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Former Carolina Hurricanes, Jeff O'Neill explains what the Carolina Hurricanes need to improve on

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
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May 25, 2023 2:26 pm

Former Carolina Hurricanes, Jeff O'Neill explains what the Carolina Hurricanes need to improve on

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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May 25, 2023 2:26 pm

Former Carolina Hurricanes Jeff O'Neill, joins Adam to share his thoughts on the Carolina Hurricanes' loss in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. He breaks down how important Matthew Tkachuck was throughout this series and how it would benefit the Hurricanes to add a player like him to the roster. He also shares what areas of the roster the Hurricanes can improve on.


Third straight time they have gotten swept in the Eastern Conference Finals. Kickout 2009, that was so long ago, has nothing to do with this team. And I'd even kick out 2019 for a team that they got where?

This was different. And yes, they lost four games to none. Yes, all four games were tight. But there was some difference between those two teams. And I thought, why not ask somebody who has been there, who has been to a conference finals, and won it, Jeff O'Neill, part of that 2002 team.

I appreciate your time, sir. What was the difference in this series, other than the fact that Sergei Bobrovsky was, of course, amazing? Yes, there was a difference. The fact that we have Patchetti in the lineup, those could have been difference makers and go-to guys. Especially Svetchnikov. There's not really an answer to Matthew Kuchuk right now. But if you look at a guy that's big and physical and has clutch and can score goals, he might have been a big-time difference.

