STOKING THE FIRE - OCTOBER 19th

Vintage Flame
October 19 2011 01:14PM

 

 

Well needless to say the first week of the 2011-12 season has not exactly gone as hoped. The Flames went 1-3 in their first four games, and well there are a lot of unhappy people in Flamesland. One of the bright spots this week though came in the Flames only win; a 4-1 victory over the Habs. Not only was it a win, but it was a good win for the team; and it was a pretty special evening in a different manner.

It was a night where the storied Montreal franchise was celebrating their 102nd home opener, but the night would end with the Flames fans celebrating a different number; two-hundred and sixty-three. It was the 263rd win by Miikka Kiprusoff in a Flames uniform. Why is that so important? Well it's one more than Mike Vernon had, who held the record for most wins by a Flames goaltender.

 

 

It was also a night that we didn't hear the usual banter about whether the Flames should trade Kiprusoff or not, whether he is or isn't elite, it was just a night that everyone could be happy for the guy and most of the debates could be about whether fans could someday see his #34 up in the rafters beside #30. That's an article for another day though, but I will say he did it in about 50-60 games less than Vernon, but it's a decision far above my pay-grade, so I'll leave it at that. If you're kind of on the fence about the whole thing, maybe need a little convincing? Check out Domebeers for his opinion. I personally found it quite moving.

Prior to the game versus the Oilers last night, the Flames honoured Miikka for the record breaking performance.

 

 

 

 

It was a pretty classy move by the Flames, acknowledging this achievement right away. Before the game started, Mike Vernon came out and presented Miikka with a fifty thousand dollar check to be donated on Kiprusoff's behalf to charity. He wouldn't disappoint the fans or the former record holder. In a game that was more exciting in the FlamesNation chat room, Kiprusoff was consistently solid all night, and was a huge reason for the Flames' win.

 

In keeping with the theme of informational humour, I made sure to read from The Book of Loob, whom I'm positive is Domebeer's doppleganger, for my weekly sermon. It's story time from TBOL, and he has some interesting breakdowns on Flames players and what they actually are doing right so far. He even talks about the Flames misuse of Iginla so far. Big surprise eh? It's not bad enough that the captain is off to a slow start... again, but now after 12 seasons, they can't figure out to deploy him right in the line-up. What's funny is, just as you start getting all fired up with something insightful to comment, BoL hands it back over to his once conjoined twin for the last word on Elvis. And no, he hasn't left the building.

On the injury front, the Flames welcomed back Brendan Morrison last night. On Monday B-Mo was skating with Hagman and Bourque, which led us to believe that Moss was going to stay on the top line with Iginla and Tanguay. many thought that it would be an automatic move to put Morrison on the top line and move Moss back to the OMG line. I wasn't surprised to see this not happen.

After missing so much time, the coaching staff probably wanted to ease Brendan back into the line-up.As Scott Cruickshank talks about, the Flames locker room is starting to become crowded, like training camp crowded.The addition of Morrison and the bazzar decision to dress PL3 took Roman Horak and Tom Kostopoulos out of the line-up. I didn't have a problem with Tom coming out, but it was more of a non-decision since he was substituted by PL3, and I still scratch my head as to why he is still on this team. We'll have to wait and see what this means to Horak's spot on the roster.

As for the bad news on the injuries, it looks like Mikael Backlund is going to need a second surgery. Now while this came as a surprise to me reading this on Saturday night, it was quite evident from Backlund's tweet, that this was not a shock to the team or the player. In fact, it was planned, and shouldn't extend his recovery time by any means.

IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME

On the development front, what a week for Sven Baertschi! With 7 pts in 2 games, Baertschi was named the WHL's Player of the Week. Sven now has 14 pts in 7 games and sits 10th in WHL scoring, however he has played at least 2 games less than the nine players above him in the standings. Some other prospect notes worth noting... Max Reinhart sits 18th in WHL scoring, with 13 pts. Patrick Holland has tallied 9 pts (all assists) in 9 games and was named one of the rotating Assistant Captains with the Tri-City Americans.

RUMOUR MILL

Last night Darren Dreger decided it was time to stir up the pot a little for Flames fans with his Insider Training segment. Suggestions made about the potential availability or interest in Rene Bourque. No official word or what teams having been suggested as a suitable dance partner, but Scott Lepp over at M&G tackles the question, is Rene Bourque up for Grabs?

