Postgame: Detroit Dances

Pat Steinberg
November 03 2010 10:58PM

Detroit Red Wings Todd Bertuzzi (L) takes a swipe at the puck held by Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Calgary, Alberta, November 3, 2010. REUTERS/Todd Korol (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

It may have been a one goal game, but the Detroit Red Wings had the puck so much on Wednesday night that it was going to be hard for anyone to beat them.  When it all shook down, the Flames fell 2-1 and were unable to convert upon a late opportunity with a four minute powerplay handed to Detroit.

What Happened

Once again, the Flames opened the scoring in a rather disjointed, but a rather even first period.  Mark Giordano scored his first of the season at 15:58 of the opening frame, thanks to a 4-on-3 powerplay.  Iginla and Tanguay drew assists as Calgary opened the scoring for the ninth time this season.  It was a weird period, with a ton of penalties called on both teams, but shots finished 12-6 in favor of Detroit.

The second period belonged to the Wings, and they scored both their goals in that middle frame.  1:54 into the second, Mike Modano ripped one past Miikka Kiprusoff from Dan Cleary and Brad Stuart to tie things up, before Justin Abdelkader took advantage of a bad Calgary change to give Detroit the only lead they'd need at 12:05.  The Wings dominated possession throughout the middle frame, yet in a statistical blip, they were outchanced 5-3 by the Flames.  Kent made a good point in the game thread though, as the Wings had the best chance of the period, and sat back a little after they took their lead.

The third period, once again, belonged to Detroit, as they were stifling and very strong with the puck once again.  Kiprusoff had to make a few key saves to keep this game within reach, as the Wings held the chance advantage at 7-5.  However, even though Calgary was having difficult time getting the puck from the clutches of the visitors, they still were given a golden opportunity to tie things up.  That chance came in the form of a Ruslan Salei double minor for high sticking at 12:55, and were unable to get anything from it.  They had one good scoring chance early, and from there, it was very vanilla...the game ended 2-1 in favor of the Wings.

One Good Reason...

....why Calgary lost?  Because they just didn't have the puck enough.  The final 40 minutes of this hockey game were controlled by the Red Wings, who frustrated the Flames and played a very strong road game.  It wasn't necessarily a bad game from the Flames, as they had spans where they looked all right, and were able to keep it within one once they fell down.  But because Detroit was so strong in their possession game, it was going to be extremely difficult to claw back into the game.  Add in a failed four minute powerplay late, and you're probably not going to win.

Red Warrior

EDMONTON, CANADA - OCTOBER 16: Calgary Flames center Craig Conroy  takes a break during a stoppage against the Edmonton Oilers at the Scotiabank Saddledome on October 16, 2010 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Flames beat the Oilers 5-3. (Photo by Dylan Lynch/Getty Images)
 

This one was tough, because everybody seemed to look similar out there, especially as the game played into Detroit's hands.  But I'll go with Craig Conroy, who finished above water in ES chances, was clipping at 60% in the faceoff dot (9/15), and finished with 11:14 of ice time.  His 9:03 at even strength?  Just slightly lower than the 9:24 that Jarome Iginla played at even strength.

Sum It Up

It just wasn't as good an effort as you'd need to play a good Red Wings team, and a Detroit team that played a very strong road team.  The matchups continued as they have for the last little while, with Olli Jokinen's unit playing against the top opposition line...in this case, the Datsyuk group.  Overall it wasn't too bad for them, considering the opposition.  But Head Coach Brent Sutter really tried to baby the matchups for the top offensive unit off the hop...with Jarome Iginla's line giving some pretty plum assignments, really, to no avail.  Stajan wasn't great, Iginla took a bad penalty and wasn't effective, and Tanguay wasn't really on his game either.  Stajan especially had a bad game, outchanced 6-1 in only 7:41 of even strength time.  Minnesota is up next, on Friday night.

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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 nwr
November 04 2010, 12:23AM
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Great postgame show tonight Pat. As fans we deserve our right to vent and explain our frustrations with the team which we help pay their salaries. Your show and this site gives fans that chance, without getting critized with ridiculous terms such as "bandwagon jumpers"

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#2 GermanFlame
November 04 2010, 12:46AM
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Just a question to throw out there to you Pat (And everyone else).

What Do people truly think right now any GM in the league would be willing to give up for Jarome Iginla? Like what value does he have at this point in time?

IMO, I dont think we would be getting that much, at this point he has been declining in his goals per season. The only viable argument Darryl would have is Iginla isnt playing with any other #1 people and thats why he hasnt scored as much lately (Even though Darryl would never admit that, Cause he is right... All the time).

After watching Crosby fight today, and people talking about he is getting 'frustrated' about his team and people speculating that he is getting frustrated about the players he gets to play with. Someone pointed out that the Penguins have 21+ mil down the center. What about a Jarome Iginla for Jordan Staal straight up? Crosby gets a #1 winger (In my eyes still) and calgary gets that center piece we can build around like many other teams.

