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remkin

World Cup.....of hockey

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My last post gave me a thought. I think it's a decent point.

 

As I thought about team identity, I thought, we're not going to be out there bruising the other guys and physically scaring them. But then I thought about the flip side of that. We are one of the least penalized teams and I think were 2nd best (or close) in drawing penalties. So we have one of the biggest if not the biggest special teams disparity in the league. While we are excellent at killing penalties, that effect is offset by the fact that we don't take many. The end of the equation that would add points and wins is the PP.

 

We were #24 in the PP last year.

 

Just to fold one other tidbit in there, we were also one of the worst teams in OT and shootout.

 

If this team had a strong PP and just went .500 in OT, we'd have made the playoffs last year.

 

Well Teravainen and Aho, are both wizards with the puck and serious playmakers. Both are very skilled on the PP.

 

Last year Eric Staal put up ONE, count it, ONE pp goal, and 6 PP assists. Stempniak put up 3 and 9.

 

 

Adding Stempniak, Aho, and TT really could help the PP alot.

 

 

Interesting fact about why in the end we cannot trade Faulk at this point: 12/5: 17. PP points. Next D man: Hanifin 1/6: 7, next Slavin: 0/4: 4 points. This also points out why Murphy will get that last spot this year, if he can show on the PP in preseason. Our D men not named Faulk can't produce squat on the PP at this point. Until they can, forget about trading Faulk.

 

We NEED our PP. The thing that would stop teams from taking liberties? Not a goon, but a lethal PP. 

 

We are fast, teams have to take penalties to slow us down. Then we score on the PP. That would work. But #24 doesn't get it done.

 

So I'm thinking Francis is addressing that issue with TT, Stempniak, and elevating Aho. Heck even drafting Bean to some extent. A strong PP gets us close to the playoffs by itself.

Edited by remkin

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I can't comment on TT but I know there are guys here that also follow the Hawks closely and probably have a handle on it.  My take is that he is a project and was put all over the place last year, but has the skill and talent in the right environment.

 

I'm not sure if I should be concerned or not about him being him scratched in September in a one-out hockey tournament?

 

I would hope for/expect 35 points and no regression.  I would also expect he can help out on the PP, 3 on 3, and shootouts.

 

Let me clarify my thoughts since I started the whole TT thing.

 

First, I don't place too much emphasis on TT being scratched, either.  It was more something that just focused me on TT rather than a negative omen in my mind.  Just the fact that he made team Finland has much bigger implications than him being scratched for one game, imo.

 

Second, my thoughts weren't centered as much on lack of faith in TTs potential as on the general feeling I've been getting regarding immediate expectations for TT, both in the press and from some fan forum comments.  The feeling I've been getting is that many are expecting him to come in and immediately provide numbers closer to what Victor Rask did last year than what Chris Versteeg did.  And last year, playing 78g for Chicago, TT had 2 less goals and 3 less points than did Chris Versteeg who played 63g for the Canes and 14g for LA.  I should note that the above recent comments seem to indicate that many here share more similar expectations to mine as to what TT is likely to provide right off the bat than the more optimistic vibe I've been getting that led me to make the post in the first place.  

 

On thinking about the longer term prospects of TT vs. Aho, the scratch did make me wonder the following: if Chicago had Aho signed this summer but no TT on their roster, would they have thrown Aho into a trade in order to dump Bickell's salary? Even though TT has proven he can play in the NHL and Aho hasn't seen an AHL game, let alone an NHL one, I'm thinking the answer would be a pretty firm "no".

 

Last: I'm very happy to have TT here and optimistic about his future contributions.  I'm just tempering my expectations from him right off the bat.  Maybe down the road, but I'm thinking the 22yo may follow a more gradual development scoring improvement curve than a huge breakthrough leap next year.

 

Sorry if my original post caused some confusion, but at least it generated some discussion.  And what else have we got right now?

