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 We are maybe three players away from having a good team.

 

1. Jordan Staal

2. Alexander Semin

3. Chad LaRose Not sure....

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1. Jordan Staal

2. Alexander Semin

3. Chad LaRose Not sure....

 

Haha..thats funny. Not exactly what I had in mind but thats funny.

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I hope we don't send Jordan back down when Bellemore returns. I think he's played better than half of our other defenseman. I just don't know how they'd fit 8 defenseman on the active roster. But I'd rather have him as an option than Harrison at this point.

Edited by TheFaulker

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Wonder if, with teams signing the likes of McBain and trying out Kaberle (for crying out loud) if Harrison would fetch anything in a trade. I've missed the last 3 games out of town, and Jordan had some issues during the lockout year, but if JML or Harrison could fetch even a second rounder....

 

Probably not. 

 

But next year is the year to compile picks, especially the first two rounds.

Edited by remkin

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Of the two, I'd rather trade Harrison. JML hasn't been that bad this year and I think he fits Peters' system better than Harrison.

 

I also thought JML had been playing fairly well lately (with the obvious exception of him and Harrison parting like the Red Sea to let Bertuzzi score :dizzy:).  He seems to be moving the puck effectively and although not a hitter, I think he's been effective defensively. His stats seem to support a decent defensive presence although, granted, not against the top lines as much as Faulk and Sekera.

 

Regardless, we aren't going to get anything of value in return for JML given his $3.875m contract.  In spite of his salary, Liles for Gleason was a fairly astute move by JR imo.  We dumped Gleason's even bigger salary which the Leafs bought :razz: out allowing us to re-sign him  at a fraction of the price.    

Edited by LakeLivin

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For a PMD, I really don't think Liles moves the puck very well, he doesn't seem to have much of a shot from the point, and he's not added anything to the PP.  He hasn't been Harrison terrible though, he's just kinda meh.

 

I doubt either he or Harrison would bring even a draft pick back.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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The team finished December 7-7-1 with a goal differential of +4. This with Semin mostly absent and J. completely absent. 

 

The biggest positives: 

 

1. Cam Ward. We have our #1 back. My opinion before the start of the season was that this was the single biggest thing we needed.

 

If we had gotten the "bad" Cam and the "average" version of Anton, things would have been much worse. But also, Cam has value now. Value to us if we get the ball rolling, and major value at the deadline if things unravel. Not saying we trade him, but we could.

 

2. Long developing, long in the tooth "Yutes" have stepped up.

 

Nash key among them. J. went down, then E. went down and we were suddenly Little Sisters of the Poor at center. Nash stepped his game way up. He is on a just sub 60 point pace. Will he keep it up? Probably not at that level, but anything over 35 points is huge. 

 

Rask was pushed too fast, and is still finding his game some: he has played a TOTAL of 23 NHL games. But he is still on a just sub 30 point pace. Significantly better than Nash's first 23 games. He needs some more NHL games, but watch him improve.

 

Boychuk. "Left for dead" Boychuk has finally shown NHL chops. Not yet as an elite scorer, but as a reliable forward. I still think he can put up more points, but most impressive about him is his team leading (by a bit) +4. 

 

Chris Terry is on a 34 point pace and just a hare shy of a 20 goal pace. And he is #2 on the team at plus 1 (tied w/two others).

 

3. Assorted others: 

 

Don't look now but Gerbe is on a 43 point pace. Elias Lindholm is developing nicely also on a 43 point pace. He is 19. Tlusty is on a 36 goal pace (only 3 assists). The man can finish at an elite level. I really like a lot of what Tlusty brings, but that big goal total likely puts a big price tag on him, also he is -10 (though he has historically always been a sold plus minus guy). If the team struggles, he could fetch a nice draft pick at the deadline. If we get better, he can still be there to pot goals. Nostradamus, or Nasty, looks very intriguing. 

 

Good, but not great:

 

Skinner: The concussions just make me nauseous. So much talent. No doubt held back by those. When he is at his peak, it is simply stunning to watch. But he needs to be putting up 30 goals and finding ways to at least get 30 assists. He needs to be at least a 60 point guy to tolerate his weak d zone play for his salary. So we need 30/60 he is producing at a level of 20/48. 

