Random Thoughts - May 20 2013

Ryan Pike
May 20 2013 10:42AM

 

 

A few random thoughts on the world championships, memorial cup and how the Flames draft picks are settling out.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND-UP

Five Flames-related players headed over to Scandinavia for the World Hockey Championships this month. Two of them are coming home with hardware.

Jiri Hudler's Czech Republic team finished in seventh place. Hudler had five points in eight games. T.J. Brodie donned the maple leaf for the first time as part of Canada's World Championship entry, but he had just a single point in the seven games he played. Canada finished fifth.

The Finns made the medal round but bowed out in the bronze medal game, finishing fourth. Finnish back-up Joni Ortio had a good tournament, going undefeated in three starts with a 1.98 goals against average and a .897 save percentage.

Chris Butler put a slight silver lining on his so-so season with a bronze medal. Wait, shouldn't that have been a bronze lining? Anyhow, Butler had two points in 10 games for Team USA.

Finally, prospective Flames back-up Reto “Yogi” Berra showed that he has the chops to be a world-class back-up goaltender with the Swiss. He won a silver medal, going 4-0 in his four starts with a 1.00 goals against and an amazing .967 save percentage. Granted, it's “just” the Worlds, but it was pretty great for him.

MEMORIAL CUP-DATE

Meanwhile, in Saskatoon, the last meaningful hockey of the junior season is taking place in the form of the Memorial Cup tournament. Two Flames prospects are vying for the CHL's top prize. Saskatoon has split a pair of games, with Michael Ferland posting two assists thus far. He's been physical, too. The Blades finish their round robin play on Wednesday night against Portland.

Speaking of Portland, they've played once and Flames prospect Tyler Wotherspoon has zero points in a single game – which the Hawks dropped to the Halifax Mooseheads by a 7-4 score. They play tonight against the London Knights and then again Wednesday against the Blades.

If Portland wins tonight, all four teams are 1-1 after two games and things will get interesting. If Portland loses, they drop to 0-2 and basically disappear from contention already. High stakes.

FLAMES DRAFT PICKS

Well, the Blues are out. And the Penguins have a lead. What does this mean? Presuming, as I will do here, that the Kings, Blackhawks, Bruins and Penguins will be in the conference finals, here's what will happen.

- Calgary's own pick remains at 6th overall.

-St. Louis' first rounder would be 22nd overall.

- Pittsburgh's first rounder would be one of the last four picks, between 27th and 30th overall.

If the Penguins lose, though, because Chicago is the only remaining division winning team that finished ahead of them, the best that Flames fans can hope to draft with their pick is 25th or 26th. Best case is probably Chicago and Pittsburgh losing, in terms of draft picks. If that happened, the Flames would pick 6th, 20th and 25th.

Govern your cheering accordingly.

FGD WRITER RECORDS!

And on a lighter note, I (finally) tabulated the season's FGD records sorted by writer. Based on who wrote the game preview, here's how the Flames did.

I went 9-8-1, boasting a .500 winning percentage. BookofLoob was tied in winning percentage, at 1-1-0. Justin Azevedo went 3-4-1 (for a .375 winning percentage), while Nations overlord Kent Wilson went 4-8-2 for a woeful .285 winning percentage. Only Vintage Flame (0-3-0) was worse.

Collectively, the FN writing crew went 17-24-4. The OilerNation guest writers produced two Flames wins in the three games they previewed for us.

IF I WERE DRAFTING

Finally, if I were drafting as Flames GM, with the 6th, 22nd and 30th picks, here's who I would grab.

At 6th overall: Sean Monahan, from the Ottawa 67s. He's big, a center and has experience being a good player on a bad team. Much like how I enjoyed Brett Kulak carrying the mail in Vancouver (as I think it helps his development), the same can be said for Monahan in Ottawa.

At 22nd overall: Morgan Klimchuk, from the Regina Pats. For one, he's a Calgary kid, but much like Monahan, he's experienced at being a prime guy on his team. He's also a very strong three-zone player and a guy who seems will translate to the professional ranks without much hassle due to his playing style.

At 30th overall: Ryan Hartman, from the Plymouth Whalers. I've been a fan of his since I saw him make life miserable for the opposition at the World Juniors. While boasting good offensive instincts and some strong skill, I mostly like Hartman because of his insane competitiveness and how he's just a huge pain in the backside for the other team.

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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 john peart
May 21 2013, 08:13PM
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Boy, great discussions here guys. I have read a bunch about the draft options for the Flames .... exciting times. I really believe at #6 it will be Monahan or Lindholm ... and most articles say not much difference .... Lindholm and Monahan seem to be both rated as #1 centers, but not game breakers .... but given the lack of a top center I hope they go with one of the 2 ...... no way Barkov drops to us.

With the St Lou pick take Rychel ..... then Hartman .... two heavy sand paper guys that would make us a tough team to compete again !

Morrissey in place of Rychel would work .....

