Today’s Daily Cup of Joe features a random set of notes that have not made it into other articles recently.
After a slow start in a Carolina Hurricanes uniform, I really like Hamilton’s game right now. He is a bit of a rover with a risk component to his game, but he participates as a fourth forward on offense as well as any defenseman the Canes have had. What jumps out at me is that Hamilton is not so much the type who only generates offense with the puck on his stick. Much of what Hamilton does is more exploiting open areas on the ice off the rush or in the offensive zone. Though there is some risk in his style of play, his ability to pick spots is generally pretty good.
It has been in an understated way, but I like the way Andrei Svechnikov has been playing the past couple games. He has regularly been trying to beat defenders at the offensive blue line and has had decent success doing so. He also seems to be making necessary adjustments in terms of not lazily using his stick to defend. Svechnikov had 8 minor penalties in 12 games in January. Through 10 games in Febuary, he has only two minor penalties. Throw in an assist in each of the past two games, and one can hope that he is catching his second wind just in time.
Williams’ play early in the season was hit or miss. He made plays, but he also seemed to struggle with pace in transition to defense, and he also had a tendency to turn the puck over too much in bad places when he did not get his feet moving soon enough. Fast forward to the second half of the season, and Williams is playing well on an Aho-centered first line. To be honest, I would not have expected that Williams could match pace enough to play well o Aho’s line, but he has looked good thus far.
After a long layoff with a concussion, Jordan Staal is on the mend. He figures to return in one of the next few games. With the team generally winning, there is no need to upset the apple cart when he returns. I would simply slot Staal in McKegg’s slot and then let him play his way up from there. I actually think that landing place with Warren Foegele and Saku Maenalanen could provide a comfortable starting point for Staal. The downside as I see it swapping center for center is that such a move would leave Martinook at center. While I appreciate the flexibility of Martinook being able to play center, I think he is better was a wing.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Which Carolina Hurricanes players do you think are rising up at the right time?
2) Where in the lineup would you start Jordan Staal when he returns?