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Old
07-20-2006, 05:41 PM
  #26
MathMan
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Originally Posted by Caniacforever View Post
I think at the very least, the injury to Koivu and Gerber spotting Montreal two games negate each other.
I don't think so, no.

There was more to games one and two than goaltending, and the Habs flat-out outplayed the 'Canes in games one to three. Put a healthy Gerber or heck, even Cam Ward in nets from Game 1 and have Justin Williams keep his stick out of people's faces, and I think the Habs had an excellent chance of winning. Though in any case it would have still been a close series. But this is a lot of what ifs and it makes the whole thing moot.

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07-20-2006, 05:52 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
I don't think so, no.

There was more to games one and two than goaltending, and the Habs flat-out outplayed the 'Canes in games one to three. Put a healthy Gerber or heck, even Cam Ward in nets from Game 1 and have Justin Williams keep his stick out of people's faces, and I think the Habs had an excellent chance of winning. Though in any case it would have still been a close series. But this is a lot of what ifs and it makes the whole thing moot.
So you're saying that a team that would go down in four straight games after one player getting injured would be deep enough to beat the Stanley Cup champions?

Plus, Carolina outshot Montreal 45-20 or something crazy in one of those games that Montreal badly outplayed Carolina. That included about five soft goals by Gerber.

In reference to the other poster, Carolina only had a chance in that game Gerber was pulled in because Cam Ward came into the game, made a few HUGE saves and got the team back into it. They took it to Montreal after that, but lost that game in overtime. In the game that Cam Ward played and Carolina got down, anybody who watched them all year knew they were a 3rd period team. There is a good chance they would have come back in that game regardless.

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07-20-2006, 05:52 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by MathMan
I think the Habs were, at the end of the season, roughly even with the Hurricanes when healthy. The regular season record of the team's last 20 games or so tends to bear that out, as Montreal went on a tear.
Wow. "When healthy"? The Hurricanes were far from healthy in the last 20 games of the season.

ERIK COLE: fractured vertebra, 22 games (March 6-April 18)
NICLAS WALLIN: lower body, nine games (March 22-April 7)
ANDREW HUTCHINSON: wrist, 20 games (Feb. 3-March 29)
DOUG WEIGHT: lower body, seven games (March 21-April 1)
ANDREW LADD: lower body, six games (March 29-April 7);
RAY WHITNEY: lower body, six games (April 7-18); lower body, one game (March 27);
AARON WARD: upper body, one game (March 21);
CORY STILLMAN: lower body, one game (April 8);
BRET HEDICAN: upper body, one game (April 15); groin, four games (March 22-29); flu, one game (March 14)
MIKE COMMODORE: upper body, two games (March 10-11);
FRANTISEK KABERLE (2): upper body, one game (April 8); flu, one game (April 1)

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Originally Posted by MathMan
Carolina fans will no doubt bristle at this, but this is a fact that has to be considered: Carolina plays 4 games against Washington and Pittsburgh more than Montreal,
That Pittsburgh moved to the Southeast Division is news to me.

Anyways...Carolina had a much better record against the Northeast and Atlantic divisions than they did against the Southeast last year.


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07-20-2006, 05:57 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caniacforever View Post
So you're saying that a team that would go down in four straight games after one player getting injured would be deep enough to beat the Stanley Cup champions?

Plus, Carolina outshot Montreal 45-20 or something crazy in one of those games that Montreal badly outplayed Carolina. That included about five soft goals by Gerber.

In reference to the other poster, Carolina only had a chance in that game Gerber was pulled in because Cam Ward came into the game, made a few HUGE saves and got the team back into it. They took it to Montreal after that, but lost that game in overtime. In the game that Cam Ward played and Carolina got down, anybody who watched them all year knew they were a 3rd period team. There is a good chance they would have come back in that game regardless.
In any case the teams were close until the stickwork. The next question is, What about this year?" Stall will be great but there should be a significant decrease in talent elsewhere with not the young players(with the exception of Stall) that the Habs have who are expected to improve with the possibility one will have a breakout year. Carolina will be a great regular season team without the depth for the playoffs without the cap room to snag a Weight, Recchi etc.

