I had a schedule conflict and was not able to watch Friday’s game live, and I could not get the rebroadcast to work.
What jumps out from the box score version is another win and big game from Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen who were reunited and also joined by Warren Foegele.
Would love to hear notes and comments from those who were able to watch the game.
I wasn’t able to watch but listened to John and Tripp on the Fan.
Foegele continued his run of making centers look good, adding Aho to Martinook and Bishop. Given concerns about the center position, that indicates Foegele should be paired with Aho or Necas to start the season.
The FAT line crushed it last night, I look forward to more evenings with the FAT boys this season. And oddly, I look forward to seeing that acronym almost as much.
Since I listened only I didn’t get to see my watch points (grr) but winning their first OT game is another positive change.
Clarification: Foegele did not make Aho look good last night, Aho made Aho look good.
The Foegele effect is that his line mates seem to be the best version of themselves that they can be.
Wasn’t able to watch last night, but paragraph 2 contradicts paragraph 1.
Canes played the defending champs in their building. Caps had most of their top players. Canes young players did not get rattled and a great finish or should I say Finnish.
TVR looked out of sync. He was on the ice almost every Caps goal.
Wallmark did not look very good. Just seemed to be chasing the game.
The refs called everything. Svech got three penalties that were questionable. They called Ovi as well so it was consistent.
Mrazek played solid. Only one goal was one were he probably should have had it.
McKegg was noticeable at times. It certainly wouldn’t hurt the team if he were a callup during the season.
Di Giuseppe played a very consistent game. I think he has earned a spot on the opening night roster.
Faulk played well. He continues to engage in all three zones. Welcome back, Faulker.
Zykov just continues to do what he does. I don’t know where he plays at even strength but if he doesn’t score 20 goals I would be shocked.
Finns and Foegele shined in this game. My deepest apologies for suggesting that Necas and TT were worth consideration. Breaking up the Finns is just not wise. Aho played like the center everyone hopes he can be.
1) It was only one game, but my guess is others are closer to my position regarding the #1 center issue. Aho played last night like he did in his 10 games at center last season and repeatedly has in international play. FAT was good, but I would still prefer TAZ (more on that later). Foegele did put up two assists and played solidly, but his assists were fairly equivalent to Slavin’s in OT. They merely got the puck to Aho who then made magic. Don’t get me wrong, I think Foegele is going to be a very good player and Slavin already is, but the offensive drivers for the Canes are the players who scored last night Svechnikov, Zykov, and primarily Teravainen and Aho.
2) I read a fascinating point on another site about the focus on a 1C. If we are honest, last November there was a consensus that Ron Francis was too conservative. At that point last season, Foegele was only one month out of juniors. Zykov was showing the ability to score in the AHL but there were still questions about his value. I am sure most of us would have approved (if not enthusiastically approved) of GMRF acquiring Duchene for Foegele, Zykov, and our 2018 first. Duchene would have improved the team immediately, so the Canes would not have won the lottery. Still Carolina would now have Duchene at the cost of Zykov, Foegele, and Svechnikov. It is also likely Aho would not be moved to C. I for one am glad most of us didn’t get what we wanted. I also understand why some sagacious fans “overvalue” the prospects. I am likely to join them if the youngsters keep producing.
3) Last night was much more of a test of the new style of play. The Caps put a strong team on the ice and played to win. RBA has the team playing aggressive hockey. If they can continue to score, they will win games. So I think it is telling that Aho and Teravainen were as effective as Ovechkin and Backstrom. The Canes have two excellent players on their first line. Carolina also has players throughout the lineup that are an improvement from the past several seasons–even without Staal and Williams in the lineup. As asheville mentioned, Foegele continues to show he is going to be a two-way difference maker. I thought Wallmark looked quicker, not necessarily faster from end to end, than I had expected. He is ready to be a center in the NHL. Necas is loaded with talent–that being said I am still on the fence about how he is best utilized or if he might benefit from October in Charlotte. Svechnikov is what we hoped–and what I feared when it comes to taking penalties. He is going to be a star and in two or three years likely to pass TT as our second best weapon. Zykov can score in close, full stop.
As far as the D. I don’t want to go too much against the grain or be the fan who jumps to “hot takes,” but while Hamilton is a great offensive defenseman, he is not quite as good as I expected in his own zone. He is still good, but for instance, I don’t like him on the PK. To Matt’s repeated point, I think the 1+1=3 of Pesce/Slavin isn’t quite there with Hamilton. Speaking of Pesce, he obviously spent time in shooting practice with McGinn. In both Washington games the pipes and not the goalie have kept him from scoring. I am admittedly this site’s biggest Pesce fan. He has shown the offensive ability I thought he had. I am still expecting him to surpass 35 points this season.
