Daily Cup of Joe for Monday has a short set of random Carolina Hurricanes notes.
1) Micheal Ferland in the playoffs
During the regular season, physical play offers only a short-term gain. A team might gain a small advantage by wearing an opponent down by the third period. But that is the extent of any benefit. Then both teams go on to play other teams. But with up to seven straight games against the same team, the playoffs are a different animal. If a team physically wears down another, they benefit late in a series. As such, I think Ferland and his physical play could have a significant impact on a long playoff series. What is more, Jordan Martinook and Brock McGinn add two more players who are in the same vein.
2) Andrei Svechnikov as Erik Cole
Andrei Svechnikov is still acclimating to NHL goalies. He is not yet having a ton of success scoring on odd man rushes or being in alone on the goalie. His natural instinct is to carry in forehand and then move to backhand and shoot, but goalies are generally reading that easily and taking it away. But because he has the hands and skill, it is reasonable to believe that his finishing ability on some of these chances will rise quickly. But short-term he is starting to remind me of Erik Cole with the bull in a China shop drive to the net. Cole’s approach on the rush in simple form was to get wide and gain a step and an angle on the defenseman and then just carry the puck to the net often creating chaos in the process. The results for Cole were twofold. First, he drew a bunch of penalties from defensemen who could only impede him illegally to stop him. Second, he created a good number of goals with second chance opportunities after chaos, collisions and a cloud of dust left a puck and an opening to shoot at. Svechnikov increasingly reminds me of Cole off the rush with that same heads down and drive to the net approach.
3) Dougie Hamilton
My initial expectation for Dougie Hamilton was something similar to Joni Pitkanen. Though Hamilton can skate and carry the puck, his offensive ability is actually significantly weighted toward his play without the puck. He basically picks spots to play as a fourth forward. When the time is right and with minimal errors recently, Hamilton finds openings in the offensive zone or being a secondary player off the rush as a receive and score type of player. That is different than Pitkanen whose offensive ability was more that of a puck distributor.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Who else has random Canes observations that might be worth discussion?
2) To what degree do you think the Hurricanes lineup is built for the playoffs?
3) Do you also see a bit of Erik Cole in Svechnikov’s play off the rush?