Postgame: Ouch

Pat Steinberg
October 28 2010 11:03PM

Calgary Flames Tim Jackman (R) and Colorado Avalanche David Liffiton exchange blows during their fight in the first period of their NHL hockey game in Calgary, Alberta October 28, 2010.  REUTERS/Todd Korol (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Well we've heard this before.  The top players on the Calgary Flames are not buying into what needs to be done, and it was the main thing harped on by Head Coach Brent Sutter following a 6-5 home loss at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche.  It was a game where Calgary held three leads, including a 4-3 cushion heading into the third period.

What Happened

A lot of scoring, that's what.  First period?  Niklas Hagman scores his fourth of the season on the powerplay at 6:45 and it's 1-0.  But 62 seconds later, this thing was tied thanks to a Paul Stastny pass to Chris Stewart who would score the first of three goals on the night, also on the powerplay.  At 13:41, it was Tim Jackman scoring his first of the season on a nice slap pass from Cory Sarich, and thanks to an Avalanche giveaway, the Flames carried a 2-1 lead into the second period.

Matt Stajan would give Calgary their biggest lead of the game, ripping his first of the season under the trapper of Peter Budaj at 11:43 of the second period.  But two Stewart goals in the span of 29 seconds late in the frame had this game all square at three.  The first came at the tail end of a Flames powerplay, and the second was an absolute rip of a slapshot beating Henrik Karlsson in net.  Olli Jokinen got his first of the season with 91 seconds to go in the middle frame to give Calgary their lead back, as he jammed the puck through with Budaj not covering his post properly.

The third period...yikes for Calgary.  They were absolutely thrashed in the shot column, and more importantly in scoring chances, as the Avs outshout the Flames 15-3 and outchanced them 11-3.  Colorado started their three goal final frame outburst thanks to a Brandon Yip marker at 1:55 before T.J.  Galiardi would take a gorgeous pass from Paul Stastny to stake Colorado to their first lead at 5-4.  Off a bad Avalanche giveaway, Stajan found Alex Tanguay and he made a great move on Budaj to get this back square.  But with just 2:20 remaining, Daniel Winnik got one past Karlsson to lead us to our final score, thanks to an absolute collapse from the home team.

One Good Reason...

...why the Flames lost?  Because, for the second straight night, they carried a lead into the third period and couldn't lock it down.  This one was even more troubling, because they held three seperate leads and couldn't keep the Avs from pushing back.  Even worse, they got a gift to tie this game at five and they STILL weren't able to lock things down to earn a single point.  The top line was no good, the second line was mediocre, and the top blueliners made far too many mistakes.  Six goals against at home isn't going to cut it, and performances like that while holding the lead are going to drive your coach nuts every single time.

Red Warrior

Tim Jackman.  Give the guy credit, he scores his first goal of the season, he fights, and he plays some hard hockey.  On a night when the team needed an unwaivering guy, he was one of them, and probably the best.  You're not going to win games when your bottom three forwards are some of the better ones, but I thought Jackman was at least fun to watch and he is still doing a nice enough job driving the play.

Sum It Up

Just not a good night overall for the Flames.  Brent Sutter said it was about 36 minutes of okay hockey where the team was sticking to the plan.  However, the third period especially was no good at all, and you can't hang this one solely on a shoddy performance from the backup goaltender.  Neither goalie was good, but Colorado caught on and started funneling everything to the net (including two posts in the third).  Calgary?  They managed three shots on goal in the third period.  Washington's in next...they'll thrash you if you let them.

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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 GermanFlame
October 29 2010, 12:17AM
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ha, These types of games just make me think back to all those callers at Overtime when the flames weren't scoring and they were saying I rather see a '5-4 or a 6-4 game than a 1-0 or 2-1 game' Not hearing any more of those are ya Steinberg?

Dont get me wrong though, this game was bad, giving up leads like this shouldn't be happening. Just trying to look on the bright side.

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#2 SmellOfVictory
October 29 2010, 12:46AM
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I take solace in the fact that the game results are, for the most part, following the underlying numbers this year. One of the reasons last season was so frustrating was the whole bizarro world inversion of chances and results through the first four months.

