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gocanes0506

In-Season 2018-2019

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At this point, agreeing that the tests have been numerous, they've passed them all, and a few spectacularly. I couldn't even look at not getting in now as failure, though I'm sure they would. I can honestly say it would be a situation for me where no one else failed in the least, yet I'm almost sure at least one of those teams will. They dug their December whole on par, though this time around we have enough of everything needed to have overcome it, many of those things woefully lacking in years past. This group of players and leaders, from the top down, have all contributed and achieved at a level that had us thinking in December the 4-0-1 start was a complete fluke, and it wasn't. I have said all along and still do, that start WAS indicative of new attitudes and mentality, and also that it would somewhere down the line have made a difference. IT HAS in my view when the 9 early points are laid out there in the current scenario. Then, there's the other side of tempered optimism, one where it's obvious with a developing and improving PP, if it could just function consistently, there are probably only a couple teams that could take us out in a 7 game series. Overly optimistic, maybe, but I haven't seen much else they can't do. 

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Fun fact, our shooting percentage through the first 30 games was 6.4%.  That's now topping out at almost 12% for third in the league. Shots just started going in.  Brindy kept saying that in the first 30.

 

 

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58 minutes ago, 2ndsacker said:

At this point, agreeing that the tests have been numerous, they've passed them all, and a few spectacularly. I couldn't even look at not getting in now as failure, though I'm sure they would. I can honestly say it would be a situation for me where no one else failed in the least, yet I'm almost sure at least one of those teams will. They dug their December whole on par, though this time around we have enough of everything needed to have overcome it, many of those things woefully lacking in years past. This group of players and leaders, from the top down, have all contributed and achieved at a level that had us thinking in December the 4-0-1 start was a complete fluke, and it wasn't. I have said all along and still do, that start WAS indicative of new attitudes and mentality, and also that it would somewhere down the line have made a difference. IT HAS in my view when the 9 early points are laid out there in the current scenario. Then, there's the other side of tempered optimism, one where it's obvious with a developing and improving PP, if it could just function consistently, there are probably only a couple teams that could take us out in a 7 game series. Overly optimistic, maybe, but I haven't seen much else they can't do. 

 

Look,  this is a sport where over half the teams make it to the playoffs.  If this team doesn't make the playoffs then this was a failed season.

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45 minutes ago, bluedevil58 said:

 

Look,  this is a sport where over half the teams make it to the playoffs.  If this team doesn't make the playoffs then this was a failed season.

 

This I can agree with especiallly since management said during the deadline that 'we believe in this team.' Don't want to let us fans down and don't want to let upper management down.

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Point taken. But I think you have to consider the ICU life support this franchise and sub par roster has been on for too long. The roster upgrades, a somewhat rejuvenated fan base, the relatively consistent on ice competitiveness that has evolved over this season can hardly be called failure. Certainly they should finish it off and qualify to make all these things complete, there's no question of that. A dying franchise taken over by new ownership was no guarantee of anything, even that the franchise would remain in NC was questionable. In seeing some basic questions answered in this regard by the change of atmosphere and culture, I've seen it as almost coming back from the dead, no easy job. I call that much of it, a huge success.

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2 hours ago, bluedevil58 said:

 

Look,  this is a sport where over half the teams make it to the playoffs.  If this team doesn't make the playoffs then this was a failed season.

You see, unlike Sf 1-2, I don't necessarily agree here. To me asserting that this summarily is a "failed season", is oversimplified. That we might not make the playoffs (which I believe we are trending to do) is just a single way to look at it. And I like others do look at it that way, but if nothing else, I do see a light at the end of this 9 year long tunnel? Definitive strides have been made that are not just a flash in the pan and done. 

 

A quick review of the year should convince most that to say "this was a failed season" ignores a lot. I mean, we have a dynamic owner it appears, who "hates to lose". We have a GM who seems to be regaining the fans' confidence that he can make deals which DO NOT appear to be undermining the team for its relocation. We have a neophyte coach who is quickly gaining his sea legs, and leading by experience, players who are echoing words that have been said about him for all his playing career, "we just do not want to let Rod down".We have identified our 1C, and we didn't have to get in a bidding war to do so, he was in our system as a result of a 2nd round pick!! WE seem to have 2 scoring lines and a more than average 4th. And, for the time being, we have a goalie tandem that on most occasions can hold their own, even bailing the team out when its playing poorly. Our AHL team has made similar strides and is among the leaders in their league, and more importantly, can funnel up quality players in a pinch.