All in all I guess the question is do you guys think Pittsburgh would even consider something like that?

Just my train of thought this evening, Keep up the great work Pat!

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#5 CitizenFlame
November 04 2010, 02:04AM
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I listened to Overtime tonight Pat and I get a head ache listening to all of the nonesense! I take my hat off to you, sir.

I know people are frustrated with Iggy (me too, who wouldn't like to see him play better and have 10 goals already?) but I wish people would get off the trade Iginla kick. Also, the trade player x for player y isn't realistic as 10-12 players have NTC's or NMC's. Beyond that, I don't feel the Phaneuf trade was good value, and I actually think that the Flames are worst off for it (but I'm not sad to see him gone). Any trade now to me would be a similar move; a knee jerk reaction to the team playing sub-par, and would be trying to treat the symptoms instead of the root cause. We're 12 games into the season and the real problem of the team is inconsistency. A trade isn't going to fix that. People need to be realistic and see that the problem needs to be fixed in the dressing room with the current roster. People don't like it, but that's the way it is.

Sutter has painted this team into a corner, where they are cap-maxed, can't move players because of the amount of NTC's and bloated contracts, and can't fire the coaches because he has already done that twice in the last 4 years and if anything the lack of coaching stability has set the team back - with the Keenan years essentially being lost years entirely. The only way to rebuild identity and institute a system is through consistent coaching and management.

I remember Kent saying that the Flames would probably be happy to get out of the first month .500%. Well essentially that is where we are. Unfortunately they are in this position not because they are less skilled than other teams, but because they just don't know how to play consistent hockey for 60 minutes game in and game out.

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#6 CitizenFlame
November 04 2010, 02:07AM
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I think that Pittsburgh would probably trade Malkin before they traded Staal. Either way, they have 3 really good centremen who might all be #1's on another team. Who else in the league can boast that. Pittsburgh would be insane to make a trade for any of them imo.

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#7 44stampede
November 04 2010, 04:11AM
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J Staal reminds me of a young Langkow. Not going to score 100 points but very good against good competition. Pitts is a different team without him on there.

If we could get him for Iggy (and Iggy agreed to waive his NTC), DS would be crazy not to do it.

I don't believe this to be a reality. Shero is pretty smart and realizes what he has. They are not in a position to have to "win now!!" as we are so even if they need to wait it out another year to get a piece or two, they probably will.

I would trade Malkin before Staal. He would be worth more on the market but less to the team depending on what you get for him of course.

Don't know what to make of the Flames though. Can't see much of anything spectacular happening. I am doing my best to curb any expectations from this group. I believe they are worse than their record shows...which is scary.

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#8 CA Flames Fan
November 04 2010, 06:37AM
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So I'll throw this our to the esteemed voices of the nation. Yes it's still early, less than 20 games into this season, but the sheen is long gone. The longer this lazy, steaky, frustrating game execution goes on for the harder it will be for Calgary to catch up.

So when would the organization make a coaching change? What is B Sutter's grace period for this season? Has B Sutter lost the locker room, but then again did he ever have the room?

We all know the recent lineage...D Sutter, Playfair, Keenan and now B Sutter. If a coaching change was made say by Christmas, or the New Year who would want to come to this team to coach this group? Add into the mix the oh so sunny disposition and innovativeness of the present GM and President.

I wonder if the potential coaches out there (no clue where to even start to think of a viable and practical replacement) in and outside the NHL look at the present roster of Flames and sees that this could be a group of players that are perceived as coach killers.

If a coaching change was made through the year what signal does that send to us? New path and new direction? Desperation? The ole white flag?

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#9 SmellOfVictory
November 04 2010, 07:09AM
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@GermanFlame

It would make more sense for them to trade away Malkin than Staal. Regardless, Iggy likely won't, and shouldn't, be traded.

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#10 Kent Wilson
November 04 2010, 07:55AM
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@CA Flames Fan

I don't think the coach is the problem.

The Flames don't have the horses to be a top-flight club. At some point in the year, they'll go on a run I've no doubt. And later, they will hit a losing streak. It will mostly balance out in the end, as it does for all middle class teams in the league.

The "we could be elite if we weren't so inconsistent!" lament is the same one for all clubs ranked 4th through 9th in each conference.

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#11 Flipnip
November 04 2010, 08:07AM
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I can't say I agree with trading Iginla but that being said, he is a big salary on the books. I keep hearing that we should trade him for Staal or Malkin but why would Pittsburgh give up top end young talent for an aging superstar? No trade is going to happen anytime soon with Iggy as the only time someone might give up anything of value will be at the trade deadline.

