FGD: Finally Back At 'Er

Justin Azevedo
January 31 2013 03:44PM

After a long 4-day break, the Flames are back on the ice tonight at home versus the Colorado Avalanche.

While a 1-2-1 record might not look too fancy, I've been quite impressed with the play of the Flames thus far. Of course, the caveats about it being early and small sample size, etc. apply - but the Flames have outchanced a really good team at evens (San Jose), a crap team at evens (Edmonton), and have basically played two games to a draw with two teams that right now have the look and feel of bubble teams (Vancouver, although that will change, and Anaheim).

Point being, this start has just added to my optimism about this edition of the Flames.

Tonight, Calgary will welcome the Colorado Avalanche to the 'Dome. The Avs are on the second game of a back-to-back (losing 3-0 last night to Vancouver in the rainy city), and are currently sporting a depleted roster - meaning that tonight is a great opportunity for the Flames to pick up two points.

NHL.com's preview teases this as a showdown between the two bottom teams in the west, but that's a bit of a misnomer due to the fact that the Flames have only played 4 games - two less than 6 other teams and 3 less than another 6  (the remaining have 5). Being a game against a division rival and a team the Flames will be fighting off in late April, it would be nice to see the Flames' relative dominance against the Avs continue: after struggling against Colorado for a couple of years, Calgary is 9-2-1 against the Avs in the past two seasons.

The Line-Up 

  • Glencross - Tanguay - Iginla
  • Cammalleri - Backlund - Stempniak
  • Hudler - Stajan - Cervenka
  • Begin - Jones - Comeau

  • Giordano - Bouwmeester
  • Wideman - Brodie
  • Sarich - Butler

  • Kiprusoff

SVEN! will not be playing tonight as he is week-to-week with a hip flexor strain, suffered a couple of days ago in practice. So far, he hasn't put up points with the same gusto as he did in his 5 games last year but I think he's looked pretty good out there for a 20-year old in his first pro year.

Chris Butler draws back into the lineup, which is definitely a good thing. He's the teams 4th or 5th best defenseman, so it doesn't make sense to me that he would sit in favour of the 6th or 7th, especially since it didn't seem to me like there was anything wrong with his play.

I've mostly liked Hartley's line matching this season, as through 4 games to my eye it seems that Iginla's line has been gifted the high ground as much as possible, although he is still mostly playing against the other team's best. This is a nice change from Brent Sutter, who of course, uh, struggled with that at times.

Roman Cervenka missed the last two practices but he's good to go for tonight.

THE OPPONENT

  • Olver - Duchene - Parenteau  
  • McGinn - Stastny - Jones  
  • Kobasew - Mitchell - Hejduk  
  • McLeod - Malone - Bordeleau  

  • Johnson  - Wilson  
  • O'Byrne - Hejda  
  • Zanon - Barrie

  • Giguere

Matt Duchene's had a nice start to the season, with two goals and three assists in 6 games. Duchene had a bit of a down year last year, as a concussion limited him season to 58 games and he put up just 28 points (.49 PPG). Problem was he had a personal SH% of about 3% less than his two previous seasons, plus he lost some ice time with the emergence of O'Reilly/Landeskog.

As you can tell, the Avs are pretty weak right now, as their two best players (the aforementioned Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O'Reiliy) are both out of the lineup. Landeskog suffered a head/neck injury after a nasty hit earlier this week, and O'Reiliy is currently holding out because the Avs are insanely cheap and don't want to give one of the the best all around players in the Northwest Division the cash he deserves.

On that note, OFFER SHEET HIM FEASTER HOLY CRAP

Sum It Up

The Flames are a better team right now than the Avs are, full stop. There is absolutely no reason why they shouldn't run them out of the building tonight, especially since the Avs are coming in tired after a late game last night. The way the Flames have played early on makes me think that will be the case.

Go Flames.

And Now A Word from our sponsor...

 

One last reminder to swing by the Tilted Kilt tonight for what I'm sure will be the first of many FlamesNation game nights there. FN readers get $10 off their tab and a chance to win other prizes. Just let the manager know you read the site and presto! Free stuff.

