Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a smattering of random Canes notes finally heading into the next game day on Thursday. Check back a bit later too; hope is to post short ‘What I’m watching’ style preview for Thursday’s tilt against contract war nemesis Montreal.
While I do not agree with some saying that it is a waste of time for Seth Jarvis to stay at the NHL level if he is not going to play, I do still hope the team gets him into a game or two before he heads back to juniors. As a player who has mostly mastered the junior level already but who is not eligible to play in the AHL, I think two weeks just practicing at the NHL level, soaking it in and seeing how NHLers work their craft day to day will far outweigh another 8-9 games at the junior level. But that said, I think even just a game or two experiencing the speed of the NHL game will benefit Jarvis when he heads back to juniors.
The importance of patience for new players
It is always great when a new player arrives and and hits the ground running. Especially if goalies Andersen and Raanta can do that, it will be a huge benefit. But equally important is having some patience and giving new players time to get acclimated and find their stride. Many probably forgot it after he got up to speed and went on a torrid scoring run, but Dougie Hamilton actually struggling for nearly half of his first season with the Canes before finding a higher gear. So while I do think it is interesting to evaluate players, even the new ones, for what they do in each game, there is also a balance to be struck with not overreacting to a small sample size for a player trying to adjust to a new system and team.
Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas as keys to finding a next level for the offense
I really think Svechnikov and Necas are the keys to finding the next level offensively. Both produced at a decent clip in 2020-21 and had stretches where they were at that higher level. But if both players can take another step offensively and become 80-100 players (a big jump but within each’s ceiling), the Hurricanes become an offensive juggernaut. Aho has already been a point per game player and gets a boost. Having three players north of a point per game plus Teravainen and Trocheck producing more or less gives the team two top scoring lines. If I was Brind’Amour that would be a focus item of mine along with continuing to put Kotkaniemi in favorable scoring situations.
Of the players acquired during the off-season, I think Derek Stepan is the one I most underestimated. On paper, he seemed to swap in a different fourth line center which had the potential to help a bit, but a fourth-liner does not really move the needle that much usually. But he upgrades the team in a few different ways. First, he adds a penalty killer and checking line center who only a few years ago was playing many of his shifts against the other teams’ best lines. Special teams win hockey games, so his addition to the penalty kill can be significant. Further, he has the potential to produce above his slot. Also significant but not front and center right now is that he, more than other recent fourth-line centers, would not be in over his head if the Hurricanes lose a center to injury and need to bump him into the top 9 temporarily.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Who else has random notes or comments to share?
2) Do you figure Seth Jarvis gets an NHL game or two before returning to juniors? Based on his play in preseason, what are the chances that he rises up and seizes the opportunity if given one?