clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Clicks and Clippings: Something's gotta give

Though the answers have been all over the map since the Carolina Hurricanes began to stumble badly in the last couple weeks, the questions continue to get more difficult and the need to solve them feels increasingly urgent. The buck stops with Jim Rutherford, who has been quiet since Monday last week when he told Chip Alexander: 

"Now, if we're talking again in a six- or-seven game losing streak, I'll probably be in a different frame of mind and answer those (coaching) questions differently. Let's get back on track. If not, I'll look at all the situations differently."

Since then the Canes put up three losses (to the Devils, Rangers, Flyers) and the one win, Saturday, over the Penguins

The dwindling ice-time given to the youngest members of the team has gotten so conspicuous that it's set off alarm bells indicating that the pressure on the coach is intense. Most of us seem to agree, it won't be long before something's got to give.

Point: Canes' youth not being served - Brian LeBlanc, Canes Country What in the world had Zac Dalpe and Zach Boychuk (and, for that matter, Jiri Tlusty) done to earn a total of ten minutes of ice time among the three of them? ★★★★★

Counterpoint: Next Day's Notes: Flyers-Hurricanes - Kurt Dusterberg, As much as I believe Boychuk has earned the chance to play on an NHL scoring line, I don't disagree with Maurice either. With Carolina in 13th place, there is no margin for error. Maurice's job, first and foremost, is to get the Hurricanes to the playoffs — not to develop Boychuk on the fly. If that means Boychuk must wait until someone falters, so be it. ★★★★

Afternoon updates

Wednesday night's game vs the Canadiens will not be broadcast locally by FSN, so plan on heading someplace with Center Ice if you want to watch it live. Hopefully, it'll be available in English.

  • UPDATE 5:45pm Post-practice Audio from Paul Maurice With 7 games in the next 11 days, looking to the next one vs Canadiens [6:29 mins]. Soundbytes: Got Patty Dwyer "going", Jussi is not quite 100%, Boucher more confident now than 48 hours ago, trying to stay positive, crawling our way back to .500 in this stretch. 

  • Brent on the Hunt - Michael Smith, Tracking the Storm "I haven’t even had the chance to put it in the water, which is a sin, almost," Tim Brent said. "Brand new boat like that sitting there. I go out and sit in the driver’s seat and pretend." ★★★★
  • Canes to run into Cole, Habs on road - Chip Alexander, Canes Now Of Erik Cole, Maurice said, "We'll try to get a matchup we think can skate with him out there and try to deny him the puck, but I would expect he will be at his finest."

Wednesday morning UPDATECole adjusts in Montreal - (fleshing out the tweets in full sentences) ★★★★★

"My answer is that everyone needs to relax," Cole said. "Eric is the type who puts a lot of pressure on himself at the start of each year and wants to come out the gate really, really hard and be the guy to carry the team...

"Maybe this year, with me not there or whatever, it's different. But Eric will be fine."

Chip caught up with Cole after arriving in Montreal a little while ago and relayed his conversation by tweet via @ice_chip

  • Just talked to Erik Cole. He said he had not heard that Eric Staal was playing the wing. Found that interesting.
  • Cole said Staal "always puts pressure on himself at the start of the year to come out of the gate really hard ... and carry the team."
  • Cole said he has had to adjust to Habs' systems, that it's more "read and react." Said with Canes, "I was going, going, going."
  • Cole said playing Canes in Bell Centre will be different than being with Oilers and playing at RBC Center. That was an emotional return.

    About last night

    Audio files

    • This aired during the Sunday matinee vs the Dallas Stars (November 6) Zach Boychuk with Mike Maniscalco [6:19] talking about playing on the 4th line, Tim "the Deerhunter" Brent and what to expect prior to the road trip last week. ★★★★
    • CORRECTED LINK: Eric Staal took time with Maniscalco [5:25] Sunday, following the Penguins game, and which aired last night. About the move to wing, the World Trade Center tour in NYC, and Jeff Skinner's dynamite start. ★★★

    Individual merits

    • Jeff Skinner leads the NHL for Penalties drawn - Checking back on a stat we took note of last year, the current "Penalties drawn per 60 minutes played" as calculated by the site where all hockey stat geeks begin. Skinner leads with 3.7, then Rick Nash, Dustin Brown, Matt Duchene, Evander Kane, Mike Cammalleri all below 3 per 60. Second best on the Canes? That's Tuomo Ruutu tied for 8th at 2.4.
    • Can Ovechkin reinvent himself? - Chuck Gormley, Alex Ovechkin is on pace to finish with 38 goals and 38 assists. Is that enough? Or does he need to adjust his game? 
    • And a similar quandary for Eric Staal described by yours truly here at Red Light District: What's eating Eric Staal? Staal, at his best, is a powerful "North-South" skater with blazing speed and a wicked shot. But I’ve never heard anyone praise him for his vision, hockey sense or finesse. When you’re as fiercely competitive and have the size, strength and shot to get the job done, thinking outside the box simply hasn’t been necessary.

    Radical Realignment in the works?

    Ed Snider says "total realignment" is on the way | ProHockeyTalk What Snider means by that is that he believes the NHL will adopt a four conference setup, much like has been discussed already. ★★★

    Here's a visual showing a possible throwback configuration:  Realignment revisited: Time for four divisions? - Carolyn Christians, RLDHockey The most radical plan under consideration was to return to just four rather than six divisions, perhaps with a bit of nostalgia for the days for when the divisions were named for League's founding fathers (Lester Patrick, James Norris, etc) rather than points on the compass.


    Click to enlarge (image by author) 


    And while we're talking about maps and relocations: NHL Back In Hartford In Five Years: Crazy Or Brilliant? - Rick Green | CT Confidential ★★★ (via@RangerRick)


    Checkers (and 'blades) news


    "I don’t remember too much of the hit," he said. "I do remember little tidbits. I remember coming off and telling the coaches I wanted to go back on." Murphy played one shift before Kitchener coaches sent him to the dressing room. "It was all my decision to go back on," he said. "I guess the coaches thought I looked out of it and sent me off."


    ...and Alumni

    26. Scottie Upshall on Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen: "He's like having an extra captain out there." You can see the difference in this team. Mentioned in one of last year's blogs that Dineen despises divers. He's told his players he will not tolerate it.

    • Tomorrow night will be the first time the Canes have played against a very familiar face clad in his new and unfamiliar jersey.

    Erik Cole

    #72 / Left Wing / Montreal Canadiens



    Nov 06, 1978

    GP  G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG   SOG  
    2011-12            Erik Cole 17  4  4   8  -3 8 2 0 0 53

    From last night, in the wake of the Lucic/Miller controversy: Video: Erik Cole runs Jhonas Enroth, as Lindy Ruff predicted - Puck Daddy