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What exactly is ailing this team?

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I think the Canes play too mentally. Plain and simple. Sure, one of your guys gets hurt, it's gonna upset you, but I don't think it should affect how you play. I've seen that happen a lot this season.

I also think they should come out on that ice making hits from the beginning. I've noticed in a lot of games the Canes seemed to wait to see how agressive the other team was gonna play, then decided to start playing equally....sometimes too late.

Just my opinion. I'll admit I don't know too much about hockey just yet, but I am learning and that it what I have noticed this season.

LET"S GO CANES!!!!!!!!!!

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A combination of fan expectations, player overconfidence, increased parity in the second year of the new CBA, and the wrong mindset.

I think many people forget that after the Canes ripped through the first half of last season, one of the clear leaders in learning how to play with the new rules, they were mediocre and rarely dominant the last half of the year. We all know they came together again just in time in the first round of the playoffs and then rode a red hot Cam Ward and even hotter PP to the Cup. This year has been more like the last half of last year but too many people had already penciled in a dominating season.

The players started the year as if they felt they could turn it on when they needed to and appeared to buy in to much the fact they were champs. We have seen that the terrible start still lingers and many of the players have pressed and show a lack of confidence in themselves.

Everybody is better this year. Look at Florida and their 80 points or how much Pittsburgh and the NYI have improved. Even Boston was in the playoff hunt until recently.

The biggest issue though and my biggest personal gripe has been the wrong mindset. All year long you have heard how the "Canes needs to match ________'s work ethic, skating, etc. WRONG. The message should have been "we know from last year it takes work but we are champions until someone takes it away from us and other teams will need to match OUR effort and skating." When you try to match somebody's else's effort you allow them to dictate things since you are responding to them rather than the other way around.

There is a fine line to walk and you don't want to be arrogant or ignore that other teams are gunning for you but it always struck me as odd that the opponents' work ethic was a given and the Canes had to surpass it. Last year they tried to take the initiative and played aggressively when it mattered most while this year they too often have sat back on their heels, and let the other team dictate the action.

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A combination of fan expectations, player overconfidence, increased parity in the second year of the new CBA, and the wrong mindset.

I think many people forget that after the Canes ripped through the first half of last season, one of the clear leaders in learning how to play with the new rules, they were mediocre and rarely dominant the last half of the year. We all know they came together again just in time in the first round of the playoffs and then rode a red hot Cam Ward and even hotter PP to the Cup. This year has been more like the last half of last year but too many people had already penciled in a dominating season.

Everybody is better this year. Look at Florida and their 80 points or how much Pittsburgh and the NYI have improved. Even Boston was in the playoff hunt until recently.

I can't agree more on this one. Everyone else in the league gets it now and the parity is unbelievable. I think it will be like this from now on and every team that wins it all will stand a chance at following the same path. That is unless they take note and learn from us this year.

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A combination of fan expectations, player overconfidence, increased parity in the second year of the new CBA, and the wrong mindset.

I think many people forget that after the Canes ripped through the first half of last season, one of the clear leaders in learning how to play with the new rules, they were mediocre and rarely dominant the last half of the year. We all know they came together again just in time in the first round of the playoffs and then rode a red hot Cam Ward and even hotter PP to the Cup. This year has been more like the last half of last year but too many people had already penciled in a dominating season.

Everybody is better this year. Look at Florida and their 80 points or how much Pittsburgh and the NYI have improved. Even Boston was in the playoff hunt until recently.

I can't agree more on this one. Everyone else in the league gets it now and the parity is unbelievable. I think it will be like this from now on and every team that wins it all will stand a chance at following the same path. That is unless they take note and learn from us this year.

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1. Too many mixed up lines due to injuries.

2. High fan expectations.

3. Stanley Cup hangover - had a lot less time to prepare for season, and was probably mentally exhausted.

Agreed except for the fan expectations. Not sure what that has to do with the teams streaky play? Yeah, expectations were (are still are for a few "true" fans) high, just not sure how that fits in the equation?

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I feel that this team never had a chance to succeed from the get go because of the injuries to two of our main players that helped us win the Cup last year.

I also think that some players have underperformed, eg Eric Staal. Did Staal overachieve last year and underachieve this year? I think he is not as good as last year but better than this year. So 85 points should be where he will be with 35-40 goals. I hope he learns from this up and down year.

