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Credit where it's due...

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As y'all know, I tend to look for the "issues" the Canes must overcome rather than get all gushy when something good happens. But since I complained early and often about Eric's failure to step it up, I wanted to to start this thread in acknowledgement of how he's answered the call and taken his game to the next level. It is great to see a guy who I think more than a few of us agreed was looking like a zombie out there for most of November and into December turn it around and play like we all know he can.

Eric's looking like a different guy out there, and I like what I see.

My New Year's Resolution is to compliment more and criticize less. So my first compliment goes to you for starting this thread. It really shows some character and I feel Staal deserves it. You are right, he does look like a different guy out there. He is leading by example and finally playing like he has nothing to lose!

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Staaly has improved as of late. I've been really happy with the effort he has been putting in as a hockey player and as a leader on the ice.

He, Whit, and Stillers as of late have been earning their paychecks and working hard every night. I hope Staaly keeps up the good work!

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I'm just catching up on the board. I just literally got the words out of my mouth to my daughter who loves Staal that she should be happy now and explained to her what people had been saying myself included and what he's done the last several games. She made a cute comment about Tanya threatening to leave him unless he get's better. Kidding of course.

I'm happy Staal has stepped it up and I love seeing that line clicking. I'm not going to jinx it by saying something negative so here's to 2008 and to Staalsy...show em what the Staal's are made of.

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I'm glad to see Staal's effort improving.....but I'm not impressed. This is what he should be doing to earn those big bucks.

I agree with this post. At the beginning of the season I ate some crow about Staal and thought finally he is over his bad slump from last year----then he did it again. Now he seems to be getting some of his groove back but for 13.5 million dollars for 3 years (I think that's right) he should have always been playing like he has the last few games. All in all, I'm glad to see it and hope it stays! Go Staal and Go Canes!

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I'm glad to see Staal's effort improving.....but I'm not impressed. This is what he should be doing to earn those big bucks.

Agreed. Like I said, he's playing like we all know he can. I think after his breakout year in 2005-6 he thought it was going to be easy, and got frustrated last year when he learned it would only get harder. I was beginning to think he'd thrown in the towel, but he playing and acting like the leader we need.

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I've been one of Staal's bitterest critics going back to last year. Basically, as one of the highest paid members of the team, alternate captain and supposed heir apparent to Brindy for the captain's C, Staal should have been working harder and producing more all along. His barely squeaking in a 30th goal in the final game last year didn't impress me. And his apparent lack of intensity and desire and willingness to play a complete game at both ends of the ice just roiled me.

That being said, with the injuries the Canes have, guys like Staal, Stillman, Whitney, Cole and Brind'Amour need to step up and be heroes. I love what I'm seeing from Whitney. Staal is just starting to play a little more like the all-star he is painted as, Stillman and Walker are doing okay but not spectacular, and Cole and Brindy look like they are playing injured or sick (Cole looks like he needs a new contact lens precription!). But with Williams gone for the season, IMO Staal needs to become a 50+ goal scorer this year -- not next year or the year after that or maybe when he turns 30 years old. There just isn't any room left for slack with the way things are right now.

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Staal's been looking good lately. I think a huge reason for this is his newfound willingness to go for the net. Most of the goals he's scored lately have been tip ins or rebounds that he uses his long reach to get, and when he's not scoring, he's using his 6'4 frame to screen the goalie.

Keep it up, Staalsy!

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Staal's been looking good lately. I think a huge reason for this is his newfound willingness to go for the net. Most of the goals he's scored lately have been tip ins or rebounds that he uses his long reach to get, and when he's not scoring, he's using his 6'4 frame to screen the goalie.

Keep it up, Staalsy!

Yes, he's really been using his body a lot more lately, which is great to see. Screens, throwing some hits, fighting in front of the crease for some rebounds and deflections, etc. This is the kind of play we should expect out of him. He's our biggest forward, and he should act like it.

It's really been paying off that he's stepped up his play, too. Think it was mentioned last night that he has 13 points in the last 12 games, was it?

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13 points in his last 10, actually.

I'm torn with Staal's play. Yeah, I'm really happy he's finally starting to play like this, but somehow I can't help but feel it won't last long.

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13 points in his last 10, actually.

I'm torn with Staal's play. Yeah, I'm really happy he's finally starting to play like this, but somehow I can't help but feel it won't last long.

Thanks, knew it was something like that!

Kind of agree with you on that, too. Staal has always been a very streaky player. So long as he continues to play hard like he has been it's fine with me if his points slack off a little from time to time, but this is the play we really need from him on a consistent basis. Everyone has their off games, but hopefully this will be his standard play.

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Eukland has Edmonton really interested in Staal...It's hard for me to imagine many situations where that would be done though. I'd be scared to go there when you see how player bolt from there left and right lately.

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Eukland has Edmonton really interested in Staal...It's hard for me to imagine many situations where that would be done though. I'd be scared to go there when you see how player bolt from there left and right lately.

*shakes head about Eklund* The Canes WIL NOT trade away their franchise player, not even before his contract year unless something utterly dramatic happens and we get to draft Jon Tavares and the other kid who's name escapes me right now. We don't have any blue chip prospects in the system and are perhaps the thinnest in the minors (although a few looked pretty good last night ;) ).

It would be franchise suicide to trade Staal right now.

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Eukland has Edmonton really interested in Staal...It's hard for me to imagine many situations where that would be done though. I'd be scared to go there when you see how player bolt from there left and right lately.

*shakes head about Eklund* The Canes WIL NOT trade away their franchise player, not even before his contract year unless something utterly dramatic happens and we get to draft Jon Tavares and the other kid who's name escapes me right now. We don't have any blue chip prospects in the system and are perhaps the thinnest in the minors (although a few looked pretty good last night ;) ).

It would be franchise suicide to trade Staal right now.

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Eklund's hilarious, especially the comments after the initial post. He posts the rumors, and every Edmonton fan is asking "Well, what do we need to give up?" while every Carolina fan is saying "Not gonna happen". And he's there, responding to other questions (Hossa to Minnesota for one), but he's completely ignoring the Staal to Edmonton rumor.

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After pleading with the guys to put a body on one of Atlanta's scorers last night, it was Staal that put Kovalchuk down with a good hit in the third period. He's becoming more physical. He's becoming content with setting up shop in front of the net. And when he slides out on the half boards, we've seen that he can still get that wrister off and in the back of the net. His defensive game has improved this year and he's overall becoming a more well-rounded player this year. Let's see if he can keep up the improvement and develop into the marquee All-Star talent we know he can be. Being able to watch a guy with his talent become a superstar isn't something that happens all the time. Asking for this development is not too much to ask, but as it happens, we should also enjoy it.

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Well...I guess I gott give him credit, I made that staal should be demote dto the 3rd line thread like 3 weeks ago. Fact is, he's gotten more ice-time with the injuries and has now been playing to my expectations. Not jus ton the scoresheet, but i notic ehim on the ice, and see him going to the net and setting screens.

Since that thread turned out well, i wonder if I should make a "demote brindy from the PP" thread, haha. I would if I didn't think he was secretly injured.

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My New Year's Resolution is to compliment more and criticize less. So my first compliment goes to you for starting this thread. It really shows some character and I feel Staal deserves it. You are right, he does look like a different guy out there. He is leading by example and finally playing like he has nothing to lose!

Hey, I like your display name!!

Yeah though, Staal is stepping it up big time. I would like it if Cole and Brindy would follow suit though. Let's see if Wardo can tonight!

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