Game No. 21: Speak of.. these guys

Ryan Lambert
November 24 2010 03:24PM



Well now I don't know what to think.

So the Devils are pretty goddamn awful. If the Islanders weren't so busy losing 30 in a row, or whatever they're up to now, the Devils would be the worst team in hockey.

Like, they're really bad, and almost every good player on the team is hurt. No Marty Brodeur (though if you want to start having the argument about if he's now officially and finally past it, the line forms to the left, and that crowd's shouts are getting more credible by the day), no Jamie Langenbrunner, no Zach Parise and no Scott Stevens. It's not every day you run across a team with as much star power as the Devils and, upon looking at the standings, realize they have fewer points than the Flames.

But because Brent Sutter is a kind and generous man, and because nothing can ever be easy, Calgary is going to roll a fairly soft lineup in New Jersey tonight as it plays its third game since Sunday. Olli Jokinen is back, and rewarded for his not only his terrible suspension-worthy crosscheck but also his absolutely abysmal play of late by slotting straight into the top line alongside the resurgent Jarome Iginla (6-1-7 in three games since Jokinen stopped being in the lineup) and the also-resurgent-but-certainly-less-so Alex Tanguay (1-5-6 since Jokinen got suspended). This is brilliant stuff, though, unlike when people tell you that you can't make something up, you probably could make this up if you're a masochist or have watched the Flames this year (same thing).

Brent's also giving a Steve Staios-Brendan Mikkelson pairing a chance, likely because he really feels badly that 28 defensemen currently have more points than Ilya Kovalchuk, and he wants to do all he can to rectify that. I know John MacLean's not exactly having the greatest season behind the Devils bench, but the true litmus test of whether or not he should be allowed to continue his job is how many times he uses the last change on an O-zone faceoff to line the Kovalchuk forward group up opposite Staios and Mikkelson. If the answer is less than "all of them," he should be fired on the spot.

And then Henrik Karlsson gets the nod in net tonight. You remember him, right? The guy who gave up seven goals on the last 37 shots he faced? That's the fellow.

It'd be nice to see the Devils finally pull out a W, and I think the Flames are really giving them a chance to d.. what? They just beat Washington by HOW much? Oh hell.

 

686dfac3780611cb7acad6ce5166c6c1
Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
Avatar
#1 T&A4Flames
November 24 2010, 03:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Honestly, if the Flames lose this one, SERIOUS consideration to a rebuild must be made. They said they wouldn't ask Iggy to wave his NTC but if Reggie and others start moving, Iggy may want to move on to a contender as well- I hope he wins a cup somewhere.

Avatar
#2 Red Mile
November 24 2010, 04:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Rebuild. Rebuild. Rebuild. Blow up the team. Blow it up to Oiler proportions and blow it some more.

I'm getting tired of people go on and on about starting from scratch all the time. Do changes need to be made? HELL YES. Do the Sutter's need to be on their way out? YES-clearly things aren't working out anymore. Should El Presidente King be on the way out too? Yeah maybe, not liking how he thinks GM Sutter can't do anything wrong.

Hey I agree there are issues, man. Lots of issues. But to start from square one is a little dumb.

Let's start with #12. True, his 50 goal days may be over but why do people insist they should part ways with a true leader and a capable scorer (yes he had slumped but if he pots in 3 goals tonight, which could certainly happen, he'll be in the top 5 in the NHL in goals). KEEP IGGY.

Keep some of the guys who are willing to put in 100% all the time.

The idea is to make trades, little by little, for younger guys. Develop them. Be much better at the draft, steal Detroit's play book if you have to. The way to fix the team by doing a much better job at managing the details. Get away from the cap ceiling. The smaller moves will add up to success.

All this talk of Iggy for some player who's going to miraculously be the next Stamkos/Tavares isn't as easy to pull off as you think.

I need a scotch.

Avatar
#3 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 05:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

When and if the time comes to rebuild, the Flames probably won't have any other option left anyways and the debate will be moot.

Avatar
#4 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 05:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Interesting to see the match-ups tonight. With Langenbrunner and Parise out, I have no idea who the Devils will mark for the job (Elias and...Zajac?)

Avatar
#5 GermanFlame
November 24 2010, 05:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Good start, First shot, Karlsson gave up no rebound. Lets hope that continues!

Avatar
#6 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 05:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Low event affair through the first 5.