See you there.

A9d138d0e612f28cd46f9b7057ed715d
Justin is a 23-year-old Flames fan who also happens to be pursuing a double major at the University of Calgary. He has played hockey at high levels, enjoys wearing shorts and tends to drink far too much Grasshopper. Please don't hate him.
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#1 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 09:47PM
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Kipper is terrible this season. This team is going no where with Kipper as the #1.

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#2 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:44PM
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That was a nice looking PP (and don't say "that's what she said")

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#3 Parallex
January 31 2013, 09:08PM
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I fail to see how kipper can give up 3 goals on 13 shots and be called "okay"... Personally I'm in favor of sitting him for a game or two to show him that a .800ish save percentage ain't going to keep him playing.

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#4 Parallex
January 31 2013, 09:10PM
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Seriously we should be mauling this team not tied going into the third. D and goaltending are a fail through two IMO

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#5 Jonathan Happy
January 31 2013, 09:13PM
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Kipper's mediocre play and the combined boneheaded plays of Sarich and Butler have put the Flames in a tie in a game where they probably deserve to be leading.

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#6 Q
January 31 2013, 09:28PM
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What's with Peter maher saying "cheddarvenka" ? He's trying to sound authentic or something! Sounds hilarious !

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#7 Q
January 31 2013, 09:29PM
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Kerr is straight-up awful!

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#8 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 09:32PM
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Yikes, hopefully Hudler isnt really hurt.

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#9 Scary Gary
January 31 2013, 09:34PM
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@jeremywilhelm

Haha well at least Kerr gets into it, you haven't watched NBC this year have you?

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#10 negrilcowboy
January 31 2013, 09:49PM
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we need a bounce back game, gee schucks keep smiling iglatowski. we already know the post game comments. kippa was dreadful

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#11 Dave
January 31 2013, 09:50PM
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This one is almost all on Kipper. It would have been nice if backlund scored on at least one of his chances. I like his confidence though. the goals will come.

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#12 11yomamen
January 31 2013, 09:50PM
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.762

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#13 Gunk
January 31 2013, 09:52PM
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We are now officially tied for worst team in the league with Washington. sweet.

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#14 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 09:55PM
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I don't know what you guys are complaining about... I HAVE TO GO WRITE THE POST-GAME ARTICLE NOW!!

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#15 warp
January 31 2013, 09:57PM
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What a pathetic show by a bunch of rank amateur losers. The flames should have been playing circles around the avs in the third. Instead they shove their sticks up their asses and lose in the last 3 minutes. Iginla should just stay home if he is not going to do anything and kipper was horrible. Good thing hudler an stajan showed up for the game.

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#16 negrilcowboy
January 31 2013, 09:58PM
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in ruin for droiun

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#17 Kurt
January 31 2013, 10:02PM
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Yes! Perfect season continues. We beat the oilers but lose to everyone else, securing a lotto pick and start the rebuild. The only downside is I was hoping we'd get something for kipper in a trade. At this rate he won't be worth a load of brown bananas.

10 more games and we will be pretty much mathematically done and feaster wi finally have to take off his tin hat and realize this team is a sinking ship.

Thanks for the loss boys!

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#18 Willi P
January 31 2013, 10:02PM
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AND the Oil suck. They are going to Shark School as we speak.

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#19 schevvy
January 31 2013, 10:06PM
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Maybe Kipper is cutting back on the smokes and Finnish vodka, and that's causing problems in net. I've never really seen him this bad.

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#20 SadFlamesFan
January 31 2013, 03:49PM
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I think this article from the Hockey News says it all. I've been thinking it, as I am sure many others have, for quite some time.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/49734-Calgary-Flames-rebuild-long-overdue.html

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#22 Craig
January 31 2013, 04:01PM
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It's frustrating to know that feaster won't offersheet O'Reilly. Many of the flames moves are PR based, and the large majority of flames fans wouldn't understand how great O'Reilly would be for this team. All they would see is a 50 point player for potentially a first and a third. But one can dream.