How could we not have taken Olie Matta last year when we had the chance ? STILL drives me nuts.

Love the debate guys .....

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#52 john peart
May 21 2013, 08:16PM
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Austin wrote:

Problem is I see Nashville taking Barkov, Carolina grabbing Lindholm, then we need to take Nichuskin. Most people won't think that's a good idea, but this guy is basically the next Malkin, or so I hope. Monahan will need a year in the AHL before he plays with the big squad. Nichuskin will play in the KHL for one more year, then come over after one. He'll be able to prove he belongs in the NHL and then we'll be good to go.

Carolina has to go with Nurse .... they desperately need D.

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#53 Baalzamon
May 21 2013, 08:29PM
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@john peart

"How could we not have taken Olie Matta last year when we had the chance ? STILL drives me nuts."

I can't speak for the Flames' brass, obviously, but I can say for myself that whenever I've watched Maatta I've been completely underwhelmed. It's entirely possible I only caught him on bad days (I mean, everyone was terrible in last year's memorial cup unless they played for Shawinigan). In any event, I think his skating is VERY overrated. His stride is awkward as hell and he doesn't generate much speed.

Of course, I haven't watched him recently, either.

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#54 Austin
May 21 2013, 08:40PM
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john peart wrote:

Carolina has to go with Nurse .... they desperately need D.

If they wanted D they could trade down and acquire more picks. Taking Nurse or Ristolainen or any other D other than Jones in the top 5 would be ridiculous. But if it happened it can only help us. There is no sense in us moving up to Carolina's spot, it's the same thing as #6 just with a better % of getting Barkov and 100% of getting Lindholm. I'd love it if they took a D this high. Just can't see it happening.

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#55 john peart
May 21 2013, 08:50PM
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@Austin

Just read an article on Bleachereport ..... has the St Lou pick being the #19 selection .... boy, really hard to figure out exactly where the pick will land .... seems to jump all over depending where you read .... anyone know for sure ?

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#56 Austin
May 21 2013, 09:10PM
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@john peart

Fairly sure it's 22. Not certain

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#57 T&A4Flames
May 21 2013, 09:19PM
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john peart wrote:

Just read an article on Bleachereport ..... has the St Lou pick being the #19 selection .... boy, really hard to figure out exactly where the pick will land .... seems to jump all over depending where you read .... anyone know for sure ?

Assuming CHI, PIT, and BOS move on we would pick 22nd. With each of them that would lose in this round, we would gain 1 draft spot.and get as high as 19th.

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#58 44stampede
May 22 2013, 03:05AM
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Two later 1st round picks and Glencross for a top 4? You take that deal and run.

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#59 the-wolf
May 22 2013, 06:36AM
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Kurt wrote:

Where does this myth about this being a deep draft come from? Its certainly not 2003... This draft was speculated to be deep 2-3 years ago but its fizzled and I don't think anyone thinks its a banner draft anymore except Flames fans.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/49838-2013-NHL-draft-lacks-depth-of-talent.html

Personally I'd rather have 1 top 3 pick instead of 8, 16, 21, 30 like some are suggesting through a trade down.

Laugh all you want at the Oilers (I do) but they have proven that 3 first rounders doesn't mean squat if they don't pan out. They had very similar positions to us in 08 and drafted Sam Gagner at 6 or 7 or whatver they had (who turned into a legit 2nd line depth player, but not a game breaker or team changer). Then they got 2 big busts with the other 1st rounders.

We can agree to disagree I guess. I don't believe volume translates to elite talent. Thats the crux of my arguments on why we need patience and a slow plan for the next 2-3 years that includes at least 1 more top draft finish (hopefully top 5 next year).

That article is baffling. By all accounts, the 1st round this year is very deep. After that, it falls off considerably which is why I don't like the idea of trading down for extra picks.

THN publishes that article btw, but in their draft preview, they call this the best draft since 2003.

So go figure.

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#60 Austin
May 22 2013, 08:03AM
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44stampede wrote:

Two later 1st round picks and Glencross for a top 4? You take that deal and run.

Unfortunately Tampa would never do that deal. We might be low balling the value that other teams put into their top 4 picks. Yzerman might take that but Feaster wouldn't offer that . I hope these ideas have occurred to him.

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#61 john peart
May 22 2013, 06:23PM
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@T&A4Flames

Many thanks for that ... first time I have read it in a way that I understand .... now I know who to cheer for ..... Go Wings Go !

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#62 madjam
May 22 2013, 07:49PM
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44stampede wrote:

Two later 1st round picks and Glencross for a top 4? You take that deal and run.

You couldn't even get that for the Oilers seventh - don't kid yourself .

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#63 44stampede
May 22 2013, 08:34PM
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madjam wrote:

You couldn't even get that for the Oilers seventh - don't kid yourself .

Yeah. I know. That's why I wrote what I did. It wasn't my proposition just giving my two cents that if that ever came up that you do it in a heartbeat.

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