Random Thoughts - Flames Through the Early Going

Kent Wilson
October 08 2013 08:14AM

 

 

The new season is freshly born, and with it new sights and wonders. The Flames have burst out of the gate with a 1-0-2 start, which would be wholly disappointing if Calgary had not been roundly pick by pundits to finish last in the league with a bullet. Each game was a one goal affair and the Flames have led for long stretches of all of them. With a bit more luck, a few less errors or a bit more NHL-level goaltending, the club could easily be 3-0-0.

Here's some thoughts and observations after the first week...

- What a difference a shift in perception makes. Had the Flames brass instead decided to stay the course again this year, a 1-0-2 start featuring not one but two blown leads in the third period, there would be an angry mob already forming at the steps of the Saddledome. Instead, the faithful is relatively pleased with the club's efforts.

Given that reaction, it's kind of amazing the decision makers waited this long to shift gears. If you can't build a winner, it's a marketing coup to build a club that can meet or exceed very low expectations instead.

- It also helps that all of the games have been wildly entertaining so far, a marked improvement from seemingly endless years of slow, plodding, "off-the-glass" style hockey. The Flames are a Chinese Oilers fire drill in their own zone, their special teams need quite a bit of work and no one knows if they will even have average goaltending this year, but at least they're flying around with some gumption.

- That's the list of things the Flames have struggled with so far. On the good side of the ledger is a faster transition game out of their own end and through the neutral zone. One problem that plagued Calgary's top-six in particular the last few years was a slow, turn-over prone transition through the center ice, which frequently resulted in the puck going the wrong way and the team spending and starting way too many shifts in their own zone.

One of the changes that seems to be promoting the quicker counter punch is the mobility and puck handling of the blueline. A top pairing of Giordano and Brodie means the clubs gets the puck out of their end in a hurry. Wideman and Russell are pretty good at this too. More ice time for players like Backlund and Stempniak has also meant a more complete 200' foot game, at least when it comes to puck pursuit and backchecking. 

- Speaking of Giordano and Brodie, they have been outstanding at even strength so far. They are mostly skating against other team's top lines and have the best possession rates on the team. Giordano co-leads the team in scoring, Brodie is averaging over 24 minutes in ice time. They aren't merely suviving the tough sledding, they're excelling. If some people are wondering why the Flames don't seem quite as terrible as expected, look no further than the top of the Flames blueline rotation as at least some of the explanation.

- Wideman has also been pretty decent, although Hartley has him starting almost exclusively in the offensive zone at ES and he plays a ton on the PP, which helps. His frequent partner Russell is generally decent, but a true step back of the club's clear top-3 options. The former Blue Jacket is quick and good with the puck, but is prone to egregious errors from time-to-time and doesn't seem to be boast good decision making when things go awry. Already three times this season the opposition has scored goals while Russell has slid out of frame on his belly. Ideally he's probably a guy who should be a #5 or 6 in the rotation.

- Sean Monahan has had a pretty strong start to the season given his counting stats (2 goals, 1 assist) and hasn't looked out of place the last two games. That siad, he's also operating with an ES on-ice SH% of 13.3, which is bound to come crashing back down to earth at some point. Hartley has also made sure to gift the kid a 60% zone start, which is about as easy as it's going to get and his underlying numbers aren't all that exemplary.

In other words, things only get tougher for Monahan from here on in. I don't think he'll be able to keep seeing that favorable ratio of face-offs and the puck isn't going to go in at nearly the same rate all year. Keep that in mind as the team wrestles with the decision of keeping him up beyond game nine.

- Curtis Glencross has fine stats across the board, but he has looked awful by eye. Lackluster decision making and uninspired compete level all over the ice. I'm stunned most of his results are adequate. On the plus side, he's capable of being a lot better and will likely improve as the season progresses.

- Speaking of the kids, another thing that's probably floating their boat is Lee Stempniak, who for my money might be the best all around forward on the club right now. He currently leads the team with 16 shots on net in three games, despite mostly playing with a pair of rookies (talented rookies, but rookie notheless). At some point Hartley will move him up with either Glencross or Backlund and he'll help raise the performance of one of those lines as well.