Also this is overstated but Rutherford really messed up by trading Jack Johnson and not getting enough in return. He would have helped immensly or if he did not want to play here, then hold him till the trade deadline to fortify our team or even get a high pick for him. We need some top defensman in the worst way. This unit is not that good. Plain and simple. Very average.

We also need to finally replace Matt Cullen, D Weight and Recchi. Yes Cole kind of replaced Recchi but the others were never replaced and some dont like Cullen that much but if we had him I guarantee we would not be ZERO for the shoootouts this year after winning I think at least 8 last year. Add just 2 or 3 wins and that has us in the playoffs right now and this is still with a bad shootout record.

Depth is why this team won last year and this year they have been exposed greatly as a one line team. I have very little problems with Ray Whitney, Brindyamour, Williams and Walker. (cole when healthy as well as he is far from healthy now). yes they have struggled but without them we are down with a record of like the Bruins or Panthers, even further out than 2 (technically 3 points due to tie breakers) now.

Also i would like to make sure that Ray Whitney is re-signed. I would be very sad if they let their MVP of this year go.

There are some great free agents this year and some from Buffalo. I would love to see Danny Briere or C Drury here but it is very unlikely they would come here as I think Carolina would be unable to afford them.

Just my rant, I hope some agree, if not I resepect your opinon on the subject as well.

Great thread Topshelf. :!:

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1) We got outcoached this season. I don't think Lavi is a bad coach but the coaching staff was not adaptive enough.

2) The entire NHL had our number all season. Every team we played was on their A game because we won the cup. It wasn't the Penguins vs the Canes. It was the Penguins vs the defending stanley cup champs

3) We need Recchi. He would make it all better!!!

4) We were lucky to have Gerber anchor the team last season. Ward is a good goalie who can be great at times but it's a LOOOONG season. He didn't have enough time to develop in the minors though. We're seeing a goalie who is still developing.

5) We're spoiled as fans. We won the cup. It's hard to get into the playoffs. The Canes still have a pretty good record. There are plenty of teams who are worse off. When they're playing well, it's AWESOME hockey. When they're not, they get killed. You never know when the good Canes will show up and save the day. Even during the finals they were doing that. I'd prefer consistency but at least we have great potential.

6) The trades we made last season enabled the team to make a great cup run but it cost us future draft picks. We're going be paying for it in the years to come.

7) They look like they lack confidence. That's why they play soft D, dump the puck, and pass too much. Maybe the spotlight and pressure from winning the cup were too much. It happens.

8) Oh I know. We need M....A...R...K R....E....C....C...H...I!!!!!! His sweat can cure injuries. That's how we stayed healthy last year.

Seriously, the injuries affected us but I think we'd be in pretty much the same boat without them.

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For this year--I think the biggest problem has been consistancy--some of that is due to the huge amount of injuries and some due to the Cup "hangover." When lines can't play together night in night out--they have a tendency to react too much instead of just going out and skating. They always have to think of who they are playing with and as a result delay passes or shots or hits.

For the hangover--many of the "key" people are not spring chickens anymore. Roddy, Whitney, Stillman, Wallin, Kaberle, Wesley, Walker--are all over 30 and really benefitted by having a year off from the NHL. Last year they were as healthy as they have been since joining the league and with the short summer from the cup run--they are anything but that. Combine that with young talent not completely used to the daily grind of the NHL like Staal, Ward, Ladd and Gleason--and a team loses the "edge" needed to play up to thier top level every night.

Maybe getting time off to get healthy is the only thing that will really help this team get back to the top level of the NHL--I don't know. I do know many people in the oganization much more experienced that I am have looked into the problem and not solved it either.

As for the rest of the concerns, the Hurricanes need to make huge changes in their scouting system. Since 1997, other than the "no brainer" picks in the 1st round (Staal, Ward, Ladd and Johnson) the only Hurricane draft picks doing anything, for any team in the NHL are Cole, Wallin, Tanabe, Vasicek, Mike Zigomanis and Danny Richmond. 80 total picks and at most 10 daily players in the NHL. Granted, some got hurt, Shane Willis and some played a little, Jaro Svaboda--and some may still develop--but overall--not good. Which if they kept Ward--the canes would still have Johnson (but not Gleason).

The fast start last year was due more to being healthy than anything else. The Canes stopped dominating when Cole got hurt--coincedence? Weight and Recci don't need to be be replaced because Weight was brought in to help with Cole being out and Rex was just a loaner to begin with. Cullen was replaced by Walker--a better leader and overall player--but worse on the shootouts. Ward, replaced by Gleason---who was injured to start and young when he is healthy.

