Thoughts on Jokinen and Babchuk

Kent Wilson
March 07 2011 09:45AM

 

 

John F asked a question in the scoring chance post last night which bears investigation: 

I'm wondering if we will see any complimentary analysis and discussion from you and others who subscribe to the site on this on Jokinen and Babchuk. I think both have been major contributors to the Flames playoff drive. While Jokinen may rank near the bottom of the tea in +/- he consistently plays against the teams top lines, has been (along with Glencross) been driving the play regardless of who is the 3rd on the line, and must lead the league in posts hit (which is nothing but bad luck). Babchuk (no not Badchuk) has been raising his game. In addition to the heavy shot and offence he provides he has greatly improved his defensive game. I know both players, but in particular Jokinen have been mercilessly trashed here (I excuse Steinberg here as he wansn't as negative on either and I've seen him refer to both in a positive manner). For the sake of balance I would like to see Kent and many of those who were relentless in their criticism comment on these 2 players.

 So here's my take.

On Jokinen - The criticism of him is part of a much longer conversation which regular readers of my previous site are probably aware of. Under Brent Sutter during his first tour of duty, Jokinen was deployed with Jarome Iginla in a pure power versus power match-up.

He got killed. Destroyed. Jokinen had the worst scoring chance differential on the club last season through the first 30 games or so and one of the worst possession rates. He was a gross liability. Sutter eventually moved Jokinen down the rotation where he was less apt to getting beat up by better players, but then the Flames went through their infamous 9-game losing streak and Jokinen's fate was sealed. Err...sealed until the summer when he was re-signed that is.

Jokinen was also unlucky last season: bad percentages (both on-ice and personal) sunk his value further, making him useless in just about every way. The fact that he was first acquired for a couple of useful assets and then moved for a toxic contract and then re-signed to a new deal despite little leverage to a contract that included a NMC despite limited leverage in the market - well, let's just say the wreckage on the road leading to his current hot streak makes me skeptical that his recent success is truly indicative of the player. Or, at the very least, the org had to pay a needlessly high price to get the currently effective iteration of the guy.

Of course, a lot of the Jokinen's revival should credited Brent Sutter, ironically the guy who fed him to the wolves previously. It took nearly a full season of Olli Jokinen playing beneath him for Sutter to really understand the player he has and deploy him in a more complimentary way. It's not coincidence that Jokinen suddenly looks more capable when flanked by David Moss and Curtis Glencross, a couple of guys who been amongst the team leaders in terms of possession for the last three seasons running. Behind that trio has been Jay Bouwmeester and Robyn Regehr the last month or so - the best overall defense pairing on the team. And while Jokinen hasn't been playing cupcakes in his role this year, Sutter has gotten away from hard-matching anyone against othe team's best - Jokinen et al consistently face top-six opposition, but they aren't buried in terms of zone starts or anything the way a true shut-down trio would be.

With all those caveats in place, I'm going to give Jokinen some credit. He looks to be far less of detriment on the ice these days because a lot of the bad habits that afflicted his game previously have been scrubbed out by Sutter and co. In particular, Jokinen used to take long, circular routes around the ice whenever he played. Olli has decent top-end speed but it takes him a bit to get going. To compensate for that, he developed a penchant for taking those inefficient loops that put him out of position more often than not. Now, he seems to be playing a much more sensible north-south game. No more looping behind his own defenders or around the opposition net. 

In addition, Jokinen had a terrible habit of skating up the middle with the puck and smack into coverage at the opposition blueline, which would result in him ceding possession at least half the time. He still carries the puck through the neutral zone pretty frequently, but he seems to be making better decisions with it at the offensive blueline - dumping it off towards a streaking winger, for instance, or at least chipping it deep rather than trying to beat a couple of defenders.

Despite all the above, the picture of Jokinen overall still isn't overly impressive. He's still underwater in terms of possession and has the fourth worst corsi ratio with the score tied amongst regular skaters. Im guessing he'll come out at about even whent he scoring chance numbers are tallied at the end of the season as well, so it's not like the guy is mimicking Daymond Langkow who played against the heavies reviously and consistently came out ahead.

The final piece of this puzzle is the Flames uncanny run over the last 30 games or so. The team has played pretty well, but it's fortunes have been pumped to a non-trivial degree by a run of good fortune. The club was "owed" after a few months of bad bounces, but it's never a good idea to judge players solely by their results when a tide of percentages is carrying the team.

Overall, I'm pleasantly surprised Jokinen has been able to refine his game somewhat under this coaching staff. He's not a total boat anchor anymore and it's possible the Flames will be able to garner some value from the final year of his contract, which is more than I would have bet on when he was re-inked this summer. On the other hand, his underlying stats are still mediocre and he's likely not the primary driver of results on his line. He remains more of a third line center than a second-liner in my eyes, but at least he's not sinking the trio he's skating with.

