Where to Start?

Pat Steinberg
October 30 2010 02:40AM

 

What a start to the weekend we've had surrounding the Calgary Flames, with so many different discussion topics it's tough to formulate things on all of them.  Friday brang us news about Mark Giordano, Daymond Langkow and the Abbotsford Heat.  Throw that in with the impending return of David Moss, and there's a lot buzzing in Flameland.

The Main Attraction

Calgary Flames' Mark Giordano gets ready to take to the ice before the Flames home opener NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings in Calgary, Alberta October 10, 2010. REUTERS/Todd Korol (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY IMAGES OF THE DAY)
 

The discussion continues regarding the contract extension of defenceman Mark Giordano.  Having taken phone calls all throughout the summer and through ten games this season, it was definitely a topic on the minds of Flames fans.  For good reason, of course.  Here's a guy who has emerged as one of the top players on the team over the last 92 games, and shows no sign of slowing down in terms of his progression.  He put up a season high in points last year, and noticeably grew with more responsibility slided his way.  Even with a not-so-great outing Thursday against the Avalanche, he's been one of the top players for Calgary to start this season.

However, looking at the reported dollar figure ($4.02 million per season), a few things become clear.  First, there's no hometown discount here.  Giordano's camp got right in line with what he'd probably be able to pull on the open market come July, and he puts himself as one of the top paid players on the team when the deal kicks in next season.  No one is saying he's not deserving of the sizeable raise (from a cap hit of $892,000), but there was no scaling back in terms of dollars to stay in Calgary.  Knowing he could have gone elsewhere, and hearing from a few people inside the organization prior, it's clear he wanted to stay in this city.  But he also seemingly got most of what he would have been looking for in unrestricted free agency.

Second, as our good friend walkinvisible pointed out, it's the exact same cap number as Robyn Regehr.  And to steal from her...if that's not a good indication of where he fits in on this team, I don't know what is.  Regehr has been positioned as a "core member" of this team for years, and now Giordano certainly fits the bill of being in that group going forward.

Finally...uh...that's a lot of coin in the Flames back end for next season, as was first pointed out by R O.  In fact, that's $18.32 million tied up in four defenceman when cap hits are calculated for the season after this one.  That number includes Giordano, Regehr, Cory Sarich and Jay Bouwmeester; the only four defencemen under contract for next season.  Things could get quite interesting when  you factor in Ian White's UFA status for the coming summer.  On the bright side...$2.7 million in Steve Staios disappears at the end of the season!

Another Setback

DENVER - NOVEMBER 20:  Daymond Langkow #22 of the Calgary Flames warms up prior to facing the Colorado Avalanche during NHL action at the Pepsi Center on November 20, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Flames defeated the Avalanche 1-0.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
 

When Flames Assistant General Manager Jay Feaster delivered the news Friday regarding Daymond Langkow, it was extremely disappointing.  That news: Langkow had suffered a setback in his recovery from a neck injury and was going to need some rest time, after resuming skating earlier this month.  This is disappointing not only from a hockey standpoint, because it's certainly disappointing in that regard, but also from a personal standpoint.  We reported during the summer Langkow had taken significant steps forward in his recovery and was looking good for a return sooner than anticipated.  That was 100% legit at the time, coming from two well placed people inside the organization, but two seperate steps backward have seemingly derailed that recovery.

It was actually a bit of a surprise on Sunday when Langkow was skating in a yellow no-contact jersey, and certainly good reason for a small amount of excitement regarding his recovery.  Hopefully we see this recovery continue to progress, even with another step back.

At this point, most aren't even concerned about him resuming his career.  It would just be nice to know the guy will be able to be healthy to live an ordinary life with his family.  Obviously we'd all love to see him back in a Flames jersey, and there's no question a healthy Langkow is a huge boost for this team, but let's get the important stuff squared away first before worrying about hockey.

Gathering Moss

EDMONTON, CANADA - FEBRUARY 4:  David Moss #25 of the Calgary Flames skates against the Edmonton Oilers during their NHL game at Rexall Place on February  4, 2008 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  The Oilers defeated the Flames 5-0. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
 

There is some good news on the injury front, as forward David Moss seems poised to return to game action at any point.  He resumed skating with the main group, minus a yellow jersey, on Monday, and has been taking part in full practice ever since.  He has yet to take any real full practice reps with a set line, but it seems like he is getting more and more into the swing of things.  The speculation among the media is that he's probable to make his regular season debut any game now, possibly tonight at home to Washington.

