Postgame: A Sad, Sad Night

Pat Steinberg
October 14 2010 10:59PM

Florida Panthers' Radek Dvorak (R) celebrates his second goal with teammates Cory Stillman (6) and Marty Reasoner during the first period of their NHL hockey game against the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Alberta, October 14, 2010. REUTERS/Todd Korol (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

 

Yech, just not a good night for the Calgary Flames on Thursday as they fell 3-0 at the hands of the Florida Panthers.  It was a game that lacked excitement, entertainment, and most importantly from the Calgary perspective, it lacked compete level and enthusiasm.  For the second time in three games, the Flames failed to score a goal.

WHAT HAPPENED

The Flames got off to a good start, had some possession and yielded a couple chances, but it all unravelled after the first of two goals from Radek Dvorak at 4:20 of the first period.  Dvorak scored a seeing eye goal just a few minutes later, beating Miikka Kiprusoff through about four players, three of them Flames.  The first period ended 2-0 in favour of Florida, and the second period was about as listless as possible.

Calgary had two shots on net into the latter stages of the middle frame, and they only ended up with four overall before pumping 17 towards Tomas Vokoun in a deceiving third period.  After Shawn Mathias scored at 9:57 of the final frame, the Panthers completely sat back and the Flames FINALLY decided to start pressing.  After being outchanced in the first two periods, they finally started to generate opportunities, but unfortunately it was far too little too late.

ONE GOOD REASON

...why the Flames lost?  Because, well, they just weren't very good.  It's not like they were terrible, but pretty much top to bottom, the Flames just didn't want to compete.  They were constantly beat by Panthers players to pucks, constantly outworked along the boards, and constantly forced to turn over pucks inside their own blueline.

My worry heading into this game was why I was worried each and every time the Flames played the Colorado Avalanche last season.  Sure, they won the final two games in that six game series, but it seems as if when Calgary goes up against a well coached team with a strong buy-in, they run into trouble.  Florida didn't stray from their gameplan, and they were able to ride a pretty strong, team performance to a shutout win.

RED WARRIOR

I'll go with...uh...jeez...not a good night once again.  I liked Brett Sutter, and have for the most part all season.  He's not going to light you on fire with his offence, but he's going to be consistent in his role.  In a game lacking any compete or fire, Sutter provided a little.

SUM IT UP

The Flames just didn't come to play.  The Panthers outplayed, outworked, outskated and finally outscored the home team and walk away with their first win of the season.  Offensively, Calgary was brutal...it was an absolute disaster every time they tried to gain the zone, whether it be even strength or on the powerplay.

DALLAS - JANUARY 27: Center Olli Jokinen #21 of the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center on January 27, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
 

Speaking of the man advantage...just no good.  It finished 0-4, and wouldn't have a goal through three games if it wasn't for Niklas Hagman's empty netter late in Sunday's win over the Kings.  Head Coach Brent Sutter split up lines in the second period, trying to provide a spark to his group, but it didn't seem to work.  Pretty much everything was shifted through this game, and for good reason.  Most notably, Olli Jokinen was demoted in the middle frame and didn't return to the top line.

It's gotta be a whole lot better against the Oilers on Saturday.  But you all know that.

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Pat Steinberg can be heard daily on the Fan960 in Calgary at can be read at the FAN 960. Born and raised in Calgary, Steinberg considers himself a huge fan of all sports including the CFL, MMA and 13 round bare knuckle boxing matches. Follow Steinberg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Fan960Steinberg.
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#1 John Deere Green
October 14 2010, 11:23PM
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Wow, sure glad I don't have season tickets for this laughable hockey team. My question is this- How do you get rid of guys like Joker, Steady Steve ect.? This team is totally screwed for the remainder of the season due to poor signings, trades and a tight salary cap position. They'll likely be good enough for tenth to eleventh spot to miss out on a good first round pick if they don't trade it away at the deadline for another aging veteran "first liner". How about Backlin, getting every opportunity to impress and just not doing so. So frustrating, pass the Rye please.

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#2 Graham_CGY
October 15 2010, 12:38AM
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Only 3 games in there are a few things that have been very consistant...

1. Ian White... COMPLETE and rudder waste of a defense spot. This guy is playing for a contract? WOW... just wow. Guy can't hold a puck in the zone, can't get the puck out of his zone, and really has trouble with any amount of forecheck pressure.

