The elephant in the room — The recent negative Carolina Hurricanes effect

The elephant in the room — The recent negative Carolina Hurricanes effect

Early on during the Hurricanes current playoff drought, the team saw a number of regular roster players and allegedly promising prospects leave the Hurricanes and then proceed to wind their way out of the NHL within a few years. Players like Jay Harrison, Nathan Gerbe, Patrick Dwyer, Chad LaRose, Alexander Semin, Jiri Tlusty, Tim Gleason and others play regular roles on the Hurricanes and then shortly thereafter find themselves out of the NHL. In addition, once promising prospects like Zach Boychuk, Chris Terry, Zac Dalpe, Ryan Murphy and others left and were unable to stick at the NHL level with other teams. Given that the Hurricanes were struggling in the standings, it was not surprising that players who could make the Hurricanes roster were not good enough elsewhere. But in recent years a different roster phenomenon has occurred. Players who were struggling with the Hurricanes have thrived elsewhere. And players who were thriving elsewhere have struggled with the Carolina Hurricanes. Prior to this year, the team had seen Eric Staal whose scoring had fallen to meager depth scoring levels rebound to score 42 goals and rejuvenate his career in Minnesota. And the team had also seen Eddie Lack and Scott Darling coming off of strong previous seasons make the jump to North Carolina and then flop spectacularly. But with the significant changeover of higher-end prospects and players this past summer, the results are even more spectacular. Micheal Ferland and Jordan Martinook have fared well in a Hurricanes uniform, but Dougie Hamilton has struggled thus far generating a mixed review in total. But what is most glaring is how spectacular...
Desperately needing a home run (or two)

Desperately needing a home run (or two)

Let me start by saying that as we sit right now I am cautiously optimistic about the 2018-19 season. Through 29 games, the team is roughly where it started the season which is at the playoff cut line with a number of other teams and needing at least one burst of really good hockey to push above that line. Further, it is possible to make it to the playoffs and further with balance and not a ton of elite talent.   The winning formula But all of that said, the most common formula for regular success in the NHL is to have a core of elite players. The good version of the Blackhawks a few years back had exactly that in Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith. The Penguins have long lived and died by the ability of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to lead two great lines and put the team on their backs when necessary. The Washington Capitals have Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. The rising leaders of the current NHL are no different. Toronto is led by a collection of young guns in Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and newly-added John Tavares. Tampa Bay features Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman. The Winnipeg Jets have Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele. And the Calgary Flames have Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk. The commonalities are twofold. First, these teams have two or more top-end offensive players capable of driving scoring lines. Second, these teams have been able to add such players largely through the draft.   The Hurricanes inability to match up In terms of...
Seeking simple changes

Seeking simple changes

After a solid win on Friday, the Hurricanes were right back at it three days later and back were the team’s scoring woes. Now with a record that is one win better than hockey .500, the Hurricanes need to find a higher gear as soon as possible. But the team has been sputtering a bit and struggling to score. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a shot at using only simple changes to try to make some gains.   1) Reunite Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce As I said on Twitter shortly after school ended: 1/2 Odd positive, but I think capitulation day for Slavin/Hamilton pairing could be long-term positive. That just was not working and was long past forced. #TakeWarning — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) December 12, 2018 1/2 Odd positive, but I think capitulation day for Slavin/Hamilton pairing could be long-term positive. That just was not working and was long past forced. #TakeWarning — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) December 12, 2018 Sure Hamilton/Slavin worked on paper prior to this problem. But the duo just has not worked thus far. With de Haan/Faulk clicking, reuniting Slavin/Pesce is not the most exciting deal but it should solidify the top 4 defensively.   2) Micheal Ferland with Sebstian Aho Micheal Ferland returned on Tuesday but made it through only a single period before missing the remainder of the game with an upper body injury. Ferland has been the primary finisher thus far after another day of work. With not much clicking offensively right now, there could be temptation to reshuffle all of the lines, but Ferland should remain with Aho...
Carolina Hurricanes schedule: Looking backward, looking forward