The real question is, where do you slot him in?  Well, that's where there are differing opinions.  Mine?  In a perfect world, I'd put him on the line with Brendan Morrison and Curtis Glencross, and let them wreak havoc against opposing third lines.  I think that could be a deadly combination.  However, it would push Mikael Backlund off that line, leaving him with no suitable place to play.  In my eyes, it's like this for Backlund: Current spot?  Perfect.  Top six forwards?  Not ready.  Fourth line?  Does him no good.  So, if Moss does move into the top nine forwards at some point, I'd very much advocate a return to the American Hockey League for Backlund.

However, I'm not sure the scenario I threw out is going to happen necessarily, at least not right away.  I think there's a possibility Moss starts things in a "fourth line role" as he gets back into the groove, which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.  I just don't think it's the best utilization of Moss in the long run.

Minor Injuries

As in, in the minor leagues.  The Abbotsford Heat have been hit with the injury bug again, after dealing with it all last season, especially later on.  Well, now a number of notable players have been struck with different ailments, ranging from seemingly minor to a little more severe.

In net, Leland Irving tweaked something in his right leg on Monday against Rochester and will sit out this weekend, as Matt Keetley will get both starts between the pipes.  While Irving sits, J.P. Lamoureux has been recalled from the ECHL and will serve as backup.

On the blueline, the Heat will be without Matt Pelech indefinetely with a shoulder injury while John Negrin continues to recover from knee surgery.  It's the second operation on Negrin's knee in 2010, and he'll be gone between two and three months.  Finally, Kris Chucko is out an indefinite period of time after suffering what's being called an "upper body injury", however it's being speculated he's suffered a concussion.

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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 R O
October 30 2010, 09:10AM
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Moss can bump Jokinen off the depth chart.

Someting like:

Tanguay - Conroy - Iginla

Hagman - Stajan - Bourque

Glencross - Morrison - Moss

Meyer - Backlund - Jackman

I don't know that there's a player among these 12 who's worse than Jokinen. And I dislike Backlund, and know nothing about Meyer.

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#2 R O
October 30 2010, 09:16AM
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Giordano was a gross overpay. Among D, he's making the same as Regehr who is a superior dman with history behind him (e.g. 08/09 Regehr was the bedrock of the D, absolutely crushing icetime and he nailed it).

Among F's he's making more than freaking Rene Bourque in less years - Bourque, some will argue, is the team's best healthy forward. And they have a case.

No doubt the team is worse next year because of his contract. The solution to the "other GMs woulda paid him more" problem is to let the other GMs pay him more. The goal is not to be as stupid as the other GMs.

Just ridiculous. Wouldn't have paid him White money to stay. Wouldn't pay White, White money to stay either - let both f'ers walk and spend the money better.

Just remember, in 2 years when he's asked to play Regehr's minutes and looks like a pylon doing it, remember that he was once "the Flames most dependable defenceman". Pfft, what a load of crap.

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#3 Lawrence
October 30 2010, 09:25AM
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@R O

You're kidding right? Why don't you want people to take you seriously?

Anyway, moving onto reality.

Moss should bump out Meyer. Kid has been good for a depth player, but he's a depth player. He brings little more to the table than Moss, with exception the odd fight.

Keep the lines the way they are, swap Moss for Meyer, and roll four. It seems RO thinks Conroy can still be an effective first liner, and Backlund on the fourth line with Joker sitting makes sense??? wtf? So, anyway, with that Moss, Conroy, Jackman should be a damn fine fourth line.

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#4 R O
October 30 2010, 09:27AM
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@Lawrence

Funny you speak about reality Lawrence. You rate Jokinen for chrissakes.

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#5 R O
October 30 2010, 09:29AM
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It's like you haven't watched every goddamn game where he's constantly given up the puck going the other way, ends up a huge sinkhole for icetime and chances to score, and happily gobbles up fan money while being immovably on the roster.

But he's better than Iginla!

Screw that noise.

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#6 R O
October 30 2010, 09:30AM
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And I don't know if you've noticed, by the way the games are unfolding on the ice, but Conroy is still the best healthy centre on this roster.