If other clubs are smart, they'll start calling the Flames about Stemps as a deadline rental as soon as Christmas is over. Of course, one wonders if he keeps this up if Calgary will try to retain him as a veteran to stabilize things during the on-going rebuild instead. Naturally, that would depend on Stempniak wanting to stick around in that kind of role...

- It's somewhat gratifying to see read a lot of positive reviews on Backs from all corners of Flames fandom so far this year. He looked tentative in the offensive zone (like rookie Backlund) initially, but has grown more assertive over the first three games. Hudler's been picking corners which has helped his output, but it will be interesting to see how the line does once Cammalleri replaces Galiardi.

- On the other hand, new guy Joe Colborne has been pretty underwhelming. Hartley hasn't given him too much room to strut his stuff, but then Colborne hasn't done anything that would convince the coach to move him up the depth chart. In contrast, journeyman Ben Street seems to have become a new favorite of the bench boss. I always liked Street when I saw him on the Heat and he always struck me as player who would have high utlity in a bottom-6 role in the NHL. He probably shouldn't be playing against the Sedins in an ideal world, but as a third or fourth liner, he's much more useful than the Mike Brown's of the league.

- Some interesting numbers so far: The Flames are averaging 35 shots on net per game (!), but also giving up 33 (frown). Still, that's a positive shot differential. Huzzah! Their ES shooting percentage is over 11%, so expect that to regress at some point. Their goaltending is actually better at 5on5 this year than it was last year, but is still bad (.904). That said, it's actually PK SV% that has really sunk the club (57.1!!!). At the very least, the puck stopping short-handed should get much better at some point because nobody is that bad.

- Of course, let's keep in mind we're just three games in so making any sort of projections or analysis is fraught with caveats. The first 10 games of the season tend to be kind of screwy. People treat them as predictive of the rest of the season because it's the first bit of information about the new team, but it just isn't so. You usually have to wait 20-30 games to get any kind of real read on an NHL team, and even that is the bare minimum to say anything meaningful.

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39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 thymebalm
October 08 2013, 04:01PM
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Holy crap are the PC police in full force today. Chinese fire drill is both poetic and accurate. It's not some grave event were a bunch of Chinese people died in a fire drill, its just an expression about running around and lack of communication. Its only distasteful to the most sensitive of palate.

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#3 Vowswithin
October 08 2013, 11:44AM
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Just wow.... Apparently Hartley us going with Joey Mc for the next game. One big save is greater then the loss. Man does the coach and management have a hard on for career .900 goalies.

If this continues I hope Ramo asks to be moved to another team that actually wants to build their goalies. Frustrating.......

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#4 Jeff Lebowski
October 08 2013, 12:01PM
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With respect to Monahan's underlying numbers, I recall a shift he had during the Columbus game:

The Calgary line 47-23-22 started on the fly and was countered by Richards with the Gaborik line. The play got into Calgary's zone and eventually Gaborik got a shot on net from the right boards a little more than 5 feet down from blueline. Calgary then took the puck up ice (dmen started) and played in Columbus zone for remainder of shift. They tried a couple of times to set up Stempniak for a shot but he was tightly checked.

Monahan was his normal self, quick touches, not being a play killer and heading to the front of net. Even at 18 he's a load to handle for a guy like Wisnewski. Monahan just kind of leans on him.

Anyway the point is although the stat shows him being underwater that shift, he really wasn't. In fact, in terms of executing what you want : trying to create "QUALITY" chances in the scoring area, Monahan's line outplayed the Gaborik line. However the if you read the stat line you would think Monahan was hemmed in that shift.

Perhaps, on another shift he was hemmed in and over the course of the game the stat line is 'descriptive' of what happened on the ice.

I just don't see it happening a lot where he is outplayed. It happens for sure, some mistakes but when you look at his ice time, the shots he's generating and specifically where and how he is generating just 'seem' to fly in the face of 'underlying numbers'.

Regardless of where he starts, or how he starts (on the fly) he kind of ends up in the offensive zone most often than not. The puck is either being moved by him quickly or he puts on net.

And he's got that knack to win 50-50 pucks with a quick little kick with his skates or bump it up the boards to his winger.

