‘What I’m (not?) watching’ — Preseason Gm3 @Was: Tryouts continue against the Capitals

‘What I’m (not?) watching’ — Preseason Gm3 @Was: Tryouts continue against the Capitals

Today’s game 3 of the preseason will not be broadcast locally, so those wishing to track the game will be forced to radio unless some kind of video stream emerges from the depths of the internet. The game features a lineup pretty similar to Tuesday’s road lineup but with a couple NHLers and potential NHLers sprinkled in.   ‘What I’m (not) watching’ for the Carolina Hurricanes versus the Washington Capitals 1) Julien Gauthier rising After Wednesday’s game, I said on Twitter: 1/2 It's early, but @CanesNHL Julien Gauthier has played his way up into same consideration as Martin Necas. Both are waiver exempt. — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) September 19, 2019 2/2 If it's a true 'earn your ice time', Gauthier at a minimum has earned a try out/ice time on an NHL line. #TakeWarning — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) September 19, 2019 Gauthier will play in his third consecutive preseason. Subtle but meaningful in the expected lineup is that Gauthier will play on an NHL line with Lucas Wallmark and Brock McGinn, whereas Martin Necas will play on more of a tryout line with Morgan Geekie and Janne Kuokkanen. This is not a slight to Geekie and Kuokkanen who have both played well, nor does it mean that Necas is out of the picture based solely on two preseason games. But it is very clear that Gauthier has caught the coaching staff’s attention and deservedly so. The key for Gauthier is not to pause or be happy about his progress but rather to keep pushing every shift.   2) Sorting out the D The blue line features Jake...
‘What I’m watching’ — Preseason Gm2 Vs. Tam: Now for the NHL roster

‘What I’m watching’ — Preseason Gm2 Vs. Tam: Now for the NHL roster

I feel like I am running about 12 hours behind on about everything in life this week, but I did finally post at least abbreviated notes on Tuesday’s game. Those are HERE. As is typically the case at home in the preseason, tonight’s Hurricanes lineup features much more of an NHL contingent, with three lines of NHL forwards and also four NHL defensemen plus Gustav Forsling who figures to be in the mix of players competing at the AHL/NHL cut line. Dzingel-Aho-NinoFoegele- Haula- NecasSvechnikov- Staal- TurboLorentz- Bishop- Gauthier Claesson-ForslingSlavin-HamiltonGardiner- FaulkSheppard- Lintuniemi EMOJIS TO COME — Sara ‘morning skate tweeter’ Civ (@SaraCivian) September 18, 2019   Quick ‘What I’m watching’ for the Carolina Hurricanes versus the Tampa Bay Lightning 1) Chemistry at the top The top scoring line features Sebastian Aho in his usual place and familiar face Nino Niederreiter. Ryan Dzingel is the new add. The party line on Dzingel is that his play on the defensive side of the puck is not one of his strengths. So I will be watching two things in that regard. First is to see if/to what degree this line has chemistry out of the gate. Second, I will be watching to see how Dzingel looks in instances where he needs to read/react and not just be a Brind’Amour system heat-seeking missile on the left side.   2) Svech with the the shutdown leader I am on record as preferring to stock Jordan Staal’s line with players who rate average or better defensively. Important to note is that Andrei Svechnikov is still only 19 years old and growing in all facets of his...
‘What I’m watching’ — Preseason Gm1 @Tam: Chance to make a lasting impression

‘What I’m watching’ — Preseason Gm1 @Tam: Chance to make a lasting impression

As is standard for early preseason road games, the Hurricanes roster that takes the ice on Tuesday night in Tampa, Florida will be light on NHL talent. More of the NHL group will play the turnaround home game on Wednesday in Raleigh. But that is not to say that games like this are not important. Instead, these games are absolutely critical for depth players who will have limited opportunities to make an impression on Rod Brind’Amour and the coaching staff. In 2018-19, Warren Foegele used a strong preseason start to move up the depth chart and get preseason ice time with NHLers. And Greg McKegg had a strong preseason that no doubt put him near the top of the list for future call ups. He later returned to Raleigh and played the second half of the year at the NHL level. Similar opportunities exist this preseason which begins tonight. Adam Gold from 99.9 The Fan posted the expected line combinations from the morning skate in Raleigh: So…here’s how the @CanesNHL will line up in Tampa tonight… Brock-Wally-MartyKuokk-Luostarinen-GauthierMcCormick-Suzuki-GibbonsMarkison-Geekie-Pritchard Bean-PesceFleury-McKeownSellgren-Wood ReimerForsberg Should be seeing McElhinney for the Bolts — Adam Gold (@AGoldFan) September 17, 2019 So parsing through that lineup and considering what I said above, here is ‘what I’m watching’ for Tuesday’s game:   1) Prospects standing out — Janne Kuokkanen, Julien Gauthier, Morgan Geekie and Jake Bean Kuokkanen, Gauthier and Bean represent three of the four players that I identified in Monday’s Daily Cup of Joe article that identified potential dark horses. As noted in that article, there is not much room for players to win slots right now, but...
‘What I’m watching’ — ECF Gm4 Vs. Bos: Facing elimination, Canes try to say “Not today” to Bruins