Edited by LakeLivin

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One more thought on expectations since that was my main point about TT: 

 

I suspect that many may at least subconsciously be expecting Stempniak to approach his production from last season (19g, 51p).  But history tells us that the 33yo forward will be much more likely to end up with goals somewhere in the mid teens and points somewhere in the 30's (the old principle of regression towards the mean).  Which is not to say that he won't be a solid contributor, and may even provide some intangibles that are hard to measure via a leadership role to our youngsters. 

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Time will tell on TT, but there are at least two competing trends.

 

1. TT is still very much on the ascension graph in terms of age and games played. While it is his second full season, it is really his third, as he had a bunch of games and a playoff run, then a full season. But a lot of skilled players break out year three or four.

 

One has to weigh this vs. other factors too: eyeball test, prior expectations, scoring at lower levels, etc. Personally I think the eyeball test is excellent, and his production from the playoffs two years ago was not a fluke. When I put this together, I think a solid improvement form his sophomore/first season numbers of last year is a very reasonable prediction.

 

2. New team. A lot of players struggle in their first year with a new team.

 

This one would work against him. And it might. But he can put up a lot of points on the PP, and the PP is pretty standard team to team. Further he will play with other Europeans, and on the third line vs. bottom pair D men. Also, he will be looked to differently here. He is not trying to fit in with an elite team, but play a bigger role with a young, rising team. This one could go either way.

 

In the end, I keep coming back to the PP. One professional observer (press) of the Blackhawks said something to the effect that TT looked almost like Patrick Kane on the PP. And we need that.

 

The one point on the Aho, Lindholm, TT line is that someone is going to have to shoot the puck. I think Lindy and Aho will end up with the most goals.

Edited by remkin

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I think its pretty funny that anyone would suggest Canes fans expectations are too high.  Funny in an ironic way.

 

Coming off 7 years of no playoffs, my feeling from browsing Canes fans comments during the offseason is the exact opposite.  There is tempered excitement in Raleigh but not overly unrealistic expectations for the team or any individual player.  In fact, this offseason has been the most tempered I can remember in years.

 

If anything, there are lots of people that believe the team is still a year away.

 

My personal expectations are that the team won't regress and will build off the improvement from last year. I love this coaching staff and I give them a lot of the credit for the turnaround.  How far that will take us is anybody's guess at this time. If certain guys aren't bringing it we have options - for the first time in a long, long time.

 

If any of my expectations might need to be tempered it's on the PP, 3 on 3, and shootouts.  That's where I think the addition of some of these skilled players will make a big difference.  But again, a team difference.

 

Excitement yes, overly optimistic expectations, no. 

Edited by coastal_caniac

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I think its pretty funny that anyone would suggest Canes fans expectations are too high.  Funny in an ironic way.

 

Coming off 7 years of no playoffs, my feeling from browsing Canes fans comments during the offseason is the exact opposite.  There is tempered excitement in Raleigh but not overly unrealistic expectations for the team or any individual player.  In fact, this offseason has been the most tempered I can remember in years.

 

If anything, there are lots of people that believe the team is still a year away.

 

My personal expectations are that the team won't regress and will build off the improvement from last year. I love this coaching staff and I give them a lot of the credit for the turnaround.  How far that will take us is anybody's guess at this time. If certain guys aren't bringing it we have options - for the first time in a long, long time.

 

If any of my expectations might need to be tempered it's on the PP, 3 on 3, and shootouts.  That's where I think the addition of some of these skilled players will make a big difference.  But again, a team difference.

 

Excitement yes, overly optimistic expectations, no. 

 

I don't disagree with anything you say, and my expectations are tempered. However, your comment about options if some guys aren't bringing it gives me pause. Do we really have tactical options? If a guy is not doing as well as we expect/hoped/past performance, what are our options? It's not like if TT or Lindholm really sucks out of the gate we can do anything but ride him for the year. No way we trade them too soon or send them through the waiver process. We are stuck with the team even if we have better guys in juniors or in the AHL because of contracts and the rules for moving players back and forth to the AHL.

