Hello and welcome to a weekly feature on CarolinaHurricanes.com in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.
Let’s get to it.
Do you think the Canes should emphasize size, speed or skill in drafting and free agency this offseason? – Jason B. (@BuyMeABurrito)
No, really. Yes to all three. Given the demand to choose one of the three – which is what the question is driving toward – I’m not sure it’s fair to prioritize one over the other. Yes, the Hurricanes could use size. But they can’t aim for that and sacrifice speed or skill in the process. They could also use speed. What do hockey players often say about the best teams in the league? They’re fast. The Rangers are quick. The Canadiens are quick. And any team would love skill; really, that’s one of, if not the top determinant of player ratings headed in to the Draft.
It’s about finding a healthy balance between the three: you want a skilled, quick team that also isn’t afraid to and is capable of throwing the body around and plowing to the dirty areas.
Who’s going to win the Cup this year? – Liz O. (@emohrberg)
Year after year, my playoff picks do not fail to disappoint. They are Notoriously B.A.D., much like that wordplay. But, since you asked, here are my picks for this year.
The first round was more miss than hit, though my Stanley Cup Final is still intact. In the East, I correctly predicted the Rangers and Canadiens would advance. I had hoped for an Islanders-Rangers match-up in the second round, but the Capitals had other ideas. And, ultimately, that’s fine because good guys Tim Gleason and (even though he didn’t get to play much this season) Justin Peters get to continue their quest for the Cup, and that’s awesome for them. Tampa Bay could help me to a three-for-four showing in the East with a victory over the Red Wings in Game 7.
I was just one for four in the West, correctly predicting the Ducks to win their series. I think I went against the grain with my Nashville pick, and, clearly, the grain was right. Not sure what Vancouver and St. Louis were doing.
In the end, I have the Rangers prevailing over the Ducks to win the Stanley Cup.
What was your favorite road arena to visit this year and why? – John N. (@caniacjneal_94)
(Another question about the road. I should probably just go ahead and write that road journal season recap.)
This is a tough question because many of the 29 other rinks we visited this season have notable aspects. For instance, Bell Centre in Montreal boasts one of, if not the best, hockey-watching atmospheres. American Airlines Center in Dallas is one of the more structurally unique barns in the league. Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay and Pepsi Center in Colorado have oversized and beautiful video boards. While outdated, the view from the press box at Nassau Coliseum was unbeatable.
But if I had to choose one building that was my favorite in which to watch hockey, I’ll vote Madison Square Garden. It is, after all, The World’s Most Famous Arena. The video board is gorgeous, and, from my perspective, the press box – from the view over the ice to the space it provided – is hard to beat. And we got to visit MSG and New York City thrice this season, which was pretty good, too.
I can see this answer changing from season to season, so check back in with me in a year.
How much do you have stored on your DVR to catch up during the offseason? – Leigh L. (@NCCaniac42)
I tried to stay on top of my DVR as much as possible during the season, but obviously it got away from me at points. I had half a season of THE AMERICANS to catch up on here recently, which made for a pretty good day of television. Perhaps the best show on the DVR this season? BETTER CALL SAUL.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered or you’d like to share an appreciation of the seminal ‘90s hit “How Bizarre,” you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes (or drop an email here).