2. Brendon Morrison... I was in support of this move when it happened thinking we'd be getting a guy who was fighting to stay in the league. Man was I wrong. And Brent continues to give this slow, uninspired, soft player top 6 minutes... *BAFFLED*

With that said, Jokenin, Backlund, Hagman, Jackman, Conroy have played well with the roles given. Although Conroy really wasn't a "spark" tonight, he was a solid 4th liner (which is what we all thought we would be). Tanguay has been what we should expect as well. If you want anymore from him, your expectations are too high, lol. Iginla needs to step it up... period.

Brodie still looks good. Please give him a decent partner. Gio and Bowmeester are ok, not great yet, but for the most part are good.

Kipper has been Kipper... no worries there.

Again, only 3 games in, but these issues have been consistant in all 3 games, and that's a bad sign.

This keeps up 10-15 games in... I think I'll move over to the "other" side and jump on the "time to blow it up" wagon.

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#3 Tommy Gunn
October 15 2010, 12:39AM
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Good Grief.

I am sure getting tired of the same old rhetoric...We were flat, we didn't come to play etc.

Where is the pride in the locker room??

Was Dion a problem, cause it doesn't look like the chemistry has changed.

Too soon to jump off the bandwagon, but suffice it to say I don't like what I am seeing!

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#4 SmellOfVictory
October 15 2010, 12:40AM
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I don't find Backlund to be as unimpressive as everyone seems to think he is. He's not exactly making me expect a Calder-worthy performance from him, but he's been better than half the other Flames (which I realize isn't saying much, but consider the circumstances).

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#5 Graham_CGY
October 15 2010, 12:49AM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

I don't find Backlund to be as unimpressive as everyone seems to think he is. He's not exactly making me expect a Calder-worthy performance from him, but he's been better than half the other Flames (which I realize isn't saying much, but consider the circumstances).

agreed. Backlund with 3rd line minutes has looked better than most of our top 6. Give Backlund 3-5 games on the top line and see what he can do.

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#6 Cooky
October 15 2010, 01:04AM
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It's not a case of jumping off the bandwagon, even if the flames get better it won't be enough to do much.........time to blow it up.

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#7 everton fc
October 15 2010, 07:24AM
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My rant...

In sports, true leaders are ready to ruck every night. Owen Nolan comes to mind. Jantzen in Detroit. Guys willing to go places and pay the price to score goals. Leaders...

In the NHL, you have to be ready to ruck. Every single night. This team isn't. We don't go to the net. We don't seem conditioned to go there. Psychologically. Why?

When a team doesn't come to play time and time again... there is obviously an issue with chemistry. With leadership. It can't be blamed on Iginla. Or Rehger. In fact, Rehger consistently shows up. Leads...

They are employees. And they do lead. But Iggy gets in a slump, and he's not a leader. I don't buy that, nor like it. Perhaps the fans and the local press are part of the problem? Perhaps players ike Gio will leave, because of the negativity here? It's rampant. Constant. Deep. (Myself included. Obviously, we are all frustrated)

Perhaps our leadership issues stem from a higher source. Like in business... Where's the positive tone?

The Panthers had outshot their opposition royally thus far. The Flames should have expected a tough go. Perhaps they did. And couldn't stand up to the challenge. Maybe they're not that good... A 12 or 13th place team... at least with the injuries...

Perhaps it is time to put the Finns together? At least Jokinen's trying. He and Iggy do not work. Have Backlund centre Jokinen and Hagman, or go with Hagman-Stajan-Iginla as the first line (a second or third line on many teams...) Tanguay and Jokinen don't seem to click either... Who plays the other wing - Morrison? What a mess. Line flipping already. Not good for chemistry... And what do you do when Kotalik and Bourque return? Rebuild chemistry?

Again... what a mess.

I listened to the interview between periods with Stefan Meyer on 960. Guys like him... are the future. Boys who'll giver every shift. Who are proud to play here. Brett Sutter wants to be here. Moss and Bourque, when healthy, play with pride. Glencross has consistently shown-up. So has Jackman. Tagged Thing 2, by us "fans", even when Kent pointed out his potential this summer. Still, he was Thing 2... We could use more of Thing 2... Perhaps less of the fans...

