#1 regrouping after Coburn tied the score again at the von lebaobei123 22.03.2019 03:35

The Carolina Hurricanes missed the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, prompting an organizational re-shuffling that resulted in Ron Francis being named General Manager. Off-Season Game Plan looks at Francis challenge: finding a way to take this top-heavy team and make it a playoff contender. The second order of business for Francis figures to be finding a replacement for head coach Kirk Muller, who was fired in Francis first order of business as the new GM. All of the Canes problems cant be laid at Mullers doorstep, but its low risk to try a new approach when the past two seasons have yielded a .481 points percentage (125 points in 130 games). Francis former teammates Kevin Dineen and Ulf Samuelsson have both been rumoured as possible fits for the job. In addition to someone new calling the shots behind the bench, Francis has some complicated personnel decisions. The Staal brothers, Alexander Semin and Cam Ward each come with a cap hit of at least $6-million and that kind of ticket can always get moved out if it doesnt come with results. Its one thing to pay your marquee No. 1 centre more than $8-million if youre making the playoffs regularly, but when youve been on the outside for five straight seasons, its not inconceivable to consider trying something different. Same goes for paying a goaltender more than $6-million per season; only it gets more challenging to find takers when that goalie has struggled to stay healthy and played poorly over the past couple years. At one time -- much closer to 2006 -- it would have seemed sacreligious to consider trading Eric Staal or Cam Ward, but those are some possibilities that Francis may have to consider as he takes over the reigns of a budget-conscious team. To be fair, its not impossible for the Hurricanes to turn what they have into a competitive team. In addition to their high-priced forwards, the next generation is represented by Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm and their defence at least has a legitimate first pairing in Andrej Sekera and Justin Faulk. Its going further down the depth chart that causes more concern, as the Canes have been attempting to get by with bargains in those final roster spots. "I dont know if youre ever ready for this job," Francis told the Raleigh News & Observer after taking over from Jim Rutherford. "One thing Ive learned is there are no easy decisions. There are a lot of tough decisions." He may not be ready for it, but it sounds like Francis has some idea what hes getting himself into. The TSN.ca Rating is an efficiency rating based on per-game statistics including goals and assists -- weighted for strength (ie. power play, even, shorthanded) -- Corsi, adjusted for zone starts, quality of competition and quality of teammates, hits, blocked shots, penalty differential and faceoffs. Generally, a replacement-level player is around a 60, a top six forward and top four defenceman will be around 70, stars will be over 80 and MVP candidates could go over 90. Sidney Crosby finished at the top of the 2013-2014 regular season ratings at 87.12. Salary cap information all comes from the indispensable www.capgeek.com. CF% = Corsi percentage (ie. percentage of 5-on-5 shot attempts), via www.extraskater.com. GM/COACHRon Francis/Vacant Returning Forwards Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Cap Hit Jeff Skinner 74.48 71 33 21 54 51.2% $5.725M Eric Staal 73.38 79 21 40 61 52.4% $8.25M Alexander Semin 73.10 65 22 20 42 55.2% $7.0M Jordan Staal 68.53 82 15 25 40 54.0% $6.0M Patrick Dwyer 62.71 75 8 14 22 48.4% $900K Riley Nash 61.45 73 10 14 24 50.6% $575K Elias Lindholm 61.08 58 9 12 21 49.6% $925K Free Agent Forwards Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Class 13-14 Cap Hit Nathan Gerbe 66.34 81 16 15 31 51.8% RFA $550K Jiri Tlusty 66.09 68 16 14 30 51.2% RFA $1.6M Andrei Loktionov 60.82 68 7 15 22 55.1% RFA $725K Manny Malhotra 60.35 69 7 6 13 41.4% UFA $600K Drayson Bowman 58.61 70 4 8 12 45.5% RFA $600K Radek Dvorak 57.67 60 4 5 9 42.7% UFA $600K 21-year-old Jeff Skinner has had some ups and downs already in his career, but after scoring a career-high 33 goals last season, he now has 97 goals in 259 games through his first four years. Since 2000, the players to have more than 97 goals through their age 21 season are Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby, Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Ovechkin. He could be a premier offensive threat, though if thats the case, it probably makes sense to give him more ice time -- he played more, per game, in each of the previous two seasons. For the first time since his rookie season, Eric Staal finished a full season with fewer than 70 points and, coming off a knee injury suffered at the World Championships, it contrasted with a percentage-driven 2012-2013 season during which he put up 53 points in 48 games. There were rumblings during the year that Staal (or Skinner) might be available and that isnt necessarily a crazy idea. The cap hit for the