TVR struggled a few times last night. It will be interesting to see if he plays Sunday.
Mrazek was almost as good as Holtby–though neither were outstanding.
So back to the top lines. I like to think about both this year, which I am pretty sure we are all getting really excited about, and the next 5-8 years. I really think with NHL experience, Foegele/Necas/Svechnikov could be one of the league’s best scoring lines as soon as next year. So while I am not opposed to asheville’s FAT line, I think it makes sense to reunite TAZ because they already have proven to be a strong scoring line. To me it makes sense to let Foegele, Necas, and Svechnikov develop as rookies with other line mates while also reuniting TAZ to strengthen their chemistry. It appears that TAZ is already the three forwards on the first power play. For me that is another reason to let them play 5-on-5 together. Finally, while Foegele is a dynamo in all 200 feet of the ice, Zykov is already the Canes best player in the cycle/behind the net. Aho and TT will get the puck into the offensive zone and that is when Zykov’s special skill set really works. Either way FAT or TAZ, the Canes will have a truly effective top-scoring line. It has been some time since that was true!
I think you are underestimating what Foegele brings to every line. Space. He is aggressive, mobile and, when needed, physical. He creates space for skill players like Aho and TT to flourish.
In theory I disagree that TAZ > FAT. While I agree that Zykov may be the Canes best below the dots offensive player, the drop off to Foegele isn’t that much. The drop off from Fogele to Zykov in the neutral and defensive zone is significant. Obviously, the proof is in the pudding. If FAT struggles TAZ will appear. Until then, Zykov will need to play fewer minutes and be ready for the PP, IMO.
I wonder if the penalties from both Svechnikov and Ovi were a little Russian rivalry? Ovi and Malkin used to have a rivalry of that kind. I like to see a kid who wants to live up to the greats. Also hope three penalty nights are an aberration.
Echoing some of the sentiments from CT above, I prefer TT/Aho/Zykov. Foegele was instrumental in getting the puck in order for TT and Aho to do their thing. With his defensive responsibility, I think he helps Necas more in getting Necas to the level we want. I actually don’t want Svech to start with those guys. I think he needs some more time on ice with some vets to learn some defense. THEN, I think if FogDaddy and Necas are working, plug in Svech.
Wallmark was not noticeable,but that may not be bad. He was good in the face-off circle, maybe just needs to find the right wingers to unlock the offensive potential.
TvR had a rough night on his off-side. I’d rather see, if we plan on keeping Slavin/Hamilton and Faulk/DeHaan, Fluery with Pesce and let TvR be a 7th.
While I don’t think Maenalanen will make the team, really liked him standing up to Wilson last night. Wilson hit him clean by the net, Saku got up, and the two exchanged words. Both got unsportsmanlike minors, not blows exchanged, but certainly not a typical Canes response.
If Wilson’s hit on Maenalanen was clean he needs to STFU. Being tough includes taking a clean hit and continuing to play. Getting your ego bruised because someone else made a good play is immature.
It was a clean hit. He rocked him pretty good, which is what caused the comments that gave them penalties.
A lot of great observations above, especially from CT. The biggest takeaways and questions for me:
1. Aho will be fine at center if he’s playing with Teravainen. It’s like they’re both centers when they play together. They had been just about the only ineffective forwards until last night. Now it seems crazy to have worried about them.
2. Aho and Teravainen can be very effective with Foegele or Zykov. Foegele is better at keeping the puck in the zone for AT, Zykov is better around the net. Both create scoring chances for AT.
3. Zykov has great hands, not just good. He will replace Skinner’s goals all by himself.
4. With Zykov and Foegele playing at a high level, there is a lot of flexibility about who plays on which line. We haven’t even seen Ferland. Is he another option for the first line?
5. Svechnikov and Necas are going to have to learn on the job and will make mistakes but they’re going to be terrific.
6. For the Canes to get max value from Necas, he needs a sniper to set up the way he set up Svechnikov last night. Svechnikov has the right skills but concerns about playing them on the same line as rookies are justified. How much of a sniper is Ferland?
7. Necas makes mistakes but he’s so fast that he’s a factor on defense, especially on the forecheck, at times making it tough for the other team to get out of their own zone. He’s on people before they expect it.
8. TVR should not play on his off side so it looks like Fleury should be the 3rd LD paired with TVR, Pesce or Faulk on the right.
