POST GAME: You Can Put Lipstick on a Pig...

Vintage Flame
February 12 2013 12:02AM

You would think with all the new players on both sides of the rosters, that we might be in for a different style of game that we've become so accustomed to when the Flames and the Wild. With guys like Parise and Suter on the Wild, they're bound to be more open and less of the trap right? With the Flames now having a decent power-play, thanks to guys like Wideman and creative playmaking from the likes of Hudler and Cervenka; they'd be able to create more offensive chances for Calgary, right?

yaaaaaawwwwn.. Um No.

Instead it was the same ol' game style that we always see from these two games, which meant it was inevitably going to come down the goaltending. Backstom and Irving. Who would stay awake alert enough to keep their team in it until the end?

Well, it went all the way to the shoot-out where Irving was just out of his element against the Wild's shooters, and that would be the end of that.

The Rundown

It was pretty much the same story throughout all three periods and even overtime. Most of the play would stay between the two bluelines, creating very little in offensive chances.

As Kent mentioned in the FGD thread, you would have been hard pressed to find either team complete three consecutive passes.

When you are watching a game like that, it's not hard to lose track of what's happened... mostly because you've nodded off.

No worries, you didn't miss anything in the first. Shots were 8-7 in favour of the Mild and they also held the edge in *ahem* scoring chances 4-3. Both teams had one powe-play each, but no one scored; so we went to the intermission knotted at zeros on the scoreboard. See, nothin'.

So that means after the first being a "feeling out" period for the teams, they would come out skating in the second, right? Wrong.

Second verse... same as the first... Both teams exchanged power-plays again, but no, no one scored on those ones either. Calgary didn't exactly take it to the Wild, but they did out play them. However, even though they would double up the Wild's chances (4-2), it would be Minnesota that would wake up their goal judge first. With a little under two minute left in the period, Jarome Iginla would cough up the puck trying to clear the zone along the boards. The puck would land on Devon Setoguchi's stick right in front of Irving. As Irving tried to set for the shot, Setoguchi would throw the puck over to Kyle Broziak. Irving kicked over to cover the new shooter, but really over-played the slide. Brodziak would walk around Leland and put the puck in the empty net.

Sigh.. Shots were 10-10, but with the first major gaffe of the game, the Flames found themselve down 1-0.

The third looked promising when Minnesota would turn the puck over at the Flames blueline. Hudler would break in on the Wild with Cervenka on a 2 on 1, and after looking Roman off, would snipe a wrister past Backstrom to tie the game up.

Both teams would again exchange power-plays, but yeah, no one scored on those ones either. The Flames held the massive edge in scoring chances 2-1, Dominated the Wild with six shots to their five, and well got a goal for their efforts. So it was off to overtime to see if Alex Tanguay could end it in the first minute once again.

Nope. They might as well have gone right to the shootout, cause nothing happened; like absolutely nothing. One shot apiece and Kent gave the home town boys a scoring chance on their shot... Probably because the remote slipped out of his hand and the channel changed while the Flames were in the offensive zone, so he thought, "What the Hell.."

As it turned out the shootout was over before it started as well. Irving faced Parise and Koivu as his first two shooters and he might as well have been watching from the bench. Like someone said on twitter, if there isn't a book on Leland Irving yet, Parise and Koivu just wrote it.

Why the Flames Lost...

Because Leland Irving was fed to the wolves, otherwise known as Parise and Koivu, and Backstrom faced Blair Jones, Jiri Hudler and Alex Tanguay. 

That's not a knock against Tangs or Hudler either. Alex is historically the Flames best shooter and should be out there every shootout. Hudler seems to have take the reigns of this team and is doing everything and more that was expected of him.

We heard before he got here that Jiri was good on the shootout and he sure looked like it with the move he put on Backstrom.

But Blair Jones??? Haven't we seen this show before? Hartley said that Blair has been the best shooter for the team in practice. Practice? We talking about practice now? With all due respect for Hartley and everyone I'm about to slam but... He's relying on Blair Jones in a game situation to go out under those circumstances because he scores against Leland Irving, Danny Taylor and hell, even Kipper... in practice? o_O

Firestarter

Gonna have to go back to Hudler tonight.

He was the only guy that scored for the Flames in the game, and he was the only guyt that scored for the Flames in the shootout.

Leland played way better tonight than he did against Vancouver, I'll give him that, but there is no mistaking just how unprepared he is when it comes to the shootout, and that was the decider tonight.

