Five things: You can't always get what you want

Ryan Lambert
November 14 2013 08:49AM

1. A load of hooey

Saw this unreadable tripe from Mark Spector about how the Flames are lovable because they're losing “the right way.” I'm sorry, but there's not a “right way” to lose in the NHL.

You either win or you lose and there's no right or wrong way to do it. Are the Sharks, let's say, winning more or less admirably than the Ducks? Or is it equally admirable? Or I guess more to the point, what about the Oilers? Is the way they're losing — by playing like boneheads the second they cross their own blue line because they're on the fourth coach in five years and wouldn't know a defensive system if its agent demanded a trade — better or worse than Calgary's “We try real hard” attitude? Anyone watching the game with San Jose who walked away thinking, “I feel good about how that went,” is an idiot.

Bob Hartley doesn't have an easy job in shepherding along the boat full of kids on his roster while also trying to make every game close, and Jay Feaster makes it harder by acquiring Ladislav Smid in exchange for two “meh” players with an average age of 21. That's not to say Hartley doesn't make it harder on himself to put out an aesthetically pleasing product, for instance by giving Brian McGrattan ice time instead of literally anyone else on the roster. (Though I guess morons like fights, and they're a big market.) But there's nothing admirable about getting in the way of your own rebuild because the players are “owed” anything in the way of competitive help.

There's a quote from Matt Stajan way down in that story about how the Flames feel like their record should be better than it is. It's antithetical nonsense. This team sucks, and it's supposed to suck. Hanging on for dear life and getting into overtime isn't validation of anything except that sometimes hockey is stupid and doesn't make sense for an hour or two.

2. More hooey

And here's Randy Sportak saying that even the thing Spector is talking about — how inherently admirable it is to watch the Flames lose nobly — is a bridge too far. Instead, “Wins would be nice.” This about a team that withstood 75.4 percent of all shot attempts at even strength just hours earlier.

Buddy, you are in the wrong business if that's what you're hoping for. Did Sportak just wake up from a coma? Does he think Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff and Jay Bouwmeester are hurt?

This is a team getting outshot badly every single night; the Flames' corsi-for was, after last night's debacle, at a robust 45.8, good for 27th in the league. Things are only likely to get worse, especially if, as Sportak suggests, the Tampa Bay Lightning come calling about Mike Cammalleri's availability.

I'd be happy for Cammalleri if that happened, though. Can't imagine it's easy to go out there, get slaughtered like that, and then have to answer questions about how he's taking it all. “Poorly,” is what I imagine he'd like to scream but can't. To be fair, he never signed up for this. He signed elsewhere, and was traded back because things didn't work out. They're not working out now either. He deserves a shot somewhere else.

3. The goings-on in Buffalo

So the Sabres now officially have an overtly meddlesome owner who is trying to dictate the direction of the team. Last season it seemed like he made Darcy Regier fire Lindy Ruff (about two years too late) and yesterday he fired Darcy Regier himself (about three years too late) along with Ron Rolston (about two years too early).

Make no mistake, this was a gigantic move, but not because of the reasons most would probably think. Rolston getting fired is a silly bit of business, because he's only guilty of not turning a gaaaaaaaaaaarbage team into a winner. No one could have. But what's important here is that Terry Pegula is getting more involved in his club's day-to-day operations, which is a bad idea.

Flames fans know all too well that when ownership is dictating how a team should be run, you get results like Calgary and Buffalo. The reason the Flames are so bad now, and have missed the playoffs for four straight years, is that Murray Edwards and the other owners have been screaming that this team needs to be a contender until it was painfully obvious that it hadn't been one for years, if, indeed, it ever was to begin with. (I would argue that in 2005-06 they were certainly good enough to compete for a Cup.)

This isn't a fun road the Sabres are about to travel down. Pretty sure you'll be hearing pronouncements about “Going for it” in two years.

4. Your weekly Johnny Gaudreau update

Okay so I know you're probably all getting sick of hearing about this kid every week — I'm writing about him everywhere at this point — but things are getting out of control with him. He had seven points in two games this weekend, nearly all of the “gorgeous” variety. That's obviously very, very good. What's more impressive, though, is that he put up those seven points despite not playing a lot of time in the final 50 minutes of the second game.