 

I'm sure there are many more positives that I've not included, but in balance, a few negatives are certainly the subpar Power Play, and the occasional total team letdown, but all teams have them.

 

Forgot, and how could I, that we've put the moniker Candy Canes in the rearview mirror as another positive, but most of all, for those of you unable to attend games, the energy in PNC Arena is palpable and post game ceremony may be part of the glimpse of that. 

 

So no, to infer that this was a "failed season" is truly one dimensional. The course of this ship has been righted, and it is full speed ahead for rem's island. 

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9 hours ago, gocanes0506 said:

No help tonight 

 

At this point I'm just not going to worry about the teams in front of us because I'll get driven crazy. Example: I don't think the Caps are catchable now because they seem to have peaked at the right time  Let's deal with them when we play them.  We gotta focus on our games and just keep taking care of business...like we did on Saturday.  As long as we keep winning or keep picking up points the team will be fine.  22-7-2 in their last 31 games.  It will be a colossal failure this season if they struggle now and don't make the playoffs.

 

My only slight concern is McElhinney and his next start.  He got shelled vs Winnipeg (albeit wasn't his fault but I can imagine how he felt being the victim of 8 goals against) and I'm just curious to see if he'll have a great bounce back game.  I'm sure the players apologized (Williams said they all owed him one) and will play better in front of him and with a little fire in their game from here on out.

Edited by Sportsfan-1-2

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16 minutes ago, Sportsfan-1-2 said:

My only slight concern is McElhinney and his next start.  He got shelled vs Winnipeg (albeit wasn't his fault but I can imagine how he felt being the victim of 8 goals against) and I'm just curious to see if he'll have a great bounce back game.

I might be concerned if he was a prima donna goalie or one with limited experience.  Neither apply.  He will be fine.

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I have more confidence in McE than almost anyone else on this team. That guy has ice in his veins and fire in the heart. He will probably deliver a masterpiece. 

 

I so want him back again next year. I wonder if the fact that he's been a career back-up and doesn't have as many NHL games on his tread might expand his career out a bit. Also, he's a pretty economical goalie. 

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As to whether this team would be a bust if they miss the playoffs? No. And that is from a long suffering fan who is as sick and tired of spending April and May looking into draft prospects as anyone. Of course there is the caveat that it will depend on how it goes bad if they miss. If they just fall off the horse and auger in with a complete collapse, then maybe. But anything short of that, no. 

 

The reason is the future. This is, aside from J Willy and McE, a spectacularly young team. But even better, we have not spent ANY of our future either. OK, we traded Cliff Pu. But besides that. So I would counter the negative vibes with gushing positivity. 

 

This team is really ahead of schedule. Consider that we had to completely jettison our $3million goalie of the future and scramble for a waiver wire guy to go with a guy who is playing for his NHL life in goal. Consider that the "attitude changing, but skill draining" trade of Skinner for Pu is still fresh. And that we got no forward help in UFA or trades until Nino. But all of that also means we have all of our powder dry for future moves, and we have more assets to trade than at any time in memory. 

 

But what I look at is the hidden potential that guys from this year will have next year, and the growing list of maturing talent in the system. We are flush with young players. 

 

Svech. He has 1 point and -4 in his last 8 games. He seems to be hitting a bit of a rookie wall. But this guy has still shown enough to see that he is going to be very good. It's only a matter of how good. I still think elite good. But on this team that is rolling up one of the best stretches of hockey in 30 games, he is a solid 3rd liner. He is producing at the low end of predictions, but the size and skill are there. He's only 18 even now. The point is that this is a future dynamo that is nowhere near his peak. 