Believe me, I understand the value of advanced stats in sports (the use, not the actual crunching - boring but I get the concepts) so I'm not trying to shoot down that data. It's just they aren't describing how he's playing shift to shift.

Over a season maybe a little more descriptive but still only directional.

The zone starts are more reflective of his learning opposing centremen in the dot. you look at his % and go 'oh man 44% - he's stuggling' but he wins 4 loses 5. Mostly on how adept he is already. Once he learns the league?

Is he improving at the same rate as in preseason? Hartley knows that. Maybe junior is in his cards but from my pov. His underlying numbers being less than exemplary is not accurate of his play. It's accurate on how unsophisticated that specific analysis is (ie scoring chance data, shot location, quality of competition including on the fly matchups etc) would be more descriptive.

I think Colborne just isn't at the same fitness level. With the new systems it's taking time.

I can't wait for a Flames Jets game. That way Kevin McCartney could break down the tactics. I think Calgary's game is all about puck support and 4 guys making a box around the guy who has the puck or defensively, the opponent who has the puck.

Calgary 5v5 production is insane. 12 goals and what 1 PP marker?

With guys like McGrattan it's fair I guess to comment about his mistakes but leaving out how he is skating, drawing penalties and not being just a meat head screams confirmation bias.

I see that a lot here. Things go quiet when people preform different than the way they precieved. Not honest, IMO.

I must admit, the season is playing out how I've wanted. The team plays well, especially the young guys, they score but their goaltending lets them down so they ultimately get a choice draft position.

I don't care about that anymore. I want them to have success. As much as possible. They should be 3-0 and if they could just put out some PP goals that would help.

For the love of all things sane, please do not trade for a goalie. The future in net is bright (Gillies, Ortio, Brossoit) and trading a young guy for more NHL wins now would weaken the future.

Just play Backlund and Hudler PP1 and let those guys gain the zone with possession skills. Or anyone else really.

I am extraordinarily impressed with Feaster and Hartley/Ward. I won't make this long post even longer but if you listen, really listen, to what they talk about in terms of how they develop and play guys at camps to how they handle guys with the two big clubs in terms of systems and style of play it really is something special. Maybe I'm reading too much into it but its different. Look at how players were utilized in Penticton compared to other teams - look at ice time and type (EV,PP,PK).

Listen to how positive the talk is (even crusty Burke - he's just more direct than flowering, effusive Feaster). Mistakes are acceptable if you learn from them. Always moving forward with positive mindset. I love what Gio has to say post games.

If you think this philosophy through in terms of playing with and growing confidence you might come to the same conclusion as me. We are witnessing something really, really great beginning here.

Blah, blah maybe it's all babble. I just see a powerhouse in the making. I know how premature it is to say that and a ton of work has to be done. However the environment this organization is creating makes me think it's inevitable.

People who really want to be good know they have to work hard and they want to be held accountable. Darryl used to say that. He's 100% right. Feaster culled the best from Darryl's regime (those that could thrive under the Feaster/Weisbrod manifesto). I trust my eyes and my gut. I could be wrong. Time will tell.

I really like what this team is now but I LOVE what they are going to be. Soon.

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#5 Nighteyes
October 08 2013, 05:26PM
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Hey everyone I'm new here, nice to meet you all. If this might seem unrelated to Kent's post, let me know. I'm rather dismayed that Hartley just announced Mcbackup is starting against the Habs tomorrow. I really do not understand this logic; he has not been horrible but from what I saw of Ramo in Washington he seemed to have better fundamental goaltending sense and technique. Also, we already know what we can get from Macdonald but Ramo is still a mystery and this season very much intended to solve them.

Furthermore, McGrattan is yet again in the line up for tomorrow. This decision by Hartley again puzzles me. Jackman seems to be a better choice for that role--his mobility, hands and decision-making is vastly better for a fourth liner than McGrattan in my opinion. Thoughts?

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#6 Bean-counting cowboy
October 08 2013, 09:28AM
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Mark Giordano has looked like a much better player this year to me. I'm hoping last year was an off-year.

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#7 Kevin R
October 08 2013, 10:09AM
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Gio & Brodie have been awesome so far, I think getting the captaincy was the best tonic for rejuvenating Gio. I am really really hoping to see Ramage, Tspoon, Seiloff & Cundari get some prime time this year.

We need to see a run of Ramo, win or lose, watching Macdonald is like eating Kraft dinner when I was expecting BBQ steak.

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#8 McRib
October 08 2013, 02:39PM
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@Jeff Lebowski

I think Sven's response recognizing that further work needs to be done also helped.

All Brian Burke is trying to do would be to avoid an Edmonton Oilers situation with a team full of offensively talented young players with no clue about playing in their own zone and praising them constantly since day one (6 Million dollar deals) without accomplishing anything.

Ensuring Sven develops a more complete game will only pay dividends in the future when we are competitive. Edmonton still is struggling because this wasn't addressed two seasons ago with most of the young players.

Bob Hartley had some choice words today regarding Sean Monahan's -3 play last game... Instead of just looking at his goal and praising him he identified things to work on. You only have to watch a Justin Schultz for five minutes to see what the Flames are trying to avoid. Great offensively, -17 huge liability in own zone that is a weakeness which is constantly overlooked by their coaches and staff.

Edmonton comes back last night to avoid loosing their third straight game to start the season, but despite winning no one mentions that RHN was -2 and Perron was -1. All they can talk about is barely beating a very mediocre club in dramtic fashion and scoring "fancy" highlight reel goals (This doesn't win games long term).

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#9 the forgotten man
October 08 2013, 11:17PM
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To the PC police trolling Flames Nation today:

At Dictionary.com we find the word "Canuck" in reference to Canadians is deemed "sometimes offensive" (Random House); "often derogatory" (Online Etymology Dictionary) and "often offensive" ( American Heritage Dictionary).

Wow Kent, better get rid of C&$@ck Nation on your banner...don't want to rattle some delicate sensitivities.

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#10 Christian Roatis
October 08 2013, 09:24AM
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The perspective thing you mentioned is brilliant. Bang on. How pissed would everyone be if we blew a 3-0, 4-1 lead to the Caps and then a 3-1 third period lead to the Canucks and rebuild hadn't started? My guess is livid.

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#11 McRib
October 08 2013, 02:19PM
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@danglesnipecelly

The Flyers are as desperate as they come it seems doing a deal with them isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I think the Flames passing on numerous UFAs this summer (Damien Brunner, Tom Gilbert, Brad Boyes, etc) is an indication ownership enjoys being off the cap ceiling for the time being. So we would need a serious prospect (Philadelphia does not have any) or pick coming our way as well to sweeten the deal.

All this talk about Philadelphia got me thinking.... What NHL team in a year or two is in for the biggest collapse??? My money would be on Vancouver and Philadelphia. How Paul Holmgren & Mike Gillis both still have owners Confidence / Jobs is baffling. No two teams have drafted as badly as them in the last four or five years. As I said yesterday I don't understand how Jay Feaster is branded a moron by the hockey world, yet these guys keep skating by as employable GMs.

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#12 SVENSANITY
October 08 2013, 03:12PM
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"What a difference a shift in perception makes. Had the Flames brass instead decided to stay the course again this year, a 1-0-2 start featuring not one but two blown leads in the third period, there would be an angry mob already forming at the steps of the Saddledome. Instead, the faithful is relatively pleased with the club's efforts."

I agree that there is definitely a shift in fan prospective. However, I think that this statement is largely biased. I think most Flames fans would have been on board and happy if the "old veterans" Iginla and co. had put forward the same type of effort as these kids are putting forwards now. Unfortunately, I personally have never been too rosy about the efforts of previous teams on this organization. Effort was a consistent problem for us in the past. I know that I would have been happy if the veteran teams had played like this young team has. I can't explain how many times over the last 3 years I could be found yelling at my TV or at the Dome asking for guys like Iginla and Tanguay to give just a little bit more than they were giving. 3 years of the same holes in Flames hockey it was getting redundant and tiring. Veterans were making rookie mistakes and there was really no excuse at that point not to rebuild. Losing 5-4 isn't so bad if the team is working for 60 mins and unlike the previous cohort there have not been complete stretches of a game where no one is skating on the team while vets stand idly by as they let a Canucks or Blackhawks team take it to them. That is a good sign for me.

So far in the first 3 games all 4 lines have shown up to play for the Flames and they've put forward consistent efforts over 60 minutes. Yes there have been some lapses and mistakes here and there and if this were a veteran team those mistakes probably would be harped on rather than excused as being a young rebuilding team. That said better a young rebuilding team who hopefully will learn from these mistakes and grow versus a veteran laden team who proved they could not grow from the same mistakes is a better situation in my opinion. And I have seen a new culture developing already where those mistakes aren't acceptable with the leadership in the dressing room and thus will not be accepted with the younger kids. I'm not hearing like you heard in Edmonton upteen times oh they're young Hall and RNH will learn blah blah blah. I'm hearing, we made mistakes, we know we can't make those mistakes, we have to be better, we will coach them to be better, and we will not make excuses for being young. AS a fan I love it!

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#13 Clay
October 08 2013, 09:08AM
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Karri Ramo has a 0.935 ES SV%. Thanks for coming out Joey Mac!

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#14 Clay
October 08 2013, 09:14AM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Unfortunately Ramo didn't make that epic paddle save the other night. I don't expect MacDonald to go anywhere in the near future.

Paddle schmaddle. He wouldn't have to make that save if he didn't have a 5 hole you could drive a bus through.

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#15 Mamie Jacouns LoveChild
October 08 2013, 09:00AM
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TJ Brodie - will be a top pairing Dman for a long time- Book it

Curtis Glencross-when do the Flames play the Oilers; that's when his interest will hit stride

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#16 Christian Roatis
October 08 2013, 09:42AM
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Re: Monahan the right choice vs other prospects from 2013

You can't make that determination for at least another few years. They're all 18/19 year old kids right now, what you see now is probably not what you get in 3-5 years. Not to mention a lot of the kids from that class that aren't even playing in the NHL this year.

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#17 Parallex
October 08 2013, 11:47AM
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palooza wrote:

Good lord, sounds like MacDonald is starting again tomorrow via Steinberg.

For real? Geez. *Rolls up newspaper* No, bad coach, bad. *Smack on the nose*

Hope, that's erronous. If not, Feaster... prod your boy some.

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#18 RKD
October 08 2013, 12:44PM
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I'm impressed with the Flames because we were supposed to be 0-3. So far we are unbeaten in regulation. Sure there will be growing pains but the coaching staff has this team competing for a full 60 minutes. It's still painful to blow leads but as long as they learn from it. They need to instill a culture of competing consistently.

Trying or waiting to tank just to get an Ekblad, Reinhart, or McDavid and hoping they can turn around this franchise is a fallacy. There are teams who could be worse than the Flames this year. The Oiler kids expect their talent to carry them to the post-season. During the lockout, their kids played on the OKC Barons and they were still very sub-par. I couldn't believe how bad they played, they were just stat padding.

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#19 jai kiran
October 08 2013, 01:09PM
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I'm not the language police but it should be noted that the phrase "like a Chinese fire drill" is neither elegant nor witty but flat out racist.

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#20 Scary Gary
October 08 2013, 06:39PM
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Haha Sarich just scored a beauty goal... that was not a typo!

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#21 RexLibris
October 08 2013, 09:06PM
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Alright. Let's all put aside the debate on political correctness, latent colonialist pejoratives, and a general air of offense that is circulating and find some term that best illustrates the activity we can all picture but are struggling to describe.

How about..."the Flames are an Edmonton Eskimos Concussion Protocol in their own zone sometimes"?

*I see that Kent has already made the edit that I was going to propose, therefore the above has been modified to offer another, potentially galvanizing option to those residents, either by proximity or emotion, of FlamesLand.

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#22 piscera.infada
October 09 2013, 09:52AM
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DT wrote:

As an Oiler fan, I like reading Flamesnation. It always makes me feel better to witness delusion first hand, such as Kent's shots at the Oilers, and the similar comments. The hockey team you support has missed the playoffs for four straight years, finished below the Oilers last year, and you guys still take shots? It's the same delusion that convinced you that you were one or two tweaks from being a contender, even after missing the playoffs for a year or two. It's a city wide phenomenon, pervasive among management, media, and fans. I guess if you support a team that has only been past the first round once since 1989, you would have to work hard to find reasons to support that team.

