Five things: Where we stand

Ryan Lambert
November 21 2013 10:21AM

1. Why does Bob Hartley hate Sven Baertschi?

On Monday, ahead of the shootout win over the Jets, it was speculated that Sven Baertschi would not be in Bob Hartley's lineup despite the fact that he had points in the two previous games and had generally been pretty good when it comes to puck possession.

That this was outrageously poor decision-making was obvious, but that it barely raised eyebrows was sad. This is what we've come to expect from Hartley vis a vis the former first-round pick: Inexplicably unfair treatment. Now, it should be said that he's not piling up the shots and he's been sheltered a pretty fair bit recently, but he's nonetheless keeping the puck. This, however, apparently only warranted 13:49 in an overtime game. Who knows why any more?

But it's worth asking what purpose this all serves. He's a player now just 43 games into his pro career and Hartley is acting as though he's a veteran whose mistakes must be paid for in healthy scratches and benchings. Kids make mistakes, right? That's why we're so willing to give Sean Monahan a pass when he disappears altogether for games at a time.

Baertschi has exactly 22 games more NHL experience than this wunderkind who gets all the leeway he wants, and perhaps it would be wise to start treating him that way. Monahan gets 16-plus minutes a night. Baertschi doesn't. And almost all the extra time comes on the power play. Think that'd help Baertschi's production? Maybe his shot total? Nah, the kid just needs to think about the game in the press box every once in a while. That's the ticket.

2. Whither Monahan?

Speaking of the rookie, after he scored the shootout winner against Winnipeg the other night there was a whole lot of talk about how he'd turned the corner, or whatever. I can't imagine anyone who thought that actually watched the game.

Yes, he was on the ice for a goal for at even strength, but corsi when he was on the ice was atrocious. I didn't know until I looked it up exactly what they were, but they certainly weren't pretty: 20 against and only six for (23.1 percent). Not that I necessarily hold it against him, as he too should receive the benefit of the doubt given his youthful inexperience, but we're really ready to say he's broken out of a slump, and overlook the fact that he got drilled in the course of playing regular hockey, because he scored a shootout goal? Just because he snapped that six-game losing streak? That seems crazy to me.

3. We're a quarter of the way done already

Crazy to think of, isn't it? Not a lot of good to pull from the already-no-longer-smoldering wreckage of this campaign. As I write this, they're 13 points out of a playoff spot and only six up from the bottom of the league, which I guess is right around where I thought they would and should be.

Your mileage is obviously going to vary on what you're getting out of this campaign, but for me, it's going to be interesting to see just how much worse they can get. It's been said a million times but the sell-off is coming. Mike Cammalleri has been playing some inspired hockey of late, no doubt in a pronounced effort to get the hell out of town, and bidders are going to come calling soon enough. A few other veterans will probably go along with him. And that opens up minutes for the kids on this team to either sink or swim with, as well as really and truly tanking it, which is all the better for what should be the end goal: Giving yourself as high a draft pick as possible.

Obviously I'm of the belief that this should have been the goal all along, and maybe it secretly was. But I wonder. Just as I don't think this is a team that should be going 4-2-2 for any stretch of the season, I also don't know that things are bad enough that they should be going 2-7-1 in any 10 game stretch. I don't think anyone except maybe Buffalo is that bad.

This team is likely to settle into a groove of losing very soon. It'll be for the best. One other thing that's going to help...?

4. All the goalies suck

Wow are they terrible. Reto Berra is well on his way to being the worst on this team, which is saying something given how Karri Ramo has played this season. I'd say they're young too, and be a little bit willing to give them the benefit of the doubt along with the team's other youngsters, but both have been playing pro hockey for about a decade at this point. They know what it takes, and none of this should be taking them by surprise.

NHL players are obviously better than those in Finland and Sweden and the KHL, and adjustment obviously takes time. With that having been said, even on a baseline level, you should be able to post save percentages — individually and as a team — north of .890. This is honestly astounding; by the end of this season it's very likely that the Flames are going to account for the two worst team save percentages in the Behind The Net era.

Good for the tank job, and other teams' goal totals, but not exactly enough to inspire be confidence in the team's decision-making.

5. Checkin' in on Providence College

The good news about the goaltending situation, if there is any, is that Jon Gillies is looking more and more like the real deal. In case you missed the news over the weekend, he recorded the eighth shutout of his college career in just his 45th start. It was also his third in 10 games this season, so it would seem he is picking up the pace.

To say that he's been revelatory in the crease for Providence is no exaggeration. His save percentage this season is .949, and no, that isn't a typo. His GAA, as you might expect, is extremely low at 1.59, and consequently his record this year is 8-1-1. With that having been said, he's played a relatively soft schedule so far this year (only one of the five teams he's played against is above .500 a month into the season). The thing is, though, that he's also perfectly capable of doing this against the best teams in the nation, too. And he probably will all season.