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#3 CitizenFlame
October 29 2010, 12:47AM
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A lot of talk of having to bench Iggy and what not. I know Pat, you were saying on OT that you don't think that the coach will fix it. I was at the game tonight, so correct me if I was wrong, but I thought I saw a couple of shifts where Morrison was out with Tanguay and Stajan? I don't know if Iggy was having equipment problems or something else. Did you notice that?

I just don't see Iggy getting benched, a la Kovie. He's the Captain, he's the leader. That being said, I could see him getting taken off of the top line or the PP for a spell. Or maybe its time the coach benches him for a period. I'd like to see how he would respond to a benching for a period. Ofcourse, I would rather see him respond without having to get to that point though.

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#4 RossCreekNation
October 29 2010, 06:38AM
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Not to throw Karlsson under the bus, but last night just reiterates my belief that you play your #1 guy in the must-win games. Colorado had to play Budaj either way, but what happens if Kipper plays - they don't throw away the 2 pts?

Play Kipper in the games they should win, andput Karlsson in for some tougher games that the Flames would be expected to lose even with Kipper. Hopefully Hank (and the team in front of him) can step up and steal the win. And if not, well, nothing lost. I hate when teams throw pts away against poorer teams because they started the backup. Win the games you should win; for the most part, play your starter in those games.

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#5 icedawg_42
October 29 2010, 07:31AM
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- firstly, to be clear, Iggy's still my hero off the ice, and in the past, on the ice...but has he become completely uncoachable? It seems he's always cold in October, but if he's continually butting heads with coaches and wont buy in, that suggests a serious issue. - If a benching is in order..hurry up and get it over with so you can see what you are left with afterwards!

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#6 Flipnip
October 29 2010, 08:02AM
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I thought that outside of the 3rd period that the Flames were okay except for the goaltending. Brutal rebounds but you have to expects some of that from a backup. Overall though, I think that penalty trouble threw off the rhythm so much that 4 lines couldn't be rolled which is the Flames strength.

On a side note, was I the only one who thought that the officiating was poor? Not saying it was why we lost but it seemed one-sided. It seems that alot of interference calls were ignored by the officials.

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#7 icedawg_42
October 29 2010, 08:10AM
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Flipnip wrote:

I thought that outside of the 3rd period that the Flames were okay except for the goaltending. Brutal rebounds but you have to expects some of that from a backup. Overall though, I think that penalty trouble threw off the rhythm so much that 4 lines couldn't be rolled which is the Flames strength.

On a side note, was I the only one who thought that the officiating was poor? Not saying it was why we lost but it seemed one-sided. It seems that alot of interference calls were ignored by the officials.

I thought that too.

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#8 PrairieStew
October 29 2010, 09:28AM
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@RossCreekNation

No Back to back games for a while, so instead of Washington or Detroit - he went with Karlsson last night. The fact that the team was outshot for the first time last night puts it back on the team and not the goalie last night.

Kipper's luck against Colorado last year also was not good, why not give it a try. It didn't work, but big picture here, I'd like to see the big Swede once every 10 days or so, not 3 weeks between starts. That only leads to less confidence in the guy, more work for Kipper, then bad games from him. Stop me if you've seen this movie before.

As to tough vs easy games - based on their record last year I classify those purple guys as one of the toughs.

http://www.matchsticksandgasoline.com/2010/10/29/1781598/strength-of-schedule-at-the-10-game-mark

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#9 Kenn
October 29 2010, 10:25AM
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Well first off, props to our boy CRAIG CONROY. Great milestone for Craig and it could not happen to a more deserving person. Craig and his family have settled nicely into Calgary over the years and Craig is a solid professional and good guy off the ice and in the community too. Funny story that Iggy did not like or warm up to Craig when he first was traded to Calgary. It took some time for Iggy to come around.

Jokien and Jackman both had solid games and the effort was there from both these guys all night. I had mentioned in a previous thread Jokien is trying and he is finding ways to contribute to the team any way he can and as a fan I respect that a lot. The same can be said about Tim Jackman. Tim has to be one of the surprises this early season and is looking to be a solid off season signing for the Flames. Brent liked him when he was playing in Long Island and guess where he ends up signing as a free agent. Jackman is great guy to have on the team and solid 4th line player with some skill, a team player.

