FGD: Still Stuff to Care About

Kent Wilson
April 05 2013 04:05PM

 

 

The Flames are in San Jose taking on the Sharks tonight, but the opponent is all but immaterial. Calgary's not making the playoffs, so their competitiveness and the quality of their foes is more or less irrelevant for the duration.

That said, there are still reasons to care about outcomes and watch the scoreboard. First, of course, is the race to the bottom. There are currently 3 horses battling for 30th overall: the Flames, the Avalanche and the Panthers. Calgary is tied with Florida at 30 points, but has two games in hand. The Avalanche are bottom of the league with 28 points and have played one more game than Calgary. The only other clubs within hailing distance of the top-3 lottery are Buffalo and Tampa Bay, each with 34 points so far.

Of the dive for five combatants, only Calgary and Buffalo sold hard at the deadline. The Sabres shed Jason Pominville and Robyn Regehr while the Flames, of course, nixed Iginla, Bouwmeester, Comeau and, for all intents and purposes, Kiprusoff. Of the teams hoping to choose first overal, Calgary might be the worst (certainly the most gutted) which improves their chances of picking in the top-3 for the first time franchise history this coming June.

In addition, Flames fans should also be cheering for the St. Louis Blues, who currently hold down the 8th seed in the West. Calgary's 2013 first rounder from the Bouwmeester deal is conditional on the Blues making the dance and having three bullets in what is roundly considered one of the best drafts in recent memory is a really good way to start out the new era. St. Louis beat the Blackhawks last night while the Oilers fell to Vancouver, increasing the Blues' playoff odds favorably to about 83%.

Losing to the Sharks this evening helps the Flames cause #1 (which is frankly more important) but only marginally hinders cause #2 (San Jose is already 4 points clear of the Blues). For from a strictly pragmatic point of view, then, losing is optimal this evening.

The Line-up

Suffering a road record 12th (I think?) straight defeat shouldn't be too much of a challenge. The team is mediocre on paper to begin with and the skaters have collectively played like some strangled their puppy before their eyes the last few days. In addition, the dreadful goaltending that has submarined the Flames season continues unabated.

  • Glencross - Stajan - Stempniak
  • Horak - Cammalleri - Tanguay
  • Cervenka - Backlund - Hudler
  • Jackman - Begin - McGrattan

  • Brodie - Wideman
  • Sarich - Butler
  • Babchuk - Carson

  • Kiprusoff

On top of all that, Mark Giordano is out of the line-up celebrating the birth of his first child, meaning the number of capable NHLers on the Flames blueline gets whittled down to about two.

The Stajan line had an okay game despite the score vs Edmonton and the Flames surprising 4th unit with checkers and ruffians has been the only one to really outplay the opponent consistently the last week or so. You can tell the shifting gears of the organization and club hasn't really altered their lives or focus on the ice - they keep plugging away in the same fashion as always. Kudos to them all.

The Opponent

It's the Sharks. They have Thornton and Pavelski and Marleau and Boyle and Burns and...well you get the idea. They're a much better team than the Flames are currently. If they don't win tonight they should be ashamed.

Sum It up

The season is over. What's left on the ice is this evening perfunctory. Keep your eyes on the out of town scorebaord, though.

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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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#101 clyde
April 05 2013, 10:12PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Feasters comments after signing Cervenka

Our scouts in Europe identified him as someone who could slot into our top six forward group and play in the NHL as a top two line centre. John Weisbrod went to see him play early in the KHL Playoffs and came away confirming everything we had heard from our scouts in Europe.

Swing and a miss?

Hopefully those same scouts had no input in the Jankowski pick.

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#102 RickT
April 05 2013, 10:13PM
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So, I had a thought that made me feel uncomfortable but I am going to share it.

I don't like the idea of Glencross as a Captain (those bad penalties and streaky), and Gio is not the same as he was last year (huge step backwards? why?) - but Stajan has seen a resurgence since getting his confidence back.

What about Stajan for Captain? Matty Franchise? Is he the best option right now? He was the one who has been the most outspoken and seems the most disappointed in their current play.

If so, what does that say about our team for the next little while? And who will be expected to mentor the young guys?

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#104 Vintage Flame
April 05 2013, 10:14PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Feasters comments after signing Cervenka

Our scouts in Europe identified him as someone who could slot into our top six forward group and play in the NHL as a top two line centre. John Weisbrod went to see him play early in the KHL Playoffs and came away confirming everything we had heard from our scouts in Europe.

Swing and a miss?

I think Cervenka will have a better year next season, but it won't be here. Which I think may be unfortunate.

