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I really think we have enough talent that we COULD get the job done, but obviously there is something that is lacking because after October, we were not getting the job done.

I really think we are going to have to make a trade to get someone on defense though. Our forwards have so much talent that if they can't get it done...then they should all be sent down. LOL (jk of course)

With all this talk of Liles EVERYWHERE (since Forslund now mentioned it in his blog too) I expect to see him in a Canes sweater before too long. Hopefully before this season is over. I might also say that I am super impressed with Gleason. He has been stepping up his game leadership-wise and I have never seen him skate down the ice with the puck as much as I have the past few games. If more of our defense were like him, we would be set.

I think our leadership is there, but they need to step up the intensity like we saw in the Edmonton game.

Overall, I think if we just pack it in for the season, when we are still in the race...it sends a bad message to the entire team. We have to keep fighting for a playoff spot until there is no possible way we can make it. Then we need to still battle it out because they have nothing to lose. (See: Philly last season)

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In general we have the talent to compete. We did it early in the season and did win a cup with mostly these guys. This year, however, seems to be shaping up much like last year, which will not end well if there is no adjustment. I go back and forth about the most fundamental problem. It is the 800 lb gorilla in the room, and that is goaltending. I know a lot of people identify with Cam and feel bad that he gets so little defensive support, but the fact is that goaltending is the glaring weakness on the team. Again, yes, the defense is weak and puts alot of strain on the goalie, but even so, the goalies are not making enough stops: period. This deflates the team and affects the outcome of many games. Management can't really talk about it though since confidence is a big part of goaltending, but they know it too.

That said, I'm not sure what is out there on the goalie market. Can a team with a weak defense really ride some cast-off goalie that might be out there? Maybe, but it's a long shot. Unless we can obtain a top notch goalie...

I see little left but to try to strenghten the defense. I hate to give up a quality forward, but in this case I think we must. I've heard commentators say that Eric Cole has the talent to be THE best player on the Canes, and so it would really stink to have to give him up, but he isn't producing and has the value to bring a top defenseman in and some salary to offset the new guy. He just seems to make the most sense.

A single defenseman could make a big difference. Remember, you are replacing your weakest defenseman with your strongest. Plus, stud defenseman can play more minutes. He could shore up the point on the PP and get the puck cleanly out of our own end. Yes, a big difference indeed.

Therefore, I favor this shake up trade to improve the defense. If we miss the playoffs after that move, then it is major rebuilding time. The one exception would be this: if we could trade for a top goalie (a long shot, but still) I would do that instead (a veteran to start in front of Ward, NOT to trade Ward). If we had a top goalie we would be way up on where we are now.

Barring this, go for the defenseman.

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if you were handicapping who will make the play-offs (given the expected log jam).

2 of the more important areas to look at would be. strength of defense and special teams.

using 5 forwards on the pp indicates a huge lack of confidence.

so i guess my opinion would be to acquire a defenseman as soon as possible.(i do realize it is easier said than done).

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I am not convinced our defense is as bad as many think. Could it stand some improvement? Of course. I base this conclusion on watching a large number of other teams play. It seems other teams give up as many rushes as the Canes but other goalies make saves Cam consistently does not. We have significant offensive talent, but we do nto appear to be as smart on a consistent basis in our puck handling while in the offensive zone. I still am convinced our greatest liability is in goal. If goal tending is a problem, there is a ripple effect throughout the team. Players may lose confidence and play more "not to lose" or not to make a mistake which invariably leads to losing and mistakes. This is just my opinion, however.

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Our forwards are too small (Whitney/Samsonov/Larose) or play too small (Stillman/Cullen). Our D is too old (Hedican/Wesley) or unwilling to make the opponent to pay the price (Kaberle/Tanabe) in our end. This makes the team very injury prone. We have very little in the way of prospects to make up for these injuries when they occur. Something has to be done to rectify this situation.

