Pick your 09-10 Scapegoat

Kent Wilson
August 09 2009 11:21AM

turek

Hockey fans are great at creating idols out of their favored players. I'm certain that Jarome Iginla could announce his intentions to run for mayor of the city tomorrow and win the next election in a landslide. Robyn Regehr could body-check strangers on the street, scream "you just got Kotalik'd!" and the victim's buddies would probably cheer and high-five him.

Of course, the unfortunate flip side is every fanbase has it's scapegoats - the guys who seem to focus and channel the rage and frustrations of the faithful when things go wrong. I remember years ago after Roman Turek had signed his big contract and the club had fallen (back) into the toilet, he quickly became a lightning rod for sneers and cat-calls. For example, I attended a particularly vicious beat-down at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning one night; a night in which the entire club was hopelessly over-matched. One of the numerous goals allowed by Turek that evening was...uh..."questionable" and the antipathy towards the guy was almost palpable in the 'Dome. At one point, with the club down several goals, a Flames defender made an egregious turn-over at his blueline. Nothing came of the error, but during the ensuing silence a leather-lunged comedian in the nose-bleeds bellowed "that's your fault Turek!"

It was totally unfair. And it was the perfect summation of the mood in the building.

So, without further ado, here are some of the Flames potential 'goats for 2008-2009.

1.) Dion Phaneuf

By all accounts, it was a rough year for Dion last season. He apparently battled injuries and his defensive short-comings were glaring. His prior results and the fact that he was hurt has given him a pass in the eyes of most Flames fans, but the locals are starting to glance nervously at Phaneuf's plus/minus rate and his 6.5M cap-hit. If his development stagnates next season and he continues to be chaotic in his own end, it'll take a lot of injuries or bodychecks or goals to keep the faithful off his back.

2.) Miikka Kiprusoff

Kipper was the 5th highest paid goalie in terms of cap hit last season and he didn't even place inside the top 30 in SV%. There has been a lot of apologizing for Kipper's mediocre results the last two years, from pointing to Keenan's penchant for over-playing him, to the organizations lack of a proven back-up, to the perceived defensive short-comings of the club as a whole.

The excuses end this year. Brent Sutter (a guy who drove the Devils GA down with Scott Clemmensen in net) has been hired and Jay Bouwmeester was brought in to further fortify what was already one of the most expensive bluelines in the league. There really will be nowhere to hide for Miikka should he continue to be mediocre or worse going forward.

3.) Olli Jokinen

Acquired for Matthew Lombardi and a precious first round draft pick, Jokinen exploded onto the scene with 8 goals in his first 5 games as a Flame. Then he went into a bit of a slump - a 13 game goalless slump, actually. It was a slump that coincided with the Flames PP going oh-fer in 10 consecutive games and the club losing their hold on the NW division to the hated Canucuks.

This year, Jokinen will be the 2nd highest paid forward on the team behind Jarome Iginla. The roots of a solid goatdom have already been planted - if he can't deliver results more in line with expectations, the fans with turn on him quickly.

4.) Jay Bouwmeester

A long-shot considering his past performances, granted. However, Jay is coming into town with a huge price tag and high expectations of both himself and the team. If he or the club falters in some manner, the excitement over his acquisition may turn to disappointment.

Those are my candidates. Feel free to suggest some of your own.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
Avatar
#1 shep
August 09 2009, 02:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

bourque - for not potting 20+ es goals while riding the percentages...

the defense - for not making kippers sv% higher than .900 even though hes an ELITE GOALIE making HUGE SAVES and getting 46 WINS!!!

Avatar
#2 Cubesworth
August 09 2009, 04:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

2009-2010 you mean???

I vote Olli

Avatar
#3 Brent
August 09 2009, 06:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

How about Theoren Fleury?

Avatar
#4 b1ackhat
August 09 2009, 08:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I had a fine time ragging on Bert last season, to bad he won't be around again.

I'd go Phaneuf - he is starting to piss me off with all of his defensive liabilities.

Avatar
#5 Kent
August 09 2009, 10:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@ Cubesworth:

Yes. Yes I do. Corrected!

Avatar
#6 Iggy12
August 10 2009, 09:32AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Kills me to say it but I am going to have to pick Kipper. This HAS to be a turnaround year for the guy if we are going to get anywhere.

Avatar
#7 Kent
August 10 2009, 11:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@ Iggy12:

Ain't that the truth.

Avatar
#8 Matt Reitz
August 10 2009, 01:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

It really seems like Dion Phaneuf has the potential to become the Rob Blake of Calgary. He's the guy that around the league, people that dont pay attention think that he's a superstar. People that watch every game though, know differently.

Just like Blake, Phaneuf's defensive mistakes are GLARING! He'll have the big check or show the booming slapshot--but his play in his own zone is pathetic at best.

I know that Blake became a whipping boy for a lot of Kings fans in his 2nd stint in LA.... seems like Dion would be a logical choice for Flame fan!

Avatar
#9 Iggy12
August 11 2009, 10:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Perhaps J-Bouw will come to replace Phaneuf in the hearts of many. Or perhaps we are now saddled with two expensive assets for the rest of time.

Avatar
#10 Lanny
August 11 2009, 02:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Phaneuf is overrated. Big hit, big shot, dating a celebrity(Pierre Macguire), and thats IT!!!!!

Avatar
#11 Lanny
August 11 2009, 02:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Sorry I guess i exagerrated a bit....Macguire isnt a celebrity.

Avatar
#12 Lanny
August 11 2009, 02:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Flames suuuuuuuuck and always will!!!! One cup!!!!! LMAO

Avatar
#13 Iggy12
August 11 2009, 03:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Lanny wrote:

Flames suuuuuuuuck and always will!!!! One cup!!!!! LMAO

Let me guess - you live in a City with a big mall right?

Loser.

Avatar
#14 hummelj
August 12 2009, 06:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I'm Going to make a bold statement and say that Sarich could become the goat.

My reasoning is this:

although the guy is seemingly very consistent and i absolutely adore what he brings to the rink each night; he is being paid a high salary for a 4th d-man. I by no means am implying that he is over paid, as he earns his compensation very adequately.

However, if his production drops, even by a small amount, i can see people jumping all over him very quickly in demands for a better top line forward, and also to promote room for the many young defensive prospects in the system.

I love the man and hope this never happens... but if his play starts to worsen i wouldn't be surprised to hear his name in some negative articles.

Avatar
#15 oilfan
August 15 2009, 07:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I think iggy.

Comments are closed for this article.