HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > NHL Eastern Conference > Metropolitan Division > Carolina Hurricanes
Mobile Hockey's Future Become a Sponsor Site Rules Support Forum vBookie Page 2
Notices

Question to Canes fans

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old
08-12-2010, 07:33 PM
  #1
JtotheLew
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Country: Canada
Posts: 638
vCash: 500
Question to Canes fans

Hey all, I'm an Anaheim Ducks fan just here to ask a few questions about your team. Two friends of mine are sports radio talk show hosts at a local station and have decided as an extracurricular activity to branch out and start a hockey blogging website for the upcoming season. I was asked to join them and along with a few others we were each given a division, I was given the South East Division as we thought that it be best none of us cover the division of our favorite teams or even a team rival to be as open minded as possible. I am excited to watch the South East Division with purpose and to share my opinions on it, I am just now trying to get a background and an extensive feel for each team in the division and their fan base as it is a division far removed from what I normally follow and even get a natural dosage of on TV and other media. ( I live around Calgary/Edmonton ).

If you could be so helpful to me as to just give me the general feelings that you as Canes fans have about this upcoming season. Things such as,

Your thoughts on the teams holes?

Your thoughts on some of the teams key players and how they will perform this year as opposed to last?

Your prospect pool?

How you think you will perform within both your division and conference this year?

Again thank you so much for your time, and when it is up and running I will be sure to let you guys know where you can find it! We will be doing regular posts and a podcast bi weekly.

JtotheLew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-12-2010, 08:27 PM
  #2
Anton Dubinchuk
Danny Markov
 
Anton Dubinchuk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Country: United States
Posts: 10,000
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by JtotheLew View Post

Your thoughts on the teams holes?

Your thoughts on some of the teams key players and how they will perform this year as opposed to last?

Your prospect pool?

How you think you will perform within both your division and conference this year?
I think that the most widely considered main holes on the team are another pure defensive defenseman to complement Gleason, and a 3rd line center. I personally am not too worried about the defenseman, because while Gleason is indeed our only pure shutdown guy, I think that guys like Corvo and Pitkanen have enough defensive game to get by. Also, we can only assume that Babchuk's defensive game improved in the KHL next year, and he could be a pleasant surprise. The 3rd line center isn't necessarily a hole, but a question mark. No one is quite positive about who'll fill it, as Riley Nash, Jeff Skinner, Zac Dalpe, and several others will be in the running for it (it's unlikely we find the 3rd center through free agency or trade). However, after signing his first pro contract this year, Nash looks to be the front-runner at this point in time. Skinner's game translates more to the wing in the NHL, and IMO Dalpe needs a little more time in Charlotte before making the jump. Nash is equipped with a solid, two-way game and 3 great years at Cornell under his belt.

I'll highlight 5 players as the Canes' "key" players. Eric Staal's coming off a 29-goal year, a season that included his first career major injury, causing him to miss 12 games. When talking about an elite player like Staal, you have to think that a 30-goal season is a given. Even in missing 12 games, I think that everyone was expecting more from Staal, and IMO, he will certainly improve and give us more or less 35 goals this year. Tuomo Ruutu, when on the ice, is maybe our most consistent player; you always know what you're gonna get from him. Expect 25 goals and 175 or so hits from Ruutu, he'll continue to be a fan favorite and one of our best players. Jussi Jokinen scored 30 goals last year, but what scares me about expectation for him this season is that not only was it his first 30 goal season, but actually it was his first 20 goal season. I'd expect another 20 goal season from him, but expecting another 30 from him is beyond optimistic. Brandon Sutter showed great improvement from his rookie to sophomore season, going from 1 goal in 50 games to 21 goals in 72 games this year. Some fans are predicting Sutter to score upwards of 60 points this year, but I'm not convinced. I love Sutter, and he's my vote for the vacant alternate captain spot this year, but I'm not sure that his game really translate to scoring that many points. He's got a great defensive game, and he's certainly solid in the offensive zone, but I say expect 50 or so points from him this year. Cam Ward suffered his second career sliced leg last year, missed a good amount of games, and when in the net played slightly below HIS average. As long as opposing forwards keep their skate blades away from his groin, he'll be back to normal this year. I expect a big year from Cam, who annually gets looked over when talking about the league's elite goaltenders, but truly is one of the best.

