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remkin

Are We Expecting Too Much From This Team?

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Coming off the hold out year, we had older guys who were extremely well rested. As did the league as a whole. We had very fast skaters who drew tons of penalties due to the new rules on obstruction, holding, hooking, etc. Our power play was pretty good. Our penalty kill was very good. Our goalie kept us in the game, and stole a few games. Our team chemistry was phenomenal. Our forwards were bigger and our d-men were meaner. We didn't play a hard checking game, but could if we needed to do so.

As much as JR keeps saying that he likes this team and it is made up of a core of our 05-06 team, he's missing the point. They are not playing like that at all, the magic is lost.

The core bunch of guys aren't mentally prepared to stay in the game 100%. Heck, I'd take 80%. When I see guys skating back defensively and not backchecking the guy with the puck right in front of them, then that is plain laziness. Kids are taught this early. Boston did it 100% of the time last night. A joy to see. When you forget to tie up your man right next to net and he taps in a goal, that's laziness. Mental errors. Sorry excuse for taking home a huge paycheck.

We may be sellers in a few weeks.

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I too heard Forslund on the ride home and his remarks about us being a middle of the pack team. I had hoped for more going into this season, but in reality, I feel he is right. This team is packed with 2nd to 3rd line players that are all good role players. I don't feel that there is a real 1st line winger on this team to pair with Staal. Our opponents best D-men can smother Staal and there isn't anyone to bail him out. Ruutu (my favorite player) and Samsonov are second liners in my eyes. We have cornered the market on smallish energy players that skate hard and bounce off of things or players. You line the players of the 06 Canes up against the 09 Canes for a 7 game series and the 06 Canes would win in 5.

The Stanley Cup year was the perfect storm of rules changes, players having career years (or a career series), being able to grab the right couple of guys for the run, and just plain old good fortune. That doesn't make it a fluke, but it does take the stars aligning correctly to win it all.

To paraphrase Dennis Green....

We aren't who we thought we were.

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

COULDN'T HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF!!! ALL POSTS!!

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Though the cup year was a better team, I really doubt they would have finished with that many regular season points if you put those exact players at that point in their careers on the ice this year. That team was built, maybe on purpose or maybe on accident, to exploit the way the game was played that year. It wasn't a fluke because they brought it all year, had Edmonton won that would have been a fluke. But the league has moved on from the circumstances surrounding the first year back from the lockout. The game has changed and adapted and the Canes need to do the same. What do they need to do to accomplish that? I'm not sure.

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Excellent analysis. The Cup wasn't a fluke; it was the combination of hard work from everyone, the perfect combination of players in terms of skill and grit and maybe a little bit of luck. But that's what every team has used to win the Cup since then.

Our team does have a lot of the same players that we had in 05-06 but sadly that doesn't mean a whole lot. Everyone is now 3 years older and while that is a good thing with say Staal and Ward, it's a problem with the other guys. 3 years is a long time in terms of hockey; the game takes such a physical toll on the players even if they remain "healthy". If you are plagued by injuries, that aging process is only accelerated. Age and injuries have most definitely taken a toll on the team.

Younger talent is going to have to replace some of our veterans. This talent can't be a makeshift group of players, it has to be legit scoring talent acquired through drafting or trades. That is the definition of rebuilding and maybe it's going to take longer than people want (or expected) to get back to the 05-06 level. We let a lot of top notch talent go over the past few years and replaced it with guys that, while good, just can't hold a candle to what we lost. Until this happens, we are going to be right where we are now; stuck in a battle for 8th.

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Excellent post Remkin! I agree with your assessment of the group this season. The team is an average NHL team at best...the median teams go to the playoffs in the NHL (teams 15 & 16). Ruutu and Sammy would be on different lines on most teams.

