Postgame: One Way Or Another

Pat Steinberg
October 20 2011 10:59PM

It was pretty fitting a game lacking in a ton of high quality chances would finish in overtime, and that's exactly what happened on Thursday night as the New York Rangers topped the Calgary Flames 3-2 in extra time.  All the regulation scoring happened in the first period until the visitors scored in the expiring seconds of the overtime period.  The loss keeps Calgary one game below the .500 mark.

What Happened

As mentioned, all the regulation action happened in the first period with the Rangers opening things up on the powerplay at 4:53.  With New York doing a nice job working the puck around, Derek Stepan found Marian Gaborik all alone in the slot, and the oft-injured sniper would pot his fourth of the season.  It took just 58 seconds for the Flames to knot things up, though, as they jumped on a Rangers turnover eventually leading to a Jarome Iginla redirect in front; his second of the season came at 5:51.  With Calgary on the powerplay in the latter stages of the period, Jay Bouwmeester would pull the chute on a puck race in the corner.  Brian Boyle would win the battle, feed a wide open Brandon Prust in front and his second put the Rangers back up by one.  But once again, it didn't take long for the equalizer thanks to a Mark Giordano powerplay goal.  He did a really nice job taking an Iginla pass at the point and putting an accurate shot on net at 15:51.  After 20 the score was tied as were the scoring chances, with them finishing 6-6.

The second period saw a few opportunities for the Flames to take the lead, as they had two chances on the powerplay, but their work on the man advantage became less effective as the night went on.  Calgary generated a grand total of zero scoring chances on their two second period powerplays, and the game remained 2-2 after 40.

Things were fairly contained in the second period, not leading to a ton of scoring chances, and that was much the same in the third period.  Neither team scored in the final frame, with Calgary having a really good chance to win it late with a powerplay opportunity, but once again, generated zero scoring chances.  Off to overtime we went.

OT saw a little more back and forth play, as is to be expected with some more open ice, and it took 4:58 of the extra frame for us to get a winner.  As the Rangers entered the offensive zone, Dan Girardi's shot from the right win bounced off the end boards and right to Ryan McDonagh at the left side of the net.  His second was good for the winner and a 3-2 New York win.

One Good Reason...

...why the Flames lost?  I'll go with the theme of the above report, the powerplay.  They scored once on it, but they're effectiveness really dried up in the final 40 minutes.  Ineffective powerplay chances like that can really stall momentum, and I thought that happened, because overall I felt Calgary was marginally better at even strength.  And, not only did the Flames powerplay have some issues generating, they also gave one up.

Red Warrior

I'll go with Jarome Iginla tonight, as I felt offensively he had his strongest game.  He openly admitted he might not have played the Prust goal perfectly, but then again, who would have anticipated Bouwmeester bailing like that.  He finished even in the chance count, but I thought he was extremely difficult to knock off the puck from the blueline in, and made some good decisions offensively.  I felt it was the captain's best game of the season.

Sum It Up

Some decent things accomplished by the Flames on this night, especially at even strength.  They did a nice job with possession and entered the zone in a fairly strong manner.  Now they have to work on turning that zone time into real scoring chances, as it was something they struggled with both 5-on-5 and up a man.  Defensively they were decent, especially in the final two periods, and Henrik Karlsson played just fine, giving the team a chance to win.  Some things to build on for Saturday's afternoon affair with the struggling Predators.

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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 nolan moore
October 20 2011, 11:06PM
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One thing I've noticed from the team this year is they are playin a grind, grab mucky game. Otherwise they can't compete. They look slow and out talented. BUT so did the '04 team. SO there is hope. How much?

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#2 negrilcowboy
October 20 2011, 11:07PM
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absolutely terrible game, do the fans get a refund. butta has me scratching my head with his coaching strategies and match ups.

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#3 Nolan Moore
October 20 2011, 11:34PM
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@negrilcowboy

Main reason why i dont think Sutter will make Christmas. Feaster says he and Brent see eye to eye, but i dont think they do.

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#4 Nolan Moore
October 20 2011, 11:36PM
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Also who chooses the warm up music? Each time i hear it i'm waiting to see some basketball players get out. Hockey is an energy game, some good rock n' roll is needed.