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#23 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 31 2013, 04:03PM
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SadFlamesFan wrote:

I think this article from the Hockey News says it all. I've been thinking it, as I am sure many others have, for quite some time.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/49734-Calgary-Flames-rebuild-long-overdue.html

you don't think the flames are actively rebuilding? hmm, interesting.

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#24 schevvy
January 31 2013, 04:05PM
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Another reason for no offer sheet is cause it is generally frowned upon. But still, do it Feaster! It would be bold and O'Reilly fits what the Flames need: young, 2 way, and a centre. DO IT

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#25 SadFlamesFan
January 31 2013, 04:07PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

you don't think the flames are actively rebuilding? hmm, interesting.

I don't think they are. They are trying to stave off the inevitable decline and sink a little lower all the time. They have stunk the last couple years and won't improve until they blow it up. That's why I canceled my season tickets this year. Why watch them try and scramble to get the last play off spot which gets harder for them year after year. Enough already. I refuse to squander another cent on this team.

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#26 Jay
January 31 2013, 04:08PM
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@SadFlamesFan

As an oiler fan I wish you guys would just hurry up and start the process of rebuilding already so our teams can be good at the same time and the BoA will matter again! It's pretty obvious things are only gonna get worst for the flamers, just start the process already before its to late. If you don't capitalize on the assets you have before its too late you'll just linger in mediocrity longer

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#27 SadFlamesFan
January 31 2013, 04:12PM
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Jay wrote:

As an oiler fan I wish you guys would just hurry up and start the process of rebuilding already so our teams can be good at the same time and the BoA will matter again! It's pretty obvious things are only gonna get worst for the flamers, just start the process already before its to late. If you don't capitalize on the assets you have before its too late you'll just linger in mediocrity longer

Unfortunately, and as much as I hate to give the Oilers any credit, you are right. The Flames are walking a slow march into hockey oblivion.

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#28 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 31 2013, 04:14PM
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@Jay

maybe the Oiler's need a rebuild... I mean what they have done hasn't worked for so many years that nobody can remember when they were good. Why don't they blow it up?

I mean, what are we supposed to do, trade Iggy 4 games into the season? omg, seriously, give it a rest.

And the Oiler's should seriously consider moving out of the 29th/30th spot BEFORE they start acting like they know what they are doing. I mean, drafting first so many years in a row is easy, and they have been able to do it because they sucked and good players refused to play their, not because they planned some great scheme called "rebuild"

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#29 SadFlamesFan
January 31 2013, 04:14PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

yeah... the reason the flames are in last is because of the fact they've only played four games. they've played well enough that they could have 3 wins right now if not for a couple of bounces.

The fact is that the Flames have to have everything go right for them to win a game. I was happy they beat the Oilers last weekend but, realistically, the Flames played to the top of their game while the Oilers were so so at best.

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#30 SadFlamesFan
January 31 2013, 04:15PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

maybe the Oiler's need a rebuild... I mean what they have done hasn't worked for so many years that nobody can remember when they were good. Why don't they blow it up?

I mean, what are we supposed to do, trade Iggy 4 games into the season? omg, seriously, give it a rest.

And the Oiler's should seriously consider moving out of the 29th/30th spot BEFORE they start acting like they know what they are doing. I mean, drafting first so many years in a row is easy, and they have been able to do it because they sucked and good players refused to play their, not because they planned some great scheme called "rebuild"

As much as I hate to say it, at least the Oilers have hope for the future. None here in Calgary.

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#31 beloch
January 31 2013, 04:17PM
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@SadFlamesFan

That's a very lazily written article that doesn't convey any form of logical or convincing argument.

The conclusion however, is up for debate. A small sample size this season suggests that the new players are making a difference and Hartley's system might be making an even bigger difference. Iginla might not be the top scorer now, but if he continues shooting the puck like he has been, he will soon regain that title.

A small sample size is a dangerous thing to base conclusions on though!