Here's a question I'd thought, in '06 did fans, media, etc. talk about the team losing games it SHOULD LOSE? I don't recall that, winning any night was likely. That said, it's unfair to use a SC winner as a standard for comparison. However, when teams begin to talk about losing to teams they should lose to (as I heard with the Bruins), you know that the team is average or below average. Teams that are in the top 5 or 6 in the conference don't go into any game with the mindset that they might win one they shouldn't. They expect that they can win any game. It is never viewed as a surprise. I think that we all looked at the SJ win as a real surprise. A fan base of an abover-average team would not have been shocked and they would have dissected a loss. That should tell us that we are an average to below average team in this league. In fact, it was the flash of high-level team play that gave us hope that the team might be turning a corner, but the consistent inconsistency is here to stay and has been here for 3 years and counting. Mgmt has to act to change this. Deciding to be a buyer or seller this trade deadline would be a start towards needed changes to bring this team back to winning.

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If the team fails to make the playoffs for three years straight after the Cup.. I will not argue against anyone who wants to call it a fluke. I'm not going to spend a lot of time promoting the idea, but I also silently admit that there is evidence to that end.

My only question for those who disagree would be: what exactly are the characteristics of a fluke season, if 05/06 doesn't qualify?

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If the team fails to make the playoffs for three years straight after the Cup.. I will not argue against anyone who wants to call it a fluke. I'm not going to spend a lot of time promoting the idea, but I also silently admit that there is evidence to that end.

My only question for those who disagree would be: what exactly are the characteristics of a fluke season, if 05/06 doesn't qualify?

Well one thing that would suggest fluke was if the team barely made the playoffs then went on an improbable run. We were #2 in the East if I recall.

The other thing that would be a fluke would be if the players we had not only had career years, but if they had years that spiked way out of line for their history as players. This did not really happen (except maybe Kaberle). Cole was a 30 goal type player before that year. Stillman was and is a consistant point getter before and after, Recci: Hall of Fame, Weight, an assist man from way back, Williams, scored around thirty the year before, Brindy: also a point getter before and after, Whitney: put up points before and after. Staal, well remains to be seen, but may not be a career year and despite the expections is a 30 goal guy year in and year out, Cullen, pretty consistantly around 20 goals guy year in and out if healthy.

That's alot of straight up fire power that few teams could match, even today. And all of those guys produced before and after that year.

Yes, we got some luck, but so does nearly every cup winner. Fluke implies that that group of players had no business winning the cup that year. The fact that an injury decimated team that had lost Recci, Weight, Cullen, and Ward, as well as the early onset of an aging captain, and a post injury ineffective Cole, and the shortest offseason there is, just missed the playoffs does not mean that the win was a fluke at all. That's the point. Now, three years later we don't have THAT team anymore. We don't have that firepower anymore.

Some would argue that it's the league figuring us out. I think that's too neat. I think that we are not what we once were. Give us back the firepower of NINE proven 20+ goal scorers and things would be different right now.

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If the team fails to make the playoffs for three years straight after the Cup.. I will not argue against anyone who wants to call it a fluke. I'm not going to spend a lot of time promoting the idea, but I also silently admit that there is evidence to that end.

My only question for those who disagree would be: what exactly are the characteristics of a fluke season, if 05/06 doesn't qualify?

I don't think any team that goes through the NHL playoffs and ends up hoisting the Cup could be a fluke. A team can win a championship in a sport that has single elimination type tourneys like the NCAA basketball tournament. Any team that leads the league for almost the whole season and makes it through a few 7 game series to win is not a fluke.

Were the Arizona Cardinals this year a fluke? Were the Tampa Bay Rays this year a fluke? Were the Pitsburgh Penguins last year a fluke? These teams didn't win it all, but were right there. In todays age of free agency, it happens more and more.