Hudler's goal in the third was remenicient of Iggy coming down the wing and putting it home with the laser-like wrist shot. The way he looked off Cervenka, freezing Backstrom and putting the puck right where he wanted, is what he has been doing since he got here. Leading by example.

Which takes us back to his shootout goal. Line it up, pulled a sick move and scored when the team needed him to do so. No one else on the team could do that tonight.

Sum it Up

This team is going to go through a lot of uncertainity over thenext few days... maybe as soon as tomorrow.

With the addition of Joey McDonald off waivers, there are just way more questions than answers right now. Is Kipper's injury more sever than we know? Is there a trade in the works now that the Flames have 4 goalies and 8 defensemen on the roster? They are now at 49 contracts, something Feaster and Weisbrod were adamantly against, so obviously there is going to be movement of some kind.

Unfortunately for Irving (depending what side of the #PlayIrv fence you're on), since he has already cleared waivers, he seems the likely choice to be sent to Abby. Is that fair given that Danny Taylor hasn't even played yet? Or.. Is there really no danger of someone claiming Taylor if the put him on waivers?

Feaster has a news conference tomorrow at 10:00 am, so I'm sure many of us will be tuning in with bated breath.

In the end, I still can't get over the use of Blair Jones (sorry BoL) tonight in the shootout. I'm still shaking my head over it and you just have to wonder what the hell is going on with this team. Going back to the beginning of this article, with different personnel, you really expect to see this team address its issues in a different manner than we have seen over the last few years; yet we don't.

Stop putting lipstick on the pig! She ain't pretty, and we're getting tired of the smell!

E42f2ca09dfb26046c3060ff46473aff
Vintage Flame is a Calgary based sports junkie that prefers to call hockey a "religion" rather than an addiction. He believes there are two types of hockey fans. Those who cheer for the Flames, and those who don't understand the sport yet. Follow Vintage_Flame on Twitter
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#1 Danglesnipecelly
February 12 2013, 12:24AM
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Feaster's thumb has to be on the detonate button. Two more games and we're at the quarter mark of the season already and fading fast. If we don't win them both then...well, you know.

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#2 schevvy
February 12 2013, 12:30AM
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I'm sorry to everyone who wanted the Flames to win this one!!! (To clyde, Kurt and others wanting losses, I expect my tickets in the mail)

Seriously, almost every Flames game I go to is 2-1 like this one. It's awful.

Also the food is freakin expensive! Every time I go it blows my mind how expensive everything is.

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#3 beloch
February 12 2013, 12:58AM
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Neither goalie had to make any highlight reel saves, but a quality start is a quality start. To be completely fair, it seemed like Backstrom got a little more help from the post than Irving did. The biggest gaffe of the night was Hartley's. Sending Jones in first was... very Butteresque.

Baertschi and Cammalleri are skating again, so here's hoping they're back in the lineup by Wednesday!

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#4 clYDE
February 12 2013, 01:02AM
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To Schevvy, It's not that I want losses, I want that intellectual honesty we have heard so much about. I have never said I want an Edmonton style rebuild and want to make that clear. I do, however, want to see this aging core of Iggy and Kipper moved. I think development and rebuilding will be stunted as long as they are here. As far as saying Minny is awful and always will be, remember that Granlund, Coyle, Brodin, Suter and Parise have been their core for all of 10-12 games. If we had drafted those 3 and signed Suter and Parise, we would be going crazy in Calgary and be very excited about our future. To Kent, you claim a former NHL player is a blow hard who knows nothing about the game. He knew enough to realize he wasn't talented enough to make it on skill so transformed his game and sacrificed to make it for a short time at least. Generally these type of role players tend to understand the game quite well. Name 3 NHL teams that are worse and/or worse off than the Flames right now. Is it Columbus? They have a future number 1 center on the farm and 3 1st round picks this year that as of now are all lottery plus a potential franchise def on injury reserve. Is it Edmonton? Nope. How about the East. The Islanders? Tavares and Hamonic give them a great deal of hope moving forward. As Craig Simpson said at a fundraiser this year, there is no organization in more of a mess and in more denial than the Flames.

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#5 jeremywilhelm
February 12 2013, 01:26AM
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No one is gonna claim Taylor. I don't know why that's even thought of as a risk. Irving was the best shootout goalie in the AHL the last two years running. But this is his first time against guys if of KOivu and Parise's calibre, ever. So I'm not gonna fault him this time.