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Our forwards are too small (Whitney/Samsonov/Larose) or play too small (Stillman/Cullen). Our D is too old (Hedican/Wesley) or unwilling to make the opponent to pay the price (Kaberle/Tanabe) in our end. This makes the team very injury prone. We have very little in the way of prospects to make up for these injuries when they occur. Something has to be done to rectify this situation.

So you're saying that Stillman and Cullen are ineffective because they're not uber-physical players? Do you realize how ludicrous you sound? I mean, we do need to get some more size, particularly in back, but to point out guys like Cullen and Stillman and saying that they should toss their bodies around is just stupid.

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I agree we have all the talent we need. I would give them the spark them need by making them do grammar lessons until their skating improved. That's effective averse therapy for almost anyone. :)

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So you're saying that Stillman and Cullen are ineffective because they're not uber-physical players? Do you realize how ludicrous you sound? I mean, we do need to get some more size, particularly in back, but to point out guys like Cullen and Stillman and saying that they should toss their bodies around is just stupid.

I don't recall saying Cullen/Stillman are ineffective, I am just stating that they don't play a hardnosed style of hockey. By the way I don't appreciate the personal attack, we are all Canes fans and are entitled to our opinions.

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Our forwards are too small (Whitney/Samsonov/Larose) or play too small (Stillman/Cullen). Our D is too old (Hedican/Wesley) or unwilling to make the opponent to pay the price (Kaberle/Tanabe) in our end. This makes the team very injury prone. We have very little in the way of prospects to make up for these injuries when they occur. Something has to be done to rectify this situation.

Samsonov has 7 points in 7 games as a Cane. Whitney is 2nd on the team in points tied for and in the top 30 in the league for Points. LaRose doesnt always put up the points but he is great on the PK and is the hardest worker every night. Smaller fast forwards are more effective in the new NHL. Cullen has just come back from a Concussion, would you go for the big hit right after a concussion? Stillman is probably one of the team's best playmakers, he doesnt need to be as physical as Walker all the time. Wesley is our best defender. Youre pretty correct on teh play of Hedican/Kabs/Tanabe though.

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Samsonov has 7 points in 7 games as a Cane. Whitney is 2nd on the team in points tied for and in the top 30 in the league for Points. LaRose doesnt always put up the points but he is great on the PK and is the hardest worker every night. Smaller fast forwards are more effective in the new NHL. Cullen has just come back from a Concussion, would you go for the big hit right after a concussion? Stillman is probably one of the team's best playmakers, he doesnt need to be as physical as Walker all the time. Wesley is our best defender. Youre pretty correct on teh play of Hedican/Kabs/Tanabe though.

I would say that in general the Hurricanes have sufficient talent to win; but on a consistent basis the defense in particular lacks the hunger and drive to win. With the addition of Samsonov, there is far more spark on offense; and the forwards are starting to fight for the puck in the corners on a much more consistent basis. The lack of a truly athletic defender who can qb the powerplay means that the other teams laugh at the Hurricanes when it comes time for the powerplay. Why should any of our opponents worry about penalties; after the last game, the book is that our opponents are more likely to score when the Hurricanes have a powerplay than at even strength.

I would bring up Borer and give Kaberle a trip down to Albany. I would double shift Gleason and would play Hedican and Wesley on the same line; but would carefully monitor their minutes to maximize their experience while recognizing they are not spring chickens anymore. I'd put Gleason and Borer together on a line. I'd hope that Seidenberg's injury has healed and play Commodore and him on the same line. I'd switch Commodore and Wallin if Commodore didn't stop his recent habit of absurdly bad penalties. Commodore would also get fewer minutes if he didn't increase by about 500% the physicality of his play. I think he plays defense like an NBA player more than an NHL player. Gleason and Borer would get more minutes until I saw physical play from Seidenberg Commodore and Wallin -- and the absence of boneheaded plays on the defensive end. I would keep the lines intact and wouldn't play "whose on first" by constantly switching the lineup. I'd also crawl from Raleigh to Durham if it would get JR to come off the cash and get the defender we really need. I, too, would probably trade for Aaron Ward -- and I also have heard that he would like to return to the Hurricanes. I don't think he is the perfect answer; but it would be an improvement. I'd trade Tanabe and Kaberle in a nanosecond if I could get $10,000.00 and a free airline ticket anyplace.

