Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Killer Bees and Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men

Hey, Hey, Hey, I'm Here to Shut Down Your Cycle Game!
I'm seeing one trend in the Hurricanes play thus-far I like and one I don't. Carolina forwards are back to being the killer bees of 2005-2006. They are a bunch of swarming and opportunistic fargin' bastiges. The Roddy thru pass to LaRose last night was a thing of beauty. It reminded me of the kind of passes that used to spring Cullen and Cole during that Stanley Cup season. These guys have a feel for each other on the ice-the passing is much better than last season. You add a healthy Cory Stillman and that bronzed-god George Hamilton ripping one-timers on the PP, and I think the Canes have an offense that will score enough goals to win games...

...if the defense can start imposing its will on opposing forwards. That's the trend I no-likie. Cam Ward is the defensive-defenseman keeping the Canes in games right now. Hedican, Gleason and Wallin seem to roll off opposing forwards like Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men-like they are playing in inflatable Sumo wrestler suits. They are not imposing their will in the defensive zone. Mike Commodore is the only blueliner delivering any meaningful punishment on a nightly basis. "Journeyman" forward Brad Isbister used up Heddy enroute to setting up the Canucks only goal last night. Wallin is solid when he gets to the puck first, but unlike David over at R&B, I see a lot of frenetic activity from Gleason, but not much solid defense. Timaaay seems to operate on a two-second delay. He constantly seems to be catching up with the flow. Maybe it's a maturation thing many young defensemen must endure.

The buzz of a few weeks ago had JR shopping for an offensive defenseman. I'd rather see the focus on landing a big, smooth-skating and defensively responsible cave troll. Let the offensive upside come from Kaberle, Tanabe or one of the newbies playing in Albany.

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