 

I have no doubt that the concussions play into this. Perhaps Peter's style too. I think if he does not get his bell rung again this year, his numbers will pick up. As we look at this team's potential moving forward, more from Skinner can be added in.

 

Faulk: The guy started just not good. He has improved dramatically and is putting up points. He is on a 53 point pace, far and away his best. But I can't help thinking how good we would be if he were our #3 defenseman. His plus minus remains worst on the team at -11. True, he build up most of that during the "bad" Justin start, but still...really he is more on the positive side of middling though because he has found his game and is one of our best dmen, and is producing offense. 

 

Khudini: Lost the Mano on Mano battle for the #1 when Cam came on. Unfortunately then does not get enough ice time to find his A game. He has been better than the start, but is 0-5 and just .900 save %. I still have great confidence in him, but he is going to need to find his game from the disadvantage of the back up slot.

 

Sekera: Love the guy, but like Faulk, would be an awesome #3 guy. His production has fallen off and as the top pairing guy, his plus minus suffers. Just imagining if we had 2 guys one half notch up from Faulk-Sekera and they were our #2 pairing, how incredible our D would be. 

 

Eric Staal: First, he is key to the team and is not doing badly.  Part of why I have him here is that so much is expected from him. He is putting up points on a 68 point pace. But. He is being paid to put up more like an 80 point pace and with his tendency to run terrible plus minuses, he needs to produce more. Secondly, does anyone in the league rack up more garbage points? If there is an empty net, and we put one in it, E will get a point nearly every time. 

 

Pure Negative:

 

1. Semin. Too easy, but there it is. As I will point out below, in November this team lost only one game by more than one goal (empty netter San Jose aside), and that one was a total no show game. If Semin were bringing his A game I have no doubt we would have won at least two more games in November.  May not sound like much but that would have made November 9-5-1. And who knows how his situation is affecting others. 

 

2. Jordan. Of course it is not his fault, but we have a huge amount of cash tied up in him and we need him on the ice. This is getting a bit "out there" in the ifs and could've's but if J got us one additional win of all those one goal losses, and Semin got us two, then we could have been 10-4-1 in November. 

 

These are two potentially elite players. Add them to a team that is in every game without them, and things look suddenly better.

 

 

So we have a team that is overall improving. Younger guys are finding their games and we are getting good goaltending. While we were being blown out in October, in November we were in every game we showed up for, and we showed up for 14/15 games. We have done this w/ J out and w/ Semin in La La Land. 

 

If we can get Semin going, and get J back, this is a far better team than most think. Of course we have the little problem of the hole we have dug. This team cannot be average from here out. It can have fits and starts, but the starts must be much bigger than the fits. 

 

The back half of November was more mixed than the front half as our scoring dropped off. 

 

I can't even predict because this team has a history of finding some other way to have more fits than starts. But things are not totally bleak. We need to be able to keep scoring though, and to do that we need Semin. I hate to keep harping on that, but he is the difference maker between .500, and better. Further, he is absolutely not tradable until he starts scoring. He is a dilemma, but he is also the key to the puzzle. 

 

Anyway, overall there is still more hope than some think. But we need a run fairly soon to close the gap some.

 

 

 

 

Edited by remkin

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Today's practice lines:

 

Tlusty - Eric - Lindholm

Gerbe - Nash - Semin

Skinner - Rask - Nestrasil

Boychuk - McClement - Dwyer

 

Malone as the extra forward

 

Sekera - Faulk

Liles - Gleason

Hainsey - Jordan

 

Looks like Peters is seeing the same in Jordan as we have been. Glad he's still starting over Harrison.

 

Ward will be starting.

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The team finished December 7-7-1 with a goal differential of +4. This with Semin mostly absent and J. completely absent. 

 

The biggest positives: 

 

1. Cam Ward. We have our #1 back. My opinion before the start of the season was that this was the single biggest thing we needed.

 

If we had gotten the "bad" Cam and the "average" version of Anton, things would have been much worse. But also, Cam has value now. Value to us if we get the ball rolling, and major value at the deadline if things unravel. Not saying we trade him, but we could.

 

2. Long developing, long in the tooth "Yutes" have stepped up.

 

Nash key among them. J. went down, then E. went down and we were suddenly Little Sisters of the Poor at center. Nash stepped his game way up. He is on a just sub 60 point pace. Will he keep it up? Probably not at that level, but anything over 35 points is huge. 