two seasons remaining on his deal is $8.25-million, but the actual cost is $18.75-million and while turning 30 isnt a hockey death sentence, Staal will turn 30 in October and hes put on a lot of miles -- since coming into the league, in 2003-2004, he ranks fourth in games played with 769. This doesnt mean shipping Staal out at the first possible moment, and he does have a no-trade clause, but if a contender will pay a premium of young players, prospects and picks to land a big scoring centre like Staal, then the Hurricanes may want to at least consider that option now while he has value. While his scoring numbers declined last season, Alexander Semin was a victim of percentage regression more than anything. He had more than three shots on goal per game for the fifth time in the past six seasons and, over the past four seasons, has been one of the best at generating shot attempts while hes on the ice. Its entirely fair to wonder about the value of paying a $7-million cap hit for the next four seasons, until hes 34 but, at the moment, Semin is still a dangerous offensive winger. When the Hurricanes brought Jordan Staal in from Pittsburgh, the idea was that Staal would be able to play in a more offensive role, and it hasnt really worked out that way. He gets significant ice time against quality opponents, but Staal hasnt been blessed with great finishers on his lines in Carolina (Nathan Gerbe and Patrick Dwyer were his most common linemates last season) so, even with strong possession stats, his scoring rates have actually decreased. Hes also signed forever, through 2023, so theres room to improve the situation, by finding Jordan Staal linemates that may be more suited to producing offensively. Patrick Dwyer has played more than 14 minutes per game for each of the past three seasons, yet has been among the lowest-scoring forwards in the league (among those playing at least 2000 5-on-5 minutes). His possession numbers have fluctuated from year to year too, based on situations, so there is a fit in the lineup for Dwyer, but it only makes sense in a checking role. Riley Nash is ostensibly a checking centre, though one who started 59.3% of his shifts in the offensive zone and didnt face tough competition. Its not on Nash to determine usage, thats on the coach, but if the Hurricanes intend to free up others for offensive opportunities, then Nash should be taking on more defensive responsibility. The fifth pick in last summers draft, Elias Lindholm had a solid, if unspectacular rookie season. His role increased as the season progressed and scored 14 points in 37 games after a stint playing for Sweden at the World Juniors. Expect Lindholm to move into a more prominent role next season. Bought out by the Buffalo Sabres, Nathan Gerbe came in at a bargain cost and tied career highs with 16 goals and 31 points, with impressive underlying numbers to support that production. In fact, with any kind of luck (ie. a respectable on-ice shooting percentage), Gerbe could have put up better scoring stats. It turned out that Jiri Tlustys 23-goal-in-48-games outburst from 2012-2013 was fluky (who knew?), and his scoring stats came back to earth. With decent possession numbers, its still reasonable to think that Tlusty can be a useful complementary scorer. After coming over from New Jersey in the Tuomo Ruutu trade, Andrei Loktionov capably filled a complementary role. His usage has always been sheltered, but he puts up good possession numbers and should be hitting a point at which he can be given more responsibility, fitting in a top-nine role. Drayson Bowman played a career-high 70 games for the Hurricanes last season, but hes managed 33 points in 176 career games. With uneven results to this point in his career, Bowman is likely still battling for a job. Nothing wrong with keeping him for a fourth-line role, but its possible there are better alternatives too. It would be great for Carolina to dip into the free agent market and bring in another proven scoring forward, but if the Hurricanes are operating on a budget, the more likely scenario could be to find some value plays, not unlike last years addition of Gerbe or Manny Malhotra. Peter Regin, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Steve Bernier and Ryan Carter are a few veterans that might come relatively cheaply, but could still upgrade the Hurricanes forward depth. Returning Defence Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Cap Hit Andrej Sekera 73.85 74 11 33 44 51.5% $2.75M Justin Faulk 68.67 7 5 27 32 51.8% $4.833M John-Michael Liles 62.94 41 2 7 9 49.5% $3.875M Jay Harrison 61.47 68 4 11 15 47.9% $1.5M Ryan Murphy 61.31 48 2 10 12 48.8% $863K Free Agent Defence Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Class 13-14 Cap Hit Ron Hainsey 62.09 82 4 11 15 51.0% UFA $2.0M Brett Bellemore 60.41 64 2 6 8 48.4% UFA $600K Mike Komisarek 58.09 32 0 4 4 48.5% UFA $700K Joni Pitkanen N/A UFA $4.5M Moving to Carolina brought about a dramatic change for Andrej Sekera, who had been a steady enough to-four defenceman in Buffalo, but he emerged as a top-pair stud for the Hurricanes, setting career-bests in goals (11), assists (33) and time on ice (23:41), all while facing high quality of competition. Next season is the final year on his current contract, so Sekera is due for an extension which will come with a healthy pay raise. 