That's because his Boston College Eagles played 0-4 Army, and the gap in quality between these two NCAA clubs is probably about the same as the gap in quality between the coming Canadian Olympic team and the Canadian World Junior team. In the sense that they are all Division 1 college athletes, they're on a similar level, but BC is just far and away more talented in every regard than Army; a fourth-line player on the Eagles would be a first-line player on the Black Knights, basically.

Gaudreau had four points in the game, but three of them came in the first 12 minutes or so alone. The rest of the time, BC coach Jerry York reached way back into his bench, and the goals still came fast and furious. Final score was 11-0 to the Eagles, but if Gaudreau had gotten regular shifts that score would have probably pushed 25.

Here he is figuring into the first three of BC's five-goal performance against archrival Boston University. Watch the pass on the play on the third goal (at 50 seconds) and explain to me how he gets everyone in the arena to bite on it.

5. You earned it this week

686dfac3780611cb7acad6ce5166c6c1
Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#1 BurningSensation
November 14 2013, 11:01AM
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Sigh.

"Or I guess more to the point, what about the Oilers? Is the way they're losing — by playing like boneheads the second they cross their own blue line because they're on the fourth coach in five years and wouldn't know a defensive system if its agent demanded a trade — better or worse than Calgary's “We try real hard” attitude?"

Lambert gets this wrong in pretty spectacular fashion. Let us count the ways;

- The answer to Lambert's question is ''Worse. Obiously, much, much worse. And any idiot should be able to tell the difference.' Why? Because a team that trys hard and loses because of talent merely has to get more talented (and the talent is coming, see Johnny Hockey for an example).

- It also makes for more entertaining hockey. Fans. Sorta important.

- Which brings in the gate, sells jersey's etc. Money. It's kind of important.

- A team that has no try in them, and gets blown out despite having some freakish talents on the roster (Hall would be destroying the league if he weren't trapped in the 9th circle of hell for all infinity), is not going to get better, it is going to get worse as that talent fails to develop or curdles out of bitterness. Calgary is already further along the development curve than Edmonton, despite handing them a half decade head start. Losing the way Calgary does means we will be better, sooner.

- The team is everything. He notes that Edmonton has been in a constant state of coaching flux, and inherently lacks a coherent system. He wants to know if losing this way (despite having real talent on the roster) is worse? Stability at every level of an organization is important. The Flames are losing now because their best guys are Cammalleri and Stempniak. Good guys. But not talented enough. Once the team is being lead by higher ceiling players like Monahan, Poirier, Klimchuk, Baertschi, Gillies, Gaudreau, etc, the work ethic, coaching strategy, etc. will already be in place. Edmonton on the other hand, will keep burning through high picks wondering why they want to leave as soon as they arrive.

Not content to just crap the bed, Lambert insists on dressing in the bedsheets afterwards....

"Bob Hartley doesn't have an easy job in shepherding along the boat full of kids on his roster while also trying to make every game close, and Jay Feaster makes it harder by acquiring Ladislav Smid in exchange for two “meh” players with an average age of 21."

- How does this make it harder for Hartley exactly? In what universe is this a problem for Hartley?

Feaster just landed him an NHL quality defenseman - in his prime - on a good contract - for the tweener Roman Horak. Does he think the Oilers made themselves better with the deal? Because Roman Horak is going to put them over the top? Lambert correctly notes that Hartley has a hard time steering a boatload of kids, and then pukes on the aquisition of a solid vet at no real cost IN THE VERY NEXT SENTENCE.

But wait, Lambert decides that having dressed up in his soiled bedsheets, it's time to run through the streets and flaunt his new tailoring...

"And here's Randy Sportak saying that even the thing Spector is talking about — how inherently admirable it is to watch the Flames lose nobly — is a bridge too far. Instead, “Wins would be nice.” This about a team that withstood 75.4 percent of all shot attempts at even strength just hours earlier.

Buddy, you are in the wrong business if that's what you're hoping for. Did Sportak just wake up from a coma? Does he think Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff and Jay Bouwmeester are hurt?"

- The most obvious thing to get out of the way is Sportak is right - wins would be nice. Watching the players get rewarded for their efforts would indeed be awesome. But Lambert hates it when meritocracy happens. Or something. Why is he disagreeing with Sportak here? The guy is essentially on Lambert's side (there being no nobility in losing ever), so why crap on him?