There is NO doubt Iggy is struggling. Is it the summer rust that takes him a bit to get going or is Iggy just not into Brent and the other coaches. I admire what he has done and what he has brought to the organization for all the years but if it is time to bench Iggy or seriously start looking at moving him for some picks. Let's get it done at some point this season. Give him a fresh start somewhere else that interests him and lets get something of value in return. If he is still okay and there are no internal issues with Iggy and the Flames then we need to wait patiently for the old boy to warm up and get them wrists a firing!

I found the rest of the team severely lacking last night and there were so many breakdowns throughout the night. HK (Calgary Tower) was slow to react and his rebounding was not good. In my opinion NOT very good at all for HK. I hope this is just a minor bleep for HK and he bounces back because this was not even close to NHL goal tending, granted Colorado's goaltending was not very good either. I think many of us were happy to see HK in the net last night but his performance was one that I will chalk up to learning the NHL pro game and HK must work on his game or he will not be back next year and poor Kipper will be playing more games than expected this year. The team and coach will need a bounce back performance from HK when he gets his next start or the team and coach will lose confidence in him.

We all know this but the Flames MUST be better against Washington and Detroit or Brent will pull out what hair he has left. Oh wait Brent will need some of those strands of hair for the rest of the season!!

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#10 Rain Dogs
October 29 2010, 10:36AM
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@RossCreekNation

Win the games you should win;

This was a game we should have won, WITH Karlsson in net.

Although, specifically, I agree. I think Karl should have gone against Edmonton, and Kipper against Col. but that's really splitting hairs.

Maybe we win both, maybe we lose both.

Goalies don't play in isolation, and that's 2.5 periods out of 6, where we looked like an AHL team. 1 win, 1 loss considering that...ain't so awful for the goalies.

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#11 Rain Dogs
October 29 2010, 10:46AM
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I would like to talk about Henrik though.

This is prefaced with: All goalies are learning and developing ALL the time, Kipper, Luongo...the vets are no exception.

So Karlsson is as green as green in that regard.

A while back, when we got the tower I wrote this:

.. he moves similarly to [Kidd/Luongo]those bigger goalies. Plodding or lumbering are the words that come to mind. But it allows us to see his areas needing development that I've seen in other footage: His lateral movement is his poorest quality, puckhandling isn't great and his ability to look for pucks through traffic needs to come along.

for "eyes" the second post shot from the point comes to mind, he's reacts very quickly, but he's got himself a pair of very heavy feet.

He seems to suffer from 'big goalie' sydrome where he has been self taught to trust his size first, before really being detailed with movement and strong positioning. He's deep far too often, but it doesn't seem to hurt cause he's huge.

well, this hurt him last night. 1.Far side slapper 2. bing-bang plays on passes behind the net. 3. the first point shot off the post. He's so big, he should easily cover those. He should never need to be 's-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g' so far on long shots. Numerous times he was flat on his belly, or "making" himself small. You see that from Luongo often when he's struggling. Imagine 5'10" Halak played like that...yikes.

He's much more promising that McL, but we've got some work to do.

The game last night wasn't his fault with shots being 36-19, and it's not even that the slapshot, for example, beat him, cause it was a rocket. It's where/how he was when it beat him. As Sutter said "Could he be better, yes"

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#12 everton fc
October 29 2010, 10:55AM
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@Kenn

Good post.

I like Jokinen. He wants to be here (and I don't think it's because no other team would want him!) If he does indeed find his comfort zone (which I think is on the 3rd line, not the 2nd) he could be a surprise for us these next few months. I absolutely agree with your assessment. And that of Jackman (props to Kent for calling out Jackman's actual/potential value as a hocky player, and not just a "Thing" this summer. He played some tough minutes on the Isle, anc backs dowen to no one. Plus he was the only guy on the Isles who drove a pickup. This is HUGE!) I think we will get the same positive play from Kotalik, when he returns.

We need to find more kids like Stefan Meyer.

I don't think you trade Iggy. He is the face of the franchise. I am a fan who appreciates loyalty. This city, this oprganization, owes Iggy. They owe him another Cup run. He has paid his dues on some horrific teams. He has seldom had another star with him to carry the load. Most teams have more than one.

