‘Like’ and ‘room for improvement’ from Carolina Hurricanes prospects at Traverse City

‘Like’ and ‘room for improvement’ from Carolina Hurricanes prospects at Traverse City

I had notes and good intentions of posting a recap and notes from the Hurricanes finale in Traverse City on Tuesday afternoon, but life got in the way. I will hopefully put them up in the next day or so. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe looks more broadly at the entirety of the tourney and offers ‘likes’ and ‘room for improvement’ from what I saw over the four-game set. My comments do also consider my assessment of the players coming into the tourney, so they are more of an update than an assessment on a very small sample size. In addition, all of these players are still fairly early in their development with the potential to improve and reach higher levels of play.   Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas as a duo Like: Both players had their moments and looked every bit NHL-capable. Svechnikov showed the sniper-like capabilities of a goal scorer and Necas had his share of times where he seemed to cover 30 feet of ice in an eighth of a second. So individually, each player did enough to impress. Room for improvement: As much as I tried to find it, I would not say that the duo exhibited great chemistry as defined by players making each other better. They did combine for one really pretty goal late in Tuesday’s game when Necas found Svechnikov with a nifty pass between the circles and Svechnikov made a pretty move and then finished with a laser for a goal. But in total, I did not see the two as being a 1+1=3 as often as I had hoped for...
Three things that I do NOT think we can get a read on during preseason

Three things that I do NOT think we can get a read on during preseason

With a number of changes both on and off the ice, Hurricanes fans will tune in starting this week for training camp and preseason trying to assess the new team and what the changes mean for the 2018-19. I think there are number of things that training camp and preseason action will be useful for assessing or reassessing. I think preseason games will be helpful for gauging where Andrei Svechnikov is at this early stage of his development. I also think that preseason action can be useful for an early gauge for chemistry for line mates. And preseason action should also be useful for at least early indications on three other things. But I actually think that preseason will be of minimal if any use for evaluating a couple keys for the 2018-19 season.   1) Goaltending After yet another sub-par season in net in 2017-18 and a decision to give it a go again with Scott Darling and another player looking to rebound in Petr Mrazek, an early positive sign on goaltending could be top of a Hurricanes fan wish list entering training camp. As such, everyone will be watching Scott Darling and to some degree Petr Mrazek closely. Does Darling look quicker, more confident, sharper or whatever else? Does Mrazek look like the starter he was a few years back? Etc., etc. But if Hurricanes history over the past long run of playoff misses teaches the Caniac Nation anything it is that preseason offers very little in terms of gauging regular season performance. The Hurricanes have generally been decent or better in net in preseason only to...
Traverse City Gm3 vs. Clu: Canes prospects get beaten wire to wire in 4-1 loss to Blue Jackets

Traverse City Gm3 vs. Clu: Canes prospects get beaten wire to wire in 4-1 loss to Blue Jackets

Calling it like it is, Monday’s third game of the Traverse City prospects tourney was a disappointment. The Blue Jackets team was noticeably physical early to make a point and then mostly outplayed the Hurricanes throughout. There was a smattering of good individual plays, but the closest the Hurricanes came to any sustained push was probably only 5-6 shifts early in the second period before that dissipated into more of Columbus being the aggressor. Perspective is important. This is mid-September hockey with a team pulled together with minimal practice and also a sizable group of players who are not even part of the organization. So reading too much into a single game or even the whole tourney can be overdone. That said, a game was played and as such, we might as well glean what we can from it. At a general level, the issues were team-wide. The team had nowhere near the jump that Columbus had especially early, and similar to Saturday’s loss to Chicago the team had issues trying to advance the puck out of its own end with any kind of pace. My usual player notes will focus primarily on the positives mixed into a tough night.   Jeremy Helvig Despite allowing three goals, I thought Helvig held up well under siege and with some sloppy play in front of him. He has a good knack for using his large frame to play into shots and enough athleticism that he is a good first shot goalie. Like many young goalies, he has a ways to go in terms of rebound control, and ideally he will also...
Random Canes blue line notes – Adam Fox, Michael Fora and more

Random Canes blue line notes – Adam Fox, Michael Fora and more

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe includes a small collection of random Canes notes that have not found their way into articles yet or could benefit from a deeper dive.   Blue line depth, Justin Faulk and the potential impact on Adam Fox In the blockbuster trade that sent Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin to Calgary for Dougie Hamilton and Micheal Ferland, the Hurricanes also obtained an extra bonus in prospect Adam Fox. Fox is not just a low to mid-tier throw in. He is a high-end blue line prospect who I (and others since then) rate above Jake Bean who previously topped the team’s blue line prospect rankings. Fox was allegedly available because the Flames thought he would not sign but rather would play out four years of college and then become a free agent. The burning question is whether the Hurricanes can convince him to sign next summer after his junior year. Personal factors and other things could come into play, but looking at the situation solely from the angle of Fox considering his opportunity joining the Hurricanes versus signing with another team, there are a few things to consider. First is the logjam on the right side of the Hurricanes blue line right now. With Justin Faulk still in tow, the team has four proven NHL defensemen who are right shots right now. That does not look great for Fox hoping to get NHL ice time sooner rather than later. Just in general, the strength of the Hurricanes blue line is a negative right now for Fox. But I think somewhat of a path could be cleared...
Traverse City Gm2 vs. Chi: Sluggish Baby Canes sputter to 5-2 loss against the Blackhawks

Traverse City Gm2 vs. Chi: Sluggish Baby Canes sputter to 5-2 loss against the Blackhawks

If you missed it yesterday, a similar lengthier article recapping Friday’s 4-1 win over St. Louis can be found HERE.   On Saturday afternoon, the Hurricanes prospects played their second of three round robin games against the Blackhawks. The game started inauspiciously with the Hurricanes largely hemmed in their own end against an aggressive forecheck and struggling to advance the puck. But Jake Bean single-handedly relieved pressure to some degree and a couple power play opportunities and a 5-on-3 goal for seemed to right the ship. But the Hurricanes never really did shake off the sloppiness, played too much of the game under duress and ultimately fell 5-2. The story of the game was the fact that the Hurricanes had little answer for an aggressive foreceheck. The combination of turnovers and just spending too much time in their own end eventually did them in. I had to check out at about the midway point of the third period, so my comments are based only on about 50 of the 60 minutes of hockey. Quick player notes are below:   Andrei Svechnikov He picked up two points in the opener on Friday, but I actually thought Saturday’s game offered a better glimpse of his future in a Hurricanes uniform. He fired a laser of a wrist shot into the net for his first goal against opposition in a Hurricanes sweater. He also hit a post on another shot also from the vicinity of the right face-off circle. Looking forward into 2018-19, could be be a right wing sniper on the right side of Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen? It is...