22-year-old Justin Faulk is the building block on the Carolina defence, playing 23:19 per game through his first three seasons and facing the toughest assignments. A great skater, who makes smart decisions and signed through 2020, Faulk is a stable presence already and should continue to get better. Unable to crack the lineup of the Toronto Maple Leafs, John-Michael Liles played over 20 minutes per game in Carolina and even provided strong puck possession numbers in the process. Hes three seasons removed from his last 40-point season, but Liles mobility and smarts still work to his advantage, on a team that is willing to make use of those assets. Jay Harrison offers size, but his ice time was down last year after struggling more than he had in previous years. Hes reasonably priced as a third-pair option, in the hopes that maybe he finds a better fit with another partner. One of Harrisons regular partners last season, Ryan Murphy is an undersized 21-year-old who is still trying to make his way in the league. Murphy is a terrific skater, and that has helped him put up 24 points in 25 AHL games, in addition to a dozen points in 52 career NHL games, so there is offensive upside to be realized. Even if Murphy is given easier minutes, with power play time, he should be able to find a regular spot on a Carolina blueline that needs to be better. The Hurricanes are looking at some significant changes on defence, thanks to four unrestricted free agents. Ron Hainsey was certainly good enough to keep and if Joni Pitkanen is healthy, that could be interesting but, otherwise, the Canes may look elsewhere for improvement. Returning Goaltenders Player Rating GP W L OTL GAA SV% Cap Hit Anton Khudobin 77.25 36 19 14 1 2.30 .926 $2.25M Cam Ward 63.71 30 10 12 6 3.06 .898 $6.3M Free Agent Goaltender Player Rating GP W L OTL GAA SV% Class 13-14 Cap Hit Justin Peters 69.64 21 7 9 4 2.50 .919 UFA $538K Anton Khudobin had a terrific year, posting a .926 save percentage in a career-high 36 games, earning a two-year contract extension and, if the Hurricanes can find a taker for incumbent starter Cam Ward, the starting job would appear to be Khuodbins going forward. Khudobin has a .928 save percentage in 57 career games, which is great, the best among goalies with at least 50 games, but thats such a small sample, and he had a .912 save percentage in 156 AHL games, so theres most likely downward mobility in those numbers. Ward won the Conn Smythe Award as playoff MVP in 2006 and was an above average goaltender from 2008 through 212, but injuries have limited him to 47 games over the past two seasons and, even when hes played, he hasnt been effective, posting a .902 save percentage, which is near the bottom among goaltenders over the past couple seasons. Theoretically, the Hurricanes may be prepared to move Ward, but finding a taker for the remaining two years (and $13.5-million) on his contract could be challenging, at best. Top Prospects Player Pos. Team/League Stats Brock McGinn LW Guelph (OHL) 43-42-85, +46, 58 GP Michal Jordan D Charlotte (AHL) 4-21-25, -12, 70 GP Victor Rask C Charlotte (AHL) 16-23-39, -3, 76 GP Trevor Carrick D Sudbury (OHL) 22-29-51, -6, 70 GP Sergey Tolchinsky LW Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 31-60-91, -9, 66 GP Phil Di Giuseppe LW Michigan (Big 10) 13-11-24, +7, 35 GP Brett Pesce D New Hampshire (HE) 7-14-21, -4, 41 GP Daniel Altshuller G Oshawa (OHL) 2.56 GAA, .917 SV%, 52 GP Jaccob Slavin D Colorado College (NCHC) 5-20-25, +2, 32 GP Keegan Lowe D Charlotte (AHL) 2-10-12, -7, 63 GP Zach Boychuk LW Charlotte (AHL) 36-38-74, -7, 69 GP Brock McGinn, the third of Fergus, Ontarios McGinn brothers (Jamie and Tye are with Colorado and Philadelphia, respectively) to be drafted to the NHL,has enjoyed a great season with a powerhouse Guelph team. Hell play a physical game and, as hes shown this year, should be able to contribute some offensively too. After four AHL seasons, Michal Jordan could be ready for a real NHL opportunity with Carolina. Hes been their best AHL defenceman and, with free agents potentially departing, Jordan could slide into a depth spot next season. A second-round pick in 2011 Victor Rask had a solid first pro campaign. He could use more time to refine his game, and establish that he can score consistently at the AHL level, before pushing for an NHL spot. 2012 fourth-round pick Trevor Carrick has steadily improved throughhout his junior career and is ready to embark on a pro career next season, but likely will require a few years of development. Undrafted last summer, after scoring 51 points in 62 games in his draft year, Sergey Tolchinsky quickly earned a free agent contract with the Hurricanes, then continued to improve his game in the OHL. Hes small, but skilled. Drafted in the second round in 2012, Phil Di Giuseppe didnt make a ton of progress at