Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Twenty Games In (2017-2018)

  1. #1
    All-Star Elsker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cary, NC
    Posts
    2,902
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Twenty Games In (2017-2018)

    Well, it's that time again. Twenty games into the season. Thanksgiving (American). First real benchmark point for the season.

    75% or so of teams that are in playoff position now stick. Very few teams that are more than four points back at this point make it into the dance.

    We're in a bit of a fuzzy situation right now due to games played (already) where we trail behind everyone above us in the Wild Card Standings by at least a game, but more significantly the teams just ahead of us by as much as two and three games. That means even NHL 0.500 hockey catches us up and the tiebreakers go into effect.

    Playoff odds just over 50% (53%). Last night's loss to the Rangers as they beep-beeped their way past us in the standings hurt a lot...over 15 points worth in the chances department, lowering us from 2-in-3 chances to basically a coin flip.

    So, let's say we're in our comfortable #9/#10 position. But not effectively trailing by much more than a point or two.


    Here's the last three seasons at the Twenty Games In point (click for thread) and the season's final results:

    2014-2015: 15 points (9 out) -> drafted Hanifin 5th overall

    2015-2016: 17 points (6 out) -> drafted Bean 13th overall

    2016-2017: 20 points (5 out) -> drafted Necas 12th overall

    2017-2108: 22 points (3-4 out w/3 games in hand) -> ?????


    So, there's a positive, if incremental, trend upward. But enough so to put us over the top this season?

    Rude reminder last night as one of the usual playoff contenders brushed their way by us to try and join Washington and Pittsburgh bunched up in the current wild card ranks as they all collectively recover from their own rough starts.

    Let's face it, we might make the playoffs, but a lot of our line-up is in for a real lesson in what it takes to succeed in that environment. At least until the young-twenties crowd grows into their britches, our team's "veterans" are the secondary (Williams, Staal, Skinner on another team) and tertiary (Kruger, Stempniak) assets of playoff teams. Ward wouldn't even be a back-up for one. Darling was and could still be so, at least as a back-up.

    We just don't have the assets that the playoff crowd possesses. And, again, just look to ownership and the salary budget as to why. We're two or three star players short in dollars and personnel from making any noise in the playoffs, IF we even get there.

    And, hey, it's acknowledged that deficit could be fixed as late as the trade deadline or even earlier by some personnel changes, however unlikely. Heck, it's probably going to take some kind of external force to inject the energy needed at this point. And that's before the injury bug bites.


    But, it's encouraging, all in all. We're right there.

    Top-5 ranked in some good things, like Shots/Game For (3rd highest) and Shots/Game Against (3rd lowest). But also 5th worst team in power play success percentage and are the median team for penalty kill success. Maybe it's for lack of practice since we're also the least penalized team in the league. Certainly have the media's attention.

    But, I don't know. I'm just not feeling it. The X's and O's are there. System seems good and they're executing it to the best of their abilities. Darling noted during his Canes Corner interview earlier this week that he's never seen a team with such a solid work ethic (and he's seen a lot of teams). It is true that the lackadaisical shifts and effort we witnessed many a season have disappeared. We do get solid shifts these days.

    But I still just don't see an identity. There's a needed hunger and purpose missing. They're all going through the proper motions. But collectively and perhaps even individually, I just don't see a playoff team down there. Not yet.

    How about you?
    Last edited by Elsker; 11-23-2017 at 02:58 PM.
    Here we are now...entertain us.

  2. #2
    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    9,878
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Twenty Games In (2017-2018)

    The only thing that makes this season feel encouraging is that the rest of the Metro is sort of a giant muddle. Nobody is really running away and hiding like Columbus did last year. I'm OK with the actual results thus far, but honestly this season isn't passing the eyeball test for me. We're hit and miss on offense, not nearly good enough in goal and WAY more inconsistent on D than we ought to tbe given he talent level.

    I think they're fine, really just one more smallish hot streak from being right in the post season mix ... I'm just nowhere near satisfied with what I'm watching thus far.

  3. #3
    All-Star Elsker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cary, NC
    Posts
    2,902
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Twenty Games In (2017-2018)

    So easily correctable. One or two of those disappointing OT losses (Arizona, Anaheim, etc.) being regulation wins and we're right there.

    Just need an easily manageable 3-2-1 pace over each six-game series and we're at 95 points and a 90% chance of playoff position. Consistently be a tough OT out for one of the three NHL-0.500 win/loss record games and you're there.

    I can see that happening and it should happen.

    But the field is crowded and a team or two will have to fall to make room. Need some killer instinct out of these guys and it's not going to evolve without some painful playoff losses...and/or external coaching injection.


    And, while I'm here, found this back in the 2015-2016 Twenty Games In archives:

    Justin Faulk Appreciation Post

    Whatever happened to that guy?
    Here we are now...entertain us.

