FGD: Lunchtime Affair

Christian Roatis
December 14 2013 10:08AM

 

Buffalo Sabres
- pic via Caroline King

 

In case you were wondering, the scheduled start time is not a typo. This game really does start at 12 PM Mountain Standard Time. Funny enough, this isn't even the earliest start time for the Flames this season, as the puck is scheduled to drop at 11 AM MST in Pittsburgh next Saturday. Weird stuff.

Anyway, today we'll see a battle of the bottom feeders as the 7-23-2 Buffalo Sabres tangle with the 12-15-4 Calgary Flames, ranked 30th and 26th overall in the NHL respectively.

The two squads in fact share many similarities besides that of not being particularly good. Both are in an admitted rebuild, both are without a General Manager and both will battle for two points today. Make no mistake, the Buffalo Sabres have pride and especially in front of their home crowd, will throw everything they have at the Flames. Luckily, that's not much. This is a very winnable game for the Flames, but it's no guarantee.


The Flaming Calgarians


  • Cammalleri –Stajan –Stempniak


  • Monahan Galiardi –Backlund – D. Jones


  • Glencross – Colborne – Hudler


  • B.Jones Bouma – Byron – McGrattan



  • Smid –Giordano


  • Russell – Brodie


  • Butler – O’Brien



  • Ramo


Same line-up as the other night, it looks like. (UPDATE: Roger Millions suggests on Twitter that Monahan is IN and Galiardi is OUT.)

The top line has been excellent of late, creating opportunities on almost every shift and it's only a matter of time until they breakout for a few goals. I didn't really like Galiardi they other night but he's coming off an injury so I'll give him a few games to readjust before I really criticize him.

Backlund's better but I still find him to be way to predictable in the offensive zone. The third unit was solid the other night, mostly because of Jiri Hudler. I'm really looking forward to Monahan returning and the eventual call up of Sven Baertschi so Hartley can reunite the Jiri Svenahan line. They were my favourite. McGrattan's line has been all kinds of fun to watch, as well. I wouldn't mind seeing Big Ern toss a few today, while Bouma is just a workhorse. Wouldn't having him AND Prust be the ultimate energy duo? Paul Byron has impressed me in his short time with the team, keeping things simple and making the occasional play - all while being feisty. He also makes his triumphant return to the team that dealt him. Yeah, let's not talk about that trade.


This defense group is pretty "what you is what you get". Smid will block shots and #GRITCHART, O'Brien will block shots and #GRITCHART, Butler will block some shots and #WHATAREYOUDOINGCHART. To be fair his game winning floater was a beauty last game so I won't rip into Butler - who is also returning to the city where he started his illustrious career - too hard today. Giordano and Brodie I find play similar games, in that they move the puck well and are sound on defence, but won't overwhelm anyone in the offensive zone. Kris Russell is the only natural offensive guy on the blueline for Calgary and he'll be relied upon again today to quarterback the powerplay.


Ramo rightfully get's the start tonight, and I expect another solid performance from him. He's been excellent of late and now should be his turn to attempt establishing himself as the starting goaltender of this team. Although Hartley's odd and unusual infatuation with Berra guarantees nothing.


The Team That Traded Us The Pick To Draft Jankowski


  • Matt Moulson - Tyler Ennis - Zemgus Girgensons
  • Brian Flynn - Ville Leino - Matt D'Agostini
  • Steve Ott - Marcus Foligno - Drew Stafford
  • Matt Ellis - Cody McCormick - Luke Adam


  • Henrik Tallinder - Tyler Myers


  • Christian Ehrhoff  - Jamie McBain
  • Mark Pysyk - Mike Weber



  • Ryan Miller


Yeah. Doesn't exactly make you recoil in fear at the thought what this forward group could do to the Flames. Nonetheless, it's still a group of NHL calibre hockey players and John Scott (who's possibly sitting today) and they'll keep you honest if you take them too lightly. I'm particularly interested to see Girgensons play, he was drafted with the 14th overall pick traded by the Flames to Buffalo in the deal that saw the 21st and 42nd overall picks come to Calgary. They'd be turned into Mark "The Big" Jankowski and Pat Sieloff.


The defense is fairly young and it's shown early in the year. Giveaways and poor reads seem to be a common theme on a nightly basis for the blueline of the Buffalo Sabres. Let's hope the Flames can capitalize.


Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that opportunity will result in a goal because the one thing that the Sabres do have going for them this year, is goaltending. While the team;s been awful, they are still getting quality goaltending from Ryan Miller, who's playing his best hockey since the Olympic year in 2010. His .921 SV% ranks 15 in the NHL which is very impressive for a team that surrenders quality shot on quality shot, against.


Sum It Up


Don't expect a barnburner folks because this thing will more than likely end up being a slow paced, unorganized hockey game. Neither team will have a sniff at the playoffs this year and will be jockeying for draft position instead. For a Flames team preaching hard work and a "winning mentality" however, coming out with two points against the worst team in the NHL is a must. Whether or not they play like it is to be seen, but the odds are looking pretty good.


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Christian Roatis is a European by birth, Calgarian by heart. Other than writing at FlamesNation, he writes about and scouts NHL Draft Prospects at Future Considerations. Follow him on Twitter @CRoatis!
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#1 Kendrul
December 14 2013, 10:16AM
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Monohan is in the lineup for Galiardi, as per Roger Millions.

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#2 coachedpotatoe
December 14 2013, 10:20AM
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Who on the Sabres would you take over a player from the Flames playing a similar role? Miller, probably; but not during a rebuild.

I'm glad I'm working this afternoon and won't be in a position to watch this game.

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#3 redricardo
December 14 2013, 10:31AM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

Who on the Sabres would you take over a player from the Flames playing a similar role? Miller, probably; but not during a rebuild.

I'm glad I'm working this afternoon and won't be in a position to watch this game.

I'm jealous. I'm coming off a couple weeks of solid shifts, and THIS is the game I get to watch.

Hooray?

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#4 Carlizzle
December 14 2013, 10:38AM
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Kendrul wrote:

Monohan is in the lineup for Galiardi, as per Roger Millions.

Millions also noted that Monohan was seen still in a walking boot. While it is great to have him back, I hope that he is not rushing back too early.

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#5 Kent Wilson
December 14 2013, 10:47AM
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@Carlizzle

No kidding. no sense in risking further injury.

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#6 BurningSensation
December 14 2013, 10:50AM
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With the Oilers losing last night, I want a win for Calgary just to keep them in our rearview mirror.

Making the playoffs is a pipedream, and the team isn't coached badly enough, or so bereft of NHL players that they could be a threat to finish last, so finishing ahead of Edmonton is my only real goal for the franchise this year. Finish ahead of the Oilers and then win the lottery.

Those things and getting Sean Monahan the Calder.

And a pony. My kid would really like a pony.

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#7 jeremywilhelm
December 14 2013, 10:51AM
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I'd take Girgensons, Foligno and Moulson in a heartbeat.

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#8 jeremywilhelm
December 14 2013, 10:51AM
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Watching the Oilers play last night, I am willing to bet they get another first over all again this year.

They are the worst team in the NHL.

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#9 BurningSensation
December 14 2013, 10:57AM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

Who on the Sabres would you take over a player from the Flames playing a similar role? Miller, probably; but not during a rebuild.

I'm glad I'm working this afternoon and won't be in a position to watch this game.

I'd take any of Erhoff, Pysyk and Myers off the Sabres D corps in a flash. Erhoff is a legit first pairing D-man (albeit on the below average side), and both Pysyk and Myers are big, strong skating D-men with lots of untapped potential.

Myers in particular would be an excellent target for the Flames during the rebuild. Along with his position and obvious physical gifts his advanced age vs our current core forward prospects puts his development into perfect alignment with the rest of the team. Just as Monahan, Beartschi and Gaudreau are ready to really take-off Myers will be entering the prime age for D-men.

Edmonton's rebuild is floundering in part because their young D-men are going to take another 3-4 years to fully develop, pushing their star forwards (Hall, Nuge, etc) well into their contracts. You want your D-corps to develop first and your forwards second - or you are just wasting the cheap stages of your forwards contracts.

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#10 Kent Wilson
December 14 2013, 11:02AM
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@BurningSensation

Re: Ehrhoff - He has had above averaged underlying numbers since landing inf BUF actually.

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#11 BurningSensation
December 14 2013, 11:13AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Re: Ehrhoff - He has had above averaged underlying numbers since landing inf BUF actually.

Erhoff's game is under appreciated IMO. He's one of those guys who does the little things right (entry zone passes, D-zone coverage) without throwing bone shattering body checks or wildly spraying 110mph slapshots on the powerplay.

His contract $s are pretty gross if I recall., but we have cap room to spare. He could be a steal.

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#12 BurningSensation
December 14 2013, 11:15AM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

I'd take Girgensons, Foligno and Moulson in a heartbeat.

No to Moulson, he's the wrong age for addition to Calgary. I'd take Grigerenko instead.

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#13 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 14 2013, 11:47AM
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I hope Monahan isn't being rushed... if it's a hairline, probably just an issue of pain but not a risk of damage.

I too would like to see Monahan light it up and win the Calder.

Sure, anyone in the west has little chance, but it would be nice to see him kill it.

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#14 Kent Wilson
December 14 2013, 11:56AM
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@BurningSensation

Actually his contract is relatively decent now that BUF has paid out the big seasons:

http://stats.nhlnumbers.com/teams/BUF?expand=true&year=2014

His cap hit is 4M for the next 7 seasons, but his actual salary drops to 3 or less by 17/18.

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#16 Kent Wilson
December 14 2013, 12:12PM
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Im underwhelmed by Smid, even though I didn't have big expectations when he arrived. He regularly loses standard puck races.

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#17 Burnward
December 14 2013, 12:17PM
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Monahan is ready to go. They won't rush him.

Myers? Yes please.

Oh, and we're winning 3-1 with a GlenX empty netter to seal it.

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#18 Kent Wilson
December 14 2013, 12:22PM
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@Burnward

I am entirely skeptical of Meyers. His underlying numbers have been quite bad for a couple of seasons now.

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#19 negrilcowboy
December 14 2013, 12:24PM
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sabres will be a tougher club to play against with teddy behind the bench, i have know ted personally for several years and one thing he doesn't tolerate is selfishness. its team first. players go to war for this guy.

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#20 negrilcowboy
December 14 2013, 12:29PM
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15 games for scott thornton. apparently the leafs fans are upset at shanny for giving clarkson only 2 games they feel anything less than 10 hurts the leafs.

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#21 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 14 2013, 12:38PM
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wow, what a slow, dull game.

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#22 BurningSensation
December 14 2013, 12:40PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Actually his contract is relatively decent now that BUF has paid out the big seasons:

http://stats.nhlnumbers.com/teams/BUF?expand=true&year=2014

His cap hit is 4M for the next 7 seasons, but his actual salary drops to 3 or less by 17/18.

I highly suspect then that Erhoff is going to be sold at the deadline to a contender. He's too good for competitive teams to ignrore, and if his contract isn't poison somebody will offer up a useful prospect/picks for him.

And that won't be us.

(unless we also agree to take Ville Leino - Please. God. No.)

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#23 BurningSensation
December 14 2013, 12:41PM
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Cammo with the one-timer....

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#24 BurningSensation
December 14 2013, 12:41PM
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Too many men!

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#25 negrilcowboy
December 14 2013, 12:43PM
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chit ya dont even see that kind of mess up in pee wee hockey. lol pull the goalie for the 2 extra attackers lol nice coaching artley.

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#26 Kent Wilson
December 14 2013, 12:44PM
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Great shift for Brodie leading to the called off goal. Too bad it won't matter because the guys on the bench can't count.

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#27 Kent Wilson
December 14 2013, 12:45PM
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@BurningSensation

Yeah, I doubt the Flames will be in the running for him. Although with Burke at the helm, they might start swinging for the fences, so who knows.

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#28 Carlizzle
December 14 2013, 12:46PM
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I have video but no audio. Was Cammy's goal waved off because of too many men on the ice?

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#29 BurningSensation
December 14 2013, 12:47PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I am entirely skeptical of Meyers. His underlying numbers have been quite bad for a couple of seasons now.

I think there is good reason to be sceptical, he's had some terrible years.

That said,

- He's still very young and just entering his prime years.

- Big guys take longer to reach their peak.

- His toolset is absolutely bonkers good. +++size, very good skater, atomic bomb for a shot, pterodactyl wingspan, and he can make and take a pass. If he can put those tools into the toolbox at one time, he's a legit #1 anchor on the blue.

I would cheerfully deal out upcoming 1st rnd pick to Buffalo for him (especially because this is a weaker draft class).

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#30 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 14 2013, 12:48PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

Too many men!

I only counted 7... :-P

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#31 Carlizzle
December 14 2013, 12:49PM
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Carlizzle wrote:

I have video but no audio. Was Cammy's goal waved off because of too many men on the ice?

I typed this before reading BurningSensations comment. The look on Hartley's face was comical.