 

Necas. Yes we ended up not burning his entry deal, so he went down and out of sight. But that's what he's eventually going to be: out of sight, good. I posted that one close observer has him ranked as the #4 overall prospect in the NHL. He is putting up points learning to play the right way in Charlotte. My guess is that he bulks up a touch in the off-season and will not be denied next year. He won't peak in a full rookie season, but the future with him Svech, Aho and TT is awsome. 

 

Fox. TBD but simply stunning college career. 

 

Foegele. OK a rookie year of grinding in the NHL and an offseason. This is not a ppg NHL player, but he can be a 20 goal guy IMO. Gritty winger who can score. Waiting for that last part. More of an unknown than Svech/Necas IMO, but still. 

 

Then there are a whole bunch of jerk prospects making various levels of noise. Bean is lighting it up. Fleury is still solid. McKeown is dominating defensively for the second straight year. Guathier is probably still not ready, but starting to score, Kuokkanen has not impressed in the NHL yet, but is at .79 ppg. 

 

Ned seems to be moving his save percentage up to go with his wins. 

 

And all of these guys in Charlotte are winning. As they remain the #1 team of 31 in the AHL. That can't hurt. 

 

Finally, to go with the amazing Nino, there simply has to be a big time D for O, or maybe big time goalie trade, or both. 

 

This will all add to this year's team that has learned how to win and win MEANINGFUL games. Cane's teams of the past have gotten small batches of "that winning feeling" at the end of losing campaigns. But that us useless (actually harmful really). This is entirely different. This is a real run during the real stretch. 

 

Even if this team drops out (they won't), there is so much to build on, so much young talent that hasn't fully matured, that this year will be a building block no matter what. But this is the year to get in and get that experience and that mojo to build on. So even though missing would not be a bust, let's not.

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OK. One last piece of optimism for the future. Ned. 

 

The guy was winning games from the start of the year. Wins are obviously important, but a bit like plus/minus since there are 11 other guys on the ice all the time. On the one hand, there are things like game management, puck movement, big saves at key times (they say), etc. But on the other hand, there is run support and Ned was getting a lot of that. IMO the metric of save percentage is a better stat for how good the goalie is. Wins AND save percentage though, that is saying something. 

 

Ned started the year battling the .900 line despite winning a good amount of his games. For me, it's hard to think about an AHL goalie being ready if he's not pushing well above the .900 line, despite the wins. 

 

So I go and look the other day and low and behold Ned is now sporting a .912 save percentage. This is not shabby by itself, but as I wrote in another post, if he was around .900 for a good part of the season and is now .912, he must have been well above .912 recently. 

 

I was so curious that I went and looked at his game by game stats and manually calculated his save percentage over the last 18 games. Yes, I picked a good cut off, but they are the last 18 games in a row. So, his save percentage over the last 18 games was.......   .938.  While it's not a fair comparison, for the year the number one save percentage in the AHL is .922. Ned has to be the or one of the hottest goalies in the AHL recently. He just put up his 4th shut out last night too. And he leads the league in wins. 

 

Maybe, just maybe he's ready next year. Looking really good of late.

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So rem, drawing on your discussion of Ned, who of the other 2 do you let go? The athletic emotional Czech out to prove himself with a 1 year deal, or the cerebral aged one who could be a valuable mentor for Ned's transition and a proven invaluable "backup"? Still a very difficult choice for me.

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1 hour ago, remkin said:

As to whether this team would be a bust if they miss the playoffs? No. And that is from a long suffering fan who is as sick and tired of spending April and May looking into draft prospects as anyone. Of course there is the caveat that it will depend on how it goes bad if they miss. If they just fall off the horse and auger in with a complete collapse, then maybe. But anything short of that, no. 

 

The reason is the future. This is, aside from J Willy and McE, a spectacularly young team. But even better, we have not spent ANY of our future either. OK, we traded Cliff Pu. But besides that. So I would counter the negative vibes with gushing positivity. 

 

This team is really ahead of schedule. Consider that we had to completely jettison our $3million goalie of the future and scramble for a waiver wire guy to go with a guy who is playing for his NHL life in goal. Consider that the "attitude changing, but skill draining" trade of Skinner for Pu is still fresh. And that we got no forward help in UFA or trades until Nino. But all of that also means we have all of our powder dry for future moves, and we have more assets to trade than at any time in memory. 