A much larger sample size from the last couple of seasons suggest that the majority of Calgary's players aren't up to the task and a rebuild is indeed overdue.

So, which is it? The only reasonable conclusion is that a larger sample size with the updated Flames is needed. The best we can hope for is that there is a clear conclusion by the trade-deadline, and that the Flames aren't close enough to hope for a winning streak that doesn't pan out yet again.

Personally, I think the Flames really should rent Iginla out for the post-season unless the Flames are clearly going to make the playoffs and have at least some hope of going deep. The nice thing about doing that this year is that Iginla could sign back in Calgary next season if he so chooses. Kiprosoff is another matter. Yes, he's getting old, but he might have a few good years left, and the Flames might need a few years of good goal-tending very badly if Irving continues his downwards spiral and Ramo doesn't transition well to the NHL.

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#32 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 31 2013, 04:17PM
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Jay wrote:

As an oiler fan I wish you guys would just hurry up and start the process of rebuilding already so our teams can be good at the same time and the BoA will matter again! It's pretty obvious things are only gonna get worst for the flamers, just start the process already before its to late. If you don't capitalize on the assets you have before its too late you'll just linger in mediocrity longer

the only reason the BoA hasn't mattered for years is because flames have won what, 17 outta 20? It's not the Flames sucking that has tarnished the BoA - it's been the Oiler's sucking. Last I checked Oiler's still suck - last year finished last again... so please wait till Oiler's actually do something before acting like they've done something. k? thanks.

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#33 SadFlamesFan
January 31 2013, 04:18PM
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beloch wrote:

That's a very lazily written article that doesn't convey any form of logical or convincing argument.

The conclusion however, is up for debate. A small sample size this season suggests that the new players are making a difference and Hartley's system might be making an even bigger difference. Iginla might not be the top scorer now, but if he continues shooting the puck like he has been, he will soon regain that title.

A small sample size is a dangerous thing to base conclusions on though!

A much larger sample size from the last couple of seasons suggest that the majority of Calgary's players aren't up to the task and a rebuild is indeed overdue.

So, which is it? The only reasonable conclusion is that a larger sample size with the updated Flames is needed. The best we can hope for is that there is a clear conclusion by the trade-deadline, and that the Flames aren't close enough to hope for a winning streak that doesn't pan out yet again.

Personally, I think the Flames really should rent Iginla out for the post-season unless the Flames are clearly going to make the playoffs and have at least some hope of going deep. The nice thing about doing that this year is that Iginla could sign back in Calgary next season if he so chooses. Kiprosoff is another matter. Yes, he's getting old, but he might have a few good years left, and the Flames might need a few years of good goal-tending very badly if Irving continues his downwards spiral and Ramo doesn't transition well to the NHL.

Small sample size? What, the last two or three years hasn't made it obvious?!?!?

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#34 Mitch P
January 31 2013, 04:18PM
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That hockey news article is pure garbage. They also called out Hudler... HUDLER.... for not producing. Bet that guy hasn't even watched a game yet. Lazy journalism plain and simple.

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#35 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 31 2013, 04:19PM
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SadFlamesFan wrote:

As much as I hate to say it, at least the Oilers have hope for the future. None here in Calgary.

careful, your blue and gold panties are showing

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#36 SadFlamesFan
January 31 2013, 04:27PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

careful, your blue and gold panties are showing

Nice. I mean, the only player that I see having the potential to impact the club long term is Baertschi. Am I so wrong on this point? I just see retreads or players over the hill being slotted in to try and make the team competitive without any hope of anything beyond a first round beating.

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#37 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 31 2013, 04:30PM
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Mitch P wrote:

That hockey news article is pure garbage. They also called out Hudler... HUDLER.... for not producing. Bet that guy hasn't even watched a game yet. Lazy journalism plain and simple.

i know, the stupid link should be deleted.

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#38 funkyjaman
January 31 2013, 04:56PM
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Hi...um... I'm looking for Flamesnation? It was here earlier but now it seems so blue?