I look at Anaheim's situation, see their desperate need for defence, and wonder if moving parts to get a Getzlaf would not be a consideration? We sit Sarich, watch Staois go -3... and now with Pardy out, we don't look so deep on defence... Could we have moved someone for some offence? We can't move Sarich now, after Staois abysmal "performance" last evening. Bouwmeester straight up for Getzlaf. Is this type of deal doable?

All this said... the Pens are 1-3 an it is only the third game of the season. But we have myriad, serious injury concerns. And no depth. You have to feel a bit for Brent Sutter. But this team is flat. A veteran team, that's flat. And flat is a phrase we all use with this team - and they about themselves -more than should be allowed.

We'll see how the road trip goes.... as we continue to lose points at home... which is what 12-13th place teams often do.

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#8 Bustmeester
October 15 2010, 08:06AM
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Bouwmeester for Getzlaf? The only way that would happen is if Darrel Sutter was the Ducks GM.

I won tickets to the game last night through the Fan960 and I still felt i was ripped off. That was a horrible performance. What else could be done?

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#9 Flipnip
October 15 2010, 08:17AM
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Everton FC is right about this team not going to the net. We had a number of opportunities to drive the net and chose to shoot the distance shot with Vokoun being able to see it all the way. Also, what is with us missing the net so much??? We miss the net and it goes around the boards for an odd man rush the other way. HIT THE DAMN NET!!!! I don't know if Florida was just so damn good at blocking shots but it seems that Calgary cannot ever get the puck through a crowd against any team so they attempt to pick the corner everytime resulting in a missed shot on net.

As for the positives, I thought Joker was trying last night but no chemistry with Iggy and Tangs. Stajan had some rust but was as I expected coming off an injury and getting up to speed. Gio was good as usual and GlenX/Conny/Jackman line was competing.

Negative is Steve Staios. Absolutely brutal handing the puck. He was the cause of the 1st goal and he seemed to fumble the puck most of the night. He shouldn't be out there anymore. Bury him in the minors and count it as a mistake.

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#10 Graham
October 15 2010, 08:19AM
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Yes, we are only three games into the season, but the trends are the same; lack of offense, lack of chemistry, lack of work ehtic, lack of team speed, an overpriced / overrated d corp. a Captain that hasn't scored in 15 or 16 consecutive regular season games....

Good news, plenty of work for the new sports psychologist, but he is probably tied up working with the Sutters, they must be ready to explode...

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#11 Kent Wilson
October 15 2010, 08:20AM
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As I wrote recently, the Flames aim in the first 10 is to merely survive. The make-up of the team was fairly "meh" before the injuries - after them, it's probably a step below mediocre.

Im not going to speculate on the dressing room, the players wills or the leadership. From my angle, it looks like the team just isn't good enough. Part of that is certainly on the GM. The other part is the injury goblins.

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#12 R O
October 15 2010, 08:32AM
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Backlund does not have NHL calibre offensive instincts.

Watch that sequence where he gets the puck on that 3on2 and wires it from waaaay beyond the top of the faceoff circle. He's got all day and miles of ice to get to the scoring area and that's the best he can do at high speed.

He's been doing this consistently since last season. Kids who might become something great know to take that puck closer to the net. Backlund may become a serviceable 5on5 support player yet (it remains to be seen if he can drive pucks into the zone and keep them there), but the window to develop into an offensive difference-maker is closing.

Other than that... What can I say. We don't have our top difference-maker in Langkow, instead we have to settle for our 50+ point centres in Jokinen and Stajan who, surprise surprise, aren't helping us win games.

The plan for the season is clear. Wish Lanks a speedy recovery, and hope Iggy goes old-school now and again.

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#13 icedawg_42
October 15 2010, 08:55AM
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@Kent Wilson

I never used to watch a lot of non-Flames games at all until last season. And since then, having more basis for comparison - I fear that you're absolutely correct about this team just not being good enough - top to bottom at any rate. There are some pieces and you have to feel bad for guys like Kipper who stands on his head night in and night out. Big changes are inevitable, and we're in for a couple long hard seasons, but in the mean time I'll try to find ways to keep the cup as 'half-full' as I can.

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#14 Kent Wilson
October 15 2010, 09:47AM
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icedawg_42 wrote:

I never used to watch a lot of non-Flames games at all until last season. And since then, having more basis for comparison - I fear that you're absolutely correct about this team just not being good enough - top to bottom at any rate. There are some pieces and you have to feel bad for guys like Kipper who stands on his head night in and night out. Big changes are inevitable, and we're in for a couple long hard seasons, but in the mean time I'll try to find ways to keep the cup as 'half-full' as I can.