There's less good news to report with the oft-discussed Mark Jankowski, though. After starting the season with 4-1-5 in his first four games, and often looking like a difference-maker in those games (which is to say that these weren't easily-come-by points), he's once again faded into the background almost entirely. He has just two goals and no assists in his last seven games, and both those goals came in a breezy win over Merrimack College (currently just 3-6-1).

Worse, his shot totals — usually a good indicator of how involved a player is in proceedings, since corsi isn't readily available for college games — have dropped off a cliff. He has 20 SOG this season, but of those, 14 came in his first seven games. A good rule of thumb in NCAA hockey is that two shots a night is above average, and three is excellent. (By way of comparison, Johnny Gaudreau is the best forward in the country, and has 46 in 11 games.)

Jankowski has six shots on goal in his last six games, and that's awful. Especially considering that all of them have come against Hockey East bottom feeders BU, Merrimack and, most recently, Vermont. Worse, four of those shots came in that two-goal game against Merrimack.

I thought he was invisible in watching the Vermont games over the weekend, apart from the fact that he took a bad penalty next to the Vermont net. The stats back that up: Two games, no shots on goal. Despite his age, he really needs to figure it out quickly. It's gone beyond just not moving his feet, which was a problem earlier in the year. He's not in any way asserting himself at this point. It's confusing.

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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#2 Bean-counting cowboy
November 21 2013, 10:44AM
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Arrgh Janko. Thomas Hertl would look great in Flames silks right now.

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#3 the forgotten man
November 21 2013, 10:25AM
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In Gillies We Trust.

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#4 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 21 2013, 10:45AM
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wake me at the trade deadline. or dont.

:-D

still, this seasons version has been much more fun to watch believe it or not then the uninspired version of vets gone limp we've been watching for three yrs

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#5 seve927
November 21 2013, 12:28PM
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Byron Bader wrote:

Anybody else peeved with Kerr's comparison of Cam Atkinson and Gaudreau last night?? I thought what a garbage comparison. Then I looked at Cam Atkinson's numbers and simply felt optimism.

Atkinson recorded 52 points in 39 games in his last season at Boston College; good for 1.33 points per game which should translate to about 44 points in the show. Sure enough, in his first few years in NHL, only playing 27 and 35 games respectively, Atkinson was right on par with those predictions. He was on pace for 42 points if he'd played a full season in 2011-12 and on pace for 42 points once again if he'd played a full season in 2012-13. Which is nice to see from a tiny guy like that.

If Johnny keeps this pace up, even if he falls off by about 20% which wouldn't be surprising, he's looking like a 60 point guy right away. Good lord. That would be truly marvelous.

Put that guy with a big center (Monahan) and an even bigger winger who can finish and just let him record many goals and assists!

Enter Michael Ferland.

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#6 piscera.infada
November 21 2013, 11:00AM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

could we have had Hertl instead of Jankoff?

Yes. We also could have had 214+ other players. Can we just get over it? At least a month long moratorium? I agree the pick wasn't solid, but I'm over it.

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#7 ???
November 21 2013, 04:16PM
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As far as Colborne is concerned: He's a guy who can score in the shootout, and that's something the Flames DESPERATELY need; I can't count how many points this team has thrown away coz they couldn't score in the shootout.

And yeah, he needs to score more (a lot more), but including the shootout and last night, I count 3 games where the Flames put points up because of Joe Colborne goals: I mean, they've all mattered, and to my eye they've all been things of beauty, real skill. So of course you keep playing him. (I'm fine with playing him on the 4th line - I just wish that line was Bouma-Colborne-Jones and playing 10 to 12 minutes a night)

And re: Jankowski. Yeah I wish he was scoring 2 goals every 3 games, and Lambert gets to see him play a whole lot more than me. But on Fan960 this week even Lambert made a point of saying that Janko's still the 4th youngest player in the entire conference. And like Joe Colborne, the flashes he's shown this year have been REALLY something, the kind of goals you can only score if you're a big man with real skills.

No, flashes are not enough. But big men with real skills who play center are a seriously valuable commodity. Worth taking a chance on and worth waiting for.

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#8 Burnward
November 21 2013, 01:19PM
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I dream of the day when I can come to this site and not have to see Lambert's bullsh!t.

Alas, it was not today.

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#9 SmellOfVictory
November 21 2013, 03:55PM
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@Kurt

Claude Giroux had 47 points in 82 games as a 21 year old. That was the first season he didn't split between the majors and minors. Is he not an elite player? Mike Richards may not be elite, but he's a high-end player who had ~0.5 points/game at 21. Corey Perry at 21: 44 points 82 games.

Calm the **** down and stop crapping on a kid who gets no powerplay time for "not producing enough". Your alarmism is grating as hell.

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#10 CDB
November 21 2013, 12:59PM
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Great article.