I would also have a heart to heart with the team and minutes would be dictated by the intensity of play not the length of the player's resume. I really think the fowards and centers are playing well since the addition of Samsonov; but there are too many shifts where the skating looks more like a warm up than a game.

In the end, the Hurricanes are a team that wins when they hit and swarm the puck and that loses when they jog from place to place like their at the Ice House.

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Get tougher in practices, with prescribed consequences for specific in-game performance failures. For example, if we have even one PP in a game and fail to control the puck and/or create chances and/or score, everybody's doing plenty of suicides at the next practice (not just the PP unit). Same goes after any game in which we surrender a shorty.

Yeah, and post it in the locker room: The Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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Yeah, and post it in the locker room: The Floggings will continue until morale improves.

Funny you should say that. It was in a draft of my original post! I'm in Beaufort a lot and have actually thought of getting that bumpersticker and sending it to Lavi!

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What this team does NOT need is a major overhaul.

1.) Leave the forwards alone.

All that is missing IMNSHO is that Dman who ain't letting them score even if his a** falls off.

2.) Locate and sign a lockdown Dman.

Or Given that this may be easier said than done,

2a,) consider bringing in an assistant coach who can coach the D talent we have.

2b.) Hire a consultant. Maybe some retired guy who has for forgotten more than most current coaches know about D.

3.) Consider using a consultant to look at our PP and PK. Fresh eyes that can see what the opposing coaches are seeing that we don't see.

The Canes went through a period where injuries took a heavy toll on the team. Our boys had some confidence shaken out due to some losses. Getting that confidence back will take believing in themselves. Jerk-arsed and knee-jerk moves will not accomplish what we want for our Canes.

I gotta say that reading the posts over time, I see a lot of "Put the fear of God in 'em" one might expect from the Bible Belt fandom. At best dogging veterans and jerking players around is a very, very short term benefit and a very short lasting one. Treating their teammates with disrespect will anger and turn those who are not being disrespected. Send lesser players to Albany but treat everyone with the respect all deserve or pay the price of having a team turn on YOU.

Can we show some maturity? Instant gratification is a child's way of being. This team will come back and will get it together. TAnd tell me something you believe in; I got enough doubts of my own. :unsure:

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...got what we need, but....

Coaching and goalie + defense need to step up. Coaching needs to emphasize defense, at almost all costs. The offense will function. I believe we have a better shot at winning tight games then wide open ones. We just haven't taken that approach.

Goalie needs more rotation and freshness. I think Cam's worn down, and somewhat confused with Barrasso's coaching. He's not himself. Hint: Ignore all the advice about getting out high in the slot to cut down angles and just play your game.

Defense: Man-up guys! Go into lockdown mode and get serious about defending our goal. Let the offense win the up front battles with speed.

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We have the talent, there is absolutely no reason to trade. If you honestly know anything about hockey you will know this. We need the passion for the game that we had in 2006 and in the beginning of this season. The talent is there, we need to want it.

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I don't recall saying Cullen/Stillman are ineffective, I am just stating that they don't play a hardnosed style of hockey. By the way I don't appreciate the personal attack, we are all Canes fans and are entitled to our opinions.

Well saying that a player plays too small usually implies that a player is ineffective due to the lack of physical play. A better example of someone on this team like that would be Wallin, who's 6'3 but rarely lands a decent hit.

As for the personal attack, I apologize for it. While I didn't intend for it to sound malicious, the way I worded it might have resulted in it appearing to be, as you stated, a personal attack.

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We have the talent, there is absolutely no reason to trade. If you honestly know anything about hockey you will know this. We need the passion for the game that we had in 2006 and in the beginning of this season. The talent is there, we need to want it.

This pretty much sums up my opinion as well. We have the same basic core of players we had when we won the Cup in the first place, and at the beginning of the season, we had the spark that is missing from this team now. If we could look back and find out what we were doing different then compared to now, we would be fine.