 

Rask was pushed too fast, and is still finding his game some: he has played a TOTAL of 23 NHL games. But he is still on a just sub 30 point pace. Significantly better than Nash's first 23 games. He needs some more NHL games, but watch him improve.

 

Boychuk. "Left for dead" Boychuk has finally shown NHL chops. Not yet as an elite scorer, but as a reliable forward. I still think he can put up more points, but most impressive about him is his team leading (by a bit) +4. 

 

Chris Terry is on a 34 point pace and just a hare shy of a 20 goal pace. And he is #2 on the team at plus 1 (tied w/two others).

 

3. Assorted others: 

 

Don't look now but Gerbe is on a 43 point pace. Elias Lindholm is developing nicely also on a 43 point pace. He is 19. Tlusty is on a 36 goal pace (only 3 assists). The man can finish at an elite level. I really like a lot of what Tlusty brings, but that big goal total likely puts a big price tag on him, also he is -10 (though he has historically always been a sold plus minus guy). If the team struggles, he could fetch a nice draft pick at the deadline. If we get better, he can still be there to pot goals. Nostradamus, or Nasty, looks very intriguing. 

 

Good, but not great:

 

Skinner: The concussions just make me nauseous. So much talent. No doubt held back by those. When he is at his peak, it is simply stunning to watch. But he needs to be putting up 30 goals and finding ways to at least get 30 assists. He needs to be at least a 60 point guy to tolerate his weak d zone play for his salary. So we need 30/60 he is producing at a level of 20/48. 

 

I have no doubt that the concussions play into this. Perhaps Peter's style too. I think if he does not get his bell rung again this year, his numbers will pick up. As we look at this team's potential moving forward, more from Skinner can be added in.

 

Faulk: The guy started just not good. He has improved dramatically and is putting up points. He is on a 53 point pace, far and away his best. But I can't help thinking how good we would be if he were our #3 defenseman. His plus minus remains worst on the team at -11. True, he build up most of that during the "bad" Justin start, but still...really he is more on the positive side of middling though because he has found his game and is one of our best dmen, and is producing offense. 

 

Khudini: Lost the Mano on Mano battle for the #1 when Cam came on. Unfortunately then does not get enough ice time to find his A game. He has been better than the start, but is 0-5 and just .900 save %. I still have great confidence in him, but he is going to need to find his game from the disadvantage of the back up slot.

 

Sekera: Love the guy, but like Faulk, would be an awesome #3 guy. His production has fallen off and as the top pairing guy, his plus minus suffers. Just imagining if we had 2 guys one half notch up from Faulk-Sekera and they were our #2 pairing, how incredible our D would be. 

 

Eric Staal: First, he is key to the team and is not doing badly.  Part of why I have him here is that so much is expected from him. He is putting up points on a 68 point pace. But. He is being paid to put up more like an 80 point pace and with his tendency to run terrible plus minuses, he needs to produce more. Secondly, does anyone in the league rack up more garbage points? If there is an empty net, and we put one in it, E will get a point nearly every time. 

 

Pure Negative:

 

1. Semin. Too easy, but there it is. As I will point out below, in November this team lost only one game by more than one goal (empty netter San Jose aside), and that one was a total no show game. If Semin were bringing his A game I have no doubt we would have won at least two more games in November.  May not sound like much but that would have made November 9-5-1. And who knows how his situation is affecting others. 

 

2. Jordan. Of course it is not his fault, but we have a huge amount of cash tied up in him and we need him on the ice. This is getting a bit "out there" in the ifs and could've's but if J got us one additional win of all those one goal losses, and Semin got us two, then we could have been 10-4-1 in November. 

 

These are two potentially elite players. Add them to a team that is in every game without them, and things look suddenly better.

 

 

So we have a team that is overall improving. Younger guys are finding their games and we are getting good goaltending. While we were being blown out in October, in November we were in every game we showed up for, and we showed up for 14/15 games. We have done this w/ J out and w/ Semin in La La Land. 

 

If we can get Semin going, and get J back, this is a far better team than most think. Of course we have the little problem of the hole we have dug. This team cannot be average from here out. It can have fits and starts, but the starts must be much bigger than the fits. 