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#32 BurningSensation
December 14 2013, 12:49PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Yeah, I doubt the Flames will be in the running for him. Although with Burke at the helm, they might start swinging for the fences, so who knows.

I think Burke would be far more likely to target Myers than Erhoff. Myers checks off all the boxes that Erhoff doesn't (size, truculence, etc.).

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#33 BurningSensation
December 14 2013, 12:51PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

I only counted 7... :-P

I should have said 'WAY too f*cking many men'

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#34 Kent Wilson
December 14 2013, 12:53PM
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@BurningSensation

Im not as enamoured with his size. The more I look at the numbers, the more it looks like huge guys are frequently at a disadvantage. You can count on one finger the number of players over 6'5" who became true difference makers in the NHL (Chara)...the rest were all either support third pairing types or goons.

That said, I wouldn't say no to getting Myers, but I certainly wouldn't move a top-10 pick for him. His results suggest he's a big gamble.

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#36 BurningSensation
December 14 2013, 01:10PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Im not as enamoured with his size. The more I look at the numbers, the more it looks like huge guys are frequently at a disadvantage. You can count on one finger the number of players over 6'5" who became true difference makers in the NHL (Chara)...the rest were all either support third pairing types or goons.

That said, I wouldn't say no to getting Myers, but I certainly wouldn't move a top-10 pick for him. His results suggest he's a big gamble.

Agreed - 'size' is not an actual hockey attribute. I'd rather have a Rafalski who can play at a high level despite his size than a guy who is huge but can't play.

The thing with Myers is we already know he can play. His rookie season was amazing (albeit likely against butter opposition), but it showed there is a real legit NHL d-man there (unlike say, Branislav Mezei, or any of the other Redwoods teams were drafting the last ten years).

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#37 redricardo
December 14 2013, 01:15PM
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Christian Roatis wrote:

What's with the random crap fluttering around?

Also, pretty cheap shot on Stempniak from McNabb there..

That's Burkie throwing confetti from the press box.

That was what he meant when he said he was all about a parade.

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#38 redricardo
December 14 2013, 01:26PM
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How does a Flames goalie get above .900 save %?

Just have 25% of the shots go off the crossbar or post. Easy.

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#39 Baalzamon
December 14 2013, 01:34PM
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These Sabres jerseys are hilarious.

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#40 RexLibris
December 14 2013, 01:35PM
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Is this game as boring live as it seems online?

The numbers suggest a back and forth affair with Buffalo holding the edge in CF and FF on a fairly small shot differential.

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#41 Kent Wilson
December 14 2013, 01:48PM
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Chances were 7-4 Flames in the second.

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#42 TRAV
December 14 2013, 02:08PM
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Butler and Byron have some chemistry!

All kidding aside nice for these two to contribute against their old squad.

Ugly game!

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#43 TRAV
December 14 2013, 02:11PM
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@TRAV

Feaster's yelling at his TV, "See Burkie I told you I won that goddam trade!"

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#44 negrilcowboy
December 14 2013, 02:19PM
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the real reason why burkie canned feaster centered around jays insistence that the flames draft that german kid neideburger.

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#45 negrilcowboy
December 14 2013, 02:27PM
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will this game go to penalty kicks?

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#46 yomamen11
December 14 2013, 02:31PM
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Paul "RED WARRIOR" Byron

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#47 TRAV
December 14 2013, 02:32PM
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Byron with another two point outing.

Think coach started OT with Byron and Backlund. (meritocracy?)

Ramo was solid.

Only reason to keep watching this one was procrastination. U.G.L.Y.

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#48 BurningSensation
December 14 2013, 02:34PM
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@Kent Wilson

I watched the whole game focussing on Myers, and he looked VERY good to my eyes.

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#49 TRAV
December 14 2013, 02:35PM
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Last comment. Confidence is a funny and powerful thing. Stajan looks like a quality NHL centre right now. A few years ago he couldn't crack the lineup and we couldn't give him away. You can see the influence of coaching/ opportunity.

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#50 negrilcowboy
December 14 2013, 02:40PM
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TRAV wrote:

Last comment. Confidence is a funny and powerful thing. Stajan looks like a quality NHL centre right now. A few years ago he couldn't crack the lineup and we couldn't give him away. You can see the influence of coaching/ opportunity.

yes sir, matty looks like he is an nhl caliber player. butter in my opinion is a highly over rated coach.

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