Thursday Thoughts: Shootouts, Twitter and Hurricanes Drama


Greetings Caniacs! It’s been a short week for most of us at our places of business, but Friday can still not come soon enough. Today has been a relatively quiet day in Caniac Nation as the boys had some time off between Tuesday’s loss to the Islanders and tomorrow’s matchup with the Buffalo Sabres. The team did practice yesterday and this morning. Here are some thoughts for the day.


I know the shootout selection discussion is old news by now, but I didn’t get a chance to weigh in on the choices. Let me just get it out of my system and then I we can move on. A lot of people have been very critical of the selections that Coach Muller sent out on the ice against the Islanders. Jussi Jokinen was an obvious choice but the other two were up for debate since Jeff Skinner was busy healing his brain in the press box. I heard a lot of moaning and groaning from the internet over sending in Chad LaRose. While 59 is not a shootout specialist, he was actually the most obvious choice to me. He had a hot stick and was playing a great game. Sure he could have sent in Tuomo Ruutu, but Chad was “on” and it made sense. In full disclosure, I am an unapologetic Chad LaRose fan, but that has nothing to do with my thoughts on this. I want the right player to be put in the right place at the right time regardless of my fandom.

Eric Staal was the shooter who to me was debatable. Like a lot of people, I thought Brandon Sutter might have been a better choice. With that being said, I can see why the coach put in the captain. He has been playing well and it may have been a vote of confidence and giving him a chance to continue to show leadership and hopefully pot a goal. Some folks said that this was not the right time to do that and that we needed the points. I disagree. What did the team have to lose? Yes there was a point on the line. But we are not neck in neck in a quest to get to the playoffs. We were tied in the basement of the conference with the Islanders and they had four games in hand. If that wasn’t a time to take a chance, when is it? Even though it didn’t pan out, it was worth the risk. And for what it’s worth, the game was essentially lost by defensive lapses in the third period, not in the shootout.

Call Ups, Send Downs and DRAMA:

Yesterday the Hurricanes sent Zac Dalpe back to Charlotte and Derek Joslin was put on a conditioning assignment. How did we learn this? By the following tweet by Chip Alexander from the News and Observer five minutes before practice was slated to begin:

"@ice_chip: Staal, Spacek, Joslin not at practice. Joslin was leaving with Dalpe. Not sure what that means, yet."

This set off instant panic in the twitterverse. Is Joslin being traded? What about Dalpe? Will he be back Friday? Are they going to Char-Grill for lunch? What is going on?!

This continued for a while and eventually Chip tweeted:

"@ice_chip: Dalpe, Joslin assigned to Checkers. So there you go. Had their sticks and gear when left RCI"

So while the initial tweet was a valid observation, I didn’t care for it. In my opinion it was sent to pique interest, but there was no way he didn’t think it would start rumors and a Twitter frenzy. He could have followed immediately with the observation about them having their gear with them, because if he saw them leave he must have seen that. Am I just being ridiculously picky about wording? Absolutely not. My point is, Twitter is a valuable medium for spreading information quickly, but it can be used for good or evil. Sending out incomplete information just to get people riled up is not something I like to see. I am sure if you asked Chip he would say that effect was not intended. But that is what happened.

The long story was, the Checkers were short some bodies last night and Zac Dalpe was sent back to help out. Patrick Dwyer was also seen in practice yesterday (still wearing the “DON’T TOUCH ME!” jersey) so it was hypothesized that he could be returning. It turns out the club has called up Checkers’ captain Brett Sutter for tomorrow’s tilt against the Sabres. Let’s hope he doesn’t spend any game minutes fighting with his sweater pulled over his head as he did in his appearance against the Bruins. As for young d-man Joslin, John Forslund had mentioned on the Aftermath on  99.9 the Fan on Tuesday how he needed to see some ice time whether it was in Raleigh or Charlotte. He talked about the danger of putting him on waivers, aka the Brett Carson story, or a possible conditioning assignment. It all worked out as John speculated.

Does this mean a trade is not in Derek’s future? I have no idea. What does this mean for Zac Dalpe? Still no clue. But next time they jump into a car together as practice is beginning this Caniac is going to once again step back, breathe, and wait for the whole story. As the saying goes, “Save the drama for your mama!”

Remember to head over to the AHL website to vote for our Checkers Jerome Samson and Jon Matsumoto for the AHL All Star Game! Get to know our Ukranian big man Alexei Ponikarovsky on Canes Corner tonight at 7PM on the Fan.

Since tomorrow is Friday, I will be in the office again dressed for “Inappropriate Work Wear Friday” decked out in hockey swag and eating Tums to get me for the Sabres game.

We welcome your thoughts so leave us a comment! Thanks for stopping by. Follow us on Facebook at  CardiacCane and follow our drama-free writers on the magic Twitter at  @CardiacCaneFS@Esbee92@peacelovepuck and @caniac176