But you can never make excuses because the Colorado Avalanche way back in the day, they won the Stanley Cup without Peter Forsberg. And other guys took on the added assignments and pressure, and they got it done. know the added assignments and pressure and they got it done so it's it's never the way to look at it but man you put sketch in that lineup and patch already though I think in the past has never really been like a go-to playoff type guy but those guys can score goals and that's what it's all about and with the combination of you know kachuk and Bobrovsky and Barkov and and their guys just know when to chip in they've got it going right now they've got the mojo and it was much like our team in 2002 we had a confidence and a belief that every night somebody else was gonna pop up and do it but it was the Reinhard's and Bennett's yeah and Berheghe's that they just every night they're gonna step up and do it and they've got a perfect mix right now and they've got all the momentum going for them and Carolina Roddy mentioned and after the game it could have went either way but they just had the positive mojo on their side yeah I mean it's I guess if you flip the coin you could get heads four times in a row and that's basically kind of what happened they're all coin flip games but I would point out in my opinion there's a reason that they all went the way of Florida and I'm not sure that because in last night's game to me Sam Bennett was the key figure in the two biggest moments of the game the Jacob the hit on Jacob Slavin which was as my initial reaction was that's dirty because it's Sam Bennett but in looking at it again it looked like he the initial contact was through the chest even though there was helmet to helmet contact which I guess could have been called and then just kind of getting in the way bothering Freddie Anderson in the goal mouth he put his stick between his pads I don't know that he interfered but he was certainly interfering if you will and Sam Bennett that mindset I don't think Carolina has that you know what that's it's an excellent point and I try to say that in this market a lot with players such as a knee Lander and Marner and Matthews and if you want to take it to Carolina maybe it's a whole or Tara vine in or nay chess that it doesn't necessarily have to be a toe drag or a one-timer from the slot under the bar to make a contribution to the hockey game and Sam Bennett what you just mentioned is a classic example he took their best defenseman out of the game with an unbelievable body check it's textbook for checking and he just melted him behind the net there was nothing illegal about that mace massive impact in the game and then you look at him just causing problems in front of the net that's another massive impact in the game so for some of these skilled players that think it all has to be skill plays to have a contribution in a big hockey game it's completely the wrong mentality and it just goes back to a bigger picture do you want a guy that nature's that can that can put up some points during the regular season and then maybe shy away from the physical stuff I don't think he played great in the playoffs maybe he was noticeable a bit in the first couple rounds chipping in with some offense but when things get tough the Rhinehart's the Bennett's the kachucks the Barkov's they're right there and they don't shy away and they don't disappear and it's a major factor come playoff times and it seems like teams are still insistent and hoping that these skill guys will get it and learn to play when it gets to that level and it never seems to be the case so I don't know you got to find a balance you got to have guys that can put up points and get you in the playoffs but come playoff time Adam it's a completely different beast there's so many different bright people that had different ways of thinking about it and I was just talking to our head professional here at Weston Golf Club in Toronto discussing this saying it's a lot about intangibles come playoff time it's not about skill and in fancy stuff with the puck it's just not about that yeah it isn't and like we go back to your team in 2002 there was a lot of grit on that team and a lot of willing to mix it up wasn't the biggest team in the world but there was a lot of willing to look at the job that Eric Cole and Bates Pataglia and Rod Brind'Amour there was just they would over they would overtake teams in their offensive zone and I think it was a little disappointing for that decor of the canes to watching them play in the regular season they controlled and dictated play and they seem to be out of sorts on some of the overtime losses and some of their defensive zone coverage so that was probably disappointing for the canes to watch but I think you get a healthy lineup loud you can't mean you can't blame Freddie Anderson for the play he went in there and he did a pretty damn good job for a guy that's been a question mark in the past so I think there's a lot of positives to build off of they just if maybe they can you know you you get that healthy lineup and you get a little bit more kind of grizzle in there I don't know who that would be or how they would do that but I'm sure that's possibly something that they would be looking at. Jeff O'Neill is joining us here a couple of more minutes before I let you go by the way I know Freddie in Toronto has been it's almost been a punchline based on the way he played in his nine ten starts in the postseason has that changed at all or has the cake already been baked? Well he did what he did here and nobody that's on nobody else but Freddie he was you know mystery injuries a new buddy nobody knew what was wrong and a bunch of game sevens where he couldn't get it done it didn't perform well that's on him he asked to own that but you got to give the guy props he found a way to get healthy which I think surprised everyone and he went in there and he played pretty well and he gave his team a chance to win so it's good on him that he could respond like that and maybe that's something for him to build on in the future. Jeff O'Neill is with us here when you look at Sebastian Ajo yeah and I thought I thought the Slavin hit unnerved Ajo to the point I think it took him out of his game I thought he was all over the place in not a good way in the first period he took one penalty which I don't know it seemed Aaron Eckblad seemed to go down pretty easily on that and Florida scored to make it to nothing and then he thought he was called for another penalty and maybe he could have I thought he was just completely out of sorts but does I can Ajo be your best player and you're a successful team and in other words a Stanley Cup champ? Well it's a great question and he definitely is one of my favorite players in the league he's been so clutch and so good for his first tenure in Carolina but you look at the expectation can he battle and go up against a Barkov if he's gonna be your 1A spotlight center man it's you know you look at the guys throughout the league and he got through the first two rounds but then it's like a different level things get tough and and he's never gonna out physical you he's not gonna be a Sam Bennett but we go back to Svetchnikov if you put that big horse on the wing it makes a guy like Ajo feel pretty comfortable out there because he's big he's physical and he does some of the dirty work I got to play with Ronnie Francis and I tried