Flames Notes - Icebergs And Rising Tides

Kent Wilson
February 22 2013 12:10PM

 

 

The Flames opened the season with a rough first 10-games record-wise but I was encouraged by some of their performances, their underlying numbers and many of the decisions Bob Hartley was making. It seemed that if the club could weather the poor goaltending storm and continue to outshoot and outplay the bad guys, then they could emerge on the other side as playoff contenders.

Those sordid hopes have been utterly dashed since then. With the Kiprusoff and Backlund injuries, the potential for an immediate turn-around in net and continued high-level possession were both destroyed. I still suspect the team is still suffering from worse than average luck currently resulting in their awful record, but the processes and decisions that seemed so positive in the ealry going are starting to crumble.

Consider:

- Blair Jones waived and then demoted despite the total lack of natural centers in the line-up. Jone's results were fine considering his role on the team, so we can only assume it's something off-ice that caused the coach to take such a sudden dislike to the grinder.

- Akim Aliu recalled. There's lots of noise about the Flames being soft recently and I agree they aren't the meanest roster in the league. Let's establish something right now, though: a few more post-whistle face washes or fights after someone hits Calgary's goalie might feel cathartic at the time, but they aren't going to meaningfully improve Calgary's goals for or against rates. If hockey was that simple, Ben Eager, Darcy Hordichuk and Steve MacIntyre could have ensured the Edmonton Oilers wouldn't still be terrible.

Akim Aliu is a nice story, but he's not an NHL level hockey player. He's barely an AHL player truth be told (a frequent healthy scratch for Abbotsford this year who was acquired for nothing from his previous team). So while he makes the Flames marginally bigger and tougher, he doesn't actually make them any better. When the decision makers stop trying to dress the best roster they can, you know it's panic time in the upper offices.

- Roman Cervenka a probable scratch. Word today is Calgary's aged rookie has joined Jones in the Hartley's bad books and was the odd-man out during rushes at practice this morning.

Cervenka has been okay in his NHL debut, ranging from dangerous and creative in spots, to somewhat invisible (especially recently). He has some more acclimating to do to North American ice and his underlying numbers are mediocre; but then the coach has saddled him with the 4th most difficult zone start ratio on the team amongst forwards so far (45.4%). Originally Hatley was giving the high ground to Hudler/Cervenka and Tanguay/Iginla as much as possible but without a third line/Mikael Backlund, the offensive zone draws have mostly fallen to the captain again.

Suffice to say, scratching Cervenka, demoting Horak/Jones and then dressing Aliu tomorrow night would make the Calgary roster significantly, uh, below par.

Of course, coaches and GM's engage in these little roster games every so often for what I assume are motivational and disciplinary purposes. Still, in a shortened 48-game season and with the team already significantly behind the 8-ball in the Western Conference, I'd say the smart bet is to dress the best collection of players you can every single night. When you stop doing that - and start hoping to stumble on secret formuals of toughness/chemistry/compete level, then it suggests you're more or less lost in the dark.

Things are getting ugly in Calgary fast. The team has one real center on the roster (and it's Matt Stajan), almost every high-priced player in the top-6 is now underwater in terms of possession, Backlund's gone for weeks, the goaltending is replacement level and the coaching staff is starting to make nearly indefensible personnel decisions.

Feels very much like furiously re-arranging deck furniture on a certain large, sinking vessel...

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 SmellOfVictory
February 22 2013, 12:18PM
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Feaster clearly has his eye on MacKinnon. Whoop whoop! At this point in the season, I think I'm with him. I may get some "no real fan" flak for this, but we're nearly a third of the way through the season and the Flames aren't even in spitting distance of 8th, much less a real playoff berth, so I'm ready to sit back and enjoy the ride to the bottom.

I'm sure as I write this, the hockey gods are preparing a hot streak for the Flames wherein they reach 9th in the west.

