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2015/16 In-Season Talk

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With all the discussion about where we currently are on paper it hit me that we can look at the actual league standings.  I'm almost positive that in the event of an uneven number of games played the standings are decided by points %. Plus, that's the only thing that makes sense statistically.  If something happened and the NHL had to end the regular season right now here's what the Eastern Conference playoff picture would look like:

 

Team                                     Gms      Pts %    Pts      Proj/82     S/O Wins  

1. Washington Capitals (Pa)   43      0.802      69         131.6            2

2. Florida Panthers (Ad)          44     0.648       57        106.2            5

3. Detroit Red Wings (Ad)       44      0.602      53           98.8           1

4. New York Islanders (Pa)      44      0.602      53           98.8           3

5. New York Rangers (Pa)       43      0.593      51           97.3           1

6. Boston Bruins (Ad)               42     0.560      47           91.8           2

7. Tampa Bay Lightning (Ad)   43      0.558      48           91.5          2

8. Montreal Canadiens (Ad)     44      0.557      49           91.3          2          

9. Philadelphia Flyers (Pa)       41      0.549      45          90.0           1

10. Pittsburgh Penguins (Pa)   42      0.548      46          89.8           1

11. Ottawa Senators (Ad)        44       0.523      46          85.7           3

12. Carolina Hurricanes (Pa)   45       0.522      47          85.6           0

13. New Jersey Devils (Pa)      45       0.522      47          85.6           2

 

Some notes:

The site I copied this from hates the current division names so they used the old ones (Patrick, Adams) instead.

I didn't break out the top 3 Division qualifiers since it's not an issue regarding the wild card right now

I listed shoot out wins since that's essentially the first tie breaker (lower is better)

 

At the current pace in the East it will take 91 or 92 points to make the playoffs.  Don't be too concerned about the 82 game projection showing us as 5.7 points back of the 8th spot.  That represents a full season and we're about half way through so I've got us as about half of that back right now (3 points).  Not bad given how we started and almost 40 games yet to play. 

 

yeah that really does put it in perspective.

 

Another way is to award points to the teams with games in hand proportional to their points/game record to date, while holding ours constant, since, as always, we are giving up games to just about everyone. The reason for doing it this way is to get an idea of how many points we are "really" out by.

 

Using that system the Wild Card race would be:

 

Tampa: 50 points

Boston: 50 points:  CUT LINE

Philly: 50 points

Pittsburgh: 49 points

Carolina: 47 points

Ottawa: 47 points

New Jersey: 47 points

 

Of course one of those teams WILL win more than their average, so it's not quite that close, but as an adjusted measure, we are between 3 and 4 points out (rounding).

 

Philly is a killer coming from behind us because they have 4 games in hand. (Also they are playing very well).

 

Still 4 points out is still closing the gap.

Edited by remkin

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I think Hanifin is #6. Still impressive for a teenager.

 

BTW who's last on the team? Faulk. I know he faces the top lines of the other teams, but he needs to not be last.

 

 

1 Dont get fixated on single Stat for Faulk. 2 Ron should follow his plan for the team. I think we have had enough of allowing a streak derail the long term building goals that will serve us well for years to come. We have to get better forwards now that the D has been addressed.

 

It's not a single stat that's the concern, it's why the stat is what it is.  I know opinions differ, but I think it was Realm who summarized my take when he said that when it comes to defense Faulk is average at best.  Not only do the numbers seem to back that up but it fits with my eye test as well. In the 2nd recent Jackets game there were 2 goals where Faulk was defending that seemed like, to use a term usually associated with goalies, "he'd have liked that one back".  I say "seemed" because I was watching an internet feed instead of my usual dvr and couldn't rerun it to verify my impression.  So if I'm wrong on those two I apologize, but there are enough others that I could verify that make me think the +- isn't a fluke.   