Sutter needs to find a place for our aging leader. He's 33. He's reached his peak. But he still adds value, if the right fit is found (I am a bit perplexed on how he cannot find the twine w/Tanguay right now. Not good)

Jarome is certainly not our go-to guy right now. He may not have another 30-goal season in him. But can he pop 20-25? Can he become a bit more of a playmaker?? The latter makes some sense... And he is a good leader. He is like our Brendan Shanahan. We need him, I think. He'll come around... but don't be surprised if he gets 20-25 goals and scores

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#13 everton fc
October 29 2010, 11:06AM
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My post got cut off. Here's the second part (if anyone cares!)

I think our defence is a concern. Regehr and Sarich are tough and dependable. Other teams forwards don't like dealing with these two. This is good. This is the type of defence we had when Playfair still resided in Stampede City.

Our defence lacks depth. It truly does. We may have a depth of bodies, but no real depth. I think this make sense.

It is a serious concern, to this fan.

Another concern is our continued dependence on unknown, no-name backups for Kipper. The fans and sportswriters here are becoming increasingly tougher on athletes. Daily. We need a veteran who's been through the ringer, like Cujo was (though someone 10 years younger than Cujo wuold be ideal!). A backup who's content with 15 games a season, knows how to psycholigically deal with the media, and so forth. Alex Auld comes to mind. Noodles, here in the past. A backup that is ready, and able to step in as the starter if Kipper goes down.

Currently, we are screwed if Kipper goes down. Ditto if we lose a defencemen or two. We have lots of bodies. But lack real top-of-the-table depth.

Perhaps move an expensive body and some "filler"? (Bouwmeester comes to mind...)

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#14 Kent Wilson
October 29 2010, 11:22AM
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@everton fc

The Flames depth on their blueline is their primary organizaional strength. There's only so much money you can spend on defenders in the NHL and hope to win anything. Here's the back-end of the team that beat us last night:

Hannan-Wilson Liles-Quincey Cumiskey-Holos

Ryan Wilson, who played the most at ES for the AVs last night, was an unsigned free agent out of junior whom the Flames gave away to the Avs to acquire Leopold a couple of years ago. He probably wouldn't even make the top 8 in the Flames organization.

So I'm not sure what more you want on the Flames blueline. They have lots of money invested. They have at least three guys who have spent a majority of their careers playing against tough competition. They have no less than 8 NHL veterans, plus a number of decent prospects. It really doesn't get much better than this.

I've said this before and I'll continue to say it: the Flames true weakness is the top end of the forward roster. Brent Sutter keeps harping on Iginla/Jokinen with the expectation that if they just worked harder or bought in or some other such psychobabble, that the team would indeed be elite. Frankly, the problem as I see it is: they aren't elite players. Meaning, the team is paying steak prices for hamburgers in a lot of cases up front.

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#15 Domebeers.com
October 29 2010, 11:31AM
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I enjoy coach Brents continued whine about how the players refuse to listen to him.

Because whining to the media about the players has worked so well for the last year plus.

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#16 PrairieStew
October 29 2010, 11:45AM
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They(Iggy and Joker) used to be elite Kent - I think we agree on that.

Kenn - you can't trot out the trade Iggy thing without looking at the facts. Historically he is a slow starter. Last year November was his best month with something like 15 goals. He has 3 years left at $7 m which makes him just aqbout impossible to move, he may get 30 goals again this year and that would be pretty good for a 33 year old guy whose career average is 34. For perspective ( and old Flame fans like me) at 33 Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald scored 28, and he ended the year as the 3rd line RW behind Hakan Loob and Joey Mullen. His 28 goals were on a team that scored 347 in a season - this years squad would exceed all expectations scoring 247.

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#17 Tach
October 29 2010, 11:47AM
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At least I called Jokinen scoring. Other impressions from last night

-What really concerned me about Karlsson's play was some of the amateurish moves he made. In particular the rec hockey flop and two pad stack move he made twice when players were in the slot makes me think that he is lacking some confidence in his agility. A big goalie like that needs to come out get in the butterfly and use his size, trusting that if the player tries to go to the side he won't get the angle on him. The flop-and-stack is used when you know you won't get him side to side but gamble that he won't get it over you. That move was 50/50 for Karlsson last night.