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#2 schevvy
February 22 2013, 12:21PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Feaster clearly has his eye on MacKinnon. Whoop whoop! At this point in the season, I think I'm with him. I may get some "no real fan" flak for this, but we're nearly a third of the way through the season and the Flames aren't even in spitting distance of 8th, much less a real playoff berth, so I'm ready to sit back and enjoy the ride to the bottom.

I'm sure as I write this, the hockey gods are preparing a hot streak for the Flames wherein they reach 9th in the west.

Edmonton and Columbus are doing their best to stop them from getting to the bottom...

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#3 Alt
February 22 2013, 12:27PM
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You,re up to bat Jay Feaster!Let,s see what you got!

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#4 Colin.S
February 22 2013, 12:37PM
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Quite honestly I'm just getting sick of it, and then theres a bunch of the regular Flames reporters and such (looking at you steinberg) that are trying to make these decisions defensible, which they are not. Jones IS an NHL player, Aliu fooled a bunch of people with a couple games last year into thinking he was. But this last little stint in the AHL should clear that right up.

The defence(3rd pairing) is a game of Musical Chairs at this point and is getting to the point of sad. Our top 4 is more than okay, but Wideman has shown(to me at least) why he got demoted to third pairing during last years playoffs. And it's only going to get worse, Wideman is now playing 25+ minutes a night in the last 3 or so games. Combine this with the rumors that JayBo may be trade bait(scouts from about 15 different teams here for the LAK game), and this season is about to go off the rails fast.

There are only 3 forwards above 50% in terms of faceoffs, Jones, Street, Cervenka(Huddler is exactly 50%). Oh hey, they are all no longer playing, thats a great sign if we want to be a puck possession team, or is it.....

You are not going to be able to compete without actual real centers, you need to win draws and you need guys at center who understand the defensive responsibilities of the center position. If the entire concept that Hartley wants to instill is team defence and moving the puck, you need actual REAL centers.

As an aside and Stampeders fan, they just hired a former Newspaper man as the President of that team as well, FML.

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#5 the-wolf
February 22 2013, 12:39PM
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@Smell of Victory - Feaster's not smart enough to do manage premeditated sabotage.

re: Jones - Frnacis on the Fan this morning alluded to some incident where Jones should have stuckup for a teammate and instead ignored the situation. Still, dumb as dumb gets.

Aliu call-up is a joke.

Also talk on the Fan this morning on how Cervenka is not and never was a center and yet that's how he was advertised to the fans by management.

Intellectual honesty?

The Flames have neither intellect nor honesty.

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#6 RKD
February 22 2013, 12:40PM
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I think scratching Cervenka would be a mistake, I think he has shied away from physical play but I think Hartley can relay that message to him through Hudler.

Aliu probably isn't a guy you want in your lineup all the time but last season he really got under the skin of the opposition. If you can get the other team off their game a little bit, your probably doing more than underachieving floating veterans.

I think Danny Taylor will get the call against Minny and I am hoping for an Iggy breakout against the Wild. We won't get McKinnon, once Kipper is back we will probably end up 9th-11th.

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#7 the-wolf
February 22 2013, 12:44PM
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My own Titanic comparison posted under the 5 Things thread:

"I imagine the Flames as the Titanic headed for the proverbial iceberg. Except, in this case, every passenger on board is standing on the decks for days or even weeks, frantically waving their arms in the air and pointing towards the giant chunk of looming ice while the captain of the ship still refuses to change course."

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#8 the-wolf
February 22 2013, 12:51PM
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@Colin S. - re: JBo rumors - apparently Detroit is extremely interested. I still say package him with Iggy and bring back salary if needed. Shouldn't be too much problem at the deadline anyways and Iggy is UFA next year so they can sort out how JBo's contract fits in come summer.

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#9 backburner
February 22 2013, 12:53PM
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At this point I don't think shuffling lines, or bringing in the odd player from Abbotsford is going to change anything... inconsistency can affect any team.. but in my opinion is not the underlying issue.

The Flames do have the skill or talent there but are seriously lacking leadership, or that desire to win... or grit if you like.