  4. #4
    All-Star Elsker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cary, NC
    Posts
    2,902
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Twenty Games In (2017-2018)

    Checking in at the halfway (41 games) point, we are right there in the playoff hunt. Ninth spot today, but with two games in hand on Pittsburgh at eighth. Four tough games in front of us, but a lot of home games against mostly non-playoff teams coming up over the next ten or so afterward.

    Aho (13 goals) and Terevinen (11 goals) both at 33 points, on track for 60+ point seasons with 20+ goals. Skinner (13 goals) right behind them with 28 points and Williams (7 goals) also tracking for a quiet 50-point season at 25 points.

    Staal (11 goals) with 24 points on track for a career year with us, rivaling his Pittsburgh years, now that we have finally given him some NHL-level wingers. And Lindholm (11 goals) has already equaled his last two 11-goal seasons at the halfway point.

    Faulk and Rask continue to disappoint. But if they ever switch on...

    And there's that goalie thing still to resolve.

    However, all in all, it's looking pretty good so far.
    Last edited by Elsker; 01-09-2018 at 01:32 AM. Reason: Added Lindholm
    Here we are now...entertain us.

  5. #5
    Super-Star
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    3,893
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Twenty Games In (2017-2018)

    Quote Originally Posted by Elsker View Post
    Checking in at the halfway (41 games) point, we are right there in the playoff hunt. Ninth spot today, but with two games in hand on Pittsburgh at eighth. Four tough games in front of us, but a lot of home games against mostly non-playoff teams coming up over the next ten or so afterward.

    Aho (13 goals) and Terevinen (11 goals) both at 33 points, on track for 60+ point seasons with 20+ goals. Skinner (13 goals) right behind them with 28 points and Williams (7 goals) also tracking for a quiet 50-point season at 25 points.

    Staal (11 goals) with 24 points on track for a career year with us, rivaling his Pittsburgh years, now that we have finally given him some NHL-level wingers. And Lindholm (11 goals) has already equaled his last two 11-goal seasons at the halfway point.

    Faulk and Rask continue to disappoint. But if they ever switch on...

    And there's that goalie thing still to resolve.

    However, all in all, it's looking pretty good so far.
    If they stay healthy and get any kind of decent goaltending in the second half, a playoff spot is there for the taking! I actually like the Canes chances to get in over the Pens and Islanders, Pens are gassed from two straight Cup runs, Islanders to me do not have the depth of talent the Canes have and the kids like Barzal are going to hit a wall with the rigors of an 82 game season. The team that really has come from nowhere in the Metro and shocked everyone is New Jersey...that to me is the wrench that has been thrown into the mix in the East that no one saw coming.

  6. #6
    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    9,878
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Twenty Games In (2017-2018)

    Carolina is in a barrel with Philly, Pittsburgh and the Islanders. I don't see anybody else crashing that party from above or below in the standings ... unless the Rangers just head a dead cold streak. Nobody seems to be talking about Philly but they recovered from a slow start and have been steadily chugging along since and look to have the better goaltending tandem of this bunch. Both they and the Isles do seem a bit thin, but honestly so does Carolina if we're being objective. Pittsburgh ... IMO it's am matter of whether or not they find a move to make that gives them a jump start. I suspect they won't linger in this company for too long if they ever find some consistency.

    Like you said ... goaltending is the key to this puzzle for the Canes, that and special teams play. Improve both areas and they've got a real shot.

  7. #7
    Canes Moderator brassbonanza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    4,575
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Twenty Games In (2017-2018)

    Imagine if Staal had any kind of finishing ability.

  8. #8
    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    9,878
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Twenty Games In (2017-2018)

    Quote Originally Posted by brassbonanza View Post
    Imagine if Staal had any kind of finishing ability.
    Meh. Pretty much every pro scout that looked at him pre-draft did just that.

    At this point I'd be happier if people would just stop imagining what could be with Jordan Staal and accept him for the very good checking center that he actually is.

  9. #9
    1st Liner
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,392
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Twenty Games In (2017-2018)

    Imagine if we had a first line center with any kind of finishing ability!

    Imagine if Tripp and Mike didn't ask the dumbest interview questions of all time!

  10. #10
    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    9,878
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Twenty Games In (2017-2018)

    Quote Originally Posted by cmon3 View Post
    Imagine if we had a first line center with any kind of finishing ability!

    Imagine if Tripp and Mike didn't ask the dumbest interview questions of all time!
    Imagine if Darling had been a legit starting goaltender right out of the box.

  11. #11
    1st Liner SlapShots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,972
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Twenty Games In (2017-2018)

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffbear View Post
    Imagine if Darling had been a legit starting goaltender right out of the box.
    Now, that's the winning statement!

  12. #12
    1st Liner
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,392
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Twenty Games In (2017-2018)

    Hah - you may say I'm a dreamer - but I'm not the only one!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •