FGD: Stem the Tide

Kent Wilson
March 13 2013 02:00PM

While most in Flamesland are now busily fabricating semi-plausible deadline trade scenarios or hunting down top-10 prospect lists for the draft in June, the reality is the team still has a bunch of games to play this season before any of that stuff matters. The second half begins tonight versus the Detroit Red Wings.

They aren't the overpowering juggernaut of yesteryear, but the Wings are still decent. Datsyuk and Zetterberg have taken real steps back in terms of their ability to control play this season (the latter in particular) and they aren't girded by the sort of depth that would help soften the blow of that decline. Still, going from "incredibly dominant even strength players " to "pretty good" isn't quite the death knell for Hockeytown's unending playoff streak. Yet.

The Wings have suffered through injuries, too, on top of the massive loss of Lidstrom to retirement in the off-season. The club has some quality players coming up through the system in Gustav Nyquist (who should play tonight), Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson while import Damien Brunner has filled in well in the top-6. That said, replacing Datsyuk/Zetterberg once they finally do fall off the horse is going to be a tall order.

So Detroit is merely "good" and their top-end still needs to be respected, but they're no longer unbeatable demi-gods. They currently sit 7th in the Western Conference and it wouldn't surprise me if that's more or less where they stay for the rest of the year.

The Flames still have the faintest of faint chances of making the dance. No doubt some portion of the fanbase wants the club to throw in the towel now in order to improve their chances at a lottery pick, but the players have pride and future contracts to play for, so expect Calgary to go down swinging. If there's to be any sort of meaningful run at the post-season, though, it has to start right away: the boys need roughly a 65% win% through the rest of the year to even have a shot.

If, on the other hand, the true goal is the chance to draft Drouin, Barkov, Jones or MacKinnnon well...just pray that Kipper continues to channel his buddy Vesa Toskala. 

The Lineup

Glencross skated this morning but will be a gametime decision. Cammalleri missed the practice, though it's possible that was only for maintenance purposes. For now we'll assume they are both in.

  • Tanguay - Backlund - Iginla
  • Glencross - Stajan - Stempniak
  • Cervenka/Comeau - Cammalleri - Hudler
  • Comeau/Cervenka - Begin - Jackman

  • Bouwmeester - Brodie
  • Wideman - Butler
  • Sarich - Giordano

  • Kipper

Backlund ended up playing with Iginla and Tanguay at the end of the Kings game. He scored the Calgary's only goal in that role so it would surprise me if he didn't at least start there tonight.

And just because I haven't advocated enough for Backs the last year or two, Hartley needs to start thinking about given Mikael more PP time - not only does the team generate more shots at ES with him on the ice, they do so on the man advantage as well. There's small sample concerns with that latter number, but it's intuitive to assume he'll have the same effect at 5on4 as he does at 5on5.

Brodie slid up to the top pairing to replace Mark Giordano (who spent a week or two serving up platters to the team's best skaters) and didn't look out of place. I'll be stunned if he persists there long term given how tough that assignment is and his youth, but it's impressive he managed even a single game in that role without looking hopelessly overwhelmed.

The Opposition

Word is the Wings could get Filppula back tonight, adding a bit more punch to their top-6. Nyquist is the AHL's leading scorer with 60 points in 57 games, so he should land in a scoring role as well.

  • Nyquist - Datsyuk - Franzen
  • Brunner - Zetterberg - Filppula
  • Cleary - Abdelkader - Andersson
  • Miller - Emmerton - Tootoo

  • Kronwall - Ericsson
  • Quincey - Smith
  • Lashoff - Kindl

  • Gustavsson

The depressed state of the Wings blueline post-Lidstrom is obvious. Smith, Kindl and Lashoff are all kids, each with less than two full seasons under their respective belts. Kindl and Smith are walking on their own, but Lashoff is getting beat up, even on the third pairing. Incredibly, Ian White has gone from Lidstrom's frequent partner last year to a current healthy scratch (despite Detroit's needs on the back-end). None of his numbers are overly terrible, so I'm not sure what is motivating Babcock to give the former Flame the stink-eye.

