FGD: Doing It Wrong

Ryan Pike
April 15 2013 01:50PM

 

 

On trade deadline day, April 3, the Calgary Flames basically threw in the towel. And yes, by that I mean the trade that sent Blake Comeau to the Blue Jackets was meant to be a watershed moment for the franchise. Combined with the deals that shipped out higher-paid, higher-skilled players named Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester, those moves were the beginning of the Flames' long-delayed rebuild and a sign to fans to prepare for some losses.

Since the trade deadline, the Calgary Flames have somehow won half of their games. Exempting their deadline day 8-2 spanking at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers, the team has played six competent, fairly consistent contests. They lost to San Jose and Vancouver (twice). They beat Edmonton, Phoenix and Colorado. They've missed the veteran presences of Matt Stajan, Curtis Glencross and Alex Tanguay, and it has not mattered one bit.

In other words, in terms of selling off their high-end players and trying to tank for a Nathan MacKinnon or Seth Jones at the NHL Draft in June – they're doing it wrong, but they're showing the kind of resilience and consistency that Flames fans are probably really conflicted about the whole thing.

Brace yourselves, fans, because the Flames are threatening to actually move up in the standings when they host the Minnesota Wild tonight at the 'Dome. Puck drop is at 7pm on your friendly neighbourhood Sportsnet communications venues.

OH CRAP, CAN THEY MOVE UP TONIGHT?

The Flames had fun on the weekend, edging out Phoenix in overtime and embarrassing an Edmonton team all the way out of playoff contention, all without moving up in the NHL's overall standings. It was the very definition of having your cake and eating it too. But Calgary (16-21-4) can leap from their cozy perch and overtake Carolina, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and Nashville with a win and some help tonight. That would put them as high as 24th overall, which would just screw with any dreams of Drouin or MacKinnon.

So who's to blame for the resurgence?

Well, maybe Jay Feaster. After being told for so many years that Calgary's prospects are lousy, he puts a bunch of them on the roster to tank the season...and they've actually scored goals and played well. Recent signee Ben Hanowski will get his shot to prove his worth tonight too, by the way.

Journeyman back-up goalie Joey MacDonald, hoped to be the latest in a long line of bad back-ups, has also been quite good. Truth be told, he's won half of his decisions as a Flame and is the only netminder with a goals against average south of 3 per game. He was a big reason the Flames escaped with 2 points against the Coyotes (someone knee cap him!).

The other problem is that the team is generally playing loose, relaxed, up-tempo hockey and getting contributions from everywhere. In the last six games, Mikael Backlund has two goals and two assists and has been excellent. Mark Giordano and Lee Stempniak each also have four points. Roman Horak, Sven Baertschi and Max “Power” Reinhart are racking up points, as well.

It's just not fair.

WILL THEY LOSE TO MINNESOTA?

Well, it's possible. The Wild are 13th overall (7th in the West) with a 22-16-3 record, but they're under .500 on the road and have won just three times in their last ten games. It's possible that the Flames could beat them, particularly the way they're playing right now.

If the Wild play up to their talent level, the Flames should lose and creep back down towards the bottom of the standings. But there's no guarantees. If it helps, Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom is really good and always seems to frustrate the Flames. The key to beating this tanking team lately has been to throw a hot goalie at them (Niemi, Schneider, Luongo), so that may be a good omen for those hoping for a loss.

WHAT'S LEFT AFTER THIS?

After this game, the Flames play six more times – twice at home and four times on the road, where their horrible away record will drag them kicking and screaming towards a good draft pick. Their remaining opponents are Detroit (20-15-7, 8th in West), Anaheim (27-10-5, 2nd), Minnesota again, Nashville (15-20-8, 13th), St. Louis (23-16-2, 6th) and Chicago (32-5-4, 1st). There are at least three guaranteed losses right there. But will it be enough? Find out starting tonight.

 

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Now in his fourth season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers and the Wrestling Observer.
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#151 First Name Unidentified
April 15 2013, 09:37PM
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SVENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

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#152 schevvy
April 15 2013, 09:37PM
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Atta boy Sven

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#153 clyde
April 15 2013, 09:37PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

Backlund finishes his checks. He rarely peels off. I like that.

He is a very complete player

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#154 RKD
April 15 2013, 09:37PM
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schevvy wrote:

Can't wait for Iggy to re-sign this off-season...

