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remkin

Are We Expecting Too Much From This Team?

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The main thesis on my part was not so much the fluke thing. I firmly beleive it was not a fluke for all the reasons I listed.

My main point is that we have actually fallen back a long ways in offensive skill and as a team in general from where we were. This team, with this group of players, is far inferior to that team. Unless management makes a major move this team is about where it should be. We can argue a few points up or down the standings, but generally about right. The secondary point was that that 06 team really did have enough talent to make a legitimate (non fluke) run at the cup. This team does not.

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Winning the Cup was no fluke. We had a fast past scoring team that had much confidence in themselves, who proved they could win all regular season and into the playoffs. '05-'06 we had a team that was very consistant and would constantly take 9 game winning streaks. I remember that year we only lost like one game in January... towards the end of the season we started to slump (unlike the red wings last year) but then we picked up recchi and weight who came through for us. Cam Ward was absolutely amazing in the playoffs and a huge reason of why we made it through the Montreal series. We got a lot of flak from other teams fans about us getting lucky and that we never should have won... but if you look at history... every stanley cup team catches breaks en route to winning the cup (not to mention we beat NJ who was supposed to be the hottest team without any breaks).

Right now we have a team that has the skill capacity to grant us a playoff birth... but they're too inconsistent. Letting Cullen go in '07 is what gave way to our inconsistent play.

Every night I still stand guard by the TV or computer watching a team that has such great potential... similarities to our '06 team... But losing the big games.

This morning I woke up with a simple thought in my head "If we can't win enough games, in this very close race in the EC, than we don't deserve to make the playoffs." No more whining, if we cant make the playoffs.... we wont. I hope that's not the case.

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For those who think the cup run was a fluke, consider these saleint facts:

1. The Canes lost the first TWO games AT HOME against Montreal and then won four straight to win the series.

2. Game two of the NewJeersye series, the Canes lost the lead withe less than one minute left but managed to tie the game then win it in OT.

3. The Canes lost game one against the slugs, were behind oing into the third period of games 5 and 7 and still won both those games.

4. The Canes came from behind to win game one against the Oilers, then when everyone was counting them out and talkng implosion for game 7, they won game seven despite having what turned out to be a goal based upon preety slick videography disallowed.

This list doesn include the come from way behind game against Philadelphia in Decmber. Fluke? NO F@@@@@@ing WAY.

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A fluke would be for a team of average skill to barely make the playoffs, and then get an extremely improbable run where they win games with mulitple lucky breaks combined with playing way above their heads and win the championship.

It is by it's nature quite unusual. It did not happen in 06 for all of the reasons I have stated. The team we had that year was indeed that good. Maybe not THE best team but one of the best teams on the ice that year. No fluke.

Like our 02 team, that was a fluke. The 06 team was not a fluke.

It is just frustrating to see how far we have fallen since that great season.

I would take an 8th spot right now and hope to go 6 vs Boston. That is so sad

that my expections are that low. oh well.

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I'd honestly rather have Aaron Ward then Corvo, still say that was the first mistake after the cup was not paying him.

I would love any Defenseman that actually hits someone.

Pitcanen is soft. Babchuck is soft.

at least Gleason and Seindenberg are not afraid to get dirty.

Corvo is good but mostly offensively. He is ok in his own end.

We cant score to save our lives either. If not for Staal, Whitney and Ruutu basically no

one else has picked up any slack. That is pretty dreadful.

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Well I do think that we are going to miss out again this season on the playoffs, so rebuilding is vital. Instead of worrying about our great Cup run being a fluke or not, let's be more concerned with how mgmt handles the rebuilding phrase and trying to keep the team competitive.

I do worry that things are going to get worse before they get better here, at least team ability wise. We might be the Caps and Panthers fodder for the next few seasons. Hopefully not of course.

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Well I do think that we are going to miss out again this season on the playoffs, so rebuilding is vital. Instead of worrying about our great Cup run being a fluke or not, let's be more concerned with how mgmt handles the rebuilding phrase and trying to keep the team competitive.