It's obvious trades need to be made... not saying it has to be anyone in particular, but what is holding Feaster back from offer sheeting Ryan O'Reilly?

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#10 Colin.S
February 22 2013, 12:53PM
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the-wolf wrote:

@Smell of Victory - Feaster's not smart enough to do manage premeditated sabotage.

re: Jones - Frnacis on the Fan this morning alluded to some incident where Jones should have stuckup for a teammate and instead ignored the situation. Still, dumb as dumb gets.

Aliu call-up is a joke.

Also talk on the Fan this morning on how Cervenka is not and never was a center and yet that's how he was advertised to the fans by management.

Intellectual honesty?

The Flames have neither intellect nor honesty.

Really Jones wouldn't go full goon and just start knuckle chucking so they waive a competent NHLer, LOL. This team is just management and coached so well. Let me guess the player was Iggy so he told Feaster he had to go......

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#11 the-wolf
February 22 2013, 12:55PM
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backburner wrote:

At this point I don't think shuffling lines, or bringing in the odd player from Abbotsford is going to change anything... inconsistency can affect any team.. but in my opinion is not the underlying issue.

The Flames do have the skill or talent there but are seriously lacking leadership, or that desire to win... or grit if you like.

It's obvious trades need to be made... not saying it has to be anyone in particular, but what is holding Feaster back from offer sheeting Ryan O'Reilly?

A an ever increasing chance of getting Seth Jones or Nathan McKinnon and either blowing that chance or else watching Colorado simply match and trade him elsewhere.

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#12 schevvy
February 22 2013, 12:58PM
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Any update on Backlund? I'd imagine still a few weeks, but still, he is greatly missed.

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#13 the-wolf
February 22 2013, 12:58PM
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What about Weiss? Anyone here have any interest in him? Apaprently Florida is looking to move him.

I use to be really high on him and if we were more competitive I still would be, but at 29 I don't think we gain much by adding him.

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#14 vowswithin
February 22 2013, 01:00PM
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the-wolf wrote:

My own Titanic comparison posted under the 5 Things thread:

"I imagine the Flames as the Titanic headed for the proverbial iceberg. Except, in this case, every passenger on board is standing on the decks for days or even weeks, frantically waving their arms in the air and pointing towards the giant chunk of looming ice while the captain of the ship still refuses to change course."

Heh, I like that. Captain Iggy of the SS-Middling We stink of desperation! I kind of feel like we will accidentally come into a win and then some morons will think it was the great move of getting rid of the Centers and bringing in Akim..

Well I guess the bright spot for me is the fact that Sven is back. Hopefully he can generate something resembling offense. Would have liked to see Sven Cervenka Hudler line tho.

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#16 suba steve
February 22 2013, 01:10PM
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@the-wolf

Feaster has managed a team to the first overall pick in the past (Stamkos), so let's hope he recognizes the value in that player and can connect the dots to MACKINNON/Jones/etc. It's not my belief that Feaster is stupid, it is my belief that he is being held back by the owner's unrealistic desire to win it all every single year. If he is able to get ownership on board with reloading, then we're cooking.

Now if I'm wrong about what's motivating Feaster, then I would tend to agree with your assessment that he is STUPID.

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#17 vowswithin
February 22 2013, 01:14PM
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@suba steve

I sometimes wonder if maybe Feaster knows this is what we need to do and is purposely trying to fail... I guess that wouldn't help keep his job but always some puzzling moves. But yeah if he could get management on board with retool (please call it a retool, they might be stupid enough to buy into that) life could be good.

Lets face it at the very least this team needs some "retooling"

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#18 gotommygo
February 22 2013, 01:18PM
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@the-wolf

I imagine the Flames being that guy in Austin Powers who is going to be run over by the steamroller ..... 'Noooooooooooo!'

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#19 RKD
February 22 2013, 01:24PM
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Just heard Sven Baertschi is back on the ice!

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#20 takeyourvitamins
February 22 2013, 01:24PM
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@ the-wolf

I too find it amusing that they're shilling Cervenka as a winger now. They might want to change the press release and soundbite from Feaster on their website.