Nik Kronwall has tried to fill Lidstrom's clown sized shoes and has managed to keep his head above water as the club's number one defender. He's not Lidstrom, obviously, but at least he's not completely out of his depth. That said, you can see why the Wings are rumored to be interested in Jay Bouwmeester.

Sum it Up

Detroit is battling their slow slide from annual contenders to a middle-tier Western Conference club. The Flames, on the other hand, are battling the inevitable. Calgary can still make the post-season with an incredible turn-around (starting tonight) while the Wings will want to climb back up the ladder as much as possible.

Game time is 7:30 on TSN tonight. I will be attending, so Justin will be counting chances. Tune in to cheer for or against the Flames, depending on your sensibilities. 

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
Avatar
#1 Jibmeister
March 13 2013, 06:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

Whether you want a good draft pick or not, I don't see how a real fan can cheer for their team to lose. I just don't have that feeling in me, I always want them to show up and win.

Avatar
#2 vowswithin
March 13 2013, 03:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
Jano wrote:

Hearing comments like Hartley's makes me question their hockey intellect. Sure they could string a few together, but they aren't due. They were outmatched badly over the last weekend, and have to show some level of consistant compete if they have a chance to do this. Hoping so, just not counting on it.

Agreed but they sure as hell aren't going to come out and say "Yeah we are F'ed we likely wont win more then 2 back to back games the rest of the year"

Avatar
#3 Justin Azevedo
March 13 2013, 06:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
Jibmeister wrote:

Whether you want a good draft pick or not, I don't see how a real fan can cheer for their team to lose. I just don't have that feeling in me, I always want them to show up and win.

+1

Avatar
#4 Chris MacDonald
March 13 2013, 08:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

I noticed his Lordieness proclaimed that he is leaving the Kingdom as he is "attending" tonight.

Does that mean we can put our feet on the coffee table?

Avatar
#5 ChinookArch
March 13 2013, 09:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Matt Stajan is playing like a different player this year. Must be nice to have B. Sutter gone for him?

Avatar
#6 ChinookArch
March 13 2013, 10:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Quick smash Glenx's other hand.

Avatar
#7 schevvy
March 13 2013, 10:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Omg Comeau?? WTF is happening

Avatar
#8 schevvy
March 13 2013, 10:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@RexLibris

Johnson for Eberle and a 1st? :)

Avatar
#9 RexLibris
March 13 2013, 10:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
schevvy wrote:

Who do the people making the rumor think the Oilers would give up?

Here's the link to the article. http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/03/oilers-trading-for-jack-johnson-by-woodguy.html

It isn't necessarily a massive deal, the issue is that it suggests that the Oilers brass actually think that Johnson is a player. He isn't.

He is the NHL equivalent of what Lloyd George said about Field Marshal Douglas Haig, that he could help the British win the war if he were in the enemy's employ.

Avatar
#10 Baalzamon
March 13 2013, 11:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

this game was the "regress to the mean" game. Everything will be back to normal (suckage) next game.

Also, Gustavsson is awful.

Lol, Johnson is exactly what the Oilers need. If the goal is to continue drafting 1st overall forever.

Avatar
#11 jeremywilhelm
March 13 2013, 02:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Gustavsson in net? Damn, we are winning this one. Change is delayed for another week.

Avatar
#12 Shredder
March 13 2013, 02:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
jeremywilhelm wrote:

Gustavsson in net? Damn, we are winning this one. Change is delayed for another week.

I may be an Oiler fan trolling, but let me just say that's exactly what everyone thinks of the Flames when anyone but Kipper is in net...these days that might not be the case for the Flames. It wasn't that long ago that the Monster was the best hockey player not playing the NHL.

Avatar
#13 jeremywilhelm
March 13 2013, 02:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Shredder wrote:

I may be an Oiler fan trolling, but let me just say that's exactly what everyone thinks of the Flames when anyone but Kipper is in net...these days that might not be the case for the Flames. It wasn't that long ago that the Monster was the best hockey player not playing the NHL.