It's a learning experience for the kid. If he gets sent down, you are gonna see a infant level pout tirade from me. Haha.

Onwards to the struggling Blues.

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#6 jeremywilhelm
February 12 2013, 01:33AM
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Also it really seemed like the Team is falling back on bad habits an structure learned from Sutter. The d are hesitant and the forwards are dumping the puck instead of passing. Hartley needs to get on them.

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#7 Jibmeister
February 12 2013, 01:34AM
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Stajan had FOUR hits tonight. Weird.

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#9 loudogYYC
February 12 2013, 02:08AM
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This is a highly flawed team, the NHL is too good a league to have a team with three 2nd lines randomly win their way into contention.

I hate always sounding negative when it comes to the Flames, but their idea of a competitive team isn't at all aligned with the rest of the league. The sad part is that I'm pretty sure they're convinced they're thinking out of the box.

Saturdays and tonight's game were perfectly normal results for this team, and that freakin blows.

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#10 Stockley
February 12 2013, 04:05AM
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Yeah, no joke. When you see 4 hits in the column next to Matty's name you have to wonder just what the stat guy was smoking and what he considers a hit.

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#11 Stockley
February 12 2013, 04:08AM
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On the subject of Hudler I hope he can keep it up. I was excited when they signed him, despite the big contract and iffy potential. I've always been a fan of his skill level and so far he's brought exactly what was asked for. If he and Cervenka continue to build upon their chemistry they provide the secondary scoring the team has needed forever.

Now if only the team could find themselves some consistent PRIMARY scoring...

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#12 negrilcowboy
February 12 2013, 05:02AM
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i think i seen this before. three years ago this was happening and we were told the future looks bright. quit being in denial flamesland, this team is going nowhere faster than clay aikens career. take an honest look around and what do you see? no prospects or youth playing in the show, ok brodie. examine other franchises and they do have hope. iggy was flat out brutal, brutal. time to find some intellectual honesty. lets reward him for past glory and re up him to a 4 year 28 mill deal. maybe win a cup too.

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#13 Kefvin R
February 12 2013, 05:47AM
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At that game & it was brutal. Was telling my buddy that Minny was brutal & we lost anyway. Irv came way too far out way too soon on shootout, he dared Parise & koivu to deke him & they did. Had no idea where Iggy was all friggin night. Not 1 dominating shift for a7.0mill man. If trading him will cause rioting in the City, then fine, let em walk. Right now I dont think he's worth a Stajan contract. Dallas is way better than Minny & they are going to kick our butts if we put in another stinking effort like this.

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#14 the-wolf
February 12 2013, 06:32AM
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Wonder if Irving is a better NHL goalie than AHL goalie? You see it with players quite often because of the quality of their teammates. Strange for a goalie though, but I've actually been impressed with Irving enough to think he should be the back-up.

It won't be until next season that Minnesota starts to put it together, but go easy on Suter. One guy can't fix an entire back end.

Get rid of Jarome and make Hulder Captain.

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#15 smith
February 12 2013, 06:48AM
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The goaltending at least has been vastly improved in the last 4 games. That is something. Still not enough wins though.

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#16 NateBaldwin
February 12 2013, 07:24AM
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Two things:

- These past two games sure make Backlund seem important.

- I fully support going with the best shooter in practice on the shootout. Making it something the players have to compete for within the group seems like it should promote both confidence and creativity.

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#17 Willi P
February 12 2013, 07:49AM
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What was Hartley doing with the lines in the first and second? Only to go back to the original combos in the third. Splitting up pairs that work like Hudler and Cervenka and Tanguay and Iginla then putting them back together in the third? Not sure about the logic in this. Ben Street on the first line? Trying to send a message? The whole style of the team in the first and second looked nothing like the previous games (except Van when they were chasing the whole game).

And ya, Jones in the shoot out, come on. I like Jones but he can't score.

Oh, and VF, Wild had 2 power plays in the first, Flames had none.

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#18 Steve
February 12 2013, 07:54AM
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Agree on both points. I was pretty surprised to see Jones out there, but really everybody sucks. If he's shown the best in practice, why would you send someone out you've seen be bad in practice AND in games. I thought Brodie might be a good option too. From what I saw at training camp, he had a little more to offer than most of the regulars.

Missing Backlund is important. There has been little to no energy without him these last two games. But that seemed to start after the Chicago game. They haven't played anywhere close to that level since then. And it was fairly consistent up to that point.