 

It's not like Faulk's a sieve or a pylon. He can be very good defensively at times (that great 6 or 8 game streak a while ago had people talking Norris Trophy).  But there are just too many mistakes that lead to goals that you don't want a top pair d-man to make. And if you deduct those "mistakes" from his goals, his point total isn't nearly as gaudy. Then, if he hits a scoring dry spell . . . 

 

I know it may sound to some like I pick on Faulk, but in reality I try really hard to evaluate his overall game objectively rather than let his fantastic goal scoring bias other parts of the picture.  

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I too think JML will go at the deadline.  He won't be brought back as a UFA here.  He won't bring a high pick, but another 3rd or so won't hurt.

 

My prediction is that as the deadline approaches the Canes will still be out of a playoff spot, and EStaal, Liles, and Versteeg will be traded.  I doubt Ward gets moved unless a contender has a goalie go down with injury.  I doubt Hainsey goes since he has another year on his deal, but it's a possibility. 

I hope that we try to keep Versteeg.Ever since he spent one game in the press box he has been solid every night.We know what we will get from Versteeg,he can score and is one of the best with his play making skills, A very heady player. 

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On Versteeg. Agree. We worry about Eric and we mostly assume Versteeg will be gone (Versteeg is a great example of my point that trades return better players than we tend to get in UFA) in UFA, since he has been in major markets, on good teams, didn't pick to come here, etc. But at this point both Eric and Versteeg are 50 point players. In fact their stat lines are almost identical.

 

Versteeg is 1.5 years younger. And there is no history of "face of the franchise" issue, no "little bro" issues. Versteeg is a playmaker and a consumate professional.

 

E. Staal: $9.5 million

Versteeg: $4.7 million

 

Yes, E surely realizes he needs to take a financial hair cut, but still ends up making well more than Versteeg next year. Also E Staal brings back more in a trade to us now than Versteeg.

 

So, if one guy is traded and one guy ends up staying, who do you pick?

 

On Faulk, it was mentioned in the broadcast that he leads the team in giveaways. So he leads the team in giveaways and is last in plus-minus. I'm also in no way saying that he is not a very good player, but having watched Faulk since the start of his career here, I think the guy has the tools to be better at these fundamental aspects of the game. Granted, he plays vs. the best forwards and is not paired with a true top pair dman, but I"d like to see him clean up the giveaways, and improve the one on one defense. If he can, and can keep the offense going, he could be in the Norris conversation. I think he can.

Edited by remkin

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It's not a single stat that's the concern, it's why the stat is what it is.  I know opinions differ, but I think it was Realm who summarized my take when he said that when it comes to defense Faulk is average at best...

 

 

Yeah, it was quite possibly me.  While of course i have no qualms with his offensive abilities - and how could i? - it's fairly well-documented that i'm not overly impressed with his defensive game.  He certainly has his positive moments, but the negative moments rear their heads fairly regularly as well.

 

 

Granted, he plays vs. the best forwards and is not paired with a true top pair dman, but I"d like to see him clean up the giveaways, and improve the one on one defense. If he can, and can keep the offense going, he could be in the Norris conversation. I think he can.

 

 

I could very well be wrong, but i honestly don't think he'll ever be a very strong defensive defenseman - the best i hope for is that he can at least not be a defensive liability.  But that's fine - that's why you have the Pesces and Slavins.  Unlike the JR years where he decided he wanted a 'puck-moving defenseman' so he tried to bring in a half-dozen of them or when he wanted a 'bone-crushing defenseman' so he tried to bring in a half-dozen of them, i think you want a balance of solid 'defensive' defensemen and solid 'offensive' defensemen.

 

Faulk falls into the latter category, which of course is not a bad thing.  I think the answer is finding the right partner for him who covers his shortcomings defensively - which is why i'm so giddy about the 3 rookies, any of whom can be that partner once they have another season or two of experience under their belts.  It just isn't Hainsey.  Hainsey might not be a bad defensive defenseman, but he isn't a top-pairing defenseman either.  But the guy who was brought in to be on the top-pairing played 47 seconds before being lost for the season, causing Hainsey to usually be overslotted to the top-pairing.  Mixed bag there - it caused a weak top-pairing defensively this season, but kick-started early development of the future top-pairing, whatever it ends up being.

