October 26 2013 11:19AM
Some good questions this week from FlamesNation readers. If you want your questions answered next week, go here and drop us a line.
Q: What is bookofloob's real name?
A: His real name is Håkan Loob and he is the GM of the club Färjestad BK. He wears a cool helmut (baldaris).
Q: Why does Hartley make so many dumb roster moves?
A: The answer for this is a little more complicated than one might think. To me, a good coach in the NHL a.) understands the importance of offensive zone faceoffs; b.) knows how to effectively shelter players; and c.) can put together a tough minutes line and use them to their advantage. Hartley does about one and a half of those. For whatever reason, he loves the in-game line blender (of which I'm personally not a big fan of) and seems to have a hatred for some (Jones, Baertschi) while maintaing a mancrush on useless tough guys (McGrattan and Jackman).
I believe he's stuck in the traditional rut of 2 scoring lines, a checking line and an "energy" (read: goon) line. I am consistently baffled as to why NHL coaches continue to decide having a 4th line that mostly does nothing and sits on the bench 57 minutes of the game rather than having four scoring lines that you can just roll through. It gives a team more scoring potential and allows the top players on the team a little more rest throughout the game, which is good because come the third period it can sometimes be hard to get those legs moving.
Oh, and since I'm sure someone will ask, the good coaches in the NHL right now are Boudreau, Julien, Quenneville, Babcock, Sutter, Trotz, Vigneault, Tippett, Bylsma, Hitchcock and Tortorella. Everyone else either falls into the "average" category, where the coaches are basically interchangeable with one another, or the Randy Carlyle category, where Randy Carlyle and Ron Rolston currently are.
Q: Gio for team Canada?
A: I can't see it. Personally, I have Keith, Weber, Doughty, Pietrangelo, Subban, Hamhuis, Bouwmeester, Letang, and Phaneuf (not in order of quality) ahead of him. Even if he could beat out 3 of the last four (which will be very difficult, considering Mike Green, Dan Boyle, and Brent Seabrook will also get a look) he'd still barely see the ice. Canada's strengths are on the blueline and down the middle, and really that plus competent goaltending from Roberto Luongo should put them in a good position come elimination time. No one can match Canada's forwards, but Sweden looks to have a pretty damn good blue line.
Q: What is your opinion on the people who spent money to go see the jersey unveil? Super cool, or totally awesome?
A: I mean, if you really want to use that 25% discount on new third jersey stuff as a result of buying the ticket go ahead. I don't know why you would, though. I can understand paying the money for the ticket if you are mostly going to listen to Brian Burke, though. Speaking of which...
Q: Just how awful are the new third jerseys?
A: If they're the ones we saw in NHL14, and I'm about 99.9% sure they are - they are hot garbage. The colour scheme is basically fine but the "crest" is one of the ugliest things ever put on the front of an NHL jersey. Since when do teams put two different logos on the front of their jersey? The font is disgusting, the proportion of the two logos is awful, and whoever decided it would be a good idea to have the traditional logo on the jerseys should be walked out of the building yesterday. Also I hate the new "rectangular block on the top of the sweater" thing that teams are going to.
Oh, and if you doubt the authenticity of the NHL14 jerseys, go look at the Flames' twitter pictures teasing the new jersey. The teases are exactly the same as the in-game sweater.
Q: Pocket Dawgs are horrible. Agree or disagree?
A: Disagree, and if you think they are congratulations you're a heretic. Sure, the burps from the Bacon Cheddar Dawg are, uh, unpleasant, but that thing tastes so good when you're eating it it doesn't matter at all. Also, the Pocket Dawgs and the Good Earth are the only two establishments in the 'Dome that are independent vendors so try and buy from there if you go to a game.
Q: Most Impressive Prospect thus far?
A: I'm going to go ahead and not answer with one of the two guys in the NHL because, well, they're in the NHL. Morgan Klimchuk has gotten off to a great start, Émile Poirier is lighting the QMJHL up and Mark Jankowski is doing well after his first four games. However, the answer to this question has to be Johnny Gaudreau. His NHLE is about 65 (3G, 5A in 4GP) after last night's match, which is enormous and dominant.
I watched last night's Boston College - Minnesota match (really good and exciting game, by the way) and I was amazed by how his team possesses the puck while he's on the ice. Everyone knows about his speed and hockey IQ, but one thing I noticed is that he was never physically beaten on the night. In fact, he beat players towering above him on a regular basis. He's joined the top tier of Baertschi and Monahan, in my opinion.
Ryan will have more info on the college hockey goings on this week.
Q: Do superheroes exist?
A: Probably not.