Our prospect pool is the deepest in years, maybe that we've EVER had. Just looking at our guys, the depth's there, the talent's there, the high ceilings are there, the lower ceiling/higher floor guys are there, we've got everything. The 3 prospects who are considered to be our top guys are Jeff Skinner, Jamie McBain, and Zack Boychuk. Skinner is obviously our 1st round pick this draft, 7th overall, and many are saying that he could crack the lineup at the beginning of the season. He's a quick kid with a nose for the net and an accurate wrister, many are hoping he'll be a 35 goal scorer in the league when he reaches his potential. McBain had a 14-game tryout of sorts at the end of the season last year, and quite honestly was our best defenseman those 14 games. He's a good powerplay quarterback, and has a hard, low, and accurate slapshot from the point. He will be in the Canes lineup, likely all year, playing probably a 3rd pairing role, and 2nd powerplay pairing. Boychuk is a kid that's frustrating a lot of people; many are disappointed in the speed (or lack there of) of his development. Coming into his draft year, 2008, he was considered one of the most NHL-ready prospects. Now, two seasons later, he still hasn't been able to crack the lineup full time. He'll compete for the open winger spot this year at camp, but with guys like Osala and Skinner also competing for that spot, he'll really have to show he's earned it to stick to the big club this year.

The Canes are a rebuilding team this year, with many young kids in the lineup consistently. However, the talent and grit in the lineup is certainly there, and we will likely be in the running for any of the last 3 playoff spots. In the division, I predict we finish third, ahead of Florida and Atlanta, and behind Washington and Tampa (Tampa's gonna turn some heads this year).

I killed a lot more time than I meant to writing this. Good luck with the blog/website/message board/podcast thing, it sounds pretty good. Please do leave some links when it's up and ready, I'd love to check it out.

Anton Dubinchuk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-12-2010, 11:02 PM
  #3
Blueline Bomber
Expectations - high
 
Blueline Bomber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 22,189
vCash: 500
Jgusta did a bangup job on the questions, but I thought I'd follow up and add some of my own thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JtotheLew View Post
If you could be so helpful to me as to just give me the general feelings that you as Canes fans have about this upcoming season. Things such as,

Your thoughts on the teams holes?
As already stated, the most glaring hole is the lack of defensive defensemen on the team and in our short term prospect pool. However, I wouldn't put our need for a 3rd line center ahead of the need for a true 1st line winger. Despite admirable performances by Jokinen and Ruutu, Carolina has yet to find someone that meshes with Staal in a way that takes both him and the team to the next level. The hope is that one day Skinner may fill that role, but until then, it's a hole that's been there for quite a while.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JtotheLew View Post
Your thoughts on some of the teams key players and how they will perform this year as opposed to last?
Nothing to add here.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JtotheLew View Post
Your prospect pool?
Again, Jgusta's got it right. Our prospect pool is the deepest it's been in years, but given the recent history of our prospect pool, that's like going from the shallow end to the deep end. Great drafting in the more recent drafts as well as some crafty trades have given us a lot of talent, but probably not as much high end as probably could have been had. Still, I suppose it's here like it is in a lot of places: We've got high hopes of finding that diamond in the rough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JtotheLew View Post
How you think you will perform within both your division and conference this year?
Probably the hardest question to answer when it comes to this team. Years when you expect nothing, they make something out of it. And vise-versa, unfortunately. Obviously, Washington's the favorite in the division and Florida's seen as the clear bottom-feeder (though I'm not entirely convinced), with Atlanta (who seems intent on creating a successful team with Chicago's runoff), Tampa (another I'm not sold on) and us thrown in somewhere in the middle.

With the amount of rookies expected to fill our lineup, some taking the place of veteran players playing big minutes, we'll have some growing pains to deal with. However, barring unforeseen circumstances, we won't have nearly as poor a start as we did last year. However, we may finish weaker than we have in recent years, as the toll of an NHL season hits the younger players.

So, in the spirit of pessimism that I've grown so very attached to, my prediction is 4th in the division, and 12th in the conference.

Blueline Bomber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-13-2010, 08:21 AM
  #4
Caniac4ever
Gleason 4 Norris
 
Caniac4ever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,238
vCash: 1131
One quick word that you might know already and if you don't, you would very quickly find out... If you are going to be watching many full-length games from the Southeast, you will need Center Ice. Washington makes the big networks on TV, but other than that we are avoided like the plague.

Like was stated, with the large number of kids making the team this year, we are a complete unknown. One thing we are all in hopes of getting is a complete effort from the team every game. With so many working for a permanent job and not just the paycheck, the push and desire should be much better than we saw last year.

Best of luck with the new project!

