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super_dave_1

The great size debate

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Since every thread turns into this, how about a thread for this.

 

eqv6s9.jpg

 

The Canes have a soft team.  One of the ways to remedy this is to stop getting smallish/softish players.

 

 

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I like the idea of containing the issue.  Just like the Cam Ward debates of the last couple years, this doesn't need to pop up in every thread.  

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The Canes have a soft team.  One of the ways to remedy this is to stop getting smallish/softish players.

Size and being "soft" are two separate matters, they shouldn't be lumped together.

I've already posted that we do not have a size problem at the forward position.

E. Staal, J. Staal, Rask, Malone, Nestrasil, and Semin are all 6'2 or above. Lindholm, Nash, and McLement are 6'1.

The only smaller forwards we have that see any regular ice-time are Skinner, Gerbe, and Dwyer. Terry's ice-time is sporadic and he may not be in our plans going forward. Dwyer may be gone as well as both are free-agents and may not be re-signed.

If we have a size problem, I would say it applies more to our defense, although our prospects have good size.

We need more players with heart and that are hard to play against (not soft).

Having said that you can't field a bunch of smurfs, no matter how skilled. But as I posted above, size isn't our problem.

If we are talking about the draft/Marner, I think you take the best player available. We can address size/toughness in other ways. Drafting a bigger/grittier player and passing on a potentially better player because the rest of your team is soft is a mistake.

Marner is also likely two seasons away, plenty of time to address this soft team we have.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying we should draft Marner, I'm saying the organization should take who they feel is the best player available, regardless of size.

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It's true that small does not equal soft.  Gerbe is small, but far from soft.  What he also is would be ineffective.  I admire his hustle and grit, but he's honestly a 4th liner on a good team.  He's going to chip in the goal here and there because of his grit, but that's where he slots in, a lot like another smallish player in the beloved Chad LaRose.

 

I get that it's a great story when a smaller player beats the odds and makes it.  But beating the odds is what it is.  The Canes have bigger guys that play small and I'm hoping that GMRF is going to start working on that too.  The size thing has reared it's ugly head recently since Marner looks to be in the mix in the draft.  Face it, if he was 6'2", he wouldn't be anywhere near the Canes pick at 5.  They may pick him and he may be great. 

 

Skinner and Murphy are smallish and have had their struggles in the league.  They are both young and may turn it around.  I'm just ready to see some players with a more physical edge on the team.  Size does matter when it comes to that since it's simple physics that a bigger player is going to hit harder.  Crouse (or someone else) may be every bit the difference maker that Marner is in a much different way.  This is where the scouts have to do the homework. 

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I agree to some extent SD, if anyone has trumpeted the "we are too soft" horn it is me. Still, size isn't our problem up front. Just because Gerbe is small doesn't change the fact that the majority of our forwards have good size. They just play small.

You don't address that with the #5 overall pick, and a player that is likely a couple of seasons away anyway. You address it in other ways, like getting rid of players who continue to play soft.

I completely agree that we need more "edgy" players, I've been saying it for years, but you don't draft a lesser player at #5 to start addressing this problem. Is someone like Crouse a lesser player? That is for our scouts/organization to decide and I'm fine either way as long as they feel he is the best available player and not drafting based on our softness problem.

I do agree that size does matter in terms of "effective" physicality, as you said, that is just physics.

I have no issues drafting Marner because I want a more immediate solution to our softness problem. I want us to bring in average to larger players that actually have an effect when they hit and play like they give a damn.

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Count me in the "size doesn't matter" camp. 

 

Grit is what counts - that, and being smart about how and when you use it.

 

There are plenty of guys in this league who play gritty and wind up being liabilities because they're unable to control their tempers. Even one of our own, Bellemore was such a guy the season before last. I think he made strides this year in learning to regulate it. 

 

That said, this team is loaded with guys who never bring an edge to the proceedings, and the even-worse news is they're all drawing the biggest paychecks: Semin, Skinner, E. Staal, and to a lesser extent Jordan. I love that J. be an immovable object in front of the net. But how about a nice open-ice check now and then? Eric does neither, Skinner ducks and runs, and Sasha - well, there's nothing I can say that others haven't said already.

 

Grit, more than speed or passing or defense, can turn the momentum of a game in an instant. One good hit, early, on that one guy that every opposing team has - I'm talking the Orpiks, the Marchands, the Rinaldos of the league - sets the tone and it's game on. It focuses your bench and forces everyone on it to rise the challenge. The only other thing that swings a game that quickly is a big save, but the difference in that case is that you're already on your heels. Playing smart and with grit right out of the gate puts YOU in the driver's seat. I don't think it's any coincidence that we've been so reliably bad at defending "our house" when we've also been awful about playing with an edge.

 

I'm not advocating cheap shots or hit-first-ask-questions-later play. But if there's been one constant of this team for going on 10 years now, it is playing really, REALLY soft. Look at the roster from the Cup year. Think about how those guys, to a man, cleared the front of the net during play, and pushed and shoved guys out of the keeper's turf after every whistle, night in and night out. That almost never happens anymore, and I think it speaks volumes about why we get pushed around.

 

Success in hockey has nothing to do with the size of the players, and everything to do with the size of EACH player's HEART. Guys who don't merely expect but RELISH the physical aspect of this game have no business playing it. 