Out of the two franchises, I hardly think we're the only deluded fan base. For all the talk about how great "the kids" are up north, and how close they are to being a cup contender - what have they done to prove any of it?

Are the Flames' kids better than the Oilers' kids? No. Any argument they are is pure delusion (I'll agree with you on that). However, would it surprise me if the current iteration of the Flames finish higher in the standings than the Oilers? Not at all - even if the Flames are as bad as all the pundits peg us. Truth is, your team has done little in the way of instilling the confidence necessary to make an absolute claim to current superiority. Sorry buddy.

That said, I dream of a day where these two teams are powerhouses again, the BOA is hard-fought and close, and a trek through Alberta is viewed as a trip through death valley instead of a tip-toe through the tulips.

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#24 schevvy
October 08 2013, 11:55AM
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@Parallex

Well it's unfortunately true. This is ridiculous. At least give Ramo a chance

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#25 SmellOfVictory
October 08 2013, 01:59PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

Do you?

"The term has been used by Westerners for more than a century, and is today considered by some to be mildly offensive.[9][10][11]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_fire_drill

I wouldn't call that racist. The meaning behind the statement is drawn from the extensive differences in translating between English and the Chinese languages. Adding a nationality as an adjective to a common phrase doesn't make it inherently racist.

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#26 wot96
October 08 2013, 03:33PM
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McRib wrote:

Don't thin anyone has mentioned it so I thought I would... Mark Giordano's mediocre play last season was directly related to him starting a family. Head clearly wasn't into it after his first child was born last year, effort level caused play to drop off, IMO. No surprise he has refound form again this season.

That's pretty familyist dude. Watch it.

More seriously, not sure you can ascribe his performance last year to this "issue". It might have been in his head but isn't it more likely he just had an off year?

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#27 Baalzamon
October 08 2013, 06:50PM
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Nighteyes wrote:

Hey everyone I'm new here, nice to meet you all. If this might seem unrelated to Kent's post, let me know. I'm rather dismayed that Hartley just announced Mcbackup is starting against the Habs tomorrow. I really do not understand this logic; he has not been horrible but from what I saw of Ramo in Washington he seemed to have better fundamental goaltending sense and technique. Also, we already know what we can get from Macdonald but Ramo is still a mystery and this season very much intended to solve them.

Furthermore, McGrattan is yet again in the line up for tomorrow. This decision by Hartley again puzzles me. Jackman seems to be a better choice for that role--his mobility, hands and decision-making is vastly better for a fourth liner than McGrattan in my opinion. Thoughts?

You'll fit in well here.

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#28 Vowswithin
October 08 2013, 11:51AM
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@Kent Wilson

Come on kent! Proven goalie we KNOW we can get .900 out of him. Flames 2013 going for it

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#29 thymebalm
October 08 2013, 12:03PM
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Hartley keeps flinching on goaltending. MacD is not the answer. Feaster you really effed this one up. Why even provide that weak "safety net"?

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#30 Jeff In Lethbridge
October 08 2013, 08:55PM
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@clyde

some people are just resistant to change and do not understand that offensive behaviour by the dominent race that has been allowed for years is no longer acceptable. Anyone that challenges this will be branded as sensitive... but is that bad? why cant we just say "fire drill"

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#31 piscera.infada
October 09 2013, 08:18AM
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@the forgotten man

I don't think there's anything wrong with being cognisant to what might be offensive to a group. For you to deem those people who bring it up "delicate sensitives" shows just how ignorant you are. And please, spare me the "we're talking about sports here" argument. There is no sacred ground where ignorance is defensible, let alone acceptable. [Kent, I don't mean you were being ignorant. Terms like that are pervasive in society, it's easy to drop them without a moment's notice. I'm just not sure how people can be so dead-set against pointing it out.]

In regards to Ramo, I don't like the decision either - I want to see Karri play. I imagine the coaching staff simply wants to give him some time getting used to the speed and style of play of regular season NHL hockey - I'm not sure the bench and practice are the best places to do that, but I'm also not an NHL coach.