 

So in short, i don't see Faulk ever being one of our strongest defensively.  But i'm cool with that...

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So in short, i don't see Faulk ever being one of our strongest defensively.  But i'm cool with that...

 

You may be right. To me it is past year's eyeball test. Many times Faulk is able to stick to a top forward and separate them from the puck. I've seen it over and over. Then, suddenly he gets beaten like a rented mule in open ice, or makes a high risk pass that turns into a bad giveaway. If he can do it most of the time, can't he clean up the mistakes? I don't know for sure, but the guy is only 23 years old. I have seen it suggested in articles that NHL defensemen peak at 29.

 

Personally I think Hanifin will end up being the stud of the blueline eventually, and better than Faulk in the long run, but that is nothing against Faulk. Hanifin was a consensus #3 pick after McEichel and easily could have gone #1 in another year. He has uber-elite upside.

 

Back when I sacrilegiously even raised the specter of Faulk for Johansen (or Johansen plus), part of the reason was having Hanifin, Pesce, and Slavin here and McKeown and Fleury on the way, and part was the notion that IF Faulk does not tighten up the defensive aspects, then he could be peaking, because he has had a crazy run of shots going in the net on the PP, and that may come back to Earth.

 

To my eyeball, Faulk can clean up the giveaways and the defense. He has 6 more years to improve to peak. He's done a better job with it recently, though still has moments. Faulk is the opposite of protected. He is constantly on the ice vs. the other team's best. He logs big minutes. He is paired with at best a mid pair partner.

 

That said, he has yet to DO it. He has been consistently one of the minus leaders on the team. He leads in giveaways. So I am just offering more hope than proof. It is pretty likely that if we keep Faulk, which we almost certainly will, our top pair could be Faulk-Hanifin soon.

 

Does make you wonder though, if Faulk would be better in the long run as a middle pair guy and put say Hanifin-Pesce to shut down. Or even Slavin-Pesce. Then have Hanifin-Faulk or Slavin-Faulk in the 3-4 slot. 

Edited by remkin

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I still wonder if there is any way we could get Druoin. Maybe Fleury and Murphy?

 

Probably not, but a strong draft plus Drouin, and our current talent could provide a lot of future firepower..

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You're defiitely right about Faulk getting tough minutes.  But I'm much less receptive to the "still young" argument after seeing what Ekblad and even our current crop of D-kids are doing. Sure he's only 23 but this is his 5th NHL season.  My fear is that Faulk has been so lauded for his scoring ability (deservedly so) that he may not have the motivation to raise the level of his game on the back end. I say "fear" because I have no evidence of that other than the fact that we know he's got the physical ability and has shown he can play a very good all around game at times.

 

I'm with Realm in that I'll take "just don't be a liability" as long as Faulk is scoring. And as rem mentioned, I can also see him possibly ending up in the 2nd pair somewhere down the road if our D-kids keep improving on their surprising NHL starts. For example, the way Slavin blocks shots (often sacrificing his body) indicates a "defensive hunger" that I've not perceived in Faulk.  IF that were to happen I wouldn't necessarily see it as a slight, either. To me it would be kind of similar to Skinner playing on the 3rd line. He's definitely what I'd call one of our iegitimate top-6 forwards, it's just that him playing on the third line benefits us logistically.