As far as depth goes--few teams have the scoring depth this team has--6 players with over 20 goals and soon to be 3 with over 30. So depth on the NHL team isn't really an issue.

If Staal is underachieving this year--did Ray underachieve last year? Staal is still 22 years old and is not the goal scoring wiz that ovechkin is--so if others don't score as much on his passes then he doesn't score as much. Can he put forth more effort at times? Sure--but he's young, learning and will still put up 70 points this year. Justin has done that 2 times in his career and Ray only 3 times.

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Most of you know I'm not a fan of the Slugs but I must admit they've done something quite well that we haven't. They have a great player development program in their AHL affiliate. They play the exact same system as they do in the NHL and when an NHL player is injured, there's an AHL'er ready to jump in and fill the void. It doesn't work for long periods of time but makes a great band aid.

I think this is a great point. My girlfriend is a Sabres fan so I've seen my share of games on Center Ice this year and it seems like every time they bring a guy up from Rochester (Stafford, Paille) he fits right in and they hardly miss a beat. Maybe next year with Albany being stocked totally with Canes players (that will be the case won't it) they can install Lavi's system so that when guys come up they are ready to roll.

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* Over confidence

* Out coached

*players stopped responding to the coach

* other teams ready for the canes

* player changes (trades,etc)

*lack of desire

* fan expectations

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Here's my 2 cents worth:

Mental/Confidence: I honestly think the guys are mentally drained. From pre-season the guys have had 'One Year Wonder' shoved at them. They didn't get to a great start and I think they started actually believing that's what they were a 'one year wonder.' Their confidence started lacking and instead of 'we will win this game' it became 'i hope we win this game.

Last year nobody expected anything from them. Everybody had them pegged to be last in the league and not do a thing. From day 1 they were winning. And they kept winning. With this, they gained complete confidence. It was almost a game to them, like they were laughing at all the naysayers. There wasn't a whole lot of pressure on them last year unlike this year.

With the tough schedule the beginning of the season, the injuries, the pressure to NOT be that 'One Year Wonder' IMHO has played a toll on the guys mentally. They looked mentally drained to me.

Power Play: PP has been pitiful. I believe this has also played into the confidence factor. When you get a 4 minute PP and you can't register a shot, that's gonna affect the way you play 5-on-5. And the more PPs you get and can't convert on you loose all types of momentum. You start gripping the stick to tight. You stop shooting and pass way too much. Exactly what they are doing now, passing instead of shooting.

Shootouts/Penelty Shots: When you go 0-4 or 0-3 on the shootout, you no longer have confidence in yourself. This is why I think Lavi should put new guys in. Whitney and Willie were great last year, but they have no confidence in this area of the game this year. Its almost like they know if they go to the shootout their gonna loose. They just don't have the confidence there.

So after ready all this, I guess you can say their problem is CONFIDENCE. When they have it, their a team to be reckon with, when they don't, their very fragile and you can rip them to pieces in a heartbeat.

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Here's my 2 cents worth:

Mental/Confidence: I honestly think the guys are mentally drained. From pre-season the guys have had 'One Year Wonder' shoved at them. They didn't get to a great start and I think they started actually believing that's what they were a 'one year wonder.' Their confidence started lacking and instead of 'we will win this game' it became 'i hope we win this game.

Last year nobody expected anything from them. Everybody had them pegged to be last in the league and not do a thing. From day 1 they were winning. And they kept winning. With this, they gained complete confidence. It was almost a game to them, like they were laughing at all the naysayers. There wasn't a whole lot of pressure on them last year unlike this year.

With the tough schedule the beginning of the season, the injuries, the pressure to NOT be that 'One Year Wonder' IMHO has played a toll on the guys mentally. They looked mentally drained to me.

Power Play: PP has been pitiful. I believe this has also played into the confidence factor. When you get a 4 minute PP and you can't register a shot, that's gonna affect the way you play 5-on-5. And the more PPs you get and can't convert on you loose all types of momentum. You start gripping the stick to tight. You stop shooting and pass way too much. Exactly what they are doing now, passing instead of shooting.

Shootouts/Penelty Shots: When you go 0-4 or 0-3 on the shootout, you no longer have confidence in yourself. This is why I think Lavi should put new guys in. Whitney and Willie were great last year, but they have no confidence in this area of the game this year. Its almost like they know if they go to the shootout their gonna loose. They just don't have the confidence there.