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#39 beloch
January 31 2013, 04:59PM
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@funkyjaman

First the background was Red. Now it's green. Blue is the next logical step in the sequence. :(

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#40 Old Retired Guy
January 31 2013, 05:07PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

yeah... the reason the flames are in last is because of the fact they've only played four games. they've played well enough that they could have 3 wins right now if not for a couple of bounces.

Its good to see you sticking up for your team......I'm sure they do the same in Colombus Nation......

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#41 funkyjaman
January 31 2013, 05:14PM
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Old Retired Guy wrote:

Its good to see you sticking up for your team......I'm sure they do the same in Colombus Nation......

@ Old Retired Guy

Stay retired.

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#42 SadFlamesFan
January 31 2013, 05:22PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

i know, the stupid link should be deleted.

Hey, I don't like the article either but I am least willing to recognize the points that are made instead of simply denying reality.

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#43 Ryan Pike
January 31 2013, 05:47PM
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To be charitable, the Flames are trying to have their cake and eat it, too. The difficulty is because of asset mismanagement under the Sutter regime, they don't have high-end prospects to spell off the veterans and, as a result, they're a 7-11 team. For now.

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#44 propositionWes
January 31 2013, 05:52PM
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@sadFlamesFan

If you're not a concern troll you sure are acting like one. You cancelled your tix because the team isn't tanking? That makes sense.

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#45 negrilcowboy
January 31 2013, 05:54PM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

To be charitable, the Flames are trying to have their cake and eat it, too. The difficulty is because of asset mismanagement under the Sutter regime, they don't have high-end prospects to spell off the veterans and, as a result, they're a 7-11 team. For now.

hard to do with feaster around, and dutter won a cup just with the opposition

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#46 chillout
January 31 2013, 06:22PM
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Good grief people, let's just relax a little and see what happens over the next 16 games. Then we can maybe decide if we're good or bad. That article was just plain stupid. This goof writes his article like we've played 48 games already. talking about surprises like Redden beating Kessel and other stupid observations like the flames should be worried that Stempniak is our leading scorer. I would be ashamed to publish something like this article where other sports writers could see it.

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#47 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 06:32PM
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SadFlamesFan wrote:

The fact is that the Flames have to have everything go right for them to win a game. I was happy they beat the Oilers last weekend but, realistically, the Flames played to the top of their game while the Oilers were so so at best.

I don't think that is necessarily true. The Oilers may have had a so-so game, s you said, but I think that had a lot to do with the style of game the Flames played against them.

Calgary dominated the face off circle and controlled the play for almost the whole game. Their puck possession was by far its best of this young season and the guys that should dominate, did dominate.

If that game was a testiment to Hartley's "style" and if the Flames can stick to the program, then there is more to be optimistic about than we thought.

Tonight there is little doubt that the Flames should dominate physically and on the scoreboard. If they lose, it should be considered a HUGE step backwards.

... Of course IF they lose, it will all be because Sven wasn't playing!

P.S. Tonight would be a great night for Cervenka and Hudler to show a little magic.

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#48 Jibmeister
January 31 2013, 06:36PM
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I'll be extremely disappointed if the Flames lose tonight. I'm calling a Iginla hattrick (wishful thinking I know). You heard it here first.

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#49 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 07:04PM
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Jibmeister wrote:

I'll be extremely disappointed if the Flames lose tonight. I'm calling a Iginla hattrick (wishful thinking I know). You heard it here first.

This is the kind of game that Iggy just might need to get going.

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#50 Willi P
January 31 2013, 07:05PM
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Jibmeister wrote:

I'll be extremely disappointed if the Flames lose tonight. I'm calling a Iginla hattrick (wishful thinking I know). You heard it here first.

By Iginla hat trick do you mean a "Gordie Howe Hat Trick"; a goal, an assist and a fight or three goals?

The reason I ask is because Iginla has had 9 Gordie Howe Hat Tricks in his career where as Gordie only had 3. Upon hearing this, the source suggested renaming it the Iginla Hat Trick.

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