Post-Game: How To Outwork A Young Turk

bookofloob
January 27 2013 12:58AM

Well friends, it was one of those nights. A collection of perfect moments stacked on top of other perfect moments. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon that melted away into a decadent Saturday night, and with a national audience including in house appearances by Ron, Don, and Spike Lee (prove to me that he WASN'T there), your Calgary Flames put the cherry on top.

In case you didn't notice, we had ourselves a little bit of a Battle of Alberta tonight, and true to form, it was a spirited tilt, where all the surrounding optics that usually follow teams over the course of the season fade, and the two provincial rivals, regardless of where they are in the course of their respective histories, combine to treat fans to some of the purest hovkey you will ever see. Tonight was just one more pristine example of how beautiful this game can be when two impassioned franchises rise above themselves and leave everything on the line.

The Flames, however, were just much much better this time around.

Get Off My Back, Monkey!

You've heard it all month now: "In a lockout shortened 48 game season, every game is important". Which is, I suppose, at least a little bit true. So it's safe to say that when you're playing your fourth game and still looking for your first win, well, YOU BETTER GET THAT FIRST WIN.

What better way to smash though that wall then by putting stick to the "good" forever rivals talking a big game up north? It's cute when they talk like that, but the Flames did a good job of reminding them who was the babysitter and who was the baby tonight.

Mikael Backlund continued his mini-renaissance by opening the scoring in the first period by scoring a decidedly Ryan Smyth goal (which is to say, an ugly one). Jay Bouwmeester, who was an absolute bull tonight (you read that right), made it 2-0 after slipping one past a Jarome Iginla screened alleged starting goaltender Deven Dubnyk shortly after the Flames power play had expired.

The Oilers did make it worth watching before the end of the stanza as Anaheim's Most Wanted Justin Schultz blasted a maybe questionable gun past Flames goalkeeper Miikka Kiprusoff who, unsurprisingly, was bananas good for most of the game.

That said, the Oilers did outchance the Flames in the beginning frame, putting up 6 chances to Calgary's 4 (despite Calgary outshooting the Oilers 13-10 (13 shots in the first period! (!))), which is hilarious, because 2-1 Flames. What an organization.

From that point on, it was all Flames. Like if not for the fact that it was absolutely hilarious, it wouldn't have even been funny.

Despite Jordan Eberle scoring the Oilers second PP goal of the night while Mark Giordano was sitting in the penalty box for watching Eberle fall over, it was about the only real shred of offense we'd see from those precious young children for the balance of the contest.

Curtis Glencross potted his third goal of the season to start the second, on a BONKERS dish from Jarome Iginla, and Lee Stempniak also cashed in his third (on an equally pretty pass by Bouwmeester) as his scheduled hot streak continues on over the early part of the campaign for the Flames. The boys in red outchanced the Oilers 9-4, outshot them 13(!)-4, and things started to get real dusty over on the Edmonton bench.

The third period was Calgary's offering to let the Flames fans embrace themselves in the win, playing a tough defensive game that just shut down the vaunted Oiler's still really kind of puny offensive efforts. The Oilers managed 20 shots to end the game along with 13 scoring chances, while the Flames finished the night with 18 chances, 35 shots, and most importantly, 2 points, while Flames head coach Bob Hartley earned his first of hopefully many wins as a Calgary Flame.

And golly, it was fun to watch.

J-Bo  Est J-Bon

That's French, y'all.

While outside of Blake Comeau and to an extent Matt Stajan, neither of whom were particularly good, and Sven Baerstchi, who was limited to 5 minutes, presumably on purpose, most of the Flames played out of their skulls on this night. Lee Stempniak had a three point night, Iginla was a bull, and Kipper is as Kipper does (which is be awesome at things).

But Bouwmeester was the man on this one. Playing 24:01 of the most important minutes of the game (as always) (somehow the Flames leader in ice time was Dennis Wideman, so that's a thing that happened), Bouwmeester had a goal and an assist and was all over the ice on both ends of the puck. He even led the odd rush, in Bobby Orrwellian fashion, which is a term I just made up. He looked very much like the player everyone expected to see when Stanley Cup Winner Darryl Sutter signed him to a six year eleventy billion dollar contract three seasons ago. He was worth the money tonight.

He even hit a couple of people, so get your smile on, Jay, you've been deemed pretty good at hockey by a panel of experts who were watching you tonight and are only mostly me on that panel.

Czechmate

One of the big stories going into the game (outside of it being the Battle of Alberta that the Oilers were supposedly going to decimate the Flames in, which is adorable, thanks for coming out Edmonton, you were all like puppies out there) was that the Flames were FINALLY going to get to debut their significant offseason acquisitions, Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka.

While Cervenka, who hadn't played in a game since November, and has racked up a lot of frequent flyer miles flying between Russia, Calgary, Phoenix, and Mars over the past 10 days or so, looked unspectacular, which you might expect, but you can see that good things are coming. And that. freaking. rules.

Hudler, on the other hand, was all Black Crowes about it, being way to hard to for the Oilers to handle on this night, running roughshod over the Schultzes of the world and even assisted on Lee Stempniak's game winning power play goal in the second.

The Czech forwards each played just under 18 minutes, and looked REALLY good when you consider they were centered by Matt Stajan, and they just made the Flames immediately better. The team has some depth now, and we're all happy to be able to hear that word again without any hint of sarcasm for once.

Kent said it best on twitter: I can say the Flames can actually ice to two full PP units for the first time in recent memory.

I couldn't agree more. This is not your father's Calgary Flames. Assuming your father only started watching the Flames 4 years ago.

Look out for the Flames, Citizens, because they are on their way.

01f20cee6c900dc633fe87a421630f41
The Book of Loob is the Nation's resident expert in flim-flammery and twaddle. An unabashed Flames fan, when BoL is not intellectually bankrupting Flames Nation, he can be seen rooting for Blair Jones, often to excess, at Book of Loob. Follow him on twitter here.
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#1 Smitty
January 27 2013, 01:06AM
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"Bobby Orrwellian fashion" might be the greatest thing I have read all year.

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#2 If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin
January 27 2013, 02:03AM
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Awesome article. Disagree on Stajan, though. I thought he was more than adequate, and nicely complemented the Czechs with some hustle and good cycling down low on occassion. He played like a decent third line center, in other words, but not quite like a 3.5 million second-line center.

Bomo was a beast, though. He was really good in Van, too, so maybe, just maybe, he will flourish under Hartley`s system. If so, damn you B Sutter for constraining the ability of a guy we were paying 6.5 million a year.

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#3 Willi P
January 27 2013, 09:20AM
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Craig wrote:

I thought that Blair Jones was awesome last night, he picked up where he left off last year, can't really see him as a third liner but he is an excellent fourth liner. Backlund should be centering the czechs, he doesn't have any chemistry with Cammaleri, and stempniak will be good with anyone right now. Everytime I saw Stajan last night I kept thinking that the cycle would have lasted way longer with backlund there. They would have killed it.

Jones did have a good game last night. Maybe he will develop a little more finish and pot a few.

Can't agree on the Backlund/Stajan thing though. Backlund has started off great but his play is shoot first right now and he seems to be trying to do it all himself on that line most of the time. Unfortunately, I think Backlunds ice time/stock may start to drop off until he starts passing more to the shooters on his line.

Stajan kept the play alive a lot last night and his puck possession game was as good as I have ever seen it as a Flame. I think he is a good centre for these two guys until they get up to speed, if he can continue this type of play. (and I am not or never have been a Stajan fan but hope he can change my mind)

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#4 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 27 2013, 10:36AM
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My Take:

Cervanka looked a bit lost first couple shifts but got better with every shift.

Cervanka + Hudler = wow, and they can only get better from this point.

Iginla seemed to be out of position, meaning he was spotted in the defensive zone throughout the night! weird! but he looked like Iggy the power forward again, hard to handle, and the puck was glued to his stick - a beast, really made the oiler stars look like rookies... wait, they are rookies haha.

J-Bo, welcome to Calgary, please stay awhile! He did it all, all night, with a real attitude, dare we say, swagger?

Wideman - saw him fail a couple times defensively, (beat wide for scoring chance, limp pass at critical point became turnover) but he has been very good at what he does - I have to admit I've been liking what I see, and think he does indeed make us better.

Backland = swagger!!! don't lose it, this is your year, play like this all year and you'll be cashing real cheques!

Tanguay - loving the system and coach - seems to be playing the game he wants to now, doesn't look forced like it did under Sutter. Confidence and finish galore.

Brodie - love his tape to tape, crisp passes

Jones - liked what i saw - lot's of hustle and energy

Cammi - trying hard - maybe too hard? Hopefully he finds his mojo soon, because we all know its in there somewhere... Cammi the difference maker. I think back to the game years ago where he punched that guy in the mouth on the face-off... was that a playoff game? still makes me smile... he's a warrior and team guy - not worried

Gio - knocking the rust off fast, good game, will continue to get better.

GlenX - I'm so glad he's on our team - he has finish and grit and speed... and a temper! not sure about running the goalie - that wasn't the smartest move, wonder what he was thinking!

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#5 Drewski
January 27 2013, 09:11PM
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Definitely have to bring domebeers in for retribution on the next GDB. Justin writes a mean article, but dome is our king of caustic humour.

Had a great time watching the game at a bar in Edmonton with my baertschi jers on and no one even tried to shank me. Win win.

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#6 Smitty
January 27 2013, 01:06AM
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Oh. Also. Great game! Loved every minute of it.

Go Flames Go!

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#7 Justin Azevedo
January 27 2013, 01:58AM
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I call writing the next battle of alberta pre-game

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#9 NLR2
January 27 2013, 02:23AM
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I thought the Ragin Stajan looks pretty good with his Czech mates. Hopefully they stick with it for a bit and give them a chance to gel. Sure nice to have 3 scoring lines and a fourth that's pretty talented. Defense is really rounding into shape also. Hartley's upbeat attitude seems to be paying off.

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#10 beloch
January 27 2013, 02:52AM
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Stajan is unlikely to find himself between better wingers at any future point in his career. Here's hoping he takes advantage of it! Hudler looked like he knew what he was doing, which is very promising given how little time he's had to learn Hartley's system. Cervenka looked a little tentative at first, but got better with every shift. He seems to be able to stick-handle around other players well and has a nice quick-release. He's definitely got potential!

Stempniak... Man... WHY CAN'T HE PLAY LIKE THIS ALL SEASON!!!??? Seriously. The last few games he's been excellent.

Iginla and J-Bo also played great tonight. It's too bad the Flames don't play again until Thursday. They should have gotten some momentum off of this game for their next one. Still, I expect the Czechs will look a lot better after a full week of practice.

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#11 beloch
January 27 2013, 04:12AM
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A thought on Baertschi:

I thought he looked decent out there, but he only got 5 minutes of ice-time tonight. It was nice to have him on the ice when his family is in town, but he should probably be sent back to Abbotsford until a bigger role opens up for him (i.e. Once the injuries inevitably start to pile up).

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#12 HongKongHockeyFan
January 27 2013, 04:22AM
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What about Blake Comeau! He looks terrible. He has nothing to offer, skill or physicality. He must be a strong candidate to hit the waiver wires again...

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#13 Q
January 27 2013, 06:46AM
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@beloch

Actually stempniak had a respectable season last yr considering injuries. This faster nhl suits his game nicely now. He a shifty player with good hands.

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#14 Q
January 27 2013, 07:03AM
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I was really pleasantly surprised how well hudler and cervenka performed.Hudler plays with alot of patience and is very confident in himself on the ice. Very skilled and mature player. I'm sure playing in Detroit helped with that. Cervenka played it safe the first few shifts, which was smart but he showed flashes of what we've been told about his skill. Looked great. Almost scored too. They both bring some great natural skill to this team. I almost hate to say it because I've been a huge nay sayer regarding stajan..... He was solid last night. Good at both ends. It's been a long time since we've had a team with good puck possession skills. Was fun to watch last night and I thought the 3 scratched were the correct choices. Jacko, butler, begin. Not a big begin booster, sorry! Can't wait for gaudreau, granlund, Jankowski, sieloff, ramage, culkin,Wotherspoon,kulak, brossoit, gillies to develop too. Edmonton will be great but were fine. Nothing to complain about. Jays staff are aggressively loading the shelves.