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#5 TheCalgaryJames
October 20 2011, 11:41PM
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I thought Sarich had a particularly bad game. He took two really bad penalties in the first leading to a rangers goal and probably deserved a third for a blatant hit from behind. He seemed to struggle all night getting the puck out of his own end.

I thought EV the flames were the better team but the PP lacked any real commitment and intensity. Credit to the Rags whose PK was really effective and forced the issue on a flames team that had no push back.

Karlsson played well enough for the win but he can't score goals so, there ya go... No doubt, this loss will make fans and media question the choice to start Hank in place of Kipper but I think that's a little hypocritical when you look back at the same fans and media who have been wanting Kipper to play less for years. When I ask myself 'would kipper have fared any better?' I can't honestly say he would have. I don't hang this on the goalie at all.

Some good things. Some bad things. Learn from it and move on.

Ps: can we stop with this 'Butta' nonsense?... At best it's unimaginative at worst it's downright 7th grade! Criticize him if you must but come up with something better or else just use his real name.

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#6 Graham
October 20 2011, 11:55PM
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Thought Smith had his best game yet. He looked very poised with the puck, and more composed in his own end. Sarich was awful. When will it be his turn to sit? Can't wait for that. Say what you will about Babchuk, woulda been nice to have something on the PP tonight. Butler, Bouw and Stempniak just don't pose the same threat from the point. Bare minimum, Babchuk's willingness to shoot opens up space for other guys to get open. We're seeing none of that right now, and the PP is therefore very predictable and forced.

PS - last season, we learned that a net-front presence allows you to simplify the PP, while opening up options elsewhere. Dont care if its Moss, Jackman or Kostopoulos... Where the hell is that right now?

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#7 CitizenFlame
October 21 2011, 12:03AM
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I liked Smith as well tonight. I thought Jbo was really good tonight too (offensively). I thought the team was too soft- especially the D- in getting the puck out of their own zone. NYR has a really good forecheck but it made Calgary's D really look ineffective at moving the puck. I thought Gio looked very indecisive tonight moving the puck. What was with Bourque? He was a non-factor; almost invisible. I think that this was a pretty typical NYR game and probably very similar to the upcoming game vs. the Preds. Very few scoring chances, and whoever scores last will probably win the game. I thought Karlsson over committed on the OT goal, but overall he was solid. Needs to work on his puck handling, I held my breath everytime he left the crease!

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#8 Vintage Flame
October 21 2011, 01:01AM
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There were a couple of things that bothered me at the game tonight.

First and foremost was, Sarich was just brutal tonight. Back to back ridiculously stupid penalties and just plain sloppy defensive play.

The other was on the team level. It seems like this team is afraid to hit people. There were countless times where a Rangers player was lined up for a big hit, and the Flames player would peel off or skate alongside of him... always trying to play keep up.

The only constant we seem to have seen this year is the play of Jokinen. Guy is giving it his all and doing very well. I've been pleasantly surprised with Morrison. At least we have someone winning face offs. Not sure what the final tally was, but the last time I got to check, Morrison was 11-2 in the FO circle.

I thought Karlsson played fine tonight. Could never have been faulted for that OT goal. Perfect bounce, bad luck.. whatever it was.

Did I mention how bad Sarich was? At least we didn't get burned by Erixon. His play was pretty pedestrian as well. Made some bad plays, would have been nice to see Calgary capitalize on one of them.

You know who had a really bad game.. Cory Sarich.. bad.. like really bad.

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#9 Kevin R
October 21 2011, 01:24AM
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Yeah Sarich didnt look good, if he plays like that, Feaster will be moving him in Feb irregardless where we're at. Smith looked pretty good, made some nice moves, I like this guy & way cheaper than Babchuk. Jackman & Jokinen have great work ethic & hustle. Bourque was no where to be found. Anyone notice how big that Boyle kid is & he plays with a bit of an edge too. Power play was terrible or Rangers PK was that good, probably somewhere inbetween. Butler was OK but he had opportunities to crush some of these wingers coming into our zone & doesnt, Dion would have levelled a few of those blueshirts. I do miss that nasty hitting Dion used to give us. At least we got a point.