Yeah. Im sympathetic to those who want to point at will to win or leadership and such because it's frustrating as hell to watch this club. The feeling is they should be better...but at some point, one has to admit that the team just might be all that good.

Again, we're only 3 games into a season and a lot can change...but the manner in which this team is already losing games is disconcerting.

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#15 Rain Dogs
October 15 2010, 10:02AM
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You know it's bad when,

of all likely commenters,

I am lost for words.

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#16 B
October 15 2010, 10:11AM
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To quote RO: "Backlund does not have NHL calibre offensive instincts."

I'm with you on that. I didn't see him play too much last year, but the more I see of him this year, the more I feel he is overrated by many. I think he could be a good 3rd line, 40 point definsive type center, but not a 60-80 point guy you need for your second or first line.

Now for my schtik on the first few games. The Flames have a significantly better roster than the Avs. In my opinion they have a better roster than both the Oilers and Wild. The Canuks are very strong, but I still think the Flames have nearly as good a roster (minus the Sedins who are amazing) as the Canuks. Hope things start looking up soon :( I think they will.

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#17 JF
October 15 2010, 10:18AM
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Why is no one crashing the net anymore? Seriously, it seems like the majority of shots being taken are of the unscreened perimeter variety.

Furthermore why are the Flames so... stationary. It's like they get to the o-zone and freeze up, afried to to any deeper into the attacking zone or even move laterally.

I blame Butter. Before he came around the Flames were willing to get so close to the net that they could see the color of the goalies eyes.

If the team still looks like this at the 30 game mark I want a full Sutter purge.

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#18 Big Cap
October 15 2010, 10:28AM
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Hire another "Dutter"...That should do the Trick!!!

Good Luck on Saturday!! Haha

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#19 Brent G.
October 15 2010, 10:31AM
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@everton fc

I appreciate this post through and through. It shows a lot of thoughtful insight on your behalf and I appreciated every word. At this point I would rather watch a lot of Moss's, Glencross's, Meyer's, Sutter's going out there and simply giving there all shift after shift than seeing lazy, uninspired hockey. Those players arent likely to win a lot of games on their own but at the end of the day they have a lot of heart, grit and determination and its fun to watch. Bring back Prust, there was a guy I miss with every passing game. Not because he is going to win a game for us but he worked hard. At the end of the day the W's shouldnt really matter as fans; we shouldn't base our love of the team (and watching them play) based off the victories at the end of the night but rather look at how fun they are to watch play; that is where utility is derived from is the entertainment value on the ice.

That being said, if the Flames are ever going to get better they need to rebuild. It sucks to hear but I want to watch a young vibrant team that someday will at least challenge for the cup; this current core group never will again do that. I love Iginla but I truly believe it is in the Flames and his best interest if he is traded while he still has value. I cant help but ponder the scenario of trading Iginla and Backlund for Seguin and Sturm (or some other salary dump). On one hand Boston would be crazy to give up on Seguin but part of me really believes they would consider this trade because they want a cup, Iggy is seen as an answer (or was) and Backlund has potential, albeit a much lower ceiling than Seguin. It would be sad to see Iggy go but from an asset management stand point it makes very little sense to watch him age here, with no potential to win the cup, keeping us in that dreaded 11-13th spot on the standings. Make it a slow rebuild, send Seguin to the minors and in a year or two he should be ready to go.

What could Buowmester be traded for? Maybe washington would take him for a first + second rounder + mid-tier prospect?

At this point I would look to trade all of the high profile players other than Regher because he should be the next captain; I have been a believer in that for a couple of years. Keep Bork and Gio too because they are pure awesome and fun to watch...

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#20 tsukemonoki
October 15 2010, 10:36AM
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I don't know much about hockey tactics or strategy, but when I watch the Flames play, I find that they don't do what I imagine are fundamentals. The two things I look at are spacing and passing ability.

In terms of passing, I find that the Flames just can't get a pass on target. Tape to tape passes are difficult I guess, but I see other teams being able to pull that off. Another issue is spacing. The Flames players often seem to be impeding one another or are occupying the same space. I understand screens and what not, shouldn't you not all be standing in one place so that you can "catch the goalie out of place?" or "catch a rebound?"

