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This week's upcoming games

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Old
12-03-2006, 11:19 PM
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CioCio
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This week's upcoming games

With the start of a new week, and especially this one, given that it contains 3 out of a 4-game road trip out west, I thought it'd be interesting to hear everyone's thoughts on the upcoming match-ups. Teams we don't see that much. Western Conference teams usually intimidate me, but I think that's just on account of the unfamiliarity. I feel confident though. If the Canes had lost either of their last two games, I'd see it as a good opportunity to get their heads back in gear, but now I see it as an opportunity to keep the success and tenacity they've had truckin' right along. Hopefully whatever Lavvy said to them after the Ottawa game intimated the point of winning consistency being a good thing!

So what are your thoughts?

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12-04-2006, 06:36 AM
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DaveG
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My thoughts at the moment are that it's unfortunite that the Wild aren't on this leg of the road trip. They've been on a real slide of late and we could get a solid W out of that one.

Calgary - Kipprusoff has been heating up after a slow start to the season and they are back to their old ways of allowing the fewest goals in the league this season. Offensively they are still not all that strong, they're 8th in the west in scoring, but that would only be good enough for 14th in the east with the Devils being the only team that they'd be in front of. This should be a big time contrast in styles and I could see this one going either way.

Edmonton - Offensively we know what to expect from these guys for the most part, same with between the pipes. It's the defense that is completely different this year. Smid is the real deal but he's still rounding into form and not a #1 defenseman just yet. With the slide they've been on of late this looks like a possible W, even with it almost being a garentuee that the Oilers will be extra motivated for this one.

Vancouver - Seems like the same story wherever Luongo goes. He keeps his fair share of goals out (top half of the west in GA, top third of the league) but his offense doesn't score enough to make him a winning goalie. As is they're in a tight race for #8 in the west right now. Another possible win IMO.

Colorado - This is rather obviously a completely different Colorado team then the ones that went to the finals. That said, they have a lot of excelent young tallent up front. Wolski (rd 1 2004, #21oa), Svatos (rd 7 2001, #227oa) and Stastny (rd 2 2005, #44oa) are the headliners of their next wave up front, and let's not forget that they have this guy named Sakic. Bleedgreen should be able to give us a bit better forcast on these guys.

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12-04-2006, 10:46 PM
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Well, I thought I made a fun thread

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12-04-2006, 11:40 PM
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Is Grahame going to play in Calgary and Ward in Edmonton?

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12-05-2006, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniprt View Post
Is Grahame going to play in Calgary and Ward in Edmonton?
With the rest from last having to play on Saturday, we may see Cam Ward get both ends of the back to back sequence and have Grahame get the Vancouver game. Nothing would surprise me at this point.

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Old
12-05-2006, 11:43 AM
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Forslund said this morning it will be Grahame tonight and that he could well play the Colorado game.

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12-05-2006, 11:48 AM
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DaveG
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Interesting. I didn't think that Grahame played that well against the Sens and that Ward was great (asside from that relatively soft goal against Montreal) his last 2 starts. Obviously Grahame diserves another shot with how he was the games before, but the timing seems a bit odd considering how Ward has played. Maybe Ward simply wants to save it for a start against the Oilers.

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12-05-2006, 01:25 PM
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Umm....thats kinda weird.

I appreciate that Laviolette thinks that Grahame is good enough to get continuous starts but...thats still scary....

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12-12-2006, 06:57 AM
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DaveG
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Week in Review:

Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen a team go from contender to pretender so fast. I had to look hard to find any positives from this week and they really were few and far between. Our comeback against Vancouver was the first time we had seen any hunger from the guys on the entire trip, and we followed that up with the undisciplined play that got us into that whole mess in the first place earlier that game. The result was inevitably an OT loss. Against the Avs the Canes played about 45 minutes of good hockey with possibly the best powerplay puck movement all year with Stillman back... and then they proceded to completely implode turning a 2-1 lead to a 5-2 loss in 10 minutes of slopy, careless play. Calgary simply shut us down, calls or no calls, we weren't winning that one. Against Edmonton we still had problems scoring, but I still say we got screwed, or should I say Mcgoughed. There's no telling wether or not we would have still been in it had that obvious trip of Williams been called late in the second that resulted in the game winner, but with it not being called the Canes were obviously completely deflated.

I really don't like the direction this team is headed in right now, and that brings up the next issue. The veterans from the cup run (asside from Cole, C Ads and Brind'Amour) are complacent. Eric Staal, one of the premier young tallents in the game, is complacent. I even notice it begining to rub off a bit on Walker and Belanger, hopefully Gleason doesn't follow suit. Kaberle COULD be coming back within a month and that will be big when he does, but that's only one move, others need to be made. To put it bluntly, we need a big time shakeup somewhere and I don't think the problem is Lavi on this one.