Couldn't agree more on the Sven hate Hartley seems to have. I remember hearing when they brought Bob in that he had reputation as being hard on rookies and played big time favorites to his veterans. Which is fine, depending on the state of your franchise. Last years team, Bob's a fit for. This one, he simply isn't. Has he ever really developed any young players on his rosters (Tanguay and Drury I suppose)? Maybe not a fair question since he generally worked with a HOF team in Colorado and a garbage one in Atlanta. But if the guy isnt able to put young guys in situations to succeed, he's not a fit for a younger rebuilding team. Burying two of your top young players and then ripping them for lack of production is ridiculous. It's to the point even Rhett Warrener has commented on it. Sure would be nice if someone in the media would step up and ask him straight up what the deal is and not let his charming french accent and some dumb annecdote allow him to avoid giving a straigh answer.

Every coach generally has his whipping boys, but Sven and Backs shouldnt be the flames. Not when those are two peices you should be trying to develop and build around. I love Monohan but he gets a free pass from Bob, and someone for the love of god explain the Colborne infatuation.

While very excited for Gillies, I'm a little more tempered that he will be the solution. Goalies are fickel, and top prospects fizzle out far too often. Jacob Markstrom was the best goalie prospect out there and he can't seem to beat out Clemmensen and Thomas, for a recent example. Plus, and this could be an incorrect presumption as I havent researched, not a ton of top flight goalies seem to come out of college (Quick, Schneider....who am i missing). I get he's stud there but I would like to see some comparables (if possible) between him and how Montoya, David LeNevau (former 1st rounder to Phoenix), Schneider, Gibson and other college goalies compare. Is he seeing a lot of shots and quality shots?

Hard to do given the differences in ages, teams, and conferences but might be nice to see and give some context to the numbers he's putting. I still do have very high hopes for him though

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#11 TRAV
November 21 2013, 01:19PM
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CDB wrote:

Great article.

Couldn't agree more on the Sven hate Hartley seems to have. I remember hearing when they brought Bob in that he had reputation as being hard on rookies and played big time favorites to his veterans. Which is fine, depending on the state of your franchise. Last years team, Bob's a fit for. This one, he simply isn't. Has he ever really developed any young players on his rosters (Tanguay and Drury I suppose)? Maybe not a fair question since he generally worked with a HOF team in Colorado and a garbage one in Atlanta. But if the guy isnt able to put young guys in situations to succeed, he's not a fit for a younger rebuilding team. Burying two of your top young players and then ripping them for lack of production is ridiculous. It's to the point even Rhett Warrener has commented on it. Sure would be nice if someone in the media would step up and ask him straight up what the deal is and not let his charming french accent and some dumb annecdote allow him to avoid giving a straigh answer.

Every coach generally has his whipping boys, but Sven and Backs shouldnt be the flames. Not when those are two peices you should be trying to develop and build around. I love Monohan but he gets a free pass from Bob, and someone for the love of god explain the Colborne infatuation.

While very excited for Gillies, I'm a little more tempered that he will be the solution. Goalies are fickel, and top prospects fizzle out far too often. Jacob Markstrom was the best goalie prospect out there and he can't seem to beat out Clemmensen and Thomas, for a recent example. Plus, and this could be an incorrect presumption as I havent researched, not a ton of top flight goalies seem to come out of college (Quick, Schneider....who am i missing). I get he's stud there but I would like to see some comparables (if possible) between him and how Montoya, David LeNevau (former 1st rounder to Phoenix), Schneider, Gibson and other college goalies compare. Is he seeing a lot of shots and quality shots?

Hard to do given the differences in ages, teams, and conferences but might be nice to see and give some context to the numbers he's putting. I still do have very high hopes for him though

Agree that Hartley has not handled Sven very well. Having said that I can see that Sven is working harder than he ever has and there is signs of increased understanding in his own zone. He needs a few lucky bounces to get that offensive confidence back. PP time would go a long way in this effort.

Backlund has been given some chances and has not performed very well. Having said that it's clear that Hartley has not helped his confidence. (nor has he helped himself. Some of this is on the player)

It isn't all bad for Hartley and young players though. Brodie has thrived under his guidance. Monahan has had a terrific start. I can see progression in Colborn's game and Russell though not really young is playing the best hockey of his career.

I think that it is fair to be critical of the coach in some respects but I also think that he has done some good work.

To paint him as a genius or utterly incompetent is a mistake. He's somewhere in the middle on my report card.

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#12 SeanCharles
November 21 2013, 03:40PM
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Sean Bennett wrote:

I hope so. I just find his lack of killer instinct around the net a little worrying, but hopefully it materializes with time.

Confidence.

He has 8pts in 19 games.

Last year 10pts in 20 games.

In his career he has 21pts in 44 games.

This is a kid who is struggling and is still around 0.5pts/game.

Over his entire 44 game carrer is is about 0.5pts/game.

What is everyone so worried about. He is young and needs direction because he is learning how to play with the best in the world.

@ Kurt

Sven is an elite prospect, Monahan too. Gillies is one as well.

Monahan moreso because he is ready so young.

Sven is averaging 0.5pts/game with 13mins/game and little to no PP time...

He is 21 this kid will be a star, just do as Barney Stintson does:

"Wait for it"

Enjoy watching real prospects develop instead of scrutinizing everything about the process..