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#7 Lawrence
October 30 2010, 09:30AM
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@R O

Ok, now you're talking more sensibly. My first reply was about your first comment. I agree that Gio is an overpay, but not drastically. The guy does a good job of moving the puck north a majority of the time.

Gio is half the defender of Reggie - 2 mil Gio is twice the offense of Reggie - 1 mil.

3 million would be good.

White can get lost IMHO, after this year. He's a freaking terrible defender.

Hey, I'll continuously hold it against Gio until he can handle the Bufiglien's and bigger bodies of the NHL. But that doesn't mean he's not worth 3-3.5. 500k overpay doesn't make me lose my lunch.

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#8 R O
October 30 2010, 09:35AM
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Jeez, maybe I was out of line there. I hate Jokinen, I don't see why everyone else is so willing to give him a chance. When was he ever good.

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#9 Lawrence
October 30 2010, 09:40AM
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@R O

Dude, calm down.

Small sample size and all. Jokinen has the best CorsiRelQOC on the WHOLE team.

I'm not using that statement to say he's "better than other top end forwards" or "the best". BUT you have stated he's WORSE than Meyer.

You actually are envisioning a scenario where Meyer brings more to the team than Jokinen.

If you wanna talk smack and try to belittle me, back it up, with some numbers, not with your usual 'write-more-aggressively-and-dismissively' tactic.

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#10 Kent Wilson
October 30 2010, 10:14AM
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I'll interject because I'm somewhere between the both of you. Like RO, I think Jokinen is next to useless and would probably prefer to see him off the roster altogether. It'll never happen though. IM also sypathetic to the Qual comp argument...I mean, Sutter gave Jokinen's line the toughest zones start against the Avs! I know it's probably Bourque who Sutter is thinking about there, but Jesus...he's gotta stop playing Jokinen against the big boys.

RO and I will probably always argue about Giordano though. I rate him, he doesn't. I think we both have valid points. There's underlying numbers that suggest Gio is a really capable player, particularly when one does a WOWY with his various partners last year - he seemed to help everyone he skated with.

On the other hand, he's never faced the big boys consistently and the team has always started him in the offensive end. That's bound to goose his results to some degree. That's the space where the argument takes place - RO thinks he'd get killed in tougher comp. I think he'd hold is own. It's unprovable either way until he acts gets the tougher match-ups.

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#11 VK63
October 30 2010, 10:26AM
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Hey Pat... U hear rumblings of what GlenX and agent are asking for there new contract?

North of Staios money?

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#12 R O
October 30 2010, 10:28AM
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You actually are envisioning a scenario where Meyer brings more to the team than Jokinen.

Yes. And I also believe Meyer (knowing nothing about him except that he's a raw rook, and with very limited viewing) brings nothing to the team.

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#13 Rain Dogs
October 30 2010, 10:31AM
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@Kent Wilson

Fair enough, and probably, I'm seen as guilty of the things I point out in RO's comments as anyone, only from the other end of the spectrum.

I dunno. I just can't help but feeling that sometimes the negativity is reaching hyperbole. Does it no need to be tempered a little?

Sure, there are other 3mil players in the league I would prefer over Joker. BUT, that doesn't mean that he isn't an NHL player. And there is no evidence that I see that he isn't better than Meyer or Jackman, or IMO other players on the team.

His role, his points, his QComp all slot him in as arguably worthy of HIS one-of-12 roster spot on THIS roster, and likely worthy of being 'up' on the depth charts.

You can argue the financial value of Jokinen. But sure as snow in Calgary, there are MUCH, MUCH worse value HOCKEY players (not spokesmen) on the team than Jokinen. I would argue that starts with the Captain.

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#14 R O
October 30 2010, 10:37AM
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At the least, do we all agree that someone other than Jokinen needs to face the other team's best players?

I'd prefer Conroy and obviously nobody else does. Maybe Stajan is your flavor, I personally didn't like the guy last season and in hindsight his goosed numbers from TO must have come in easier icetime. But even I have to admit he's a step up from the big headed dude from Finland.

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#15 Rain Dogs
October 30 2010, 10:39AM
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R O wrote:

You actually are envisioning a scenario where Meyer brings more to the team than Jokinen.

