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Like Skinner in Philly, Canes turning it around

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Tags: Canes Now

Call it a spin-o-rama, Skinner-rama or Skin-o-rama. Whatever you want to call it, Jeff Skinner's spinning score Monday night against the Philadelphia Flyers will be a YouTube staple for some time.

But if Skinner's score was a highlight of the 4-2 win at Wells Fargo Center, so was the Canes' power play as Alexei Ponikarovsky scored twice. So was the play of Chad LaRose, who had a goal and two assists.

And so was the play of Cam Ward in net.  The Flyers got their share of shots (32) but it was as if Ward simply refused let his team lose the game.

But again, it was defense that came first. The Flyers didn't have Jaromir Jagr in the lineup but the Canes didn't let Claude Giroux dominate the game. They blocked 20 shots, a fourth of the blocks by Jay Harrison.

Harrison had 24:28 in ice time and defensive partner Justin Faulk 24:04, season highs for both. That led the blueliners against the Flyers as Harrison and Faulk both logged a team-high 3:26 in penalty-kill time.

Canes coach Paul Maurice said the defense was "really good" until the Canes got in some penalty trouble and some fatigue set in.

"Our overall team defense, while there's areas to improve, is markedly and decidedly better than it was a week ago," Maurice said.

Maurice, looking back to the 4-0 loss in Montreal last week, called the second period against the Canadiens "the worst hockey I've ever seen a team play."

"To come back and be able to flip a switch and as a group get 20 guys focused on one idea ... there's really good leadership in that room," Maurice said.

If there were concerns about Ward a week ago, after the Habs game, he's bounced back with solid efforts against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Flyers. Some of his saves were routine and some simply sensational, and he got a lot more work Monday than Sunday.

"We've made some changes in our game to play a little bit better defensively and I think that frustrated them," Ward said of the Flyers. "In the previous two games it was a little  too easy for them. Tonight we put up a challenge and played really well."

As for Skinner's goal, cue the video. Suffice it to say he spun around Kimmo Timonen, leaving one of the league's best defensemen flatfooted, got off a shot and then poked in the rebound.

"Coming through the neutral zone, I didn't think I had any speed, so I tried to generate a little by turning it around," Skinner said.

With back-to-back wins, the Canes may be turning their season around. Next up: Montreal.






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Keep in Mind

Keep in mind that Skinner is in the second year of his entry level contract ... thus is underpaid for his value to the team.  After the 2012-2013 season, he will be an RFA ... and is due to a MUCH higher salary in his next contract.  Also, another team might make an offer to Skinner that the Canes must meet or lose Skinner.  The draft picks that the Canes would be due would be small consolation to losing Skinner, Our young prospects, such as Boychuk and Dalpe, will be RFA  next year or the year after. They will also be looking for higher salaries  Faulk will not be an RFA for two more years,

Obviously they could clear salary space by trading a higher price, such as Kaberle ... IF the Canes could find another team that could use him and has cap space.

RFA Offers

RFA offers are rarer than hen's teeth.  They rarely get the player as they only force the team to pay more than they wanted to pay.  The last RFA signed away from his team was Dustin Penner.  How did that one work out?  Steven Stamkos generated ZERO offers.  I don't think the Canes have much to worry about with Skinner.

RFA offers

are rarer now because of what the consequences might be.  Teams can't afford to lose too many draft choices/players just to sign that one guy.  Also, the cap now enters into the equation.  I would have been more worried about Brandon Sutter being offered that RFA contract, but he chose to stay here for a few more years.  After that, it's look out below because teams will line up for his services.  A lot of what happens with Skinner is going to depend on the new CBA and if there are any changes to what teams will lose if they tender an offer to an RFA.  A lot of what's awarded is governed by the amount dollars wise of the offer and what classification the player is under.  He will warrant serious attention from teams, so the 'Canes better be on guard.