Edited by MinJaBen

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Your point is well taken and yes your are correct we might not have a lot of options but we do have NHL caliber player options.  We aren't just stuck with "the team" we have now. 

 

By my count we currently have 11 forwards that have NHL one-way contracts.

 

That's three spots up for grabs, actually 2 most likely if you believe Aho makes the team.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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I think its pretty funny that anyone would suggest Canes fans expectations are too high.  Funny in an ironic way.

 

Coming off 7 years of no playoffs, my feeling from browsing Canes fans comments during the offseason is the exact opposite.  There is tempered excitement in Raleigh but not overly unrealistic expectations for the team or any individual player.  In fact, this offseason has been the most tempered I can remember in years.

 

If anything, there are lots of people that believe the team is still a year away.

 

My personal expectations are that the team won't regress and will build off the improvement from last year. I love this coaching staff and I give them a lot of the credit for the turnaround.  How far that will take us is anybody's guess at this time. If certain guys aren't bringing it we have options - for the first time in a long, long time.

 

If any of my expectations might need to be tempered it's on the PP, 3 on 3, and shootouts.  That's where I think the addition of some of these skilled players will make a big difference.  But again, a team difference.

 

Excitement yes, overly optimistic expectations, no. 

 

It may surprise you, but most of my sentiments aren't that different from yours above.  I also find it ironic that I get the feeling that many have elevated expectations for TT and Stemp this upcoming season because I don't get the feeling that people are unrealistically optimistic about the team in general.  The general sense I get about expectations for the team are guarded optimism for next year combined with very positive feelings about the long term direction in which we are headed.  

 

My experience is that most fans generally tend to subconsciously evaluate "their" players at close to their ceiling.  As in TT playing all season like he did in the 2015 playoffs. Or Stemp repeating last season, one close to his career best. So maybe because of that principle I could be reading too much into certain generalized comments.  Certainly, the immediate feedback here about TT in particular isn't out of whack with my expectations. 

 

Oh, and I also agree that the franchise is markedly improved as far as options and future potential than in the past.  We've gone from best forward hopes of Boyuchuk/ Terry to McGinn/ Tolchinsky to Gautier, Roy, Saareela etc. (the list is long and well known).  We're still looking for "elite talent", but our chances of some percolating up from within the ranks is certainly better than it's been in a long, long, time.

Edited by LakeLivin

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It may surprise you, but most of my sentiments aren't that different from yours above.  I also find it ironic that I get the feeling that many have elevated expectations for TT and Stemp this upcoming season because I don't get the feeling that people are unrealistically optimistic about the team in general.  The general sense I get about expectations for the team are guarded optimism for next year combined with very positive feelings about the long term direction in which we are headed.  

 

My experience is that most fans generally tend to subconsciously evaluate "their" players at close to their ceiling.  As in TT playing all season like he did in the 2015 playoffs. Or Stemp repeating last season, one close to his career best. So maybe because of that principle I could be reading too much into certain generalized comments.  Certainly, the immediate feedback here about TT in particular isn't out of whack with my expectations. 

 

Oh, and I also agree that the franchise is markedly improved as far as options and future potential than in the past.  We've gone from best forward hopes of Boyuchuk/ Terry to McGinn/ Tolchinsky to Gautier, Roy, Saareela etc. (the list is long and well known).  We're still looking for "elite talent", but our chances of some percolating up from within the ranks is certainly better than it's been in a long, long, time.

 

Nah Lake, it doesn't surprise me at all actually.  I've always thought we were on the same page more often than not.

 

On Stempniak, you make a good point about his production could more likely turn out to be closer to his career average.  My hopes are he can be the glue to get the best from Rask and Skinner, if that turns out to be a line.

