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Tweetmail: How Will the Canes Handle the Goalie Rotation?

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

Hello and welcome to Tweetmail presented by Segra. This is a regular feature on in which I answer your Twitter questions, which are mostly about the Carolina Hurricanes, but sometimes also about travel or television or life. It's a mailbag of tweets. It's Tweetmail. Maybe you learn a little something, and maybe we have some fun, too.

Let's get to it.

With Ned playing well and Mrazek coming back soon, do the Canes go with a three-goalie rotation for at least the rest of the regular season? - @jeffg2112

This is the question on a lot of minds right now, for sure, and I'm glad I don't have to be the one making the decision.

I don't know that it's practical to rotate between three goaltenders. There are only two nets in practice, so reps for each goalie dip when you have a third in the mix. The easy answer is to roll with Petr Mrazek and James Reimer, as was the plan from the first day of the regular season. But Alex Nedeljkovic has only improved with each game that he's taken to the crease. In his first three starts, Nedeljkovic was 1-1-1 with a 3.23 goals-against average and an .886 save percentage. In his five starts since, he's 4-1-0 with a 1.59 goals-against average, a .948 save percentage and one shutout, his first in the NHL.

Video: TBL@CAR: Nedeljkovic stymies Bolts for first shutout

What do you do? Do you pick one of Reimer or Nedeljkovic? Do you try to make a rotation of three work?

Again, I'm glad I'm not the one who actually has to weigh in on this. It's something to keep an eye on in the weeks to come.

Speaking of lineup decisions …

What should happen when Tro and Turbo come back? Geekie just keeps proving himself, and Lorentz is looking more and more comfortable. So, this looks messy and confusing to me. - @AddieCSmith

This is the simultaneous beauty and heartache of depth, right? When Vincent Trocheck and Teuvo Teravainen are healthy and ready to re-enter the lineup, they will. As for who comes out depends on a number of factors, including if there are any additional injuries between now and then. You're right in that Steven Lorentz is looking more comfortable in the NHL with each passing game, and Morgan Geekie's two-goal performance in his return to the lineup against Nashville was exactly what you wanted to see from him after a brief and productive stint in Chicago in late February.

Video: NSH@CAR: Geekie tips Bean's shot in for PPG from slot

Depth is a great problem to have, a luxury that the Canes weren't afforded a few years ago. It's much better to hand-wring about who to bring out of the lineup than face the unfortunate reality of not having quality depth to get by when the injury bug inevitably hits, especially in a season like this.

"You hope it shows we have a lot of good players and depth. Obviously we need it right now," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said on Thursday night. "It's not ideal. You'd like to have your full group, but not many teams in the league do right now. That's just the way it is. … You're going to have to have depth to be successful this year."

Are the Canes paying much attention to their location in the standings in regards to both the Central Division and league in general? - @Tom_Hannigan237

Yes and no. I'll explain.

When you're entrenched in the game like the players, coaches and staff of every team are, it's impossible to not at least have some idea about what's happening elsewhere.

In saying that, the standings are not something the Canes are actively paying attention to. They can't have that mindset. If I can invoke strength and conditioning coach Bill Burniston here, the goal is to win the day and go 1-0. That's the sole focus. It's cliché, but it's true: You take it one day at a time because if you step back and take a look at the larger picture, you can get lost in it all.

In a season like this, especially, it's tough to get a firm grasp on the standings from one day to the next because games played are so varied right now. On Tuesday, the Canes were in first place in the Central Division for all of about 10 minutes until Tampa Bay's game went final. Now, the Canes are back in first, but that could change again on Saturday.

The bottom line: Take care of your own business first, and everything else will fall into place.

Is there an All-Star Game? Or some recognition for each team this year? - @gdizz79

There's no NHL All-Star Game this year. The schedule is too compact, and given NHL health and safety protocols (plus, the North Division and border restrictions), the logistics make it way more trouble than it's worth. In fact, the next All-Star Weekend is likely to be in 2023, given that the NHL plans on returning to the Winter Olympics in 2022.

Recognizing potential All Stars could be a fun mental exercise. Maybe it's something TV's Mike Maniscalco and I tackle on an upcoming episode of CanesCast. Is that something you'd be interested in hearing? Let us know.

For sponsors this season, I've seen ads on the boards, stands and even the glass, but I only see ours on our glass (home and away) and not any other team's. I'm just confused on how that works. - @katie_030305

With ticket sales not heavily factoring in to the financial puzzle this season, the league introduced a number of additional revenue streams through advertising. There are helmet ad stickers, something that sounds like could stick around for seasons to come, and why not? They're largely unobtrusive, especially on the Canes' helmets. There are ads on seat covers, a sponsorship element that likely won't exist beyond this season, given that the goal is to have full buildings come the 2021-22 regular campaign. There are stickers on the glass right above the dasher boards, another revenue generator that's likely specific to this season, given the premium dollar amount that seats along the glass command.

There are also a number of digital ad opportunities, and I believe this is what you're referencing, Katie. Through technological magic, teams are able to digitally place ads just inside the blue lines (where you'd typically see the "NHL Faceoff" or "Stanley Cup Playoffs" logos) and on the glass on the half-wall and behind the net in either zone. Since these only exist digitally - appearing on television or in highlight packages after the fact - this is a sponsorship opportunity that could exist beyond this season, as well.

Join me next Friday for more questions and more answers!

If you have a question you'd like answered or you're enjoying this wonderful North Carolina weather as much as I am, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes, or you can drop me an email.

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