FGD: Duck Sauce

bookofloob
October 16 2013 10:54AM

 

It took me longer to make that image than it really should have. Shut up.

Well friends, brothers, sisters, Citizens, after what seemed like an eternity, but was really only 5 nights, which in a hockey season is an eternity, your Calgary Flames are back at it tonight, in the frozen barren hinterland of Southern California, to take on long time Pacific Division rival, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Ducks of Anaheim. This game kicks off a 5 game swing through the Left Coast, and I'm going to go ahead and unofficially dub this road trip as "Sean Watch". 4 of these 5 games, assuming Sean Monahan plays them all, will ring up the game tally to nine games and ultimately decide if his short term future will be spent donning the silks of the Flaming C, or rocking a Team Canada jersey this holiday season and hopefully getting traded away from the abysmal Ottawa 67's and off to greener, more Memorial Cup-ey pastures in the OHL.

It's quite the test ahead. 3 of these 4 "Monahan" games present significant challenges to the upstart young punk Calgary Flames and their surprising but nonetheless tenuous grasp of 4th place in the Western Conference.

The other one is against Phoenix.

Fight Card

As usual, lineups provided by Daily Faceoff, who rule a lot and we love them and they're terrific.

  • Glencross - Street - Stempniak
  • Galiardi - Backlund - Bouma
  • Sven - Svean - Hudler
  • McGrattan - Colborne - Jackman
  • Jyordano - Brodie
  • Russell - Wideman
  • #ChristButler - O'Brien
  • Ramo 

LANCE BOUMA ON THE SECOND LINE ALERT!

Once again, I'll read that back to you: LANCE BOUM wait Ben Street is still the top line center, which is even more shocking. Come back soon, Stajan/Cammi/Jones. Yikes.

This is the lineup of a 3-0-2 hockey team, just in case you're one of those "hockey experts" out there who like to cry fowl (Duck joke) about advanced stats and don't realize sample size really makes a big difference.

Daily Faceoff has Ramo getting the start in this one, but I'm writing this the night before the game, and fully expect Joey MacDonald to get the nod again, because of course he will. If you read Kent's breakdown of the numbers in the early going so far this year, you'll see that the Flames have been winning more or less in spite of Joey Joe Joe's Fuhrian performances, and at some point this whole experiment is going to come to a head. With any luck, it's not going to be tonight, but if it is, well we can't say we didn't tell you so.

McGrattan still in the lineup. No words. No words.

This is, suffice to say, not an intimidating offensive juggernaut, but through the budding newness of this campaign they've shown signs of success, so let's hope that prevails tonight. There was some less than accurate reporting yesterday from an unnamed local Calgary newspaper scribe who suggested, quite, er, fallaciously, that young Mr. Monahan was going to have his toughest "can he play?" moments on this road trip because of the matchups against the Getzlafs and Thorntons of the West Coast NHL teams, and that is laughable. Sean is not going to see time against any of these teams' top lines, as the numbers clearly show (again, check Kent's piece) that that is just not Bob Hartley's MO.

Quack Quack Quack, Mister Ducksworth

The Ducks just came off a game where they wore their original purple jerseys and threw "Mighty" back into the ol' moniker for a night, so that absolutely gives me license to make as many Mighty Ducks trilogy jokes as I damn well please.

  • Banks - Conway - Moreau
  • Hall - Germaine - Hall
  • Averman - Duncan - Robertson
  • Wu - Mendoza - Selanne (I needed one more forward)
  • Reed - Portman
  • Karp - Tyler
  • Duncan - Mark
  • Gafney - Goldberg

Actual lineups here. If you thought the lineup above was serious, I must ask you, do you know what sarcasm is?

Let's move on.

At first glance, the forward units on the Ducks might look, let's say less thin than Ryan Getzlaf's hairline, and while it is a very good corp, they're not as deep as one would think. Let's go wading into the lines here (Duck joke). First of all, what the hell is a Patrick Maroon, save for a name that's a built in excuse if he ever screws up, which I'm assuming he does. And why is he on a line with Getzlaf and Perry? Looking at his numbers, the thing that really stands out about him is, uh...