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#13 Kurt
November 21 2013, 04:02PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Claude Giroux had 47 points in 82 games as a 21 year old. That was the first season he didn't split between the majors and minors. Is he not an elite player? Mike Richards may not be elite, but he's a high-end player who had ~0.5 points/game at 21. Corey Perry at 21: 44 points 82 games.

Calm the **** down and stop crapping on a kid who gets no powerplay time for "not producing enough". Your alarmism is grating as hell.

I'm not alarmist. I'm agreeing we all need to calm down. Where we differ is that you think Sven is just on a slow curve to 1st line all star. I think he is on a slow curve to decent 2nd line player.

I'm not alarmist at all. I think people are being unrealistic, which is completely different than saying he is a flop.

I actually think Hartley is developing him nice and slow and proper. Much like Babcock develops their players. The Coilers would give Sven 25 minutes of ice and 1st line PP. I want more Detroit, less Coiler style development. Not sure how that is 'alarmist'.

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#14 Tim Jackman
November 21 2013, 04:41PM
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I got traded guys :( Enjoy your 6th round pick although it will never replace the GRIT I was able to bring to the 4th line

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#15 Mark
November 21 2013, 10:39PM
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I'm getting really tired if this segment. All it is is negativity. I know the flames are not in a greatly positive stage but at least we are starting this rebuild which so far I find very exciting and the hockey is great. Not like we still have our old friend Jarome on the tam making an imaginary push for playoffs. Really would like to See a more positive 5 things and if that's just not the way u write that's fine but I'm done reading these completely pessimistic views on every/anything. Fun times to be a flames fan in my mind compared to the last 4 years. Go Flames Go

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#16 Bean-counting cowboy
November 21 2013, 11:19AM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

could we have had Hertl instead of Jankoff?

Yes, if we didn't trade down for the 2nd (Sieloff).

@Piscera.infada - I'm not quite there yet (over it) I hope to be in the place you are at some day. Maybe you can give me some tips as to what worked for you. I'm struggling big time. Need a support group or something. "Hi, my name is cowboy, I can't stop thinking about draft 2012, but haven't talked about if for two days now and my wife says she has seen some progress lately...... ya da ya da ya da"

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#17 piscera.infada
November 21 2013, 01:13PM
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@CDB

I wrote on a previous article about the Hartley-Sven debacle (which I don't think is really a debacle - perplexing? yes, but I'm not going to put too much stock into it at this point). But, I'd like to ask the following question: do you really think Hartley believes that an organization that has embraced a rebuild, stands to benefit by disregarding that rebuild?

I mean, if you're implying that he's sitting Baertschi as a function of "trying to win games", through "disregarding Baertschi's development", then it seems to me that you're correct, and the organization will cut him loose. They know where they are, and the last ten games have been yet another wake-up call reinforcing exactly where this team is. Thus, Hartley knows that the only way to keep his job is to adapt to the rebuild thereby embracing these young players by teaching them as well as instilling what it means to be a true professional.

On Colborne, I think it's less sinister than many people on this site seem to think. Is he the perfect player? No, of course not. But, you have him signed for one year (this year), and you can't demote him (because some team will likely swipe him off waivers). As such, maybe the organization feels that they need to give him all the opportunity in the world so they know exactly what he is, before things get complicated further with the Knights, Grandlunds, and college kids of the world forcing your hand. If you know he doesn't fit in, then maybe you cut him loose, or trade his rights away at season's end. If you know he has upside at the bottom end of the roster, then maybe someone else is now expendable. But you still need to know - welcome to a rebuild.

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#18 Sean Bennett
November 21 2013, 02:47PM
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Hey, Lambert, before you stop piling sh!t on Monahan for having bad corsi in the Winterpeg game, maybe you should check out the advanced stats of his teammates. Yeah, they are not pretty either. And you can only use the, "Hey, he's just a teenager yet" excuse on one guy on this team.

Moreover, who cares if Sven has only played 20 or so more games than Monahan. He's fricking two years older! It aint Mony's fault that Sven wasn't good enough to crack the line-up as a teen (and is barely replacement level right now). Plus, he plays on the wings, as opposed to center, the latter being a much, much more difficult position to play defensively.

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#19 Monaertchi Gaudnett
November 21 2013, 12:12PM
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Ryan Lambert wrote:

i forgot to fill out the thing all weekend and then it was too late.

edit: also kent hates me and told me if i sent in answers he would burn my house down :((((((

He Hartley'd your Beartchi, then.

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#20 SeanCharles
November 21 2013, 03:11PM
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Sean Bennett wrote:

I frequently find myself despising Lambert, love Monahan in a hetero way, and am staring to get worried about Sven as a forward with top-six potential.

Sven will be fine. He is way too young to be giving up on.

He's an NHLer at 21 and I thought he was one of the best skating playiers last night.

Patience young grasshopper, it takes time to become master..

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#21 piscera.infada
November 21 2013, 04:41PM
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AND ONE DANCING BEAR DOWN!!!! YIPEEEE, TIME TO DRINK MY FACE OFF.