9. The talent is there on D, but the pairs will have to learn to play together. Faulk and de Haan together made some good plays and some very bad ones. Would it be better to pair Slavin and Pesce and Fleury and TVR or Faulk so some pairings have experience together? de Haan-Hamilton might work as well as Slavin-Hamilton.
10. Slavin’s problems on the penalty kill continue. As Matt pointed out a few weeks ago, Slavin was terrible on the PK last year. It doesn’t seem he should be but that’s how it’s been. Maybe he shouldn’t play the PK.
11. Wallmark is going to be OK as an NHL center but may be best on the 4th line.
12. Mrazek played better than the score suggests. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the goalies.
13. All the lines will look better when Staal plays. The Canes did well against the Caps without him. That must say something about the Canes’ other centers.
I’ll be interested to see how RBA decides to sort out the lines. After last night, I think there are more good options than it seemed.
svechnech. A baker’s dozen of excellent points. I have wondered about Svechnikov with Staal. Everyone seems to assume that Williams in the RW with Staal, so the question would be is Williams fast enough to keep up with Necas OR can the team shake the “fourth line/grinders” tradition enough to have three equivalent lines after the Aho/TT line, which would allow Williams with Wallmark?
Something like Foegele/Necas/Williams might work with Williams providing his vocal leadership during shifts. While not a true sniper, Williams can still get off good shots; or it could be a train wreck. If it worked that would allow something like Ferland/Staal/Svech and McGinn/Wallmark/Martinook. Which brings the whole discussion back to your point #4. Zykov and Foegele will allow RBA to try multiple combinations. I am not even too concerned if Ferland misses some of the regular season, as jm97 pointed out DiGuiseppe played well enough that he can contribute on any of the Staal, Necas, or Wallmark lines. In fact, McGinn and DiG provide the same flexibility as Zykov and Foegele albeit without quite as much offensive upside.
Slavin’s penalty killing struggles are surprising. I agree with Matt’s assessment that he is better when he can focus on neutralizing one player at a time.
As to your point #3, I agree that Zykov is likely to replace Skinner’s 24 goals from last season. As crazy as it sounds, if you were to offer a bet with Svechnikov and Necas or with Zykov and Foegele for the Calder, as of today I would take Zykov/Foegele–especially since one of them is likely to play with Aho/TT and that should be worth at least 20 assists.
If Zykov and Foegele play well Ferland may be expendable. A nice piece to trade later in the season. He is a pending UFA and no need to pay him if those two are keepers.
I have read and also asked one of my friends who follows the Flames and I can indeed confirm Ferland’s best offensive skillset is his shooting. He is like a physical north-south sniper. So I do think he is a very likely candidate to play with Necas. Considering Ferland can play his off-side and Necas is probably the rookie who physically needs the most protection of all I wouldn’t be surprised to see the third line shape up like: Mcginn – Necas – Ferland which puts Necas with two physical players who can both shoot the puck and look to score. I mean it’s not the most ideal skillset players for Necas LONGterm but for his first season I can see that being a passable 3rd line.
A nice array of points.
Speaking to 4/6: Ferland played one preseason game. He was on ice yesterday during the practice doing full drills. He is not a sniper – he is a strong north-south players who plays well around the net. Other than Svech we don’t have a true sniper.
I have heard and read differently about Ferland not being a sniper. Not saying he’s a true sniper but he’s like a bottom 6 sniper. My friend said his shooting skills are better than his net front skills. I trust him he watches as many Flames games as we do Canes games here.
I’ve said it here before but I think the Canes have a pretty good in-house comparable for what Ferland is like – Brock Mcginn.
Reunited and it feels so good – Aho and Turbo have complementary playmaking skills that each other better; they almost have to be on the same line.
And our left-wingers (Ferland, Zykov, Foegele, McGinn) share similar skills to each other – physical north-south players who play well in front of the net (Zykov is the best at the net, Ferland likes to hit, Feogele is a better overall disrupter, and McGinn is more athletic – but they are all physical, net front players, north-south skaters to various degrees). Anyone of them will effectively complete that line.
The final cuts were made and the final roster (http://nhl.bamcontent.com/images/assets/binary/300489084/binary-file/file.pdf) is out.
The only partial surprise for me was Kuokk. I had figure two out of the three of Kuokk, Foegele, and PDG would stay. Foegele clearly earned his spot. And he and Kuokk play on the same side. And PDG would require waivers. But I am not sure what the driving force really was. Kuokk has much more offensive upside than PDG – and you can’t have too much offense after years of not enough, whereas we have a lot of physical players of the PDG type.