Your last line is a fallacy. No one ever said that.

Avatar
#14 negrilcowboy
March 13 2013, 02:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

outside of zetts and dats the wings are relatively porous. I bet kenny Holland and jimmy d find a new mother lode in some far away land, first they mined the russian talent, then struck gold with team sweden, who's next a plethora of tajiki superstars lol.

great just was informed by the fan and patty"yo know patty" steinberg that bob artley and crew think they are do for due for a string of dubyas. yikes. so much for intellectual honesty.

Avatar
#15 MC Hockey
March 13 2013, 02:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Flames will win or play well at least! False hope continues!!

Avatar
#16 shutout
March 13 2013, 02:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Red Wings are where the Flames were a few years ago. Losing some pieces and getting old in key personnel areas. In my opinion they are facing the same dilemma that the Flames did.

Do they keep trying to add pieces and stay competitive or do they move some older key pieces and jump start the next incarnation of the team.

Calgary decided to stay with Iginla and Kiprusoff and have had below average to poor results with the plan. What will Detroit do in the summer with Datsyuk and Zetterberg?

Trade them for young players in their early 20's and add them to players like Nyquist and Tatar or give up some of these young players for stop gap measures like Bouwmeester.

Free agents used to go to Detroit because they knew there was a chance to win. I dont think that is the case any more. Good case study to go back in time and analyze the Flames decisions.

Avatar
#17 Jano
March 13 2013, 02:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@negrilcowboy

Hearing comments like Hartley's makes me question their hockey intellect. Sure they could string a few together, but they aren't due. They were outmatched badly over the last weekend, and have to show some level of consistant compete if they have a chance to do this. Hoping so, just not counting on it.

Avatar
#18 negrilcowboy
March 13 2013, 03:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Jano wrote:

Hearing comments like Hartley's makes me question their hockey intellect. Sure they could string a few together, but they aren't due. They were outmatched badly over the last weekend, and have to show some level of consistant compete if they have a chance to do this. Hoping so, just not counting on it.

the flames management group must suffer from the same dillusional thinking as those nascar small budget race teams that fill the field every weekend. yep ya could win bubba but we ain't got nuff gas fer da five hunerd miles boy. so inless the in tire field crashes out go ride round in circls boy.

Avatar
#19 SmellOfVictory
March 13 2013, 04:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I think the Wings could use more grit on the backend. Sarich for White.

Avatar
#20 Monaertchi
March 13 2013, 04:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
SmellOfVictory wrote:

I think the Wings could use more grit on the backend. Sarich for White.

Do you think we could somehow turn this into a 3-way deal so that we can also get Derrick Morris?

Avatar
#21 Jonathan Happy
March 13 2013, 04:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
jeremywilhelm wrote:

Your last line is a fallacy. No one ever said that.

Before Gustavvson came to NA, he was rumoured to be the best goaltender outside of the NHL. I think that was what Shredder meant.

Either way, we all know how much BS all that hype was.

Avatar
#22 negrilcowboy
March 13 2013, 04:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
vowswithin wrote:

Agreed but they sure as hell aren't going to come out and say "Yeah we are F'ed we likely wont win more then 2 back to back games the rest of the year"

they cant continue to make these moronic comments to the masses, they lose all crediblity. guaranteed playoffs,best player in the draft, we will go to court etc etc say vague things such as we feel we are coming together or are turning the corner. not hey we are going to pull off 5 in a row type statements. all this ship o fools is doin is alienating the fanbase by insulting the intelligence of the fans.

Avatar
#23 negrilcowboy
March 13 2013, 04:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Jonathan Happy wrote:

Before Gustavvson came to NA, he was rumoured to be the best goaltender outside of the NHL. I think that was what Shredder meant.

Either way, we all know how much BS all that hype was.

surprised feaster and company didnt swoop him up, or for that matter was feaster his agent

Avatar
#24 Jano
March 13 2013, 04:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@negrilcowboy

Weren't we also told something like that about Karlson?