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What this team does NOT need is a major overhaul.

1.) Leave the forwards alone.

All that is missing IMNSHO is that Dman who ain't letting them score even if his a** falls off.

2.) Locate and sign a lockdown Dman.

Or Given that this may be easier said than done,

2a,) consider bringing in an assistant coach who can coach the D talent we have.

2b.) Hire a consultant. Maybe some retired guy who has for forgotten more than most current coaches know about D.

3.) Consider using a consultant to look at our PP and PK. Fresh eyes that can see what the opposing coaches are seeing that we don't see.

The Canes went through a period where injuries took a heavy toll on the team. Our boys had some confidence shaken out due to some losses. Getting that confidence back will take believing in themselves. Jerk-arsed and knee-jerk moves will not accomplish what we want for our Canes.

I gotta say that reading the posts over time, I see a lot of "Put the fear of God in 'em" one might expect from the Bible Belt fandom. At best dogging veterans and jerking players around is a very, very short term benefit and a very short lasting one. Treating their teammates with disrespect will anger and turn those who are not being disrespected. Send lesser players to Albany but treat everyone with the respect all deserve or pay the price of having a team turn on YOU.

Can we show some maturity? Instant gratification is a child's way of being. This team will come back and will get it together. TAnd tell me something you believe in; I got enough doubts of my own. :unsure:

I agree that using Fear to motivate like a Nazi Regime will only create more problems. I don't think hiring a consultant or assistant that can handle our D is a good idea either. We paid "LOTS" of money for aged veterans with experience for a reason. I feel they can put their heads together and coach themselves out of this.

QUESTION:

I feel having so many older players may be causing power struggles in the lockerroom. We have too many Chiefs in the tribe....this causes negativity and drop in morale. Most teams have one or two aged veterans to lead a younger team. Since we are an older team why don't we reverse it and have a younger player wearing a "C"? Nothing against Rod, I just feel it may be difficult for him to lead with veterans on the team. Having Staal lead with the support of the veterans will help position the future leadership for the team. We have the talent I feel like an internal change will help boost moral. Basically the veterans will be leading the team as a group using Staal as the spoke person.

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What is very apparent here is that we have on our hands a very dysfunctional team. This, in my opinion, stems from the lack of leadership and direction being brought forth by the coach. He is, afterall, "the man". There is plenty of talent on this team but it is not properly utilized.

The defence has been roundly criticized but in their "defence" maybe they are disillusioned with having most of the blame placed upon them. What can be more dishearteneing than being replaced by a forward on the powerplay. I've commented on the folly of this in past posting including last year. We have seen the results of this many times and Lavi continues to do it. Duh!!! Defence is the hardest position in the game to excel at and putting a forward out there to do it is ludicrous as has been proven time and time again.

Most of the players appear to be playing for themselves and not the team. It appears that most of them want to be the "hero" and unfortunately on this team, under this coach, to be this "hero" you have to be the one putting points up on the board. Yes you need the points to win the games but these are the result of teamwork and not of just the individual that scores. Every player has a role to play and should be given credit for performing this role. There appears to be favourites on the team and certain ones receive a disproportionate amount of adulation and credit which is very demoralizing to the others who are trying to be team players and are performing well but, because they are not doing flips in the air are not noticeable to the untrained eye. These players then get out on the ice and do not know what is expected of them cause it's damned if you and damned if you don't. They do not know whether to poop or go blind. Henceforth they go out there and try too hard to do anything to be noticed which results in many of the poor performances that we see.

I have too often witnessed games where the coach has continued to play the big shooters who are underperforming (very noticeably) and sitting the lesser players who are having some very good shifts and if they were allowed more ice-time for that game or put with others who are playing well could conceiveably turn the game around. This very seldom happens with this coach because then he would not have the excuse that he played his top players and they failed him. Even the best players have bad games. This is not coaching. A monkey could do as well.