Here? I'm not so sure, if Iggy wins the Cup he will definitely increase his value depending on what he does in the playoffs, he's got 49 points in 54 playoff games. If the Pens can't afford to resign him, maybe he still stays in the East or joins LA. I hear the Oilers could make a pitch for Iggy and trade for Weber.

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#155 Colin S
April 15 2013, 09:38PM
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SVEN

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#156 RKD
April 15 2013, 09:38PM
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SVENGALI!

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#157 Chris Fairfield
April 15 2013, 09:38PM
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Another 1 for number 47 in your programs!

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#158 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 09:38PM
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Woo! This is an okay way to lose.

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#159 Colin S
April 15 2013, 09:38PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Woo! This is an okay way to lose.

Definitely!

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#160 schevvy
April 15 2013, 09:38PM
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@RKD

If the Oilers sign Iggy, NO, JUST NO.

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#161 Slash
April 15 2013, 09:38PM
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@RKD

Flames need fresh leadership. No room for Iggy.

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#162 Chris Fairfield
April 15 2013, 09:40PM
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Foligno you A-hole!

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#163 schevvy
April 15 2013, 09:40PM
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Columbus wins in OT

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#164 Vintage Flame
April 15 2013, 09:40PM
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That's a loss I'm okay with

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#165 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 09:41PM
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Chances were 7-6 Wild in the third. CGY reeled it back in pretty well.

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#166 Aussie Flame
April 15 2013, 09:43PM
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@RKD

I havn't been watching the game, just following along on these posts, did I misss something here?

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#167 beloch
April 15 2013, 09:43PM
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@SeanCharles

I do appreciate hearing about players from people who know more than the stat sheet. Stats, especially AHL stats, often don't tell the complete story.

Reinhart looked good tonight, especially in the third. The kid's got some moves! He could stand to work on his passing a bit, but the whole team was having problems in that area tonight.

Hanowski looked better and better out there. His goal was dirty, but you've got to give him credit for knowing when to crash the net. Given his size I think he's got a real shot at making the team straight out of camp next season.

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#168 Aussie Flame
April 15 2013, 09:43PM
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Did Max get a goal? When someone said "MAX Power"?

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#169 RKD
April 15 2013, 09:45PM
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Aussie Flame wrote:

I havn't been watching the game, just following along on these posts, did I misss something here?

Nope the Flames lost, but Ben Hanowski acquired in the Iggy deal scored his first NHL goal and Baertschi made it interesting making it 4-3.

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#170 mk
April 15 2013, 09:45PM
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Lol Hanowski in his post-game interview: "I just need to move my feet..."

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#171 schevvy
April 15 2013, 09:45PM
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Let's all laugh at Edmonton again, shall we?

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#172 Baalzamon
April 15 2013, 09:47PM
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@Aussie Flame

Nah, slick dangle

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#173 Scary Gary
April 15 2013, 09:47PM
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mk wrote:

Lol Hanowski in his post-game interview: "I just need to move my feet..."

Classic!

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#174 Vintage Flame
April 15 2013, 09:47PM
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Aussie Flame wrote:

Did Max get a goal? When someone said "MAX Power"?

No, he just made some pretty nice moves in the Wild's zone.

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#175 Aussie Flame
April 15 2013, 09:47PM
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RKD wrote:

Nope the Flames lost, but Ben Hanowski acquired in the Iggy deal scored his first NHL goal and Baertschi made it interesting making it 4-3.

Sorry, I meant in regard to your comment about Maxwell silverhammer, did he get/looked like he got something?

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#176 Chris Fairfield
April 15 2013, 09:47PM
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The 3 Calgary goals in recap.

1. Nice 3 way passing play and a goal by Hudler 2. Ben Hanowski's 1st NHL goal. 3. Sven scores his 2nd.

All in all, not a bad way to lose.

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#177 RKD
April 15 2013, 09:50PM
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Aussie Flame wrote:

Sorry, I meant in regard to your comment about Maxwell silverhammer, did he get/looked like he got something?

Haha, my bad I must be losing my mind or confusing people on FN got the names crossed up. Still must be thinking about Max's goal Saturday against the Oilers.

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#178 Jeff In Lethbridge
April 15 2013, 09:52PM
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Slash wrote:

Flames need fresh leadership. No room for Iggy.

I would definitely agree that I would like to see him wait at least a full season before coming back. More like 2 seasons.

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#179 SmellOfVictory
April 15 2013, 10:01PM
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mk wrote:

Lol Hanowski in his post-game interview: "I just need to move my feet..."

Clearly this means he's going to follow in Simmer's footsteps and score 50 goals/season.