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#32 Frank Miron
October 09 2013, 08:40AM
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Looking foward for the game tonight, as my Flames go up against the Habs (feeling a bit lonely here in Montreal as a Flames fan !)

Dissapointed not to see Ramo in net tonight against Price... maybe they are trying to sell McDonald for a team that needs a backup ? Hope so !

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#33 piscera.infada
October 09 2013, 12:04PM
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@the forgotten man

Actually, it's not all or nothing - I'm sorry if that was unclear. Let me clarify by saying it's a contextual issue.

The word "Canuck" in the context of the organization, refers to Johnny Canuck, not the derogatory term used for French-Canadian migrants to the US. Johnny Canuck was a super hero used to reclaim that term by way of making it term of endearment to Canadians during WWII - in the comic book it helped defeat Hitler, while using good ol' fashioned Canadian hard work to contrast uncle Sam. Great name for a comic book? Probably not, but that's besides the point.

In contrast, organizational names like the Blackhawks, Indians, Redskins, etc. all use those terms to convey something entirely different. They appeal to an appropriation of indigenous culture(s) as warrior-like and savage. As such, these titles are negative IMO.

I see the term "Chinese firedrill" to be similar. It conveys mass disorganization by way of comparing it to a entire nationality - it's a negative connotation. As such, there's no context in which you portray that saying in a positive light.

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#34 Vowswithin
October 08 2013, 09:32AM
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@Kent Wilson

As mad as I have been getting I keep reminding myself if you're not winning you're loosing... And that is what we are going for for 2 or so years.

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#35 Clay
October 08 2013, 10:04AM
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Maybe I'm biased, but Justin Schultz hasn't looked good this year. I struggle to see how Edmonton reduces turnovers when they have 5 players trying to win the game on every shift, eggregiously turning pucks over on 1 on 3s as opposed to getting pucks deep. I don't think they are good enough... or at least they won't win with that culture they have. Hall was pouting in the media that he felt he shouldn't have been asked to play center. It sounds like he tries to coach the team.

Here's hoping the Flames can steal some points from them this season.

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#36 Avalain
October 08 2013, 10:08AM
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HongKongHockeyFan wrote:

Lucky Number 6! I haven't been able to see all of top 2013 draft picks this year but it appears that the Flames could not have gone wrong in this year's draft.

I have seen McKinnon, Jones and Lindholm play so far (and have not seen Barkov and Drouin). Lindholm looks fantastic. He has speed, skills and smarts! From what I read previously, the Flames would have took him over Monahan if he was still available.

However, what I'm wondering what the Flames would have done if they had ended up with the 7th pick, which the Oilers got, instead of the 6th pick (and the Oilers took Monahan)?

Nonetheless, I will be closely watching the development of this year's first round draft picks to see who ultimately ended up with the best selections. Again it will be interesting to see who ends up being the best centre in this year's draft. Monahan might give McKinnon, Barkov and Lindholm a run for their money. Most of scouts have previously stated that those three definitely have the most potential to be elite first line centres, while the consensus seems to think that Monahan will only be good second line centre.

Any other thoughts?

Well, in a perfect world I would have Monahan slot in as our second line centre behind McDavid. You know, the same way that Malkin is a second line centre.

Of course, those are some pretty large assumptions that I'm making there...

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#37 jeremywilhelm
October 08 2013, 10:40AM
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The shot on net stat is what makes me very happy and positive about the results so far. The fact that they can generate that many shots in a game, even in such a short sample size is very positive and will probably lead them to be picking out of the top ten this season with average goaltending.

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#38 danglesnipecelly
October 08 2013, 12:11PM
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@schevvy

Also ridiculous are the Bodog odds that Hartley is the next NHL coach fired and the rumours out of Philly that the Flames are desperate to find a d-man to play with Gio? Suggesting one of their high priced d-men could be coming here in exchange for Glencross. Huh what?

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#39 McRib
October 08 2013, 02:02PM
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Don't thin anyone has mentioned it so I thought I would... Mark Giordano's mediocre play last season was directly related to him starting a family. Head clearly wasn't into it after his first child was born last year, effort level caused play to drop off, IMO. No surprise he has refound form again this season.

