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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#51 KetchupKid
April 15 2013, 07:09PM
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Blake "Watershed" Comeau. Love it! His jersey's going up tonight for sure.

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#52 schevvy
April 15 2013, 07:10PM
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Game is on SN-W

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#53 schevvy
April 15 2013, 07:12PM
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If the goal is to lose why didn't Kent or VF write the pregame?

Also, if the Flames win because of the young guys, I will not be disappointed. Plus, they're definitely losing 3-4 of these last few.

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#54 BitGeek
April 15 2013, 07:13PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

It's on SNET-Flames

thank you very much.

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#55 schevvy
April 15 2013, 07:15PM
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Does Kipper play any of these last couple games at home?

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#56 Scary Gary
April 15 2013, 07:17PM
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@schevvy

Only one back to back left, the final two games to end the season.

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#57 Vintage Flame
April 15 2013, 07:18PM
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schevvy wrote:

If the goal is to lose why didn't Kent or VF write the pregame?

Also, if the Flames win because of the young guys, I will not be disappointed. Plus, they're definitely losing 3-4 of these last few.

What's that supposed to mean???

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#58 schevvy
April 15 2013, 07:19PM
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@Vintage Flame

Basically, when you write, they lose.

Also, TEH

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#59 schevvy
April 15 2013, 07:22PM
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I think the biggest Flames problem this year was that they didn't keep their feet moving.

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#60 Jeff Lebowski
April 15 2013, 07:24PM
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schevvy wrote:

All going according to plan. Also, Sarich is awful

Sarich is alright. Depends on how you measure him. He's like a Rhett Warrener. Does the little things and plays physical. If you mean stick skills or skating speed then yeah he's no Erik Karlsson.

I posit that Sarich's style is of value to a team. I can understand the argument that he's a dinosaur and more mobile d are required. But I still like that grit and physicality on the Flames backend.

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#61 Jeff Lebowski
April 15 2013, 07:27PM
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Please let that be a mullet.

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#62 Jeff Lebowski
April 15 2013, 07:30PM
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What a TK from Sven.

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#63 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 07:31PM
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Nice play by Baertschi on the Reinhart chance.

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#64 Jeff Lebowski
April 15 2013, 07:34PM
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See that knock down by Sven.

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#65 Scary Gary
April 15 2013, 07:35PM
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You have to like the speed, the kids+Stempniak were driving the net there.

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#66 Jeff Lebowski
April 15 2013, 07:36PM
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Way to get the shot up in close and tightly checked.

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#67 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 07:37PM
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Holy crap Brodie. That was a Coffey-like shift.

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#68 Kevin
April 15 2013, 07:38PM
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Wide open net for Hanowski there

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#69 SeanCharles
April 15 2013, 07:39PM
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Sven looks good. Brodie amazing...

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#70 beloch
April 15 2013, 07:40PM
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Brodie, Reinhart, and Hanowski are all looking good this period. Rookie power!

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#71 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 07:41PM
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@beloch

Hano looks way out his depth to me, but the rest are playing well.

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#72 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 07:42PM
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Chances are 6-4 Flames, and three of the Wild's chances came on the same shift.

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#73 Scary Gary
April 15 2013, 07:43PM
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How long did Brodie have the puck there, yeesh, he's looking so much more comfortable than last year. I remember watching him at the flames all-star game last year thinking this guys skates like the wind...and with the puck.

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#74 Q
April 15 2013, 07:43PM
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On my work break currently! No feed here. Just curious how Hanowski looks. Anyone?

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#75 ChinookArch
April 15 2013, 07:44PM
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Oh good we're losing.

How has the game been so far?

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#76 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 07:46PM
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@ChinookArch

Quite good. Flames should be ahead, frankly. They had one bad shift (with the 4th line out against the Parise line) and that's when the Wild scored. Otherwise, mostly all Flames.

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#77 beloch
April 15 2013, 07:47PM
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Q wrote:

On my work break currently! No feed here. Just curious how Hanowski looks. Anyone?

Like a guy who just flew into town and doesn't know the system he's supposed to be playing, but who can also make sweet give and go plays with Cammalleri.

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#78 Jeff Lebowski
April 15 2013, 07:48PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

Oh good we're losing.

How has the game been so far?

I hope Calgary loses 7-8 for the rest of year. No minuses for TJ though.

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#79 Scary Gary
April 15 2013, 07:50PM
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I had a friend that finished the race 18 min before the explosion.

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#80 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 07:50PM
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Hanowski has an odd stride. Very short and choppy.

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#81 Q
April 15 2013, 07:50PM
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@beloch

Well, I'm just glad this kid was so excited to sign and wants to get a quick heads-up before camp. Very encouraging!

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#82 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 07:50PM
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@Scary Gary

Phew. Good thing.

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#83 schevvy
April 15 2013, 07:51PM
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Just an awful, awful tragedy in Boston. Sickening.

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#84 Scary Gary
April 15 2013, 07:52PM
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@schevvy

There's just no way to protect against this stuff, you can make these in your basement after a trip to Walmart and a google search, ugh.

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#85 Scary Gary
April 15 2013, 07:54PM
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@Kent Wilson

Yeah no kidding. In other news I've just filled out the flamesnation survey, holy cooking questions! Haha.

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#86 Scary Gary
April 15 2013, 07:57PM
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Is Hanowski's helmet that tight or is his forehead supposed to look like that.

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#87 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 08:01PM
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@Scary Gary

haha, yeah. The service generates the questions and kinda packs in more cooking than I would say are ideal...

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#88 ChinookArch
April 15 2013, 08:04PM
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Nice charity Mr. Francis, but if he cuts his hair will he he loose his great strength.

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#89 Scary Gary
April 15 2013, 08:06PM
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Hudler has a high hockey IQ (no this isn't Feaster).

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#90 Vintage Flame
April 15 2013, 08:09PM
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I thought Hano looked decent in the first Kent. He looks a little out of sorts, but I didn't find him to be a liability or anything.

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#91 Vintage Flame
April 15 2013, 08:10PM
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Why is the Hitmen guy doing the Flames game at the Dome? That's not Beazley is it?

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#92 schevvy
April 15 2013, 08:16PM
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@Vintage Flame

That's the Hitmen guy for sure, not Beez. He's probably on holidays.

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#93 thymebalm
April 15 2013, 08:27PM
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I want to not be satisfied by that goal against.. but this year, we need to pick in the top 4.

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#94 FireOnIce
April 15 2013, 08:27PM
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Yay Pominville!

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#95 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 08:29PM
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Wild starting to take over a bit, as they should. Flames don't have an ES chance in the second yet.

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#96 FireOnIce
April 15 2013, 08:30PM
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So is MacBackup now MacStarter? Man, I hope they don't think he's so good that they absolutely HAVE to sign him. Please Feaster please, don't be that stupid.

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#97 Vintage Flame
April 15 2013, 08:34PM
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Haha.. MacDonald is the first back-up to have a GAA under 3 since Curtis Joseph???

#MacBackup

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#98 Baalzamon
April 15 2013, 08:35PM
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@FireOnIce

Actually, it might be good for the Flames to re-sign MacDonald, just for the sake of having a known quantity in net. The plan appears to be to go with Ramo and Berra next season, so bringing MacBackip back might not actually be a bad idea.

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#99 Monaertchi
April 15 2013, 08:37PM
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@Vintage Flame

Didn't that graphic show Killer Karlsson with a sub 3 season?

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#100 Vintage Flame
April 15 2013, 08:37PM
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No flow to a Wild/Flames game Simmer?? You think?? #Shocker

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