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#21 Subversive
February 22 2013, 01:40PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Feaster clearly has his eye on MacKinnon. Whoop whoop! At this point in the season, I think I'm with him. I may get some "no real fan" flak for this, but we're nearly a third of the way through the season and the Flames aren't even in spitting distance of 8th, much less a real playoff berth, so I'm ready to sit back and enjoy the ride to the bottom.

I'm sure as I write this, the hockey gods are preparing a hot streak for the Flames wherein they reach 9th in the west.

If this is truly his plan, I would prefer some 'intellectual honesty' and just admit it, instead of pretending you're trying to win and making decisions that make no sense from that perspective.

I can live with a single season tank job, there are numerous reasons to believe the Flames could be a playoff contender again next season without enduring years of hardship.

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#22 suba steve
February 22 2013, 01:45PM
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@Subversive

Kinda hard to come out and say "we want to come in 30th and draft first overall" in the middle of the season. It's the kind of thing that gets you fined, I think. He has to say it with his actions, not words. So if we see Iggy, JBow, Kipper, or Cammi dealt for youth...then we will all know.

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#23 Clyde
February 22 2013, 01:48PM
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Kent, an increase in toughness will make this team better. It will prevent our goalies from getting run over plus if players feel their teammate had their back, they will play more confidently. The last 2 champions were perfect examples of this

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#24 ChinookArch
February 22 2013, 01:54PM
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If Hartley is looking for Akim Alui to provide a spark for this team, it may end up blowing up in his face.

I read an article last year when the Flames picked him up, (and which I cannot locate!) where Troy Ward bluntly talked about Alui's biggest challenge was to learn how to treat his teammates and coaches. I doubt he'll be as impact-full as he appeared last season. Regardless of his level of play, no organization can afford a cancer in the room.

Maybe Comeau can fill in with Hudler on the second line, given his success as a center. Benching Cervenka? He's been one of the few good stories this season.

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#25 JF
February 22 2013, 02:01PM
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"The Goaltending has been replacement level"

Honestly... I wouldn't be surprised if it were worse then replacement level. Such an effing pity... If Kipper comes out of the gate just as an average goalie (and backlunds knee doesn't get hurt) the Flames are probably in a playoff spot right now but he comes out and lays a stinker in his drawers (and his replacements are equally poor) and the Flames become an after thought. Such a shame.

I still think that regardless of all that the Flames don't finish bottom 10... probably 18th or 19th.

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#27 JF
February 22 2013, 02:10PM
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Clyde wrote:

Kent, an increase in toughness will make this team better. It will prevent our goalies from getting run over plus if players feel their teammate had their back, they will play more confidently. The last 2 champions were perfect examples of this

Oh hogwash. That's the most silly myth in all of sports fandom.

"Confidently" really? you think that by gosh if the team just felt better about themselves they'd be winning?

Balderdash, teams lose because they have less overall skill then the other teams (or because they're just unlucky), if "confidence" was all it took to be an elite athlete a bunch of joe schmoes could just hire a hypnotist and make themselves millions of dollars. No amount of confidence is going to allow Tim Jackman to win the Richard Trophy or the Columbas Blue Jackets the Presidents Trophy.

Hell Kent even wrote an articule more-or-less debunking that a ways back... http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2010/12/21/the-rorschach-is-confidence-a-cause-or-effect/

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#28 SmellOfVictory
February 22 2013, 02:13PM
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schevvy wrote:

Edmonton and Columbus are doing their best to stop them from getting to the bottom...

And probably Ottawa in short order, given that every single core player on the team has a mid/long-term injury.

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#29 beloch
February 22 2013, 02:39PM
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Re: Akim Aliu

Of Flames that have played 10 games or more this season, Steve Begin has the most penalties minutes per game played at 1.00 PIM/game. Akim Aliu has 2.96 PIM/game.