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#105 schevvy
April 05 2013, 10:16PM
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Brian McGratten for captain

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#106 Eddie Shore
April 05 2013, 10:17PM
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@Kent Wilson

He reminds me of Robert Nilsson, which is not a good thing.

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#107 Vintage Flame
April 05 2013, 10:18PM
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@RickT

I'm not going to laugh quite as loudly as Kent did, but there is no way that Stajan will be or should be captain of this team.

Yes he has had a much better season, but it's still just a ... No.

It will be Gio or Glencross and personally I'm all for GlenX wearing the "C".

The dude is passionate and intense. He hates to lose like no one else and even though he take dumb penalties, wearing the "C" will force him to mature in that area.

He is also a great example of what you want from the kids that are going to be coming up.

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#108 Captain Ron
April 05 2013, 10:20PM
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RickT wrote:

So, I had a thought that made me feel uncomfortable but I am going to share it.

I don't like the idea of Glencross as a Captain (those bad penalties and streaky), and Gio is not the same as he was last year (huge step backwards? why?) - but Stajan has seen a resurgence since getting his confidence back.

What about Stajan for Captain? Matty Franchise? Is he the best option right now? He was the one who has been the most outspoken and seems the most disappointed in their current play.

If so, what does that say about our team for the next little while? And who will be expected to mentor the young guys?

Gio or Tanguay or Cammy before him

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#110 schevvy
April 05 2013, 10:21PM
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Guys, Iggy will be captain next year. If he wins the cup in Pitt, and re-signs obviously.

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#111 clyde
April 05 2013, 10:24PM
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Jarnkroc with 2 assists and Jurco with an assist versus Abby tonight. One or both would have been in a Red Wing package for JBO. Too bad.

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#112 Captain Ron
April 05 2013, 10:24PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

I'm not going to laugh quite as loudly as Kent did, but there is no way that Stajan will be or should be captain of this team.

Yes he has had a much better season, but it's still just a ... No.

It will be Gio or Glencross and personally I'm all for GlenX wearing the "C".

The dude is passionate and intense. He hates to lose like no one else and even though he take dumb penalties, wearing the "C" will force him to mature in that area.

He is also a great example of what you want from the kids that are going to be coming up.

Yes very good choice for Captain.

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#114 Stockley
April 05 2013, 10:25PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

I'm not going to laugh quite as loudly as Kent did, but there is no way that Stajan will be or should be captain of this team.

Yes he has had a much better season, but it's still just a ... No.

It will be Gio or Glencross and personally I'm all for GlenX wearing the "C".

The dude is passionate and intense. He hates to lose like no one else and even though he take dumb penalties, wearing the "C" will force him to mature in that area.

He is also a great example of what you want from the kids that are going to be coming up.

Love Glencross. Gets more done with grit guts than most guys do with sheer talent. That isn't to say he's untalented, I just admire his work ethic. Liked him as a Blue Jacket, reluctantly admired him as an Oiler, was ecstatic when Sutter signed him away. I thought he'd be a good 3rd line spark plug who'd get 10 goals a season. Fortunately he's blow my expectations out of the water.

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#115 Captain Ron
April 05 2013, 10:27PM
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I think Backlund is just beginning to show us what he can become and the ceiling is a ways away yet for him.

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#116 schevvy
April 05 2013, 10:31PM
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SJ is giving the puck away a lot. Probably not a lot of emotion for this game. Understandable. But their play is quite similar to the 2005-2010 play of the Flames against inferior competition.

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#117 Captain Ron
April 05 2013, 10:31PM
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Who is this team in Red and white. Clean breakouts, crisp passes on the tape, where did these guys come from?

Best I have seen from them in a while. Kipper looking good too.

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#119 Captain Ron
April 05 2013, 10:39PM
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@ Kent Wilson

Yeah agreed the Sharks have another gear that I'm sure we will see in the 3rd as per usual when we play them in their barn.

Babchuck riding the pine sure helps too.

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#120 Stockley
April 05 2013, 10:39PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Sharks look awful in the second. They looked kind of disengaged in the first, but were still executing. Now they are slow and clumsy.

As bad as it has been for CGY this year, there's still a few players worth a damn on this club too.

A little push back and pride is overdo.

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#121 Stockley
April 05 2013, 10:40PM
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Captain Ron wrote:

@ Kent Wilson

Yeah agreed the Sharks have another gear that I'm sure we will see in the 3rd as per usual when we play them in their barn.

Babchuck riding the pine sure helps too.

I almost wish Babchuk received the Kotalik treatment just to get him out of town. Thank god he's UFA this summer. Let him go back to the KHL so he can underwhelm them with his heavy slap shot and completely and utter lack of hockey sense.