Enlighten a hockey watching novice.

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#21 the-wolf
October 15 2010, 10:41AM
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For some reason I posted these in the wrong area, so here goes, cut and pasted over:

When are people going to realize that this club is nothing but a mess?

2004 was not the start of something, it was an anomaly. The same as all the other teams that found chemistry and rode a hot goalie until almost the end.

Last season was not an anomaly. That was the trend. Since game 7 in 2006 the Flames have been just a little bit worse every subsequent year until they missed the playoffs last season. Bringing back the same team plus Tanguay is not the solution.

The real problem with this team is that even if all the stars and planets align just perfectly and everyone from Iginla to Jokinen to Tanguay to Bouwmeester hit career year ties or averages, then what?

They'd still run out of gas in the post-season. Even with the perfect match-up in the 1st round, it's highly unlikely they'd ever get past the 2nd round. And next season, with everyone yet another year older? Repeat? Uh-huh. Right. Sure.

And there's the rub. There's no plan, no formula to build a contender. Just scractch and claw and hope things go OK and your goalie drags you into the playoffs "where everyone is automatically a contender." This team is a one year roll of the dice at best, building towards nothing, having no future and no real chance of winning anything. And when the average bear of a fan finally realizes it, those imperssive season ticket numbers won't be so impressive any more.

2 out of 3 games with no goals.

Alas, I remember it well. Sitting in Flames Central at the Town Hall meeting with Darryl and Ken and a wise man asking why they chose to keep Jokinen over Cammalleri?

"I really like the idea of a 6'3" centre and I think the playoffs (2009)really showed the limitations of a small man in a big man's game," sayeth Darryl-the-wise.

One post-season and 13 goals later and this stuck in the 70's GM is still allowed to run this club into the ground.

A team once built from draft picks and blessed with skill and talent. Now, a complete dearth of picks and a fan base brainwashed into thinking our identity has to be a rough-and-tumble, gritty, western, down-and-dirty yee-hah! team.

Only stat worth looking at: once past the first in 21 years. Trying to stay competitive all the time does not work. Time to rebuild.

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#22 Kent Wilson
October 15 2010, 10:53AM
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Rain Dogs wrote:

You know it's bad when,

of all likely commenters,

I am lost for words.

haha, indeed.

Saturday is going to very interesting.

Im considering a liveblog. We'll see what the interest level is.

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#23 B
October 15 2010, 10:58AM
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To quote the-wolf: "Trying to stay competitive all the time does not work. Time to rebuild."

Teams like New Jersey, Detroit, and to some extent Vancouver haven't rebuilt for some time now. It can be done.

Just a reminder to some, it's just three game into the season. If this trend continues and we are 15-25 with 40 GF and 100 GA halfway through the season, I won't get in the way of the angry mob.

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#24 R O
October 15 2010, 11:00AM
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Since game 7 in 2006 the Flames have been just a little bit worse every subsequent year

This is in fact not the case. At all.

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#25 funkyjaman
October 15 2010, 11:03AM
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Great game this was not! I am starting to think that this team truley belives that kipper is going to make everything happen in the back some how. They lean on this man like he is a cruch! I think it's time to look at our goalie situation a bit more. Do we play Hank for a few games and see how the boys respond? Do we down grade in net with hopes of a good return. Forcing the issue of a hard working offence and defence each night knowing kippers not there to save their but. It's three games in and there has been no signs of improvement thus far, we lack character, drive, chemistry and confidence to name a few. Injuries aside this team should a least pot a few goals and compete with the teams they are up against. This team is endanger of becoming the push over team of the year...things need to change and soon!!

Rant Over! GFG

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#26 Dave
October 15 2010, 11:13AM
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As a fan I have no problem with my team having a poor year or two in order to rebuild or to find an identity. That is part of pro sports. No team can win the championship every year. The problem with this organization is that there is no consistancy between what head office is saying and what is happening on the ice. We are told year after year that the flames will be a contender and there is no plan to rebuild because the team looks good and is ready to compete at a high level. It's a classic case of over promising and under delivering year after year and I just get tiered of it. It feels like the managment is unrealistic and dillusional. Just because you say your team is good doesn't make it true.