Yes. And I also believe Meyer (knowing nothing about him except that he's a raw rook, and with very limited viewing) brings nothing to the team.

Well, I guess that's your right, but without any kind of numbers, or compelling arguments, there is no point in engaging in conversation about it then.

Especially if it's: Meyer = nothing & Jokinen is less than Meyer

I thought I only had to put up with that kind of reasoning from Canucks fans.

EDIT: YES, I agree, at least, that Joker should NOT be facing the toughs. That doesn't mean he shouldn't be lacing up his skates. AND, I also think he proves more capable of actually attempting to PLAY against the toughs than Iginla. When it gets tough for Iggy, he sulks at the blueline, waiting for a breakaway pass (more often than not anyway).

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#16 R O
October 30 2010, 10:47AM
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Especially if it's: Meyer = nothing & Jokinen is less than Meyer

Relative to replacement level. The notion of "the average freely available injury replacement" is easy enough.

There's guys out there too that have history and yet no contracts. Owen Nolan perhaps? Bill Guerin?

Personally I rate the former some and the latter not at all. The midpoint between those two is probably a good line in the sand for "replacement level". And I think Jokinen is more Guerin than Nolan.

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#17 Kent Wilson
October 30 2010, 10:52AM
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What stuns me about Jokinen this year is how terrible he is with the man advantage as well. I mean, he used to at least be a steady 4 PPP/60 guy which is decent though not elite. But he looks equally lost there when he simply isn't parking his butt in front of the net.

I'd like to see the club try him as a shooting option on the point, but I'm guessing that makes Sutter way too nervous.

On the topic of tough minutes, I've been wondering about it myself. I mean, there just isn't an ideal solution on this club. For now, I might prefer:

Tanguay-Stajan-Bourque (PvP)

Hagman-Conroy-Iginla

Glencross-Backlund/Jokinen-Moss

Jackman-Jokinen/Backlund-Meyer

It'll never happen, because the coaching staff has decided Conroy is a 4th liner at this point in his career. Also, that first line might get crushed if Bourque isn't on the top of his game. Two things I'd like to see though - Jokinen and Iginla not playing the big boys regularly.

EDIT - damn I forgot Morrison. What a mess this is.

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#18 Rain Dogs
October 30 2010, 11:03AM
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@Kent Wilson

It'll never happen, because the coaching staff has decided Conroy is a 4th liner at this point in his career. Also, that first line might get crushed if Bourque isn't on the top of his game. Two things I'd like to see though - Jokinen and Iginla not playing the big boys regularly.

THIS is the problem as I see it. Iginla MAKES Jokinen worse.

I know that sounds like I've been drinking heavily but hear me out.

We can't play Iggy and Joker together. It is what the kids call... an Epic fail.

So, they have to be split.

You can't ....CANNOT... get a complete game out of Iginla if he plays the toughs. So, the toughs get thrown to the next in line. Who's that? Jokinen?

BUT Jokinen CAN, or try to, play against the toughs, but he doesn't do it well, and it isn't his skillset. His skillset is Iggy's...just worse, but Iginla doesn't WANT to work.

So then what? The fourth line against the toughs? NO. The third with Backlund? No.

So we flounder... cause Iggy is a f#(%!^$ lazy piece of S#!t right now, who thinks HE is more important than everyone else. AND that makes everyone else worse, most noticeably Jokinen. AND Jokinen is expected to do what HE CANNOT DO, because Iggy doesn't want to do what he SHOULD do.

Jokinen doesn't bring down Iggy, Iggy's doing it more than good enough for himself.

When Joker becomes one of your likely options to play the other teams best, something is seriously wrong. That's probably not Jokinen's fault, and surely not ONLY his.

Then I hear so often what a piece of shit Jokinen is, for not only trying to do what he shouldn't be asked to do, but also not doing it very well. Well, BIG surprise.

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#19 Kent Wilson
October 30 2010, 11:04AM
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@VK63

At this point the Flames are already running out of dollars for guys. If they see Glencross as a guy with third line ceiling, they won't be going north of 2M. Hell, they can't afford to.

Which is too bad, because the dude runs things when he faces the soft underbelly.

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#20 Kent Wilson
October 30 2010, 11:07AM
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@Rain Dogs

Yeah...the two of them on the same team wasn't as big a conundrum when Langkow and Bourque could skate together against the big boys. But Langkow's gone, so we're left voting for the "less bad" options.