-I think most Flames losses this year feel like a particular image from last night.

Down by one late in the game, the top line does good work to gain possession and get the puck to Iginla for an open shot in the slot. The best possible chance they could hope for to get a tying goal.

He blasts it high and wide.

Le sigh.

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#18 Kenn
October 29 2010, 11:59AM
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I have been reading through the posts and I enjoy reading the comments.

everton fc post; great post and appreciated reading what you had to say.

Lawrence post; excellent breakdown of the goaltending and you made some really good points on playing the shot and angles especially for the bigger goalies in the league and your thoughts on whether the Flames would have won with Kipper or Karlsson in net.

I like HK and would really like to see this guy become a top flight goalie, there are signs though that HK needs a year two under his belt to learn and grow within the pro game. It was not HK's fault and he is NOT the only reason the Flames lost but he did not seem comfortable last night. The Av's if I recall also hit two or three posts during the game and had clearly beat HK, it was like he did not even see the puck based on his reaction. I think a comfortable size to play goal in the NHL is in that 6' to 6'3ish. It allows you to move well side to side, stretch out when you need to and yet be big enough to cover the net. I am not sold on BIG mean greatness. When Luongo is on his game and he is moving well he is very good but I wonder if his size will work against him as he gets older and he starts to lose a little over time. Does someone like Kipper have the advantage versus someone like Luongo? Does the bigger goalie tend to lose a step quicker than someone who is not as tall and lanky in the net. I don't know the answer but it makes me wonder.

The game is so quick now and I found the Av's to be very quick last night and even though I did not like the Flames losing the game, the Av's were deserving of the win, they out played the Flames in the last half of the game and the Flames had little left to deal with the Av’s when they pushed back.

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#19 Kent Wilson
October 29 2010, 12:07PM
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@PrairieStew

Iggy? yes. Jokinen was never elite in my estimation though. His past results were more circumstance than anything else.

He was probably a better player when he peaked at 27, no question. He was at least dangerous on the PP. But he was never a true driver of results.

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#20 Kent Wilson
October 29 2010, 12:13PM
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@Tach

One thing that is annoying the hell out of me with Iginla right now is his habit of cocking his stick in the air in anticipation of a pass and a one-timer. Not only does that telegraph the play, but it limits his options should the puck get through to him. The result is a lot of forced passes and /r the bad guys anticipating things and getting in the way.

A lot of what goes into generating scoring chances is managing space (ie; finding open ice), which is partially achieved via deception or unpredictability. Standing in the high slot with your stick in the air is a signal that is easily read and anticipated by the defenders. Cut it out, Jarome.

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#21 sam67
October 29 2010, 12:43PM
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It's high time some of these guys who are not "buying in" get benched or even further shipped out! Enough is enough. If you're not with us, your against us.

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#22 everton fc
October 29 2010, 01:19PM
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@Kent

I left out to obvious - weakness at the top-end of the forward roster. But we are currently getting scoring. And winning (barely). Agreed on this point.

As for the Avs backend - agreed. We should have been able to score 8 against Budaj. But we gave up 6, as well. Not all were Karlsson's fault (he could use a stint in the AHL, methinks)

Our depth on defence - Staois... Mikkelson... Pardy... Brodie... Pelech... and so forth... I suppose we have more depth, in terms of bodies... Don't get me wrong, I do get your overall point. Fundamentally, it makes sense. But is our defence as good as Boston's? Florida's?? Right now??? I guess that's my point. We should be better. My sense is we will give up some goals. Hope this makes sense. (Probably doesn't!)

Which leads me back to my final comment - depth at defence should be turned into a top-drawer, top-end forward(s). I guess that's what I want from our blueline. A forward, or two!

And the one name that keeps popping into my head as bait: Bouwmeester.

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#23 PrairieStew
October 29 2010, 01:23PM
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@Kent Wilson

Perhaps Olli was elite for a short period of time - maybe a week or so. His 2 post lockout years were quite good. He must have passed at least briefly through a cloud of greatness to have generated those numbers.