The only thing I want to happen is managment realizing that the team is in trouble and focus on the future instead of trying to limp into the playoffs year after year. I hate the mentality of "once your in the playoffs anything is possible" I'd rather go into the playoffs being a favorite.

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#27 Graham
October 15 2010, 11:13AM
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What has bothered me to no end so far is less about skill and more about effort. This team looks like they don't care. Jokinen has been dreadful and Iggy is trying to do it all by himself at half speed. At least Tanguay has been hustling and trying to make plays. Jokinen looks like a lost puppy, regardless of who he plays with.

It's one thing to lose, but to show no heart and work ethic is something else entirely. I didn't even like the win against the kings, because aside from Glencross and Giordano, nobody had any energy or enthusiasm.

I disagree with the "3 games in" mentality. We said all through January February and March last year that there was no need to panic. Guess what? The flames better start to panic, because things will get ugly real quick otherwise. This not the kind of effort that will get Tangs Olli and JBo back on track. So, I think it's absolutely time to panic, cuz I think the entire city is tired of watching this crap, and this team is too mentally fragile to recover from scoring 3 goals (one empty net) in 3 games. Boo is right.

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#28 dave
October 15 2010, 11:28AM
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My biggest concern for this team is it's ability to score. In three games we've scored three goals. One (glencross) was off a turnover and he made a nice move. Conroy's wrist shot from the blue line will almost never go in again and finally an empty netter. None of these were goals while we were using our offensive system. So far the style of offence we have are using has provided us with ZERO goals. I think it's time to change strategies. Good teams with good coaches are able to adapt to different teams and to play what works best. It doesn't work to keep doing the same thing day in and day out. It's predictable and easy to defend.

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#29 Mike
October 15 2010, 11:30AM
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For me, the-wolf sums it up best comparing Jokinen and Cammelleri. That choice is the poster child for everything that is wrong with the Flames. Also, if we want to do our part as fans, don't go to the games. I know that the majority are owned by oil companies and the Flames get their money whether the seat is empty or full but TV cameras notice empty seats. Calgary fans deserve a better team. One that works in the new NHL. Built with smart scouting and drafting and knowing when to open the purse strings. RIP Sutter era.

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#30 the-wolf
October 15 2010, 11:37AM
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R O wrote:

Since game 7 in 2006 the Flames have been just a little bit worse every subsequent year

This is in fact not the case. At all.

Maybe not when you look at the regular season, but it is when judging their playoffs in consecutive years. A comment which may be a matter of opinion, I admit, but also one with merit.

But then I started saying 3 summers ago that major moves had to be made before Iginla becmae the next Sundin and the Flames became the Leafs.

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#31 JPK
October 15 2010, 11:44AM
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@B

That's because NJ, Detroit, and Vancouver draft late, but draft well.

Calgary's scouting system, on the other hand, is terrible. I'm convinced that Flames scouts must hop on the wrong planes so that they end up scouting New Zealand, Australia, and Timbuktu for players before they ever start investigating good players here and in Europe.

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#32 R O
October 15 2010, 11:48AM
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Playoffs as an indicator of team strength. Wow.

And we can only hope Iginla becomes the next Sundin, who was dominant up to his last year in T.O.

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#33 everton fc
October 15 2010, 11:55AM
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Miroslav Satan is on a week-to-week contract in the Czech Republic. Just a thought...

As for our scouting... good point. Not a strength.

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#34 Subversive
October 15 2010, 11:55AM
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@B

They have good GMs. We.....don't.

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#35 everton fc
October 15 2010, 11:59AM
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Tim Kennedy's another youngster with some jump. Demoted by the Rangers... Wonder if he'd have gone to the tough spots last evening? $550K salary, too. Less than Ivanans... ?? On another tangent... How about Bouwmeester for Brad Richards?

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#36 Kent Wilson
October 15 2010, 12:11PM
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On adding players - as Im reminded by a number of people on Twitter whenever the issue comes up, the Flames have 49 of a possible 50 pro contracts alreayd under their belts. So adding players (beyond the now totally convoluted salary cap issues) is a sticky situation.