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#19 Steve
February 12 2013, 07:54AM
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That last comment was @NateBaldwin.

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#20 ChinookArch
February 12 2013, 07:55AM
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Not a lot of bright spots to speak of last night from either team. From an entertainment standpoint this game was a 2 / 10: very bad. Until last night I have liked most of Hartley's decisions, but what was with all the weird line combinations? The first period combos were completely counterintuitive.

Up to the Blue Jackets game I was satisfied that a new era had started. More skill, speed, and creativity appeared to define the team style. Last night was like watching a Sutter run club. I get it - the opposition had something to do with that, but the Flames were completely uninspiring.

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#21 ChinookArch
February 12 2013, 08:04AM
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@ VF

I have to agree with your suspicions about the Joey MacDonald aquisition. Either Kipprusoff is hurt to a point where he may not hold up after he comes off of IR, or the Flames brain trust is working on a trade. Too many goalies and too many defensemen.

If this is the case, I hope it's a 3 for 1. Irving, Smith and Babchuk out, snd a decent 3 pairing plus a 2013 pick in.

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#22 Scary Gary
February 12 2013, 08:11AM
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jeremywilhelm

You mean onwards to the hot Dallas Stars that have won 3 in a row right? A deep, young, talented Blues team will be fine, especially with Halak back.

I love the flames, I was there last night for that Zzzz-fest I'm a half full kind of guy but I have expected these last two losses based on what I've seen.

Best case we come out of the next seven games 4-3 (beat coyotes and dallas once each, then minn and one other), 7-7-3 will put us likely 12th in the west, 17 games (1/3) into the season. Sadly I think this brutal position will give management and ownership hope and we'll end up in 10th or 11th...

0.500 hockey doesn't help anyone get into the playoffs, especially when it's not entertaining.

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#23 backburner
February 12 2013, 08:23AM
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Iggy didn't have a great game last night, but in his defense:

He just about the game winner on that shot he tipped in the third that hit the post and somehow stayed out...

I would think everyone would be singing a different tune if that went in...

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#24 backburner
February 12 2013, 08:32AM
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Having that said, I would be more than ok with trading Iggy.. (Pittsburgh, St. Louis or Boston)

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#25 meat1
February 12 2013, 08:38AM
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At the start of the year, if someone had suggested we'd have this record, and be sitting virtually at the bottom of the west, it would not have shocked me. We just aren't good enough. And let's be honest....if we trade away our youth or picks for an aging grinder (please realize that since training camp we have signed a 34 year old grinder, an AHL goalie, and now a 31 year old journeyman goalie) so that we take another stab at 8th, Feaster should be fired. What is awaiting us at 8th anyway? Well, either Vancouver, Chicago, etc. That's what. We have a chance, in this shortened season when there will be more buyers than sellers, to actually get very good value for some players. I mean Jarome, Miika, Cammy, Jaybo, and Sarich. Let's not just piddle around trying to move OUR 4th string goalie, or Badchuk, etc. I will say this again...we just are not good enough. Here is an opportunity to make some changes so we can maybe take on the heavies down the road.

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#26 Jeff In Lethbridge
February 12 2013, 08:58AM
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Iggy wins the cup in Chicago this year... ;-)

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#27 Kurt
February 12 2013, 08:58AM
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@meat1 - yes. This.

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#28 Avalain
February 12 2013, 09:01AM
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If Blair Jones was the best in practice then I fully support him doing the shootout. Putting him first is also smart because it's the generally the position with the least pressure attached to it.

Honestly, who would you want to do the shootout instead? Iginla? I mean, I can see a case for putting Baertschi or Backlund in if they weren't injured. But they are.

Realistically, the only other people I can possibly see choosing are Cervenka or Stempniak. Ok, or maybe Brodie. If Jones is better than any of them in the shootout during practice then why would you not choose him?

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#29 shutout
February 12 2013, 09:02AM
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I think that Iginla was terrible. Why was he on the same line as Hudler and Cervenka. Its like going to a three legged race for teenagers and pairing the best athlete with a 90 year old who needs a walker. Iginla is no longer one of the top three forwards on the team, but because of the Flames so called "Meritocracy" in the organization he is still awarded the top line spot on the team.

Irving played well, and for everybody who is criticizing his shootout performance has obviously never had somebody with skill come in and make moves like those. I guess if Kiprusoff was in net they would have won the shootout; no wait that cant be right because he has not won more than a quarter of his shootouts in the last few years.