Avatar
#25 Jay
March 13 2013, 05:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
negrilcowboy wrote:

the flames management group must suffer from the same dillusional thinking as those nascar small budget race teams that fill the field every weekend. yep ya could win bubba but we ain't got nuff gas fer da five hunerd miles boy. so inless the in tire field crashes out go ride round in circls boy.

What's a NASCAR??

Avatar
#26 negrilcowboy
March 13 2013, 05:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Jay wrote:

What's a NASCAR??

a red neck religious event held on sundays swillin beers with your bruncles rockin to skynrd 8 tracks and all tryin to bang your cuzin

Avatar
#27 Kurt
March 13 2013, 05:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

So Detroit didn't play last night, doesn't play tomorrow. Which means tonight is NOT a B2B for them.

But they still choose to play Gustavson, I presume because their next 2 are vs Edm & Van and they want to save their real goalie for what they perceive as the tougher games.

Does anyone else find it extremely damning how many backup goalies we face? Its gotta be like 50%. I'd say that speaks volumes for what other teams think of the Flames. We like to keep bragging about how the Oilers suck, but Detroit is clearly choosing to use tonight as a rest night before Edm-Van.

Just saying.

I pray to the hockey gods that we lose tonight. Another loss should put any asinine delusions of a rebound in the rear view mirror. Hopefully its a crushing loss, and leads to Iggy meeting Edwards tomorrow and asking for a trade.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't win tonight. The last thing we need is some false hope. Its time to be crushed to the curb so even the most optimistic or completely irrational fan (Feaster) has no hope. Apparently only then we will be able to move on.

Avatar
#28 Scary Gary
March 13 2013, 06:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Last time we played Detroit they looked pretty bad...and they were at home. I'm thinking W for the flames, mostly just to mess with us...

Detroit are a bubble playoff team but should get in. I love that they sign average goalies and pay them peanuts, that's the way it should be!

Avatar
#29 negrilcowboy
March 13 2013, 06:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Jibmeister wrote:

Whether you want a good draft pick or not, I don't see how a real fan can cheer for their team to lose. I just don't have that feeling in me, I always want them to show up and win.

i guess so, dude ya look just like jay feaster

Avatar
#30 Jibmeister
March 13 2013, 06:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
negrilcowboy wrote:

i guess so, dude ya look just like jay feaster

Uh oh..

Avatar
#31 Justin Azevedo
March 13 2013, 06:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kurt

howard is sick

Avatar
#32 Kurt
March 13 2013, 07:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Justin Azevedo wrote:

howard is sick

We sure run into a lot of sick goalies! Every 2nd game or so.

Cheering for losses is easy if you want the best for your team. It's like giving your kid a spanking. You don't want to. It's hard for you and the kid. But they just don't understand and need it. In the long run its best. Otherwise you end up with a delinquent kid, or a middling, perpetually average, sh!t team.

I find it way more offensive that fans I'm this town are longing for a team that could possibly, maybe, hopefully, if all things work out grind into 8th place. What happened to wanting to be a champion? A perpetual contender? A powerhouse? Its lame how fans are happy to just be a middling team and pray for 2004 lightning in a bottle all over again.

For the good of this organization, I hope they lose. You'll thank me next year when we have Nate McKinnon instead of whatever AHL prospect a 13th overall pick gets you.

Avatar
#33 Clay
March 13 2013, 07:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kurt wrote:

We sure run into a lot of sick goalies! Every 2nd game or so.

Cheering for losses is easy if you want the best for your team. It's like giving your kid a spanking. You don't want to. It's hard for you and the kid. But they just don't understand and need it. In the long run its best. Otherwise you end up with a delinquent kid, or a middling, perpetually average, sh!t team.

I find it way more offensive that fans I'm this town are longing for a team that could possibly, maybe, hopefully, if all things work out grind into 8th place. What happened to wanting to be a champion? A perpetual contender? A powerhouse? Its lame how fans are happy to just be a middling team and pray for 2004 lightning in a bottle all over again.