Michigan, scoring 26 points in 40 games as a freshman, then 52 points in 75 games over the past two seasons. Hes signed with the Hurricanes and played in three games with Charlotte late in the year, so Di Giuseppe will have a chance to show whether or not hes going to have a notable offensive game in the pros. Taken in the third round last summer, Brett Pesce is a lanky collegiate defender who improved his production as a sophomore. He still has a couple more seasons of collegiate eligibility and can use them to get stronger as he prepares for his pro career. A third-round pick in 2012, Daniel Altshuller has steadily improved throughout his junior career and, at 6-foot-4, has good size for the position. Give him a few years in the AHL and see what happens. An offensively-minded blueliner, Jaccob Slavin played for Team USA at the World Junior Hockey Championships and led Colorado College in scoring as a freshman. A tough, physical stay-at-home defenceman, Keegan Lowe was a third-round pick in 2011 and had a decent first pro campaign. Lowes game wont stand out, but for a team without great defence prospects, hes in the picture. Zach Boychuk has been a top Hurricanes prospect forever, since he was a first-round pick in 2008, and hes managed nine goals and 24 points in 96 NHL career games, but after 74 points in 69 AHL games last season, the undersized winger cant be ignored altogether. Hurricanes advanced stats and player usage chart from Extra Skater DRAFT7th - Kasperi Kapanen, William Nylander, Nikolaj Ehlers FREE AGENCYAccording to www.capgeek.com, the Hurricanes have approximately $37.9M committed to the 2013-2014 salary cap for 16 players. Check out my possible Hurricanes lineup for next season on Cap Geek here. Needs: Three forwards, one top four defenceman, depth defencemen.What I said the Hurricanes needed last year: Two top nine forwards, depth forwards, depth defencemen.They added: Nathan Gerbe, Elias Lindholm, Andrej Sekera, Ron Hainsey, Ryan Murphy, Mike Komisarek, Brett Bellemore, Anton Khudobin. TRADE MARKETEric Staal, Alexander Semin, Jiri Tlusty. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Cheap Sneakers Uk Online . After a 10-game skid, winning sure feels good. Atlantas third error in the last two innings allowed Jackie Bradley Jr. Cheap Sneakers Wholesale . TSN 1290s game day coverage begins on Monday, June 9 at 5:30pm ct as the Blue Bombers take on the Toronto Argonauts in pre-season action. Bombers game day broadcasts on TSN 1290 are hosted by Winnipeg Blue Bomber Hall of Famers Troy Westwood and new addition Chris Walby, alongside beat reporter Darrin Bauming, who delivers regular reports on the team for TSN 1290 all-season long. http://www.cheapsneakersuk.com/. "Hopefully well get all this out of the way," he said, "and everyone will be healthy the rest of the year." Zimmerman was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday and is expected to miss between four to six weeks. Authentic Sneaker Wholesale . A player confirmed to TSN on the condition of anonymity that he received his ballot yesterday. Another confirms hes been told to expect his shortly. "The unions executive committee insists a strike vote does not mean were pushing away from the table," the player said. "But we want the league to know were serious about our position. Cheap Sneakers Uk . The Blueshirts hope to stay alive once again when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Sundays Game 6 battle at Madison Square Garden. TORONTO -- Nazem Kadri and the Toronto Maple Leafs like to think of the first period as the most important 20 minutes of the game. That worked out well against the Philadelphia Flyers, though making the third period their worst almost didnt. The Leafs blew two leads after the second intermission but managed to rebound to beat the Flyers 4-3 in overtime Saturday night at Air Canada Centre. "It feels good," game-winning goal-scorer Joffrey Lupul said of bouncing back. "We dont want to make a habit of blowing third-period leads. Things are going to happen, other teams are going to make plays and we stuck with it. "There was a good feeling on our bench going into overtime. It seemed like everyone had their composure and were calm and we got the result we needed." The result was the Leafs second straight overtime victory but also the fourth game in five since the Olympic break that involved blowing at least one third-period lead. Toronto had a two-goal lead 3:38 into the first by virtue of goals by Jake Gardiner and Kadri, but that slipped away after Flyers defenceman Kimmo Timonen scored twice. Mason Raymonds go-ahead goal later in the third was then erased when Braydon Coburn beat Jonathan Bernier with plenty of traffic in front. That was the sixth time the Leafs had coughed up a lead in the final period of regulation in the past five games. Gardiner called it "a little bit of a collapse defensively," and it was hard for his teammates to disagree given this disturbing trend. "Obviously thats a little bit of a concern, but thats not something thats drawing our complete attention," Kadri said. "Obviously our D-zone