So after ready all this, I guess you can say their problem is CONFIDENCE. When they have it, their a team to be reckon with, when they don't, their very fragile and you can rip them to pieces in a heartbeat.

Ofcourse you're opinion is respected but I really think your putting too much on confidence. I can see that for one or two players having a bad tiime but the whole team. It's deeper than that. Sometimes the players just stop responding to the coaching staff. Then there is the player changes, the dynamic of the team has changed from last year. There is the "now what" attitude, they have already won the cup. A little harder to put in that extra effort after that.That would fall under the desire I talked about. Other teams have made better changes, other teams have more desire. Other teams are better prepared. Lastly, lets face it, any personnel changes made from last year actually made your team worse.

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Last year we figured out the new NHL and we did that prior to the start of the season. As always the rest of the league didn't pay attention to us due to our record of the previous two years plus all the "experts" predicting we would suck. after all the hoopla during the free agent feeding frenzy we didn't sign any marquee players.

The league "didn't get the number to that bus" until late in the season at which time we had our sport sewn up. Still we were not being taken serious until Game 7 of the SCF.

This season other teams had the off season to study what we did and because we were the champs - to gun for us instead of ignore us. No more taking us lightly. Add this to us being banged up, tired, and over confident and you have this season. i think some of our guys still think we will pull it all out in the third period when they don't realize that other teams watch tape too and know to tighten things up during the third.

Unfortunately we are quickly running out of season and games that we can redeem ourselves. wouldn't exactly hurt to take the playoffs off, heal, get our heads out of our butts, be ready to start next season angry and hungry.

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Ofcourse you're opinion is respected but I really think your putting too much on confidence. I can see that for one or two players having a bad tiime but the whole team. It's deeper than that. Sometimes the players just stop responding to the coaching staff. Then there is the player changes' date=' the dynamic of the team has changed from last year. There is the "now what" attitude, they have already won the cup. A little harder to put in that extra effort after that.That would fall under the desire I talked about. Other teams have made better changes, other teams have more desire. Other teams are better prepared. Lastly, lets face it, any personnel changes made from last year actually made your team worse.[/quote']

So Whats wrong here? canesrequest2.jpg

1)Only two of the 5 are still here and we had one of them for 2-3 Months this year. And I do know how we were playing before Jan without them but as has been pointed out we REALLY werent on anyones radar until we actually won the cup then everybodys gunning for you

If a Ward was in the Pict here it would make a pretty complete picture for me... With the exception of Walker I dont think ANYONE we got is better than who we had last year. Now that being said we are in a better position for years to come quite possibly at the expense of not making playoffs this year.

2) Staal and Jwill are at the top of the list o not doing this year what they were willing to do last year Dig Pucks in the corner, lay the body o a forecheck and take some punishment in front of the net. The back fmy mind says "I got the big contract and now I can take it a little easy" while the front of my mind ( lots of room for Canes thinking in here) says I got the big contract so let me grip the stick tighter and try to dig this team out by myself instead of being a cog in a wheel like I was last year. I really believe this is the case with all of the passing the puck around and lack of PP performance. My 2 cents....

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Last year we figured out the new NHL and we did that prior to the start of the season. As always the rest of the league didn't pay attention to us due to our record of the previous two years plus all the "experts" predicting we would suck. after all the hoopla during the free agent feeding frenzy we didn't sign any marquee players.

The league "didn't get the number to that bus" until late in the season at which time we had our sport sewn up. Still we were not being taken serious until Game 7 of the SCF.

This season other teams had the off season to study what we did and because we were the champs - to gun for us instead of ignore us. No more taking us lightly. Add this to us being banged up, tired, and over confident and you have this season. i think some of our guys still think we will pull it all out in the third period when they don't realize that other teams watch tape too and know to tighten things up during the third.

Unfortunately we are quickly running out of season and games that we can redeem ourselves. wouldn't exactly hurt to take the playoffs off, heal, get our heads out of our butts, be ready to start next season angry and hungry.