But at least we have MacDonald to come to the rescue. (as an aside, thank you to whomever made the comment that the move was a mistake and that the Feast had thought he was making an order for burgers and fries. Hilarious, and quite sadly probably true). MacDonald had good numbers last year in Detroit with Lidstrom playing 35 minutes a night in front of him. I think that if the Flames are expecting any sort of saviour from MacDonald they should have convinced Lidstrom to come out of retirement first.

Terrible move and a stupid decision by the organization. But at least they have shown themselves to be consistent. Two steps forward, and two steps back. But at least there is the chance that in the last 38 games we can have lightning strike in a bottle and have everything come together perfectly so that we can win that esteemed Holy grail of sports and clinch the 8th and final playoff spot (losing out in four straight, but playoff results are not important, only getting in is).

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#30 T&A4Flames
February 12 2013, 09:36AM
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"As Craig Simpson said at a fundraiser this year, there is no organization in more of a mess and in more denial than the Flames."

Yea, but, Simpson is an arrogant, ex-Oiler ass! Although he may be right... this time. I still don't like him.

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#31 T&A4Flames
February 12 2013, 10:25AM
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Does anyone know if the Feaster presser is streamed anywhere?

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#34 Kent Wilson
February 12 2013, 11:02AM
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What was Hartley doing with the lines in the first and second?

To me it looks like Hartley is trying to get Iginla away from tougher match-ups. Tanguay's line saw Parise and Koivu for most of the night until the the third period.

It means Hartley is paying attention to Jarome's struggles and is starting to realize he probably doesn't have a true PvP option.

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#35 Kent Wilson
February 12 2013, 11:04AM
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Pike is there and going to write-up the highlights this afternoon.

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#36 Kevin R
February 12 2013, 11:04AM
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I think Irv played well & deserved to continue. Was right beside him at the game & I know you have goalie experience. From what I saw. When Parise & Koivu just started to skate Irv went way out of the net. That gave both very good experienced NHL shooters lots of time to not decide whether to shoot or deke, but how they were going to deke him. These guys come down so fast the few seconds they take to size up the situation & decide what they are going to do, impacts execution dramatically. Irv needs to just wait those few seconds before skating out & try to hide his stratedgy as long as possible. Thats like a guy with showing his Ace King face up before the flop. He'll learn, I like Irv & really would like to see him do well.

Last night I did not see any of Hartleys tempo game, biggest problem is they werent executing the little things. When that happens they revert back to what they have been brainwashed these last several years & that's defaulting to Sutter hockey. Not sure what happened on that plane from Columbus to Vanc but this is not the same team I was starting to get excited about with an actual transition game & attacking the opposition in waves. Last night was just a reminder of why I have been advocating Flames cleansing themselves of the old core & let Hartley & Feaster start fresh building a new exciting core. JMO

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#37 Bruins
February 12 2013, 11:16AM
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I totally agree with you. I don't think Feaster knows what he's doing.

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#38 Bruins
February 12 2013, 11:19AM
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I totally agree with you. I don't think Feaster knows what he's doing.

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#39 Scary Gary
February 12 2013, 11:20AM
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Kipper out two more weeks.

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#40 backburner
February 12 2013, 11:30AM
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Really?! More than the Yotes, Leafs, Blue Jackets, Islanders, Stars, Capitals, Panthers??...

I think Craig Simpson's hair gel is seeping into his brain...

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#41 backburner
February 12 2013, 11:32AM
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Sorry, that was meant in response to:

"As Craig Simpson said at a fundraiser this year, there is no organization in more of a mess and in more denial than the Flames."

I should probabley do some work now...

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#42 RexLibris
February 12 2013, 12:20PM
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Twitter.

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#43 Kurt
February 12 2013, 12:32PM
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backburner wrote:

Really?! More than the Yotes, Leafs, Blue Jackets, Islanders, Stars, Capitals, Panthers??...

I think Craig Simpson's hair gel is seeping into his brain...

@backburner - I'm guessing Simpson wasn't saying the Flames are the worst team now. But in terms of the team on the ice + prospects in the system + contract mess (can you say no trade clause) + draft picks its hard to argue.

Sure the Isles suck and the Jackets are horrendous. But the Jackets have ELITE draft picks and are likely due to get another this year.

The teams you mentioned aren't worse than us in terms of the team going out on the ice right now, but as an organization they probably are in better shape. We have ZERO elite prospects. NONE. And we are trying to get 9-10th place so we can lock up another middling non-elite pick.

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