Avatar
#7 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 05:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Talk about a yawner so far. One scoring chance each through 10 minutes.

Avatar
#8 GermanFlame
November 24 2010, 05:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Yeah agreed Kent. Only positive so far is they aren't losing? All I got...

Avatar
#9 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 06:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
GermanFlame wrote:

Yeah agreed Kent. Only positive so far is they aren't losing? All I got...

Neither team has been worth a damn.

Avatar
#10 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 06:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Another complete nothing first period by the Flames.

Avatar
#11 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 06:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Well...the scoring chances end 3-2 in favor of the Devils. That's the lowest event period so far this year I think.

Avatar
#12 Robert Cleave
November 24 2010, 06:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Corsi.

CGY -1, EV shots 6-6. That's as drab a period as I've seen all year.

Avatar
#13 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 06:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Also, this is the first time I've seen Kovalchuk in a while. If that period was representative of his play, he's flat out terrible.

Just brutal decision making.

Avatar
#14 Pat Steinberg
November 24 2010, 06:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Looks like Calgary's going with Moss's line and the Reg-Bo pairing when Kovalchuk is out there, while New Jersey has gone with Clarkson's line against Iginla et al.

Avatar
#15 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 06:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Pat Steinberg wrote:

Looks like Calgary's going with Moss's line and the Reg-Bo pairing when Kovalchuk is out there, while New Jersey has gone with Clarkson's line against Iginla et al.

Sounds about right.

Avatar
#16 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 06:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Ugh. It looks both teams are playing in the swamp.

Avatar
#17 Gange
November 24 2010, 06:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

All I know is that Babchuk is BRUTAL! I can't even pretend he's passable. I don't think he's done anything worth being on an AHL team at this point.

Between him and Staios I'll take Staios, that is how absolutely abysmal he is.

Avatar
#18 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 06:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Gange

Yeah he's a really poor skater.

Avatar
#19 GermanFlame
November 24 2010, 06:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Gange

Once again I agree. How about TJ Brodie right now? I mean doesnt he have a hard shot, is tall, Plays some PP? Isnt he a better skater than Babchuk?

I would way rather see Brodie along side Gio than Babchuk, Only if it would happen...

Avatar
#20 Gange
November 24 2010, 06:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Brodie has WAY more upside than Babchuk

Avatar
#21 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 06:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

haha. It's hilarious no one is even discussing the game right now.

Not that I blame you.

Avatar
#22 GermanFlame
November 24 2010, 07:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Yeah thats pretty much what Im getting at.

I wish Babchuk just stayed in Carolina and the flames called up Brodie to fill the top 4 spot. Yeah sure he would make some mistakes, But his upside would be worth it. Oh yeah about the game? Meh...

Avatar
#23 Robert Cleave
November 24 2010, 07:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Corsi.

CGY +2, +3 in the period. EV shots 13-11 Flames, 7-5 in the second. Stopping Kovy's line is nice, I guess, but they aren't really generating bugger-all themselves.

Avatar
#24 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 07:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Flames won the chance count in that one, 7-3.

Neither team seems to be worth a damn in the offensive zone at ES in this game.

Avatar
#25 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 07:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Robert Cleave wrote:

Corsi.

CGY +2, +3 in the period. EV shots 13-11 Flames, 7-5 in the second. Stopping Kovy's line is nice, I guess, but they aren't really generating bugger-all themselves.

Frankly, I think the Flames a spending too much energy worrying about Kovalchuk. I understand he's a guy that can hurt you under certain circumstances, but damn is he ever a limited player otherwise. I've liked Tedenby more than Kovalchuk tonight.

Avatar
#26 Robert Cleave
November 24 2010, 07:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kent Wilson

Both of these teams are displaying why they're in the spot that they're in. This is as poor a game in terms of entertainment value as the Flames have been part of all year.

Avatar
#27 GermanFlame
November 24 2010, 07:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Robert Cleave wrote:

Corsi.

CGY +2, +3 in the period. EV shots 13-11 Flames, 7-5 in the second. Stopping Kovy's line is nice, I guess, but they aren't really generating bugger-all themselves.

As Regher just hinted at in his interview, moral victories right now for the Flames dont really matter, They need to win, and win now.

Avatar
#28 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 07:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Robert Cleave

No kidding. Skating in mud, limited creativity.

Avatar
#29 Robert Cleave
November 24 2010, 07:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Moss, Glencross, Bourque. That's a nice looking line.