I do worry that things are going to get worse before they get better here, at least team ability wise. We might be the Caps and Panthers fodder for the next few seasons. Hopefully not of course.

And the most frustrating thing about your statement FA? The Panthers????? Sheesh. Give us their motivation/desire to win and we could do great things. We are much better than them. ON PAPER ONLY.

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What do Leaf fans expect from their team? Is it too much for fans to expect their team to give it 100% on every shift? When about half the NHL teams make the playoffs, making the playoffs should be a given every year.

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What will it cost to bring in "offensive" forward talent? Stiller was committed 1.75 while Ruutu is owed 2.25, and doesn't put as many points. That's only .500 k, but get enough of those and there's millions floating around. Staal takes up a huge chunk of payroll, along with Brindy, Williams, and, thanks to the Rags, Cullen. Brindy needs another year off and come back strong, or retire. Williams I can't say anything really, haven't seen much of him. Cullen has been playing great lately, but was/is always mentioned that he's a 3rd line center, or 2nd line at best. Whitney is aging, and then we have Walker, who's mid 30's (someone approaching their 30's, mid 30's doesn't seem old, but for hockey, it seems like it's nearing the end pretty soon)

Where are we going to find the money to bring in another offensive guy? Brindy *might* retire this offseason, but does his contract still affect us? I don't understand that, so clue me in. Then, you have to think about team chemistry. Yeah, Staal, Ladd and Cole were buddies and had charisma... but so did Brindy, Williams and Whitney. What happened??

Either way, we have to find a way to get at least another goal scorer, but at the same time where we don't spend 10 mil on 1 guy alone, and even then... no promise he's going to click with his teammates.

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Good post Remkin! I too can't say that the 06 team could be in any way considered a fluke. In fact, I tire of the comparisons. :) I too heard Forslund's comments and I think he was dead right on. The team we have is no more than a playoff bubble team, swimming in mediocrity. My concern is in today's NHL, getting out of that position is very, very hard and could take years. But, that's all ready being discussed elsewhere.

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You also have to remember, the first season back from the lock-out, the officials were calling everything. Penalties were up, PP opportunities were up.

The Canes as a team were a skating team that forced other teams to take stupid penalties.

During the 2005-2006 season, the Canes only had 14 regular season games where they saw less than 5 PP opportunities.

Their PP was ranked 9th in the Eastern Conference @ 17.9%

We had over 540 PP opportunities that season.

What I point to is our PK. It was ranked 7th in the Eastern Conference @ 81.8%

The league as a whole was piling up the penalty minutes. After that season finished, they told the officials to not be so picky on calling every penalty and

we are seeing some of the ole clutching and grabbing being allowed.

Last season, our PP was ranked 7th in the Eastern Conference @ 18.8%. Our PK was ranked 13th @ 78.9%. We had a better PP percentage last season than during the Stanley Cup season

and we failed to make the playoffs. The PP is easy to point at as being deficient, and you'll get no arguments from me about that issue for this season. But our team defense has not been the same since.

To use as an example.

The Red Wings (who are consistently in the playoffs) since the 2005-2006 season have allowed 209, 199, 184 goals in the past 3 seasons respectively.

The Hurricanes during that same period have allowed 260, 253, 249.

As with most team sports, offense is fun to watch, but defense is what wins it in the end.

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great post! what a playoff run! I'll be honest, after that game 5 loss at home in OT, then the slaughter of game 6 in Edmonton, I thought the canes wouldnt recover! It takes a great team to come out and win that game 7, what a game!!

jeff

For those who think the cup run was a fluke, consider these saleint facts:

1. The Canes lost the first TWO games AT HOME against Montreal and then won four straight to win the series.

2. Game two of the NewJeersye series, the Canes lost the lead withe less than one minute left but managed to tie the game then win it in OT.

3. The Canes lost game one against the slugs, were behind oing into the third period of games 5 and 7 and still won both those games.

4. The Canes came from behind to win game one against the Oilers, then when everyone was counting them out and talkng implosion for game 7, they won game seven despite having what turned out to be a goal based upon preety slick videography disallowed.