- Bye-bye Jackman, it was...well...a thing.

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#22 Lober
November 21 2013, 05:08PM
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Flames just traded Jackman to the Ducks for a 6th and called up Blair jones. Today was a good day.

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#23 Sean Bennett
November 21 2013, 02:56PM
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Kurt wrote:

So do you hate Lambert or Sven more? Or do you just love "Mony" THAT much?

I frequently find myself despising Lambert, love Monahan in a hetero way, and am staring to get worried about Sven as a forward with top-six potential.

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#24 Kurt
November 21 2013, 03:23PM
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SeanCharles wrote:

Sven will be fine. He is way too young to be giving up on.

He's an NHLer at 21 and I thought he was one of the best skating playiers last night.

Patience young grasshopper, it takes time to become master..

Agree... I think the expectations on Sven were unrealistic. We had NOBODY so everyone was heaping crazy things on him as a prospect. We had prospect envy from the idiots up north so we started comparing Sven to Hall or whoever else which was crazy and completely unfair to Sven.

But now people have swung so far the other way its crazy. Give him time and hopefully he'll turn into a nice 2nd line player.

Before Monahan I kept saying we didn't even know what an elite prospect looks like so we had no reference point as Flames fans. Honestly when was the last time we could objectively look at a prospect and say "he is a true ELITE prospect". I can't recall..... Even Iggy wasn't immediately embraced.

Personally I think we need a top 2 pick this year. Then we will realize that Monahan actually is a borderline elite prospect. Don't get me wrong, I think he is bar far our best, and a great complimentary player. But probably not a franchise player. Until we get a franchise player we'll have a hard time properly comparing talent.

Long winded way to say give Sven time. With the right expectations he'll be fine. A nice supporting depth scoring type on a good a team. Now we just gotta figure out the "on a good team" part.

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#25 BitGeek
November 21 2013, 11:29AM
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Just curious Ryan, but how come you weren't allowed to contribute to the round table discussion post that was up a few days ago?

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#26 Byron Bader
November 21 2013, 12:06PM
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Anybody else peeved with Kerr's comparison of Cam Atkinson and Gaudreau last night?? I thought what a garbage comparison. Then I looked at Cam Atkinson's numbers and simply felt optimism.

Atkinson recorded 52 points in 39 games in his last season at Boston College; good for 1.33 points per game which should translate to about 44 points in the show. Sure enough, in his first few years in NHL, only playing 27 and 35 games respectively, Atkinson was right on par with those predictions. He was on pace for 42 points if he'd played a full season in 2011-12 and on pace for 42 points once again if he'd played a full season in 2012-13. Which is nice to see from a tiny guy like that.

If Johnny keeps this pace up, even if he falls off by about 20% which wouldn't be surprising, he's looking like a 60 point guy right away. Good lord. That would be truly marvelous.

Put that guy with a big center (Monahan) and an even bigger winger who can finish and just let him record many goals and assists!

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#27 Kurt
November 21 2013, 02:42PM
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@piscera.infada

I agree! Get over it... It looks like baring a miracle Feaster completely wasted a top 15 draft pick. But its getting annoying to keep bringing up.

That said... Remember when Feaster sat beside Janko on live TV 60 seconds after drafting him and proclaimed that one day he would be "the best player from this entire draft". Baaaaaaaahahaha... Yakupov, Galchenyuk, Murray... Janko. Which of these doesn't belong?

Lambert I usually actually enjoy your articles. I know many hate them, but I perk up when I see "5 things" in the headline. But you've gone soft. #1 was defending Sven. A normal #1 would have said "Hartley is ruining Sven, he is the worst coach ever. But Sven also sucks, and is the worst prospect ever and is a complete loser who is wrecking Hartley". What's wrong? Why the soft article???

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#28 Kurt
November 21 2013, 02:49PM
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Sean Bennett wrote:

Hey, Lambert, before you stop piling sh!t on Monahan for having bad corsi in the Winterpeg game, maybe you should check out the advanced stats of his teammates. Yeah, they are not pretty either. And you can only use the, "Hey, he's just a teenager yet" excuse on one guy on this team.

Moreover, who cares if Sven has only played 20 or so more games than Monahan. He's fricking two years older! It aint Mony's fault that Sven wasn't good enough to crack the line-up as a teen (and is barely replacement level right now). Plus, he plays on the wings, as opposed to center, the latter being a much, much more difficult position to play defensively.

So do you hate Lambert or Sven more? Or do you just love "Mony" THAT much?

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#29 piscera.infada
November 21 2013, 03:07PM
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Kurt wrote:

I agree! Get over it... It looks like baring a miracle Feaster completely wasted a top 15 draft pick. But its getting annoying to keep bringing up.

That said... Remember when Feaster sat beside Janko on live TV 60 seconds after drafting him and proclaimed that one day he would be "the best player from this entire draft". Baaaaaaaahahaha... Yakupov, Galchenyuk, Murray... Janko. Which of these doesn't belong?

