Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a selection of Canes quick hitters.
Dzingel is off to a decent start after a ‘meh’ 2019-20 campaign. He has only a lone goal and no assists, but he is playing a more assertive brand of hockey and being more engaged. Dzingel has proven he can score at the NHL level in the past, so the question is whether he is on the brink of breaking out in terms of production. Dzingel needs to score at a decent clip to be a plus in an NHL lineup.
Even though it was only one game, the Hurricanes missed what Jordan Staal brings to the lineup. Taking a high percentage of the tougher draws on special teams and being above break even makes a difference. Where face-offs matter is puck possession. Starting every restart chasing the puck impacts the flow the game. At this stage of his career, Staal is unlikely to morph into a second line scorer, but there is very much a place for Staal in a peak Hurricanes lineup.
Going into the season, I would have figured goalies would have the greatest potential to start slow. I am sure that has happened with some around the NHL, but I think Mrazek has quickly played his want into ‘not needing preseason starts’ camp. Three games does not make a season, but Mrazek has been very good so far and was obviously not affected negatively by starting the season cold.
For as must as his personality is that of an affable kid who loves the game, Andrei Svechnikov continues to show a knack for getting under opponents’ skin. He was in the middle of a couple minor events early in the game. First, he took a decent run at a Lightning player on the boards during a delayed penalty. The puck was sort of in the neighborhood, but the Lightning player never actually played the puck. Svechnikov finished him anyway which by the book could have been interference. Shortly after that he found himself in a heap at the crease and exchanged a couple pushes before that ended quickly. He is physical. Combine that with a bit of swagger and a bit of sand paper, and I think he is making it on the quietly not liked list with some teams.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Is Ryan Dzingel on the verge of breaking out a bit offensively?
2) Has anyone else noticed that Andrei Svechnikov seems to somewhat quietly irritate opposing teams/players on a pretty regular basis?
3) Who has other Canes quick hitters for Friday discussion?
Dzingle seems to me more engaged and more responsible defensively. So does Nino – and I’m fine with that even if it comes at the expense of less offensive production that “peak” for either of them.
It’s still early, but Trocheck is looking like the player we hoped he’d be and not the player that looked uneven in his limited number of games with us last season. His line seems to consistently create a number of great chances. That is really encouraging.
Defensively, we’ll still sorting things out. Gardiner is playing like he did at the end of the season – which is a positive – but Fleury isn’t. Skjei is making progress.
The PP looks extremely good early, especially Unit #1, and if they become elite it takes huge pressure off the rest of the game. Something to watch moving forward.
Keeping this team as-is and letting them grow together seems like it was the right call.
Not so sure about Dzingel. He’s been better, but once the forwards return I don’t think he’s going to get that many chances to play with skilled forwards. He’s kind of in purgatory.
Svechnikov is becoming more of an irritant as his confidence grows. He does need to be smart and pick his battles. For example, he should leave Jamie Benn alone this weekend! They need Svechnikov on the ice. Ask Matthew Tkchuk how it went for him in the playoffs.
1. Dzingel’s improved play started in the Boston series in last season’s playoffs after he had been benched against the Rangers. There was a message in that benching and it looks like he has responded. It hasn’t shown up on the scoresheet, but his improved play will eventually get him there. But he is aggressive and is noticeable on the ice and is looking for plays in the o-zone and playing well in the d-zone. It’s a contract year for him too! 🙂
2. Svech has always had that style of play – we are just seeing more confidence from him. But he likes to hit and he likes to “snarl”, if uyou will. In part we have Ovechkin to thank for this. Despite all the smiles between the two before training camp prior to Svech’s rookie season, Ovechkin spent the entire preseason, regular season and post-season pushing him around, yapping at him (in Russian) culminating in “The Fight”. I remain convinced that was the “Russian paratrooper” initiation rites that Ovechkin put him through to help Svech become the next great Russian power forward.
3. The developing chemistry between Svech and Aho has been fun to watch. Svech is heads-up looking for Aho, and is always looking to get a pass from the right circle (“Ovi’s office”!).
Necas has been looking a lot more comfortable moving the puck up the ice – that was evident several times last night.
Good stuff. Dzingel looks like he’s starting to get comfortable here. He displayed the most confidence I’ve seen out of him and it led to multiple dangerous chances. The breakout where he walked two guys before springing Svech on a partial breakaway was beautiful. I talked about it with Alex Ohari (FutureCanes on Twitter) last night; he’s not a play driver that needs the puck on his stick a ton, he’s a finisher and at his best in a secondary role. This is why I believe to get the most out of him, he needs to play further up the lineup. I just don’t think Roddy will ever do it, as last night was a perfect opportunity to test him out alongside Svech and Aho. I think he would have been even more noticeable. Either way, he’s a better player than he’s shown in his time here and I truly think he’s getting close to showing that.
And with Svech, probably my favorite part of his game is his edginess and willingness to use his strength in a traditional, throwback power forward way. Obviously he’s one of the most skilled players on the planet, but having the power to compliment the finesse makes him nearly impossible to defend. He can beat you so many ways, you know. I think you’re spot on, he’s definitely turning into the kind of player opponents hate seeing. When a player not only has immense talent but also will get in your face and rough you up… that’ll rattle the opposition for sure.
John Forslund was signed by the Seattle Krakan to become their inaugural broadcaster. Sad, we wish him well. Now we can have a new fav west coast team. Wonder if Trip will also make the trip to join the Krakan broadcast team. I would not be surprised.
Steve Lawrence played pretty well yesterday. If it was last year he would’ve scored in his debut, we had a magic run of luck with debutants. He came pretty close yesterday and has a nice blend of size and skill to be a reliable player, probably a decent third liner.
So far all the doom talk about Canes failing because we didn’t upgrade in goal is unjustified, hopefully it will continue to be.
More than Dzingel, I think Gardiner has been noticeably better. He’s playing with more confidence and looks quicker in transition. Not sure if another year away from injury is helping, but Gardiner plus either Dzingel or Nino having good years would be a big boost for this team.