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In-Season Talk 2016-17

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As an aside to rem's new "island", is anyone else having trouble with the drop down to get to Fan's chat? This just started, but I just had to come in a back door.

 

OK, now i see!! It's no longer on a "drop down" but on the bar at top!! My bad

Edited by KJUNKANE

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53 minutes ago, KJUNKANE said:

As an aside to rem's new "island", is anyone else having trouble with the drop down to get to Fan's chat? This just started, but I just had to come in a back door.

 

OK, now i see!! It's no longer on a "drop down" but on the bar at top!! My bad

 

All problems are probably due to the length of Rem's posts

 

sarchasm alert

 

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7 minutes ago, RNT82 said:

Check out this prank the Canes pulled on Ryan Murphy...

 

Ryan Murphy Prank

Warning:  NSFW language in video.

I saw this earlier today!! The best part is that the caption read "Fragile,Handle with Care" which describes his game perfectly.

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1 hour ago, super_dave_1 said:

 

All problems are probably due to the length of Rem's posts

 

sarchasm alert

 

:). True. Very true.

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2 hours ago, KJUNKANE said:

As an aside to rem's new "island", is anyone else having trouble with the drop down to get to Fan's chat? This just started, but I just had to come in a back door.

 

OK, now i see!! It's no longer on a "drop down" but on the bar at top!! My bad

Funny you mention the Island because that one single slot at #8 really does look like an Island we need to land on.

 

Just get in and you never know....

Edited by remkin

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5 minutes ago, remkin said:

Go Vancouver! Also see that Slugs are playing so we get them back to back vs us rested. Can't wait.

This could be a three-fer...If the Nasty Nucks can hold on, the Lightning soften up Buffalo (a game I'll be at), and if Edmonton keeps New Jersey off our tail.:crossfingers:

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1 hour ago, surfzone365 said:

As of this post, Minnesota hung a Touchdown with XP on Carey Price. Cam is better

 

I like your intention, but lets not offend the Hockey Gods here, surf! :o

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This season is inspiring.  Words cannot describe how proud I am of this team right now.  3 points out.  We can and we will make the playoffs. 

Edited by bluedevil58
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1 hour ago, bluedevil58 said:

This season is inspiring.  Words cannot describe how proud I am of this team right now.  3 points out.  We can and we will make the playoffs. 

 

^Tune in next week for updates.  :excl:

 

Glad to see your on board tonight though BD!

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Others have commented on the fact that the current GF-GA is now in positive territory. What should also be noted that in the entire history of the franchise since moving to North Carolina, only four teams have finished the season with a positive GF-GA. It could be stated - using this statistic alone - that the current team is tied for the 4th best in their two decade presence in NC.

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Bold prediction sure to go wrong:

(ok, it's not that bold and it wouldn't shock me if it actually plays out this way)

 

As we approach the end of the season, the competition for the last Wild Card spot comes down to the Canes, the Bruins, and maybe the Flyers (although I wouldn't be surprised to see them fall out of the race).  I've got the Leafs moving up into one of the 3 Atlantic spots.

 

Big caveat is goaltending for both the Canes and Leafs.  Right now they're riding Andersen almost as hard as we're riding Ward, and I see potential issues for both teams as we get deep into the season (McElheney isn't an answer).  

 

Why even post such speculation?  To encourage Canes fans to psychically focus extra negative energy on each of the above teams to lose every time they play, lol.

Edited by LakeLivin

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So if the offensive arrival of Lindholm and McGinn is real, we suddenly have a very formidable top 9 from top to bottom. We may not have an All Star forward (cough, Skinner, cough), but we have three solid lines.

 

At the half way point, here is my thoughts on our top 9 grouping as it stands. If one accepts that guys near the top of this list are coming on strong and playing much better than their numbers for the year, this becomes a very strong group.

 

The order is loosely who is coming on recently, relative to previous expectations: with the best for last.

 

McGinn: he's finally elevating what always looked to be an NHL style game to the NHL level. On the one hand, he's only been playing at that higher offensive level recently, on the other hand, like a goalie with great form, it's a decent bet he will keep on it. If he does, he will become forward #9 on the list, but that is an all around player with grit that can score. His grit is hitting, not cheap shots, but still, it is the kind of player we've wanted for a long time. He's still an "if", given the small "n" value, but looks really good right now.

 

Lindholm: he has been the underachiever, in large part because of expectations. But to my eye he is bringing it at a new level recently. That move off the boards last night that lead to one of McGinn's goals was a high skill and high effort move. He's made a lot of plays recently and playing the right way. If I think McGinn is going to another level, I know Lindholm is. (Of course I don't really know much, but it sounded good to say).

 

Jordan: So I've started with the newest Canes line: McStaalholm, and J is the glue. Jordan looks strong. He is dominant coming strongly down the ice with possession and driving the net. We all know about the defensive side and face-off prowess. He is already close to a 50 point pace, but he is a second half type guy, and if that line works, his points will start coming. I am feeling a Staal push on points coming.