Lambert I usually actually enjoy your articles. I know many hate them, but I perk up when I see "5 things" in the headline. But you've gone soft. #1 was defending Sven. A normal #1 would have said "Hartley is ruining Sven, he is the worst coach ever. But Sven also sucks, and is the worst prospect ever and is a complete loser who is wrecking Hartley". What's wrong? Why the soft article???

Completely agree, but just like the pick itself, those comments have been talked to death (although very, very dumb).

If we look at what he's done with other draft picks (same year or other years), I think we can say that his team's been fairly good (at least upon early returns). As such, I'll give him a little bit of a pass on that reach. I mean, it was a ballsy move, and I tend to think that a team sticking to their convictions on draft day isn't a bad thing (hello Poirier). Of course, if those convictions are always wrong, then you have to put on a little bib and eat that crow.

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#30 Kurt
November 21 2013, 03:49PM
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SeanCharles wrote:

Confidence.

He has 8pts in 19 games.

Last year 10pts in 20 games.

In his career he has 21pts in 44 games.

This is a kid who is struggling and is still around 0.5pts/game.

Over his entire 44 game carrer is is about 0.5pts/game.

What is everyone so worried about. He is young and needs direction because he is learning how to play with the best in the world.

@ Kurt

Sven is an elite prospect, Monahan too. Gillies is one as well.

Monahan moreso because he is ready so young.

Sven is averaging 0.5pts/game with 13mins/game and little to no PP time...

He is 21 this kid will be a star, just do as Barney Stintson does:

"Wait for it"

Enjoy watching real prospects develop instead of scrutinizing everything about the process..

I guess we differ than on what an elite prospect means. For me its 1st line all star, franchise player. Top 10 scoring.

Crosby, Malkin, Toews, OV, Stamkos.

Sorry, Sven isn't part of that group now, or ever. At 21 Stamkos got 55 goals.

You are making my point. We've been so devoid of prospect talent for so long that collectively as Flames fans we aren't even capable of objectively looking at our prospects. We call all our 1st rounders ELITE, and then bag on them and blame everyone when they don't turn into the next Crosby.

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#31 SmellOfVictory
November 21 2013, 03:51PM
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SeanCharles wrote:

Confidence.

He has 8pts in 19 games.

Last year 10pts in 20 games.

In his career he has 21pts in 44 games.

This is a kid who is struggling and is still around 0.5pts/game.

Over his entire 44 game carrer is is about 0.5pts/game.

What is everyone so worried about. He is young and needs direction because he is learning how to play with the best in the world.

@ Kurt

Sven is an elite prospect, Monahan too. Gillies is one as well.

Monahan moreso because he is ready so young.

Sven is averaging 0.5pts/game with 13mins/game and little to no PP time...

He is 21 this kid will be a star, just do as Barney Stintson does:

"Wait for it"

Enjoy watching real prospects develop instead of scrutinizing everything about the process..

Preach it. If there's one thing that drives me nuts about sports fans, it's the wild mood swings. Everything seems to go from gold to garbage at an insane rate.

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#32 acg5151
November 21 2013, 04:58PM
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I don't get why everyone rips Jankowski. I thought he was a solid pick at the time.

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#33 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 21 2013, 10:46AM
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Bean-counting cowboy wrote:

Arrgh Janko. Thomas Hertl would look great in Flames silks right now.

could we have had Hertl instead of Jankoff?

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#34 dean the raven
November 21 2013, 01:35PM
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Monaertchi Gaudnett wrote:

He Hartley'd your Beartchi, then.

got his boot waaay up your Backlund!

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#35 CDB
November 21 2013, 01:46PM
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@piscera.infada

I truly do not know what Hartley believes at this point. It's an interesting question you pose, and it wouldn't seem logical to try and go against a rebuild, but giving significant leash on some guys to make mistakes while nailing other guys to the bench for no apparent reason (see trying to scratch Sven the other night) is very concerning.

The top two forward prospects the Flames have currently in the pro ranks are Sven and Backs. Both are being jerked around by the coaching staff in my opinion, and that's at the start of a rebuild. And to what benefit?

I can get on board with putting Colborne in a spot to succeed, for the reasons you give. And I don't hate him as a player. It's worth seeing what he can be. The issue I have is having significantly different standards for players.

Your last point about "needing to know" when it comes to Colborne is the part I find most frustrating about Backlunds usage. A guy who has been in the NHL for a few years now, well established as defensively responsible with the ability to drive play the right direction, with an offensive ceiling that we don't know. It seems to me that this is the time to find out with Backlund. He has some NHL seasoning, show'd flashes when healthy last year offensively, is a RFA again this summer, and they need to find out what they have in him. The start of this rebuild is the perfect time to put him in offensive situations and see where he tops out. Burying a guy who is more polished and has significant NHL experience is illogical to me.

I like a lot of what Hartley has done. Some guys have taken big steps forward, whether it be for long term or as trade value, and the team is entertaining to watch. Its the context of where they are at as a team (start of a rebuild, 2nd last in their conference) and what they are doing (not playing their top two young forwards) that is frustrating.