Jakob Silfverberg (come on, how is that possibly the way to spell that name?) has started off the season well, playing on the opposite wing of old balls Teemu Selanne, who is the greatest, but must be made to pay in this one. His bones should pretty much be dust at this point, so maybe if McGrattan is lucky, he can fall over in the right direction by accident and take Teemu out of the play, but man I doubt it.

The Ducks might have the best 4th line in hockey with Palmieri - Bonino - Etem, even though Emerson Etem is going to be a total bust in this league and be a Swiss League star in 2016. Still, that's decent depth on the bottom 6, although the Top units are not all that spectacular outside of Getzlaf and Perry going full ham on the league once again.

The only real notable thing about the Ducks is that Hampus Lindholm is probably the greatest  name in the league this year, and Jonas Hiller no longer has that badass matte black mask anymore, so there is officially no longer any reason to care about Jonas Hiller anymore, who is slated to start this game and probably be awful.

Playoff Race Implications

Like, 9 of them.

Players to watch

Obviously Monahan, because if the team does the right thing you won't be seeing him again for the rest of the year after this road trip. (Troll face)

Bouma might be an interesting Flame to keep tabs on. I suspect that he's not up to the challenge of Top 6 minutes, quite likely facing off against either the Perry line or the Selanne line (The Teemu line would be a better matchup, for sure, but damn it, someone has to be on the ice when Perry and Getzlaf are, and we already know it won't be the third line, and IT HAD BETTER NOT BE THE FOURTH), but he might surprise us and show some adept defensive play skating alongside Backlund (who quite obviously will have to be up to his usual task of taking on the opposition's best players. My God, he's great)

Conclusion

The Ducks are still better than Duck Sauce, who conjured forth that unspeakable chant that haunted the Saddledome for two and a half seasons, but man, there is absolutely no reason to not hate this team. For one, Guy Hebert. didn't everyone hate that guy? Two, Corey Perry is a great player but also a bit of a Cody, and if bad things happened to him (maybe after the Olympic break), you can admit it, you wouldn't feel too bad about it.

This is, I may have mentioned, a HUGE test for our boys in red. The Flames need to see how they stack up against a decent team, and Anaheim fits the bill (Duck joke). If they're not up to the test, well...actually, well I guess nothing, this season is a free pass, but because the Ducks are a collection of noted jerks and the Mighty Ducks movies only fall into maybe #6-8 of the greatest hockey movies ever made, it would be really swell to see the Flames muscle out a victory in this one.

I'll leave you with this, if you need to find yourself suitably angry and motivated to cheer: 

 

(hey, check it out, the coaches of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh)

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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#51 Schmenkley
October 16 2013, 08:34PM
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Only thing I've seen worse than Butler/O'brien pairing involved a foam finger and an uncontrollable tongue

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#52 @TACOcurt
October 16 2013, 08:36PM
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babchuck still available ?

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#53 Brent G.
October 16 2013, 08:38PM
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Backlund has looked pretty good to me so far. Unfortunately the wheels are really going to fall off this game.

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#54 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 08:39PM
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Oh Chris Butler...

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#55 Ryan Pike
October 16 2013, 08:40PM
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Horrendous clearing/outlet pass attempt by Butler on that goal.

Too many men call as well. Ducks PP coming up.

Courage.

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#56 Kmp
October 16 2013, 08:41PM
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That third pairing needs to be changed.

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#57 @TACOcurt
October 16 2013, 08:41PM
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oh man.how far away is breen ?

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#58 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 08:41PM
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@@TACOcurt

Derek Smith is also available. Im kinda surprised he hasn't had a look.

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#59 Ryan Pike
October 16 2013, 08:42PM
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Wait, WHAT? Jackman with a moronic penalty. Absolutely idiotic.

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#60 Mitch P
October 16 2013, 08:42PM
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Ramo, Smith and Jones > McDonald, Butler, McGrattan right? RIGHT??????!!!!!?????

