It's time for the Legace legacy to begin in Carolina.
The Hurricanes, having just signed Manny Legace to a 1-year, two-way deal to replace the lacerated Cam Ward for the next 4- 6 weeks will need to grasp this unshaken shake-up and turn it all into a positive or their season could very well be through.
The Colonel and OGA have been staring at some daunting numbers for Carolina today. And we're not just talking about their 2-11-3 record. Obviously, the Canes are 30th in the NHL with 7 points. 29th are the Leafs with 11. Rough numbers, indeed.
But the numbers concerning OGA right now are the ones we see Carolina tracking against our PQC. (if not familiar with what we do here at OGA, please read the TAO of OGA on our website here).
For the sake of brevity this late in the day, here's what we see:
- Per OGA projections, for the Hurricanes to make the 2010 playoffs, they would need to finish the season playing .652 hockey whereas they are currently playing .219. Or, more plainly stated, they need to win three times more often than they have been thus far for the rest of the season. Hard to fathom.
- The Hurricanes may be the next team OGA calls OUT of the 09-10 NHL Playoffs. 'So soon', you say? Well, we say if they don't win more than 2 of their next 4 games, you should watch our website for the TEE TIME color code to show up on Carolina's standings in our PQC Status Spectrum.
- The Hurricanes need to find talent with a knack for scoring who can be inserted into the lineup NOW. Even if Eric Staal were back in play tonight, he would be another body on the bench at the rate he has been (not) producing. If he were in, he would need to get out of the funk immediately. Otherwise, Carolina needs to find scoring either in their prospects or via a trade, but find it they must and before it's too late. They cannot afford to wait another couple of games or work through a few more drills. Unless there is a catalyst now, change is needed.
- Starting a newly-acquired veteran goalie like Legace may just be the catalyst this team needs to bring players out of this cycle of drought. If Manny steps in, gives the team some confidence and a fresh voice to listen to, a rally point may be created. If Legace performs well, this team can begin to believe their season can be rescued. But the need for a proven scorer will still exist.
- Hello, Left-Wing Lock. Time for shutdown hockey. It's gotta be ugly, it's gotta be boring and it's gotta be effective. Until the Canes can find the back of the opposing net, they MUST stop their opponent from driving theirs. Their defense needs to be the new guard of the regime and form a veritable wall in front of Legace. The forwards need to clog up the nuetral zone and back-check with tenacity for sixty minutes each night.
- Ownership/Management needs to get the lead out and make a big splash to improve this team. The kind of deal they should have done in the summer when they thought the team they had would work just fine after their amazing playoff run last season. They forgot how much of the run was simply amazing and not necessarily indicative of their team-wide talent as compared to the rest of their conference. To not make a deal now that will shake this team from squander so early in the new season, is too pay a very high, albeit different, cost indeed. as The Colonel noted, setting for losing now means settling for both a lost season (developmentally and potential revenue-wise) and perhaps a new GM forced to admit the summer's coaching extension was ye olde biiig meestake.
Here's hoping the Carolina Hurricanes organization can see the veritable stitching falling apart at the seams. I also hope they understand, while patient, both the team and the fans cannot afford to wait the standard 4-6 weeks for delivery of our replacement product.