more agreements

sittler I agree with you like everyone else. You can't place all the blame on MO. When the Canes do get young, good players he puts them on 4th line, thats all he does though. Its also JR's job to bring in the good players, if he's such good friends with MO, why can't they talk about what they need and how to do that? Or is that PK is too cheap? Like you said sittler, they're expecting 1st rate performance out of 2nd rate guys. There's a lot of talent in the org, why can't they find lines that work and leave them to work together. The Skins and Finns line works, but MO can't stop messing with the lines. That is his fault, you can place the blame of the lines not working on PK, JR, or the players. It's not the players fault there's no chemistry on the ice. The only blame you can place on the players is when they aren't showing their full potenial when they are on a line that works. It's on thing when MO put a good player, like Boychuck on 4th line and he's only getting 2 minutes. JR needs to find a good player that's within the salary cap. If there aren't any out there, send down Rosie and call up a good player.


Send down Larose?  C'mon.  This is now officially a witch hunt.  I know he isn't the best finisher, but he is the 3rd leading scorer on the team.  More points than Staal and more than Ruutu.  Since it's LaRose's fault that Staal can't score it must be his fault for everything else as well.  

Light your torches and grab your pitchforks!   


on sending Rosie down and bringing up a good player and shopping Kaberle. Not sure how that would work out but I bet Rosie will still keep his hustle


Chad is on a one way contract, so unless it's a conditioning stint after a lenghty injury, he can't be sent down.  If they did a Wade Redden and bury the contract in the AHL, that's an option as well, but this team doesn't have the financial were withall to do that.  He still gets his full NHL salary, even though it doesn't (but should) count against the teams Cap.


I also think that it starts at the top.  Now that P.K. has gotten local investors it's time to start making some moves.  The team doesn't necessarily have to spend to the cap, but adding that player who could be a difference maker is now more feasible.  Once Joni comes back, I think that's when a deal might get done to bring someone in.  Maybe a Kyle Turris from Phoenix?  If the organization had moxy, trade a couple 1st round picks and a couple of players to get Rick Nash.  THAT would make a statement to a lot of fans that ownership and management are serious.  Nash at center and Staal on the wing, just like the Olympics in Vancouver.  

That is exactly the type of

That is exactly the type of trade they should make. We have plenty of prospects, but they are all small and fast forwards. Nash here would be a great move. I think our defensive prospects are better than the forwards we have and would be careful not to trade away the good ones if possible. Sometimes in business you have to spend money to get results. We just seem to spend it in the wrong places at times.


While I would like to see PK open up the wallet, expecting the Canes to have another $7-8M player is not realistic.  The market here is a small market and the only way for the Hurricanes to compete regularly is to draft and develop players.  Young players are cheap.  The real failure is that all these 1st and 2nd round draft choices that have not developed.  I don't know if that's on Maurice, Daniels, and BrindAmour or if they were just poor draft choices by Rutherford.  Most likely it's all of the above.  The bottom line is the team is better off losing with youth than shopping at the hockey equivalent of the Dollar Store for retreads like Brent, Ponikarovski, Stewart, etc.  If Rutherford can't draft and devlop then the team needs a new GM.


The NHL Network's NHL on the Fly was showing Crosby's goal non-stop this morning. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad to see Crosby playing again, and his goal was pretty nice. Skinner's goal was way better, but it didn't even rate a mention on the show.

So Mo Gets a 10 Year Extension?

After a two game winning streak?

Sorry - but his entire body of work should come into play here.

Years without playoffs.  The past two most importantly.

His current record is worse than Lavi's when he got fired.

Why does this org keep giving him a free pass?  I wouldn't let my best friend in the world drag my business into the ground.

I totally agree!

I am glad someone else can see without the rose colored glasses!

Mo's stats are still horrible and just because he was lucky enough to get 2 wins in row means his head is still not on the chopping block?  I would fire him today and chance letting Dave Lewis run the show the rest of the year than let him bring down the Canes fan base by leaving the sorry excuse for a coach behind the bench!!