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07-20-2006, 06:02 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Caniacforever View Post
So you're saying that a team that would go down in four straight games after one player getting injured would be deep enough to beat the Stanley Cup champions?

I know it's pointless but if you go back to our playoffs meeting in the 1st round, no one was SC champion yet. And at that time we we're well on our way to win our 3rd game in a row, maybe the Canes could have come back , maybe not.
Facts remain that we we're winning (outshot or not, who cares really? shots don't make you win games unless they go in) up until our Captain got injured. It's not unreasonnable to say that all things being equal that trend would have persisted.

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07-20-2006, 06:03 PM
  #31
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Carolina will be a great regular season team without the depth for the playoffs without the cap room to snag a Weight, Recchi etc.
I'm not going to argue the rest of the points, because you're entitled to feel how you do about the situation, but ths point is way off. Carolina isn't even at shouting distance of the cap yet, and players that are picked up at the deadline wouldn't get a full salary from Carolina, just for the 15 or 20 games they played with the team.

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07-20-2006, 06:08 PM
  #32
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I know it's pointless but if you go back to our playoffs meeting in the 1st round, no one was SC champion yet. And at that time we we're well on our way to win our 3rd game in a row, maybe the Canes could have come back , maybe not.
Facts remain that we we're winning (outshot or not, who cares really? shots don't make you win games unless they go in) up until our Captain got injured. It's not unreasonnable to say that all things being equal that trend would have persisted.
Well the poster was talking about resetting the series back to the starting point and putting in Cam Ward from the start of the series and giving Koivu back to Montreal. My contention was that if Montreal was a team capable of folding up the tents after Koivu went down and knowing what we know now, Carolina being the Stanley Cup champions, Carolina would have a better chance to not fall two straight games to Montreal to start the series off.

If Carolina fans are expected to admit that the loss of Koivu was the single factor that caused Montreal to lose the series, then Montreal fans must accept that the terrible play of Martin Gerber in the first two games is what established them position in the series to be up after two games. Both teams had tough breaks in the series, with our goaltending being one and Montreal losing Koivu being the other. The team that can come out the cleanest after those two bad breaks deserves the series. That's just how I feel.

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07-20-2006, 06:25 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Caniacforever View Post
1. How did that "Starting Goaltender", look in the first two games of the Montreal series? How did that "Backup Goaltender", look in Conn Smythe voting?

2. Aaron Ward, while a good player, was not our best defensive defenseman. Glen Wesley and Bret Hedican were. If the loss of Aaron Ward can cripple a defense, then they're not a Stanley Cup caliber team. Carolina obviously was, because they won the whole thing. Plus, Ward was 33 years old and you have to get out of veteran defensemen at some point when they're the shot blocking, physical style like Aaron Ward.

3. Players like Doug Weight and Mark Recchi are available at the deadline every single year. If Carolina is poised to make another deep run, then players will hesitate even less about waiving no trade clauses like Weight and Recchi did. The organization has the assets to bring those type of players in year after year. As I said earlier, we won without them. Where were they when Carolina had the best record in the league? Toiling in St. Louis and Pittsburgh, not even close enough to sniff the playoffs.

4. Scott Walker doesn't have to be a hero. He just has to fit better than Josef Vasicek. That isn't a very trying thing to do. If you're telling me that Trevor Letowski and Scott Walker can't at the very least replace what Matt Cullen and Josef Vasicek contributed last year, then I honestly don't know what else to say.

5. Babchuk is very raw, yes. However, in order to not be very raw you have to play at some point. If Carolina doesn't take a few lumps to get him ready, then they're not going to have an asset in the future. The way he played last year, the drop off between Ward and Babchuk isn't going to be as significant as once anticipated.

I must agree, the core of the Carolina team is still there and still strong. They kept the most important pieces and unless there's a major unforseen circumstance they'll be making a good run this year.