On Babchuk - The big Ukrainian has been a worthwhile addition, albeit in a very carefully managed role. After he struggled for the first week or two, Brent has actively and excessively sheltered the erstwhile Hurricane at ES. HIs zone start ratio is a ridicuously high 61.2%. To put that number in perspective, only two other defenders in the league have started more often in the offensive zone - the Rangers Matt Gilroy and the albatross that is Brian Campbell. In fact, there are only five rearguards in the entire NHL above the 60% ZS plateau*.

*Of note - this is roughly the way the Leafs used Ian White during his season in Toronto last year (although he played more often against top-six guys). His bubble burst in CGY because the Flames tried to deploy him as a legitimate top-four defender.

Babchuk also plays against the softest competition on the Flames. Third and fourth liners only, or as much as Brent Sutter can manage at least. This Jonathan Toews marker is what happens when Babchuk is caught on the ice against capable offensive players:

 

The fact that he's not relied upon to do real defensive work is also reflected in the 23 seconds of ice per game he gets on the penalty kill. Even Steve Staios (0:50) and Adam Pardy (0:36) have averaged more than that this season. His 12:38 at ES is also the lowest total amongst d-men who have taken a regular shift for the Flames this season.

Which isn't to say Babchuk hasn't contributed to the Flames current run. He has a legitimately scary shot and he's been a value-add to the power-play for sure (although I wouldn't bet the lint in my pocket on his 10.7 SH% with the Flames persisting forever). Calgary has the sort of depth on the back-end that they can afford to shelter Babchuk and play him in his current specialist role. His point totals are nice, but they come with a price - other people have to be fed the tougher match-ups. Babchuk is a guy who would instantly be exposed if he was moved up the rotation, even to just second-pairing minutes. The team needs to kepe this in mind if they want to re-sign him this summer.

In summary - both Jokinen and Babchuk remain somewhat flawed players that are contributing thanks to a combination of savvy coaching and the Flames current hot streak. They deserve credit insofar as they have played well enough in their assigned roles, but the influence of circumstances shouldn't be overlooked.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Robert Cleave
March 07 2011, 10:04AM
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Well, good timing, Kent. I was thinking about looking at some of this stuff tonight, so you've saved me the trouble of doing an article on Olli ;-)

I will say that Joker's PDO is still below 98, so I'm not sure if luck has quite helped him the way it's lifted a few other Flames. I'd have to check a few of the game sheets, but he was -9 in January, so I suspect he was caught up in the wash of Kipper's brief swoon.

As a final point, he's a guy that has struggled against the best of the best. When the Flames have played the top 9 teams in the league by points % (Vancouver down to Chicago), he's posted a -15 number. +2 against everyone else hints that he has certainly a ceiling that he bumps into pretty hard.

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#2 propositionWes
March 07 2011, 10:09AM
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great read Kent.

Have Babchuk's point totals guaranteed him a healthy raise this offseason? I can easily see some wayward GM (Sather?) giving him a big contract without really looking at his underlying numbers....

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#5 Rain Dogs
March 07 2011, 10:19AM
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Once again, can't help but disagree.

Jokinen (especially) and Babchuk (somewhat) suffer from being dis-liked, which considering the emphasis put on looking at "the objective NHL" in the blog-o-world, it's surprising that subjectivity enters into the conversation so much.

Confirmation Bias... slanting toward the negative.

Babchuk has faced the fifth worst Qual Comp. Yeah... he's our 5th/6th man. That's like saying a goalie doesn't throw footballs.

He's HERE to face low end competition and to score. His asset is his shot. He's done both: face low competition (of which Gio is 4th to Bab's 5th) and shoot. Dude has more goals than JBO and Reggie combined (our top two D) who also make nearly 11 million dollars or about 10 times the cap hit of Babchuk.

He's also blocked a ton of shots (1.98/GP)... a stat that would be used to "praise" Gio (2.43), but is omitted of Babchuk, whose rate is second best of defenders again ahead of Regehr and JBO (~11 mill). Investigate SB/60 and tell me where it compares to Gio or the league.

He also is a team-leading +14 (cue the bashing of +/- as a real stat, or even a useful tool for comparing amongst the team, or that all corsi-comp. stats are basically built off this #)

As for Jokinen... why bother?

He makes three million bucks, is deployed in a role not suited for him, yet survives. Is the third highest scorer on the team, is within spitting distance of Tanguay (who most would say has been MVP material) in regards to corsi ratio, and is better than both Bourque and Morrison by the same metric. And is... frightening enough, basically our go-to face-off guy which he does better than Langkow ever did.

Hey. People don't like certain players... fair enough. Ask me about that waste of time Stajan, who couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat... or an empty net.

but if you're going to ask for an opinion about dudes who are disliked, don't expect an wholly objective response. Why not ask about the goalies while you're at it John F?