Also, seeing Morrison through the first 10 and completely mindful that percentages have been very kind to him - I'd happily flip Jokinen off the roster and replace him with Morrison. Not just because of the immense cap savings either.

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#21 R O
October 30 2010, 11:10AM
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I haven't seen Iginla do a lazy thing this season until the Colorado game. How many times has he been first on the backcheck? Or deep in the zone to break up the pass from the battling centre or strong-side winger to the weak-side winger or pinching dman?

The problem is equal parts questionable decison making in the O-zone and lack of strength on the puck, and even besides that he was starting to look more like his pre-bad days between games 2-9 this year.

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#22 dave
October 30 2010, 11:11AM
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I agree with Pat, Backlund should be placed in the minors if he's playing on the fourth line, so he can actually get some ice time and develop further.

Here's my ideal lines with Moss in.

Tanguay - Stajan - Iginla Bourque - Jokinen - Hagman Glencross - Morrison - Moss Meyer - Conroy - Jackman

Backlund: Playing first line minutes with the Heat.

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#23 Rain Dogs
October 30 2010, 11:21AM
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We all know that's the problem.

When Brent singles out Jokinen as a good performer last game and says about the "Top players on the team need to be better" therefore excluding Jokinen.

He's talking about Iggy

AND we all see it, and know it.

I have to give Brent credit.

If it were me, I would have had a John Torteralla style nuclear-public-meltdown on Iggy long LONG AGO.

Sutters seem content to try and make it happen. What other choice would ANYone have?

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#24 Kent Wilson
October 30 2010, 11:21AM
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dave wrote:

I agree with Pat, Backlund should be placed in the minors if he's playing on the fourth line, so he can actually get some ice time and develop further.

Here's my ideal lines with Moss in.

Tanguay - Stajan - Iginla Bourque - Jokinen - Hagman Glencross - Morrison - Moss Meyer - Conroy - Jackman

Backlund: Playing first line minutes with the Heat.

I'm guessing that's how things will eventually settle out.

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#25 Rain Dogs
October 30 2010, 11:26AM
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@R O

You know that's not true. We've all talked about it in the game threads, Iggy cheating.

Iggy does play a two-way game sometimes, and then the team rolls, when they all do it.

But hell, McL saved the puck sometimes, that didn't make him good.

It's not consistent with Iginla.

Like Sutter said with the juniors. You don't need a few guys to be great, you need everyone to be good.

It's NOT consistent with the freakin' CAPTAIN, let alone others. It's unacceptable.

The captain should be the LAST player you have problems with. He should be out there, busting his ass to PLAY the system EVERY game.

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#26 ComixZone
October 30 2010, 11:26AM
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I definitely think you're undervaluing the importance of Backlund on that third line.

Moss does NOT have the ability to make plays like Backlund does. He can't pass anywhere close as good as Backlund, he can't shoot as well as Backlund, he's not as smart as Backlund (on the ice).

The current third line works because of the mix of talent and work ethic brought by Glencross/Backlund/Morrison. If you take Backlund off and add in Moss, you subtract a lot of pure offensive ability and tendencies and run into a situation where Moss and Glencross are filling the same role - which then makes the line operate like a grinding 4th line - killing it's effectiveness.

Adding Moss in Meyer's role on the 4th line however, makes us much strong. Meyer has been getting scoring chances on that line, unfortunately he doesn't seem to have the ability to bury them - Moss does. If Moss matches Meyer's work ethic, Moss - Conroy - Jackman could prove to be an even more effective line than Meyer - Conroy - Jackman has been. This is of course dependant on Moss' ability to match Meyer's drive.

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#27 R O
October 30 2010, 11:30AM
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Rain Dogs wrote:

You know that's not true. We've all talked about it in the game threads, Iggy cheating.

Iggy does play a two-way game sometimes, and then the team rolls, when they all do it.

But hell, McL saved the puck sometimes, that didn't make him good.

It's not consistent with Iginla.

Like Sutter said with the juniors. You don't need a few guys to be great, you need everyone to be good.

It's NOT consistent with the freakin' CAPTAIN, let alone others. It's unacceptable.

The captain should be the LAST player you have problems with. He should be out there, busting his ass to PLAY the system EVERY game.