Caniac4ever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-13-2010, 09:02 AM
  #5
tarheelhockey
Global Moderator
 
tarheelhockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Triangle
Country: United States
Posts: 33,075
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by JtotheLew View Post
How you think you will perform within both your division and conference this year?
Nearly everyone who has commented on this question, both Canes and non-Canes fans in the various HFBoards threads, seems to predict the following in the Southeast:

Washington
Tampa
Carolina/Atlanta
Atlanta/Carolina
Florida

Tampa's tried the "fast rebuild" thing before and failed, so we'll see if they are as good as advertised, but on paper they seem destined for that #2 spot. The Thrashers and Canes have made a lot of changes over the offseason so it'll probably come down to chemistry and consistency (neither of which are predictable) but personally I think the Thrashers are in for another tough year. I could more easily see the Canes overachieving if I had to pick one of the two.

As far as the conference is concerned, there also seems to be a consensus feeling that the Canes will finish somewhere in the broad range of 6th to 14th. Nobody sees them as elite, but many see them as a dark horse with high upside considering their core players have a history of overachievement. If the prospects perform well, a playoff seed is realistic. If they struggle, a lottery pick is realistic. Seems like that's the story just about every year with this team

tarheelhockey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-13-2010, 10:02 AM
  #6
geehaad
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 3,002
vCash: 500
We're in for an up and down start to the year, which will translate into a just-under-.500 record at the outset...maybe the first 20 games. After that, the record will depend on whether that start establishes some kids into productive roles, or whether too few have made a case for themselves and there's a ton of shuffling between Raleigh and Charlotte (their AHL site).

Those 20 games will see them look at times brilliantly flashy, fast, and dynamic, and at other times look confused, hesitant, and misplaced. The defense will be the most consistent, and will be the most consistently sub-par. Cam Ward will not have a great year statistically because he won't have a defense in front of him that can hold off a strongly offensive opponent, but that's not to say that he won't play well...I think he's going to be the reason they win on the nights that they get decent goal production. The power play will likely struggle, but the penalty kill should be above average.

I disagree with those who say Ruutu will be a strong performer this year. I think his recovery from shoulder surgery will be a big factor in his play, and it will cause him to be less aggressive in hitting, and will dampen his scoring.

Though he will start in a pairing with Joni Pitkanen, Anton Babchuk will be on a short leash, and he very well could get unseated even if he plays better than expected. He'll get about a 20-game audition to see if he can last in that spot, but it's just as likely that Jamie McBain's play could demand a greater role. McBain played well with Pitkanen at the end of last season, and that's no easy feat; Pitkanen's wandering style is tough for a partner to accomodate. I think the coaching staff is going to want McBain to start in the 3rd pairing, one reason being that they would rather ease him into greater role, and the other being that a 3rd pairing that consists of 2 of Harrison/Carson/Babchuk is not a pleasant thought. Babchuk feeds off of his partner's confidence, and neither of the other two have enough to give.

I going to go ahead and make the bold prediction that Skinner is going to make the team, and I think he's going to play on Staal's wing, and I think he's going to score 20+ goals. Keeping him on the roster for the year may not be the *right* thing to do, but I think it's going to happen.

I agree that Jokinen's goal production will probably drop back into the low-20s.

I think Peters will make an excellent backup, and he'll put up good numbers in that role. If Ward gets injured and it forces Peters to play a lot, it will not reflect well on his statistics.

geehaad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-13-2010, 11:31 AM
  #7
Blueline Bomber
Expectations - high
 
Blueline Bomber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 22,189
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by geehaad View Post
Though he will start in a pairing with Joni Pitkanen, Anton Babchuk will be on a short leash, and he very well could get unseated even if he plays better than expected. He'll get about a 20-game audition to see if he can last in that spot, but it's just as likely that Jamie McBain's play could demand a greater role. McBain played well with Pitkanen at the end of last season, and that's no easy feat; Pitkanen's wandering style is tough for a partner to accomodate. I think the coaching staff is going to want McBain to start in the 3rd pairing, one reason being that they would rather ease him into greater role, and the other being that a 3rd pairing that consists of 2 of Harrison/Carson/Babchuk is not a pleasant thought. Babchuk feeds off of his partner's confidence, and neither of the other two have enough to give.
I think the Pitkanen/Babchuk pairing will depend on how much offensively Babchuk is producing. The last time the two played together, Pitkanen didn't wander nearly as often, mostly because his speed allowed them to have at least one defender back in case Babs gaffed. He took a more defensive-minded role, because Babs had the offensive-side covered.

If Babchuk doesn't produce, he could very well be put on the third pairing, but I think that'll be a mistake in the end. It makes a terrible third pair, and it makes a questionable 2nd pair. Grooming McBain to handle a wandering Pitkanen may very well limit his offensive talents to cope with an abnormal situation, especially if we're not entirely sure if Pitkanen is going to re-sign with us.