In 27 games this season Aliu has 3 ten minute misconducts for unsportsmanlike conduct, 1 ten minute misconduct for "abuse of officials", 2 five minute fighting majors, and an assortment of two minute minors including 3 more for unsportsmanlike conduct. Apparently Aliu is tougher on the refs than he is on the opposition.

Calgary's penalty kill is currently 73.5%, which is second last in the league.

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#30 Clyde
February 22 2013, 02:40PM
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JF wrote:

Oh hogwash. That's the most silly myth in all of sports fandom.

"Confidently" really? you think that by gosh if the team just felt better about themselves they'd be winning?

Balderdash, teams lose because they have less overall skill then the other teams (or because they're just unlucky), if "confidence" was all it took to be an elite athlete a bunch of joe schmoes could just hire a hypnotist and make themselves millions of dollars. No amount of confidence is going to allow Tim Jackman to win the Richard Trophy or the Columbas Blue Jackets the Presidents Trophy.

Hell Kent even wrote an articule more-or-less debunking that a ways back... http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2010/12/21/the-rorschach-is-confidence-a-cause-or-effect/

Team toughness is needed as is more size. Was LA really the most talented team? Was Boston more talented than Vancouver? No. JF, do you not believe that having Thornton in the lineup made chara and Marchand more confident that they could impose their physicality? How well did sedin perform in that series?

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#31 the-wolf
February 22 2013, 02:42PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

And probably Ottawa in short order, given that every single core player on the team has a mid/long-term injury.

Ottawa still has Turris, Silfverberg (another reason not to toss away 2nd round picks all the time), & Zibanejad.

As for toughness - it's vitally important, but the skill factor has to be there too.

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#32 Chris Fairfield
February 22 2013, 03:02PM
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Every day that goes by with no upgrades, no improvements, no updates on how Calgary is going to get better is so freakin' frustrating!! There has been a steady parade of injuries, and ineffective, knee jerk callups from Abbotsford and after developing chemistry with his countryman, Cervenka is a healthy scratch. (scratching my head with a bewildered look, insert here)The team has scored 1 goal through 6 periods, faceoffs are an absolute joke, offense is a problem, defensive coverage lapses being repeated game after game,and the two "intellectually honest" moves that Feaster and Co. make are benching Cervenka and calling up Akim Aliu??? There are actually options available that would address the need for a center or centers, and Feaster sits on his hands, does nothing, and watches the train wreck that is still going on. Blake Comeau still sucks.

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#33 Clyde
February 22 2013, 03:09PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

The last two champions also had several lines of high level forwards, elite goaltending and at least one Norris level defender. Which probably had a lot more to do with them winning cups than mere toughness.

If improving poor teams was as easy as adding Akim Aliu, then there wouldn't be poor teams. Or Akim Aliu wouldn't be a readily available minor-league, minimum-salaried player.

In principle, Im not against adding tough players. I'm against adding tough players who can't play at an NHL level and thinking it's a meaningful step towards improvement.

At no point did I say adding aliu was the answer but this team must get much tougher to play against and sometimes that involves employing players who cross the line but moreso players who can continue to dress in meaningful games and impose physicality in all zones. Of course this is as a complement to the skill player

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#34 Potlicker
February 22 2013, 03:12PM
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We need to get a few goons like that Taylor Hall!! I dont understand, many on this site want the Flames to swirl down the toilet and get Mackinnon or Jones & trade our overpaid veteran NHL players. Finally management are making assinide decisions that are perpetuating our wishes & it sounds like everyone is totally ticked off. We should all be ecstatic about Aliu being up, in fact, they should be sending Cerevenka down & Jackman too & call up Kolanos & Nemitz. That would be most excellent!! I have just one word for all you POOOTTTLICKERS!

PANICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just trying to lighten a beautiful Friday afternoon :)

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#35 beloch
February 22 2013, 03:28PM
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Re: Flames overall performance

Calgary currently has the second worst sv% in the league (0.878), with only St. Louis receiving worse goal-tending. Yes, we can honestly look at the goal-tending the Islanders have been receiving with *envy*. It's also worth noting that Kiprusoff averaged 0.862 before he was injured, and the teams goal-tending has since *improved* to 0.885.