Edited by top-shelf-1

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Well since I should probably at least put something here, how about this. A positive that highlights the grit more than size. My boy, our boy, Brock McGinn, who I think will keep alive our streak of good second round picks:

 

From the Hockey's Future article I posted elsewhere:

 

Hardest Worker: Brock McGinn, LW, Charlotte Checkers (AHL)

McGinn’s numbers (15 goals, 12 assists in 73 games) are lower than expected for a first-year player who some thought could compete for an NHL job. But those stats skew both the kind of season McGinn had and the type of player he is.

 

McGinn is a wrecking ball on the ice, hitting everything that moves and not backing down from bigger opponents. Furthermore, his 27 points weren’t representative of his scoring chances—not until later in the season did the puck seem to find the back of the net for him. With a little more luck, McGinn should get rewarded more next season for his consistent hard work.

 

 

I would not be surprised if McGinn follows a slightly slower, but similar path to V. Rask. Which means he quietly improved beyond his numbers in the AHL last year, uses the offseason greatly, and shows up in camp as a "where has this guy been?" positive surprise. Rask did that and then slotted in ahead of schedule due to Jordan's injury, so McGinn probalbly starts in the AHL, but he will be here sooner than later.

Edited by remkin

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We need wingers who are willing to crash the boards.  Gary Roberts and Brendon Shanahan come to mind from days past. TOUGH non-compromising players; score, fight, grind, finesse, you name it.

 

Meanwhile Jeff Skinner wants NOTHING to do with the corners.  He could play with six eggs in his pants and he wouldn't break any by games end.  You got to give up something to get something and he will make good trade bait.

 

I doubt there's a team in the league that could care less coming to play at PNC.  Until that changes we will be looked at as a soft non-checking team which is....drum roll....what we are.  Time to bring in a couple players with some swagger to create an identity.  Eric is just a homoginized Captain who has no identity and that is what the Canes have turned into as a team.

 

Rant over.

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Everybody calls Skinner small, but he is listed at 5'11" 200lbs. That is not exactly a giant, but that is not "small" either. Skinner's problem is his injury history, and his lack of toughness. I don't know if the second is caused by the first, or if his lack of toughness is just his nature. What I do know is, there are plenty of guys his size that play with a lot more grit than he does.

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Skinner is medium/soft. His physical size is medium, his play is soft.

Maybe we need to view all players in this manner. EStaal would be large/soft. Gerbe would be Xsmall/tough.

Edited by super_dave_1

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Skinner is medium/soft. His physical size is medium, his play is soft.

Maybe we need to view all players in this manner. EStaal would be large/soft. Gerbe would be Xsmall/tough.

 

Have you rented the helicopter for this years turkey drop yet?  Great Les Nessman, Thanks

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Have you rented the helicopter for this years turkey drop yet?  Great Les Nessman, Thanks

 

Last summer I had a bit of fun "hiring" new employees for the Canes/PNC.  I think Les would make a nice replacement for Chantel.

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Last summer I had a bit of fun "hiring" new employees for the Canes/PNC.  I think Les would make a nice replacement for Chantel.

 

He is too small.

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I think incentives are important. After every loss, he welcomes them out on their next home game with that song. After one loss they'll go undefeated.

Edited by remkin

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Kapenen-Francis-Oneill

 

Cole-Brindy-Battaglia

 

Gelinas-Vascicek-Vrbata

 

Wetslund-Adams-Adams

 

This team was far less talented than the team we have today with the exception of the centers.  The most important thing about this team is that the first 2 lines had a very physical presence.  Say what you want about Oneill but playing soft was absolutely not part of his game.  That 2nd and 4th line hit and they hit often.

 

While this team wasn't exactly BIG they did play big.  And you wonder why during this era the Canes made it to the playoffs on a semi-consistent basis,  It was because their forwards were physical and could actually establish a forecheck.

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I heard an interview with Erik Cole once and he intimated that the coach would actually tell him game to game what his focus/role would be for an opponent.  Sometimes his assignment was aggressive fore check.  Sometime focus on defensive shutdown of the first line.  Sometimes stretching the opposing D with speed.  It might change during a playoff series from game to game even.

 

Watching the Rangers/TB series, you can see the adjustments.  Move/countermove.  Over and over.

 

What I am trying to say is, you need players that are capable of all of these things.  It is apparent who on the team adjusts well to stylistic requests and who doesn't.  

 

Size you can't fix.  Grit you can fix.  Speed you can improve.  Strength you can fix.  I think this is why HCBP and GMRF both alluded to the fact that "some guys have some work to do".  The grit issue is related to the strength issue and even the speed issue.  You can't check a guy if you can't catch him.  And you can't play tough if you can't compete strength-wise.

 

The borderline guys are in trouble if they don't show up with the physical attributes necessary to even ATTEMPT to satisfy the roles the coach is asking them to fulfill.  They will be replaced with guys who will put in the work.  Maybe not right away, but as soon as possible.

 

It kills me to watch TB and the Rangers.  We were like that once and we let it slip away, piece by piece.

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This bunch is very beige

If beige gets us into the playoffs on a consistent basis, I'm all in. Switch the team to all beige uniforms, and rename 'em "The Carolina Carys" :banana:

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If beige gets us into the playoffs on a consistent basis, I'm all in. Switch the team to all beige uniforms, and rename 'em "The Carolina Carys" :banana:

 

See, I don't think beige gets us anywhere.  IF the team is going to have that identity though, the colors should be beige or muted earth tones.  The name would need to be changed to the Mostly Cloudy's.

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