 

Oh, and I'd be interested in exploring Drouin for Fleury if that were a possibility (I meant to respond to whoever first brought that up but didn't do it right away and . . .)  People point to Drouin's less than spectacular NHL start but Fleury is still ultimately a question mark as well.  My understanding is that his season before this one was pretty disappointing. Sounds like he's doing quite well this year, although obviously he didn't light up the juniors tourney over in Finland. He's got great physical characteristics, but we still don't kow how well he'll apply those at the NHL level. I see the possibility of good things from McGinn and PDG but not stardom. So if there's a way to leverage our lopsided defensive depth in order to goose our future scoring I think we should look at it.  Obviously everything depends on the analysis and projections of individuals by our scouting department . . .

Edited by LakeLivin

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I'm not seeing the same trends that many of you are, so I won't add anything more on Faulk.  Except some of you need to get to some games if you really want to throw out an "objective" evaluations of any player.

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I'm not seeing the same trends that many of you are, so I won't add anything more on Faulk.  Except some of you need to get to some games if you really want to throw out an "objective" evaluations of any player.

 

 

This is a very valid point.  My observations are purely based on my observing from the comfort of my living room - i haven't been to a game since the last lockout.  That said, i will continue to subject you lot to those observations.   :dance:

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This is a very valid point.  My observations are purely based on my observing from the comfort of my living room - i haven't been to a game since the last lockout.  That said, i will continue to subject you lot to those observations.   :dance:

 

And I'll continue to provide some context from the PNC. :hockey:

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Here is an interesting little tidbit for all to think about. We are #1 in the east for games played. I'll let that sink in for a moment.

Last week when the euphoria of being a NHL .500 team was driving the " striking distance of the playoffs " talk, the dirty little secret not being mentioned was that every team ahead of us has games in hand. And those behind us also have games in hand, some may not have enough, depending on who gets streak fever to pass us.

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Here is an interesting little tidbit for all to think about. We are #1 in the east for games played. I'll let that sink in for a moment.

Last week when the euphoria of being a NHL .500 team was driving the " striking distance of the playoffs " talk, the dirty little secret not being mentioned was that every team ahead of us has games in hand. And those behind us also have games in hand, some may not have enough, depending on who gets streak fever to pass us.

 

It is a good point, though see post 1874, and 1876 above. Two ways are laid out to deal with the uneven game. The most accurate is Lake's point percentage method, though mine allows us to put it into the context of points out in the way we are used to seeing it. The next few days the gap in games played will close some. It is interesting, but it seems that year in and year out we always give games in hand most of the season. Not sure why, or if it is just an illusion.

 

It is true that the teams behind us have games in hand, but they are clear cut laggards that have layered out at 8-12 points back of us, and out of the playoffs. And they are the clear cut, rebuild, Auston Matthews wanting teams, unlikely to really make a move.

 

That Pittsburgh game really did hurt though. They still have 3 games in hand on us, and a 4 point swing would have made a huge difference. Anyway, adjusting the standings by awarding phantom points for games in hand at the rate that team has achieved points would lead to a "what if" standings. Since we have played more games our points are constant, and the other teams are given about 1.16 ppg for missing games.

 

Current Adjusted Standings:

 

NYR: 55 points, last Metro spot.

 

Boston: 55 points (WC)

Pittsburgh: 55 points (WC)

 

Philly 53 points (they have 4 freaking games in hand)

MTL 51 points

NJ 50 points

Ott 50 points

Car 48 points

 

That would put us 7 points out. Note if we had beaten Pittsburgh it would have been 5 points out.

 

 

The other thing about where we find ourselves is that as we drift towards the 10 point line, from where no one returns, we become vulnerable to any losing streaks.

 

If no one comes back from 10 points out on Jan 1. I have to expect no one comes back from 10 points out at any point after that too. So, if we drop 3 in a row, we have a pretty good chance of dropping out completely.

 

Once again, as will be the case until the entire gap is actually closed, the only way to pass all those teams ahead of us, will be winning streaks. To be fair, even with the Pittsburgh loss, the team has been doing it. But with the hole dug, it must keep doing it.

 

None of the teams listed above are showing much right now (save perhaps Philly). But the other missing factor is that historically one or two finds a groove at some point, raising the bar further.