 

I just don't know enough about TT to predict what he might bring at even strength but he is starting on the third line and the staff did wonders for Skinner's game kind of letting him "reset" down there.  I hope in the long run we see similar results with TT.  I do think he brings an added dimension elsewhere as I mentioned previously

 

7 days till camp.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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I've been known to predict guy's possible production. Sometimes on target, often not. 

 

It's always a guessing game in the end.

 

Projecting Teravanen's playoffs over a fully year is just one possible outcome. Though his having done that in his first NHL year at age 20 does factor in. While it's always possible that a guy was just a flash in the pan, or like Skinner and Lindholm, could take steps back before steps forward. But what's the fun in predicting that? Plus, unless a guy struggled late, or his coming of an injury, why would one project a young player to get worse with experience and a full offseason to train?

 

The projections for Rask, Lindholm, Teravanen, and PDG are all based on the natural progression of very young players. Jordan Staal, based on age, should be in the prime of his career, so he should be able to get close to career bests.

 

Stempniak is a more difficult case to prediect because he really outperformed last year. He claims to have found something in his skating that has dramatically improved his game. If true, and if playing with Skinner and Rask, he is a clever veteran, and should be able to hit 40 points, (broke 50 last year). But that could just be talk too. His total body of work might predict regression to the mean.

 

Skinner's game is clealry on the rise. He put up 60 at age 18 then started to get concussions. Last year started slow, but ended strong.

 

In fact, Skinner went 7 points in his first 24 games (Oct/Nov), for the rest of the year (58 straight games) he went on a .76 ppg tear. That is good for...wait for it....62 points over 82 games. I know it's a projection, but he was a 60 point player for the last 70% of the season, the most recent 70%. And he did it playing better defense too.

 

Obviously these are guesses. Freaking Semin turtling after a nearly ppg first season, Eric Staal dropping like a rock and staying there. Skinner's concussion trouble. These things happen and tend to put a frown on predictions, believe me.

 

Hopefully if say a Skinner falls back, a Rask and Lindholm and Aho and PDG step up.

Edited by remkin

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Swedes looked good vs. Russia.

 

I must admit, I'm really looking forward to North America vs Finland tonight. Chance to watch the newly popular young guns, and hopefully our young Finn guns.

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Yeah, that wasn't even close. Then Aho didn't get much ice time or much PP time, and TT was scratched. I'm not worried about it because Finland was chasing the game and being outplayed all over the place, but Aho really didn't do much to speak of either.

 

The NA team has 4 #1 overall superstars and 5 if you count Eichel. It is interesting because it is clearly the future superstars team.

 

Overall I am interested to see them play Canada hopefully. But I agree, until the actual medal round, only a couple of matches hold much interest.

 

I do wonder if the Finns let TT back in, and maybe give Aho a more prominent role. I'd be interested in that, if they did it, but then not sure they will.

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That NA team is like the dream team on steroids.  Some of those lines overall speed/skill was insane.  There is not a single defensive pairing in the world that could handle some of those lines.

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That NA team is like the dream team on steroids.  Some of those lines overall speed/skill was insane.  There is not a single defensive pairing in the world that could handle some of those lines.

 

You know, I find this very interesting. Czech team is supposed to be good, gets blown out by Canada 6-0. Finns have medaled in three of the last four international competitions, but can't stand up to a team of (mostly Canadian) U-23s.

 

Anyone out there really surprised at these results? I'm thinking the NHL is getting exactly what it wanted - less a hockey tournament than a statement about where the skill lies in the world of hockey.

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You know, I find this very interesting. Czech team is supposed to be good, gets blown out by Canada 6-0. Finns have medaled in three of the last four international competitions, but can't stand up to a team of (mostly Canadian) U-23s.

 

Anyone out there really surprised at these results? I'm thinking the NHL is getting exactly what it wanted - less a hockey tournament than a statement about where the skill lies in the world of hockey.

Indubitably. How great would it be if Team Europe, which was purposely designed to be mediocre at best, trounced the Big Red Leaf? Ain't gonna happen, of course.  

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