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Back in the Cup year, i was rarely worried about going a goal or 2 down. We had the edge,grit,and fire to go out and make something happen. Now we just seem to be going thru the motions most of the time. It's almost like this team doesn't care about the other players or whether they win or lose? It's not very often that players don't stick up for one another almost all the time and here its only an occcasional thing. Now when we are down a goal or so or even up a goal or 2 we just seem to back off. No killer instinct,no revenge,no your not comming into our house and going to embarrass us ,,none of that!!

Why not?

I just don't get that!

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Most if not all pre-season predictions had this team on the playoff bubble, many had them missing the playoffs. obviously expectations are to high among the fanbase, which is to be expected.

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My only question for those who disagree would be: what exactly are the characteristics of a fluke season, if 05/06 doesn't qualify?

The Edmonton Oilers of 2005-2006 snuck into the playoffs in 8th place and made a run to the finals. That is a fluke. Going wire to wire at the top of the Eastern Conference and winning the Stanley Cup is no fluke. That is a team having a great season.

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The only reason any moron mentions it being a fluke is because of their opponents. Buffalo had injuries and that series went 7 and edmonton was considered a weak team out of the west relative to the other playoff teams in the conference and that series went 7. A fluke would be if the canes beat boston this year.

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Most if not all pre-season predictions had this team on the playoff bubble, many had them missing the playoffs. obviously expectations are to high among the fanbase, which is to be expected.

Surely these predictions were made by those snotty elitist Canadian media pundits who still can't get over the fact that we even have an NHL franchise , let alone a Stanley Cup winning 1, and who always put our team down and underestimate it. :rolleyes:

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Surely these predictions were made by those snotty elitist Canadian media pundits who still can't get over the fact that we even have an NHL franchise , let alone a Stanley Cup winning 1, and who always put our team down and underestimate it. :rolleyes:

yeah, the same ones that predicted the Canes would win their division last year

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The Edmonton Oilers of 2005-2006 snuck into the playoffs in 8th place and made a run to the finals. That is a fluke. Going wire to wire at the top of the Eastern Conference and winning the Stanley Cup is no fluke. That is a team having a great season.

We know the rules changed for 05/06, and the Canes thrived. We think the rules were enforced differently for 06/07 and on, and the Canes struggled. It is hard for me, and I'm sure for many NHL fans not associated with Carolina, to compartmentalize the season as you do. But the fact that the 05/06 was so unique, the fact that the team performed well from beginning to end, doesn't actually answer the question as to whether their success was made possible only because the NHL chose to set up that framework.

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Surely these predictions were made by those snotty elitist Canadian media pundits who still can't get over the fact that we even have an NHL franchise , let alone a Stanley Cup winning 1, and who always put our team down and underestimate it. :rolleyes:

Snotty, elitist Canadian media? Yes. Underestimating this years team? No.

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Who cares if it was a Fluke it still counts and players got their name on the cup. It's not like the canes are under investigation for winning the cup under Fluke circumstances and we are waiting on a ruling if we get to keep it.

It is time to find other stuff to talk about.

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I don't think it was a fluke. To me, that implies a short-term, unexpected or unrepeatable circumstance. I can't see how winning all the games it took to sit so high up in the East at the end of an 82-game reg. season and then winning 16 games against four different opponents to earn the cup can meet the definition of a fluke.

What I do think that season taught me is that nearly everything under the sun has to go right for a team to win any championship in any sport. No amount of hard work alone can make it happen. No amount of lucky bounces or soft penalties or fierce hitting predicts a winner with any certainty. Everything went right for us that year(maybe Cole would argue with that) but Cole stays in and who knows what we do in the playoffs without Recchi or Dougie. Who knows what happens in Game 7 if Cole didn't storm back for Game 6 and fire up the team. Game 6 would have been a lot darker(and it was sh%^&^y enough) without fans being able to grasp on to the story of Cole's determined return.

I think there were two big downsides to winning the cup:

(1)We could not possibly keep the Conn Smythe winner as a backup the following year but he really wasn't ready to be #1

(2)It gave us fans a taste. For a long time off into the future, nothing else will be good enough.

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