I have always supported Darryl Sutter even when he was in SJ but I heard someone say recently that the Sutter's burn out their players. They get the most out of them for a few years but the constant pressure burns them out. This seems to ring true for me as we see Iggy doing just that. I don't believe that Iggy doesn't care, I don't even believe that he is too old to be a point a game player still. I think he looks like a guy who has been under the same berating boss for so long that he no longer being creative like he once was. We see him constantly standing in one place to try and setup for the one-time slapshot which never comes because he is too easy to cover that way. He is tentative with the puck and looks like a rookie afraid to make a mistake. I think Morrison is right and we need more fun on this team. If we don't fix the team philosophy, I think we will be in for a long season.

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#12 Monaertchi
November 04 2010, 08:31AM
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@CitizenFlame

Inconsistency is not a root cause of anything. It is one of the symptoms. Inconsistency is caused by either the players or the coaches. They've been inconsistent since Darryl took over as GM. 4 coaches and still inconsistent. It is therefore the players that are causing the inconsistency. The "players" are not necessarily the root cause either. It must also be asked why they are playing inconsistently. Is it bad chemistry, lack of desire, lack of leadership? I don't know.

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#13 PrairieStew
November 04 2010, 09:14AM
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44stampede wrote:

J Staal reminds me of a young Langkow. Not going to score 100 points but very good against good competition. Pitts is a different team without him on there.

If we could get him for Iggy (and Iggy agreed to waive his NTC), DS would be crazy not to do it.

I don't believe this to be a reality. Shero is pretty smart and realizes what he has. They are not in a position to have to "win now!!" as we are so even if they need to wait it out another year to get a piece or two, they probably will.

I would trade Malkin before Staal. He would be worth more on the market but less to the team depending on what you get for him of course.

Don't know what to make of the Flames though. Can't see much of anything spectacular happening. I am doing my best to curb any expectations from this group. I believe they are worse than their record shows...which is scary.

I assume you mean that Jordan Staal is as defensively responsible as Langkow - and I would concur, but I believe that Staal will be a far better player than Langkow has been. Staal in 6'4" and 220, Langks is 5'10" and 185. Staal played as an 18 and 19 year old, beating Langkow by 2 whole years to the NHL. Staal has 168 points in his first 4 seasons, Langkow had 133 in his first four seasons. Trading for him would be nice but I don't think its going to happen.

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#14 PrairieStew
November 04 2010, 09:17AM
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@kent

I know my argument has been that the horses are too old - and there are not enough quality colts in the stable. It is kind of hard to argue that point when, as the second oldest team in the league, you are defeated by the oldest one. It makes you wonder, how can we get some of the oats that Babcock is feeding his boys.

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#15 jr_christ
November 04 2010, 09:28AM
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What happened?

Be realistic. The Red Wings are a WAY better team than the Flames. The fact they only lost 2-1 is a gift to them.

The Flames are contending for 8th place. They are done and need to start thinking re-build rather than bringing back players who have openly said they hate the organization. I love how Iginla said there is no poison in the room. Did he even bother to look at TanGAY and Joke-inen?

Trade Iginla. That's the only option we have. He's an embarrassment to the team and that fight he tried to start was equally embarrassing. Stuart would have laid his ass to rest.

As for Bullwinkle (Bowmeester), step it up. You're contract is more embarrassing that Horcoff's. We made fun of Edmonton for Horc's contract and look at us.

(1) White for $3 million and Eberle undresses him for one of the nicest first goals ever (2) Bowmeester for $7 million and he is on track for 25 points? (3) Giordano for $4 million and he is worse than Tom Gilbert on the Oilers. People were comparing him to Gilbert here the other day. In the same number of games played in the NHL Gilbert has outscored him 2:1 and he is playing on the worst NHL team!!

Wake up Sutters. You're destroyed this team. I never liked the Flames - but now I just feel sorry for your dumb asses.

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#16 Tach
November 04 2010, 09:32AM
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I just no longer think this can be blamed on the players. The construction of this team is just wrong, Sutter's plan is not one that will lead to success in this NHL.

Calgary now has six defenceman on a big cap hit contract if you count Giordano's for next year. Bouwmeester, Regehr, Giordano, White, Sarich, Staios. That's $20 million for six defenders, including a $7 million presumptive third pair in Sarich-Staios. Next year we are at $17 million for four defenders, so basically a miniumum of $19 million on defence.

If you add in Kiprusoff that is another $5.7 million dedicated to keeping the puck out of the net. So for this year and next year we have a minimum of $25 million mostly spent to simply stop the other team from scoring. That means some nights the Flames have to win these 2-1 type of games. In order for the Flames to win consistently, Kiprusoff has to outplay a goalie essentially on an ELC like Howard.

Whether it is because Sutter's theory of loading up the back end is faulty, or he has simply not identified the correct personnel to make that system work, the fault here falls squarely on Darryl Sutter. If he is going to make a change it has to be to reallocate cap space from the back end to the forward group. I thought he learned that lesson last year when he traded Phaneuf, and then he traded for Staios and signed White for 3 million. You know what $5.7 million buys you in the forward ranks? I would put it at around a 30 goal scorer. (Getzlaf and Perry's cap hits are under this number, as is Dustin Penner, Tomas Plekanec. So is Marian Hossa, but cap shenanigans etc. etc.)