 

But what I look at is the hidden potential that guys from this year will have next year, and the growing list of maturing talent in the system. We are flush with young players. 

 

Svech. He has 1 point and -4 in his last 8 games. He seems to be hitting a bit of a rookie wall. But this guy has still shown enough to see that he is going to be very good. It's only a matter of how good. I still think elite good. But on this team that is rolling up one of the best stretches of hockey in 30 games, he is a solid 3rd liner. He is producing at the low end of predictions, but the size and skill are there. He's only 18 even now. The point is that this is a future dynamo that is nowhere near his peak. 

 

Necas. Yes we ended up not burning his entry deal, so he went down and out of sight. But that's what he's eventually going to be: out of sight, good. I posted that one close observer has him ranked as the #4 overall prospect in the NHL. He is putting up points learning to play the right way in Charlotte. My guess is that he bulks up a touch in the off-season and will not be denied next year. He won't peak in a full rookie season, but the future with him Svech, Aho and TT is awsome. 

 

Fox. TBD but simply stunning college career. 

 

Foegele. OK a rookie year of grinding in the NHL and an offseason. This is not a ppg NHL player, but he can be a 20 goal guy IMO. Gritty winger who can score. Waiting for that last part. More of an unknown than Svech/Necas IMO, but still. 

 

Then there are a whole bunch of jerk prospects making various levels of noise. Bean is lighting it up. Fleury is still solid. McKeown is dominating defensively for the second straight year. Guathier is probably still not ready, but starting to score, Kuokkanen has not impressed in the NHL yet, but is at .79 ppg. 

 

Ned seems to be moving his save percentage up to go with his wins. 

 

And all of these guys in Charlotte are winning. As they remain the #1 team of 31 in the AHL. That can't hurt. 

 

Finally, to go with the amazing Nino, there simply has to be a big time D for O, or maybe big time goalie trade, or both. 

 

This will all add to this year's team that has learned how to win and win MEANINGFUL games. Cane's teams of the past have gotten small batches of "that winning feeling" at the end of losing campaigns. But that us useless (actually harmful really). This is entirely different. This is a real run during the real stretch. 

 

Even if this team drops out (they won't), there is so much to build on, so much young talent that hasn't fully matured, that this year will be a building block no matter what. But this is the year to get in and get that experience and that mojo to build on. So even though missing would not be a bust, let's not.

Even though I like Ronnie Francis, and have followed him since he was drafted, and admired his patient approach, I admire the overall moves Waddell has made in the past year.

 

The Martinook trade was so far under the radar to us, but was the start.

Moving up to the 2nd pick in the lottery was brilliant, haha.

Signing TVR to a 2 year deal when McKeown might have been elevated seemed odd, to me.

At the time signing de Haan with Fleury and Bean knocking on the door seemed odd, but he has been solid.

Giving Darling a 2nd chance and bringing in Mrazek on a 1 year deal was right.

Trading away Skinner's contract for not much but a change of culture did not hurt the team.

Not trading Faulk for cr_p showed patience.

The Calgary trade was huge for both sides.  Fox is the large *.

Claiming McE and giving up on Darling was wise.

Getting Nino for Rask was shocking.

Not making any dumb trade deadline deals was patient.

 

Lot of good moves.

 

 

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2 hours ago, KJUNKANE said:

So rem, drawing on your discussion of Ned, who of the other 2 do you let go? The athletic emotional Czech out to prove himself with a 1 year deal, or the cerebral aged one who could be a valuable mentor for Ned's transition and a proven invaluable "backup"? Still a very difficult choice for me.

I'd still like to keep the tandem from this year. There is likely to be spots for Ned to still get some games, and maybe more. I'd almost do whatever it took to keep McE. The guy is not going to get mad bucks at 36. He is still a very very good back up option, heck he's done it his whole career. If McE has any interest in staying, I'd go as much as two years. We can always eat that last year. Another option would be a primo one year. We have the cap space, just pay him a lot for one more year. That would be best.