I think that Ward is the number 1 question mark on that team. If her performs, watch out. If he doesn't...I can see them struggling. They'll probably still make the playoffs but will be competing for the 7th & 8th spot without a steady #1. Lots of teams had goalies that did amazing one year and came back so-so. Theo & Raycroft are big examples.

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07-20-2006, 06:35 PM
  #34
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Recchi's acquisition be mentioned without mentioning why he was acquired...because of Cole's injury.

Cole's return more than makes up for the loss of Recchi and - assuming Cole stays healthy (which is a concern, admittedly) - we won't need to acquire another Recchi at the deadline. If we do, though, we have more than enough cap room to add someone.

Here are their stats (including playoff games) with us last season:

Recchi: 45GP, 11 goals, 12 assists, -13
Cole: 62GP, 30 goals, 29 assists, +18


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07-20-2006, 08:53 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Caniacforever View Post
So you're saying that a team that would go down in four straight games after one player getting injured would be deep enough to beat the Stanley Cup champions?
Why not? As it is, the Habs could easily have won any of the four games they lost; they were all one-goal contests, two of which were in overtime (and yes, Carolina could easily have won Game 2, too). These playoffs were very close and the Habs were obviously a lot closer to the 'Canes than you seem willing to even consider. I also have a sneaking suspscion the 'Canes would have done no better if their own captain went down.

Let's not forget that the Hurricanes went on to barely defeat a elite team with an elite AHL (or at least decimated) defense and was taken to 7 game by an 8th seed missing their starting goaltender. Honestly, I expected them to do better. They were a better team in the regular season, though in the end they won so I suppose it does not matter. All the playoff teams were close, although IMHO it was the Sabres who were the best team in the Eastern playoffs, when reasonably healthy.

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Plus, Carolina outshot Montreal 45-20 or something crazy in one of those games that Montreal badly outplayed Carolina. That included about five soft goals by Gerber.
I knew this would come up. The shot official in that game was smoking something good, or else Carolina was shooting every chance they got and everything got counted, because this did not at all look like a game where the goaltender was bombarded. It made Huet look better than he really had to be, IMHO.

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In reference to the other poster, Carolina only had a chance in that game Gerber was pulled in because Cam Ward came into the game, made a few HUGE saves and got the team back into it.
The Habs still scored three goals against him, and Carolina only came back because of a lucky goal and multiple 5-on-3s; even allowing that most of them were merited, it is doubtful that such indiscipline would have lasted all series.

As for game 3, beyond the Koivu incident the one-sided reffing surely didn't help either: the Habs received something like eight consecutive penalties in a span that included the high stick to Koivu, which should have been an obvious penalty the other way. The ref who missed that incident must have been shell-shocked, he didn't call anything else all game.

Must we endlessly rehash the series, though? I doubt we'll be able to convince each other of anything. I realize you're leaping on every chance to defend your team, but at this point opinions on their Cup run are set and are unlikely to change.


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07-20-2006, 08:55 PM
  #36
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Still too soon. We'll discuss this one next year.

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07-20-2006, 09:17 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Caniacforever View Post
Still too soon. We'll discuss this one next year.
Somehow I doubt time will help. I don't see either side budging from their stance on the importance of the 'Canes opponents' injuries at any point. Forgive me for thinking Carolina fans need to start looking at this "more realistically" too, to use your term.

Maybe the way the next year turns out will change opinions but I have my doubts.

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07-20-2006, 09:22 PM
  #38
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Somehow I doubt time will help. I don't either side budging from their stance on the importance of the 'Canes opponents' injuries. Forgive me for thinking Carolina fans need to start looking at this "more realistically" too, to use your term...
Conventionally the burden is on the side of the losing team to make excuses. Speaking honestly, i'm not all that into it.

I just think more time is needed to be able to discuss it without so much emotion, if you're dead set on your stance then so be it. It doesn't change the outcome at all, nor does it change what's engraved on that chalice.