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#15 Q
January 27 2013, 07:14AM
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@ bookofloob:

Hey I'm not a stajan booster either but we gotta give credit when credits due. He was very solid last night. I'd rather see Sven on their line but for now while they're learning the system stajan is ok. He's worked hard in the off season obviously. Playing hard.

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#16 backburner
January 27 2013, 08:29AM
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A few observations:

I think Stajan was ok, But he has no finish. Hudler and Cervenka need a better Center.

Best game I've seen J Bo play! Looked like Scott Niedermayer last night!!

Cammelleri was a lot better last night too.

Kipper scares me a bit this year, but one thing I noticed.. The team has confidence in him, that's got to count for something..

Brodie kicks ass!

Comeau's useless right now...

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#17 Willi P
January 27 2013, 08:49AM
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If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin wrote:

Awesome article. Disagree on Stajan, though. I thought he was more than adequate, and nicely complemented the Czechs with some hustle and good cycling down low on occassion. He played like a decent third line center, in other words, but not quite like a 3.5 million second-line center.

Bomo was a beast, though. He was really good in Van, too, so maybe, just maybe, he will flourish under Hartley`s system. If so, damn you B Sutter for constraining the ability of a guy we were paying 6.5 million a year.

Agreed.

Stajan had a good/great game. Two games in a row and for his sake, I hope it keeps progressing.

This line took over as the number 2 line as the game went on.

As for JayBo, that is the type of play I expected when the Flames signed him. If it continues, it will be obvious that it was all coaching that held him back for the last three years.

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#18 Willi P
January 27 2013, 08:54AM
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beloch wrote:

Stajan is unlikely to find himself between better wingers at any future point in his career. Here's hoping he takes advantage of it! Hudler looked like he knew what he was doing, which is very promising given how little time he's had to learn Hartley's system. Cervenka looked a little tentative at first, but got better with every shift. He seems to be able to stick-handle around other players well and has a nice quick-release. He's definitely got potential!

Stempniak... Man... WHY CAN'T HE PLAY LIKE THIS ALL SEASON!!!??? Seriously. The last few games he's been excellent.

Iginla and J-Bo also played great tonight. It's too bad the Flames don't play again until Thursday. They should have gotten some momentum off of this game for their next one. Still, I expect the Czechs will look a lot better after a full week of practice.

With regards to Stemp, maybe this is a progression in becoming more consistent. GlenX is a much more consistent scorer in the last few years after he started as a very streaky scorer. Perhaps this is the evolution of some types of players. If so, looks good for him and the team.

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#19 Willi P
January 27 2013, 08:55AM
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beloch wrote:

A thought on Baertschi:

I thought he looked decent out there, but he only got 5 minutes of ice-time tonight. It was nice to have him on the ice when his family is in town, but he should probably be sent back to Abbotsford until a bigger role opens up for him (i.e. Once the injuries inevitably start to pile up).

Sadly, I have to agree. I hope he crushes the AHL.

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#20 Craig
January 27 2013, 09:01AM
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I thought that Blair Jones was awesome last night, he picked up where he left off last year, can't really see him as a third liner but he is an excellent fourth liner. Backlund should be centering the czechs, he doesn't have any chemistry with Cammaleri, and stempniak will be good with anyone right now. Everytime I saw Stajan last night I kept thinking that the cycle would have lasted way longer with backlund there. They would have killed it.

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#22 Primo
January 27 2013, 09:38AM
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Agree with most comments you are over critical of Stajan. His best game thus far with strong puck possession all night. Agree he has no points and no finish which will put both him and Comeau in the press box soon!

I would like to see a Sven - Cervenka - Hudler line. Also put Tangs back at left wing and let's get Cammy going by giving him a natural centre like Backlund to play with!

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#23 Kent Wilson
January 27 2013, 09:40AM
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@Craig

Agree on Stajan and Backlund. Stajan is still weak on the puck and is too easily taken out of the play.

Overall a really good game by the Flames though. I also have to hand it to Iginla - he looks a couple of years younger in the early going.

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#25 Baalzamon
January 27 2013, 10:39AM
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@Primo

I agree about the Sven - Cervenka - Hudler line, but the rest...