could be a little tighter, but thats something weve got to work on." With 17 games left in the regular season, theres some time to go to work, but most importantly, Leafs players took out of Saturday night the satisfaction of not caving in and managing to pick up two valuable points. Toronto (34-23-8) now has 76 points, two up on the Tampa Bay Lightning for the third playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. "Thats really what we focus on: we show character to stay in games," Kadri said. "Even though its a little bit deflating at times giving up a couple goal-leads in the third period, especially late to force overtime, we stay positive and came out with the right outcome." Coach Randy Carlyle had his issues with the Leafs performance, like when he thought players stopped skating at the end of the second period and how several stayed on the ice for shifts that were too long for his liking. But he, too, took a positive out of regrouping after Coburn tied the score again at the 17:28 mark of the third. "A lot of times when the game gets away from you, your team goes and continues to spiral," Carlyle said. "Well we didnt spiral, in my mind. Maybe if I re-watch it again Ill have a different opinion, but it didnt seem like we were under siege in the third." At the start, the Leafs had the Flyers (33-24-7) under siege. The goals by Gardiner and Kadri came on Torontos first four shots against Steve Mason, who looked shaky for at least the first handful of minutes. From Coburns perspective, it wasnt just Mason, who stopped 32 of the 36 shots he faced. "We had an awful start," he said. "We cant start hockey that way." While Leafs winger Troy Bodie, who helped set up Gardiners goaal as part of his two-assist night, noticed a jump from those two early goals, it put Philadelphia in a major hole that it had to climb out of the rest of the game.dddddddddddd "The first 10 minutes of the game, we didnt play that good and they were able to score two goals, but I think the next 50-54 minutes, we were skating and working and creating chances," said Timonen, who scored his first career goals against the Leafs in his 30th game against them. "We were a better team after that first 10 minutes." Bernier made several memorable saves among his 28 to keep the Flyers from breaking through until the third period. And Mason bounced back to stop 29 consecutive shots between Kadris goal in the first and Raymonds in the third. "He held us in there," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "I thought he did a real good job, made some big saves. Theyre a good offensive team, they make plays and he came up big." What usually makes the Leafs such a good offensive team is big contributions from James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel. That top line was kept off the score sheet Saturday night, but goals from Gardiner, Lupul, Raymond and Kadri got Toronto two points and could portend good things moving forward. "I think thats what is going to be a key to our success as the season goes on," Lupul said. "As good as our first line has been, it would be asking a lot for them to sustain the pace theyve had these past 10, 15 games. Were going to have to step up and were getting opportunities. Tonight some of them went in for us." The Leafs biggest question mark going into a five-game road trip that starts Monday in Anaheim is how to stop other teams from putting the puck in the net so much, especially while leading in the third period. Lupul credited the Flyers for being a desperate opponent, while also considering it could be partially because of inexperience on the part of the Leafs. "Wed like to do a little better job defending or actually staying on the offence, but sometimes the other team is going to make some plays, too," he said. "We wouldve loved to hang on and not need overtime." It was in overtime that Lupul was able to come through as the hero, scoring on a tic-tac-toe passing play that started with Carl Gunnarsson and Dion Phaneuf. "We finished strong and Neuf and Lupes made a great play on the last goal," Gardiner said. Lupuls 19th goal of the season managed to at least temporarily shift this problem into the background. Or perhaps it wont become a real issue until the Leafs lose one of these games in regulation, as they improved to 24-1-2 when leading after two. "I dont think we want to keep that path going," Gardiner said. "They go both ways sometimes, and tonight we got it. NOTES -- Winger David Clarkson was scratched for the Maple Leafs after a pulled muscle from Fridays practice continued to bother him. Defenceman Paul Ranger was a healthy scratch as Frazer McLaren was called up so the Leafs could dress 12 forwards. ... The Leafs honoured 19 gold- and silver-medal-winning Canadian Olympians prior to the game, including five players from the womens hockey team. ... Steve Downie was scratched for the Flyers because of the flu. Ex-Leafs forward Jay Rosehill took his place, making his biggest impact on the game by fighting McLaren in the second period. ' ' '

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