‘What I’m watching’ — ECF Gm4 Vs. Bos: Facing elimination, Canes try to say “Not today” to Bruins

Facing elimination, the Carolina Hurricanes return to the ice at PNC Arena for game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins. The long odds of winning four straight games in the NHL playoffs to pull out a stunning series win are well-documented and a legitimate long shot. But I really think the impossibility of winning only game 4 is overstated. The Hurricanes rebounded and generally played the better game on Tuesday. Only some perfect storm of power play ineptitude, missing open nets, Tuukka Rask magic and a couple bizarre lucky saves kept the Hurricanes from winning game 3 and climbing back into the series. Would’ve’s and could’ve’s obviously count for nothing this time of year, but I actually think that if the Hurricanes bring the exact same game as Tuesday the odds of winning are greater than 50 percent just needed to catch any kind of puck luck. At a basic level, there are two keys to winning on Thursday and extending the season for another game. First, the Hurricanes must show the fortitude to bring the same level of effort and intensity as Tuesday, and that must hold even if they face either an early setback or again are not rewarded for dominating play. Second, the Hurricanes need to play a focused and cleaner game. The margin for error in this series has been tiny and one of the Hurricanes’ Achilles’ heels has been too many costly errors. Penalty issues and a special teams again reared their head in Tuesday’s loss, and the penalties taken were largely of the unnecessary variety. If the Hurricanes bring...
‘What I’m watching’ — ECF Gm3 Vs. Bos: Canes seek boost on home ice and a rebound versus Bruins

‘What I’m watching’ — ECF Gm3 Vs. Bos: Canes seek boost on home ice and a rebound versus Bruins

After consecutive losses in Boston to start the series and an especially rough 6-2 defeat on Sunday, the Hurricanes return home seeking a boost and a win to climb into the series. The game is as close to must-win as can be without being an elimination. The odds are incredibly long for teams down 3-0 in playoff series. But all is not lost. The long version is detailed in Today’s Daily Cup of Joe entitled, “Making the case for a Canes rebound.” The short version is that this team is 5-0 on home ice in the playoffs, has shown resiliency after past bad defeats and has already successfully navigated this road after being down 2-0 to the Capitals and emerging with a series win. More than anything, the Hurricanes just need a complete reset such that their game in total looks very little like what happened in Boston and much more like what happened in most of the games versus Washington. My more specific watch points for today’s critical game follow.   ‘What I’m watching’ for the Carolina Hurricanes versus the Boston Bruins 1) Pace, pressure and forecheck In these playoffs, the forecheck has been the catalyst for everything else. When the forecheck is effective everything else follows. The forecheck generates offensive zone possession time and a decent volume of scoring chances spread across the entire lineup. And the forecheck significantly decreases how much the team has to defend and how dangerous those chances are. Through two games, the Hurricanes forecheck has largely been ineffective except for a short burst in the second period of game 1. On the surface,...
‘What I’m watching’ — ECF Gm2 @Bos: Canes seek rebound and road split in game 2 versus the Bruins

‘What I’m watching’ — ECF Gm2 @Bos: Canes seek rebound and road split in game 2 versus the Bruins

Happy Mother’s to all of the moms in our Canes hockey community. We hope you have a great day with a Hurricanes win right in the middle of it.   After a five-day layoff, the Hurricanes took some time to get going in game 1 against the Bruins, but a stellar first 15 minutes of the second period had the Canes on track and with a 2-1 lead entering the third. Then a quick series of events heavy on penalties and officiating reversed things quickly and sent the Hurricanes on their way to a 5-2 loss. For those who did not see the game, it was more or less a one-goal game with Boston scoring any empty-netter and then adding another late. Regardless, the Hurricanes enter game 2 needing a win to get the desired split on the road. The Hurricanes are 5-0 at home in the playoffs so far and showed in the Washington series that they were a resilient bunch capable of winning a long series and even a game 7 on the road. So Sunday is not a must-win in the pure sense of the term. But I do think game 2 is critical. Having to win four out of five against a good team is challenging, and the Hurricanes would definitely have significant pressure on them for game 3. Put another way, the path to a series win is MUCH easier if the Hurricanes can rebound and take game 2 of the series on Sunday. The Daily Cup of Joe for Friday asked whether the Hurricanes should make adjustments or stay the course? For the most...