 

The back half of November was more mixed than the front half as our scoring dropped off. 

 

I can't even predict because this team has a history of finding some other way to have more fits than starts. But things are not totally bleak. We need to be able to keep scoring though, and to do that we need Semin. I hate to keep harping on that, but he is the difference maker between .500, and better. Further, he is absolutely not tradable until he starts scoring. He is a dilemma, but he is also the key to the puzzle. 

 

Anyway, overall there is still more hope than some think. But we need a run fairly soon to close the gap some.

 

I agree-ish on most of what you said.

 

On Cam:

 

I know we as fans can come down pretty hard on players at times, I've fallen victim to it myself.  Bottom line is as a fan of the Hurricanes, I would love nothing more than to see every player on the team live up to their potential.  I don't want to see players stumble just so I can pick on them.

 

Having said that, i'm glad to see Cam is doing well.  I really like an interview he did earlier this year, where he spoke of the bad games, soft goals, etc because he couldn't get out of his own head.  And how he turned to God to get him out of a bad place.  I've met him many of many of times, and he's the nicest athlete i've ever met, and i've met a lot.  I don't want to rain on his parade, but he still has a lot to prove.  He didn't start off the season great, really got hot in November.  While it does appear he's turned the corner, he's not all the way around the corner yet.  If he continues to play well, and with all the big contracts on the team, maybe this can be the 1st big contract we can move.  And while it has been a bright spot, to me it isn't the biggest.

 

The temporary emergence of Riley Nash is the biggest.  Last year, i was grading all our players, and he was only one of 3 players besides dwyer and gerbe who i had nothing bad to say about.  Last year i saw a guy who knew his role on the team, accepted it, and was still trying to improve.  It was very visible that he had the drive to be a better player, not just make the team or do just enough, but to be better.  And pre-Jordan injury, fans and media were questioning his place on the team with both Staals, McClement, and the preseason emergence of Rask.

 

Nathan Gerbe is 2nd on my list.  Early on in the season, even when the points weren't all there, he still played hard every single shift.  He's by far our most physical player.  Now the points are coming, and his tenacity is still there.  I am so proud of this guy.  He's all heart.  In my opinion, he should be Captain of the team.  You hear of all these rumors Buffalo's currently going through with Chris Stewart & Tyler Myers, and how their asking price is through the roof.  I believe a lot of it has to do with seeing Gerbe & Sekera both playing extremely well for another team, and essentially giving them away for nothing.  It's also a reason I think we should go after Myers, but that's a conversation for another time.

 

Agree with you about Rask.  It's very strange.  He's been scoring more recently, but i think he was playing better when he wasn't scoring.  He seems solid defensively, but he needs to find some way to develop more on offense.  It's definitely going to be interesting once Jordan comes back how our depth chart is going to look.  Because at this point, I don't think neither Rask or Nash deserve to be sent back down to Charlotte or to be healthy scratches.

 

I think another positive has been the recent play of Skinner.  Even Tripp, who's forever over-analyzing Skinner, even mentioned i think last game with how he's becoming a better overall player on both ends.  To me, he's been better at back-checking, defensive positioning.  And offensively, he's not the one man show he once was.  He's involving people more in the offense instead of being a hotdog.  The points aren't there yet because he's mostly playing with the yutes who seem to having trouble finishing/producing points consistently.  But i like what i'm seeing from him so far.  I think Peter's style has made him a better player.

 

Agree with you about Boychuck.

 

Somewhat agree with you about Terry.  I've always questioned his skating ability and based that on if he'd ever put up his AHL numbers in the NHL, but he seemed to skate at the NHL level to start the season.  He's good at positioning himself offensively, but not great at creating offense for himself/others.  He seems to be like Tlusty back when he first became a Hurricane.  Hopefully he can finish the season strong.

 

Agree-ish on Khudobin.  I noticed in the offseason practices that he seemed a little off.  I thought he had a decent preseason which led to him being our opening night starter.  You look at his opponents, he's played against some high scoring teams like Pittsburgh, Islanders, Capitals, Sharks.  And you mix that end with our mediocre at best team, you're not going to get great numbers.  A guy like Luongo, Rinne, Schneider could maybe put up good numbers on a team like this, but he's not at that level.  And while i'll freely admit Cam's been the better goaltender at this point, Khudobin to me a little bit has fallen victim to circumstances.  It wouldn't completely hurt my feelings if he were to be traded.  As our team has many holes, and i think he could still net a decent return.