I think if the Canes needed a player to play top 6/9 Kuokkanen would have been a good pick. PDG has proven himself as a fourth liner. Looks like he may chip in a bit more offensively this season, but you can count on what you get from him. Kuokkanen belongs on a skill line and you really don’t want a fourth line with two rookies.
I am a bit surprised we did not keep 24. I felt Kuokkanen was on the bubbble. I suspect it came down the way it did because PDG would have to clear waivers. Kuokkanen seemed to be better offensively. Close call.
Strike that, 23 is max.
Two things as far as Kuokkanen being sent to Charlotte: 1) Having six rookies was probably an issue in management’s view; 2) Zykov and Wallmark are good examples of players having an extra year to develop in the AHL.
lessthan, I agree the Ferland might be expandable. While trades within the division are rare and often ill-advised, the Devils could use a right D and some depth scoring. I would love the Canes to offer TVR and Ferland for Blake Coleman and a pick/prospect. As far as being tough to play against, Coleman is at the top of the list. Having Coleman and Foegele on the PK together would be a blast. Coleman would provide the Canes another center option.
Here are the lines from today’s practice – I think it says a lot about how RBA is viewing this, at least at the start of the season.
Foegele-Aho-Teravainen (the FAT line)
McGinn-Staal-Williams (we saw a lot of this last season)
Ferland-Necas-Di Giuseppe (Necas with two vets)
Martinook-Wallmark-Svechnikov (not your typical 4th line)
Interestingly, no Zykov.
RBA says he’s conducting another experiment tomorrow that was planned before last night’s game against the Caps. The quote below is from the roster announcement. “We knew who was playing tomorrow.” Based on the quote, I don’t think not playing Z tomorrow means anything about where he fits. Of course, I have no idea what RBA is thinking, but the experiment may be more about finding the best PK combinations than the best 12 forwards to start against the Isles. If it were about finding the best PP combinations, I think Z would have to be in there.
“We’re still looking at a couple – I don’t want to say spots – but a couple guys and how they fit. It’s about the line combos. We’re going to experiment again with some new stuff and just get one more look at things. The group is essentially here, for the most part, but how they all mingle will be decided after tomorrow,” Brind’Amour said. “We knew who was playing tomorrow, and Charlotte’s not that far away if we need a different piece.”
Does anyone else remember seasons of wondering whether the Canes had even ONE more forward good enough for the 4th line or when they had to play a borderline NHL player in the top 6?
If Peters had been willing to play a couple of kids last year instead of insisting nobody in Charlotte was good enough, he might still be the Canes’ head coach and RF still the GM. For the long term, it’s better this way because the lottery was kind and the Canes got Svechnikov, the new leadership team pulled off the Hamilton trade and RBA looks like he might be the best Canes’ head coach since Laviolette.
Yeah, it’s very early and we don’t know how the rookies will do this year. But I think we can be sure the Canes will be much better next year based on willingness to play five rookies who earned jobs. We’re even debating whether the Canes should be playing six rookies instead of five, with Kuokkanen taking DiGiuseppe’s spot!
My guess is PDG is the experiment. Can he bring more than effort?
I am not sure Peters wouldn’t have liked to given some of the Charlotte kids a chance last season. Karmanos had a history of not being willing to add an additional NHL salary to the team. Francis wasn’t much on change either. After Peters meltdown calling for change and nothing happening was the signal of the end last year.
Not typical 4th line at all. I this we will have a first line and then 3 equivalent lines, where all can play D and all can score. I am happy with FAT or TAZ, just pull out the one you need based on who the opposition is.
I also believe that TVR moved himself into the #7 D spot last night. He did not look good.
A couple of observations:
Kuokkanen is 20 years old and just turned 20 on May 25. He’s young and probably still has a little bulking up to do. A full year down in Charlotte is going to do wonders for his game and his confidence. Similarly, Saarela will have an opportunity to be the go to scoring option fora the Checkers, so I look for good things from him as well.
Ferland was known not just for his physical play but for a hard, accurate shot that he’s able to get off quickly. If Necas can feed him, he’ll put it on net.
I may be in the minority, but I felt Phil Di Giuseppe was all effort and not much outcome this preseason. Effort’s never been the problem. When he was drafted he was viewed as an underrated potential scorer. I didn’t see a much different PDG this preseason. He looks like a #13. While that’s not a bad thing, he might be better served as part of a package if/when a trade surfaces. It feels like he needs a change of scenery.
I agree notopie. I feel Kuokkanen would have been better, but then that statement does not take into account somebody we invested a lot in and would be lost if put on waivers. I believe they made the correct decision but whatever capacity PDG is used in he need to perform. This is the year if he wishes to stay.