 

Even with a bumbling field, we need to stay winning at a pretty good clip to have a shot, and losing 2-3 in a row while we hover 7 points out could end it.

Edited by remkin

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The nice thing about having game(s) in hand is you have your team destiny in your own hand. The down side is you have to win those games. The way the east has been beating each other up I don't see a game in hand necessarily translating into points.

 

The standings are what they and they say we are still in the playoff hunt. How long we will be in the hunt depends on only one thing, winning games.  

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Here is an interesting little tidbit for all to think about. We are #1 in the east for games played. I'll let that sink in for a moment.

Last week when the euphoria of being a NHL .500 team was driving the " striking distance of the playoffs " talk, the dirty little secret not being mentioned was that every team ahead of us has games in hand. And those behind us also have games in hand, some may not have enough, depending on who gets streak fever to pass us.

 

Yeah, I think most of us here are fully aware of the implications of the schedule imbalance.  But I'm sure there are many out there in the general public who see "2 points back" in the standings and think we just need to win one more game to put us in a playoff spot.

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Here is an interesting little tidbit for all to think about. We are #1 in the east for games played. I'll let that sink in for a moment.

 

 

CRNc25qUYAAXfMW.png

Edited by legend-1

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Yeah, I think most of us here are fully aware of the implications of the schedule imbalance.  But I'm sure there are many out there in the general public who see "2 points back" in the standings and think we just need to win one more game to put us in a playoff spot.

I found it interesting that in a recent gameday write up (maybe it was Pitt? or Van) Smith made a point of saying that we've played more games than the teams we are chasing. Unfortunately, for the Facebook/Twitter crowd to understand that would require an attention span longer than that involved in reading this post.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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It says a lot when you can't replace PDG with a guy on an NHL contract and expect that player to be at least serviceable on a third line.

 

Said this in the GDT yesterday.  PDG recalled.

 

Ironic that his last recall resulted after a closed-door meeting before a third period.

 

As a STH, I don't want to watch Nash, Gerbe, or Terry on the third line.  Thank you GMRF.

 

http://hurricanes.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=798374&navid=DL|CAR|home

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Also, the 

Marek vs Wyshynski

podcast today, Canes HC Bill Peters.

 

From his twitter:

"Peters is, very quietly mind you, doing some of the best work behind the bench in the NHL these days. Looking forward to this podcast"

 

"Hurricanes coach Bill Peters killed it on the #MVWS podcast today, really interesting stuff about his blueline. iIt'll be up soon."

 

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Good find Hag!

 

Interesting stuff on what he said about Lindholm.  Subtly called out our previous management and coaching staff for rushing him in the league too quickly.  Echoed what a few of us said here, which was he wasn't physically ready to play in the NHL as a rookie, which led to the recurring injuries.  Said he's been coming along really well as the season's gone along (Danimal) j/k.

 

Loved what he said about the importance of having 3 LHD and 3 RHD, although with Pesce out, we've rolled 5 LHD.  Has Murphy really been that bad in Charlotte where he can't get a call up or were they that unsure of Pesce's status?

Edited by PenaltyKiller17

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That was great, thanks Hag!

 

I'll echo the comments on Lindholm, which many of us have believed for quite some time.  Great to hear Peters stand up and say what he thinks.  I also liked the question and answer discussing 3 on 3 overtime.

 

You can hear "attack, all the time" in everything he says.

 

And who knew Peters was such a funny guy.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Interviewers did a good job of making the most of the opportunity with the coach. Glad the rare candid interview touched on almost anything I could have thought to ask. Including whipping out stats I'd never heard of.

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Interviewers did a good job of making the most of the opportunity with the coach. Glad the rare candid interview touched on almost anything I could have thought to ask. Including whipping out stats I'd never heard of.

 

What's the name of that analytics guy we hired? I'd love to see how Peters and RF are tapping into him . . .

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