I know Iginla has not looked the best out there, but frankly his supporting cast has markedly gotten worse over the past two years. His best post-lockout years were with Tanguay in his prime and Cammalleri at his best. He is now working with Matt Stajan and a past his prime Tanguay, mostly because Darryl Sutter has decided to allocate a very high proportion of his cap space to the back end.

The defence has to be better or it needs to be blown up. Trading Iginla will solve nothing.

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#17 everton fc
November 04 2010, 09:38AM
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What is obvious - at least to me - is the leadership on this team - the coaching staff, that is - has no clue how to get consistency out of this group of professionals.

CitizenFlame is spot-on: Inconsistency is not a symptom. It’s a result of a symptom, or series of symptoms...

Kent is right, in one sense: We have no elite player(s). No game-changers. A few years ago, Iggy would have tied last evening’s affair. Those days have gone the way of the old Northland Dome Hockey Helmet (which I miss as much as the Jarome-of-old)

Why do we lack elite players?

Good coaches get the most out of their rosters. Do the Kings really have an elite player up front? Kopitar is stellar at times... but elite? And look at what they are getting out of Justin Williams. Why? Granted Quick is playing unreal at the moment, but is their roster superior to ours?? (And we all know Murray has the personality to pulverize player confidence...)

Look at the Blues roster... Is Boyes an elite forward?? This Davis Payne fellow is doing quite the job in St. Louis. Ditto Joe Sacco. And look at what Dave Tippett did in the desert wastelands of Phoenix last season.

Why hasn't that happened here?

We have moved bodies (and coaches) for years... No significant changes on the ice. Inconsistency remains, as core-players age...

We don't draft well enough, but that's been beaten to death here. Often. But why? We are old and slow. But why?? I think the answers to these questions are the dying roots this franchise must somehow revive. Or let die, and re-seed.

Could the solution be a young coach like Payne in St. Louis? Or an old dog like Murray in L.A., who always seems to get a lot out of his players... A complete housecleaning, top-to-bottom? Probably not possible at this stage of the season. But going forward?

I have always liked the Sutters. Always will.

But...

I think Playfair had the potential to be like Sacco and Payne. Just my opinion, of course. But he wasn't given the time. Nor the chance. Could Playfair be a great NHL coach under this, or any GM? Would he be able to bring some spunk and fun back into the dressing room that would flow-out onto the ice?

I wonder...

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#18 Rain Dogs
November 04 2010, 09:51AM
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The idea that the construction of this team is wrong, might be an accurate sentiment NOW, but one thing to seriously consider is this:

How many people in THIS forum would NOT have signed Iginla to his current contract?

If you're honest, I'm guessing NONE.

Probably the same can be said for Kipper, BACK THEN.

Reggie is full value. Langkow, a good player. RBQ...that acquisition is brilliant.

Darryl Sutter has done a lot of things right.

What he couldn't predict was that Langkow would have a serious career-threatening injury.

Iginla would suddenly fall off a cliff and Kipper would have a significant one year dip along the way.

That is the core, love it or leave it.

His hands are tied now. He's got to add to that, yes...

Swap Joker for a lot of other available 3 million dollar players... AND

is it different? doubtful.

The core is the problem. We're not getting value out of that core we ALL wanted.

Reggie's holding his own. Kipper is still elite range, Lanks is hurt, and Iggy is off.

I would have built this 'core' JUST the same way as Sutter.

Sutter is a GM, not a prophet.

There are only x number of available players to sign and trade partners to COMPLIMENT the core. If the core is OFF now...wtf? What do you do?

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#19 Gange
November 04 2010, 09:55AM
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With all the trade Iggy, don't trade Iggy talk, my thought is that the true problem is the Flames are a solidly middling team. The current path doesn't lead to anything more than more middling results as far as I can see.

Really who cares about this season if there's not a real chance of competing for a championship? This team, I believe, cannot win a seven game series against a Detroit, Washington, or (sadly) a Vancouver.

The real sad thing, for me, is that there's another middle first round pick to spend on some hopefully good talent.

Really I say, either win or lose. Just PLEASE don't be average anymore.

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#20 Kenn
November 04 2010, 10:15AM
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@Kent Wilson

I could not agree more, this is what I have been saying since the start, even last year and the year before. This story line has been played and tried over and over since our amazing unexpected run in 2004. The core of this team is not right or just is not good enough. What Brent Sutter is trying to drill into this team is that they need to be more consistent at both end and the have to avoid the mental break downs. As a collective group, they just don't get it.

Detroit played (toyed) with us last night, there puck possession was incredible and they made us look bad on numerous occasions last night. If Kipper had an off night last night we would have been blown out again as per the Washington game.