I certainly have not talked about or thought of Iginla cheating at any point this season before the Colorado game. It flat out has not happened.

I remember Kent really hates Iggy's perimeter game and you know what, he's got a point. And I was enamored by his ability to keep the puck in the zone and I know I have a point because it happened.

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#28 R O
October 30 2010, 11:33AM
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Iginla's principle failure over the last two seasons has not been in the defensive zone.

It never is with these clowns. Malkin, Jokinen, Kovalchuk, Lecavalier, and Iginla hopefully only for two years. For all the press they get for being offensive drivers, they are weak as balls in that end of the ice.

It's turnovers, inabilities to keep plays alive, and weakness on puck battles that lead to "defensive weakness" because if you don't have the puck, then the other team does.

That's also why our Dmen looked like a collective sack of garbage last season. Because the F's couldn't or wouldn't drive the puck hard into the zone and keep it there.

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#29 Kent Wilson
October 30 2010, 11:38AM
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ComixZone wrote:

I definitely think you're undervaluing the importance of Backlund on that third line.

Moss does NOT have the ability to make plays like Backlund does. He can't pass anywhere close as good as Backlund, he can't shoot as well as Backlund, he's not as smart as Backlund (on the ice).

The current third line works because of the mix of talent and work ethic brought by Glencross/Backlund/Morrison. If you take Backlund off and add in Moss, you subtract a lot of pure offensive ability and tendencies and run into a situation where Moss and Glencross are filling the same role - which then makes the line operate like a grinding 4th line - killing it's effectiveness.

Adding Moss in Meyer's role on the 4th line however, makes us much strong. Meyer has been getting scoring chances on that line, unfortunately he doesn't seem to have the ability to bury them - Moss does. If Moss matches Meyer's work ethic, Moss - Conroy - Jackman could prove to be an even more effective line than Meyer - Conroy - Jackman has been. This is of course dependant on Moss' ability to match Meyer's drive.

I'm not sold on Backlund yet, although he's been doing more to convince me recently. He's got some hands and vision, but he's got failings in other areas...like most other 21 year old rookies, to be fair. He's not as hard on the puck along the boards as Moss is. He's also more apt to through the puck away when he gets in trouble, although that part of his game has come along recently as well.

I'm not going to complain if either thing happens, frankly. The third line has been running away and hiding most nights even without Moss on it.

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#30 goldbug
October 30 2010, 11:44AM
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Am I the only one who likes a Moss-Conroy-Jackman 4th line? Don't break-up the 3rd line, they are doing great(besides last game, but who was?) Sure maybe moss isn't 4th line material, but the way I look at this team is that its made of 2/3 2nd lines and 1/2 3rd lines. Just play the top line a little less, the 4th line a little more.

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#31 VK63
October 30 2010, 11:51AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

At this point the Flames are already running out of dollars for guys. If they see Glencross as a guy with third line ceiling, they won't be going north of 2M. Hell, they can't afford to.

Which is too bad, because the dude runs things when he faces the soft underbelly.

Well.... weak though my sources are... hes not asking for south of 2M. He actually was asking for 1.8 from the Oil three years ago and got the current deal from Darryl instead of waiting (as klowe offered the brinks truck, penthouse suite and used stripper pole c/w supermodels to Hossa)

I totally agree on the soft underbelly comment..... if he played the Oil 34 games a year hes a first ballot HOFer. Love his game.. a tad too timid in the fisticuffs department for a guy who runs around as much as he does.. but hey... thats classic agitator.

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#32 Rain Dogs
October 30 2010, 11:53AM
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@R O

Huh? I didn't even have to look hard. You got the comments in Game 1 even!

(Slap stick) - Iggy picking cherries already??? seriously?

(Robert Cleave) - I can't imagine that standing around at the far blueline and leaving the middle of the ice open was part of the plan...

Ok, maybe you've never said it, but the idea is there. I sure as heck see it.

The puck carrier should be the first guy out of the zone, not the far side winger.

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#33 Rain Dogs
October 30 2010, 11:53AM
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@goldbug

I totally agree.

Connie and Moss are gold together.

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#34 R O
October 30 2010, 12:03PM
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Rain Dogs wrote:

Huh? I didn't even have to look hard. You got the comments in Game 1 even!

