Game No. 24: By all means, have a cow

Ryan Lambert
November 29 2010 05:02PM



I'm about to make an overwrought Simpsons analogy.

Well that was a largely unsuccessful trip to the east coast.

Five games, four points, and the team continues to both bleed goals and struggle to score.

I think the most interesting thing about the trip was that it gave us the return of Olli Jokinen, which then gave us what is, perhaps, a new and unmistakable new trend in the Calgary Flames' travails this season. Longtime devotees of the Simpsons will recognize it immediately.

This is the Cone of Ignorance, a 3D mathematical expression of the effects Bart Simpson has on the classmates who sit immediately around him.



As Principal Skinner explains to Marge and Homer, their hellion of a son is not only a terrible student in his own right, but his terribleness is so distracting to those around him that they, in turn, become worse students.

The Cone of Jokinen works in much the same way. No matter what line Olli Jokinen is dropped into the middle of, it immediately becomes the Flames' worst line by far. Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla looked untouchable in the three games for which Jokinen was suspended, but when he came back, they immediately turned into piping hot garbage. Similarly, Hagman and Bourque have looked pretty good at both ends of the ice this year when not saddled with Ol' Pumpkinhead, and the second they are they become ineffective offensively and scramble around their own zone like panicked toddlers.

And when he's put on a line with Glencross and Moss (the vaunted -Oss Line), they not only no longer cycle the puck convincingly, but also get pushed around the boards by even the sissiest of opponents.

Just like Bart's ability to drag a whole class down, so too does Jokinen have this effect on Flames who aren't on his line. As a result of these terrible, terrible shifts, those teammates that are unfortunate enough to come on the ice immediately after him are typically going to be pinned in their own zone and facing a surge of momentum for the opponent. This is all provable fact.

Now, you might be asking yourself, why, if Bart/Jokinen has this effect on his class/linemates, do they not put him in a corner/on the fourth line where he will do the least to hurt those around him? Well, because Mrs. Krabappel/Brent Sutter doesn't seem to be able to do her/his job well enough to recognize the effect Bart/Jokinen has on those around him. Even if there's ample evidence that this is exactly what happens (I'm sure if you did the Corsi stats out on topographically it would look not unlike the above illustration), there's simply nothing they can do. Sure, Principal Skinner/Darryl Sutter can expel him/buy him out, but that will likely create more headaches. Not less.

Like the students and faculty of Springfield Elementary, we're stuck with this problem for awhile.

 

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 marty
November 29 2010, 05:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

less ice time would be a start super nintendo sutter

Avatar
#2 doubledown
November 29 2010, 05:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

So when Kotalik comes back, does this drop jokanen to the 4th line? I sure hope so

Avatar
#3 OilFan
November 29 2010, 06:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Can't beleive you guys want Kotalik in the line up. Wasn't everyone asking for him to go to Europe ?

Avatar
#4 Justin Azevedo
November 29 2010, 06:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
doubledown wrote:

So when Kotalik comes back, does this drop jokanen to the 4th line? I sure hope so

Haha. What leads you to assume Kotalik can provide solutions to any problem? "Hey, Ales, I need my gutters cleaned!" (he then proceeds to use his big body presence and leadership to leave them magically clean)

Like Sutter isn't confused enough about his lines as it is. Besides, Kotalik is a winger. It's not the same as Langkow coming back.

Avatar
#5 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 06:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I have no idea what happens when Kotalik comes back.

Too many samey-quality forwards fighting for the same spots on this club.

Avatar
#6 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 06:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Also, Ryan...good job on the analogy.

Avatar
#7 Rude
November 29 2010, 06:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Lambert,you crack me up dude! But really,Pumpkin head is woeful. I can't even trade the dude on NHL11 and all I want is 5th rounder. Goes to show not even video game GM's are silly enough to pick up this smashed crab

Avatar
#8 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 07:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Also - the fact that Patrick O'Sullivan (ruefully called 'POS' by the end of his tenure in Edmonton - and for good reason) was claimed and immediately put on the Wild's first line says all you need to know about Minny right now.

I wasn't a big fan of Risebrough's work, but the regime change has done absolutely nothing for this franchise. This is a cap-spending organization and they are injecting wash-outs into their top 6.

I know, I know...feels like rocks from glass houses. Still, one wonders if the mutters of dissatisfaction are as loud there as they are here.

Avatar
#9 jbeach403
November 29 2010, 07:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

anybody else having trouble picking up sportsnet 38 or whatever its called?

Avatar
#11 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 07:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I wish I knew why it looks like Bourque is skating in quicksand all the time. He gets caught in the neutral zone all the time now.

Avatar
#12 Justin Azevedo
November 29 2010, 07:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@jbeach403

326 on ShawSD, 302 on ShawHD.

Avatar
#13 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 07:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Good god Cory Sarich. Two shifts and a disaster in both of them. Eric Nystrom just punked him for eff sake.

Avatar
#14 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 07:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

On the bright side, Backlund looks good so far.

Avatar
#15 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 07:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Another snorer to start. At some point, the Flames will have to learn to step on the gas when the puck drops, rather than when they get behind by a couple.

Avatar
#16 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 07:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Well, Flames reeled it in a bit by the end, but still ended up under water. Chances were 7-5. Most of the Flames came from the Backlund line surprisingly. The top 2 lines did nothing, although I felt Moss' line got closer as things went on.

Avatar
#17 Robert Cleave
November 29 2010, 07:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Corsi.

CGY -6, EV Shots 8-6 MIN.

If Mark Giordano doesn't completely snap on Cory Sarich by the end of this evening, he's a very patient man.