The most intelligent thing Alf has ever said :lol: THis is exactly the point to my thread above! Last year we could play catchup this year there are 29 other teams that arent defending SC Champs that wont let us

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It seems like whatever the Canes winning "system" was, the other coaches around the league heavily scouted them and had an answer. And Lavi and his staff had no counter-answer. Some nights they had the energy but the passing lanes were all cut off. Other nights they were passing well but many of their shot attempts were blocked. Or they'd pass too many times on a PP. Remember when the Devils played the trap game to a championship and no one could figure out how to play against it? You don't hear too much about the trap anymore because a countergame had been developed. The Canes coaching staff (and they are a smart crew) need to NOT keep doing business as usual. The game plan isn't working. I know they've tried fine tuning with different lines and all, but the rest of the league has clearly figured out how to beat the Canes despite all the raw talent they have. The coaches need to come up with an answer - and pronto.

I'm certain Lavi is tearing his hair out trying to figure out how to fix it. The players are undoubtedly frustrated that despite good efforts on some nights, they get wacked. And the fans - well yep they too are frustrated. The coaches and players just have the tact to keep it behind closed doors. Fans are - well it stands for fanatics, and emotions do run high for better or worse. The fans have their version of the Stanley Cup hangover too. Next season will be a reset all around.

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Just a quick interjection in my thread to say how impressed I am at everyone's responses. Anyone who cares to is putting in their two cents without the worry of being flamed for it. Whether you're new to hockey or grew up with it doesn't matter and whether you think its the coaching or the color of the logo on the ice doesn't matter either.

Keep it coming, I think most of us agree on a lot more than we thought we would.

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Just a quick interjection in my thread to say how impressed I am at everyone's responses. Anyone who cares to is putting in their two cents without the worry of being flamed for it. Whether you're new to hockey or grew up with it doesn't matter and whether you think its the coaching or the color of the logo on the ice doesn't matter either.

Keep it coming, I think most of us agree on a lot more than we thought we would.

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Lastly, lets face it, any personnel changes made from last year actually made your team worse.

I completly disagree with that statement. The personnel changes did NOT make this team worse.

Weight/Recchi came in January and Feburary. This team already established a winning attitude before they came into the picture. They were rentals when they were acquired and I never expected them back. Hoped we could keep atleast one, but knew they weren't staying. As rentals you, or atleast I don't consider them lost the next year.

Cullen was replaced by Walker. IMO, Walker is better than Cullen. Walker is a better around player than Cullen will ever be.

Gerber was replaced by Cam and Cam replaced by Johnny. I already posted their stats in another thread and there's not much difference. As a matter of fact Johnny's stats as back-up are better than Cam's stats when he was back up.

Kevyn Adams was very expendable so really no loss there.

Aaron Ward was good on our team, but that's because we didn't have that well known defenseman. Look at him now, he's struggling big time. Gleason has his hiccups, but is a fine replacement for Aaron. Aaron had the experience to cover his mistakes up. Gleason is still learning.

Bag12day, gotta disagree on the Willie comment. He at times has been the best player on the ice. He's already scored more goals this year than last year and he works every shift. Yeah, he has a bad game here and there, but for the most part I think he has been one of our more consistent players from day 1 along with Whitney.

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IMO The team just doesn't seem to have the intesity and the chemistry that they had last year.It doesn't seem to matter what the lines or pairings are,nothing is working.We came out of the gate slow and we have had our spurts from time to time but we just can't keep it together this year.We have not been able to put a string of wins together to really get the team pointed in the right direction.Yep i know we have had alot of injuries and this does effect the chemistry but we should be able to stick a player in here or there and keep on going..We also seem to be a step slower that our compitition most nites.We react insted of acting.But as we all know we are still very close and what a perfect time to go on a run.Win 5 in a row and it just might be a second season for the Canes!

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I feel like I kind of look at it in a different perspective since I didn't follow the Canes last year so here's my two-cents.

Obviously there was amazing team chemistry last year. It doesn't matter about the skill of those who left and those who came in this year, the chemistry is still different and so that could be a problem. I think the injuries all year have played a part in the chemistry problem also. If you are always switching up lines, pulling people up from the AHL, and losing people for weeks at a time, it is hard for the team to find that groove.

I think the SC hangover has a bit to do with it also. The season becomes much longer when you add in the extra two months for the Championships and it doesn't give much time for rest between to become 100% again. Same thing happens in football...its why the Steelers did so terrible this year after winning the Super Bowl. If it was easy to do than it would happen more often.

I think the last and biggest problem we have had this season is thinking too much. For a good part of the season they haven't just been playing hockey just to play and that causes problems

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the '02 and '06 team gelled and you could see it in their play. they always knew who was where on the ice. we don't have that this season. it should have happened in december and january but didn't "so we have what we have here today, a failure to communicate"!!

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