 

Agree-ish on Eric Staal.  When i first started coming to games back in 2008, to me his lack of work ethic on defense was very noticeable right from the jump.  The tenacity on offense combined with his high speed skating ability made him a force in the offensive zone.  Now 6yrs later, the lack of work ethic on defense is still there, and i feel like his work ethic on offense is gone too.  I think he looks way too lazy on offense, seems as if he's just looking for easy point rather than putting in work to score.  I think his high speed skating ability is non-existent right now.  He seems to be playing one full notch below his former self, and it's starting to make me wonder if this game is passing him by.  If I were Ron Francis, and if anybody's calling about his availability, i'm listening.  I'd hate to see a Semin like situation with him.

 

Agree on Semin.

 

Agree on Jordan.

 

One thing, actually the only thing, i've disagreed with Peters on so far is the mishandling of Ryan Murphy.  All of our young players and most of our veterans have been inconsistent, but it seemed Murphy was on a shorter leash than anybody else.  He averaged a ppg in the preseason.  And he made a few boneheaded plays during the season, but so has everybody else.  I think with his pedigree coming from juniors mixed with his success in the AHL, he deserves the right to play through his struggles just like everybody else.

 

Gleason has been a surprising bright spot.  He's playing perhaps the role he should've always been playing.  Tough, gritty, stay at home.  Of all our pending UFA's, i'd like to see him back the most.

 

Linholm is progressing pretty decently.  He still has a little bit of trouble finding his place on offense, but i still see good upside for him.

 

Bellemore has been playing nicely.  Plays his role pretty decently, but i don't know his place long-term on our team.

 

Guys i haven't cared for much this season:

 

Semin

Harrison

Liles

Hainsey (although he's not been as bad as the other 3)

 

 

 

Agree on Tlusty.  I have long been a fan of his, but i must admit i don't like this new Tlusty.  He seems to put more emphasis on his offense rather than his defense.  Maybe it has something to do with having to overcompensate for Semin not playing well.  He has been putting up points, but something's not right.  Again, i felt he was playing better last year when he wasn't scoring as much than he has this year.  And with the state of the team mixed with his expiring contract, i don't think it would be a bad idea to trade him.  Especially if we could get a mid-late 1st rounder for him.

 

Agree on Sekera.  He's taken a slight step back, but not that far.  He's on pace to score somewhere around 35pts, which is decent for a dman.  I've always thought he'd make a great 3-4 pairing.  And like Tlusty, with the state of the team mixed with his expiring contract and apparent interest in him, it would make sense to trade him.  We could get something nice for him seeing how in demand dman are right now.  Having said that, to me he's part of the solution not the problem, and i'd love for him to sign an extension with the team.

 

Agree-ish on Faulk.  Like many players on the team, he didn't start the season out great but is turning it around.  I feel ever since he signed that contract last year, he's been very unfairly targeted by our fans.  He's overslotted, because like Sekera, he'd make a great 3-4 guy, but he's still putting up points.  He's surpassed Sekera's puckhandling skills in my eyes.  He puts pucks where they need to be all the time and is playing better defensively.

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We have about  5  more losses, without  cam, i think he turned the  corner  10 games  ago...

Edited by dinz

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With all due respect, Cam's still ranked 20th amongst starting goalies in goals allowed, 24th in wins, and is 35th out of 45 in save percentage.  Like i've said, he's been the better goalie and has seemed to have turned the corner, those numbers are still well below his past numbers.  Also, his career has been filled with highs and lows.  We are still only a little over a quarter of the season in.  Let's not anoint anybody just yet.

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PK, first great stuff on your first response. I thought I wrote alot! I can't really disagree with most of your points. Interesting take on Murphy. I still have high hopes for that kid. Also agree on Bellemore and Gleason.

 

As to your second post on Ward, I would shade it a bit more optimistic. Most of his numbers for the year are averaging in his rough start.