Calgary has long been a team that relies on good (if not great) goal-tending, and that pillar has been savagely kicked out from under the team this year. This is the lowest sv% the team has had since before 1997 (NHL.com doesn't have stats for earlier seasons).

Did Feaster plan for this? Nope. Did any of his predecessors? Nope. Still, that's a strike against him.

Has Hartley been able to keep the team motivated despite losing several games they should have won due to bad goal-tending? It's hard to say. The Flames established a pattern of phoning-it-in every other night at least a couple of seasons ago.

The case can be made that injuries sank the team last year, no matter what Feaster says about excuses. The man-games lost to injury last year were truly out of the ordinary. What about this year? The Flames are a much healthier team on average, but the injuries they have had have been to crucial players. Backlund is the only natural center the team has who is capable of facing down top competition without being clobbered. Kiprusoff may have sucked this season, but his record indicates he should have pulled out of his slump by now. Cammalleri isn't exactly playing like a superstar, but losing him was noticeable. Baertschi isn't going to make or break the team, but it can be argued that the youthful enthusiasm he brought to the game had a ripple-effect through the ranks of jaded veterans.

Even if we ignore all of the above excuses, we all knew the Flames had to fall off a cliff sooner or later. Feaster has taken steps to make the team younger and replenish the prospect system, but the core is still aging rapidly and it's no easy task to obtain elite talent in their prime when your system hasn't developed a single top-3 forward in almost a decade! Perhaps the core has another good year or two left in them but, for whatever of the above reasons you want to blame, this season is looking pretty grim. The Flames remarkably long stretch of consistent mediocrity is finally coming to a close. All fans can really ask of the Flames management is that they take steps to see that a high follows this season's low... eventually.

The trade deadline this year is make-or-break for the Flames. The aging stars might not be at their peak value, but they can still bring back a significant return at the trade-deadline when other teams are willing to overpay for any talent they can get that might make them a contender. On the other hand, standing pat means we'll likely be in the same position next year, only worse off. If Feaster makes some good moves by the deadline he gets a pass from me. If he stands pat again, fire him. Hartley has been handed a horrible job this year. Even if the Flames place in the standings is horrible, Hartley hockey has been a lot more fun to watch than Sutter hockey. Even if the Flames tank this year, I'm willing to give him another season.

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#36 kittensandcookies
February 22 2013, 03:31PM
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I have a bad feeling about this whole situation... Wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of reactionary move on the part of Feaster.

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#37 Chris Fairfield
February 22 2013, 03:36PM
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Potlicker wrote:

We need to get a few goons like that Taylor Hall!! I dont understand, many on this site want the Flames to swirl down the toilet and get Mackinnon or Jones & trade our overpaid veteran NHL players. Finally management are making assinide decisions that are perpetuating our wishes & it sounds like everyone is totally ticked off. We should all be ecstatic about Aliu being up, in fact, they should be sending Cerevenka down & Jackman too & call up Kolanos & Nemitz. That would be most excellent!! I have just one word for all you POOOTTTLICKERS!

PANICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just trying to lighten a beautiful Friday afternoon :)

Aliu being called up is great, but it is not the only answer. Cervenka has 6 points in his last 12 games, Jackman initiated a fight in the game against LA to try and get his team stoked (which ultimately didn't work) and by sending down Jackman,they would only have Aliu as their enforcer. What is actually being done to improve their dilemma with scoring and center position as the only center that they actually have, is Stajan.

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#38 Veggie Dog
February 22 2013, 03:48PM
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I have mostly been patient this year, and I was somewhat encouraged by the beginning of the season, but this is getting ridiculous.

Sending down Horak and Jones when our only real center is Matt Stajan boggles my mind. I know Jones isn't ever going to set the world on fire, but he and Horak have to be miles and miles ahead of Blake Commeau on the center depth chart. At the very least because THEY ARE ACTUAL CENTERS!