(Slap stick) - Iggy picking cherries already??? seriously?

(Robert Cleave) - I can't imagine that standing around at the far blueline and leaving the middle of the ice open was part of the plan...

Ok, maybe you've never said it, but the idea is there. I sure as heck see it.

The puck carrier should be the first guy out of the zone, not the far side winger.

The puck carrier should be the first guy out of the zone, not the far side winger.

That's just not realistic.

If you are already breaking centre ice while the puck's still in contention or the puck carrier has no space then I'm on board with you.

If the puck carrier's unchecked and past the faceoff circles then I don't why he shouldn't have forward puck support in the form of his fellow forwards being ahead of him! And if the F's ahead of him aren't in passing lanes, then he should just skate it out, because he's unchecked.

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#35 ComixZone
October 30 2010, 01:27PM
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@Kent Wilson

Yeah - but this is how you develop a player. You keep him on the third line and give him some relatively talented, hardworking players to play with. Having Backlund play with Morrison all year I think would be a MASSIVE bonus for his development.

If Moss flat out replaced Backlund in the lineup, then for the first time this season I'll actually be upset at team management. Backlund should play the full year in Calgary - and he should do so on the third line.

Like has been mentioned (CP Radio), Backlund is the only player on this team that could/very likely will be double the player he is now by the time January rolls around. His development is consistent, and impressive in my eyes. He's not perfect, but he's getting better every game. Sending him down to the AHL would do nothing but slow down his development.

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#36 Kent Wilson
October 30 2010, 01:31PM
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@ComixZone

I agree that playing with Morrison and Glencross against other third lines is probably the best place for this kids development. That was true of Boyd as well, but the org refused to run with that ball. I think they like Backlund a lot better and he'll probably get more opportunities, but I guess we'll see.

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#37 R O
October 30 2010, 01:36PM
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Like has been mentioned (CP Radio)

Well that's where you were led astray ComixZone.

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#38 SmellOfVictory
October 30 2010, 02:01PM
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R O wrote:

Iginla's principle failure over the last two seasons has not been in the defensive zone.

It never is with these clowns. Malkin, Jokinen, Kovalchuk, Lecavalier, and Iginla hopefully only for two years. For all the press they get for being offensive drivers, they are weak as balls in that end of the ice.

It's turnovers, inabilities to keep plays alive, and weakness on puck battles that lead to "defensive weakness" because if you don't have the puck, then the other team does.

That's also why our Dmen looked like a collective sack of garbage last season. Because the F's couldn't or wouldn't drive the puck hard into the zone and keep it there.

Couldn't agree more. Iginla used to have the puck on his stick like it was his property. These days he's knocked off it far too easily for a guy his size. I wonder if dropping weight in order to get faster hasn't done him a disservice.

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#39 LawrenceS
October 30 2010, 02:49PM
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@R O

That's just not realistic.

Well, if you're telling me that it's not realistic for good hockey players to consistently do what they practice, then you're correct.

If you think that principle is unrealistic, then you're wrong.

The Red wings are a pretty good team, no? Pretty slick passers.

Well, it's the same drill over and over. D to D, to the centre, and to the winger AT the blue line, so that everyone is supported. The centre is behind the pass, supporting the puck. Or the winger moves off the boards and crosses behind the centre.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwASqCzELT8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a2JxRv1PCk

SURE, sometimes the puck is leaving at the same time as the winger, but it's RARELY good technique to have Iggy or Bourque half way between the blue ling and red line looking back for a pass when the puck is in the zone.

Compare to this, and watch Bourque @ 50 seconds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrZ9oucJrAM

One way is how you win, one is how you lose. One the puck is supported, the other is long, cross-ice prayers, that often end up in your net.

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#40 R O
October 30 2010, 03:04PM
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LawrenceS wrote:

That's just not realistic.

Well, if you're telling me that it's not realistic for good hockey players to consistently do what they practice, then you're correct.

If you think that principle is unrealistic, then you're wrong.

The Red wings are a pretty good team, no? Pretty slick passers.

Well, it's the same drill over and over. D to D, to the centre, and to the winger AT the blue line, so that everyone is supported. The centre is behind the pass, supporting the puck. Or the winger moves off the boards and crosses behind the centre.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwASqCzELT8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a2JxRv1PCk

SURE, sometimes the puck is leaving at the same time as the winger, but it's RARELY good technique to have Iggy or Bourque half way between the blue ling and red line looking back for a pass when the puck is in the zone.