 

Ryan: I actually heard Ryan called out on XM fantasy hockey as a guy everyone should try to pick up. Ryan is now on a .62 ppg pace (51 point pace), and is just getting better. He has 6 points in his last 5 games. This is a legit 50 point player. For context, Kyle Okposo, of massive money UFA, this year All Star, is on a 54 point pace.

 

Rask: V. Rask started the year incredible. He really looked the part of #1 center and was near a ppg for a good stretch. Then he faded a bit. Not bad, mind you, but less noticeable and less productive than he had been. Well Victor is back. He looks really good again, and he is back to scoring: 3G and 6 points in his last 5 games. He is now on a season pace of 62 points and 25 goals. Rask is now the #36 forward in the league in points among such names as John Tavares, Getlzaf, Cory Perry, B Saad, Jamie Benn, Mark Stone, admittedly some of these guys are having off years, but for Rask to be in the top 40 of forwards is clear cut top half, top line. I doubt many think of him that highly yet. I am not sure of Victor's upside, but he's had some long ppg stretches. It's probably not that elite, but it might be close.

 

Aho: the league is definitely aware of young Sea Bass. The 19 year old is in a .55 point/game or 45 point pace. But what is a bit hidden is that he is improving. His last 5 production has been average for him, but over all his game is definitely building. In the second half he will almost surely be a 50 point or better type player. Long term? This is a star in the making.

 

Teravainen: TT's game has been building also. Like Aho, his last 5 have not been full of points, but overall his game is getting better and better. He is currently on exactly .5 ppg 41 point pace, and an 18G pace. He is settling into center, though put on wing a bit lately. I still think that barring a deal for Duchene, TT ends up back at center. A third line center that puts up 41 points is elite. Of course, I think this is a player that will hit 60 points at some point.

 

Stempniak: His game has been up and down all year. At this moment he has 5 games with just one assist, and currently is at .45 ppg or a 37 point, 16 goal pace. In all honesty getting 40 points out of his deal would be very acceptable, even if he is viewed as 3rd line, where 40 points would be very good. Still, he did put up 51 points last year and started this year on fire. I'm glad we have him, but think we can get more from him in the second half. Still, he is a very legit top 9 point producer even as he is.

 

Skinner: Save the best for last. Skinner's 17 goals ties him for #13 in the league. His points are #27. He is on a 34 goal pace (last year 34 goals was good for #9 in the league). And while in general I think that the idea that players can knowingly score "timely" goals is also a bit overblown, if anyone has, Skinner has. Last night, he turned the game around with two quick snipes. The number 13 goal scorer in the league is an All Star, if by that you mean one of the 24 best forwards.

Edited by remkin

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Well I should probably add that we have a very competent 4th line also.

 

Off the bat, I have given McClement some bad ink lately. I have always liked his possession game, doing the little things, winning face-offs (yes I'd still rather win them), killing penalties, not making mistakes, etc. I just think you need at least the occasional point from your 4th line center. Well Jay responded immediately (literally that night) to my heresy with the first of now 3 goals in the last 8 games. Yes, Jay McClement is now on a 30 goal pace over 8 games. Well, I'm glad. I'd rather have a Cane getting it done, than anything about me. The only piece missing from McClement's game was scoring, and he's now doing that. So good on him. I hope he keeps making me eat crow on that.

 

Nordstrom is, like McClement, a smart, coach's type player, who while not a scorer does all of the other things right.

 

Stahlberg is actually closer to a third liner in some ways, but definitely a very strong 4th liner. He also brings serious speed and the occasional short handed goal. He can slot up into the top 9 comfortably too.

 

 

Then, to finish the depth off, there is Rattie and the two guys likely the first call up PDG and Nestrasil.

Right now, it is hard to see who comes out for Rattie, let alone for PDG/Nesty. But it is a level of depth we have not had in a long time.

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1 hour ago, remkin said:

 

Skinner: Save the best for last. Skinner's 17 goals ties him for #13 in the league. His points are #27. He is on a 34 goal pace (last year 34 goals was good for #9 in the league). And while in general I think that the idea that players can knowingly score "timely" goals is also a bit overblown, if anyone has, Skinner has. Last night, he turned the game around with two quick snipes. The number 13 goal scorer in the league is an All Star, if by that you mean one of the 24 best forwards.

While Skinner may be top 24, saying the top 24 forwards are All Stars is like saying that the top 16 teams make the playoffs or that the person that gets the most votes will be President. That's just now how the system works.

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23 minutes ago, DeacFan said:

While Skinner may be top 24, saying the top 24 forwards are All Stars is like saying that the top 16 teams make the playoffs or that the person that gets the most votes will be President. That's just now how the system works.

 

True, but regardless of that, most here think that Skinner! should be our All Star rep this year no matter where he happens to fall on the league scoring list.  #13 on the list is a stat that supports the eye test.

Edited by LakeLivin

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37 minutes ago, LakeLivin said:

 

True, but regardless of that, most here think that Skinner! should be our All Star rep this year no matter where he happens to fall on the league scoring list.  #13 on the list is a stat that supports the eye test.

