How about those Carolina Hurricanes? The team ended 2018 on a high with a well-deserved, well-hustled 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday. With 2019 now in full swing, we look ahead at what promises to be a crucial year in the development of the Canes.
Happy New Year to all our readers! Now, as you all know, the correct way to begin any new year is to make some resolutions. Some of us resolve to lose weight; give up smoking, or to make more time for friends and family. But what about our Carolina Hurricanes – what should their New Year’s Resolutions be?
New Year, New Canes?
Omar doesn’t want much for the Canes:
1. Better Passing: I may not know the numbers off the top of my head, but the ol’ eye test tells me that the passing is just awful. This team would lead the league with just a 20% increase in pass completions.
2. Better Offensive Zone entry: this team is way too skilled to keep dumping and chasing the puck. CARRY IT! Guys like Aho, Foegele, and even Slavin can do this in their sleep.
3. More Post Game win celebrations: this one explains itself!
Anthony speaks perfect sense, and the idea of turning down powerplays to play more 5-on-5 would appear to be an eminently sensible one based on how dire the Canes’ powerpay has been this year:
The Canes New Years Resolutions should be to cut down on own-zone giveaways and immensely increase the power play. I am not sure of the exact stats but it seems I am left clenching up a few times a game when the Canes make a care less pass in their own zone that ends up in the other team’s hands for a good scoring chance. The power play speaks for itself. It has gotten to the point where I wish it was like football and we could just decline the penalty. It seems like a 2:00 minute game of chasing the puck after the other team clears it.
Personally, I believe that Tom Dundon should make the conscious decision to employ the very best coaching and scouting teams he can. Surround Rod Brind’Amour with PP and PK specialists, and take some of the burden off his shoulders. When was the last time RBA smiled? He looks like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and that lies with Dundon and the team’s finances.
Buyers or sellers?
We asked this question a few days ago – but with the Canes 9 points out of a wildcard spot, is it time for Don Waddell to face up to the harsh realities of the season, give up on a playoff run and sell in the run up to the trade deadline?
Omar is consciously aware of the team missing nine straight post-seasons, and that doing so this year makes it an NHL-record 10th consecutive playoff-less season:
Buyers. Break the cycle. I’m done being the farm team for the rest of the league. Eric Staal, Elias Lindholm, Jeff Skinner, and others keep finding their stride with other teams. Even Marcus Kruger found his way back on an NHL team after being passed on waivers and eventually traded for Jordan Martinook. It’s sickening.
Anthony also wants Waddell to go against consensus:
I want the Canes to be buyers. We need to get some proven talent in to help this team move forward. Even if the Canes’ playoff chances are small, we have enough young talent to build on. Hurricanes need a top six guy that can put the puck in the net. That’s how this team moves
forward, not by continuing to stockpile young players.
My own view is that the team should be buyers – but sensible ones. In recent weeks we’ve looked at lots of potential options for adding scoring, but a move for someone like Sam Bennett could be the catalyst the team needs. And we know that Calgary loves making deals with the Carolina Hurricanes…
Where are we headed?
Where are the Carolina Hurricanes heading in 2019 – rising the standings, or staying stuck near the bottom?
Omar is unsure:
Unknown. But if Tom Dundon’s efforts pay off even in the slightest, this team should be well over 0.500 come next holiday season. Time to break the cycle of madness and insanity known as the Carolina Hurricanes.
Anthony has confidence that few fans of the Carolina Hurricanes possess:
This depends on what acquisitions, if any, are made. If the Canes acquire a top 6 talent whether via trade or offseason signing and the young kids continue to improve, I like us to be sitting in a playoff spot for Christmas 2019. Make some moves, Waddell, and open that checkbook, Dundon.
I would side with Anthony, in that if Waddell makes the moves the team needs, and Dundon lives up to his promises, the team could easily be a playoff-caliber team by Christmas. One thing is for sure – if the team continues to play like it did yesterday, we’re in for an exciting year.
And with that, we look forward to seeing the Carolina Hurricanes win plenty of games in 2019!