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#61 Veggie Dog
October 16 2013, 08:43PM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

Wait, WHAT? Jackman with a moronic penalty. Absolutely idiotic.

Back to the pressbox with him. I hope he enjoyed his 1 minutes of ice time.

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#62 Jibmeister
October 16 2013, 08:43PM
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Stupid Jackman..

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#63 @TACOcurt
October 16 2013, 08:43PM
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What's the point of having both jackman and mcgratton playing the same game ?

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#64 wot96
October 16 2013, 08:45PM
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Right, that's what we needed...a shortie.

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#65 ChinookArch
October 16 2013, 08:45PM
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It's so nice to have some team speed again.

Thank you Lee Stempniak!

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#66 beloch
October 16 2013, 08:50PM
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We just dodged a bullet there when MacBackup decided to use the wrong side of his glove to grab the puck. Yikes!

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#67 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 08:50PM
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Flames are lucky that's being waved off.

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#68 Ryan Pike
October 16 2013, 08:50PM
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That first period took a year off my life.

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#69 thymebalm
October 16 2013, 08:52PM
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Yeesh.

What a bad first period. Oby and Buts were brutal. McD is shaky as hell.. Hartley should put Ramo in now, while we have a chance.

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#70 beloch
October 16 2013, 08:53PM
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I'm looking at the replay of the Jackman butt that earned him a major... It doesn't look like he put much force into it. There was definitely a bit of a butt, which is just a stupid thing to do, but I think the Duck embellished just a tad.

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#71 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 08:54PM
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Chances were 7-3 Ducks in the first.

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#72 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 08:54PM
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Chances were 7-3 Ducks in the first.

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#73 RexLibris
October 16 2013, 08:56PM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

That first period took a year off my life.

If being a Flames fan is anything like being an Oilers fan, it might be for the best. ;)

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#74 ChinookArch
October 16 2013, 08:56PM
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@Kent Wilson

Calgary had more then 2 chances?

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#75 Kmp
October 16 2013, 08:57PM
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@Kent Wilson

Flames had 10 blocks could have been worse.

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#76 SeanCharles
October 16 2013, 08:59PM
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That third pairing is pretty bad at breaking out.

I hope Harley stops putting the kids with them, they are holding them back.

Cant wait for the days when Breen, Wotherspoon and Sieloff replace O'Brien, Butler and Smith.

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#77 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 08:59PM
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@ChinookArch

Colborne break away, Stemps break away and a Backlund drive.

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#78 beloch
October 16 2013, 09:04PM
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Big, relatively unskilled forwards are occasionally useful for playing park-the-wookie-in-the-crease. Ideally you want no more than one wookie per line though. Playing Jackman and McG together is just dumb. Hartley needs to bust up the Jack&Mac goon-squad and insert one of the many other forwards that impressed during the preseason into the fourth line.

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#79 The Last Big Bear
October 16 2013, 09:05PM
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The SOB and Butler pairing should not even be a thing.

At all.

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#80 RexLibris
October 16 2013, 09:09PM
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Why had there never been a "Bad Lip Reading" video of Bruce Boudreau?

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#81 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 09:13PM
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What a pass by Brodie to set up that Street break away.

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#82 @TACOcurt
October 16 2013, 09:17PM
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bouma could maybe just be a third liner

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#83 everton fc
October 16 2013, 09:19PM
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Just getting here. See the game misconduct on Jackman. We are essentially a 3 line team the rest of the evening.

O'Brien and Butler make me wish Sarich were still here. I won't go as far as to add Babchuk, of course!

How's Bouma looking? Ditto Street??

We need to replace Jackman (he may have earned it this evening), McGrattan, Butler and O'Brien. We have kids on the farm who'd do better. I'd rather see Ferland get a look, even though he hasn't done much down there yet. Jooris/Hanowski/Knight also deserve a look.