Cammalleri is already playing with Backlund.

I actually like what I'm seeing from the Glencross-Tanguay-Iginla unit these days.

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#26 Jai Kiran
January 27 2013, 11:01AM
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The strangest thing wasn't seeing #4 playing to his incredible potential - no, the strangest thing was seeing a game in which Calgary dominated the faceoff circle. And Cervenka was 3 and 0 on the dot: like Primo, I'm hoping for a Sven-Cervenka-Hudler line.

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#28 House
January 27 2013, 11:14AM
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Great game and a solid effort by the good guys in red. Had to remind myself who was wearing the #4 jersey. Looked like J-Bo, but a bionic version. Given how both Weekes and Stock had written the team off at the beginning of the game with their Oiler propaganda, the effort last night clearly shut them up (for now), and saves me the effort of writing a very strong correspondence to that network! How they can write off a team before the puck is dropped is blindingly ignorant and they do this before every Flames game.

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#29 backburner
January 27 2013, 11:27AM
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I was impressed with how Hudler and Cervenka were both playing smart Hockey last night... they knew exactly where to put the puck...

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#30 backburner
January 27 2013, 11:30AM
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I am still not convinced Flames are dominate enough to make the playoffs this year..

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#31 Baalzamon
January 27 2013, 12:02PM
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bookofloob wrote:

My worry is taking Cervenka TOO far out of his comfort zone putting him in at center.

We all thought he was one, but I guess it's not his natural position. He's already in unfamiliar territory on smaller ice with a maybe more physical game (maybe, I don't know enough about the KHL, it's just what I hear)

Cervenka centered the 2nd powerplay unit. I know that's not the same thing as centering at even strength, but there it is.

He is a natural center, but he's also played on the wing a lot. And the system he played in europe is nothing like the one he's playing here. I think they're trying to acclimate Cervenka slowly to the center position (using the powerplay, and in practice).

And I just realized I haven't raved about Brodie for a while. BRODIE!!

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#32 RKD
January 27 2013, 12:06PM
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The Flames by far played their best game of the season. They played a full 60 minutes, they can't afford to have long stretches of poor play or bad periods.

I thought Jay-Bo was a beast, maybe playing less minutes in Hartley's 'uptempo' system will allow him to jump into the rush a lot more.

Backlund scoring is only going to help his confidence, he's gotta keep going to the net and good things will happen.

I thought Hudler was really good, and Cervenka was playing strong as well. Hudler is a big upgrade over Moss, but the real question is can Cervenka be better than Jokinen?

Despite the loads of skill the Oilers have, they were beaten by a team who wanted it more. Skill doesn't always beat will. The Oilers were pathetic in the shot department. Rather than keep drafting forwards, they could have drafted one shutdown d-man and a goalie to better balance it out. They are quite one-dimensional, their forwards are much smaller and are missing some veterans who have won the Stanley Cup before.

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#33 Subversive
January 27 2013, 12:19PM
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Cervenka has some serious skill and didn't look overwhelmed at all by the NHL game. I'm excited to see how good he can be. I assume he's eligible for the Calder? That would be sweet...

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#34 Baalzamon
January 27 2013, 12:22PM
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The Oiler's top 2 lines were fine, it's just their bottom 6 was mostly brutal.

I love that goal by Backlund, by the way. Instead of blasting a high wrist shot or roofing a backhand he just crashed the net. That's how you can tell his luck is starting to turn (and his confidence/assertiveness).

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#35 Kent Wilson
January 27 2013, 12:26PM
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@Baalzamon

Kids still aren't great south of the red line for EDM. I wouldn't load them up on one line and then match them against other power lines, personally, but I'm not the Oilers coach.

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#36 mattyc
January 27 2013, 12:35PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Agree on Stajan and Backlund. Stajan is still weak on the puck and is too easily taken out of the play.

Overall a really good game by the Flames though. I also have to hand it to Iginla - he looks a couple of years younger in the early going.

I also noted quite a few times for 'key' faceoffs in the defensive zone, Stajan was getting thrown out to take the draw. I'm not sure exactly what it says about the Flames if Stajan is our go-to center in those situations, but he's proven pretty useful to my eye so far this year.