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#40 clyde
October 08 2013, 03:37PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

Yep. Didn't like that either. To each their own.

To be clear: I don't think it implies the person who uses the phrase as being racist. Other ways to say same thing is the point.

It is racist and apparently stems from the British attitude towards the Chinese military as being very disorganized in the early 1900's. I don't think the author of this article was meaning to be racist in anyway, just a poor choice.

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#41 The Last Big Bear
October 08 2013, 06:53PM
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@Nighteyes

Ramo should be in, and MacBackup should be MacBackup. The only explanation I can come up with is that MacDonald has been showing the coaches what they want to see in practice, or Ramo has been doing something in practice that they don't like.

As for McGrattan, I like having him in the lineup, and I see no real role for Jackman at the moment. Jackman is a slightly better player fundamentally, but McGrattan has been comparably good lately, is infinitely better at fighting, and is as intimidating as all hell. If McGrattan has a rough patch, or gets injured, then by all means bring in Jackman. But for now I'm happy enough leaving him in the press box.

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#42 SmellOfVictory
October 08 2013, 09:12AM
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Clay wrote:

Karri Ramo has a 0.935 ES SV%. Thanks for coming out Joey Mac!

Unfortunately Ramo didn't make that epic paddle save the other night. I don't expect MacDonald to go anywhere in the near future.

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#43 Bezer
October 08 2013, 09:30AM
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I am concerned but not ready to write Colborne off just yet. He seems a little lost at the moment. If he was at training camp I think he would be a lot better, he's just trying to catch up right now. It's really a bit of a pain that we can't send him down to Abby without going they waivers. I think he would benefit greatly from some time down there.

Also with Joey Mac I think we know what we are getting goaltending wise (900ish SV%). But I think when Ramo climitizes to the North American game a bit more he will be above the .900 SV% level. Although I am not sure if he is gonna be great or just adequate.

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#44 Baalzamon
October 08 2013, 10:55AM
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"- Curtis Glencross has fine stats across the board, but he has looked awful by eye. Lackluster decision making and uninspired compete level all over the ice. I'm stunned most of his results are adequate. On the plus side, he's capable of being a lot better and will likely improve as the season progresses."

Aside from the last sentence, this paragraph could have been written about David Jones.

And with the compulsory Jones "hating" out of the way, I find it amusing that the Flames are basically playing Ottawa Senators hockey right now. ALL the Corsi events!!

Brodie is awesome.

I am flat-out amazed that Backlund is that far down the team's Corsi ranking. But it's nice that he's played 21+ minutes in two out of three games so far.

@HongKongHockeyFan

"...while the consensus seems to think that Monahan will only be good second line centre."

Actually, the consensus is generally that Monahan will be a first line center--if only an average one (ie. not a "franchise" player).

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#45 palooza
October 08 2013, 11:44AM
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Good lord, sounds like MacDonald is starting again tomorrow via Steinberg.

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#46 palooza
October 08 2013, 11:50AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I...uh...why?

Ramo hurting?? Maybe? Hopefully?

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#47 Jeff Lebowski
October 08 2013, 01:16PM
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jai kiran wrote:

I'm not the language police but it should be noted that the phrase "like a Chinese fire drill" is neither elegant nor witty but flat out racist.

Yep. Didn't like that either. To each their own.

To be clear: I don't think it implies the person who uses the phrase as being racist. Other ways to say same thing is the point.

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#48 Rockmorton65
October 08 2013, 01:18PM
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@jai kiran

Are you aware what a Chinese fire drill actually is?

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#49 kittensandcookies
October 08 2013, 01:26PM
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Rockmorton65 wrote:

Are you aware what a Chinese fire drill actually is?

You'll be on fire half an hour later?

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#50 Jeff Lebowski
October 08 2013, 02:12PM
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Anyone else notice how Burke's comments about Sven have faded to black? Who knows, it may come up again but I'm glad it hasn't become an ongoing narrative and him having to think about it. Too much other good stuff to be preoccupied with or it's done by Hartley privately and positively.

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