Appreciate your thoughts and feedback

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#36 piscera.infada
November 21 2013, 04:37PM
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Kurt wrote:

I'm not alarmist. I'm agreeing we all need to calm down. Where we differ is that you think Sven is just on a slow curve to 1st line all star. I think he is on a slow curve to decent 2nd line player.

I'm not alarmist at all. I think people are being unrealistic, which is completely different than saying he is a flop.

I actually think Hartley is developing him nice and slow and proper. Much like Babcock develops their players. The Coilers would give Sven 25 minutes of ice and 1st line PP. I want more Detroit, less Coiler style development. Not sure how that is 'alarmist'.

Sven's not a perennial all-star? Blasphemer!!!

I actually couldn't agree more, it's unfair to label the kid an "elite prospect". That, in and of itself, is a loaded term, and IMO should be stricken from the rhetoric surrounding any prospect - it grossly inflates everything to do with the prospect, and heaps unrealistic expectations squarely on their shoulders. That however, is besides the point. I strongly believe Sven will end up being a great player in this league - first line, second line, who cares? And yes, he could be a perennial all-star, maybe.

I tend to consider those who assume that Hartley has ruined, or is intent on ruining, the kid because of three scratches in twenty-two games to be the true 'alarmists'.

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#37 MichaelD
November 21 2013, 11:02AM
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@Jeff In Lethbridge

Yeah he was drafted a few spots after

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#38 Baalzamon
November 21 2013, 12:46PM
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John wrote:

I think Sven will do just fine if he survives Hartley. Bartchi reminds me of Devon Setoguchi who isn't a bad offensive player. On the other hand, if Jankowski was here, i get a wierd feeling he would be handed big-time minutes just to prove Feaster was right. I guess its whether they like the cut of your jib or not.

You mean like Colborne?

It's weird, because Feaster and company were proclaiming Colborne as a future 3rd line defensive specialist, and yet Hartley seems determined to put him in a scoring role for no apparent reason.

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#39 MichaelD
November 21 2013, 01:10PM
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@CDB

Ben Bishop, Brain Elliot, Ben Scrievens, Jimmy Howard, Dan Ellis, Ryan Miller, as well as the ones you mentioned.

Good goalies can come from the NCAA, I wouldn't worry about that EDIT: source is http://collegehockeyinc.com/pages/2013-14-alums-nhl

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#40 Colin.S
November 21 2013, 01:11PM
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Curtis McElhinney has a 2.32 GAA and 9.23 SV% in 6 games. I'd rather him back then this parade of mediocrity that is going on right now.

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#41 CDB
November 21 2013, 01:51PM
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TRAV wrote:

Agree that Hartley has not handled Sven very well. Having said that I can see that Sven is working harder than he ever has and there is signs of increased understanding in his own zone. He needs a few lucky bounces to get that offensive confidence back. PP time would go a long way in this effort.

Backlund has been given some chances and has not performed very well. Having said that it's clear that Hartley has not helped his confidence. (nor has he helped himself. Some of this is on the player)

It isn't all bad for Hartley and young players though. Brodie has thrived under his guidance. Monahan has had a terrific start. I can see progression in Colborn's game and Russell though not really young is playing the best hockey of his career.

I think that it is fair to be critical of the coach in some respects but I also think that he has done some good work.

To paint him as a genius or utterly incompetent is a mistake. He's somewhere in the middle on my report card.

Very true, Sven is competing hard. Which is a positive development Hartley should get some credit for, that I failed to mention. Good point.

Answer me this though, Hartley still wants to bench him despite Sven being the 3rd forward high, 1st backchecker and competing in all 3 zones...

Agree with you on Backlund to some degree. I think when given chances he's faired pretty well (but wow was he bad the other night), but his confidence has to be tanked right now.

Give both of them some PP time and confidence. When you're down 7-3, those guys should be out on the PP.

He has done some good work that I failed to mention when my blood was boiling and I was firing off my evaluation. I agree.

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#42 Byron Bader
November 21 2013, 01:53PM
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seve927 wrote:

Enter Michael Ferland.

Agreed. 6'1'', 225... that's a big boy. He'll do nicely.

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#43 SmellOfVictory
November 21 2013, 04:36PM
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Kurt wrote:

I'm not alarmist. I'm agreeing we all need to calm down. Where we differ is that you think Sven is just on a slow curve to 1st line all star. I think he is on a slow curve to decent 2nd line player.

I'm not alarmist at all. I think people are being unrealistic, which is completely different than saying he is a flop.

I actually think Hartley is developing him nice and slow and proper. Much like Babcock develops their players. The Coilers would give Sven 25 minutes of ice and 1st line PP. I want more Detroit, less Coiler style development. Not sure how that is 'alarmist'.

I wouldn't even venture to say what level he will hit; I just think people should recognize that he is essentially an NHL level player already, and not get so caught up in what they think he will turn into. He shows flashes of ability that look very first line, while often appearing outmatched in ways that a first liner would not. At the moment he's learning to improve his play at an NHL level, and the fact that he does appear to be improving and has seen a degree of success is something that everyone should focus on and appreciate.