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07-20-2006, 09:30 PM
  #39
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You missed one thing

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Originally Posted by Caniacforever View Post
I hope we are removed far enough to discuss that bit with a little more of a realistic slant to things, but I think that a little bit of luck was accounted for by the fact that Martin Gerber was in nets for the first two games of the series. I think at the very least, the injury to Koivu and Gerber spotting Montreal two games negate each other.
You are forgetting one thing. Koivu did not injure himself. The "injury" received not only put Koivu out, but Carolina escaped a major penalty (or at the very least 4 minutes) that might very well have made it 3 to zip in games. Not to mention Markov getting hit in the face by the same errant Cane stick later.

There is no guarantee Montreal would have done any better in the series, we will never know that. However, trying to cancel out Gerber's play with Koivu getting his retina detached by William's unpunished sloppy handling of his stick just doesn't quite equate in my opinion. Besides Gerber "lost" two games and we lost Koivu the rest of the series.

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07-20-2006, 09:44 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Caniacforever View Post
I just think more time is needed to be able to discuss it without so much emotion, if you're dead set on your stance then so be it. It doesn't change the outcome at all, nor does it change what's engraved on that chalice.
It's not eating at me, really, and it's not like I'm one of those crazed asterisk people. I don't really really dislike the Hurricanes either (some players maybe, but not the team) now that the emotion of the Williams high-stick has mostly died down, and there are teams I dislike engraved on the Cup. I don't expect the Hurricanes' fans assessment of how it happened to change; they won the Stanley Cup, and like all fans they're homers and they like to think their team is going to be a dynasty.

I saw what happened, so I don't feel I need to manufacture "excuses"; I just say it like I saw it. Frankly, of the three teams that got hit by the Hurricane hex, the Habs were the one whose case is the weakest. They certainly could still have lost the series with Koivu (it would have been much less likely IMHO, but certainly possible). They could easily have lost with Koivu healthy and Ward starting, too. They were close to the Hurricanes, much closer than in the regular season, but still ultimately an underdog. Heck, even Rutherford said they were a tough team to beat... but I don't think they were going to win the Cup, not the way the Sabres were playing.

The team that really got the rawest deal in this whole thing was Buffalo IMO because, as I said, they were a clear-cut better team than the Hurricanes before their defense got decimated.

But congrats on the Cup. One down, twenty-three to go. See if your team can catch up.


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07-20-2006, 09:52 PM
  #41
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The team that really got the rawest deal in this whole thing was Buffalo IMO because, as I said, they were a clear-cut better team than the Hurricanes before their defense got decimated.
I wouldn't drink too much of the Buffalo fan Kool-Aid regarding how big of an impact that the defense and the loss made on them. They had Jay McKee the entire series. Brian Campbell, Toni Lydman as well. They also had Jeff Jillson in reserve, who on most teams would at the very least be taking a regular shift despite what many Buffalo fans like to make out about him. The defense wasn't the problem, it was the fact that the Carolina team defense was shuting down the Buffalo forwards at every turn. The defense didn't lose that series for Buffalo, the offense lost that series for Buffalo. If they were the best team in the East, then they would have scored like the best team in the East. They simply did not, and were exposed. There was nothing at all clear cut about Buffalo being better than Carolina.

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Originally Posted by MathMan
But congrats on the Cup. One down, twenty-three to go. See if your team can catch up.
Please, nobody is ever going to catch up. You should know that as well as anybody. Not with the parody in the league and the expansion. Montreal will remain the most storied franchise in hockey as long as hockey is.

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07-20-2006, 10:09 PM
  #42
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I wouldn't drink too much of the Buffalo fan Kool-Aid regarding how big of an impact that the defense and the loss made on them.
Somehow I doubt there's a team in the league that could survive losing their top four defensemen. As it was, credit the Sabres for having enough depth to come within one goal of winning a playoff series despite it. Besides, holes in the blueline will also affect offense, especially in this new NHL where the transition game is so important.