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#123 Captain Ron
April 05 2013, 10:50PM
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@Stockley

Every time I watch him play I just can't believe how bad he really is. There is nothing to like about the guy as a player. Big shot be damned. What a life for him the last couple of years flying around for 5 million dollars doing nothing useful.

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#124 schevvy
April 05 2013, 10:53PM
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As per Steinberg, Glencross needed help off the ice after the period. He got the memo

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#125 Stockley
April 05 2013, 10:54PM
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Captain Ron wrote:

@Stockley

Every time I watch him play I just can't believe how bad he really is. There is nothing to like about the guy as a player. Big shot be damned. What a life for him the last couple of years flying around for 5 million dollars doing nothing useful.

I was hoping against hope his big ass would stay in the Ukraine after the lockout. He's huge and doesn't use his size effecitvely; which just makes him even more infuriating to watch.

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#127 Captain Ron
April 05 2013, 10:59PM
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Stockley wrote:

I was hoping against hope his big ass would stay in the Ukraine after the lockout. He's huge and doesn't use his size effecitvely; which just makes him even more infuriating to watch.

He's like the Village idiot of Hockey.

A bumbling fool if you will.

I played with lots of guys 25 years ago in beer leagues who could skate better than him. Incredible that he ever made it this far.

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#128 ChinookArch
April 05 2013, 11:00PM
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Evening Gents,

Have all the Oiler trolls letf FN alone tonight?

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#129 schevvy
April 05 2013, 11:03PM
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Bah, humbug. Or, yes!

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#130 Vintage Flame
April 05 2013, 11:03PM
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Here we go

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#133 Vintage Flame
April 05 2013, 11:14PM
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Kipper is just not a team player these days, is he??

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#134 Vintage Flame
April 05 2013, 11:19PM
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Backlund's having a strong game eh Kent?

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#135 Vintage Flame
April 05 2013, 11:21PM
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Kent what kind of game does a team have to have for the goalie to have a corsi or fenwick that is near or over 0?

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#138 prendrefeu
April 05 2013, 11:31PM
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2-1 Sharks.
Yay?

I'm confused.

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#140 Vintage Flame
April 05 2013, 11:33PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

A perfectly average game. He has the same overall corsi of the team. So if he's at 0, that means the team sawed off possession right down the middle.

Which is why Niemi is a +32 and Kipper is a -32.

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#141 Big Ell
April 05 2013, 11:35PM
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Brent Burns has 13 points in 12 games as a forward. Wow!

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#142 Captain Ron
April 05 2013, 11:35PM
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Why do I get the feeling watching this game that the outcome would have been the same if Iggy and JBO were still here.

The loss of course is beneficial.

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#143 Robert Johnson
April 05 2013, 11:50PM
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Valiant effort by your Calgary Flames (Miikka Kiprusoff) tonight. Flames fans should be happy as they got the best of both worlds with some effort from the troops and a loss.

That said, the short turn around, long 3,300 km travel, demoralizing loss and Vancouver having Friday off all adds up to....

If you own a farm, bet it on Vancouver Saturday night!

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#144 dotfras
April 06 2013, 12:00AM
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We lost, Blues won! Yay!

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#145 Victoria Flames Fan
April 06 2013, 12:18AM
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I am all for finishing the season in the basement and grabbing an exciting pick. However, I want one more win - tomorrow night. I am normally a kind man, but I have a deep and unhealthy hatred for the Canucks. I even became a Bruins fan one June not that long ago. Please dig deep and pull out one win tomorrow night. That's all I ask. I won't be able to bear a loss to THEM.

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#146 Sean Bennett
April 06 2013, 12:33AM
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I don`t have a problem with the Nucks anymore. And in fact will cheer for them, along with every other Canadian team in the playoffs. They don`t dive or complain anywhere near what they used to a couple of seasons ago. Plus,I really like Kassian and Garrisson (although the latter has had a bit of a rough year). They both bring some Canadian grit that was sorely needed on that team.

Now, when Kesler comes back all bets may be off, as the whine factor will definitely skyrocket.

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#147 Vintage Flame
April 06 2013, 12:40AM
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Post game is up folks

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#148 seve927
April 06 2013, 08:17AM
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Sean Bennett wrote:

I don`t have a problem with the Nucks anymore. And in fact will cheer for them, along with every other Canadian team in the playoffs. They don`t dive or complain anywhere near what they used to a couple of seasons ago. Plus,I really like Kassian and Garrisson (although the latter has had a bit of a rough year). They both bring some Canadian grit that was sorely needed on that team.

Now, when Kesler comes back all bets may be off, as the whine factor will definitely skyrocket.

Strangely, and I never would have believed it, and I just came to the realization as I read your post, but I agree!

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