It is still early but I have to fully agree with Kent, this team does not have the horses, they are a middle of a pack team that will have spurts this year where they get hot and we as fans will get intrigued and then they will get cold again and come back to normalcy. We as fans keep hoping and wanting to believe this team will turn the corner. We must look at the facts of this team and its record over the last 4 years, a good team BUT not a great team or an elite team.

I am all for hanging in there until February/March but if Darryl and Jay sit on their thumbs and do not make trades that will help replenish the system for the future of this team. I will be very disappointed in the whole Flames organization from the owners down. To accept where we are at and what we have in 4 to 5 months from now, it is poor business and apathetic in my opinion.

I don't know if this would have any merit or make any sense because he is a Sutter but I would like to see Brent become the GM add an assistant GM whether it be Jay, Kisio etc. Make Dave Lowry the coach and let him pick his assistants. I feel we have some very good talent behind the bench, good hockey minds. I don't believe they should be thrown under the bus but I do feel it is time for Darryl to be replaced. We have tried it Darryl's way for the last 7 or 8 years and it is just not working and our window with the core is quickly closing on the team.

I am a believer if we are not a playoff team or if we do not become an elite team by the trade deadline we need to start making trades with the core thinking ahead and building around what we have outside the core. Some good young talent and draft picks will be just fine because I am getting tired of the same story day in day out since out Cup run in 2004.

I would not hesitate when February/March rolls around and if the team is not churning and in the playoffs NOT in the hunt because Darryl makes very questionable trades when we are close or HE thinks the team might squeak into the 8th spot. It will be time to then move Iggy, Kipper and one or two core defenseman. These players will waive their NTC because as you see it most of the time they will want to move on and have a shot at the playoffs somewhere else. By then Jarome and the others will be itching to get out and move on to a playoff team or a contender. They will want a shot at winning Lord Stanley.

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#21 everton fc
November 04 2010, 10:20AM
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@Lawrence

Trading the core does nothing.

Agreed.

Everyone would have given Iggy his current contract at the time it was presented.

Agreed.

Regehr is still a steal at $4mill, in my opinion.

And I don't think the issue is the GM.

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#22 Monaertchi
November 04 2010, 10:24AM
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@Rain Dogs

This is probably the best assessment of the current sitch as I have seen. I think I agree with everything in your comment.

Darryl has done a lot of things right. He's also done a lot of things wrong.

True, he couldn't have predicted Langkow's injury. But LTIR should allow the Flames to replace him (on the roster, not in our hearts) with a player of equal or lesser contract value. What is he being replaced with, now that it appears that he will miss the season? Nothing, because Darryl instead chose to add 2nd, 3rd, and 4th line players to overfill the roster. Will Darryl be able to replace Langkow in the line up this year or next? No, not without trading players who have NTC's or NMC's.

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#23 Kent Wilson
November 04 2010, 10:33AM
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@Rain Dogs

I would have signed Iginla to his current deal. I also would have dealt him this summer.

Sutter has done some things right for sure, but he's also got bad money everywhere on this roster (something that has been true probably for 3 straight seasons at least). 2.7M in cap space for popcorn munching Steve Staios. I wouldn't have signed Jokinen at his deal with what was available in the summer. He could have been replaced at half his price. Cory Sarich is making too much for his role and should have dealt two years ago. Then there's 3M in needless Kotalik sitting on this clubs budget like the bloated corpse of a beached whale.

Sutter has gotten things right enough that the Flames haven't suffered the indignity of being roundly terrible like our neighbors up north. he's also gotten enough things wrong that the Flames never took the next step. Now the core has mostly drifted past it's best before date.

And here we are.

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#24 CitizenFlame
November 04 2010, 10:38AM
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Monaertchi wrote:

Inconsistency is not a root cause of anything. It is one of the symptoms. Inconsistency is caused by either the players or the coaches. They've been inconsistent since Darryl took over as GM. 4 coaches and still inconsistent. It is therefore the players that are causing the inconsistency. The "players" are not necessarily the root cause either. It must also be asked why they are playing inconsistently. Is it bad chemistry, lack of desire, lack of leadership? I don't know.

Those are fair comments. I am not involved with the team and have no way of knowing what is going on in the dressing room. I'm tired of speculating, I wish someone with the team would just come out and say what the hell is going on with the team.

My point was that with the type of contracts and NTC's it will be extremely difficult to move players that will have an impact on the outcome of this club. They brought in how many new faces since the Phaneuf trade - 6? So how many players do we need to move to correct the situation? And as has been pointed out numerous times firing the coach has been done over and over.

This team, the current roster and the coaches need to figure this out, because at this time there isn't any other option.

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#25 Kenn
November 04 2010, 11:03AM
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Langkow if healthy would not be providing any more wins than we have now. He is a solid two way player but I do not believe that a healthy Langkow would be the difference from an inconsistent Flames team and an elite team.

At this stage of the season (still early), the chemistry is just not there and the mental breakdowns are too many and too often throughout a game.