 

Since November (12 games he started) his save % is .925. Current goalies that have started at least 10 games that save % would be #8. And we don't really have that stud defense that a couple ahead of him have. Yes it is somewhat selective, but over the past 12 games Cam is arguably a top 1/3 #1 goalie. Given where he was at the start of the season, that's pretty huge.

 

Yes, he has to keep it up, but 12 games is more than a couple.

Edited by remkin

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You're kind of proving my point right now.  Cam has had a great spurt, but the elite goalies in the league play like that the whole season, not just 12 games.  We also got to make sure he can get through the season without a major injury as well.  Some people were saying how we shouldn't crown Khudobin last year after starting nearly half the season and putting up great numbers on this same team.  I think we should stick with that philosophy.

 

I'm shading on the optimistic side as well.  Cam has it in him to keep up these numbers, and we've seen it before.  But it's been awhile since Cam's played at a high level, and I while it's great and has been consistent recently, I wouldnt count my chickens just yet.

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Well it's 13 games now. I'm not saying he might not regress, but 13 games is decent sample for this year.  He has started 17 games, the first 4 bad to shaky, the next 13 strong. The last 13 are far more likely predictive of the future than those first 4, but yes, he does have to keep it up, to be considered back to form. Still, when one considers general expectations for him at the start of the year...this is pretty dang good. I'll take it.

Edited by remkin

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I am frequently trying to find ways go gauge how good this team is at any moment and then to use that to try to project the future. That last part is a very mixed bag, but there are reasonable statistics to try to place how good this current team is.

 

Jumping to the bottom line: this team, as it is currently playing, is a playoff caliber team. Albeit a lower tiered playoff team, but had we played all year the way we have played for the 16 games since November 1, we'd be in, around #6.

 

What? Yes.

 

Basically taking several key metrics over the past 16 games and then plugging that level of play into the current rankings for the season for the NHL is the method. Yes, I see the furrowed brows. "You are taking a sample vs the entire season". Yes. It is not perfect, but it the best data there is. It is far more accurate than averaging in October. Why?

 

Pre-November this team was down Jordan Staal, Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner for stretches. In place of them were novice NHL players trying to figure out not only the NHL, but a new system. Also, we had bad goaltending. The team had not gotten the system down, especially defensively and there were frequent gaping breakdowns in defensive coverage. And we had a feckless Semin. Right in the vacinity of November 1, ALL of that began to change with the exception of Jordan Staal and Semin.

 

So this is obvsiously a very different team after Nov. 1, than in October, where the team was winless. Last 16 games: above .500. October no wins. Averaging October to get a better sample size does not reflect how good this team currently is playing.

 

What about these 16 games? Well first, 16 games is longer than most "streaks". Also, to the eyeball test, if anything the team has been very consistent over that stretch, and after last night really seem to be improving.

 

They are 16 consectutive games and they are the last 16 consecutive games. I am not cherry picking 16 games out of the middle of the schedule.

 

Those 16 games included:

 

8 road and 8 home games (including a very tough 5 game West Coast swing).

4 back to backs, and 4 three in four runs.

9-7 games vs top half teams-bottom half teams

 

That is a pretty good sample of a slightly harder than average, but close, challenge.

 

Goal differential is a good measure at this point in the year, of how good teams are.  With uneven # of games played, and things like shootout losses piling up for some, this is a quick measure of team strength. It also correlelates well, if imperfectly w/ the standings. It is a good surrogate marker of team stregnth.

 

So, over the past 16 games the Hurricanes:

 

1. Are plus 5 goal differential. If we had maintained that over the season, we would be sitting #13 in the league and #6 in the East. Solidly. Some say "yes, but the other teams had to play the first part, it's not a fair comparison" To which I say, "If we maintained our rate of goal differential for the past 16 games going back to the start, we'd be plus 9. The way this team is currently playing, we are easily plus 5 vs. the league's entire season and would rank solidly in the playoffs.

 

2. Have not lost a single game out of 16 by more than one goal (taking out empty netters). This is amazing. We are in every game.

 

Putting 1 and 2 together, I would propose that our record of 8-7-1 underestimates how strong we are. But still, we are above .500.

 

3. Over those 16 games we have played top 10 teams (by goal differential and standings) 6 times. Our goal differential in those six games: +6. (18-12). We have no trouble with the best teams in the league.

 

 

Why are we playing so much better?