TECH TALK

Flames Jambalaya launched their new mobile app for Android phone users. Check it out for updates not just on the Flames, but the Abbotsford Heat as well. It's a pretty cool app... and it's free.

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Vintage Flame is a Calgary based sports junkie that prefers to call hockey a "religion" rather than an addiction. He believes there are two types of hockey fans. Those who cheer for the Flames, and those who don't understand the sport yet. Follow Vintage_Flame on Twitter
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#1 bookofloob
October 19 2011, 01:35PM
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I always wondered what this scar on my hip was about

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#2 marcus
October 19 2011, 01:40PM
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Some talk about Rene on boards abroad discuss the possibility of Jordan Staal. Although a trade straight up is a pipe dream and will never happen, a package deal would have to happen and in light of Feasters underwhelming return to Regher I fear he would over pay. I still like the Idea of Staal but for the farm? I don't know. I think Feaster's hope is to tank this year which would be his only season to get away with it (still Darryl's team) and unload his pending undesirable UFA's at the deadline for anything he can get. Sadly for the fanboy in me this may have been the strategy, tweak a the D enough to get scored on more and miss the playoffs so you don't lose out on the pending outgoing UFA's values. The arm chair GM tells me this may be an intelligent clean up strategy while preventing from completely tearing it down.

I must say I have been impressed with Stempniak. Good overall effort unlike Bourque. With Backlund returning hopefully soon and the Jokinen line soaring, Bourque just might be expendable. Who knows, if teams end up in a bidding war for Rene, who knows what the ceiling could be from a team that may have a dearth of talent up the middle.

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#3 icedawg_42
October 19 2011, 01:48PM
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Im not sure im with you on Stempniak - sure we've seen some good effort out of him, but not entirely directed, nor with much in the way of production. I think we have more than enough of the "little engine that tried" type of players.

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#4 jeremywilhelm
October 19 2011, 01:51PM
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I find Stemp looks pretty solid every shift and plays both PP and PK. Not s world beater, but then, no Flame is.

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#5 icedawg_42
October 19 2011, 02:00PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

I find Stemp looks pretty solid every shift and plays both PP and PK. Not s world beater, but then, no Flame is.

Thats what I mean...just kinda 'same ole same ole'

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#6 the-wolf
October 19 2011, 02:07PM
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marcus wrote:

Some talk about Rene on boards abroad discuss the possibility of Jordan Staal. Although a trade straight up is a pipe dream and will never happen, a package deal would have to happen and in light of Feasters underwhelming return to Regher I fear he would over pay. I still like the Idea of Staal but for the farm? I don't know. I think Feaster's hope is to tank this year which would be his only season to get away with it (still Darryl's team) and unload his pending undesirable UFA's at the deadline for anything he can get. Sadly for the fanboy in me this may have been the strategy, tweak a the D enough to get scored on more and miss the playoffs so you don't lose out on the pending outgoing UFA's values. The arm chair GM tells me this may be an intelligent clean up strategy while preventing from completely tearing it down.

I must say I have been impressed with Stempniak. Good overall effort unlike Bourque. With Backlund returning hopefully soon and the Jokinen line soaring, Bourque just might be expendable. Who knows, if teams end up in a bidding war for Rene, who knows what the ceiling could be from a team that may have a dearth of talent up the middle.

Staal is never going anywhere. Not with the number of injuries they've had to Crosby and Malkin. Besides, when those 2 are healthy Staal can also play the wing effectively so he's not buried on the 3rd line.

Back when Phaneuf was being moved I think it was doable but Darryl had other plans. Crappy ones.

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#7 marcus
October 19 2011, 02:31PM
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the-wolf wrote:

Staal is never going anywhere. Not with the number of injuries they've had to Crosby and Malkin. Besides, when those 2 are healthy Staal can also play the wing effectively so he's not buried on the 3rd line.

Back when Phaneuf was being moved I think it was doable but Darryl had other plans. Crappy ones.

Phaneuf would have never bagged Staal as apathy has a way of lowering your trade value. Feaster is probably itching to be involved in a blockbuster and I am sure by now he has a few targets on the roster. Very interesting times indeed I wonder who else is feeling the heat other than the obvious bozos.

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#8 marcus
October 19 2011, 02:40PM
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icedawg_42 wrote:

Im not sure im with you on Stempniak - sure we've seen some good effort out of him, but not entirely directed, nor with much in the way of production. I think we have more than enough of the "little engine that tried" type of players.