This is not about Iggy's contract or Regehr's contract. This is whether you keep hoping for the core to come around one year and buy into the system. We have to stop protecting and accepting status quo. What good does this do if you do this. Take your assets (the core) and dabble in the market come February/March. At some point you have to start looking at replenishing, Darryl has used a lot of the draft picks in his trades, if we are not going to be a contender this year or next. Move Iggy and Kipper and maybe a couple other players and bring in some youth and get some draft picks in return. This way you are not starting from scratch because you waited too long and kept all your assets too long. I like where the Oilers are going to be in the next two to three years. I don't like where the Flames could be in the next 1 to 4 years if our management sit on their hands and do nothing. Darryl has done lots but he has made some deals that are just head scratching deals, Darryl has also signed some solid (fair) contracts and he has also dished out too much money in some other deals. I also agree though that he has done some good things for the team. I am fine if Darryl stays but don't stand pat because the core is Darryl's core, therefore, he will be too stubborn to move any of his price possessions because the core is his. This is the wrong approach and I also do not feel firing Brent and bringing in another coach is the answer either. What message does this send to the players again. You can't get rid of us but you can fire the coach!!

Change can be good for a team and there is nothing wrong with looking at moving some of your core players if it is just not working out the way you had planned. It is also offering fresh starts to players which can be rejuvenating for them and bring back some enthusiasm into their veins.

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#26 everton fc
November 04 2010, 11:35AM
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@Kenn

Good post... Though I do still wonder if the type of coach/staff is part of the problem here.

And I wouldn't move Kipper. He simply needs a solid, experienced backup so he can age gracefully. Like Broudeur.

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#27 Tach
November 04 2010, 12:02PM
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@Rain Dogs

Lawrence, given the format of the thread I don't know if you were specifically replying to me but as you echoed the "construction of the team wording" I think you were.

Frankly, I don't think we disagree. I have no problem with the "core" as you have described them. Frankly, I would take Jokinen at $3 million.

But, if you make the decision to spend $5.7 million per season on a goalie, who can only keep pucks out of the net, a GM has to recognize that part of those resources has then to be allocated to players who can put pucks in the net. Don't drop another $12.5 million (Bouwmeester, Staios, White) on players whose primary function is also keeping pucks out of the net. This goes doubly so when you are already spending $7.6 million on two other guys who can only keep pucks out of the net (Regehr, Sarich).

A GM must recognize that no matter how good his goalie or his defence is they will get scored on about 2 times per game (the league leader in GA/G since the lockout has been above 2 GA/G every time). If he wants to win, he needs to allocate resources to players who will put the puck in the net more than 2 times per game, on average.

There are only 60 minutes of ice time per game so you can't just have a bunch of guys at $1 or $2 million a pop who each will score sometimes. You need a couple of elite talents who will also score on the other end. As near as I can tell, we have 1 guy that, when he was signed, might have been expected to produce at that level. Maybe 2 if you count Langkow.

It is a logical failure to recognize the fact that no matter how good your goalie or defence is, you still need players that are able to score goals to win.

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#28 Graham
November 04 2010, 12:35PM
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everton fc wrote:

@Lawrence

Trading the core does nothing.

Agreed.

Everyone would have given Iggy his current contract at the time it was presented.

Agreed.

Regehr is still a steal at $4mill, in my opinion.

And I don't think the issue is the GM.

Detroit has the same salary cap as Calgary, but they are constantly an elite team, whereas Calgary is constantly a middle of the road team. Detroit has a quality organization with experienced (and talented) people, they understand the impact a quality organization has on team results. From what I've seen, Calgary has tried to do things on the cheap.

Ultimately, responsibility lands on the GM desk. I've liked some of what Sutter has done, and disliked some, but who can honestly say this team is on the right track? We are getting older, slower, we no longer have any impact forwards, impact d men, any elite prospects, or a team willing to compete hard to win...

Like him or love him, the responsibility belongs to Sutter and to Sutter alone. If this team turns around and competes, Sutter takes the credit, if this team continues to struggle, Sutter needs to fall on his sword....

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#29 jr_christ
November 04 2010, 12:49PM
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The beauty of the situation the Flames are in?

12 NMC or NTC...

Good luck re-building now, Sutter.

Wait!! Does Sutter have a No fire clause?

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#30 Resolute
November 04 2010, 01:03PM
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Ugh... just a general response to several comments about "the core".

In short: IT IS NOT 2005 ANYMORE

"The Core" is an evolving thing. It is not Iginla, Kipper, Regehr and Langkow with no changes. The core is the guys the team builds its identity around. The guys who are looked upon to be long term pieces, and consequently often take on leadership roles.

Dion Phaneuf was a core player. Jay Bouwmeester *is* a core player. As is Bourque. Giordano is developing into one, while Langkow can be removed since his career is over.

People love Borque and Giordano, with good reason in both cases, so they are loathe to group them with players they either hate, or think are too old. But when one chooses to criticize "the core", they are going after these players as well, whether they realize it or not.