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#6 Domebeers.com
March 07 2011, 10:59AM
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Im always amazed at the diplomacy Kent is able to bring to the discussion.

That's the nicest way Ive read to say 'Babysat extensively'

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#8 thymebalm
March 07 2011, 11:25AM
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I'm a little disappointed at this article.

In general, the use of underlying numbers on flamesnation make for a unique and often eye opening evaluations of personal and team performance.

But here is a time when I think you guys are relying too much on the numbers, and not enough on-ice observations.

It's actually a pretty sad article Kent.

First you tie Jokinen to "the player he was" in a season where the entire flames corps underperformed. Then you start looking ahead to "what his value is" as if you are already planning to trade him at next years deadline.

So it's clear right off the bat that you've always been sour about Jokinen, so we can't possibly expect a full turn around in your opinion, only some minor concessions.

The fact that you call him a third line center is laughable. 9 times of 10 I take your analysis as the golden truth, but I can't buy todays. Jokinen has been a point a game player against top competition since the Flames resurgence at the end of December.

And even your "praise" article craps on him like its all lucky bounces and Curtis Glencross...

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#9 John F
March 07 2011, 11:28AM
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We all have our biases in terms of players/coaches/management to which we are all entitled. I sense there is some of that in Kent's treatment of the 2 players, hence my request for a discussion. I do cut Kent a lot of slack on his biases, however as he does bring a lot of analysis to the discussion.

I just though that after being slagged extensively (particilarly Jokinen) that it was time to balance the ledger at least a bit.

I think a coach is paid quite well to recognize what they have and use the assets to ensure success to the best possible extent which is what is being done now more with both players. I do agree with Lawrence that Babchuk's shot blocking, and Jokinen is decent in the faceoff cirle on a team lacking a faceoff stud, which were not creditied by Kent, but all in all it was a good starting discussion.

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#10 Subversive
March 07 2011, 11:51AM
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I think it all comes down to value for contract. In that regard, I would argue that Babchuk is pretty solid value for his current price paid (the comment earlier that someone will probably overpay for him based on counting stats seems pretty likely to me).

Jokinen, while he has been better lately, he's actually looked clue-ful as opposed to clueless, I still don't think he comes close to earning a $3.5 million cap hit. I don't have any problem with the guy personally, and I don't think Kent does either. It's all about performance as compared to dollars when it comes to these sorts of analyses.

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#12 RKD
March 07 2011, 12:03PM
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Had Jokinen been playing like he is now at the beginning of the season, he'd probably have 20 goals plus by now and be ahead of Tanguay in terms of points.

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#13 Vintage Flame
March 07 2011, 12:08PM
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Wow.. You know there is a lot of the Pot calling the kettle black here. You guys asked for a comprehensive analysis on Jokinen and Babchuk and that is EXACTLY what Kent gave us [you]. Just cause you don't like what you read, don't shoot the messenger. I have always been a huge fan of Olli and I still am, but yeah, he has been a head-scratcher to the fans since he got here... the first time.

I like his game right now and how he plays on that 2nd line, but we still can't ignore what got him there. Kent's analysis of his play and especially his play with Iggy, pretty much on the mark. I don't pay to much attention to the CORSI numbers or stuff like that, because I prefer to look at the play more from an analytical view rather than the number crunching logic.. but something Kent said REALLY stood out for me.

"Of course, a lot of the Jokinen's revival should credited Brent Sutter, ironically the guy who fed him to the wolves previously. It took nearly a full season of Olli Jokinen playing beneath him for Sutter to really understand the player he has and deploy him in a more complimentary way."

Pat was talking about this very point last night with Rob Kerr. Jokinen is learning a whole new aspect of the game under Sutter. In Fla, he never had to play defense. It was, go out and score. Kent talked about his former tendencies to skate these massive circles like some kind of wind up he had to get going. Under Sutter he has learned that there is a defensive aspect to the Flames play and he NEEDED to learn it. There was no surprise that his offensive game suffered because he couldn't play the defensive side. Now he is playing quality shut down minutes and he is driving the play more North and cutting out the loop-de-loops. Kent did point this out as a credit.

On Babchuk - Let's be honest here. How can we even have a discussion with Babchuk, Regehr and J-Bo? As Kent pointed out, and I agree whole-heartedly; Babchuk continues to play against the oppositions weakest lines. That doesn't take anything away from Anton's play. He fills a role on this team and does a very good job of it. His time is managed extremely well by Sutter and he contributes very well on the PP. HOWEVER, I seem to recall the exact same aspirations of one Dion Phaneuf coming out junior. The rookie phenom was tearing up the record books for D-men, but no one took into accout that Darryl was "managing" his ice time. Dion never played against the oppositions top players and also played very well on the PP... Hmmmmm... Now why does that sound so familiar?? Once Dion was put on the top pairing with Reggie, he struggled greatly playing top minutes AND his offensive production suffered. So let's not get all hot and bothered over Mr. Babchuk just yet. Talking about him out-scoring J-Bo and Reggie combined means absolutely squat. J-Bo and Reggie are playing the top minutes against top opposition every night. There is no way Babchuk could handle these assignments. Let's just be happy with the role Anton has, because he has shown VAST improvement in that role since he first got here. But let's not kid ourselves either.