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#11 ChinookArch
October 21 2011, 07:24AM
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Pat,

I can't agree with you on Jerome as the Red Warrior. He was better tonight for sure, but he definatley wasn't great. Has Jokinen been so good this year, that only an excellent game gets him noticed. He was Calgary's most consistent forward and my RWarrior.

This game was awful to watch, and I'd describe it 'defensive river hockey'. I Don't want to be too negative, so on the bright side Derick Smith was noticeably good, and I really liked Stajan's game. I thought he was strong on the puck and moved the puck forward all night. Jackman was also good, and I liked his physical presence.

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#12 funkyjaman
October 21 2011, 07:38AM
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Man did I break out in laughter, actually the whole pub did, when J-bo jump out of the way on that short handed goal. He wanted nothing to do with it. That was the game changer right there folks!

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#13 Kent Wilson
October 21 2011, 09:11AM
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nolan moore wrote:

One thing I've noticed from the team this year is they are playin a grind, grab mucky game. Otherwise they can't compete. They look slow and out talented. BUT so did the '04 team. SO there is hope. How much?

The difference being, of course, that obstruction was allowed in '04, the Flames had a 27-year old Iginla in his prime and Kipper was one of the best goalies in the world.

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#14 Super_Gio
October 21 2011, 09:37AM
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Really Jbo? REALLY?! Softest guy ever. Its the only reason he's the "Ironman" hahaha Ironman my a$$ Plays like that crap loose you games evidently

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#15 Jeff In Lethbridge
October 21 2011, 09:45AM
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Does anyone know when Bourque gets back in the lineup?

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#16 Subversive
October 21 2011, 09:53AM
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I watched the 3rd and OT, and Iginla was basically invisible. Was he really so good in the 1st and 2nd?

It pains me greatly to say this, but Sex Panther looked like the best Flame on the ice in the 3rd and OT, by a fairly large margin.

Also, that giveaway by Morrison on the OT goal horrendously horrible. Soft beyond belief for that moment of the game, brutal.

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#17 Kent Wilson
October 21 2011, 10:18AM
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@Subversive

The first line was decent in the first but pretty much faded after that. Jarome was a principle player on both the SHG against and the GWG.

He's looked better just in terms of skating and such recently, but he's still nowhere near top notch.

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#18 Kevin R
October 21 2011, 10:32AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

The first line was decent in the first but pretty much faded after that. Jarome was a principle player on both the SHG against and the GWG.

He's looked better just in terms of skating and such recently, but he's still nowhere near top notch.

Yeah when my buddy & I were leaving to hear Jerome was the 1st star of the game, we thought "Are you kidding" He was better but sure didnt see much of that top line for scoring chances in the 2nd & 3rd. But we did notice & comment Gaborik & Richards & Stepan didnt buzz our end EVS either & they are paid even more than our top line. I guess it's all relative.

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#19 the-wolf
October 21 2011, 10:37AM
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No offense Steinberg, but you're out to lunch on the Red Warrior.

This is exactly what I've been talking about for years now, the media letting Iginla off the hook. The guy was terrible when it counted last night and you're praising him. Maybe Jarome needs to hear the oft-repeated tale of how Stevie Y was a far better player (and especially the team) once he bought into Bowman's system than he was when he was scoring 160 points/season.

Iginla blew it on that winning goal. McDonagh was left wide-open and that was clearly Iggy's guy, but once again he was too busy looking up ice for the break-out pass to do what he was supposed to be doing which was covering the open man in the slot. 5 seconds to go and he's standing alone when he should've been glued to a player. He cost the team 2 goals and so his points mean squat.

This team will never go anywhere until Iginla checks his ego and decides to lead by example by playing the coaches' system and putting defense first instead of exempting himself as the "I'm here to score goals" guy. It's infectious both ways becuase if the captain and face of the franchise isn't bucking up why should anyone else? Iginla is the reason this team has been so inconsistent and has held this team back for years because he's the one everyone takes their cues from.

Meanwhile, the media continues to give him a free ride because he's always there for an interview and such a nice guy. I'm sick of it.

Red Warrior my @$$!!!!