What is his record for the month of November?  What is his record for the year?  What is his record since being rehired?  Two games mean nothing!!!


So anyone who disagrees with you wear rose colored glasses?

I love that type of argument. Agree with me and you are a sharp hockey mind. Disagree with me and you must be wearing rose colored glasses. Nice.

I am firmly in the middle on this. I have not agreed with Mo's use of the 4th line. He overslots certain players. He is stubborn.  But the players also played their asses off for him the last couple of games when they got the message his job was on the line. Did you see him last night.... he looks like hell. The man cares deeply and he is trying. Some of you guys way overvalue the talent on this team. Or perhaps you have rose colored glasses about the talent ( kidding).  We are at the bottom of the NHL salary CAP. PK is tight fisted. JR brought in some players but didn't address what we really need. Stewart has size but not toughness. Likely a career 4th liner. Poni has finally started to jell but I expect he will be an 18 goal guy tops. We need someone with the potential to pocket 30. On D.... why Kabs? Why not spend the money on a quality forward. Pittsburg got Neal last year in a trade where we could easily have offerred more. Why did we miss on that? Brent is a nice 4th line addition. We sign both LaRose and Dwyer...... I like each of their games but as 3rd or 4th line guys and you can only have so many smallish forwards. It needed to be one or the other. If you were watching at all you saw how Philly used their size on us down low and established a cycle game. We have a hard time doing that with our forwards.

So my point is that you can't blame everything on Mo. So someone used the company analogy. I like that one. I own a quality company that is very succesful and highly profitable. What sets us apart? We take recruiting and hiring very seriously. I could have a good company with less quality folks who are easier to hire, and cost me a lot less. But since we want to be a best in class organization we try to hire the best and pay them accordingly.  I have never seen that from  the Canes. To my mind it is difficult to demonize Mo when he has asked to deliver 1st rate results with 2nd rate talent. Quality organizations start with the leadership at the top, not at the middle or  from the bottom. In my opinion your anger should be directed at PK and Mo.  We fire Mo and bring in another coach and without a change from the top we will cycle right back down to where we are now in short order.

Sittler good points to

Sittler good points to ponder...I agree that you cannot lay all the blame on MO.  I think what has really got the fan base annoyed recently is the inability to set the bar higher and expect far greater results than a middle of the road franchise.  Hoping to make the playoffs, surprizing the Flyers, praying that recycled players regain their form...that is not how great teams maintain greatness.  2006 and the Cup run was a long time ago...the Canes org as a whole needs to look ahead (not back) and strive for far greater things than mediocre 8th place in East type hockey.  The complacency from JR, MO, PK etc is pathetic.  Spending comes into that argument, so does drafting and "developing" your prospects...MO and JR are not on the same page when it comes to weaning young talent into the NHL.

And yes indeed...MO looks like shit, those bags under his eyes need to be checked at $25 a pop for every flight this year.



Agree with most of your statement

My statement was not directed at the fans but more toward JR.  You are correct in stating we are low budget and tight fisted (summarized) and not all MO's fault.  But, in stating that the players know his job is on the line and started producing shows that he cannot motivate them any other way.  They feel sorry for him so they try harder.  Not how a coach should motivate!!

I personally think it's time for JR to go as well!  We have been out of the playoffs too many times to allow him to stay.  But, in the BFF world, PK is willing to let the ship sink than spend money to get proven scorers.  JR is a tight fisted GM and expects the coach to do things completely his way, one of many reasons Lavi was glad to go.  And MO's style of dump and chase 95% of the time is easy to read.  We score on luck and 'oops' by the other team and not by setting up and skill.  Which, as you stated, we don't have the talent to do.

There are more issues to fix but until the top layers have decided to stop acting like children, we are doomed!

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About the blogger

A Raleigh native, Chip has worked at the N&O since 1979 and is the Canes beat writer. He can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter at @ice_chip.