to do that I tried to get deliver the hits in the corner get him the puck and then let him do the work sometimes when you got you got to do that yourself it's not really in your game so players complement each other and feed off of each other with their different skill sets and he needs I think he needs that Svetchnikov to you know to benefit off each other a big guy that gets in in the four check creates turnovers and then Ajo can do his work he's a fantastic player and I think sooner or later down the line he's gonna get the job done well I do too I do think that they need they need somebody next to him and maybe that's Svetchnikov who hasn't quite gotten all the way there yet who knows what would have happened this postseason but for the ACL injury either that or they need maybe somebody else on his on his left side or right side either way I don't know you were you were a right shot or a left shot I was a right shot and it seems like it's a copycat league and everyone's gonna be scouring the league looking for that Sam Bennett who's out there frustrated for with another team that maybe just needs a chance somewhere else so we'll see what happens Jeff O'Neill I appreciate your time man go go hit him straight if you're if you're out at the club other otherwise we'll talk again down the road okay Adam thanks for having me you got a Jeff O'Neill here on the Adam Gold Show what I wanted to get to and I'm glad Jeff brought it up and I know we we had our big meeting here we have a we have meetings a couple times a week and we were talking about it and I said to Graham you were there so my opinion Carolina could have won all four games but there was a reason why Florida won the moments this is a team that needs to add size sometimes size doesn't look sexy analytically but maybe that size and that player who doesn't necessarily good look good you know and the in the possession metrics sometimes that guy actually makes you better maybe he doesn't make you better for 82 games but maybe he makes you better for 25 and I'm not talking about 25 games in the regular season I'm talking about 25 games in the playoffs and that's where Carolina missed the goal-scoring matters there's a lot of things that we can discuss right the goal-scoring matters but kicking 2019 out as the Hurricanes were still trying to build their roster and trying to figure out you know who are the pieces we're gonna take I mean you all you knew it was a ho you knew it was Tara Vonda you mean you knew the players that they were taken forward they're still trying to figure out who they were and then the next year was weird because of course the pandemic shut it down and even then if you recall that second season they didn't read they didn't move into a comfortable playoff spot until right before the shutdown they were the sixth seed I believe when they got to the bubble played the Rangers and beat the Rangers three straight before losing to the Bruins in five but the following year is when they started to emerge as alright this is who we are this is our identity and so they won that division which was a great division it had the Stanley Cup champion in it it had Florida in it and you could see what Florida was about to become and then the next year Florida was the president's trophy winner playing in the other division and Carolina won the Metro the division they were never supposed to win and then they did it again this year again toughest division in hockey although I think the Atlantic has something to say about that you know especially with the way Boston played you got Tampa you got Toronto Buffalo coming Detroit coming Ottawa coming there's a lot there were a lot of good teams in Florida duh in the Atlantic so maybe the Atlantic was a tougher division I don't know but certainly the Metro was stout the East is great but the the regular season and the playoffs are almost two different sports it's the reality almost two almost two different sports and the way this Carolina team is constructed there's a lot of the same so Jeff O'Neill brought up Martine Neches I thought Jeff was being kind I think Martine Neches had about 20 minutes of a playoff series the time that encompassed the tying goal in game four and the go-ahead goal in game four against the Devils that was the postseason for Martine Neches he had points not a lot but he had points he was about a half a point a game which is not what Martine Neches was for the first three quarters of the season and I know this is not all about Martine Neches he had company but Neches there is a phrase in hockey all hockey fans understand it take a hit to make a play and that is not what Martine Neches is about it didn't look that way anyway so this is an offseason where Neches has to do one of two things he has to be ready and willing to engage physically in the playoffs or he is who he is and that's very possible that this is what Martine Neches is and he will never be able to impact the game in a positive way consistently in the postseason now I've had too many people tell me well they have to move on got to get rid of them no they're not they're not trading a three million a year player who's probably gonna post 60 points next year and even if the number is 50 they ain't trading the guy makes three million bucks to do that but the next contract that's the issue he's got one more year left at three million dollars at least in terms of a cap and I think it's a little bit higher in terms of salary but not much I think it was two and a half million three and a half million over six years over two years so I mean that's the reality of it so but if Neches can because he's got a big frame he's a strong kid he's obviously a great skater if Neches can commit to being and he said at the end of last year I have to be willing to go to the dirt the dirty areas he's got to be there and if he can get there and be a factor in the middle of the ice now you're talking about a different player but he has to be able to do that so that's what Carolina is missing off this team they are they are missing size and I trying to think of a word other there's a G word that I'm trying to guts we'll just use guts okay yeah you have to be willing to put your let's let's say it this way Seth Jarvis plays a fearless game if Seth Jarvis if if Martin Neches played like Seth Jarvis he'd be an all-star a flat out all-star the jury is out on how high up your lineup Seth Jarvis can play because of his size just that's just reality Jarvis has no fear he played a physical game he was dishing out hits blocking shots Oh Seth Seth Jarvis was arguably my favorite player for Carolina in the postseason because of the way he played he attacked the game he's still young he's gonna get stronger he has to get stronger he's got to finish more opportunities in just like he all year long Seth probably was in position to score a lot more goals than he did so let's see how that progresses but second year in a league the jury ain't out on Seth Jarvis he but he's got to be able to get stronger so we can finish through some of the contact I mean it was a it could be a great combination Jarvis and Ajo and somebody to the left with some with some muscle and some size that can also play I feel like I've just described Andrei Svechnikov I don't know why all right
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-25 17:14:40 / 2023-05-25 17:22:23 / 8

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