Now benching Cervenka??? I know he only has 6 points in 12 games, and at times has looked so-so, but he is transitioning to small ice, more physical play, and doesn't speak the language well on a team that is collectively (excuse the phrase) crapping the bed. I am sort of of the opinion that letting him keep playing is going to be more productive than benching. Cervenka and Hudler have been making Matt Stajan appear decent from time to time. Which is no mean feat.

I have pretty much given up on the season, and I even opted to watch Survivor over the flames 2nd/3rd period on Wednesday. I could be okay with stinking this year if there seemed to be signs of improvement, but these nonsensical moves are making me apprehensive.

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#39 backburner
February 22 2013, 03:48PM
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A victory tonight would be great, but I find myself more and more ok with the Flames loosing.. hopefully forcing some decisions sooner rather than later...

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#40 RexLibris
February 22 2013, 04:16PM
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@ the -wolf

You and I should really go for drinks sometime. ;-)

Back when Cervenka was signed there was a great deal of talk about it being a low-risk high-reward choice.

I disagreed with the provision that there was substantial risk involved, it just wasn't on the payroll. Feaster and the Flames sat there and told fans that Cervenka was an NHL-ready first or second line centre. The same way they sat in front of the cameras and told the fanbase that Jankowski was the best player in his draft class. Those kinds of boasts are insulting to fans and potentially damaging to the players.

The motto of intellectual honesty within this organization is a massive insult that needs to be called out, publicly, by the media. I don't know if the national media needs to publicly shame the organization, but something needs to be done. There is a reason that the first changes I made in my Flames rebuild scenario were all in the front-office and hockey ops ranks.

As for Feaster steering an organization to the 1st overall pick, preceded by a 2nd overall pick, don't forget he promptly quit after that and his replacement, a man highly regarded for his hockey acumen, is still trying desperately to undo the damage done.

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#41 the-wolf
February 22 2013, 04:29PM
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RexLibris wrote:

@ the -wolf

You and I should really go for drinks sometime. ;-)

Back when Cervenka was signed there was a great deal of talk about it being a low-risk high-reward choice.

I disagreed with the provision that there was substantial risk involved, it just wasn't on the payroll. Feaster and the Flames sat there and told fans that Cervenka was an NHL-ready first or second line centre. The same way they sat in front of the cameras and told the fanbase that Jankowski was the best player in his draft class. Those kinds of boasts are insulting to fans and potentially damaging to the players.

The motto of intellectual honesty within this organization is a massive insult that needs to be called out, publicly, by the media. I don't know if the national media needs to publicly shame the organization, but something needs to be done. There is a reason that the first changes I made in my Flames rebuild scenario were all in the front-office and hockey ops ranks.

As for Feaster steering an organization to the 1st overall pick, preceded by a 2nd overall pick, don't forget he promptly quit after that and his replacement, a man highly regarded for his hockey acumen, is still trying desperately to undo the damage done.

ummm........not really sure how to interpret that first comment.

As for the rest.....as I stated before, there's no intellect nor honesty in the org. Just PR and band-aids designed to milk 2004 for as long as possible.

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#42 jeremywilhelm
February 22 2013, 04:33PM
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Adding Aliu is perfect. We get closer to Mackinnon and hopefully a Feaster firing and an Iginla trading by the day!

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#43 RexLibris
February 22 2013, 05:20PM
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@the-wolf

lol, no worries, your a Flames fan - not my type.

I suspect we'd have a lot of short conversations that ended in mutual agreement over the state of franchise management.

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#44 Bruins
February 22 2013, 05:26PM
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feaster is a politician. You never get a straight answer or an answer period. This guy is not a hockey man.

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#45 the-wolf
February 22 2013, 05:27PM
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RexLibris wrote:

lol, no worries, your a Flames fan - not my type.

I suspect we'd have a lot of short conversations that ended in mutual agreement over the state of franchise management.

Oh for the days of Cliff Fletcher.

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#46 ChinookArch
February 22 2013, 07:15PM
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the-wolf wrote:

Oh for the days of Cliff Fletcher.