- I'd answer that Lambert doesn't want us to think that 'wins' are within the realm of possibility, we should not just expect to lose, but we should give up hope of wins happening at all because Jarome, Miika etc. are now gone. We must suffer like Edmontonians. We must despair.

This isn't just being down on a team, this is just brute nihlism. Lambert has turned his diagnoses of 'The Flames aren't very good' into 'it doesn't matter how they play they will still lose' to his conclusion 'there is no hope'.

Do us all a favour Lambert. Set that bedsheet on fire while you are still wearing it.

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#2 Carl
November 14 2013, 09:15AM
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"Morons like fighting" I can just see Lambert letting out an audible sigh when fights break out while watching games with other people, but gets wet at the sight when he watches them alone.

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#3 SeanCharles
November 14 2013, 10:27AM
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Just another run of the mill Lambert article.

Lots of props and minimal trashes. Mostly because we all agree and rip on Lambert for his negative nelly attitude that only ever decreases when discussing Gaudreau...

No surprises here.

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#4 piscera.infada
November 14 2013, 09:13AM
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It's never to early to fire Rolston. That guy is a horrible gong-show of a coach.

I was, however, thinking the same thing about Pegula's meddling, as well as Spector's article. Losing admirably? Gimme a break!

I do think the Flames have been pleasing to watch this season (not including a few games here and there), and I firmly believe they're heading in the right direction. It's entirely reasonable to look for positives, but it's another thing to speak of "moral victories" as if other teams in similar situations are looking at the Flames and saying "gah! that's what we should be doing right now".

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#5 VentureBro
November 14 2013, 10:44AM
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I think I figured if out. Your entire artical is somekind of weird satire.

Everything you say is so obviously wrong because it isn't meant to be taken seriously.

There's no such things as a good or bad loss? That's like saying you can't appreciate the difference between a hard fought 2-1 game against a superior opponent to a 7-0 blowout from a team that doesn't even care anymore. If you don't understand that then you don't understand hockey (or any other sport).

Then for your second point you contradict your first point completly. making both arguments meaningless. Bravo sir. I will be coming back to appreciate more of your high level satire in the future. (starting with the heading "a load of hooey" was a nice wink to the audience.)

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#6 DoubleDIon
November 14 2013, 11:16AM
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@BurningSensation

Ouch, I think you take Lambert too seriously. He's basically chicken little, everyone knows that. He sometimes makes valid points, but his blogs in general just start conversations. No need to hope he burns to death in the soiled bedsheets he's wrapped around himself ;)

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#7 MichaelD
November 14 2013, 11:17AM
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@BurningSensation

I like the cut of your jib

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#8 prendrefeu
November 14 2013, 08:54AM
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So much anger, and it isn't even noon yet in Calgary.

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#9 SmellOfVictory
November 14 2013, 09:32AM
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Regarding points 1 and 2, Lambykins, I'd like to present some disagreement. There are better ways of losing than not; having a team lose despite trying is nice, because at least the players are putting in the effort. Having a team lose because they don't play properly or look disinterested (see: Flames of previous seasons) is frustrating. Yes, this Flames team is clearly outmatched many nights, and there are other teams that are simply better, but for the most part they appear to be listening to the coach, putting forth effort, and playing well together.

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#10 Burnward
November 14 2013, 09:56AM
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Ryan "Pot" Lambert vs Mark "Kettle" Spector.

Who you gots?

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#11 Double Dion
November 14 2013, 10:01AM
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I disagree with your first point quite strongly. The way we've been losing prior to this season with the disinterested defensive efforts, lack of puck pursuit and overall goalsuck mentality annoyed the beejezus out of me. The way we've been losing this year with mistakes and being overmatched at least tells me the culture of this team is improving. I don't want losing to become OK because of the rebuild.

That said, some of the player usage drives me nuts too. The one area we could "out-talent" some teams even with our injuries is the 4th line. Knight and Bouma should be playing on the 4th line with Colbourne. McGratton and Jackman should be waived. Let SOB and Bouma be our face-punchers.