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#37 schevvy
January 27 2013, 12:41PM
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@Subversive

Cervenka not eligible for Calder, too old. The Sergei Makarov rule.

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#38 FireOnIce
January 27 2013, 12:48PM
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I was at the game last night. My thoughts:

- The tripping call on Gio was total bullcrap, and he gave me the thumbs up while I was shouting at the ref about it (I was behind the home penalty box).

- Yakupov was invisible. The only times I saw him were when his thick eye brows were staring directly into my soul. Not good for a player that's supposed to be ballin'.

- J Schultz looked like nothing special (other than that quick PPG).

- Flames looked pretty good. I disagree that Matty Franchise did all that well, he seemed to just be coasting every time I saw him.

- Cammy's troubles seem to be two-fold. He's trying too hard, but the Oilers were also all over him every time he got the puck. Cammy needs to find an open space and wait for the one-timer feed. Do what he does best.

- I love the Oilers vs Flames talk. Both teams are sort of terrible right now, so hearing fans of both teams talking about the Cup is a joke.

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#39 ChinookArch
January 27 2013, 12:54PM
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Why is Bouwmeester so much better this season?

Several potential seasons:

1. A better partner in Giordano. It may be that as Giordano's game improves, so does Bouwmeester's potential as aN offensive threat, as he takes more risks.

2. His TOI has been limited to less than 30 minutes per game. Logging the kind of time he has over the last 3 seasons and you can't blame him for pacing himself game in and game out. He was a force because he seems to pushing harder and again taking more risks.

3. He is the beneficiary of a team system that takes advantage of his natural tools, and has the coaches blessing to use them. - under Brent Sutter, you can bet he would have been crucified for not having a defense first mentality.

4. His shot looks to have improved. Maybe just my eye, but it appears to have more strength behind it. Did he hit the gym?

5. Please don't let this one be true, but it's possible that this is simply a small sample of 4 games, and it won't continue. PLEASE DON'T LET IT BE.

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#40 Kent Wilson
January 27 2013, 01:06PM
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@ChinookArch

Please don't let this one be true, but it's possible that this is simply a small sample of 4 games, and it won't continue. PLEASE DON'T LET IT BE.

This is a huge caveat. Remember, JayBo looked fairly awful in the first couple of games this year.

I hope this persists however.

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#41 Baalzamon
January 27 2013, 01:14PM
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Whether Bouwmeester's awesomeness persists or not, you can tell that he's a different player under Hartley. He joined the rush on practically every shift, he was engaged on the (every) play, and he KEPT HIS FEET MOVING.

Also, I think Hartley loves Brodie.

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#42 Kent Wilson
January 27 2013, 01:18PM
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@Baalzamon

As he should. Brodie has been excellent.

If this keeps up, the Flames could move Butler for some sort of return given how much attention middling defenders are getting right now.

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#43 backburner
January 27 2013, 01:28PM
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@Kent Wilson

Glad to see Brodie in the top four, where he should be...

Seriously though, he's got some serious potential, he's only going to get better.. very exciting for Calgary.

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#44 McRib
January 27 2013, 01:44PM
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@RKD

Olli Jokinen has NO points in four games this season and has been unnoticeable with the Jets. Getting rid of him and Sutter in the off season has completely improved the culture of this dressing room.

As for Cervenka, he looked outstanding for not having played in months, he easily could have had a couple assists if his linemates barried their chances. Once he is back into game shape, he should easily replace Jokenin's numbers and brings much more energy than Jokenin did for the team.

Honestly Hudler could replace both Moss & Jokinen's numbers this season, Cervenka is just a bonus. Moss is going to get injured and Olli has just looked down right awful for Winnipeg, like he looked down the playoff stretch last season.

Edmonton's major problem is they have ZERO size up front, if the opposition starts hitting them they just completely collapse. If they don't adress this it's another season of picking first, as all the young talent wil be on the IR again soon.

Its funny this offseason everyone looked at the negative side of everything the Flames did and walked away saying we are going to finish in last. But no one looked at the potential like what if Cervenka is the real deal.... What if Wideman dramatically alters the offense from the blueline and allows Bouwmeester to play more even strength where he can jump up into the rush and become effective again.... Or what if Hudler's 50 points season, were actually limited to that because of ice time and opportunity, not to mention confidence of playing larger minutes....