@ Rex Libris

Re: Cervenka and intellectual honesty

No offense to either of you, I understand you points of view, but do you really beileve any NHL team is completely honest with their fan base and media? Look at the Oilers owner last fall, when he attempted to manipulate the Edmonton fan base, media and municipal council for a new area deal. Really Mr. Katz, your threatening to move the team? How stupid do you think everyone else is? I expect pro sports dishonestly is worse, the closer a pro team is to the 'basement', and even moreso when the fan base cares. Yes, it's more annoying when Feaster speaks about intellectual honesty, but you didn't really expect total honesty from a NHL GM? In fairness, you are both cherry picking a bit. The intellectual honesty comments were made in context to the Flames being in 'cap jail'. I get it, it speaks to intellectual arrogance, but reading your comments over the last 2 years, tells me neither of you ever expected anything close to honesty from this team or any other.

It would have been nice if Cervenka was a true centerman, but I'm not disappointed to see a highly talented forward on this team, regardless of where he plays. It was not a homerun, but hardly a swing and a miss, where Cervenka is concerned.

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#47 Cowtown 1989
February 22 2013, 08:04PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

The last two champions also had several lines of high level forwards, elite goaltending and at least one Norris level defender. Which probably had a lot more to do with them winning cups than mere toughness.

If improving poor teams was as easy as adding Akim Aliu, then there wouldn't be poor teams. Or Akim Aliu wouldn't be a readily available minor-league, minimum-salaried player.

In principle, Im not against adding tough players. I'm against adding tough players who can't play at an NHL level and thinking it's a meaningful step towards improvement.

To your point Kent, I couldn't agree more about the key elements of a championship team. Another key element to all these teams is ACTUAL CENTERS. Anyone who has ever played or coached hockey is aware that your best skaters and most reliable defensive players reside at that position. Blair Jones would never be more than a marginal NHLer, but he was groomed for that position. This isn't TimBits hockey, players don't need to take turns at all positions.

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#48 Kevin R
February 22 2013, 08:05PM
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Too early to be jumping on the Cerevenka was a mistake band wagon. Kid has skills, needs time to adjust to many things, not just the style of hockey. I havent liked what Feaster has said regards to rebuilding & players that should be traded but then, he really cant. I will give him until April 4th to see what he does. He may make us all proud yet.

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#49 FireOnIce
February 22 2013, 09:07PM
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I'd like to point out that Feaster + co. selling Cervenka as a centre has been happening since he was first signed. We all knew that Cervenka was a winger (LW) when he was signed. He even admitted to it, said that he preferred it over centre because there was less defensive responsibility. Cervenka is not a natural centre and he never will be.

Feaster has been selling that BS since Cervenka first got signed. If you missed that point of "intellectual honesty" at the time, you can't cry about being hoodwinked now. That being said, Cervenka is here to score and he can't do that sitting on the bench in favour of Stajan or Aliu or some other clod they call up. Let the man skate with the other Czechs and stop harassing him.

Fire Gelinas. Trade Iginla+JBo. Throw the whole team over a cliff in their travel bus and hope for a mulligan. Whatever it takes.

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#50 schevvy
February 22 2013, 09:15PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

I'd like to point out that Feaster + co. selling Cervenka as a centre has been happening since he was first signed. We all knew that Cervenka was a winger (LW) when he was signed. He even admitted to it, said that he preferred it over centre because there was less defensive responsibility. Cervenka is not a natural centre and he never will be.

Feaster has been selling that BS since Cervenka first got signed. If you missed that point of "intellectual honesty" at the time, you can't cry about being hoodwinked now. That being said, Cervenka is here to score and he can't do that sitting on the bench in favour of Stajan or Aliu or some other clod they call up. Let the man skate with the other Czechs and stop harassing him.

Fire Gelinas. Trade Iginla+JBo. Throw the whole team over a cliff in their travel bus and hope for a mulligan. Whatever it takes.

Why do you want to fire Gelinas?

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