch a plane back from Afghanistan and Lavi gets fired.  Has JR called him yet to inquire on his interest in replacing Kirk?  ;)

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Jeez...I catch a plane back from Afghanistan and Lavi gets fired.  Has JR called him yet to inquire on his interest in replacing Kirk?  ;)

 

Of course not!  He won't turn to Lavi unless PM refuses the job! ;)

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However, for whatever +/- is worth, McBain was one of the top defensemen in the league in +/- around the middle of the season. He and Pitkanen played primarily with the top line, and they all had very good +/- numbers. By the end of the season (including stretches with Pitkanen out and often being paired with Sanguinetti and Bergeron), his +/- went down quite a bit. He still ended up even - which was third (behind Pitkanen (+2) and Faulk (+1)) amongst Hurricanes defensemen.

 

The bold explains part of it. Pretty easy on the plus minus to stand at the blue line while Tlusty nets another one. Also, that top line kept the puck in the offensive zone a lot. On the flip side the other guys often put their checking line out there at the same time, not presenting a huge threat to score. 

 

Trust me McBain is awful as an NHL dman. His best hope is to be an offensive dman where one can excuse the weak defense, but he doesn't produce enough offense to even come close. I'd be surprised if he is in the NHL next year. I thought Sekera was a massive upgrade, but frankly so is Murphy. Murphy is the classic example of an offensive dman where you can live with defensive growing pains because he can break down a defense and create a scoring chance. McBain? Not so much.

 

On the flip side, the decent plus minus probably allowed us to move him. Perfect timing. Now Buffalo also got a decent second round pick, so the trade was not frank larceny, but the McBain part of it was.

Edited by remkin

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I would be surprised if Murphy is doing this well in 3 months, I just don't see us being so fortunate that our only offensive d-man doesn't feel the burden at some point when things aren't going his way.

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I would be surprised if Murphy is doing this well in 3 months, I just don't see us being so fortunate that our only offensive d-man doesn't feel the burden at some point when things aren't going his way.

Other teams will have plenty of film by then to formulate a game plan against him just as they did for Jeff Skinner.  That said, he's a pleasure to watch play and I hope he continues to develop and becomes a huge force for our defense.

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rem, just wanted to say that I must be a "card carrying" inhabitant of your isle, as I have always been optimistic about this team, even when they did not go out and grab that final piece. I continue to hold out hope that at some point someone will be coming when the 1st 15 or so games are sorted out?

 

TSA, my hope for Murph, that unlike Skinner, he'll learn early on that he has to evolve his game to counter the adjustments that others make.

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Well the plan vs. Skinner was to run him until he got a concussion. Murphy's biggest challenge will be to keep his head up and not take the head shot. But he does skate with the head up usually and coming forward from the back end is not a set up to receive the set up pass into the oncoming hit.

 

The thing about Murphy is his skating and passing skills show a creativity that is hard to game plan for. I don't doubt that he will have growing pains, but I'm more worried about them coming in our own end. 



rem, just wanted to say that I must be a "card carrying" inhabitant of your isle, as I have always been optimistic about this team, even when they did not go out and grab that final piece. I continue to hold out hope that at some point someone will be coming when the 1st 15 or so games are sorted out?

 

TSA, my hope for Murph, that unlike Skinner, he'll learn early on that he has to evolve his game to counter the adjustments that others make.

 

Welcome aboard. All Canes fans (even Coastal  :D  I keed I keed! Especially Coastal) are welcome to head out here any time they see fit.

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Ruutu and Lindholm both skated with the team at practice today.

 

Lindholm will play.  Ruutu will sit.

 

Ward in net.  That's the only change to the lineup from the Flyers game.

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