All in all, I think Ken't article was a GREAT read and folks, try showing some appreciation for the effort these guys put in their articles each day. No one said you have to agree with him all the time or any of the time, but show some class.

Good read Kent... Someone once said, "I may not agree with everything you say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it."

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#14 Todd
March 07 2011, 12:39PM
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Who cares about the LAMERS. They'll make the playoffs and be bounced out by my Nucks. Iginla is overrated? Really we are celebrating 30 goals now? Umm yeah no thanks. We got Kesler who is way better and underpaid than overpaid Iggy.

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#15 Vintage Flame
March 07 2011, 12:51PM
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Todd wrote:

Who cares about the LAMERS. They'll make the playoffs and be bounced out by my Nucks. Iginla is overrated? Really we are celebrating 30 goals now? Umm yeah no thanks. We got Kesler who is way better and underpaid than overpaid Iggy.

Kesler couldn't carry Iggy's jock. And the fact that you're trolling over here shows that there is nothing interesting going on over at your own Blog site..

Celebrate now Canucklehead, cause as sure as the sun rises in the morning, you'll be crying after another choke in the playoffs...

Loooooooooooouuuuuuuuuu..... SER!

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#16 FireOnIce
March 07 2011, 01:06PM
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So what's the deal with Morrison? Presser today said a couple weeks to let his knee swelling go down. I've also heard that it's far worse and that he may be done for the season.

Any thoughts?

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#17 SmellOfVictory
March 07 2011, 01:28PM
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Todd wrote:

Who cares about the LAMERS. They'll make the playoffs and be bounced out by my Nucks. Iginla is overrated? Really we are celebrating 30 goals now? Umm yeah no thanks. We got Kesler who is way better and underpaid than overpaid Iggy.

Kesler is a 25 year old who would've been an RFA. Aside from that fact that you're a member of the single most unlikeable fanbase in the entirety of professional sports (and a shining example, to boot), you're also clearly ignorant. Iginla is one of exactly 10 players in the history of the NHL who have scored 30+ goals in 10 consecutive years - there is nothing overrated about that. Iginla's contract is not the best value currently, but it was amazing value during the first couple of years, and during those years he was better than Kesler will ever be.

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#18 schevvy
March 07 2011, 02:20PM
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Todd wrote:

Who cares about the LAMERS. They'll make the playoffs and be bounced out by my Nucks. Iginla is overrated? Really we are celebrating 30 goals now? Umm yeah no thanks. We got Kesler who is way better and underpaid than overpaid Iggy.

Kesler is a jerk, remember those comments in the Olympics when he said he "hates Canada". Plus you guys can't and won't win a Stanley Cup becaused the goalie you call LUUUUUUUUUUUONGO will always choke in the playoffs. So go ahead, laugh now, because you'll be crying once you lose in the playoffs AGAIN

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#19 Hayley
March 07 2011, 02:24PM
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Great read, I was thinking earlier about what would happen if we re-signed Babchuk based on this season's stats and he had to replace someone in the top-four and how he would probably struggle like White did.

Hopefully Feaster realizes this.

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#20 That_Angela
March 07 2011, 02:25PM
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@SmellOfVictory

Most unlikeable fanbase in the entirety of professional sports, Todd?

http://www.spike.com/articles/g9loov/the-top-10-teams-with-the-most-annoying-fans

Guess who's No. 5?

Oh and Kent, great analysis. Appreciated.

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#21 Todd
March 07 2011, 02:45PM
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7-2 Flamers. Do you remember that game? We came into the liabrary and beat you 7-2! How are you guys the best fans in hockey? Half of you are 04 Wagon jumpers and the rest just there texting away. Do you even know 3 players on your farm team? Can you even name 3 players on your NHL team not named Iggy, Kipper, or Regher? Didn't think so. Save it Flames fan. Oh wait aren't you the same morons who called 960 wanting to run Iggy and Kipper out of town? Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

You guys are the worst fans in hockey. YOu needed an 04 run to gain support again, while my Nucks have had the most number of sell outs in HHL history.

Also without Bobby LOooooooou there is no gold medal.

Kesler is the best two way player in the game, and we don't waste money on bums like Stajan.

