I will post something more formal in the next few days, but it is that time of year for reader-submitted articles. My hope is to post a run of reader articles in early August. If you are interested, please just reach out via email with a short description/outline for a proposed article.
Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a short collection of random player comments/thoughts…
He will no doubt have a bit of a learning curve to climb if he wins an NHL roster spot, but I really think his combination of speed, skating and aggressive forechecking could be an X-factor on a variety of lines. He could add speed to go with good read/react players with less mobility like Justin Williams and/or Victor Rask. He could be a disruptive forechecking force that causes turnovers and scoring chances for skilled players. He could just add more of the ‘difficult to play against’ variety that the team needs more of.
He has established himself as a steady defensive defenseman. My two cents ranks him as the team’s most consistent and best all-around defenseman for the 2017-18 season even over partner Jaccob Slavin. But the one knock on Pesce’s development thus far is his lack of offensive production. He collected only three goals and 19 total points in 65 games last season. The fact that he does not play on the power play is definitely a factor. And to be clear, Pesce does not have to score a bunch to be a good and useful player. But in today’s NHL, blue line scoring is incredibly powerful in terms of boosting offense. Is he a player who has a higher gear offensively as he matures? Pesce is not a natural at creating bunches of offense with the puck on his stick, but when I watch him play from behind the play, he actually has pretty good sense and instincts for where and when to join the rush or even drive a lane as a temporary forward. Could he be just a burst of finishing and/or another level of growth away from being a good depth scorer despite lack of power play ice time?
No doubt Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen will be a going concern again in 2018-19. Interesting for me is watching which side Teravainen ends up on and if he is equally effective as a goal scorer on each side. He spent most of the 2017-18 season playing right wing first next to Aho/Staal and then later on the right side of Aho when he moved to center. But Teravainen did also log some minutes at left wing and seemed equally comfortable there. My sense is that he first really well as an off side shooter in the European vein, but if Andrei Svechnikov ultimately plays his way onto the top scoring line, it is likely that Teravainen would then shift to the left side. So worth watching is if Teravainen can be equally effective as a goal scorer on either side.
Phil Di Giuseppe
Di Giuseppe will be interesting to watch coming out of the gate. Starting a couple years back, I was higher on Di Giuseppe than most. I thought he looked adequate if not better playing with Skinner/Rask, and despite adding a physical power forward element to his game along the way, Di Giuseppe has enough skating and skill to theoretically complement higher-end offensive players. But for pretty much the entirety of two full seasons, he failed to produce. But then suddenly when all hope for scoring seemed lost, Di Giuseppe had a short but powerful outburst of 3 goals and 4 assists in only 5 games in March. The question is if that was an anomaly or the beginning of something.
Aside from the goalies, Martin Necas’ s 2018-19 season could have the biggest effect on the team’s success. If no other center is added, Necas could slot as the team’s second best offensive center in the opening day lineup (assuming Aho plays center). If he fast tracks to an NHL scoring role, the Hurricanes are suddenly deep at the center position. If he takes a more step-wise approach in his development and is not an offensive difference-maker out of the gate in 2018-19, the Hurricanes are really light on offensive fire power down the middle.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Who has thoughts/opinions on my Monday player musings?
2) Who has additional player thoughts/comments to be considered as we fill up another day of the long offseason?