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#20 xis10ce
October 21 2011, 10:50AM
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@ Kevin R

I hear that buddy, I was thinking the same thing while exiting the arena. Listening to the "stars". Then again, at the time I just chalked it up to too many pregame + dome beers. Obviously they saw something I did not,... Or did they?

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#21 Graham
October 21 2011, 12:01PM
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Adrian Dater of SI.com: Dater runs through some players who could be traded, and who might be interested. 1. Rene Bourque (CAL) – The Avalanche could offer one of their top 3 defensive prospects and/or throw in winger TJ Galiardi. 2. Jay Bouwmeester (CAL) – Dater wonders about a Bouwmeester for Tuomo Ruutu deal.

A top defensive prospect to replace Erixson? We propably need a scoring forward?

Move Bouwmeester and approach Ottawa - take a chance on Gonchar (i year, $5.5 million)

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#22 mayhemsince1977
October 21 2011, 12:09PM
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Above and beyond the suckage that was last night's hockey game, my biggest dissappointment was the lack of "attention" that Erixon received from our forwards. I know that this sounds like a sore looser, but surely the dude's worthy of at least a palm to the face after a whistle. The fans were into it, where was the pride for the team you play for?

As for JBo and his Butler. I do not know how the media can keep defending this pairing. The amount of give-aways shows their lack of chemistry. Why Sutter keeps giving them 30+ minutes a game is beyond me.

Feaster once commented (I think it was during one of his early PR events) on how he sent an established player packing in TB when he saw the player "pull the shoot" (I'm looking at you JBo). Lets see if he really is serious.

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#23 jeremywilhelm
October 21 2011, 12:44PM
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@Graham

Gonchar? Tuomo Ruutu for Bouwmeester? Shoot me now.

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#24 the forgotten man
October 21 2011, 01:05PM
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@the-wolf

Yeah, Iginla has been a head-scratcher for me for a few seasons now. Unfortunately, he will probably end up with guys like Dionne & Federko, all being great talents with no Cup to show for it.

Had Iginla broke into the Flames some 6 or so years earlier, he would have greatly benefited tutoring under consummate pros like Mullen/MacDonald/Gilmour/Otto etc. Sadly, his only "mentoring" in the Flames Org. was under Fleury who at that time was hopped up on booze, hookers and blow.

Iginla's lack of "team play" can be very frustrating, but at this juncture he is who he is...he ain't gonna change at this point (see Butter jr./Iron Mike / Playfair / Dutter / Gilbert / Hay / Butter Sr./ Page).

Therefore it is up to Flames Management to determine whether his offensive production outweighs his defensive liabilities and his questionable "role-modelling" for the Team/Org. at large. I have neither the insight or hockey intelligence to even give an opinion on what route is best. All I do know is that at his age, he is a dwindling asset with each successive season.

Very O/T...what kind of Professional Organization gambles on 3 different brothers to coach them to the Promised Land - do we have some sort of unconscious, inbred-fetish for Sutter Brothers...it is not like they won us a Stanley Cup in their playing days. Standing back it is quite bizarre when you think about it...paging Rich and Ron.

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#26 nolan moore
October 21 2011, 01:12PM
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@Subversive

Isn't "Sex Panther" illegal in 9 countries. And studies show that 60% of the time, it works EVERY time?

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#27 palooza
October 21 2011, 01:23PM
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I don't understand how the second oldest team in the league is supposed to develop into a playoff team after missing them two years in a row?

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#28 the-wolf
October 21 2011, 01:57PM
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Pat Steinberg wrote:

You're accusing me of letting someone off the hook, a guy I've been critical of all year, and yet you're going the entirely opposite direction.

Iginla was better last night, and was the only guy on his line creating. You can't deny he played his best game of the year, and he was in on both goals.

So I gave him a nod for having a better game, and you're telling me I did it because "he's such a nice guy"

Beat it.

What I'm saying Michael Jackson is that he cost the team 2 goals which wipes out any offense he delivered and you're praisng him when you should've been calling him out. He didn't deserve to be the Red Warrior. There were better players out there. Period.