Avatar
#18 harry
November 29 2010, 07:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

To move the Simpsons references along: Tonight, Olli Jokinen will star on "People who look like Things!"

Avatar
#19 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 07:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
harry wrote:

To move the Simpsons references along: Tonight, Olli Jokinen will star on "People who look like Things!"

I saw that episode the other day. I hope someone does an Olli .gif of that clip as well.

Avatar
#20 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 07:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Robert Cleave

Oh man has Sarich been bad recently.

Avatar
#21 SmellOfVictory
November 29 2010, 07:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Jokinen looking better on the wing. Nice.

Avatar
#22 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 08:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
SmellOfVictory wrote:

Jokinen looking better on the wing. Nice.

Yeah he did. It's a simpler game, so it should work better for him.

Avatar
#23 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 08:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Nice play by Iginla and Bouwmeester on that one.

Huge gap in coverage by the Wild.

Avatar
#24 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 08:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

And there's a helpful bounce off the backboards. Good stuff.

Avatar
#25 SmellOfVictory
November 29 2010, 08:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Good bounces all over for the Flames. Not to take too much from their play, but the puck is being very kind to them so far, particularly compared to what I'm used to seeing.

Avatar
#26 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 08:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

This one is a pleasant reversal from the first period. Wild aren't even in it.

Avatar
#27 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 08:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I don't think I've ever been this annoyed with Bourque's play since he's been a Flame. He was completely lost on that Zidlicky chance.

Avatar
#28 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 08:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Chances were actually 5-5 in that period, which is kinda hard to believe. Flames mostly controlled play. Things slowed down after they went up by 2 and the Wild's PP chance ironed things out for them a bit.

Avatar
#29 Robert Cleave
November 29 2010, 08:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Corsi.

CGY +10, +16 in the period, with most of the good stuff in the first 10 minutes. EV shots 15-13 CGY, 9-5 in the second. Hagman-Backlund-Jokinen are basically break-even against Koivu's line, which is just fine, all things considered.

Avatar
#30 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 08:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Robert Cleave

Real nice period all around. Flames played well and the Wild just seemed to step off a cliff.

Avatar
#31 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 09:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I like the look of Tanguay and Iginla in this game.

Avatar
#32 Justin Azevedo
November 29 2010, 09:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

I like the look of Tanguay and Iginla in this game.

Nice shift against Koivu's line there, too.

Avatar
#33 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 09:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Flames have a bunch of quality SH chances tonight.

Avatar
#34 SmellOfVictory
November 29 2010, 09:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

That was a pretty terrible non-call

Avatar
#35 Flamin Cannot's
November 29 2010, 09:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Random comment of the night: BRENDAN MIKKELSON wearing # 29 is offensive, that was Joel Otto's #!!!

Avatar
#36 hal a pena
November 29 2010, 09:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

phil mikkelsson is not an nhl caliber defenseman. sutter must owe a favour, thats the only explanation.sarich is god awful. would rather have seen brodie cut his teeth in the nhl than these two and bad chuck.surplus of fourth liners and seventh dmen.guess thats what ya get when you mismanage the cap.

Avatar
#37 Kent Wilson
November 29 2010, 09:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Quality game by the Flames. They looked flat in the first, but pretty much ran things the rest of the time.

Iginla line looked good and so did the Backlund line. Jokinen is better on the wing.

Now they just have to figure out how to get Bourque and Hagman back on the horse. Oh...and the PP still mostly sucks.

Avatar
#38 Justin Azevedo
November 29 2010, 09:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Flamin Cannot's

Raitis Ivanans wearing #41 is offensive. Not because I'm a huge fan of 2007-2008 Dustin Boyd, but because Ivanans wearing any number period for this team is straight up wrong.

Avatar
#39 Robert Cleave
November 29 2010, 09:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Corsi.

CGY +5, -5 in the third. Minny chased a bit until the late penalties, but pretty decent from Calgary. EV shots 22-20 Minny, 9-5 in the 3rd.

Joker looked OK tonight. Simple game, reasonably hard on the puck, and given that his line played against Koivu, not too bad at all.

Avatar
#40 Drad
November 29 2010, 09:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

That may have been why he was okay. Lots of fellow Finns out there to impress. Or at least not totally look lost against.

Avatar
#41 Justin Azevedo
November 29 2010, 09:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
hal a pena wrote:

phil mikkelsson is not an nhl caliber defenseman. sutter must owe a favour, thats the only explanation.sarich is god awful. would rather have seen brodie cut his teeth in the nhl than these two and bad chuck.surplus of fourth liners and seventh dmen.guess thats what ya get when you mismanage the cap.

Mikkelsson is a decent enough #6, which is his role. He's cheap, and better then Staios. Brodie can't be expected to play all 82 games in the 'chell, and Pelech didn't make enough of an impact during training camp to justify a roster spot. Babchuk has been crap, yes.

I suspect that Sarich is hurt. He did miss that game on the roadie, and there wasn't an explanation, was there?

Avatar
#42 dotfras
November 29 2010, 09:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Good game (only caught the last half) from the boys. Minny is brutal though, so I don't know what to really think.

Backlund looks like he is continuing to build up his confidence, fits nice on this team.

Kipper is on a roll as of late.

Avatar
#43 Wanye
November 29 2010, 10:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Ryan Lambert wrote:

apropos of nothing, new bruins D colby cohen on getting traded from colorado to boston: "i had a few cities in mind, but i was praying it wasn’t edmonton."

That's fine. I pray every night that Colby Cohen dies in a plane crash and I was born here in Edmonton. I consider us even.

Comments are closed for this article.