We need another scoring player to man the 3rd line since none of the Lawyers (LaRose, Letowski, Adams and Adams) will cut it long-term in that role and Andrew Ladd needs more seasoning in the AHL to get his confidence and scoring going again. And frankly, we need another physical force on defense. Let's face it, Wesley never has been one to physically punish others, but he's still not the player he was even last season. Wallin is allrgiht but he's a not the punishing crease clearing defenseman we need at this point. Gleason has the potential to be this, with a bit of offensive punch, but he's inexperienced and won't cut it if we hope to make a playoff run. I do have him as untouchable though. Babchuk is starting to round out his game but frankly doesn't have that nasty streak, he could absolutely crush people with his size if he did. That leaves Commodore as the only real crease clearer we have at this point. Hedican, Kaberle, Tanabe and Hutchinson don't fit this role, it's not their game.

That said, here's our pieces that we simply should not be trading at this point: Erik Cole, Eric Staal, Cory Stillman, Ray Whitney, Rod Brind'Amour, Justin Williams, Scott Walker, Andrew Ladd, Mike Commodore, Frantisek Kaberle, Tim Gleason, Anton Babchuk, Cam Ward. Those are our core players that we simply shouldn't give up at this point, I know that doesn't leave us with much to trade but there are definitely quality pieces there. Eric Belanger and Bret Hedican are obviously the two best players I would be putting on the block in this situation. The question now becomes who is looking to make a move and what options are available there? Phoenix, LA, St Louis and Columbus are obviously the first places we should be looking right now with Philly not far behind and Florida a little behind that.

Personally my preference would be Jackman from St Louis for Hedican (if they would accept) once Kaberle's back, and Carter from the Bluejackets for one of our forwards and maybe a goaltending prospect. Hopefully it wouldn't be Peters with how he's been playing in the A this year, but If I recall correctly Carter has been a target for JR for a long time so I wouldn't bet against him being a part of any move there. Getting either Gary or Marty back from Florida would be a nice option too but I wonder how much they have left in the tank and what we'd have to give up. Hell, at this point I'd be willing to give Shane Willis a shot and send Ladd down to give us another scoring option at the NHL level, he can't provide any less offensive punch then Letowski, C Ads, K Ads or Ladd have at this point and could possibly provide more with the style of play he uses.


Last edited by DaveG: 12-12-2006 at 07:04 AM.
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Old
12-12-2006, 09:19 AM
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Let's put this in perspective.

We've played 19 games on the road, 13 at home. Given our solid home record (8-4-1) and our joke of a road record (7-9-3), I think this has played a large factor in our problems.

We've played without Stillman for all but one game and the results are very similar to how we played without Cole in March/April of last seaon.

We play three of the next four on the road, but the good news is that after that the schedule gets easier for the next month (in terms of number of road/home games). Stillman and Brind'amour will (presumably) both be back for these games, so I think we'll know how good we actually are in about a month.

If the team doesn't do good over the next month or so, then I'm all for a trade. But making a trade after a tough western Canadian road trip doesn't go well is a pure panic move.

I don't think we need to make a move for more offense. We were having no trouble scoring goals before this road trip and were 4th in the league in goals per game. The defense, however, is an obvious problem and I would probably trade a forward if we could get back a legit top-pairing D.

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12-12-2006, 09:23 AM
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DaveG
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That's the main reason I want us to wait for Kaberle to return first and see how we do. It opens up our options on that front if he's back and in full game shape. I do think we need a shakup though, especially on our 3rd line. We'll see what happens from here out.

Oh, one other note. Our PK without Brindy is beyond craptacular, something we'll need to look into over the long run.

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12-13-2006, 07:11 PM
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Our biggest need is a solid d-man that can also play the point on the PP!

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12-13-2006, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeputyDan View Post
Our biggest need is a solid d-man that can also play the point on the PP!
Kaberle fits that bill nicely, I think our biggest need is another scoring winger for the 3rd line.

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12-14-2006, 11:06 AM
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Obi Wan LaRosie
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well, I think that you should add K. Adams to that list of players not to trade. He is an excellent energy 4th liner who when he is on the ice is not a detriment to the team (i.e. does not get scored on too often) because he is a good defensive player. He is also very important on the PK and I believe in the room as well. always just wanted to use that symbol

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12-14-2006, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moosetache View Post
well, I think that you should add K. Adams to that list of players not to trade. He is an excellent energy 4th liner who when he is on the ice is not a detriment to the team (i.e. does not get scored on too often) because he is a good defensive player. He is also very important on the PK and I believe in the room as well. always just wanted to use that symbol
And yet he is far and away a team worst -10.
Last year your description would have been true. This year, not so much.

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