For the good of this organization, I hope they lose. You'll thank me next year when we have Nate McKinnon instead of whatever AHL prospect a 13th overall pick gets you.

Very well put, although Child Protective Services will be arriving shortly

Avatar
#34 puckdaddy
March 13 2013, 07:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Justin Azevedo wrote:

+1

Completely agree,We all wannt the best outcome for our team. Go Flames Go

Avatar
#35 wattree
March 13 2013, 07:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Is Nyquist in as a showing for a Jbo trade?

Avatar
#36 Alt
March 13 2013, 07:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
negrilcowboy wrote:

a red neck religious event held on sundays swillin beers with your bruncles rockin to skynrd 8 tracks and all tryin to bang your cuzin

woooow Skynard and the Bluesmasters out of the south would not think kindly of your suggesting banging there cousins.You must have them confused with Kid Rock,and his idiotic buddies.I,ll bet you like Nickelback

Avatar
#37 Robert Johnson
March 13 2013, 07:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@shutout

"Red Wings are where the Flames were a few years ago"

Are you drunk?

The Red Wings will NEVER get to where the Flames are.

Dude, Detroit has missed the playoffs just twice in the last 29 years and have been at the postseason party the last 21 straight seasons (not counting the season lost in '85).

You Sir, like so many in the FlickeringNation do, are spewing verbal diarrhea. Must be something in the water.....

Avatar
#38 Chris Fairfield
March 13 2013, 07:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Any idea if GlenX is a go for tonight?

Avatar
#39 Justin Azevedo
March 13 2013, 07:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Chris Fairfield

took warmups so probably

Avatar
#40 schevvy
March 13 2013, 07:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Cervenka's a scratch. What the hell? Is it still conditioning?

Glencross is in according to the Flames twitter feed.

Avatar
#41 Justin Azevedo
March 13 2013, 08:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kurt

they have? I count one backup played against the flames when their opponent wasn't on a back to back. two including tonight.

Avatar
#42 Jeff In Lethbridge
March 13 2013, 08:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Jibmeister wrote:

Whether you want a good draft pick or not, I don't see how a real fan can cheer for their team to lose. I just don't have that feeling in me, I always want them to show up and win.

That's the beauty there you see.... you don't HAVE to cheer for or hope that the team loses... they do it ANYWAY!

Avatar
#43 Justin Azevedo
March 13 2013, 08:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@schevvy

probably. my guy says he's the most out of shape player he's ever seen

Avatar
#44 negrilcowboy
March 13 2013, 08:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
schevvy wrote:

Cervenka's a scratch. What the hell? Is it still conditioning?

Glencross is in according to the Flames twitter feed.

as paul harvey once said "now the rest of the story".

gotta be more to it schev, or this guy is a genetic freak.

Avatar
#45 schevvy
March 13 2013, 08:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Justin Azevedo wrote:

probably. my guy says he's the most out of shape player he's ever seen

Well that's not good. I know he had the blood cot but it's been a month and a half. Should be fine by now you'd think.

Avatar
#46 Justin Azevedo
March 13 2013, 08:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Chris MacDonald

go ahead just don't puke anywhere

Avatar
#47 schevvy
March 13 2013, 08:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Damnit TSN. Game before Flames ALWAYS runs late.

Avatar
#48 Justin Azevedo
March 13 2013, 08:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@schevvy

issue is that there hasn't been much time where he can do conditioning because the season is so short

but yeah it is getting pretty ridiculous.

Avatar
#49 negrilcowboy
March 13 2013, 08:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Justin Azevedo wrote:

issue is that there hasn't been much time where he can do conditioning because the season is so short

but yeah it is getting pretty ridiculous.

wow, you would figure he would heal and condition faster than he learns english

Avatar
#50 Aussie Flame
March 13 2013, 08:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Justin Azevedo

I've noticed a couple times when they show Cervenka on the bench he is panting like he's about to collapse, so I can believe conditioning is the reason to sit him

Comments are closed for this article.