If he scores 20 then then the the discussion changes. It looks like he's found a comfortable home. He looks fairly competent out there and is probably one of our more consistent players so far.

Thought I'd mention Iggy looked like a bull in a china shop last night. Let's hope Morrison's progression continues. Iggy playing at that clip for a full season makes me think 50 is within reach knowing he only started clicking after xmas last year.

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#9 everton fc
October 19 2011, 02:41PM
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I like Stempniak. Always have. But he'll never put up the # of goals Bourque does.

That said, Bourque's offencive production has not been consistent enough to make his absence devestating. He's the most underwhelming 27-goal scorer in the league. His impact is minimal most nights...

Stempniak would be a perfect 3rd line wing on any team. That's his ceiling, me thinks. A line with Morrison centering Hagman and Stempniak would be a decent third line on paper. Yes, the dreaded phrase "on paper". Means nothing, I know. I'll add that a third line of Bourque-Morrison-Stempniak would also be an interesting one. "On paper", that is...

Bourque is a third-line wing on a team that hasn't made the playoff in 2 years. Is he paid too much for a third line role? Perhaps. Can he score 20-25 goals on our third line?? Maybe. Is he expendable?.....

Bourque turns 30 in December. He's no stranger to injuries. Might be time to see what we can get for him. Even if it is unloading a contract, more than picking up a spare part.

If he could be packaged with Stajan...

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#10 everton fc
October 19 2011, 02:46PM
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Would anyone move Bourque for Turris? Morrison can also play wing. And probably should, at his age...

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#11 the-wolf
October 19 2011, 02:47PM
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Maybe, maybe not, but Phaneuf was viewed differently at that time, it was before he sort of stalled (pun intended)and Staal had not quite gained the same level of prominence then as he has now. Plus, at the time, Pittsburgh was desperate for a high-end D-man and given Crosby and Malkin had not yet succumbed to injury I still think it might've flown.

Of course, it's all moot now.

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#12 ChinookArch
October 19 2011, 03:09PM
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@everton fc

"He's the most underwhelming 27-goal scorer in the league. His impact is minimal most nights..."

Amen brother!

That said, there is value in 27 goals with potential for more. If he is traded, the return needs to be big and Turris is not nearly enough.

Looking at J. Staal's numbers, they are not that exciting.

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#15 negrilcowboy
October 19 2011, 03:30PM
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Amen brother, renee is the most underwhelming 27 goal scorer. lets take a closer look at when and where the lac labitch product scores. the terms of renees contract might be tougher to sell than alot would think, dewey stutter signed him to a very lenghty deal,particularily for a player made of glass.

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#16 schevvy
October 19 2011, 03:35PM
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Isn't it supposed to be, "Stoking Teh Fire"?

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#17 negrilcowboy
October 19 2011, 04:25PM
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@schevvy

hey schevvy, just checked the whl standings. whats the skinny in the windy city. can things get any worse for the canes, how does preston hold a job? hows brody sutter as an oa? should we expect to see him in abby soon?

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#18 Reidja
October 19 2011, 04:46PM
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If Feater can get J Staal for Bourque I will eat one of my jerseys.

Bourques been around and everyone knows what he is... lazy talent. I'll take less lazy and less talanted anyday.

However, if Feaster trades Bourque for Turris I will burn one of my jerseys. How's that for stoking teh fire.

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#19 Graham
October 19 2011, 04:51PM
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Bourque is an interesting case. He has a rare talent, he can literally dominate any given game, but then falls into a series of games where he is literally invisible. To be honest, he is as inconsistant as the Flames themselves. Dollar wise, his contract isn't that bad, but given his style of play, the length (2015) has to factor in to any trade... Given Feasters trade record, you wonder if he could get the 2nd rounder we gave up to acquire Bourque in the first place.

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#20 maddady
October 19 2011, 05:58PM
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Bourque has talent what annoys the crap out of me is when it seems to disappear for weeks at a time. I don't know if it is nagging injuries or just being too comfortable with his place. It does make me wonder what the offers would be for him, do we over value him or do the other GMs value him more than we do? I agree that I am not too keen on Turris arriving here - too much ego and seems to be too whiny. I would listen to a offer on Bourque but wouldn't give him away just to put my stamp on the team, 27 goals is 27 goals.