I think a better 4th line unit (which we'll have when Cammy and Stajan return) and a better options at 4/5/6 (Russell in a 5/6 role, for example), and this team can compete. I honestly believe this, if goaltending holds up.

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#84 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 09:19PM
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Yeesh Butler.

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#85 Victoria Flames Fan
October 16 2013, 09:23PM
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My mom always said if you can't say anything nice about someone don't say anything at all. So I won't say anything about Butler.

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#86 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 09:24PM
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Backlund having another strong overall game tonight.

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#87 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 09:28PM
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Better 2nd for the Flames so far, even if their PP looks almost as bad as the Ducks'.

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#88 everton fc
October 16 2013, 09:30PM
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They can't win faceoffs... Their PP looks bad... Butler/SOB as a 5th pairing. MacDonald between the pipes....

Yet they still stay close in these games. No blowouts. Amazing.

There's a nice core developing here. Maybe core's the wrong word, but Backlund/Monahan/Bouma/Baertschi... The younger guys... I might even include a guy like Street in this group.

Speaking of Sven - how's he looking? (Street's minutes seem to say he's no longer on the 1st line)

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#89 @TACOcurt
October 16 2013, 09:32PM
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So if healthy anyone see anything wrong with this line up.

cammy-stajan-glencross/ jones-backs-hudler/ sven-Monahan-stemp/ bouma-street-gallardi

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#90 wot96
October 16 2013, 09:34PM
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So being behind and down one face puncher, why wouldn't Hartley bench the dancing bear and start double shifting some of the more highly skilled wingers to play with Colborne and give him some better minutes in a controlled situation.

Merde. Selanne.

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#91 RexLibris
October 16 2013, 09:34PM
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@everton fc

I agree. I don't know that there is a distinct core of players present, but those that may yet be (Backlund, Baertschi, Brodie and Bonahan, er, Monahan) are at the very least playing in the midst of a cohesive team environment and effort.

You can get a long way on work ethic, often as far and sometimes further, than on pure talent.

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#92 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 09:35PM
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Rough sequence for Brodie. Tried to do too much.

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#93 everton fc
October 16 2013, 09:36PM
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@TACOcurt wrote:

So if healthy anyone see anything wrong with this line up.

cammy-stajan-glencross/ jones-backs-hudler/ sven-Monahan-stemp/ bouma-street-gallardi

Nope. And if you could use some of our cap space to get us a true #4 d-man, move Russell into one of the 5/6 slots... Give Smith/Cundari/Wotherspoon/Ramage/Breen a look...

That should be our 4th line. That 4th line should get more minutes than a conventional 4th line. And I bet they put points on the board.

Sort of related - Berra's doing quite well down in Abby.

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#94 ChinookArch
October 16 2013, 09:36PM
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I can't wait till Selanne retires.

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#95 RexLibris
October 16 2013, 09:36PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Flames last win in Anaheim the same weekend the Cubs won the World Series?

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#96 Kmp
October 16 2013, 09:37PM
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Brodie-couple of bad plays last 2 shifts.

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#97 MichaelD
October 16 2013, 09:38PM
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@Kent Wilson

Was about to say the same. The shift before he made similar mistakes as well. Giving the puck away when it should just be deep or out of the zone

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#98 Charleston Kingsley
October 16 2013, 09:38PM
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No goal? Review time.

Ah K, nevermind. Bummer. Raise the crossbars.

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#99 Lober
October 16 2013, 09:39PM
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Butler makes me want to break things :( There has to be a better option on the Heat

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#100 everton fc
October 16 2013, 09:39PM
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RexLibris wrote:

I agree. I don't know that there is a distinct core of players present, but those that may yet be (Backlund, Baertschi, Brodie and Bonahan, er, Monahan) are at the very least playing in the midst of a cohesive team environment and effort.

You can get a long way on work ethic, often as far and sometimes further, than on pure talent.

Everton's done it for years! Work ethic, teamwork, good dressing room... Players will stick around for that. You tend to re-sign guys with that trifecta in place.

I'd add Galiardi in this mix. He's only 25, and has adjusted well here.

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