Nice trade for Dion. If MIke Gillis was your GM you would have a team worth being happy about it. Newsflash, once this season is done so are you guys with your zero future. We have Schnider and Hodgson.

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#22 schevvy
March 07 2011, 02:56PM
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Todd wrote:

7-2 Flamers. Do you remember that game? We came into the liabrary and beat you 7-2! How are you guys the best fans in hockey? Half of you are 04 Wagon jumpers and the rest just there texting away. Do you even know 3 players on your farm team? Can you even name 3 players on your NHL team not named Iggy, Kipper, or Regher? Didn't think so. Save it Flames fan. Oh wait aren't you the same morons who called 960 wanting to run Iggy and Kipper out of town? Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

You guys are the worst fans in hockey. YOu needed an 04 run to gain support again, while my Nucks have had the most number of sell outs in HHL history.

Also without Bobby LOooooooou there is no gold medal.

Kesler is the best two way player in the game, and we don't waste money on bums like Stajan.

Nice trade for Dion. If MIke Gillis was your GM you would have a team worth being happy about it. Newsflash, once this season is done so are you guys with your zero future. We have Schnider and Hodgson.

We are a completely different team than we were in December. We were brutal then. BOBBY LOUUUUUUUUU or whatever you call him, remember the past two playoff series against Chicago? He was too busy trying to get his jock strap from the rafters that he forgot to play. He fails in the post-season. Also I think Canada almost lost the gold because of him. Remember those soft goals against the Slovaks and the Americans? You Canuck fans crack me up, how arrogant you are and yet you've never won anything in franchise history. Talk to me once you see Henrik holding up the Cup, I'll be waiting

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#23 Vintage Flame
March 07 2011, 03:19PM
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Lol.. From Angela's link...

"It’s remarkable how arrogant the fan base of a team with zero Stanley Cups, no Hall of Fame players, and two homoerotic Swedish twins that seem physically afraid of the playoffs can act. It’s literally mind-boggling! These days, when they’re not too busy demanding trades on local radio shows or reminiscing about that year they almost signed Wayne Gretzky, you can usually find Canucks fans preaching about how hosting Jarome Iginla and the Canadian Olympic team will finally establish their city as a genuine hockey town (sort of like how marrying Lamar Odom made Khloe Kardashian a real celebrity – legitimacy by association). "

FYI.. Ryan Kesler is a no-class clown that probably wishes he wasn't stuck in some homoerotic nightmare that is the ice-capades..

Iggy's Accomplishments: Award Year NHL All-Rookie Team 1997 First team All-Star 2002, 2008, 2009 Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy 2002, 2004 Art Ross Trophy 2002 Lester B. Pearson Award 2002 ESPY Best NHL Player 2002, 2004 Second team All-Star 2004 King Clancy Memorial Trophy 2004 NHL Foundation Player Award 2004 Mark Messier Leadership Award 2009 Memorial Cup Championship team 1994, 1995 George Parsons Trophy 1995 WHL West First All-Star team 1996 Four Broncos Memorial Trophy 1996 CHL First All-Star team 1996 Molson Cup 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008 Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award 2001, 2002 J. R. McCaig Award 2008

World Junior First All-Star team 1996 World Junior Best Forward 1996

2 Olympic Gold medals 2002, 2010 1 WJHC Gold medal 1996 1 World Championship Gold 1997* * Youngest payer on team @19 1 World Cup of Hockey Gold 2004

Ryan Kesler's Achievments Award Year 1 WJHC Gold medal 2004 Cyclone Taylor Award 2009* *Canucks MVP Award [WOW!!]

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#24 Rain Dogs
March 07 2011, 03:41PM
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C'mon Kent.

My comment isn't personal, it isn't passive aggressive and it isn't snide. The only comment that is anything combative is the footballs part, which is a joke, and it's pretty light. As much of my response was to JohnF's 'quote-comment' as it was responding directly to what you wrote.

There is nothing underhanded about my challenging of your ideas, I appreciate your writing most of the time and would fear what it would be like around these parts if I, or many of the others these forums, were doing the articles.

However, you can't expect to put forth a one-sided discussion and not be challenged on it.

AND, further to that, if you wish to keep the "personal" out of it... it's your move mate... I haven't said anything other than:

Jokinen and Babchuk are disliked around the blog-o-sphere (by not just yourself) and people (again, this isn't even about you, I just bounce off the data points you chose.) are not willing to give them an truly objective measure.

However, anytime I challenge your ideas, with your own measures, you get pretty personal in your responses to me.

If you don't get that from our comments, perhaps a re-read is in order.

EDIT: As another note, I just listened to the podcast where you were speaking with Pat and I thought you did well with the analysis you gave in that forum. One that was much more even and fair of both players. I'm not sure why, or if, it was so different, but I feel it was.