Avatar
#30 harry
November 24 2010, 07:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Alright! Let's salvage this one!

Avatar
#31 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 07:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Robert Cleave wrote:

Moss, Glencross, Bourque. That's a nice looking line.

Indeed. More please.

Avatar
#32 Justin Azevedo
November 24 2010, 07:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

This could not be a more boring game. Only 21 shots? Snooze.

Avatar
#33 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 07:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Phew. Kovalchuk is awful.

Avatar
#34 GermanFlame
November 24 2010, 07:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Alright Flames, Time to take advantage of this, 7 mins left? Time to do it

Avatar
#35 Gange
November 24 2010, 07:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

The Kovalchuk deal makes me laugh. How huge is that albatross now? I'm just SUPER thankful that it wasn't Darryl leveraging the future for the next 12 years with a completely untradeable contract.

And Kent I agree, he's been awful. Tell ya what, he can pay me 1% of his salary to skate around and not get any shots on net :)

Avatar
#36 GermanFlame
November 24 2010, 07:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Guess not, to bad.

On a different note, how about Karlsson today? I can now see why he is in against NJ and not in one of the back to backs... New Jersey is that bad right now, Ugly game.

As hard as it is to say, It looks like 2 bottom feeders going at it tonight. Maybe there just reserving energy for the weekend's back to back? I hope so.

Avatar
#37 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 07:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Flames haven't shut down another team like this all year. I don't know how much its CGY or the Devils just being bad, but NJ doesn't have an ES chance in a looooong time.

Avatar
#38 Justin Azevedo
November 24 2010, 07:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Flames haven't shut down another team like this all year. I don't know how much its CGY or the Devils just being bad, but NJ doesn't have an ES chance in a looooong time.

JBo and Reggie are doing a stellar job. Helps that Staios has the least amount of TOI in the defence.

Avatar
#39 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 07:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@GermanFlame

Yeah, this has been the perfect back-up game. NJ might end up with less than 10 scoring chances total at the end of this. That's as easy as it gets.

Avatar
#40 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 08:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Chances were 6-0 in that one.

The Devils are much worse than I expected.

Avatar
#41 Robert Cleave
November 24 2010, 08:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Corsi.

CGY +4, +2 in the third. EV Shots 17-14 CGY, 4-3 CGY in the period.

Barn-burner.

Avatar
#42 Justin Azevedo
November 24 2010, 08:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

How the hell are Babchuk and Mikkelson -12 and -10?

Avatar
#43 Gange
November 24 2010, 08:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

The discussion around whether you start Karlsson or not because the Flames need the 2 points seemed misguided to me.

You had to start him here because it gives Kipper 3 days off and the devils are terrible. Really terrible.

Avatar
#44 GermanFlame
November 24 2010, 08:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Flames haven't shut down another team like this all year. I don't know how much its CGY or the Devils just being bad, but NJ doesn't have an ES chance in a looooong time.

The most successful forward in shutting down someone has been Olli Jokinen.

Shut down Iginla as well as anyone. I dont think I have seen Iginla be relevant all night. If he scores and wins the game sure, I will eat my words.

Avatar
#45 Justin Azevedo
November 24 2010, 08:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
GermanFlame wrote:

The most successful forward in shutting down someone has been Olli Jokinen.

Shut down Iginla as well as anyone. I dont think I have seen Iginla be relevant all night. If he scores and wins the game sure, I will eat my words.

This is my vote for comment of the week. lulz

Avatar
#46 Gange
November 24 2010, 08:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Karlsson has been decent from what I have seen, hasn't had a ton of work but has made some key saves.

Avatar
#47 GermanFlame
November 24 2010, 08:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Well done HK! Solid OT period, Going into the back to back on the weekend, this point is really important.

Avatar
#48 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 08:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Flames probably should have won in reg, but they were lucky to escape the OT alive.

Avatar
#49 Gange
November 24 2010, 08:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Go figure. Kovalchuk scores after being terrible all game.

This is exactly why I'm not a fan of the shootout.

Avatar
#50 GermanFlame
November 24 2010, 08:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Gange wrote:

Go figure. Kovalchuk scores after being terrible all game.

This is exactly why I'm not a fan of the shootout.

I dont even think Kipper is stopping that shot, Nice goal Kovy, Wishing the flames coulda helped him out.

Comments are closed for this article.