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Maurice: Canes need higher emotional level

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Canes forward Jussi Jokinen was back on the ice today, although not for long.

Jokinen, who injured his left leg Tuesday against Tampa Bay, did some early skating before the Canes' practice at Raleigh Center Ice. He left as the noon practice was about to begin.

"It's still day to day," Canes coach Paul Maurice said. "He's not ready for full practice yet. We're just waiting for it now."

Eric Staal and Chad LaRose were not on the ice today. Maurice said it was a "maintenance day" for each forward, saying they would play Sunday against the Dallas Stars.

Maurice would not say what changes, if any, would be made for the afternoon game with the Stars, who are 9-3-0 and have won their last two. The Canes (5-5-3) had one of their worst periods of the season Friday against the Washington Capitals, losing focus and allowing three goals in the third period of an ugly 5-1 loss.

Maurice said what he wanted to see out of his team tomorrow is a "sustained energy level, on the bench and on the ice. Not perfect execution of every movement (but) a very high energy level."

Maurice said a review of the Caps games showed that it was a generally evenly played game five-on-five. What was lacking, he said, was the Canes playing on a higher emotional level than the Caps.

"It was even and that doesn't do us any good," he said. "It's a function of who we are and how we have to play to win. It's not like we were unemotional or not passionate in the game. It's just that it wasn't at a level that we need to get to, to beat those teams. We can't play those teams even on emotion."

Maurice said the Canes played at that higher emotional level in beating the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning, but not against the Philadelphia Flyers and the Caps. The Canes also lost 5-1 to the Flyers.

Of the Stars game, Maurice said, "We have to make amends." Maurice said the Stars play a hard, grinding game much like the Ottawa Senators -- a "meat-and-potatoes game that they play at a high level."

"It's going to be a filthy grind. It's not going to be pretty," he said.

Defenseman Tim Gleason said the Canes needed to be ready for such a grind, both Sunday and in all other games.

"I think where our trouble has been is playing 60 full minutes," Gleason said today.
"I don't know if it's the mental preparation or if it's individual preparation or what the case is. We just have to come to play. We need to play now."








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So if Mo is fired...

Who should replace him??? What should the Caniacs expect once he's gone??? Would there be an instant/overnight improvement??? I guess most of you think that would happen. I'm starting to lean on the notion that it might be a risk worth taking. Sorry Mo.

Staal needs a little more help

Erik would be fine,  If He had a little help.  He is being keyed on and hammered  in the offensive end.  He is unable to get any separation,  just no other physical presence to take some of the pressure off.  Tlusty does OK but someone more Cole like would be great.  No matter what anyone says,  Maurice, JR or PK are not going to do anything and more than likely it could even get Staal hurt.  It is just amazing the powers that be do not see this or are all too vain to acknowledge the first line shortcomings.

I couldn't agree more with

I couldn't agree more with Mr.Abramsdoug........Thats pretty much what I am seeing ......Can you send a Email to


Unless this team half full of minor league talent plays out of their mind or as Mo calls it at a "sustained energy level"( i.e. above their heads) we lay eggs. Every guy on this team plays at playoff intensity we can compete but that can't be sustained night in and night out. 

We are too far below the talent curve compared to the Capitals and Flyers of the league. Forslund said the other night there are three type players on NHL teams: skill players, role players and grinders.  We have too many grinders and role players being put in skill spots and sometimes giving yeoman efforts but at the end of the day they are not in a position to succeed long term.

Heres hoping that  9 of the 10 new minority owners see things in a different light and can help PK see this too otherwise we will be lucky to be a .500 team come April.

Just a few more games...

If we are still at or below .500 after the 20-game mark there will be a coaching change. 


AMEN abramsdoug. This is the most disgusted and disappointed I've ever seen you post. I admire your reasoning and well thought discussions.

Status of Canes

Emotion and energy can be coached and adjusted during a game. I don't buy it for a minute that you can't change their energy level except between games. If your players aren't going, then start to sit them and play others who want to go. That is a coaching issue.

At this point, I'm done being patient. This team currently has enough talent to be a playoff team. Maybe not much beyond that, but a playoff team. There are things that need to happen, though. LaRose needs to play on the 3rd or 4th line or sit out, period. Kaberle needs to sit out until he can regain his form, or he needs to get traded. We have Joslin and Faulk who can easily replace him. Staal must be given at least one competent skilled winger. My vote is for Stewart, Dalpe, or Boychuk. That this has not already happened is spellbinding! The canes must crowd the net during PP opportunities and just try to score ugly goals. Make it difficult for the opposing goalie!