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#12 BurningSensation
November 14 2013, 11:45AM
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DoubleDIon wrote:

Ouch, I think you take Lambert too seriously. He's basically chicken little, everyone knows that. He sometimes makes valid points, but his blogs in general just start conversations. No need to hope he burns to death in the soiled bedsheets he's wrapped around himself ;)

He gets my dander right up!

Just not proper. Just not cricket.

http://youtu.be/0iRTB-FTMdk

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#13 Dave
November 14 2013, 09:19AM
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I don't agree with your first point. Isn't everyone around here always saying that the leafs are winning wrong because their stats are unsustainable? they are outshot and only stellar goaltending is keeping them alive. And on the flip side, when a team loses but 'deserves' to win because they outshot, outplayed and out chanced their opponent aren't the fans and flamesnation more willing to say 'that's ok, sometimes that happens but it's more important how we played the game.'

also, I never get tired about hearing/seeing Johnny G.

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#14 BitGeek
November 14 2013, 09:58AM
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Ryan you never cease to amaze me. It must have been a real struggle to come up with 5 things to write about this week.

I'm amazed that you're actually trying dig up controversy over whether it makes sense to talk about the right way to win or lose. You're really reaching for material with that one.

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#15 Jay up North
November 14 2013, 10:20AM
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It COULD be worse !

We COULD be Oiler fans !

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#16 Double Dion
November 14 2013, 10:28AM
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@Parallex

Agreed, I thought at the start of the year Florida and Buffalo were worse for sure. I picked us to finish 25th overall. If I'd known the injury bug would finally bite us this year I'd have picked 28th, but I didn't really account for the Oilers like I should have. Tank nation continues for those poor buggers.

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#17 mk
November 14 2013, 10:34AM
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I agree with the sentiment (I think Kent was saying?) that the Flames are bad this year - but will be worse next year once a couple of vets are off-loaded for picks/prospects. Things will get worse before they get better - unless the following things happen much quicker than expected:

- Sven becomes a top-line winger - Svean becomes a top-line center - Svomeone becomes a top-pair defenseman

[We really need more prospects with 'S' names...]

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#18 McRib
November 14 2013, 10:39AM
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Not related to the article but Michael Ferland after going pointless in first 11 games has 7 points in last 3 with Abbotsford. It seems the only reason we traded for Smid was to get rid of Roman Horak and clear up some space on the farm for this kid.

He is looking like a legitimate prospect now after a strong camp. Along with Knight big skilled forwards are hard to come by especially getting them with/as a 4th & 5th Round Picks. Corbin Knight is now second in rookie scoring in the AHL.

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#19 McRib
November 14 2013, 11:40AM
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@MichaelD

Duplicate Post

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#20 DoubleDIon
November 14 2013, 12:09PM
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@RKD

Completely agree RDK. I'm hoping one of our current guys develops well since I don't like the idea of shipping out assets for a starter. Berra and Ramo can run with the ball this year and we can assess. Gilles definitely has potential and I like Ortio more than some people do. Hopefully one of them works out, I'm just glad we're not running McDonald out there anymore. We still need a young stud on the blueline. Ekblad would be nice, but probably won't be there when we draft unless we get lottery luck. I still wonder what the Leafs long term plans are for Gardiner? Could he be had on the cheap for Stajan and a pick at the deadline? EDIT: Btw, I'm not saying Gardiner is THE answer, but I think he can play in the top 4 shortly.

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#21 beloch
November 14 2013, 01:55PM
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Re: Criticizing other writers
You probably shouldn't throw stones when you have a giant target painted on your back and glass-bone syndrome.

Re: Types of Losing
One thing that is notably different about this year's team is that they frequently make comebacks. It's bad that they continually put themselves in a position where they have to do so, but the Flames of a year or two ago were pretty used to packing it in as soon as they fell behind. If that hadn't changed this year's team would be doing a lot worse than they are now. This shows the development of a team work ethic and esprit de corps that will serve the Flames well once they develop or acquire more skill. This is why fans who actually watch the bloody games like this team. It's a solid foundation, rather than the shifting desert dunes certain other teams are built on.

Re: Acquiring Smid
Smid was acquired, if we are to believe Feaster, because the third pairing was playing 5 minutes a night. That fact alone made adding a competent third pairing defender mandatory. When your top 4 are all playing 27+ minutes a night they're not going to play to their full potential, and some of them are bound to get hurt too.