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#29 schevvy
October 21 2011, 02:07PM
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@the-wolf

I think Iginla was one of the better Flames out there, I mean in my opinion the two goals he was out for were not directly his fault. I mean, how can you blame him for J-bo making a play softer than buttered bread on the SHG, and then in overtime it was Morrison who should've had an easy out instead gave the puck away and the puck got a very opportune bounce right to McDonough. I mean I know you don't like Iginla and all, but you can't blame him for those goals. Plus I thought he was the best player on the first line and had a nice drive to the net on his goal and a nice pass to Gio on his goal.

P.S- Plus, it's not like Pat can keep picking Olli as the red warrior every night, he's gotta switch it up every once in a while :)

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#31 the-wolf
October 21 2011, 02:45PM
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@ Schevvy

Fair enough, that's an honest difference of opinion, though I'm obviously not the only one who thought Iginla was weak on both of those goals. Not to sound like an armchair coach, but when there's that little time left on the clock you absolutley have to grab the closest open man and not let go. Now maybe the view was bad, but I saw it from at least 2 angles and rewound it several times and Iggy should've had him.

Iginla has all the talent in the world, but as the Forgotten Man insinuates, how many coaches has the guy killed? The Yzerman comparison is apt and the media condemnation is justified.

The team goes as Iginla goes and people are always dumping on Bourque and Jay Bo, but why does Iggy always walk free? Who's the leader, the captain, the face of the franchise?

It's not a personal attack on Pat, sorry if it came off that way, but I've heard countless media round tables and such talking about the team's 'leadership' or 'the core' or Darryl calling them a 'special group,' etc., etc., but no one ever comes right out and says it. And that is, that if this team has any chance of doing anything then Iginla needs to show up for 60 minutes/game for 82 games, play the system to perfection, be the best defensive guy on the team and enforce it in the room. Which he doesn't do and it has his age probably never will.

Believe it or not, but I used to be Iginla's biggest booster.

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#32 loudogYYC
October 21 2011, 02:47PM
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I can't agree with @the-wolf completely, but I agree that Iggy was definitely the Goat last night (along with Bourque and Sarich). He showed up offensively in the 1st of 4 periods, so give him some praise but that shorty was a collective brain fart and there's no reason why he should have been so focused on offense with 4 seconds left in OT. In his own zone...

I'm glad someone brought up the Stevie Y example cuz he made huge changes to his game in his 30's and still remained a big part of the Wings. Granted the Wings have always been stacked, but the example always came from Yzerman.

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#33 the-wolf
October 21 2011, 02:53PM
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@ Pat - I'll give you the first one, but not the OT one, see Louddog's comments for that.

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#34 schevvy
October 21 2011, 02:53PM
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I don't know how people can criticize Iggy on the SHG by Prust. Criticize him all you want on some other plays, but how is that his fault? Bouwmeester should be able to make that play 100 times out of 100. What should've happened is a simple back pass from J-bo to Iggy and out of the zone. Instead J-bo makes the sofest play I've seen in a LONG time, and puts Iggy in a bad position and BOOM, into the net. Can't blame Iggy on that one, at least in my opinion.

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#35 Dave
October 21 2011, 03:05PM
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Is it too soon to start dreaming about next years draft? I'm half kidding.

I thought smith played well and so far I've been happy with butler. I think he'll have an important role on this team in the coming years.

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#36 amaninvan
October 21 2011, 04:41PM
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I thought Butler looked good last night, and was impressed with the play of Smith. Neither guy is hurting this team right now and defensively less of a liability than Babchuk. Its tempting to want his big shot on the PP, but when he has the puck in our end I just cringe...

Interesting to see all the dumping on Iggy and JBo yet no one has mentioned how bad Morrison looked on the OT winner.

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#37 everton fc
October 21 2011, 05:05PM
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Graham wrote:

Adrian Dater of SI.com: Dater runs through some players who could be traded, and who might be interested. 1. Rene Bourque (CAL) – The Avalanche could offer one of their top 3 defensive prospects and/or throw in winger TJ Galiardi. 2. Jay Bouwmeester (CAL) – Dater wonders about a Bouwmeester for Tuomo Ruutu deal.

