Calling It Now: 10 Premonitions for the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes Season by Cory Fogg

Calling It Now: 10 Premonitions for the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes Season by Cory Fogg

Matt’s quick introduction: This week we will introduce the 2017-18 writing team at Canes and Coffee with a short series of articles that takes a look into the crystal ball and/or previews the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes season. Up first is Cory Fogg who I am thrilled to have back for a second season at Canes and Coffee. Cory’s writing will run the gamut, but his specialty is writing feature articles that go in depth on a particular topic. Welcome back Cory!   As we count down to opening night, we all have our thoughts on what’s going to happen. Really the only givens over the past nine years have been that ‘we won’t make the playoffs’ and the opener is better known as “The Game with the Most Hurricanes Fans in Attendance All Season’. Many Caniacs, myself included, believe that this season is the first year in that span with a real chance of getting out of Rebuilding Mode and into Playoff Mode. My roommate and I, both half season-ticket holders, always enjoy going through the season playing Nostradamus over what’s going to happen next. The phrase “Calling it now” is often heard in our domain, usually followed by some ridiculous premonition that we’re only saying so that we can have ‘In-House Hockey Genius’ bragging rights. Or just the sound of hot air expanding in our heads.  In any case, with the Hurricanes season now here, I thought it would be fun to channel my inner hockey clairvoyant for all of you. Because, obviously, the more people who know, the higher the ego boost if I’m right. So without...
Jeff Skinner on the third line?!?!

Jeff Skinner on the third line?!?!

One of the interesting story lines to track in the preseason is the assembling of lines and defense combinations. Only three games into a seven-game preseason, nothing is set in stone, but we do have a good luck at the starting point for Coach Bill Peters’ work in this regard. Sebastian Aho / Jordan Staal / Elias Lindholm seem to be a thing at this point. The trio played together again in Wednesday night’s game against Tampa Bay, and they have seen each other consistently since training camp began. Teuvo Teravainen / Victor Rask / Justin Williams also seem to be a thing. That trio has also practiced together regularly and saw preseason game action together earlier this week. One would reason that lining out the two lines above leaves Jeff Skinner, Derek Ryan and Lee Stempniak as another line. This trio has also played together and Skinner and Ryan played together on Wednesday, though they were minus Lee Stempniak. One could easily reason that Lee Stempniak is the third right wing behind Elias Lindholm and Justin Williams. It would also be fair to say that Derek Ryan slots third behind Jordan Staal and Victor Rask with it even being possible to say that he ranks fourth behind Marcus Kruger.  If one follows this train of logic to an end, it seems to reason that leading scorer Jeff Skinner, he of 37 goals, has been relegated to the third line. Cue the heated debate…   But is Jeff Skinner really on the third line at all? Whenever asked about the lineup using numbered lines terminology, NHL coaches nearly unanimously...
My Puck: A Story of the Carolina Hurricanes New Identity

My Puck: A Story of the Carolina Hurricanes New Identity

Matt’s editorial note: With the buzz and optimism around Canes hockey this summer, Cory could not help but return from his summer break way early. There are no guarantees in professional sports (Canes fans know that too well lately), but I hope you share his optimism and energy. I do.   A storm is coming. Can you feel it? Disclaimer: Author is 100% allowed to use cheesy clichés in his ridiculous excitement for the coming of hockey season The Carolina Hurricanes have had one of the best offseasons in recent memory this summer. The problem is, the offseason means nothing and we all are just bouncing in our seats in anticipation of seeing if the 2017-18 Canes can deliver on the ice. But seeing as that’s two months off, let’s just keep distracting ourselves with the bright situation, shall we?   Yay, Our First Real Post-Cup Identity! Let’s embrace the fact that, for the first time in years, the Carolina Hurricanes have an identity. For years, it seemed like the team had none, or at the very least, was something like “They Whom Are Beholden to Family Staal.” (There are worse identities.)  The truth as we’ve all come to painfully know, is that we coasted on our Cup win for about 8 years. As names like Brind’Amour, Whitney, Cole, and Williams disappeared, so did the identity. For years it was just sitting there hoping Eric Staal and Cam Ward could turn it back to their Cup days and bring us a taste of the playoffs. Then for several more years, it was the painful process of rebuild, a gigantic...
Jeff Skinner: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

Jeff Skinner: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

For anyone catching up, a menu of previous player (and also coaching and GM) report cards can be found at the bottom of the article. Jeff Skinner’s starting point for the 2016-17 season Jeff Skinner entered the 2016-17 season on an upward trajectory coming out of the 2015-16 season. After a sub-par 2014-15 season that saw Skinner’s scoring plummet to only 31 points in 77 games, he rebounded strongly. On a Hurricanes team that finished 27th out of 30 teams in goal scoring, Jeff Skinner boosted his goal scoring from 18 to 28 and his point total from 31 to 51. The totals were not overly impressive as measured against the league’s elite scorers, but they were a big step up for Skinner, the best on a team that struggled to score and a simultaneous resurgence and step back in the right direction. Also impressive was Skinner’s reaction after the trade of long-time captain Eric Staal in late February. Skinner was the player who most notably lifted his game down the stretch. He was rewarded for his season and also post-Staal uprising by being named an alternate captain just before the start of the 2016-17 season.   Jeff Skinner’s 2016-17 season with the Carolina Hurricanes Jeff Skinner entered the 2016-17 season with a greater role and more responsibility. As mentioned above, the 24-year old wily veteran on a young team had a new leadership role. In addition, with the departure of two-thirds (Eric Staal and Kris Versteeg) of previous season’s top scoring line, the duo of Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask was suddenly the core of the Hurricanes’ top...
The maturation of Jeff Skinner

The maturation of Jeff Skinner

In listening to some reader requests for a departure at least occasionally from the nuts and bolts Canes hockey analysis, yesterday featured an “off the ice” and “different Cup of Joe” article with a Hurricanes hockey/PNC Arena beer guide. The companion pieces are: NC Beer Guys video tour highlighting the variety of North Carolina craft beer options available at PNC Arena. My Daily Cup of Joe featuring North Carolina craft beer selections, again by NC Beer Guys, for various Canes hockey situations both inside and outside of PNC Arena. ————————————————– Today’s Daily Cup of Joe goes back on the ice so to speak with a detailed read on the history and maturation of Jeff Skinner   Surging since departure of long-time captain Eric Staal At the point when long-time leader and captain Eric Staal was traded to the New York Rangers at the trade deadline last winter, the obvious and fairly unanimous front-runners to next wear the ‘C’ in Raleigh were Jordan Staal and Justin Faulk. More recently, the banter in the Canes community and Twittersphere is that Jeff Skinner should be the next captain of the Carolina Hurricanes. The Carolina Hurricanes’ podcast legends at Section 328 recently conducted an informal poll on Twitter. This wasn’t close. At all. pic.twitter.com/v24jseRwhu — Section 328 (@Section_328) December 14, 2016 This is not a post about who should be captain. I also think it is important to note that I am not down on Justin Faulk or Jordan Staal in this regard. But Skinner’s name going from being mostly out of the picture in terms of captaincy to included in the conversation...