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#25 Todd
March 07 2011, 03:53PM
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Vancouver Millionaires look it up Lamers. Oh wait that's right your history starts since 04, my bad.

I'll bet both Sedins, Bobby Lou, and Kesler get in the HOF, while Iggy misses. Heck Markus Naslund will beat Iggy in.

Nice plus minus too by Iggy, does he even know where is d-end is? Again Flame fans you wanted to trad him in Dec, don't give me this crap that if the Flames were done now the trigger would have been pulled? I recall you Flame fans wanting Brayden Schen for Iggy? I wouldn't even trade Jordan Schroeder for has been Iginla. He is done.

Predition: Van 6 Calgary 0 BOOK IT. Kippersieve will get lit up like an Xmas tree.

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#26 Vintage Flame
March 07 2011, 03:55PM
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@Todd

"Also without Bobby LOooooooou there is no gold medal."

You idiot.. Booby Loouuuuu...SER almost COST Canada the Gold medal with 25 sec left in the game. It was Iggy that covered Booby's crappy play with a great feed to Sid.

Beat it Troll... Try and stick to the topic at hand. I'm done even commenting on your drivel. I can't believe it, but you're dumber than "Oiler fan"

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#27 SmellOfVictory
March 07 2011, 04:01PM
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@Todd

Jonathan Toews, Mike Richards, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg say hello. Also, way to fail on spelling Schneider's name. You're a massive herp derp.

The Canucks are a great team, that's no lie. I do wish them only the worst luck, and hope the Sedins and Kesler go their entire careers without a cup, though, because it would greatly satisfy me to see the idiocy of their fans continue with no cup to back up the words.

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#28 B
March 07 2011, 04:27PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

You know Lawrence, we've had many discussions over the years and I appreciate your willingness to air your grievances. What continues to annoy me is your penchant to be at once combative and snide.

It's entirely possible that I'm being unfair to Jokinen. My argument right now is that his results are buttressed by playing with better players who are probably driving results. You raise some fair points I think. We can debate it all day if you'd like, which is the purpose of these sites.

Do me a favor though, Lawrence - stop the passive aggressive accusations of intellectual dishonesty and ad hominems. Im certainly not perfect or right all the time, but I try my best to present my arguments in a cogent, organized manner here. If you can't find it in yourself to debate in good faith, take a hike.

...come on Kent. It's just harmless banter. His opinion is different than yours, big deal. If this blog is to remain objective at all the least we can alow is passive aggressive accusations of various sorts. Dishonesty is all relative anyways, in so much of what your initial assumptions about the truth is.

...you were very hard on Darryl Sutter and lots of the players he was loyal to (Jokinen included), it's only fair that you should be subject to criticism as well. Let's face it, lots of Flames fans read what you say, and you influence the opinion of some of them. When you have some power you become a target.

...I happen to agree with the majority of your opinions on Babchuck and Jokinen, just don't turn this board into a KUMBAYA session. Nothing personal about anybody outside hockey should ever be brought up, but everyone has an angle when it comes to their opinion on hockey, don't get pissed off if someone calls your spin of the truth, and very well like Lawrence just did.

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#29 george
March 07 2011, 04:31PM
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I agree with vinatgeflame, its like he stole read my mind. While Kent does a intereting job of providing an analysis and was a good read, sometimes as tymebalm said, its an eyeball test. Oli has played extremely well, and I think he has made his wingers better rather then the wingers making him better. The two flames not carrying their weight are stajan and hagman, now those two are deadweight

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#30 Pat Steinberg
March 07 2011, 04:45PM
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Aside from all this Canucks talk (seriously?) Kent joined me on the FAN this afternoon to address Jokinen and Babchuk.

The audio is now the latest post here on FN.

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#31 Quicksilver ballet
March 07 2011, 04:49PM
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What's not to love about this thread. One cup between the two organizations and the Flames and Canucks fans are slinging mud over who's worse? LOL!

Oilers 5 Calgary 1. Thanks for the chuckle guys.

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#32 Pat Steinberg
March 07 2011, 04:54PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

What's not to love about this thread. One cup between the two organizations and the Flames and Canucks fans are slinging mud over who's worse? LOL!

Oilers 5 Calgary 1. Thanks for the chuckle guys.

Not sure if serious...

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#33 B
March 07 2011, 04:57PM
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...for the record, I read Kent Wilson posts more than all the other guys combined. Don't feel bad if people get on your case or attack you Kent, it means your good at what you do (I don't have to agree with a word you say, but if I'm responding it's because your spin is too good not to reply too). My past, present, and future attacks included :)

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#34 RossCreekNation
March 07 2011, 05:16PM
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We won 5 Cups three decades ago... blah, blah, blah...