It's not a popular answer, but Babchuk/Pitkanen makes the most sense. If not for the reasons above, then to artificially rack up Babchuk's points/TOI so he's worth more at the deadline, at which time McBain will fill in next to Pitkanen. It's a short term loss of McBain's development for a possible long term gain.

Blueline Bomber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-13-2010, 12:27 PM
  #8
Guerzy
HFBoards Sponsor
 
Guerzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Country: Canada
Posts: 15,497
vCash: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by geehaad View Post
We're in for an up and down start to the year, which will translate into a just-under-.500 record at the outset...maybe the first 20 games. After that, the record will depend on whether that start establishes some kids into productive roles, or whether too few have made a case for themselves and there's a ton of shuffling between Raleigh and Charlotte (their AHL site).

Those 20 games will see them look at times brilliantly flashy, fast, and dynamic, and at other times look confused, hesitant, and misplaced. The defense will be the most consistent, and will be the most consistently sub-par. Cam Ward will not have a great year statistically because he won't have a defense in front of him that can hold off a strongly offensive opponent, but that's not to say that he won't play well...I think he's going to be the reason they win on the nights that they get decent goal production. The power play will likely struggle, but the penalty kill should be above average.

I disagree with those who say Ruutu will be a strong performer this year. I think his recovery from shoulder surgery will be a big factor in his play, and it will cause him to be less aggressive in hitting, and will dampen his scoring.

Though he will start in a pairing with Joni Pitkanen, Anton Babchuk will be on a short leash, and he very well could get unseated even if he plays better than expected. He'll get about a 20-game audition to see if he can last in that spot, but it's just as likely that Jamie McBain's play could demand a greater role. McBain played well with Pitkanen at the end of last season, and that's no easy feat; Pitkanen's wandering style is tough for a partner to accomodate. I think the coaching staff is going to want McBain to start in the 3rd pairing, one reason being that they would rather ease him into greater role, and the other being that a 3rd pairing that consists of 2 of Harrison/Carson/Babchuk is not a pleasant thought. Babchuk feeds off of his partner's confidence, and neither of the other two have enough to give.

I going to go ahead and make the bold prediction that Skinner is going to make the team, and I think he's going to play on Staal's wing, and I think he's going to score 20+ goals. Keeping him on the roster for the year may not be the *right* thing to do, but I think it's going to happen.

I agree that Jokinen's goal production will probably drop back into the low-20s.

I think Peters will make an excellent backup, and he'll put up good numbers in that role. If Ward gets injured and it forces Peters to play a lot, it will not reflect well on his statistics.

It my opinion that is very well said. Only tidbit I feel differently about is the PP & PK. I think our PP may be ok, top 15 possibly, where as our PK i'm just not sure we've got the horses to pull that wagon successfully.

Guerzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-13-2010, 07:46 PM
  #9
Anton Dubinchuk
Danny Markov
 
Anton Dubinchuk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Country: United States
Posts: 10,000
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerzy View Post
It my opinion that is very well said. Only tidbit I feel differently about is the PP & PK. I think our PP may be ok, top 15 possibly, where as our PK i'm just not sure we've got the horses to pull that wagon successfully.
I agree. I think the point especially on our power play will be very deep and very good, all four of our main guys, Corvo, Babs, McBain, and Pitkanen all bring something different and productive as power play QBs.

At the same time, however, I think our PK will be good as well. Sutter will certainly be our 1st center on the PK, and it'll be either Nash or Dodge, depending on if Dodge makes the team, as the 2nd guy. We've got a variety of defensively responsible wingers who could share the PK duties, and our D is certainly good enough to get by. With average defenseman on the PK and above average defensive forwards, we should finish in the top half this year in both special teams categories. Just my opinion, however, I know our forwards on the power play aren't too strong, but if Skinner does make the team I think his goal-scoring ability immediately boosts it, even if he only scores 10-15 goals. He's got a good head on his shoulders, and he'll be able to move the puck well on the power play, and finish a couple as well.

Anton Dubinchuk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-14-2010, 05:17 PM
  #10
Rally Donkey
Registered User
 
Rally Donkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chatham, Ont
Country: Canada
Posts: 387
vCash: 500
There's some good discussion on this board, but for your purposes you'll also find some good content on Canes Country.

Rally Donkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:58 AM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"
Contact Us - HFBoards - Archive - Privacy Statement - Terms of Use - Advertise - Top - AdChoices

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. ©2014 All Rights Reserved.