Last but not least, a coaching change must be made. I dont hate Mo, but his time is up. It is evident that he is losing the locker room, and the fact is that he is not going to change because he is too prideful and confident in his way.

JR and PK, please make this change so that we the fans do not have to suffer through another almost made it season!


Mo seem's to forget that part of his job is get the team up for games whether it be bullletin board material ,calling out players for NOT playing "emotional enough" or making stupid mistakes etc...Then throwing the team under the bus for what he say's is lack of "emotion" is lack of accountability on his part is some petty BS ,if the team had the right players on the ice to score a PP goal when the team is down 2-1 or 3-1 would throw some emotion into the team ,and being redundantly awful on the PP is NOT confidence inspiring to say the least...His coaching crediblity just took a nose dive imo ,worse than the gradual decent he was already on!


I'll tell you what would be an "emotional lift" is a coaching change!.Just look at Staal's body language...nuff said


Maurice is the Coach.  He has been coaching for several years, and He can't figure out how to motivate grown men, professional athletes to focus and play with a high energy level?  Also, if He thinks this game was played on even terms except for the "emotion", He is also delusional.  He needs to go in and chap some a** and get on with it bedamned who it is.  The same excuses over and over are wearing thin.  If Jim Rutherford and Karmanos can not recognize this I question their ability to run a team.  They may know how to sell a Hat , Jersey, and Hot Dogs and a Beer but their perception of what the fans pay to come and watch is lacking.  Why take a 50-50 shot on paying to do something You are not going to enjoy year after year.  65% tips the scale, 70% is better.  That is not going to happen with this coach or with 3 or 4 of the current roster.  Something else is going on and the locker room will start to become a finger pointing arena if it hasn't already.  I don't care how the front office sugarcoats all of this,  Maybe mediocraty is the goal and once in a while We may luck up and make the playoffs.  That is just another form of "lack of energy".

Canes Clunker or Geniue Games

 This Canes team seems to be binary:  either playing superb hockey or tossing in clunkers.  Last night was one of the worst played Canes games I've seen at the RBC.  It may have been one of the top ten  worst played Canes games I've seen since watching the Hurricanes.  It's a combination of factors.  Karmanos has set the salary budget too low to bring in for the 2011-2012 team the established talent that is needed to compete consistently against Washington and Philadelphia.  It was a mistake to re-sign both Dwyer and LaRose when they both serve the exact same function on the team.  It was a mistake to sign Kaberle; and the total salary expended on Kaberle and LaRose, for example, would have been sufficient to sign a top six forward.

  Maurice has mismanaged the forward lines; and particularly has put LaRose way above his skill level.  It is not a surprise to me that Stewart scored a goal on the Skinner/Ruutu line.  Stewart has been underutilized as badly as LaRose as been over-slotted.  The mismanagement of Dalpe and Boychuk rivals the worst coaching choices I've seen made by either Laviolette or Maurice.  The power play continues to be toothless. 

   Given those issues, it's pretty remarkable the  Hurricanes are not in the cellar.  The glimpes of the team that will be in the future at least gives hope for the future.  With Dalpe, Boychuk, Rask, and Bowman, the  Hurricanes have young talent at forward.  Faulk, Murphy, McBain, and Dumoulin are talented defensemen.  The problem of too little money for players' salary is going to haunt the Hurricanes unless it is fixed.  Maurice's recalcitrance in playing his skilled, young forwards and his propensity for overslotting players like LaRose is likewise has hurt and will continue to the hurt the Hurricanes chances of success. 

   The Hurricanes have the foundation of an excellent team.  One can only hope Karmanos and the new investors see the futility in underfunding their business and that somehow Maurice learns to trust young talent over the familiar, but under-skilled alternatives.  More Dalpe and Boychuk, less LaRose; more Joslin and less Kaberle would go a long, long way toward making the Hurricanes less binary and more consistently good.

Indeed there has been no

Indeed there has been no indication that Kaberle is worth the $4M he's paid -- very troubling because he's on an escalating 3-year contract. I agree with your other points... but at 15% of the total team payroll, Staal is responsible for some of the shortfall. Even a high payroll team would find success elusive when its superstar forward cannot score 5-on-5 and has an awful +/-. A low payroll team will struggle whenever its sole superstar does. Absent a productive Staal, the Canes are not playoff material. 

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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.