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#22 kittensandcookies
November 14 2013, 03:23PM
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@BurningSensation

Wow. I liked how you debated Lambert's opinions with your own opinions except that your's are obviously correct and his are wrong.

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#23 Parallex
November 14 2013, 10:09AM
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Heh, the Sabres. There's a prime reason of why I said the Flames were no shoe-in for for the #1 overall pick (or more technically the best draft lotto odds). It's takes a special type of widespread awfulness to finish dead last in the NHL and Flames just don't have that (yet).

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#24 Benny12
November 14 2013, 10:34AM
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That Gaudreau assist was awesome! First time I watched the clip I thought he was going to the d-man. Our cupboards have talent, finally!

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#25 schevvy
November 14 2013, 10:34AM
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It's been too long since we've seen the amazing Iginla/Feaster sun combo. This is a great day

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#26 mk
November 14 2013, 10:57AM
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McRib wrote:

Not related to the article but Michael Ferland after going pointless in first 11 games has 7 points in last 3 with Abbotsford. It seems the only reason we traded for Smid was to get rid of Roman Horak and clear up some space on the farm for this kid.

He is looking like a legitimate prospect now after a strong camp. Along with Knight big skilled forwards are hard to come by especially getting them with/as a 4th & 5th Round Picks. Corbin Knight is now second in rookie scoring in the AHL.

In a sense, this is how good teams are constructed. Its always easy (or easier) to get lower-end players (or average prospects), so combining them for a single more valuable asset is good business. Aim to get the best player in a trade and you'll generally do well.

Especially in an environment where the number of NHL assets you have is limited (via cap, ice-time and # of contracts). The reasons Chicago is great is because they have the top-top talent - its WAY easier to fill in the bottom end of a roster (unless you're Edmonton).

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#27 McRib
November 14 2013, 11:29AM
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@mk

Exactly, The Chicago & Pittsburgh style rebuilds are fine and that seems to be the flavor of the day, but Detroit was winning cups for years in a similar fashion to what the Flames are doing.

Bring in solid well rounded prospects at every position, surround them within a positive situation and watch them flourish reaching max potential. If Michael Ferland was in another organization he may have already been given his walking papers after off ice issues two summers ago and on ice results last year.

Instead he is put into a positive situation with quality young men in Abbotsford (Reinhart, Knight, etc) and look at his game take off. He would have been a Top. 40 pick his draft year if not for skating concerns. So what did he do last summer he worked on conditioning/skating intensely spending a portion of the summer in Calgary.

Edmonton's problem like Kent said a few days ago is they keep looking for the homerun whale free agents/prospects and are missing the bigger picture outside of having a few superstars you still need the rest of a team. Also sometimes those nothing prospects turn into stars as well.... Cough cough Theo Fleury (Johnny Gaudreau?), Jamie Benn (Michael Ferland remainds me of him slightly), etc

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#28 MichaelD
November 14 2013, 11:37AM
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Also, I was just reading on the flames site that the Russian defenceman we took was named to their super series team. So hopefully we can get a chance to see him play

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#29 McRib
November 14 2013, 11:40AM
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@MichaelD

From what I am told he is a shoe in as well for their World Junior Team (i.e. First Pairing). I would be hesitant to take a Russian in the Top. 15 these days, but I don't mind taking flyers on them in the 7th round at all. Someone told me he would have been a 2/3 rounder if he was playing in the CHL.

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#30 MichaelD
November 14 2013, 11:45AM
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@McRib

Yeah definitely. I'd imagine he'll find his money in the KHL but as a 7th round pick, it's intriguing

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#31 RKD
November 14 2013, 11:57AM
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I disagree, I understand that losing is losing. However, what separates Calgary from Buffalo, Edmonton, Florida the bottom feeder is that Calgary is playing competitively. The Oiler kids have a ton of talent, but they don't compete and they don't play defence. The Flames still have to be a lot better defensively, but they've gutted their d-corps and don't have a #1 goalie. Still, the culture and environment they bring up the kids here is way more conducive to their development than in Edmonton or Buffalo. Hartley is getting more out of each player than Eakins is. Until the Flames have a legit #1 goalie and rebuild their defence, it will be tough sledding. I'm not concerned about the offensive side of prospects, I'm more concerned about the back end down the road.