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#35 RossCreekNation
March 07 2011, 05:22PM
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As for the article, it is what it is. Anton Babchuk is a #5/pp d-man... anything more than a 500K raise is a mistake. If he's willing to stay for

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#36 B
March 07 2011, 05:28PM
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...Babchuck = low priced Sheldon Souray

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#37 SmellOfVictory
March 07 2011, 06:00PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

What's not to love about this thread. One cup between the two organizations and the Flames and Canucks fans are slinging mud over who's worse? LOL!

Oilers 5 Calgary 1. Thanks for the chuckle guys.

Were you even ALIVE when the Oilers won their cups?

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#38 Palt
March 07 2011, 06:14PM
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Todd wrote:

7-2 Flamers. Do you remember that game? We came into the liabrary and beat you 7-2! How are you guys the best fans in hockey? Half of you are 04 Wagon jumpers and the rest just there texting away. Do you even know 3 players on your farm team? Can you even name 3 players on your NHL team not named Iggy, Kipper, or Regher? Didn't think so. Save it Flames fan. Oh wait aren't you the same morons who called 960 wanting to run Iggy and Kipper out of town? Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

You guys are the worst fans in hockey. YOu needed an 04 run to gain support again, while my Nucks have had the most number of sell outs in HHL history.

Also without Bobby LOooooooou there is no gold medal.

Kesler is the best two way player in the game, and we don't waste money on bums like Stajan.

Nice trade for Dion. If MIke Gillis was your GM you would have a team worth being happy about it. Newsflash, once this season is done so are you guys with your zero future. We have Schnider and Hodgson.

First of all, the canucks beat the Flames 7-2. So what? The Flames kicked their butts back a couple of years ago 7-2 on Trevor Linden's retirement night. And "overpaid Iggy" scored his 50th goal on Bobby Louser. Also, you can love the canucks all you want, and praise yourself and all canuck fans, but dont be too quick too praise the canucks franchise. How many Stanley cups do they have? Oh yeah... right. As for theirs no gold medal without Roberto Luongo, Marc andre Fleury was sitting in the press box, and easily coulve led Canada to gold. Just cuz Brodeur was playing his worst hockey ever, and that Luongos pads are bigger than a car, doesnt mean Luongo was the reason for Canada winning. Who assisted on the golden goal. Oh yeah;"overpaid Iggy". Also,the Flames may have Stajan, but at least they dont hire out dirty players like Kesler, Burrows, Hordichuk, Glass, Torres, etc. Trade for Phaneuf, yeah it wasnt great. Hows the deal for Ballard? Gave up Grabner, whos having a heck of a year, and ur first rounder. Oh yeah, and Jordan Schroeder isnt that good.

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#39 FireOnIce
March 07 2011, 07:16PM
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@Todd

Nah, our history started a while back. We couldn't lord our 89 Cup over the Canucks if our history stretched back to 2004. Then we had the entertaining Flames of the 90s, fight filled games and all. It was glorious.

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#40 schevvy
March 07 2011, 08:13PM
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Todd wrote:

Vancouver Millionaires look it up Lamers. Oh wait that's right your history starts since 04, my bad.

I'll bet both Sedins, Bobby Lou, and Kesler get in the HOF, while Iggy misses. Heck Markus Naslund will beat Iggy in.

Nice plus minus too by Iggy, does he even know where is d-end is? Again Flame fans you wanted to trad him in Dec, don't give me this crap that if the Flames were done now the trigger would have been pulled? I recall you Flame fans wanting Brayden Schen for Iggy? I wouldn't even trade Jordan Schroeder for has been Iginla. He is done.

Predition: Van 6 Calgary 0 BOOK IT. Kippersieve will get lit up like an Xmas tree.

C'mon really, the Vancouver Millionaires, seriously? Does that make a difference? I don't think something that happened in the 1920's makes you suddenly a world-beater. When the Canucks win the cup, not the Millionaires, then you can laugh at us all you want

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#41 wattree
March 07 2011, 08:34PM
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Todd wrote:

Vancouver Millionaires look it up Lamers. Oh wait that's right your history starts since 04, my bad.

I'll bet both Sedins, Bobby Lou, and Kesler get in the HOF, while Iggy misses. Heck Markus Naslund will beat Iggy in.

Nice plus minus too by Iggy, does he even know where is d-end is? Again Flame fans you wanted to trad him in Dec, don't give me this crap that if the Flames were done now the trigger would have been pulled? I recall you Flame fans wanting Brayden Schen for Iggy? I wouldn't even trade Jordan Schroeder for has been Iginla. He is done.

Predition: Van 6 Calgary 0 BOOK IT. Kippersieve will get lit up like an Xmas tree.

If I remember right, wasn't it Iginla that kept his team on the ice after the last game of the regular season, (a night on which the Canucks were starting to book their t-times) in which to show his respect to the retiring Trevor Linden. If I was a player in your city I'd be looking for a way out just to stop being a representative for clowns like you.