The Oilers are delusional to think anything more than the playoffs is within reach this season. Under Hartley and Kipper only having to play 48 games, nothing is out of the question this season for the Flames.

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#45 Potlicker
January 27 2013, 02:06PM
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Did not expect the performance we saw from the Flames. It was soooo nice to shut these Oiler mouth pieces up. Sick of all the hype too about how they are contenders now. They have some nice pieces but they dont know how to put it together, too worried about showing off their evident skills that got them their 1st over all status. Actually, the media hype is feeding this individualistic play even more.

I think we need to realize as sweet as this win was, Oilers are an improved team but a team we should be ahead at the end of the season. They have some glaring deficiencies & fortunately their GM is a pussy who is too afraid to pull the trigger on a deal to get them to the next level.

Now, I have read a lot of chatter on here about how the value of our old core players is so minimal, you have to wonder if it is even worth making any trades. The only way to increase value is for them to improve their play. A real oxymoron because why trade a player that playing great. I say sell high to the desperate. Just because JBO plays like the franchise player he was paid to be, what do we get next year, back to his previous 3 years? His value may never be higher in the next couple months. Iggy is obviously playing for a new contract. I have loved how he has played to start this year. When was the last year we saw him play like this out of the gate. If we dont have him resigned by end of March, guess what, we may get an unbelievable package for him. I know, we have all this excitement after last night, but boy oh boy, I really see opportunity knocking. JMO.

I think we are better than the Av's right now & another team like the Oilers & Flames that are going to be fighting in that 12-8th race as this season winds down. This is a game we should win & feel real good about. Chicago will be the real litmus test against one of the true contenders. Right now I agree with BOL & am savouring the quiet squirming over in Oil country. Expectation is a bitch & those boys are getting a taste of it for the first time in 5 years.

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#46 SeanCharles
January 27 2013, 02:17PM
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I enjoyed the game last night but Stajan getting more ice time than Backlund and Baertschi - almost had more than them combined - is frustrating for me. That's one thing I gotta say I liked about Brent Sutter - he disliked Stajan as much as I do.....

Bury him on the fourth line with Comeau and Jones, or in press box where he belongs....

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#47 the forgotten man
January 27 2013, 02:34PM
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The Flames needed a dominate beat down performance...hopefully it will help in the confidence department.

Devil's advocate: we played arguably one of the worst teams in the western Conference...if we start manhandling the likes of LA, San Jose, Anaheim, St. Louis, Detroit, Vancouver, Minnesota, Dallas et al then I'll be driving the bandwagon.

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#48 Baalzamon
January 27 2013, 02:39PM
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@McRib

If Hudler keeps playing like this, I'm fully prepared to eat some major crow. Can you barbeque crow?

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#49 VK63
January 27 2013, 04:28PM
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Can dome beers do a special guest appearance GDB whence next these teams play?

FWIW this "battle" has become more a fabrication OUTSIDE of the ice hockey game itself.(has been for years) These teams show absolutely zero animosity for each other, beyond the fact that Jbo and Iggy seem to put a little extra TRY on for their home town team. And glenx for obvious reasons related to one klowe and some failed big game hunting exercise (or other) before the Oil resigned themselves to just sucking.... in the interest of acquiring a bunch of young (so called) skilled guys who all happen to be soft as cute bunnies.

But I digress.

Oil got worked, full marks to the flames and to Jbo for bringing it. Sadly... he doesnt play the oil every night and in all probability will revert back to jblow ...... sadly. The guys tool kit is plumb full of good stuff.... he just cant seem to find it most nights. Maybe he needs glasses? Or sumthin.

*fire ken king*

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#50 ChinookArch
January 27 2013, 04:35PM
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backburner wrote:

@Kent Wilson

Glad to see Brodie in the top four, where he should be...

Seriously though, he's got some serious potential, he's only going to get better.. very exciting for Calgary.

I really like Brodie BB, but I'm a little worried that fans have some pretty lofty expectations of such a young AHL player.

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