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#32 TRAV
November 14 2013, 01:09PM
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Simply not a very good article. Sometimes I enjoy reading Lambert's stuff because it makes me think. This article just didn't make sense. Point one says that it doesn't matter how you lose and then point two critiques hoe the Flames are losing?!??? Furthermore I was thinking the same thing as another poster who mentioned that the Leafs are always brought up as a team who isn't winning the right way. So if I understand correctly how you lose is irrelevant but how you win is very important...

Yeah just not a very well thought out article...(as has been pointed out by several others)

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#33 Ramskull
November 14 2013, 01:31PM
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To say Spector's article was about losing is very much a strawman argument. Spector was talking about the Flames professional conduct and work ethic while mired in what will certainly be a losing season. To call that a "we tried real hard" attitude is really very ignorant.

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#34 Ed Wailin'
November 14 2013, 04:38PM
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TROLL-MASTER-EXTRAORDINAIRE

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#35 coachedpotatoe
November 14 2013, 05:31PM
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A whole lot about nothing.

We should be reading about how we see this team developing and not about what some sport writer thinks about winning and losing. Or how dysfunctional some far away organization is.(However we could be discussing how dysfunctional our rivals to the north are.)

Who would you rather watch right now? Why?

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#36 please cancel acct
November 14 2013, 05:35PM
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kittensandcookies wrote:

Wow. I liked how you debated Lambert's opinions with your own opinions except that your's are obviously correct and his are wrong.

yea Narcissistic.

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#37 exsanguinator
November 14 2013, 06:07PM
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beloch wrote:

Re: Criticizing other writers
You probably shouldn't throw stones when you have a giant target painted on your back and glass-bone syndrome.

Re: Types of Losing
One thing that is notably different about this year's team is that they frequently make comebacks. It's bad that they continually put themselves in a position where they have to do so, but the Flames of a year or two ago were pretty used to packing it in as soon as they fell behind. If that hadn't changed this year's team would be doing a lot worse than they are now. This shows the development of a team work ethic and esprit de corps that will serve the Flames well once they develop or acquire more skill. This is why fans who actually watch the bloody games like this team. It's a solid foundation, rather than the shifting desert dunes certain other teams are built on.

Re: Acquiring Smid
Smid was acquired, if we are to believe Feaster, because the third pairing was playing 5 minutes a night. That fact alone made adding a competent third pairing defender mandatory. When your top 4 are all playing 27+ minutes a night they're not going to play to their full potential, and some of them are bound to get hurt too.

RE: Types of Losing

Agreed. The Flames may not be winning a whole lot but at least they are putting some effort and actually trying to win the games. One of the guys on the FN podcast, can't remember which one, said that the Flames are not competitive enough to be a playoff threat. This is an opinion that I wholeheartedly disagree with. The Flames are one of the most COMPETITIVE teams in the league right now, they are just sorely lacking in SKILL and EXPERIENCE. A huge difference in my opinion. Very rarely does this team fail to play a full 60 minutes so far this season (San Jose game aside) it's just the mistakes that are killing them, this will improve with time. I expect the second half record to be superior to the first half record this season.

RE: Aquiring Smid

Excellent move on Feaster's part. Smid is perfect for the 5D slot on this team with a healthy D-corps. Give him someone that can move the puck to play with and we might actually have 3 decent pairings on the back end. Team defense needs to happen next but I don't really have any complaints about the top 5 D on this team right now (once Gio gets back, of course.)

Also, as a side note, Stemps injury is really hurting the club right now, his defensive play is good for the team and good for the kids.

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#38 acg5151
November 14 2013, 06:27PM
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1) Right way to lose vs. wrong way - would you rather lose the Edmonton way, or would you rather the Flames at least be in the game and then lose?

2) Lots of people like watching a fight every now and again. They aren't morons for it and you're not superior to them just because you personally don't like fights.

3) Smid is a competent stay at home d-man who has been played over his head on the first pair. If given 15 minutes a night on the bottom pair he can be a solid option, and was acquired on the cheap. He also can't just ditch the rebuild since he is signed for the next three years. It was a good move.