Bottom line. The coach is the motivating force and the one that can swing momentum one way or the other by having the respect of his players and giving them respect in return. This is not happening.

And, by the way. After a loss or lacklustre performance you do not "punish" the players with a practice that beats the hell out of them. You have a practice that addresses the shortcomings of the game before. Team pride has to be re-instilled into this team as it is not there. Along with this pride will come the heart and the passion and comraderie that is severely lacking.

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We have the same basic core of players we had when we won the Cup in the first place, and at the beginning of the season, we had the spark that is missing from this team now.

The less obvious problems outside of inconsistent play in net, is summed up by the blueline and the PK.

You can go player-by-player and not one of the Cup Dmen is playing better than that year. You could make the argument that Wesley is about the same level but nobody else is and Gleason in for A. Ward nets out to about the same level of play.

The PK now has only one forward, Brindy, from the top 2 units in the Cup year. Gone are Adams, Adams and Williams (injury) and they have been back-filled by an array on non-killers like Whitney and Stillman. Letowski has been good but why in the world some of the forwards get the TOI they do is mind-boggling.

A D that is significantly worse and a PK that is significantly worse combined with an offense that is still putting up plenty of goals to win makes it pretty easy to see where the areas to improve are.

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I just don't think the talent is there and we should look to make deals that address the future of this franchise.

While I won't call the Stanley Cup victory a fluke, I will say that I believe our older players (Brind'Amour, Hedican, Stillman, Wesley, Whitney etc.) benefited greatly from the year away from hockey that the lockout provided for them. A normal offseason, whether it be shortened by the playoffs or not, just doesn't seem to be enough time for these guys to completely reset and be prepared for another season. Stillman's fast start to the season can be linked to the fact that he played little hockey last year and essentially had another year off to recuperate.

With that said, there isn't any consistency throughout our lineup. I cannot point to one player and say that he shows up every night and plays his best. While it's easy to overlook and look ahead when you have a roster full of youngsters, with a roster full of veterans you can't help but fear for what the future holds. Another year on the calender won't suddenly make guys like Hedican and Wesley better, it'll just make them slower and more prone to injury.

We have forwards and a defese clearly built to win now, yet we have a goaltender that most believe still needs a couple of years before he is ready to reach his full potential. We won't trade Ward, so you have to look to the veterans on offense and defense to make changes. While there is little value for guys like Hedican and Wesley on the market, there would be alot of buyers interested in Brind'Amour, Cole, Commodore, Stillman, Walker, and Whitney. Stillman and Whitney would need to waive their no-trade-clauses, but hopefully they're selfish enough to want one last run to the Stanley Cup before they call it a career. I always like to keep an eye to the future and if we continue to carry the roster we currently have, there will be some dark days on the horizon for this franchise in the form of re-building. We should take a page from the Philadelphia playbook and make the moves the rid the roster of older players and the place of younger players who will be prepared to contribute in the next year or two.

I just really hope Rutherford doesn't run this team from the perspective that he wants to make one last run to the finals to improve his resume for the Toronto job. If he starts to sell important pieces of this franchises future to save this season, I think it would be a HUGE mistake.

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And, by the way. After a loss or lacklustre performance you do not "punish" the players with a practice that beats the hell out of them. You have a practice that addresses the shortcomings of the game before. Team pride has to be re-instilled into this team as it is not there. Along with this pride will come the heart and the passion and comraderie that is severely lacking.

First of all, I didn't refer to a loss or lacklustre performance. I referred very specifically to special teams play. At what point do you decide that looking at and addressing shortcomings is not working? Because from what I've heard from people posting here who attend practices regularly, we've been "addressing" our PP all year, to no avail.

At some point you have to remind these guys that they traded in their "delicate flower" status when they signed their contracts. True professionals take criticism and improve their performance. When they don't, it's time to up the ante. It's not about punishment. It's about accountability and rewards.

You can't have it both ways, Hotbed, scolding the coach for "not motivating" players but also denying him tools which might inspire guys to perform. "Addressing" the PP in practice does not impress me. Having it work in game situations does.

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