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Tracking the Storm

Tweetmail No. 5: Silly Season

Wednesday, 03.05.2014 / 10:00 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Tweetmail No. 5: Silly Season
Answering your Twitter questions about the trade deadline -- what else? Well, there are a few other topics covered.
Michael Smith
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Hello and welcome to a weekly feature on CarolinaHurricanes.com in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or whatever else and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.

Let’s get to it.

How does the coach get the Canes back on track? What does he need to say or do? – Bill G. (@billgeurin)

This question was asked prior to the Canes' 3-2 overtime win last night in San Jose, but I think that win typified what the team needs to do on a game-by-game basis to be successful; it’s not something the coach or the coaching staff can say or do, but rather it’s about competing and executing.

Last night’s game was, for sure, the Canes’ best effort on the road trip, and they were properly rewarded with two points. As assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour said in his second intermission interview on FOX Sports Carolinas, the team’s compete level was “off the charts,” even despite a tough end to the first period in which the Sharks – after capitalizing on a couple of defensive-zone mishaps from Carolina – led 2-1.

When the ice tilted in San Jose’s favor, the Canes found a way to counter it. Overtime was a prime example of this, as the Sharks hemmed the Canes in their own zone early, and the visiting team, wrapping up a season-long, five-game road trip, looked a bit gassed. But a few grinding shifts later, including another terrific individual effort from Andrej Sekera, led to Elias Lindholm finding Jay Harrison for a beautiful overtime winner.

Regardless of the situation, the Canes’ compete level didn’t dip, even against a team that had lost just seven games at home coming into last night. That’s the focused effort Carolina will need to put forth on a consistent basis to be successful as we head down the stretch of the season.

Who are the Canes interested in trading? – JD Mayo (@JDMayo83)

(I got quite a few questions about trades and the trade deadline and just simply had to pick one. Apologies if yours was not chosen – try again next year.)

Ah, trade deadline day. Where Twitter treats rumors as currency and imposter accounts seek attention and peddle pipe dreams or, best-case, educated guesses as full-on fact. It’s a lovely day, really.

Anywho! We won’t deal with rumors here, nor do I have a short (or long) list of who the Canes are interested in trading.

But for a moment, I’ll play GM. (Scary thought, right?) Would it not be wise to at least listen to offers for most of your roster? It doesn’t mean the trade will be made, and hearing out an offer, laughable or not, is free. OK, I’m done playing GM.

Let’s consider who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer: forwards Radek Dvorak and Manny Malhotra, defensemen Ron Hainsey and Mike Komisarek (and Joni Pitkanen) and goaltender Justin Peters.

Of this list, Hainsey would likely command the most value. He’s being paid very reasonably and has proven himself a more than capable top-four defenseman. From a Canes perspective, though, he has shored up the team defense, which was certainly a question mark coming into the season with the news of Pitkanen’s still-injured heel; a player of Hainsey’s caliber might be worth hanging onto for the future.

Then there is the goaltending question. Anton Khudobin was re-signed on Tuesday to a two-year, $4.5 million deal. Peters is a pending unrestricted free agent, and Cam Ward is on the hook through the 2015-16 season. The Canes could very well have three goaltenders on the roster come Thursday, but this is a situation worth keeping an eye on today.

If you’re interested in following along with the trade deadline hoopla, we have you covered. We have a running, regularly-updated blog, and at 2:45 p.m., we will be live streaming a special trade deadline edition of Storm Surge. Mike Maniscalco and I will be on hand with host Amber Jaye as we take you through anything and everything that has happened or is happening live through the 3 p.m. deadline. It should be fun and maybe even a smidge unpredictable.

Making a purchase. Which do you like more: the black Canada jersey or the classic red? – Elliot F. (@TherealEFarrell)

I’m a fan of this one.

Strictly speaking red or black, though, I’d go red.

But if you had to get a Canadian sweater, I’d still go red.

All-time favorite press meal: two main courses (‘cause that’s how we roll), two sides and a dessert. Go. – Lee T. (@lee_taft)

This is easy and tough at the same time.

Main courses: Sesame-ginger chicken (no bone) and pot stickers. Sides: Beer cheese soup (this counts as a side) and mixed vegetables. Dessert: Soft serve with Reese’s Pieces.

Nailed it.

***

Join me next week for trade-free questions and answers!

If you have a question you’d like answered, you can reach out to me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 43 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 48 10 19 -13 29
E. Lindholm 48 9 11 -12 20
R. Nash 48 7 13 -4 20
J. Tlusty 41 12 7 -12 19
J. Skinner 43 10 9 -8 19
N. Gerbe 44 5 13 -4 18
V. Rask 48 6 9 -10 15
A. Sekera 46 1 14 -6 15
J. McClement 48 1 9 -2 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 11 17 4 .914 2.37
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .914 2.41