After last night's loss, the Carolina Hurricanes cancelled their on-ice practice today. Instead, the players and coaches held a Team Meeting to sort things out. A few stories have come out this afternoon looking at what was said and what they plan to do to get back in the win column in these remaining 3 weeks of the season.
From in-game host, Katie Miller, here's video with Coach Paul Maurice and Tuomo Ruutu: Inside the Locker Room 3/17/11 - Carolina Hurricanes
Plus a few more players provided some insight on where the team is in these two stories:
Canes Look for Offensive Answers - Tracking the Storm Blog It may not seem like it, but over the last week, the Hurricanes have been generating more offense than they have all season.
After the jump, some recaps of last night's loss, stat analysis, and updates and interviews from across the hockey blogosphere. On this beautiful day in spring, you might even spot some Carolina girls who are smiling.
Recaps and other local stories
Drop the Puck: Maple Leafs 3, Hurricanes 1 - HurricanesBeat.com begins with straight-talking Tim Gleason's post game comments.
"We’ve got a young group here, but I personally said the time (to step it up) was a month ago," Gleason said. "I don’t know if the message got through or it was in one ear and out the other, or we’re just hoping. We can’t just hope to make the playoffs; we’ve got to earn a spot. We should have started a month ago."
Crucial victory chance eludes Canes - NewsObserver.com The afterglow and momentum from a big win in Buffalo didn't last long for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Brian LeBlanc posted this earlier this afternoon: Canes' Late-Game Woes Costing Points - Canes Country The Canes are one of the lowest-ranking teams in the NHL in goals against after the second intermission. Can this be fixed?
This one caught me by surprise. The Noon Number - Japers' Rink Today's Noon Number takes a look at the big minutes that Washington Capitals rookies have compiled this season. Maybe one of us can crunch those numbers for Toronto, Carolina and Pittsburgh for this season and see how they compare?
Around the league
Jacques Lemaire making case to be NHL coach of the year - USATODAY.com If the New Jersey Devils make the playoffs, Jacques Lemaire should automatically be selected as NHL coach of the year. The league's broadcasters should just award him the Jack Adams Trophy by acclimation. Maybe they should do that regardless...
Rookie season was eye-opening experience for Hall - In The Spotlight In an exclusive interview, Taylor Hall, the top pick in the 2010 Draft, talks about the ups and downs of his first season. (silly question from me: does [stinks] = sucks? )
Sticking with the subject of the consequences of Taylor Hall's season-ending injury, this is about the money: The Cost Of A Fight - The Copper & Blue With Hall lost for the season to a high ankle sprain that he suffered in a fight with Derek Dorsett I got to thinking about potential bonuses that Hall will now miss out on as a result of the injury.
From Nicholas Cotsonika, An inside look at NHL’s decision on Chara-Pacioretty - Yahoo! Sports The thought process behind NHL VP Mike Murphy's controversial decision not to suspend Boston's Zdeno Chara.
Pacioretty could return to ice for playoffs | Toronto Sun has good news: Montreal Canadiens foward Max Pacioretty, who suffered a broken neck in a violent hit last week, could return to the ice as early as the end of April, the team announced Thursday.
From one of the most respected voices in hockey history: Ken Dryden on hockey violence: How could we be so stupid? - The Globe and Mail
Why would we ever have believed that when the dizziness goes away, everything goes back as it had been before? All the little hits, scores of them in every game, so inconsequential that we don't even know they've occurred – how could we not have known? How could we be so stupid?
Jim Rutherford has been a leader among NHL GM's on the topic of head hits and how to modify the rules of the game while preserving its best elements: GMs appetite to improve player safety is strong - NHL Insider Many GMs said the appetite to create a safer workplace for the players is strong, but it's essential for them to take a wait-and-see approach.
"I'm not in favor of anything at this point. I'm just listening," Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said. "We had breakout groups and the group that I was in we had great conversation today about different things. I feel very good about this morning's meeting. Everybody is taking this very seriously, as they should be."
A whole different way of looking at it: Really seeing stars on hockey's All-Concussion Team, Vancouver Sun What kind of team could we assemble out of the NHL concussion list? A contending team, certainly. Arguably, a team good enough to compete for the Stanley Cup.
All-Stars and Superstars
NHL executive Brendan Shanahan expects all-star draft to continue in 2012 - FAN 590 Toronto "A lot was made of Kessel and maybe part of it was because he's from the Toronto market," said Shanahan. "But in the end, Phil Kessel, his response was that it was fine and it was funny and it didn't really matter. And he has flourished since."
Jonathan Toews, a Team Captain to Inspire His Elders - NYTimes.com As the team captain of the Blackhawks, Jonathan Toews is exactly the kind of leader a hockey team can look up to, and he hasn’t even turned 23.
Checkers' Zac Dalpe talks about experience with Canes - News14.com links you to a video interview after practice with rookie Zac Dalpe, done before the team headed up to Bridgeport this week.
YouTube - Charlotte Checkers player profile - Zach Boychuk Checkers broadcaster Jason Shaya recently sat down with forward Zach Boychuk to talk about the season thus far and his expectations moving forward.
Awesome compilation of the NHL's stake in the NCAA post-season: Team by team list of NCAA prospects in action in postseason tourneys
Carolina has two solid defensemen waiting in the wings. Brian Dumoulin has had an outstanding season on the blue line for Boston College, racking up 28 assists. As a sophomore, he plays on the power play, moves the puck well, and has only taken 3 penalties all season. At Minnesota Duluth, freshman Justin Faulk has been a great addition to the Bulldogs. In 34 games, he has 8 goals and 18 assists, helping lead UMD to the Final Five this weekend.
More accolades, as the NCAA season concludes:
Hockey East announces ’10-11 award winners :: USCHO.com Best Defensive Defenseman: Brian Dumoulin, Boston College
Ladd finding his niche in first season as captain - In The Spotlight While things haven't gone entirely as expected for the Thrashers, naming Andrew Ladd captain has proven to be an unquestioned success.
Irbe: "I got assigned there by the Carolina franchise. They were heading in a different direction. They obviously were going for a youth movement, and I was a veteran player. Sometimes, you have to ask what was the reasoning, but usually players don't go from the NHL to the (ECHL). It was one of those years where I could be sent down to the East Coast because the arbitrator was not in place between the two (sides) to resolve differences between NHL players and the clubs. It was kind of an illegal move, but because I had no backing, I decided to keep playing."
Of interest to Carolina hockey fans, Checker's forwards Zac Dalpe [@ZacDalpe22] and Oskar Osala [@OskarOsala] have joined Zach Boychuk [@Zach Boychuk], Mike Murphy [MichaelMurphy31], and the Everblades/Checkers trio of Mike McKenzie [@MikeMcKenzie11], Matt Pistilli [@matt_pistilli] and goalie, Bobby Goepfert [@GeffMan47] in the twitterverse. If you're not following, you don't know what you're missing.
When Carolina girls are smiling....
Finally, enjoy these pretty smiles from some familiar young ladies who were featured recently on the webpages of SI.com: Carolina Hurricanes Storm Squad