This list doesn include the come from way behind game against Philadelphia in Decmber. Fluke? NO F@@@@@@ing WAY.

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Where to start. We fans are wacky and have selective memory.

1) We clamored for a puck moving defenseman. We got Corvo. Now some say they want him to hit more. Make up your mind. If you want both, trade or pay huge for Phaneuf.

2) JR threw Cole away, saying he'd be difficult to resign. Folks still said we needed more puck movement from the defense. Well, Staal has stalled, and we are small and movable off the puck. Nobody plants their butt in front of the net like Cole (or Ladd, but don't get me started). Sure, Cole couldn't hit water from a boat on a breakaway, but his presence and speed alone commanded attention from the opponent. This team will likely miss the playoffs and lose out on the NHL profit sharing money. Even though I suck at math, I bet the NHL $$$ is ton more than the salary Cole would have demanded. Even I can do that math.

3) I do believe we won the SC in 06 with a puck moving defenseman, who had like 40 assists I think. We may not like him, but Frank Kaberle still can put the puck on the forwards sticks. He did all night long during the Boston game. He can flounder (kind of like a fluke) in his own end, but his passing is still spot on. Now, watch him screw it up tonight. Bret Hedican could also bring the puck up the ice. However, fans bitched because he was old and didn't score or hit. Not that a plus 17 last year endeared him to anyone.

4) It should be blatantly obvious that JR will not shell out top dollar for a SKILLED, HARD HITING, GOAL SCORING puck moving defenseman. Please quit asking for one. We will all be disappointed.

We played great hockey the year we won the cup. Fluke, hell no. You may win a game or two with fluky goals or nice bounces. You do not win 9 in row twice in one season by luck alone. We WERE that good. We are not now. The players on the ice are good, but the skill set is just not there. I was seeing good things from Williams on the ice, now he's out again. If it weren't for *edit* luck, we'd have no luck.

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More fuel for the fire...

It was noted that Weight/Recchi were a huge part of the 2006 success. But my memory serves me the following, that we were a much better team before Cole went down, and we struggled quite a bit after that incident, and the addition of those 2 players helped, but we never were able to make it quite all the way back to the excellence of the pre-Cole injury team. Luckily, we had enough talent/chemistry to win the cup, but the team we had in the middle of that season was even more fearsome than the team we ended up with.

Why do I bring that up? Simply to make this point. Sometimes, its not how much you spend, how much talent you put out there. It has more to do with the chemistry of who you put out there, and their willingness to sell out 100% for a style and philosophy that they all adopt together as a common vision.

For whatever reason, I don't think these guys have that common vision anymore, and when that happens and we are just individuals, the fact that we have less talent on average is magnified.

Are we expecting too much? Perhaps. That's what fans do, I guess.

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:P

More fuel for the fire...

It was noted that Weight/Recchi were a huge part of the 2006 success. But my memory serves me the following, that we were a much better team before Cole went down, and we struggled quite a bit after that incident, and the addition of those 2 players helped, but we never were able to make it quite all the way back to the excellence of the pre-Cole injury team. Luckily, we had enough talent/chemistry to win the cup, but the team we had in the middle of that season was even more fearsome than the team we ended up with.

Why do I bring that up? Simply to make this point. Sometimes, its not how much you spend, how much talent you put out there. It has more to do with the chemistry of who you put out there, and their willingness to sell out 100% for a style and philosophy that they all adopt together as a common vision.

For whatever reason, I don't think these guys have that common vision anymore, and when that happens and we are just individuals, the fact that we have less talent on average is magnified.

Are we expecting too much? Perhaps. That's what fans do, I guess.

Ding ding ding....we have a winner. Credit Lavi and the coaching staff that season for creating the atmosphere and the philosophy for 25 guys to buy into. And for keeping them focused on that philosophy when adversity hit.