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#37 CitizenFlame
October 15 2010, 12:26PM
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Funny how there is no mention of injuries anymore? Just how much we suck after 3 games. I admit that Kotalik and Moss aren't top end talent but they definitely solidify our line-up and allow for different line combinations. If Langkow were to get back into the line up Langkow, Stajan, Jokinen, Conroy/Morrison, isn't such a bad centre depth chart. Jokinen could probably feast on weaker comp, lined up in a 3rd line set up with Kotalik and Moss/Glencross. Lankow could help do some heavy lifting to help keep Iggy and Tanguay above water + they have proven chemistry in the past. Langkow still knows how to put the puck in the net if he was given a favourable zone start and some talented wingers.

I don't know of any other teams that have the injury issues that the Flames do. It's funny how injuries are no excuse for sub-par performance in Calgary but Detroit had no problem stating that their regular season woes were caused by the injury bug last year. If they don't perform when everyone returns that is another story.

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#38 Kent Wilson
October 15 2010, 12:42PM
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CitizenFlame wrote:

Funny how there is no mention of injuries anymore? Just how much we suck after 3 games. I admit that Kotalik and Moss aren't top end talent but they definitely solidify our line-up and allow for different line combinations. If Langkow were to get back into the line up Langkow, Stajan, Jokinen, Conroy/Morrison, isn't such a bad centre depth chart. Jokinen could probably feast on weaker comp, lined up in a 3rd line set up with Kotalik and Moss/Glencross. Lankow could help do some heavy lifting to help keep Iggy and Tanguay above water + they have proven chemistry in the past. Langkow still knows how to put the puck in the net if he was given a favourable zone start and some talented wingers.

I don't know of any other teams that have the injury issues that the Flames do. It's funny how injuries are no excuse for sub-par performance in Calgary but Detroit had no problem stating that their regular season woes were caused by the injury bug last year. If they don't perform when everyone returns that is another story.

Injuries are certainly an issue.

I think everyone would be more forgiving if the Flames hadn't have missed the post-season last year.

Detroit gets the benefit of the doubt because they've been great (and still are) for so long. That said, you're right - we'll see how the team does once the bodies start returning en masse.

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#39 everton fc
October 15 2010, 12:53PM
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@ss

I mentioned injuries... in my rant... so we are in agreement, on many fronts.

It is a factor. On-ice chemistry takes time. Look at our second line last night, centered by Stajan. Case-and-point.

@kent

Adding players would be sticky. Agreed. Unless we traded/waived/re-assigned a few. Staois comes to mind. As does Sarich... Bouwmeester should still have value... And so on. Perhaps, like most fans, I am grasping at straws...

Here's hoping all those in sick-bay get well soon. Real soon. (I'd stay with Meyer as the 4th line centre, though) Moss may not be front-line talent, but he's the type of player with size and guts to go to the places many on the Flames currently will not go... to create chances. He's the kind of players Cup teams look for, recognize as valuable. A keeper.

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#40 SarahM
October 15 2010, 01:07PM
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Rain Dogs wrote:

You know it's bad when,

of all likely commenters,

I am lost for words.

If you only have a few words, they are best expressed via haiku. I have a feeling we'll be using the conciliatory poetry a lot this season...

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#41 Graham
October 15 2010, 01:39PM
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@CitizenFlame

Injuries are not an excuse for a sub par performance in Calgary. The fans are mad because the healthy players are not putting in the effort to try and compete.

What on earth do injuries have to do with the production from the intact and healthy top line, ZERO points combined in three games? - or the poor performance of an intact 'd' corp?

Its not time to panic yet, but this team has continued it bad habits / weak play from last season, and needs to mend it's ways - or its going to be, five bad games, ten bad games...

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#42 the-wolf
October 15 2010, 01:39PM
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@R O

Yeah, wow. Hmmm.....playoffs as an indicator of team strength? Uhhh....Ok, um, uh,yeah. Maybe there's a miscommunication here? "Strength" as in "success?" Because playoff performace is exactly how I judge a team. So do most people, actually.

As far as the Sundin comparison: not good enough to win with him, wait too long to get anything for him.

That's what I'm saying, after he scored his 50 goals at age 30 I wanted him traded to the highest bidder for a king's ransom because I knew his trade value would never be higher. How? Because the odds of your trade value going higher after getting 50 goals and 96 points at 30 years of age are statistically nil. And I could see that Iginla alone wasn't enough for the Flames to be winners. Remember, 2004 was an anomaly, not the norm. The norm is 20 years without going past the first round.

So boy, here's hoping the Flames fail to get past the first again this year and maybe next so that we can either lose him for nothing as a UFA or trade him at the 2012 trade deadline for next to nothing.