Carolina Hurricanes schedule: Looking backward, looking forward

When the Hurricanes pulled off an impressive win on Saturday night, the team moved into a tie for the third and final playoff spot in the Metropolitan. In the topsy-turvy Eastern Conference that sees literally every team still within striking distance of a playoff spot, the Canes have since been passed and will be on the outside looking in by a point or two when they return to the ice on Tuesday night at PNC Arena.   Looking backward on the first 28 games of the Carolina Hurricanes 2018-19 season When one looks back on the first 28 games that represent just over one-third of the season, the first third has been a roller coaster to put it mildly. The team stormed through preseason and then continued into the regular season running out to a 4-0-1 mark. Since then the team has seen lows that have at least matched the highs on the way to a 13-11-4 record. That record puts the team in a cluster of seven teams currently on the outside looking in on the playoffs but no more than four points off the pace. After 28 games, the standings in the middle and bottom of the Eastern Conference have only minimally more spacing than when all of these teams started the season tied at 0-0-0. Half full says that with a rookie coach and a young team, especially at forward, that the Hurricanes did well getting their feet under them and have the potential to get better as the season wears on. Half full also says that the Hurricanes have not one but two goalies playing...
Canes catch up: Scott Darling, Janne Kuokkanen, Dougie Hamilton

Canes catch up: Scott Darling, Janne Kuokkanen, Dougie Hamilton

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe has a quick series of catch up notes on a couple players.   Scott Darling Inside of a week of being demoted to get the NHL roster back down to a more workable two goalies, Curtis McElhinney sustained an injury that required the team to reach to the AHL add another goalie to the NHL roster. The team recalled Alex Nedeljkovic for the tail end of the West Coast trip which I think says a lot about Scott Darling’s standing within the organization right now. With Petr Mrazek playing well since returning from injury and a nice spacing for the next few games, whoever was recalled seems destined to watch from the bench while Mrazek takes a turn being #1. The reasons to recall Darling were plentiful: –Darling is on a one-way deal, so the team is already paying his full salary regardless of where he plays. By instead recalling Nedeljkovic, the team will have to spend an extra chunk of salary bumping Nedeljkovic up to his NHL salary. –Since the recall was only there for an emergency and unlikely to play, Nedeljkovic would have been better off playing at the AHL level. So the team gave up some ice time for Nedeljkovic by doing it this way. The situation was headed in that direction anyway, but the backup goalie situation can be interpreted as an even more definitive statement that the team is committed to moving on from Scott Darling and just does not want him back at the NHL level. Remember that the Hurricanes have no way that makes sense to officially...
Questioning the Carolina Hurricanes’ use of the Charlotte Checkers

Questioning the Carolina Hurricanes’ use of the Charlotte Checkers

On Thursday, the Carolina Hurricanes recalled Finnish forward Saku Maenalanen. The timing is interesting in that there had been recent rumors that Maenalanen might be headed back to Europe. Based on that, one have to wonder if perhaps this is a consequential audition for Maenalanen. So my jumping off point from there uses today’s Daily Cup of Joe to question the Hurricanes use of the AHL. The article adds to a busy week of Charlotte Checkers coverage. On Thursday, the second of two Charlotte Checkers ‘week in review’ type articles with detailed game recaps by Brandon Stanley was posted. You can find the first article covering Thanksgiving week HERE. And you can find the most recent week HERE. Right now, if there is one thing that the Carolina Hurricanes need, it would be scoring punch.   Canes forward call ups Based upon that, I have been perplexed by the Hurricanes’ moves with regard to AHL call ups. => The choice to call up Maenalanen might be driven by the need to give him an audition or lose him, but at the same time, I question calling up yet another forward whose calling card is two-way play not dynamic scoring. => That is in addition to Clark Bishop. Bishop is a good hockey player, and as a fifth-rounder who worked his way up to the NHL level, his story is a great one. But Bishop has exactly zero points in 10 games and makes for yet another line where the center is light on offense relative to his slot/role. => Ditto for Warren Foegele. Foegele earned an opening night roster...