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#180 Primo
April 15 2013, 10:05PM
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schevvy wrote:

Can't wait for Iggy to re-sign this off-season...

I'm assuming elsewhere, not in Calgary!

If my assumption is incorrect...GET OVER IT!

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#181 kittensandcookies
April 15 2013, 10:07PM
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I'm still stunned at Hanowki's flowing locks.

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#182 mk
April 15 2013, 10:08PM
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Primo wrote:

I'm assuming elsewhere, not in Calgary!

If my assumption is incorrect...GET OVER IT!

I'd argue that Iginla coming back would do more harm - simply because he'd be taking a line-up spot away from a developing player who needs ice-time.

He could never come back and be just another player (like many current players like Tanguay, Cammalleri, etc.), he'll always be THE guy because of past history.

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#183 Thprop
April 15 2013, 10:17PM
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Don't know if it will translate to the NHL but I just finished watching Kenny augustino in the national championship and he looked excellent (against other college kids obviously). Also Peca (I'm assuming its mikes kid) can sure play!

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#184 schevvy
April 15 2013, 10:21PM
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Guys, my post was pretty sarcastic, the 3 dots at the end were to imply that. If Iggy re-signs, whatever, but it was meant as sarcasm. Curse you Internet!

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#185 Sincity1976
April 15 2013, 10:52PM
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WTF is with Kerr and Simmer. I think the game is actually less exciting with them announcing. They missed Baertschi's forecheck turnover in the first. They missed Backlund delivering a massive check in the third. Moments after getting getting tossed 10 feet by Clutterbuck (which only warranted a neutral 'oh look ...').

Simmer, your the color guy. Make your brief comment on the most recent play then shut up. Preferably in a break in the action (a comercial break would be my preference, but maybe that is just me). Kerr, this isn't radio. It isnt' an opportunity to have a long sporting discussion about whatever. Call the f'ing game.

My perfect rebuild. The Flames focus on youth. The Saddledome changes their f'ing music. And Sportsnet changes out their announcers to just about anyone else.

Sorry ... had to rant.

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#186 McRib
April 15 2013, 10:55PM
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@Thprop

Matthew Peca has no relation to Mike, if you are ever curious about players relation to a former/current player...

"http://www.eliteprospects.com" does a good job.

For example look at the links on Max Reinharts Page! They also update High School/Midget Stats where most other sites do not.

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=30443

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#187 Vintage Flame
April 15 2013, 11:05PM
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Post Game is up

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#188 McRib
April 15 2013, 11:06PM
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Was in attendance tonight and Ben Hanowski looked impressive in his first game!!! He has a big frame, solid hands and an impressive release (almost had goal in the second if not for Backstrom's quick pads). He does desperately needs to add leg strength though, as his first couple steps are lacking and he had very left at end of shift (Altitude might also be a factor). Hockey Sense also looks to be better than average as well, solid second/third liner if he keeps developing.

Honestly with Agostino looking good in Yale's National Championship win the Iggy trade is looking a lot better than the original knee jerk reaction! We seem to have got two guys flying under the radar!! Also considering Alexander Khokhlachev only has THREE POINTS in nine AHL games so far I think we took the beter offer!!!

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#189 Chris J
April 16 2013, 01:42AM
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Sincity1976 wrote:

WTF is with Kerr and Simmer. I think the game is actually less exciting with them announcing. They missed Baertschi's forecheck turnover in the first. They missed Backlund delivering a massive check in the third. Moments after getting getting tossed 10 feet by Clutterbuck (which only warranted a neutral 'oh look ...').

Simmer, your the color guy. Make your brief comment on the most recent play then shut up. Preferably in a break in the action (a comercial break would be my preference, but maybe that is just me). Kerr, this isn't radio. It isnt' an opportunity to have a long sporting discussion about whatever. Call the f'ing game.

My perfect rebuild. The Flames focus on youth. The Saddledome changes their f'ing music. And Sportsnet changes out their announcers to just about anyone else.

Sorry ... had to rant.

I can live with Kerr and Simmer, but i agree that the music is probably the worst in the NHL. The flames Goal song is absolutley embarassing. Isnt it like a barbara streisand song?

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#190 Baalzamon
April 16 2013, 02:42PM
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@Chris J

"Isnt it like a barbara streisand song?"

worse... it's a Duck Sauce song CALLED Barbara Streisand.

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#191 stretch14
April 18 2013, 12:38AM
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Awe, look at you hypocrites talking about tanking. So cute!

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