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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 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 60 11 28 -14 39
E. Staal 55 18 18 -9 36
E. Lindholm 59 11 16 -15 27
J. Skinner 55 16 9 -15 25
R. Nash 57 7 15 -8 22
N. Gerbe 56 7 14 -11 21
V. Rask 58 8 11 -16 19
J. McClement 60 4 12 1 16
J. Staal 24 4 11 -1 15
A. Semin 36 2 12 -8 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 19 4 .914 2.35
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60