FanPost

CAN THIS NEWEST VERSION OF THE HURRICANES BEAT PITTSBURGH?




                It is a simple question.  The team plays to win the Cup.  We go to the games to see our team raise the Silver Chalis.  The current champs hail from Pittsburgh and they won the cup this year in impressive fashion.  More to the point, they won by ripping our team.  Clearly, we had some key injuries.  Pittsburgh was healthier but that really underscores our lack of depth and to a larger extent our problem matching up with that team.  Jim Rutherford said after that series that he liked our chances against them if we were healthy.  While I agree, that the series would have been closer, I still believe that Pittsburgh would win that series(even if we were healthy) 7 out of 10 times.  So, what needed to be improved to make for a better matchup against Sidney Crosby and Malkin?

                 First let me say, I do not believe you can completely stop those guys if they are motivated.  Second, they are a team that can be beaten.  To beat Pittsburgh, you have to be nasty, tight on defense, fast to the puck, finish off Crosby and Malkin every time they touch the puck, great on special teams, get team scoring that is fed by the defense, and intense back checking from the forwards.

OFF SEASON TASK LIST FOR JR

  • INCREASE NASTY- addition of Aaron Ward, Kotstopolous, and Alberts.......grade A.....mission accomplished.
  • TIGHTEN UP DEFENSE-Babchuck out, Aaron Ward in, Alberts in, Seids out......grade B+.....mission accomplished.
  • SPEED TO THE PUCK-We already have the speed guys, they just need to have a little more time(created by the Nasty defense finishing checks).........grade A.......resign Ruutu, Cole, LaRose.....mission accomplished.
  • FINISH OUR CHECKS-Added Kotstopolous(most hits for Montreal), Added big hitters in Ward and Alberts............grade B+...........mission accomplished.
  • SQUEEZE MORE FROM SPECIAL TEAMS- special teams seems to be about chemistry and positioning.......jury is out on the chemistry part, I am confident the coaching staff will continue the improvement ,we saw second half of last year, into a full season.   grade B.....Mission PUSH.
  • DEFENSE FED SCORING- We still have Corvo and Pitkanen.  With a couple of stay home defensmen.  Balance baby...........balance.............grade B+ ...........mission accomplished
  • INTENSE BACK CHECKING FROM THE FORWARDS.......we got the bodies back to do it.  We have seen Cole, Ruutu, LaRose, Sami, Eric all do it............they can do it again with special emphasis from coaching staff.....................grade A.........mission accomplished.
    What JR did was not to make his team better, he built the team to beat Pittsburgh.  He liked his chances before, now I think he would bet on his team.  So, can the Canes beat Pittsburgh now?  My answer, ................................on paper......................absolutely...............
    What do you guys think?
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