A girl I once knew claimed she was never 105 pounds. I told her that the Intermediate Value Theorum of mathmatics stated that she must have been - if only for a millisecond since she started as a small baby and now was, well, more than 105 pounds ( no I didn't ask). This works well for constant (ly) increasing functions; and not for wildly fluctuating functions such as Olli's play is. What we know for sure he has been everything in between clueless 22 year old 16 point, -22 dough head and aimlessly wandering 31 year old 40 point wannabe #2 centre.

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#24 PrairieStew
October 29 2010, 01:26PM
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Hey sam67 :

http://www.youryoure.com/

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#25 the forgotten man
October 29 2010, 01:28PM
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Let's get down to Brass Tacks...

This is what some 13-14 million in Cap Hit gets you:

Stajan - 6.3% Shooting percentage Iginla - 5.7% Shooting percentage Jokinen - a Whopping 3.2% Shooting percentage

The bad, the bad and the ugly.

If these guys played in the NBA they would have been benched ages ago with these numbers. In any pro sport posssession and finishing is everything - the above numbers sum up a lot about the Flames "top" forwards.

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#26 Kent Wilson
October 29 2010, 01:45PM
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@everton fc

I'd take the Flames blueline over many in the league. Certainly it's better than Florida's. There's no Ducan Keiths on this team, for sure, but there's only one of those guys kicking around.

I agree with your point about turning a blueliner into a top-end forward. That was what I hoped Sutter would do with Phanuef. He didn't though, perhaps because the market wasn't there (Im dubious of the, however) or because he feels the team needed "depth" more than top-end talent.

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#27 R O
October 29 2010, 01:57PM
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That didn't take long.

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#28 PrairieStew
October 29 2010, 02:08PM
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@the forgotten man

On the other hand.

$1.7 m gets you 33% shooting from Tanguay.

For whom do you bench Iginla ? Yes he is not what he used to be; but what he in fact is, is possibly the best offensive 33 year old right winger in the history of the game. I challenge you to find another player in history who has better relative era adjusted numbers than Iggy.

So far Stajan is a point per game. I'd take anything north of 65 of the year for his $3.5 cap hit.

Not going to argue Jokinen, as little as 4 years ago he was shooting 11% and generating 350 shots per year. The last 2 years, 100 shots less and 5 to 6 points lower.

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#29 sam67
October 29 2010, 02:11PM
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Hey PrarieStew... Obviously a type o you knob as it was used correctly the first time. Get a friggen life you english teacher wannabe!

Don't resort to name calling please. - Ed.

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#30 JPK
October 29 2010, 02:20PM
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re: Flame's depth.

I think Calgary is a pretty deep team, both offensively and defensively. Tanguay and Morrison were steals, Jokinen much cheaper than before, all of which helped the Flames buy a bunch of depth. The great thing about deep teams is that one or two lines may under-perform for a few games, but a third line is usually there to back them up. Its like having a well-diversified portfolio versus putting all your eggs in one blue-sky stock. There will be hiccups along the way like last night, but over the long term I'll put my money on Calgary's current lineup over that of a lot of other teams. Iginla and Jokinen will start to kick in at some point... when all cylinders are loaded, this'll be a tough team to play against.

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#31 everton fc
October 29 2010, 03:21PM
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@JPK

You have definitely nailed the reason we are winning games thus far. Just imagine if our first and second lines begin to really click.

That said... we could use a top-flight forward.

@Kent

I would take our defence over most, as well. But we do give up a lot of goals... and I still think our depth is in bodies, not necessarily talent.

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#32 redmile
October 29 2010, 03:27PM
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Good for Conroy's 1,000. Boy, did Sutter look awkward standing there.

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#33 goldbug
October 29 2010, 04:16PM
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I find it interesting that this discussion has turned out into a "we need more top line elite forwards". Lately, scoring hasn't been the problem, and with the depth we have I don't see it being one. I would take 3 good lines over 1 great line. It is easier to key on a few great players. Take last years playoffs, what Montreal ended up doing to Washington(ovechkin semin, backstrom) AND Pittsburg(Malkin, Crosby).

The teams which had the greatest success in the end, were those teams with the depth, not incredible top end talent.

Chicago- its well documented their great depth last season. Toews- 68 points in 76 games. Kane: 88 points in 82 games.