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Please, nobody is ever going to catch up. You should know that as well as anybody. Not with the parody in the league and the expansion. Montreal will remain the most storied franchise in hockey as long as hockey is.
Oh, please, I was kidding. The Habs have had nigh on a hundred years to accumulate Cups. That alone gives them an insurmountable advantadge. With the parity of a cap world there will have to be something special before there's another dynasty.

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07-20-2006, 10:23 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by Kahz View Post
Recchi's acquisition be mentioned without mentioning why he was acquired...because of Cole's injury.

Cole's return more than makes up for the loss of Recchi and - assuming Cole stays healthy (which is a concern, admittedly) - we won't need to acquire another Recchi at the deadline. If we do, though, we have more than enough cap room to add someone.

Here are their stats (including playoff games) with us last season:

Recchi: 45GP, 11 goals, 12 assists, -13
Cole: 62GP, 30 goals, 29 assists, +18
Every team will have injuries. you neglected to mention weight. lol What asset will the canes trade this year for another weight?

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07-20-2006, 10:34 PM
  #44
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Every team will have injuries. you neglected to mention weight. lol What asset will the canes trade this year for another weight?
Same as last year, I imagine. A first round pick and extras. I'd be more worried about losing the picks than I would be about them being able to swing a deadline deal, but the 'Canes have been stocking up for a while and can afford to let a high pick or two go.

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07-20-2006, 10:39 PM
  #45
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Somehow I doubt there's a team in the league that could survive losing their top four defensemen. As it was, credit the Sabres for having enough depth to come within one goal of winning a playoff series despite it. Besides, holes in the blueline will also affect offense, especially in this new NHL where the transition game is so important.
Again, we'll probably have to agree to disagree on this one. The window hasn't closed on Buffalo by any stretch and I would expect a good showing from them, but I really feel like Carolina was the best team in the East this year. Plus, it depends a lot on your definition of the best. If not for injuries, then Peter Forsberg is the best player in the league. If not for injuries, then Bobby Orr is the greatest hockey player of all time. Injuries are part of the game, and playing with them is part of the price that you pay. Kevyn Adams broke his hand on the first shift of the Finals Game 7 and still finished the game. I know, it's Game 7 of the Finals but there were a few defensemen for Buffalo that should have paid better attention to their bodies. Jay McKee and Teppo Numminen being among them. They played a reckless shot blocking style to get as far as they did, and in the end it came back and bit them. If you live by the sword you die by the sword. That isn't to say that they're "wrong" for blocking every shot, but there are times when you have to realize that you can't block every shot in every game and expect to stay healthy. You can't play at 110 mph like Buffalo did all playoffs long and not expect the injuries to come into play. Is that really the best team in the league? Or is that the best team while they're playing at a pace they can't possibly match over a 16 win playoff series?


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Originally Posted by MathMan
Oh, please, I was kidding. The Habs have had nigh on a hundred years to accumulate Cups. That alone gives them an insurmountable advantadge. With the parity of a cap world there will have to be something special before there's another dynasty.
No excuse, there are other teams that were around back then that don't have as many. Head start or no head start, anything over twenty championships is just sickly good. And please excuse my use of "parody", instead of "parity". Not sure where my head was with that spelling.

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07-20-2006, 10:57 PM
  #46
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Injuries are part of the game, and playing with them is part of the price that you pay.
I'm not saying the opposite, but for a team to lose its top four defensemen is an unusual level of injuries, regardless of playstyle... and there isn't a team in the league who could cope with that loss. One or two defensemen, the way they were playing, would not have been surprising, but four? Even with the wild abandon they were blocking shots, that's unusual. (Then there's the one who broke his arm bumping into Recchi...)

I'm certainly waiting to see what Buffalo does this offseason with interest. With their core intact they could make a heck of a run next year, even in a very competitive and mostly improved NE division. Having Briere healthy for the whole run would be a huge boost. Replacing Spacek with McKee is mostly lateral, though the two players are very different so it's hard to tell. A few bad arbitration rulings and some excessive penny-pinching, though, and they might lose as many feathers as Ottawa did.