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#43 dotfras
October 15 2010, 01:51PM
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I think Jokenin needs to play on the 3rd line for him to be productive/effective at all.

Tanguay/Stajan/Iginla Hagman/Morrison/Backlund Glencross/Jokenin/Jackman Meyer/Sutter/Conroy

And Staois needs to disappear. He was brutal last night.

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#44 R O
October 15 2010, 01:54PM
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the-wolf. I'm not too interested in talking checkers with you

Graham: Were you one of those that expected impact seasons from the likes of Jokinen and Stajan, all the while denigrating the likes of Langkow and Conroy?

If so, well I think your disappointment has more to do with your unrealistic expectations for established players to perform beyond their established abilities.

If not, then you should think injuries are a huge factor in why the Flames have been heavily outplayed twice in three games.

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#45 Monaertchi Gaudnett
October 15 2010, 02:15PM
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R O wrote:

the-wolf. I'm not too interested in talking checkers with you

Graham: Were you one of those that expected impact seasons from the likes of Jokinen and Stajan, all the while denigrating the likes of Langkow and Conroy?

If so, well I think your disappointment has more to do with your unrealistic expectations for established players to perform beyond their established abilities.

If not, then you should think injuries are a huge factor in why the Flames have been heavily outplayed twice in three games.

That first sentence seems like it ought to be followed by the-wolf snarling "King me". Tee hee!

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#46 RossCreekNation
October 15 2010, 03:36PM
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everton fc wrote:

Tim Kennedy's another youngster with some jump. Demoted by the Rangers... Wonder if he'd have gone to the tough spots last evening? $550K salary, too. Less than Ivanans... ?? On another tangent... How about Bouwmeester for Brad Richards?

That Bouwmeester-Richards thought has floated around in my mind before.

3 reasons:
- Feaster/Richards connection.
- Nieuwendyk/Bouwmeester connection.
- $$ (money spent on D transferred to money spent on F).

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#47 Huckster
October 15 2010, 03:36PM
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I hate to say it guys (I am a huge Iggy fan) but without more effort from our Captain I don't see the rest of the team doing anything. To me he looked like the worst out there, by far the worst player per salary. How many give-aways did he have. The power play must have been embarrassing for him. Get to the blue line, lose the puck. What 3 times in a row?

I can't believe the fans were booing last night! What did they expect? There have been no team, character, chemistry, leadership, coaching style, management changes made from last season. Do they expect something different? As said previously, even if they don't have the talent and aren't winning, at least give the fans effort and exitement. That has been non-existent and a carry over from last night. GlenX is fantastic to watch. He was the best player last night. Not from skill, from effort. I see effort as well from the "Joke" but he's a shooter, not a scorer any more. Were the nets bigger in Florida? Like 5 feet wider on each side?

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#48 John F
October 15 2010, 03:41PM
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Dave wrote:

As a fan I have no problem with my team having a poor year or two in order to rebuild or to find an identity. That is part of pro sports. No team can win the championship every year. The problem with this organization is that there is no consistancy between what head office is saying and what is happening on the ice. We are told year after year that the flames will be a contender and there is no plan to rebuild because the team looks good and is ready to compete at a high level. It's a classic case of over promising and under delivering year after year and I just get tiered of it. It feels like the managment is unrealistic and dillusional. Just because you say your team is good doesn't make it true.

The only thing I want to happen is managment realizing that the team is in trouble and focus on the future instead of trying to limp into the playoffs year after year. I hate the mentality of "once your in the playoffs anything is possible" I'd rather go into the playoffs being a favorite.

I tend to disagree with this comment.Every year we have teams showing us that once you are in the playoffs anything can happen. Flames in 2004, follwed by the Oilers run to the finals and as recent aas last year with the Montreal run and Flyers in the finals-both with fewer regular season points than the Flames.

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#49 everton fc
October 15 2010, 04:32PM
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@ Brett G.

Thanks. We feel the same pain!

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#50 B
October 15 2010, 05:33PM
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"They have good GM's."

"They draft well."

...I feel your sentiment, but it's not that simple. I'm not saying I agree with all of Sutter's moves or I agree with the professional inbreeding that seems to follow them. However, everyone has their own way of doing things. Some things the organization has done have worked out, some haven't. Let cooler heads prevail until halfway throuhg the season people.

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