 

1. Goaltending.

2. Team Structure, especially team defense.

3. Getting E and Skinner back.

 

Over those 16 games we have scored: 2.56 goals/game: plots in at #20 in the league.

Over those 16 games we have allowed: 2.25 goals/game: plots in at NUMBER 6 IN THE NHL!

 

Cam Ward, over the past 16 games, (13 Starts) has put up a save % of .929 (yes up from my last post).

This now ranks Cam's last 13 starts w/ a save % that would slot in at #5 in the league for goalies with at least 10 starts.

 

Some goalies on the list have less than those 13 starts.

 

Yes, yes, it is not fair overall to rank Cam just on his past 13 starts, but again, like the team, Cam is clearly a different player than he was in October, and he was hung out to dry like an old sock so many times in October also, that clealry averagng that in is not accurate in trying to place Cam's game now. Which is the point of this post.

 

So the team is playing top 6 team defense and Cam is playing like a top 5 goalie and this has extended over 16 consectutive games.

 

Now prediciting the future is much tougher. But the eyeball test of last night vs. one of the best teams in the league, supports the idea that the team is actually on a continued improvement path as they get the system down.

 

Further, if we could ever get Semin going....and Skinner has more output in him than we've seen too. Then we get J back. If we can push the "goals for" up a bit while maintaining the goals against, we can start piling up wins. If we can maintain the defense and get goals for into even the top half of the league, we can start stretching the wins vs. losses.

 

Which we will need to to, because in the standings October's hole cannot be discarded. It must be filled with a stretch of wins.

 

I think this team is close to being a team that can do that. But as more and more guys get the system, and maybe, just maybe we start to get some production from Semin, and I predict a Lindholm improvement. We can get a few more goals and make a run at it. We have a hole to dig out of, we must become a clealry winning team, but it is far from impossible, and we are closer than you might think at being that team.

Edited by remkin

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rem, I honestly LOVE your reasoning! Between you, and Maniscalco/Forslund on my rides home after the games, I never lose hope. Keep it up, and we'll resurrect the island.

Also, I think the organization should enlist you to help out Waddell, and maybe there'd be more fans showing up for games!!

Edited by KJUNKANE

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Your math is correct sir.

 

But as a practical exercise, take this guy and point him in the direction of the stairs....going up.

 

:wheelchair:

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Well I do think my calculation is an accurate reflection of the state of the team over that period, and thus as is. I also think it is a better than even chance that the team keeps up that level moving forward. Problem is, due to the hole dug, that level is not good enough overall. If we can have a nice win streak then play at this level it would be different.

So the million dollar question is can we not only sustain, but build to a higher level?

The way we played last night makes me think it's possible, but we will need more scoring. Still, a few more from Skinner and Lindholm and any kind of improvement from Semin....eventually some from J....it could happen.

Edited by remkin

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32-26   Attainable.. :)

 

A 5 game win streak and then steady play of the last 16 games over the rest of the year...

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Well I guess after the game he had "some soreness". On it's face doesn't sound to bad, but w/ Cam, and especially the roll he's on, got to cross fingers. EDIT: Chip just posted:

 

Peters says Ward injury "not that serious" and a day-to-day situation. Ward did come out early today but was unable to go.

 

To be honest, it might be good in the long run. Peters was really riding Cam and Khudini needs a chance to get back in there. We will need both half of that goalie tandem, and we need Khudini back on track.

 

I have faith in Khudobin. This would appear to be his chance to shine. Get back in there and show us that he can be the man. He's done it before. This is where having Cam and Khudobin should pay off. 

 

Sekera not at skate too....w/ Bellemore out, that leaves our defense a bit thin. Gleason becomes #1 pairing. I like a lot of what Gleason brings, but mainly because he is NOT in that #1 pairing. Gleason might lose a race with a fully equipment laden goalie.

 

EDIT: Sekera is a no go tonight. This is more of an issue in a way than Ward. We have been playing so well keeping pucks out. Come on Gleason et all....

Edited by remkin

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rem, don't get me wrong, as I too like Khudobin, but its just at this juncture, I think his game depends on more sound defense to clean up some of his rebounds that Cam's. Thus, I fully agree that Sekera's absence is much more problematic. Hopefully, the team can quickly adapt to Khudini's different style, if Cam is out for more than just a few games?

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