 

Mrazek depends on term. I just don't want to term him more than two years. He's a pending UFA with a decent (but not statistically stellar) year. Clearly he wants more than two years, but I just don't fully trust him. This might be wrong of me. I'm not great on goalie assessment. I just have a hard time getting super excited about guys with save percentages hovering near .900. And this is a guy just removed from a really bad year. As in .891 bad. That's pretty close to Mongo bad. 

 

Lower tiered goalies don't command that much though. We got Lack for a pittance and he posted two years of around .920 save percentage before that. I wonder if we might be able to sign Mrazek for 2 years? Or at least 3 years at a relative value. At worst he could end up backing Ned up. 

 

One more thing is this. I am Canes fan primarily and while I follow lots of other teams and their prospects, not so much in goal. So for me, the entire history of my Canes fandom is that there are never goalies worth a hoot in Charlotte. I'm sure this is biasing me against Ned. The main thing though is the lack of NHL experience. Seems like we need to see more before handing one of the slots to him in camp. 

 

One more, more thing. I am still not fully convinced we don't try to upgrade goalie visa vi a trade or other offseason move. In that case, we'd need to wait a bit before signing either guy probably. 

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Speaking of goalies in the pipeline: (from Cane's website):

 

Goalie prospect Jack LaFontaine just completed his first regular season with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League with a 30-10-2-1 record and an impressive set of stats. The Mississauga, ON, native ranked second among BCHL goalies in wins (30), GAA (2.19) and save percentage (0.923), and was named the BCHL's Top Goaltender for the 2018-19 season.

 

Not sure how he falls into our pipeline. BCHL is not AHL, but still nice to be at the top no matter what league, and the more goalie prospects doing well out there the better. He's two years younger than Ned.

 

 
 

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2 hours ago, remkin said:

Speaking of goalies in the pipeline: (from Cane's website):

 

Goalie prospect Jack LaFontaine just completed his first regular season with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League with a 30-10-2-1 record and an impressive set of stats. The Mississauga, ON, native ranked second among BCHL goalies in wins (30), GAA (2.19) and save percentage (0.923), and was named the BCHL's Top Goaltender for the 2018-19 season.

 

Not sure how he falls into our pipeline. BCHL is not AHL, but still nice to be at the top no matter what league, and the more goalie prospects doing well out there the better. He's two years younger than Ned.

 

 
 

I think I had seen rare smatterings of that, but was unsure how to process it? Just wonder what his gifts are, as I would think that having a tandem with contrasting styles, including body size, would be the ideal? In my mind, like we seem to have this year, one athletic, smaller vs the other larger and perhaps more classic style, would seem to keep the opposition guessing, unable to prepare in just one way?   

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Hmmm, just read where Carey Price may be ailing and an AHL goalie, Charlie Lindgren, was recalled? Wouldn't take much for Montreal to be out of playoff picture if true?   

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10 hours ago, Sportsfan-1-2 said:

 

At this point I'm just not going to worry about the teams in front of us because I'll get driven crazy. Example: I don't think the Caps are catchable now because they seem to have peaked at the right time  Let's deal with them when we play them.  We gotta focus on our games and just keep taking care of business...like we did on Saturday.  As long as we keep winning or keep picking up points the team will be fine.  22-7-2 in their last 31 games.  It will be a colossal failure this season if they struggle now and don't make the playoffs.

 

My only slight concern is McElhinney and his next start.  He got shelled vs Winnipeg (albeit wasn't his fault but I can imagine how he felt being the victim of 8 goals against) and I'm just curious to see if he'll have a great bounce back game.  I'm sure the players apologized (Williams said they all owed him one) and will play better in front of him and with a little fire in their game from here on out.

No worries with McE. He is a seasoned pro and that game isn't in his memory bank.

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59 minutes ago, KJUNKANE said:

Hmmm, just read where Carey Price may be ailing and an AHL goalie, Charlie Lindgren, was recalled? Wouldn't take much for Montreal to be out of playoff picture if true?   

If Price goes down MTL will crumble on cue.

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Talking about the Islanders helping us out tonight - i'm not sure they did.  We're already ahead of Columbus and not looking back.  We want second in the division...

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