In pro sports, sometimes its all about momentum, confidence and determination rather than just skill. All the money in the world cant guarantee team chemistry and success. (see: NY Yankees and NY Rangers :P )

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I wouldn't even come close to qualifying us in 2006 as a fluke. We had some guys who had one last GREAT year in them, Weight, Stillman, Cole, etc. and a few guys who haven't done as well since leaving simply because they had a career year or just fit so well into our system. Also since then we've been completely decimated by injuries. I know Brindy/Williams have been technically been 'healthy' this year, but they are absolute shells of the players they were after the numerous injuries each of them have had the last 2 years. Also our defense that year wasn't composed of superstars, but we didn't have a SINGLE glaring hole of anyone that I would call below league average. We've had at least 2 of them since then every year since we've won the Cup. Every one of those D-men had tenacity and fire except for Kaberle and he was the big time offensive minded defenseman, who I don't necessarily felt had a career year in the sense of the that term, he just hasn't had any confidence in his abilities since after that season when he had that shoulder injury. Even when our lineup is riddled by injury, we don't have that Relentless and Whatever it Takes attitude that that Cup winning team labeled as their monikers.

Also I feel that the worst thing to happen to the Canes franchise as a whole in the '05 - '06 season was that Erik Cole broke his neck. This guy was absolutely shining in Lavi's uptempo system with Staal and Stiller as his line mates. He gave Staal that extra punch on the top line (30 goals in 60 games is phenomenal) that we haven't had since Orpik trucked him head first into the boards in Pittsburgh. Since Cole had come back he, like Williams, was a shell of his former self. Not enough of the hard nosed Erik who would take the puck to the net hard and score consistently, and given the severity of that injury that is completely understandable. This team needs to make its first line a legitimate NHL first line again if they want to get back to the being the type of team that we know they can be. Rutuu and Samsonov are good players, but if you put either of them on that '05 - '06 team they are 3rd liners. I mean we traded for Doug Weight and stuck him on our lower lines due to the scoring prowess of our top two lines.

I think the reason for all our inconsistency is that we have a different best line every single night. I think as long as our first line could be as good as it was and Staal could be as good as he was in the '05 - '06 campaign, then we could easily over look Brindy's short comings this year, but because we lack that first line punch, we need our 2 and 3 lines to be that much better.

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I think the reason for all our inconsistency is that we have a different best line every single night. I think as long as our first line could be as good as it was and Staal could be as good as he was in the '05 - '06 campaign, then we could easily over look Brindy's short comings this year, but because we lack that first line punch, we need our 2 and 3 lines to be that much better.

I understand what you are saying, but having a different line be your best every night isn't a problem in itself. The problem is why the canes have a different line stepping up every night, consistency of play. If every line brought it each night it wouldn't matter which team scored and was "best". But right now on some nights the best line is like winning a tallest dwarf contest.

Even if Staal's line brought it up every night the canes couldn't overlook Brind'Amour's year, when he was playing on your second line. You need multiple line scoring threats, or at the very least for your second line to shut down your opponents first line. Otherwise you end up getting shut down and wearing down your first line, which just makes the consistency problems worse.

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Interesting points raised by all. I think that there clearly was as factor of "figuring out the rules first" and it was true that the team had good "chemistry". But my point is that we had much more pure skill that year also, especially up front, where we could constantly make up deficits and turn trailing into winning night after night.

A fully functional Brind'Amour may have been the best second line center in the game (2 Selkes and just under a ppg)

A fully funcitonal J. Willy was a 30 goal All-Star.

Eric Cole, when healthy was a 30 goal guy with speed.

Cory Stillman was a point machine in his prime (which he still was that year).

We have lost a lot of that production. That doesn't even count Weight or Recci.

We had the skill and talent to go with the heart and system and chemistry is all I'm saying.

Don't get me wrong. Stillman had dead streaks moving foward, Cole was never the same post injury. Williams and Brindy had major injuries, guys aged. We did need puck moving defensemen, not immediately after the cup, but as time wore on two seasons later. We weren't goint to resign Stillman, etc. Not blaming JR here, just pointing out that we have had a serious drop off in skill and scoring prowess that is not just because of the league changing. We lost some serious firepower and we are missing it.

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