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#31 PrairieStew
November 04 2010, 01:44PM
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Resolute wrote:

Ugh... just a general response to several comments about "the core".

In short: IT IS NOT 2005 ANYMORE

"The Core" is an evolving thing. It is not Iginla, Kipper, Regehr and Langkow with no changes. The core is the guys the team builds its identity around. The guys who are looked upon to be long term pieces, and consequently often take on leadership roles.

Dion Phaneuf was a core player. Jay Bouwmeester *is* a core player. As is Bourque. Giordano is developing into one, while Langkow can be removed since his career is over.

People love Borque and Giordano, with good reason in both cases, so they are loathe to group them with players they either hate, or think are too old. But when one chooses to criticize "the core", they are going after these players as well, whether they realize it or not.

I called that group the Core during the summer, because they have been here the longest, are roughly the same age, and with only the occasional slight variation have for a long while made up 4 of the 5 largest contracts on the team. 2 and 3 years ago they were at their peak and put up career numbers. Clearly this has been the group that has been built around. Other than Phaneuf and for one year each Tanguay and Cammalleri, there really has not been a younger guy that stepped up and become one of the top 5 guys on the team.

Stanley Cup winners usually have 5 guys that make up the identity of a team and it usually consists of a goalie, one or two defenseman, a dominant centre and a clutch goal scorer. More often than not all of those guys are under 30. Definitely all of them need to be in the top 10 at their position in order to win a cup.

The problem that we have is that the key group has not evolved as it should. Expectation that Ignila can be dominant force and Langkow a top 10 two way centre past their 33rd birthday is not realistic. There is no one to pass the torch to. Bourque will never be Iggy, Bouwmeester has been a disappointment, Stajan might have a decent career but he is not the same as Langkow. So while this group was very close ( although they lost in the first round 4 years in a row, they were contenders annually), the depressing thing is that it can be argued that those coming behind : Bourque, Gio, Bouw, Stajan aren't as good as the not quite ready for retirement group; and behind them is a veritable death valley of prospects.

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#32 everton fc
November 04 2010, 01:57PM
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Championship teams talk about their core. Not also-rans.

I get this...

Do I think the GM is responsible for the current roster?

Indeed.

Is the GM responsible for us having no good draft picks - no "next core" of youngsters - and a group of aging, slow veterans?

Absolutely.

Is the GM the reason this roster is both inconsistent and frustrating to watch at the moment?

No. I blame this on the current coaching staff.

But it certainly is a combo-platter, courtesy of the Sutters (with King's blessing). And this GM did not give Playfair the chance. A revolving door of coaches and players does nothing to solidify a "core" group of players.

Nor a locker room.

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#33 the-wolf
November 04 2010, 02:24PM
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@Kenn

Agreed. If we were to make a deal with LA closer to the deadline we could move Iginla and Kipper. LA should be able to fit both in for next year as well with some minor juggling, although I'm quite sure how many of their contracts will be due.

If they could make it work, however, they get the best goalie in the game and another scoring option who will surely raise his game with a change of scenery (not to mention the presence of Ryan Smyth). This gives them an incredible 2 year window to win the Cup. We could get back Schenn, Loktionov and Bernier. That addresses our goaltending while still leaving them Quick to apprentice for a year and a half under Kipper. We greatly increase our young talent and chop our salary without them having to gut their core. Kopitar, Brown, Doughty, etc. all remain.

We then move Regehr to Washington for Alzner.

Schenn, Loktionov, Bernier, Alzner, Negrin, Brodie, Wahl, Backlund, Niemiz, Howse. Suddenly we have something to build around again without having to start from scratch.

We'd also still have Glencross, Bourque and others. Iginla would be the only loss up front and the additional cap space would allow us to fill holes (more judiciously this time).

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#34 PrairieStew
November 04 2010, 04:10PM
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the-wolf wrote:

Agreed. If we were to make a deal with LA closer to the deadline we could move Iginla and Kipper. LA should be able to fit both in for next year as well with some minor juggling, although I'm quite sure how many of their contracts will be due.

If they could make it work, however, they get the best goalie in the game and another scoring option who will surely raise his game with a change of scenery (not to mention the presence of Ryan Smyth). This gives them an incredible 2 year window to win the Cup. We could get back Schenn, Loktionov and Bernier. That addresses our goaltending while still leaving them Quick to apprentice for a year and a half under Kipper. We greatly increase our young talent and chop our salary without them having to gut their core. Kopitar, Brown, Doughty, etc. all remain.

We then move Regehr to Washington for Alzner.

Schenn, Loktionov, Bernier, Alzner, Negrin, Brodie, Wahl, Backlund, Niemiz, Howse. Suddenly we have something to build around again without having to start from scratch.

We'd also still have Glencross, Bourque and others. Iginla would be the only loss up front and the additional cap space would allow us to fill holes (more judiciously this time).