Compare to this, and watch Bourque @ 50 seconds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrZ9oucJrAM

One way is how you win, one is how you lose. One the puck is supported, the other is long, cross-ice prayers, that often end up in your net.

Video two of the red wings: looks like a pretty standard breakout to me, with the puck carrier unchecked of course. Except, in a game, the winger would have already left the zone by the time the puck gets to him. He'd be past the offside dots at game speed, maybe even at centre ice.

Contrast to the Bourque video, where, yes, Bourque was at fault, because Gio was checked. If that puck is controlled by Hagman in the middle of the ice instead (let's say from a pass from the halfboards from Gio had he receovered the puck) then he's unchecked and Bourque can dash past the offside dot no problem.

(In any case I think Gio made the wrong move anyway, Bourque should have adjusted but there never should have been a check. Reverse-with-the-puck is an option there. It happens.)

Look I'm not advocating the Gretzkian (Bure-ish?) cherry-picking breakaway pass. Just as I hope you're not advocating the flying Vee as a breakout technique.

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#41 LawrenceS
October 30 2010, 03:33PM
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@R O

Video two of the red wings: looks like a pretty standard breakout to me

If it's standard, why did you previously say it's unrealistic?

He'd be past the offside dots at game speed, maybe even at centre ice.

No. No he shouldn't be at centre ice unless they are exploiting a breakdown/change. That drill may not be at game speed, but it's a drill for game speed. It's either off the half-boards to the centre at the blue line and through the neutral zone. OR to the centre, and to the winger at the blue-line and through the neutral zone. It breaks the game down into two-on-ones.

I understand there exist more complex options, but the flames don't even get the basics correct half the time.

Just as I hope you're not advocating the flying Vee as a breakout technique.

I think you should watch the videos again, to see if that's what I'm advocating. Watch again, do you see a flying vee?

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#42 R O
October 30 2010, 04:10PM
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If it's standard, why did you previously say it's unrealistic?

... Except, in a game, the winger would have already left the zone by the time the puck gets to him

the guy holds up and turns back because they repeat the breakout drill again. In an ACTUAL game, when they have that kind of open ice, the winger will be out of the zone! Hence, standard!

I think you should watch the videos again, to see if that's what I'm advocating. Watch again, do you see a flying vee?

I don't know what you're advocating. If it's related to those videos, it's the same thing I'm advocating. Maybe you should watch the vidoes again.

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#43 funkyjaman
October 30 2010, 04:28PM
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I'll Try and throw a comment in here between the main event of R.O and Lawrence.

I'm not real big on Moss, never have been. But I do believe the 4th line would look better with him on it then Meyer. I like Meyer, but I think with Mosser size and abilities in front of the net he brings more ups then downs. Once Moss has found his legs again then he can start moving up and hopefully be able to provide that presence that Lanks usually does in front of the net against the tougher crowds. If not then he makes good trade fodder and we can bring Meyer back into the fold.

In my opinion Joker is a good fit right where he is and isn't, and shouldn't, go anywhere. He has been a strong presence on the ice, he does make some stupid passes, but I would rather see attempts then not(leave the puck hogging to Bork)especially now then later. He has been finding his game lately and just needs some confidence to go along with it.

Backlund I am starting to come around to. At first I saw little up side to keeping him around, outside of injuries, past the first ten games. But he is starting to show a bit more confidence out there and is trying to make plays. He gets into the slot much more and has been unfortunate not to pot a few more then he has. I think the third line between BMO and Glenx is the perfect complement for this guy. A young, gritty, fast grinder type who can pot some goals and make some nice plays in Glenny and a veteran like BMO to slow things down and allow Backlund to think more and get into the right spots while he is out there.

As for "Iggy Stardust" I will hold off with commenting until mid November and hope our leader his doing it by example.

Just my opinions, and don't want to start more "Professional Discussions" on the matter.

Back to the main event!!

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#44 walkinvisible
October 30 2010, 10:15PM
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i'm late to the game, here, but wanted to say thanks for the shoutout.

also ? chucko's upper body injury is probably something to do with his teeth. sprained chiclets, perhaps ?

i'm going to hell, yes.

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