What I think, is that unless someone provides an in-depth analysis of comparable players at a similar age and their results, the prognostications of "level of NHLer" are unnecessary.

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#44 TRAV
November 21 2013, 04:57PM
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Tim Jackman wrote:

I got traded guys :( Enjoy your 6th round pick although it will never replace the GRIT I was able to bring to the 4th line

Well the boys on here may finally get their wish. I really like this move. Adding drafts pick is never a bad thing and Jackman is replaceable by an upgrade in Jones.

Jackman had his time in town and there was a time when he was a hard working grinder who wasn't afraid to drop the mitts. Good luck in Duckland and you're welcome. (Interesting to see if he can crack the Ducks lineup when he couldn't dress for us.)

Hope Jones comes in and plays with both grit and skill..

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#45 coachedpotatoe
November 21 2013, 05:21PM
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Now that the Flames have moved Jackman and have brought up the right player based upon merit(hopefully Hartley gives him a real chance say 5-10 games) the rebuild can really start to progress. Not having to try and play Jackman allows the Flames some flexibility in bringing up some of the kids for longer looks and this what the team needs to do before the big trades begins.

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#46 Burnward
November 22 2013, 01:12AM
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Burnward wrote:

I dream of the day when I can come to this site and not have to see Lambert's bullsh!t.

Alas, it was not today.

Sorry Ryan,

That was a little harsh of me. Caught me on a bad day.

Apologies.

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#47 SmellOfVictory
November 21 2013, 12:24PM
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Byron Bader wrote:

Anybody else peeved with Kerr's comparison of Cam Atkinson and Gaudreau last night?? I thought what a garbage comparison. Then I looked at Cam Atkinson's numbers and simply felt optimism.

Atkinson recorded 52 points in 39 games in his last season at Boston College; good for 1.33 points per game which should translate to about 44 points in the show. Sure enough, in his first few years in NHL, only playing 27 and 35 games respectively, Atkinson was right on par with those predictions. He was on pace for 42 points if he'd played a full season in 2011-12 and on pace for 42 points once again if he'd played a full season in 2012-13. Which is nice to see from a tiny guy like that.

If Johnny keeps this pace up, even if he falls off by about 20% which wouldn't be surprising, he's looking like a 60 point guy right away. Good lord. That would be truly marvelous.

Put that guy with a big center (Monahan) and an even bigger winger who can finish and just let him record many goals and assists!

I didn't mind the comparison at all. Atkinson is one of the best young little guys in the league (the only young guy who is better right now is Gallagher), and he happened to be playing against the Flames during that game.

Obviously we'd all prefer that JG become St. Louis 2.0, but if he ends up being half the player we can consider ourselves fortunate. He's certainly got the best numbers in college that we've seen in a long time.

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#48 John
November 21 2013, 12:33PM
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I think Sven will do just fine if he survives Hartley. Bartchi reminds me of Devon Setoguchi who isn't a bad offensive player. On the other hand, if Jankowski was here, i get a wierd feeling he would be handed big-time minutes just to prove Feaster was right. I guess its whether they like the cut of your jib or not.

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#49 CDB
November 21 2013, 01:27PM
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MichaelD wrote:

Ben Bishop, Brain Elliot, Ben Scrievens, Jimmy Howard, Dan Ellis, Ryan Miller, as well as the ones you mentioned.

Good goalies can come from the NCAA, I wouldn't worry about that EDIT: source is http://collegehockeyinc.com/pages/2013-14-alums-nhl

Wow did I miss the boat on that. Thanks

Even better to see some comparables though!

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#50 TRAV
November 21 2013, 03:26PM
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CDB wrote:

Very true, Sven is competing hard. Which is a positive development Hartley should get some credit for, that I failed to mention. Good point.

Answer me this though, Hartley still wants to bench him despite Sven being the 3rd forward high, 1st backchecker and competing in all 3 zones...

Agree with you on Backlund to some degree. I think when given chances he's faired pretty well (but wow was he bad the other night), but his confidence has to be tanked right now.

Give both of them some PP time and confidence. When you're down 7-3, those guys should be out on the PP.

He has done some good work that I failed to mention when my blood was boiling and I was firing off my evaluation. I agree.

Sounds like we are pretty much on the same page.

I don't know how much stock we can put in Hartley wanting to bench Sven the other night. The way I saw it Miliions tweeted it then all media retweeted and reported it as though it were a fact. Could it be possible that Millions just made mistake?

Can' t really hold against a guy what we think he thought... better to judge him on what he does...

Still hard to argue that some guys seem a bit fragile right now.

The only other two cents I wouldn't mind throwing in is that I am glad that the coach isn't treating them all the same. I think that a good coach knows how to push different buttons for different players. Some guys need constant pats on the back while others need a kick on the shins. Motivation according to personality and response. Time for coach to try something different with Backs though. Nhis approach right now isn't working...

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