And don't get me started on the 3 morons who show up to your games in the green condoms.

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#42 Sincity1976
March 07 2011, 09:06PM
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Why do people feed the trolls. Sigh.

As for the article. There are two ways to use stats. The first is to objectively evaluate them and then form a conclusion. The second is to use them to support a pre-conceived conclusion.

I am not preaching. I and most sports fans are guilty of doing the second more then the first. In my experience Kent us usually much better then the rest of us in intelligently and objectively evaluating the data and then deriving an opinion, even if I don't always agree with the conclusion.

Not in this case though. This reeks of someone trying to prove a point.

Bash the counting stats all you want, but both Babs and Jokinen have been just fine.

At 3-million per Jokinen has been playing second line minutes, usually against top line competition. Yet he has maintained a PPG pace over 40+ games. That is better then most top line players and better then any Flame not named Iggy.

Babs is a 5/6 D playing in a 5/6 role getting paid a 5/6 salary and he has been just fine doing it. Beyond that he is top 30 in scoring, top 10 in goals, and top 5 in PP goals. Most of it as a Flame. His plus minus is in the top 30 as well, granted playing sheltered EV minutes.

I can agree with many of the reasons you put down as to why these players are playing well (though you fail to give much credit to the players) but you forgot to acknowledge that the players are playing well in the first place.

Putting up a video of Babs getting undressed by one of the top forwards in the NHL as evidence? Come on. You can find that on just about any player.

The best thing you can say about Jokinen is he far less of a detriment and not a total boat anchor? Really? Sure Glencross and Moss deserve some credit. Of course both are having career years with Jokinen playing between them in one of the most important positions in Hockey. I think they owe him a little something as well.

PS. Whats with the hate on for Iggy lately. Seems some players just can't work their way out of the bad box.

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#43 Sincity1976
March 07 2011, 09:13PM
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wattree wrote:

If I remember right, wasn't it Iginla that kept his team on the ice after the last game of the regular season, (a night on which the Canucks were starting to book their t-times) in which to show his respect to the retiring Trevor Linden. If I was a player in your city I'd be looking for a way out just to stop being a representative for clowns like you.

And don't get me started on the 3 morons who show up to your games in the green condoms.

Seriously quit feeding the trolls. The vast majority of Canucks fans are fine. There is a multi-page post on the Canucks main page congratulating Iggy's accomplishment with almost everyone on it showing huge respect for the captain.

I agree with you on the green condom things though. I don't have words for it.

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#44 icedawg_42
March 08 2011, 06:59AM
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Thank you SinCity!!! This is what happens when trolls crash the party. just hit the friggin ignore button. Anyway...as for Joker, I make a lot of jokes about him, but I was never as down on him as many people, in fact when Darryl re-acquired him last summer, I thought it was a decent move, that it would work out much better than the first go round, and that he got somewhat of a bum-rap last time he was here (and no im not making this up, you can ask Vintage, we had many a good discussion on this very topic long ago). What surprises me more is the "who" Joker has found his chemistry with. I like GlenX very much, and Moss I've never been too high or too low on (but he's surprised me pleasantly this season, my opinion of him has gone up significantly). As far as Jokinen, I suppose it makes sense that he's better when he's surrounded by those who are far more responsible defensively - I know I've made jokes about the following, but I actually believe there is quite a bit of truth to it: Brent Sutter has taught Jokinen how to play hockey.

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#45 Todd
March 09 2011, 10:31AM
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Really LAMERS you are going to use Trevor LInden night as your rebutal? Should I pull out Pavel Bure in 94 vs the Flames in OT as my sling back? Past is the past Flames fan, and in the PRESENT time we beat you 7-2 and are on the verge of winning the Western Conference.

Marc Andre Fleury? REALLY? The same guy who cost us the world jrs was going to win us the gold medal in the Olympics? BAHAHAHAHA. Bobby Lou robbed Demitra, without that save there is no gold medal game.

Sure Iggy got lucky and fell the right way, but it's still Crosby's goal.

YOu guys need to rebuild. ENjoy this ride while it lasts, but you have 50mill tied up in cap space, and still have Kotalik, Ivanans, and Sarich for another year. YIKES.

Rene Bourque is a poor mans Petri Skriko. Nice minus 13.

You guys would give half your team for Kesler.

Flames out in first round.

How sad is it that your BEST CENTERMAN is a 35 yearold hack who wasn't good enough to make our 4th line?

WELL DONE FLAMES FANS

WELL DONE.

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#46 todd
March 09 2011, 12:42PM
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Also your team is so bad, yet again you have to wait 30mins to actually watch them. BAHAHAHA. I am glad my Canucks don't have that issue.

CBC Flames fans.

CANT

BEAT

CANUCKS!

WAAAAAAHOOOOOOOO!

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