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#39 Prmo
November 14 2013, 06:31PM
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RKD wrote:

I disagree, I understand that losing is losing. However, what separates Calgary from Buffalo, Edmonton, Florida the bottom feeder is that Calgary is playing competitively. The Oiler kids have a ton of talent, but they don't compete and they don't play defence. The Flames still have to be a lot better defensively, but they've gutted their d-corps and don't have a #1 goalie. Still, the culture and environment they bring up the kids here is way more conducive to their development than in Edmonton or Buffalo. Hartley is getting more out of each player than Eakins is. Until the Flames have a legit #1 goalie and rebuild their defence, it will be tough sledding. I'm not concerned about the offensive side of prospects, I'm more concerned about the back end down the road.

As much as I enjoy seeing the Oilers lose what concerns me most is that the Oilers will again and again be in contention for a top draft this year if not 1st overall. Unfortunately that will also put them in prime position for the McDavid w=sweepstakes next year. This kid will indeed be a franchise changer and Im having nightmares that the Oilers will be the beneficiaries.

Bettman needs to look at changing the draft rules, poorly managed teams with excessive losing records (specifically the Oilers) being rewarded with elite top talent. There needs to be some kind of limit imposed on how often this can happen!

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#40 please cancel acct
November 14 2013, 07:02PM
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@Prmo

IMO the Rule should read that no team can pick lower than 5th ,in the year following a #1 pick.

The Oilers have to be an embarrassment to the League with there recent success. Another 1 or 2 picks would certainly raise the value of the team if one was inclined to sell it.The optics are mocking the league in it's entirety

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#41 Cmc
November 16 2013, 09:54AM
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You hockey experts are wrong about the value of players like Brian Mcgratton and Tim Jackman. They are not there to entertain the fans, they are an insurance policy for the young players. Without them eating up 5 minutes of playing time per game, young talents like Monahan would be on the IR list. Look at the Oilers injury history with their young stars.

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#42 coachedpotatoe
November 16 2013, 12:14PM
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Cmc wrote:

You hockey experts are wrong about the value of players like Brian Mcgratton and Tim Jackman. They are not there to entertain the fans, they are an insurance policy for the young players. Without them eating up 5 minutes of playing time per game, young talents like Monahan would be on the IR list. Look at the Oilers injury history with their young stars.

What a load of hooey this statement is. Exactly how does Mcg butt stapled to the bench deter someone from hitting another player. This logic would make some sense if McG played on the same line.

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#43 Cmc
November 16 2013, 01:16PM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

What a load of hooey this statement is. Exactly how does Mcg butt stapled to the bench deter someone from hitting another player. This logic would make some sense if McG played on the same line.

It is not necessary to play on the same line. In one recent game one of the flames was on the receiving end of a cheap shot, Mccgratton was out on the next shift. He did not fight but there were a few conversations with the opposition, no more cheap shots. I have no idea what was said but wouldn't be surprised that the opposition wasn't informed as to which one of their players would be leaving the game if there was a repeat. Look at the Leafs, where do you think players like Khadri and Kessel acquired their courage. Maybe because they feel safe out there.

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#44 ?
November 16 2013, 11:28PM
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McRib wrote:

Exactly, The Chicago & Pittsburgh style rebuilds are fine and that seems to be the flavor of the day, but Detroit was winning cups for years in a similar fashion to what the Flames are doing.

Bring in solid well rounded prospects at every position, surround them within a positive situation and watch them flourish reaching max potential. If Michael Ferland was in another organization he may have already been given his walking papers after off ice issues two summers ago and on ice results last year.

Instead he is put into a positive situation with quality young men in Abbotsford (Reinhart, Knight, etc) and look at his game take off. He would have been a Top. 40 pick his draft year if not for skating concerns. So what did he do last summer he worked on conditioning/skating intensely spending a portion of the summer in Calgary.

Edmonton's problem like Kent said a few days ago is they keep looking for the homerun whale free agents/prospects and are missing the bigger picture outside of having a few superstars you still need the rest of a team. Also sometimes those nothing prospects turn into stars as well.... Cough cough Theo Fleury (Johnny Gaudreau?), Jamie Benn (Michael Ferland remainds me of him slightly), etc

Detroit hasn't missed the playoffs in 2 decades. What they do and what CGY is doing are not really similar

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