Kings have to resign RFA's Doughty, Johnson and Simmonds, which will take about $10 m of their $18 in cap space. Your Iggy + Kipper trade costs them almost $7m and they would have to replace 2 of Handzus, Ponikarovsky and Williams with very little money. There would be a big fall off for that group after the top 6 forwards.

Any trade with LA however must include Justin Azevedo.

Jury still out on Negrin, Wahl Nemisz and Howse; though I think Brodie and Backlund will be servicable NHLers.

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#35 Resolute
November 04 2010, 04:52PM
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The real world is not like NHL 11...

@everton fc - I think every team talks about its core. Championship teams are simply happier with theirs. Teams that are absolutely abysmal are hoping to build their team around a core of youth - Edmonton's big three or Toronto with Schenn/Phaneuf/Kessel. Most teams are in the middle, and like Calgary, have serviceable players with one or two elite guys. In our case, Kipper.

There are a lot of reasons why the Flames are where they are right now, and simply put, just about everybody is at fault. From Darryl Sutter down to the players. (Why Ken King, a business guy, gets lumped into this group I'll never know) I hate arguing this stuff when I and everyone around is pissed off, so I'll avoid the details on my opinion right now.

But what this team needs most right now is a culture shift. This does not have to be a big trade or a series. It doesn't even have to be the firing of a Sutter. But at this point, I think it has to be dramatic. Frankly, the best possible thing that could happen to this franchise right now would be for someone to take a huge run at Iginla to spark a bench clearing brawl. This is a team right now that is not interested in battling for each other. That's gotta change soon, or I suspect a lot of people who have been calling for big changes will find themselves at the mercy of an old Chinese curse...

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#36 dotfras
November 04 2010, 04:59PM
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I don't trust Sutter with trading Iggy let alone Iggy Kipper and Regher away. He shiit the bed on the Phaneuf deal, apparently GM's around the league had no clue he was looking to deal and we could of had better return.

Darryl & Feast do a position swap after this year if the Flames fail, say goodbye to Brent, bring Playfair up.

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#37 the-wolf
November 04 2010, 05:22PM
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Yeah, Sutter swinging the deal would definitely be a problem. He'd have to go first.

As far as Ken King goes, I'd gladly keep him to run business operations. He's increased profits for the team dramatically.

He shouldn't, however, be prez of hockey ops because he knows jack-all about the game. He loves Darryl to death and just rubber stamps all of his ideas. The whole idea behind someone in that position is to use the odd veto and say "whoa, that idea there, right there, is way out of left idea and it's not gonna happen!" You know, like most of Sutter's moves.

Fact is, there's a huge disconnect between the fans and those who run the team. The fans are just sick and tired of the same old group saying the same old things after losing the same old ways.

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#38 the-wolf
November 04 2010, 05:23PM
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Yeah, Sutter swinging the deal would definitely be a problem. He'd have to go first.

As far as Ken King goes, I'd gladly keep him to run business operations. He's increased profits for the team dramatically.

He shouldn't, however, be prez of hockey ops because he knows jack-all about the game. He loves Darryl to death and just rubber stamps all of his ideas. The whole idea behind someone in that position is to use the odd veto and say "whoa, that idea there, right there, is way out of left idea and it's not gonna happen!" You know, like most of Sutter's moves.

Fact is, there's a huge disconnect between the fans and those who run the team. The fans are just sick and tired of the same old group saying the same old things after losing the same old ways.

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#39 SmellOfVictory
November 04 2010, 07:05PM
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@Rain Dogs

I would have done all those things, but I would not have traded for Jokinen, nor would I have signed Bouwmeester for 6.8, and I wouldv'e kept Cammalleri.

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#40 Marcus
November 05 2010, 12:41AM
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@Rain Dogs

Brightest thing I've heard in years. Add to the fact that your franchise blue chip defenseman chose to be a child instead of taking the lumps it takes to be a man. Not Sutters fault. What if Crosby Towes or Ovechkin chose to take a few years off like Dion did? Would they be as good? Heck... When Dion came into the league he was a destroyer a prick to play against and a goal scorer. If he continued his status quo, bouwmeester wouldn't have been signed in advance of what Darryl probably already knew, Dion was going to let everyone down. Shame.

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#41 CitizenFlame
November 05 2010, 07:11AM
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@Resolute

I think that a long road trip might do this team good right now. While not providing a dramatic spark as you are calling for. But a little more practical I think, is it gets the team away from the pressures of home, away from the distractions of home life, and in a bubble where there is only the team and they can focus strictly on hockey and gelling as a team.

I wouldn't expect to see too many line clearing brawls if anyone took a run at Iggy. I saw Hockey Central on Sportsnet yesterday and they were comparing fight numbers for star players Gretz - 2 career fights, Lemieux - 5 career fights, Yzerman - 9 career fights, Crosby 5 career fights, Lecavelier - 14 career fights, Iggy - 56 career fights. That total says that the team expects Iggy to answer the bell.

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