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No excuse, there are other teams that were around back then that don't have as many. Head start or no head start, anything over twenty championships is just sickly good. And please excuse my use of "parody", instead of "parity". Not sure where my head was with that spelling.
Oh, I barely noticed and didn't really pay attention. Somehow I didn't think you'd be one to rail about expansion teams.

Well, having a hundred years to accumulate Cups is certainly an advantadge over the 'Canes, who are a much younger franchise even taking the Whalers days into account. I'm not supplying the Leafs or the Bruins with any excuses though.

In all fairness, there was a period in which the Habs had exclusive rights to all French Canadian players. That would be a huge benefit now, but in the time before the Europeans went over... it was exclusive access to some of the best talent in the game. It surely helped capture some of those Cups.

Even with that, though, you're right that winning a championship for every four years or so has to be an accomplishment. It's good to see that franchise on the upswing again, it's been through some pretty dark times since their last Cup.

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07-20-2006, 11:06 PM
  #47
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Even with that, though, you're right that winning a championship for every four years or so has to be an accomplishment. It's good to see that franchise on the upswing again, it's been through some pretty dark times since their last Cup.
I agree. I really like seeing O6 teams that are able to be pertinant even in today's game.

After meeting a few great posters on this board that managed to trickle their way over to the Carolina board, I have embraced Montreal as my 2nd favorite team. I promised them that if the role should reverse next year with Montreal making a deep run, they would have my full support.

Try not to be too surprised if I stop by this time next year with a few spuds in the background of my avatar. Of course, provided the worst case scenario of Carolina being eliminated.

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07-20-2006, 11:09 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Same as last year, I imagine. A first round pick and extras. I'd be more worried about losing the picks than I would be about them being able to swing a deadline deal, but the 'Canes have been stocking up for a while and can afford to let a high pick or two go.
Even with the geriatric squad eg Whitney, Wesley Brindamour(5 year deal)

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07-20-2006, 11:18 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by toshiro View Post
Even with the geriatric squad eg Whitney, Wesley Brindamour(5 year deal)
Well, it isn't exactly Logan's Run where a player is killed when he reaches age 35, so those players are still effective players. Ray Whitney is 34 which is hardly too old to contribute in a scoring role as long as he's able. He doesn't play a physical game, so as long as he doesn't lose his speed and offensive creativity he should do fine. Rod Brind'Amour just had his best offensive season of the past five years and looks rejuvenated. He won the Selke trophy this year as the best defensive forward, so even if his offensive production drops off you could expect a Mike Peca like downside to him as he ages. Glen Wesley will no longer be looked upon to play a Top 4 role with this squad. In fact, some even think there is a possibility he plays the 7th defenseman role with the team next year.

It would be wise to not underestimate the value of capable veteran players on your team. The three month break they're going to have between this season and next season, with any luck, not age them to the point they will be deemed useless.

Carolina understands the fact that in a salary cap world, you have a window of about five to seven years to be an effective contender before you have to start another "rebuild" type scenario. The fact that they're utilizing their veterans to help their cause along doesn't hurt them for at least another two years. I don't remember the last time that a team full of players 25 and under won a Stanley Cup together. It takes all kinds. Carolina has more impact forwards Under 30 than they do over 30.

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07-20-2006, 11:40 PM
  #50
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Originally Posted by Caniacforever View Post
After meeting a few great posters on this board that managed to trickle their way over to the Carolina board, I have embraced Montreal as my 2nd favorite team. I promised them that if the role should reverse next year with Montreal making a deep run, they would have my full support.
Nice of you to say that in spite of my bullheaded defense of my opinions.

For my part, I think the Hurricanes will bear more following from me next year. They have shown that they are a very good team and it's a shame they play in a division I haven't followed much (and I ought to remedy that). If they regularly play the same way they did against Montreal in their fourth regular-season matchup, they will be very, very scary. I was ready to hand them the Cup right after that game.

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