A top defensive prospect to replace Erixson? We propably need a scoring forward?

Move Bouwmeester and approach Ottawa - take a chance on Gonchar (i year, $5.5 million)

Interesting post.

Bourque won't be here at the end of the season. That's my feeling. Moving him to the Avs, maybe we could package Babchuk in that deal (anyone think Sarich's poor play will find it's way back to some level of "average" once he's healthy?)

So... Bourque for a d-man (who, Ryan O'Byrne?) and Galiardi (or Winnik?)... Galiardi has yet to prove himself in the league. I like Winnik, but we have a glut of Winnik's...

Just don't see what we can get from the Avs. Anyone?? Bourque could get us a d-man to replace JBo, if we throw in another player or a prospect. I'm talking a #1-3 d-man. Hannan is a 4th man, at best. Would be a good 5-6 guy next season to offset Sarich...

As for Bouwmeester for Ruutu straight up, I don't think that was the intention of that rumour. JBo for Ruutu and, say, Zach Boychuk and a guy like Gleason (or a pick) Not sure what else the Canes can offer, either... How's Boychuk doing on the farm? Do we have enough of these types of prospects? Can you never have enough??

Ottawa - a blockbuster JBO for Spezza... Maybe throw in a d-man (Sarich/Babchuk) and perhaps someone like Stajan... And take back a defence like Brian Lee or Jared Cowen... Maybe throw in a Greening... Regin... I can't imagine you'd move JBo straight up. We'd need to replace him on defence.

Which is where (perhaps) Bourque fits in.

Of course, next year's draft's a good one. JBo should garner a #1 pick. Right??

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#38 Kevbin R
October 21 2011, 06:28PM
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everton fc wrote:

Interesting post.

Bourque won't be here at the end of the season. That's my feeling. Moving him to the Avs, maybe we could package Babchuk in that deal (anyone think Sarich's poor play will find it's way back to some level of "average" once he's healthy?)

So... Bourque for a d-man (who, Ryan O'Byrne?) and Galiardi (or Winnik?)... Galiardi has yet to prove himself in the league. I like Winnik, but we have a glut of Winnik's...

Just don't see what we can get from the Avs. Anyone?? Bourque could get us a d-man to replace JBo, if we throw in another player or a prospect. I'm talking a #1-3 d-man. Hannan is a 4th man, at best. Would be a good 5-6 guy next season to offset Sarich...

As for Bouwmeester for Ruutu straight up, I don't think that was the intention of that rumour. JBo for Ruutu and, say, Zach Boychuk and a guy like Gleason (or a pick) Not sure what else the Canes can offer, either... How's Boychuk doing on the farm? Do we have enough of these types of prospects? Can you never have enough??

Ottawa - a blockbuster JBO for Spezza... Maybe throw in a d-man (Sarich/Babchuk) and perhaps someone like Stajan... And take back a defence like Brian Lee or Jared Cowen... Maybe throw in a Greening... Regin... I can't imagine you'd move JBo straight up. We'd need to replace him on defence.

Which is where (perhaps) Bourque fits in.

Of course, next year's draft's a good one. JBo should garner a #1 pick. Right??

You're dreaming if you figure you can give what you proposed & get the return, especially with Ottawa. JBO stays because he's overpaid & would be a salary dump but he plays too many hard minutes & no one to replace him & you will be awfully disappointed with the return, similar to that of Regehr. JBO stays, we just have to adjust our expectations versus salary.

Butler is nothing more right now than a 5-6 dman. He's in a little deep with the top 4 minute we are giving him but if our options arent there, relax & realize he's a work in progress. He doesnt have the edge & not his style to be a top 4. Flames will come to realize that, but if I was comparing him to Sarich at 1/3 rd the price I would be thrilled with him & Smith.

Bourque wont get what our needs are. Top centre & a hard hitting top 4 dman who plays with edge. If J Staal(not likely avail:( ) was avail from Pitt, Feaster should give Bourque & who ever, maybe Backlund to pry him out of Pitt. Small steps in the right direction will get us going.

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#39 RKD
October 22 2011, 12:46PM
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Flukey goal by the Rangers, Flames could have won that game. In other news, Kris Chucko retired.

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