Philadelphia- Carter, 61 points in 74 games, Richards, 62 points in 82 games. Both similar to what Iginla and Bourque put up last year.

Iginla-69 points in 82 games(almost what toews put up) , Bourque- 58 points in 73 games, (along with being a top penalty killer and defensive forward)

Aside from Kane, none were even approaching a point a game(toews being closest).

When it comes playoff time, depth trumps top end skill in my opinion. I would like to see this team find a little chemistry and make the playoffs. That is when the depth will truly pay off.

I'm with JPK, don't put all the eggs into one basket.

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#34 PrairieStew
October 29 2010, 04:57PM
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@sam67

Just a little constructive criticism. Now, about your posting : who would you ship out ? The veterans who have no trade clauses ? The veterans that were just signed in the offseason ? Or the guys that were traded for late last season ? Why is it "high time" to move them ? Because, 10 games in the team is playing .600 hockey and is in danger of missing the playoffs already ? If you benched someone, who would you bring in to take their place ? This is the second oldest team in the league - do you really think that the bad cop approach will really work ?

Please contribute if you have something to say. If you choose to trot out banalities proper punctuation is preferred.

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#35 PrairieStew
October 29 2010, 05:20PM
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@goldbug

I would still be in the camp of obtaining forwards at the expense of defence despite last night's debacle. Sustainable scoring is the issue. No one believes that Morrison is going to continue his point per game pace, nor even Tanguay for that matter. Jokinen is paid like a top 6 forward and still looks lost. Iginla is on the back end of long career and has no one really to pass the torch to - Bourque is good but he is not the future Hall of Famer that Iggy is.

What both Chicago and Philadelphia had were guys whose production did not fall off in the playoffs, and in some cases increased. As good as Bourque and Glencross have been in the regular season, can you remember a playoff game in which either was a contributor ? Backlund was outscored by Brett Sutter in the AHL playoffs last year. Jokinen's only ever played 6 playoff games, Stajan 3. Hagman has 30 playoff games to his credit and only 7 points. There are many ways to improve - more skill - more youth - more playoff performance, but it is difficult to do with the restrictions that are somewhat self imposed such as the no trade clauses and the salary cap issues.

All of the guys you mention on other squads are under 26 - our answers look older.

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#36 44stampede
October 29 2010, 07:57PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

The Flames depth on their blueline is their primary organizaional strength. There's only so much money you can spend on defenders in the NHL and hope to win anything. Here's the back-end of the team that beat us last night:

Hannan-Wilson Liles-Quincey Cumiskey-Holos

Ryan Wilson, who played the most at ES for the AVs last night, was an unsigned free agent out of junior whom the Flames gave away to the Avs to acquire Leopold a couple of years ago. He probably wouldn't even make the top 8 in the Flames organization.

So I'm not sure what more you want on the Flames blueline. They have lots of money invested. They have at least three guys who have spent a majority of their careers playing against tough competition. They have no less than 8 NHL veterans, plus a number of decent prospects. It really doesn't get much better than this.

I've said this before and I'll continue to say it: the Flames true weakness is the top end of the forward roster. Brent Sutter keeps harping on Iginla/Jokinen with the expectation that if they just worked harder or bought in or some other such psychobabble, that the team would indeed be elite. Frankly, the problem as I see it is: they aren't elite players. Meaning, the team is paying steak prices for hamburgers in a lot of cases up front.

The blueline depth is the least of the Flames problems. Getting quality minutes out of the $$ they are spending is important though. Jay Bo is he most glaring to me. He's not bad but not elite as of right now in my eyes. White has also been ho hum. I am glad that Sutter only signed him for 1 year but on the other hand, it makes the Phaneuf trade less palatable. I was hoping White would be that offensive guy on the back end that wasn't also a liability defensively.

As for "owing" Iggy. I am a huge fan of the guy but come on. The guy has been making 7 million a year. I don't think either party owes. Going forward a team has to look at players like assets. If Iggy is a bigger asset on the team (including all the things like bringing people to the rink) and makes the team money as well as better, then keep him. If the team thinks they can acquire better assets for him then figure something out and move on. If they do trade him though, the only way the fans will be okay with it will be if they get a huge return. Another average return for one of our biggest assets could set the franchise back years.

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