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#21 jgl
October 19 2011, 06:01PM
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@negrilcowboy

Brody Sutter is actually a 7th round pick of Carolina. Don't know how Preston even still the coach or the gm never mind both. Saw one of there games and the defensive coverage was horrible

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#22 schevvy
October 19 2011, 08:13PM
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@negril, jgl

I don't know how Preston has a job, they won't get anywhere till he's gone. Shoulda never fired Mike Dyck. The D coverage is worse than a pee-wee team, the best player (Fyten) is out all year, really they only have two good players (Braes and Brody Sutter). Gonna be a long year down here.

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#23 RKD
October 19 2011, 11:10PM
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I think Bourque would be packaged with another player to bring in Jason Spezza.

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#26 everton fc
October 20 2011, 01:04AM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

Wouldn't even consider that deal. As shaky of a player that Bourque is, he's still a player. Turris is a potential talent, but also a potential cancer..

Just too many "potentials" in there to give up for Bourque.

Didn't mean "straight up". Didn't finish my thought.

Meant Bourque for Turris and a prospect. Or Bourque/Stajan for Turris/prospect/picks.

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#27 Marcus
October 20 2011, 01:48AM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

"I must say I have been impressed with Stempniak. Good overall effort unlike Bourque."

Not so much with me. Bourque is producing offensively at least, and looks stronger along the boards. Stempniak looks a bit lost out there to me. Tends to be too far ahead of the play, which Glencross has shown obvious frustration with, when he doesn't have the puck. Then he looks behind the play when he does have the puck.

Nice dissection although the comment was on overall effort not production. I'm just tired of the whole Bourque mystery. He's a 40goal man if he wants it but for some reason he just doesn't care. Sad.

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#28 Potlicker
October 20 2011, 08:47AM
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Vintage, if Staal was on the table for Bourque++, I would be all over it. Staal has played in Crosby Malkins shadow & as much as its concerning, he's had as many injuries as Malkin & Crosby when it was his turn to take the limelight. Now he seems fragile, but for that matter so his Bourque, but boy, he would sure look good on that top line & could suprise as that top #1 centre we have been looking for. I'm pretty sure Pitt wouldnt do that deal straight up & I wonder what Feaster would add to the pot to make that deal.

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#29 the-wolf
October 20 2011, 10:04AM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

Bourque is definitely and interesting case. There is no doubt as to his talent level, only his.. What? Desire? Discipline? Call it what you want, but it's something important.

I think if there really are some teams looking at him, one of them has to be Pittsburgh because of the loss of Gino for however long he's out, and they still don't have Sid in the line-up. Is Jordan Staal worth Bork? I don't know. He hasn't exactly dazzled and that's with Crosby and Malkin.. How would he fare here?

As for packaging Bourque and another player for Spezza.. I love it, but it ain't gonna happen. ottawa would probably want someone with Bourque, Calgary should not be willing to give up. If it was Bourque and say Nemisz or Bouma, I'd be all over that. If they started talking Backlund or something like that.. I hope Feaster hangs up.

I know Dreger is a pretty reliable source, but I don't see this rumour really going anywhere, not for the time being.

2011-12 Pittsburgh NHL 8 3 3 6 0 1 1 0 1 0 8 18 16.67 18 2010-11 Pittsburgh NHL 42 11 19 30 7 3 4 0 2 4 24 91 12.09 70 2009-10 Pittsburgh NHL 82 21 28 49 19 1 4 2 1 1 57 195 10.77 121 2008-09 Pittsburgh NHL 82 22 27 49 5 2 4 1 3 3 37 166 13.25 156 2007-08 Pittsburgh NHL 82 12 16 28 -5 3 4 0 1 4 55 183 6.56 - 2006-07 Pittsburgh NHL 81 29 13 42 16 4 2 7 2 4 24 131 22.14 - 2006-07 Canada WC 9 0 2 2 - - - - - - 0 - - - 2005-06 Peterborough OHL 68 28 40 68 16 11 - 2 - - 69 - - - 2004-05 Peterborough OHL 66 9 19 28 1 0

I'd trade Bourque for Staal in a heart beat. He was really only injured last year and while he's a few years removed from 29 goals he's also spent a lot of time on the 3rd line and in a shutdown role. It's Pittsburgh who would never do it.

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#30 Kevin R
October 20 2011, 12:37PM
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Totally agree with Wolf & Potlicker. I would trade Bourqe/Stajan & a 2013 2nd rounder for Staal. Stajan wouldnt be a bad 3rd line centre behind Malkin & Crosby.

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