 

That was nearer my point, thanks Lake. I get why he didn't actually make the cut in the Metro forward grouping, which is why I phrased it as "if by All Star you mean one of the best 24 forwards" rather than claiming he should have made the actual metro team. My point is that he is All Star caliber even if he missed the actual cut in a stacked Metro. And his being that good matters more to our future than his actual involvement in that 3 on 3 spectacle.

Edited by remkin
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I doubt the name McStaalholm sticks, but it works for me. I really think that the emergence of this line marks a boost up for this team, that was already getting pretty good anyways.

 

I firmly believe that the emergence of that line is the piece that puts this team to another level. Even with Lindholm and Staal putting up very pedestrian numbers and McGinn putting up, well...not much of any numbers, this team was sneaky good. We had absorbed another bad start and a brutal schedule, and actually made a strong move up during a schedule in which treading water would have been decent. That with relatively little offense from those three guys.

 

We are now on the cusp of two future months of much more favorable scheduling: Feb 6-4 home, and a more average mix of teams, and March, even home and away, but even more favorable teams.

 

I would have bet on this team, even with J, Lindy and McGinn "just" playing a solid checking game and the Rask/Skinner, Aho/TT lines working with Stemp and Ryan.

 

But if what we've seen the last couple of nights from McStaalholm is a new trend? Adjust your calibrations and start sailing out to the Island.

 

There is historical precedence for this too. Last year from the end of December to the trade deadline mid-March, Jordan Staal was a beast. He had at least a 2 month run of nearly a ppg. And that was flanked by one guy now in Charlotte and another guy currently on the 4h line.

 

To my eye both Brock McGinn and Elias Lindholm are suddenly emerging with serious NHL offensive confidence that far exceeds anything that Nordstrom or Nestrasil are even capable of. This is happening right as Jordan is looking stronger and stronger in his own right. This could be HUGE.

 

If that line hits or exceeds what Nord-Staal-Nest did, it will become one of the dominant offensive lines, let alone the fact that all three of those guys are (J) or have become (McGinn/Lindy) good two way players.

 

But it goes further. If Lindholm breaks out, as a couple of us called for this year, that is akin to say trading for Landeskog. But then what if McGinn breaks out? And if all of this pushes Jordan back to his offensive dominance (it will), then this becomes our clear top line, able to match any other top line. What we may lack in uber elite top end skill, we make up for by the defensive checking of your top line. But it will also have to draw the top D pairings.

 

But then how do you match a second line of Skinner/Rask? Ryan?  Rask BTW is looking sooo much better the last 5 games or so too. Ryan is on a 50 point pace.

 

OK, you have a very good team, you can match those two liens, how about matching a third line with Aho/TT/Stempniak?

 

Mostly, you can't. Only the most elite teams could.

 

 

At the start of the season, there were the usual "ifs". If Lindholm breaks out, "if" Aho is all that. "if TT is good", "if Skinner gets back". "if" Rask is for real, and can even go up a nothch, "if" Cam can find his game from midseason last year and stop the softies. "if Stempniak is closer to 50 points than 30" (42 point pace currently), "if" Slavin and "if' Pesce can be for real and avoid the Sophomore slump.

 

Well we've had yes to all of those, (OK Lindholm is on the cusp but hasn't done it yet), but we also have gotten a 50 point Ryan, and a "who knows?" McGinn, and frankly even more than reasonably high expectations from an always improving Aho too.

 

I like this team even if McStaalholm fizzles and lines reform. But if that line is for real? Look out. This team had an amazing run last year while the Nest-J-Nord line dominated, and with far less support from the other lines than we will get, and with two wingers that while solid, did not have the same upside.

 

The final piece of unbridled optimism: this team is very young and guys like Aho and TT are also getting incrementally better all the time. Especially if they can feast on bottom pair Dmen nightly. But mainly the whole unit is buying in and knowing the system better and better. How fast we can transition from d to offense is amazing already. It just keeps getting better.

 

Edited by remkin

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In other news... Washington is hammering Philidelphia 5-0 with 13:00 left in the third.   Flyers look completely lost.

 

Unless catastrophe of nearly unprecedented proportions occurs, the Canes retain the 1 point behind, and gain a game in hand.

 

Time to leapfrog them while they get their 5 days off.  THIS WEEK will be a huge test for the Canes.

Edited by wxray1

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12 minutes ago, wxray1 said:

In other news... Washington is hammering Philidelphia 5-0 with 13:00 left in the third.   Flyers look completely lost.

 

Unless catastrophe of nearly unprecedented proportions occurs, the Canes retain the 1 point behind, and gain a game in hand.

 

Time to leapfrog them while they get their 5 days off.  THIS WEEK will be a huge test for the Canes.

Flyers look like they've quit on this game. Prime opportunity for the Canes. Flyers don't play until Saturday, so our games in hand will disappear. Need all 3 games this week.

Edited by hopper915

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