October 12 2013 10:44AM
Our popular (it's popular right?) segment Fan Ask is back for another week! This week we'll talk 4 goal celly's, Monahan and the Flames' hot start - nothing really out of left field. If you want to submit a question that will appear in this weekly feature, submit something here.
So let's start with Jumbo Joe:
What are your thoughts on Botchford publishing Thornton's quote?
Ok, so before I answer this, for the six of you that don't know what happened, here's a little back story:
San Jose Sharks captain Patrick Marleau was partaking in a media scrum in the Sharks locker room and was inevitably asked about teammate Tomas Hertl's 4 goal night and the between the legs shot he used on his fourth goal. Thornton overheard the question and was probably sick and tired of his teammates having to answer the same asinine question about it threw in his two cents.
Note: Since we here at FN are a family friendly website and my mom is looking over my shoulder as a type this, I've replaced any expletive words with "Jumbo Joe". Also because it's more fun this way.
He first hollers at the reporters to "Shut up" and when the scrum turns to him, he tastefully adds “I’d have my Jumbo Joe out if I scored four goals. I’d have my Jumbo Joe out, Jumbo Joe-ing it.” Interesting. How do I do that celly in NHL 14?
Now, I've been in locker rooms as a player and this doesn't even come close to touching the type of stuff said in there. After all, boys will be boys and there isn't a time we show it more than in the locker room. Nothing is off limits, however it's said with the expectation it stays within the confines of the room. Obviously the minor hockey I played didn't come with the media parade that accomponies NHL teams but every single reporter in every single NHL city has heard these types of remarks from players and no one has reported it - obviously because they realize that, like Vegas, what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room.
So you can plant me firmly in the, "Botchford published the quote for the page hits and attention" group because that's exactly why I think he did it. He's undoubtedly heard this stuff thousands of times during his career so why did he choose to go public with this particular one? I don't know, maybe his views have been down recently but point is, he shouldn't have done it.
Sean Monahan, keep him or send him down?
Keep him. Not because he leads the team in scoring or because he's a good sell for the fans, but because he's ready to play in the NHL and he'll develop better in the NHL than the OHL. Looking at his game through 5 games, there are only two things I can pick out as weaknesses in his game: One being face-offs and the other being the occasional slip up in the defensive zone - whether it be a lost assignment or puck battle.
Starting on the faceoff front, he won't get better at facing off against NHL calibre centerman in the OHL, plain and simple.
The defensive zone issue should also be viewed in the same manner, in my opinion. He was praised for his effort in his own third of the ice last year in the OHL so sending him back will only yield the same result and stagnate his development. Yeah, it won't hurt him but it won't benefit him either. Defending against, again, NHL calibre forwards and learning on the fly in the show is the best way of going about it for a physically mature Monahan. I'm also willing to bet that the Flames will let him go to the World Junior's in December either way so he won't be missing out on that opportunity.
Are you surprised about the Flames' start?
I was surprised about the Washington game but after seeing the way they played and that they were keeping the work ethic and commitment to the system consistent, I really wasn't surprised about the outcomes of the other games. Sometimes hard work beats out skill and the 3-0-2 Flames have proved just that.
Do you think the hot start puts a damper on the rebuild and the quest for a top pick?
Ok, so I'll answer this in two parts,
1) The hot start accelerates the rebuild rather than hurts it because they've established an identity and culture, and thankfully in the process have avoided being caught in the situation the Oilers find themselves in of being so used to losing without consequence that when it comes time to actually win, they can't really find it in them to compete. At the end of the day the Flames will more than likely find themselves outside of the playoff picture, but at least they something really tangible to build off of.
2) Technically collecting points hurts their odds of finishing last but who cares?! They're winning games and putting on a heck of a show doing so.