FGD: Hey, How About A Goal?

bookofloob
January 09 2014 02:37PM

 

 

 

Your Calgary Flames return home tonight, fresh off a sad, tiny road trip where, well okay that Colorado game was great, but goal scoring, as I'm sure you've noticed, continues to be down. After falling 6-0 to the Coyotes in the hockey metropolis that is the great state of Arizona, the Flames have now been shutout 4 times in the past 6 games and scored only 5 goals in that same span.

Needless to say, that is a pressing concern.

And as that old saying about how things get worse before they get better, well brother, things are about to get worse before they get better. The Flames welcome the St. Louis Blues to the Scotiabank Saddledome tonight, and if we're all lucky and send a prayer to all our respective deities (mine's German Titov), we mayhaps see a Flames goal or two tonight.

Maybe. We'll see.

The Offensive Dynamo Calgary Flames

Lineups, as you know and always are, courtesy of our superpals over at Daily Faceoff, and let me tell you, those guys are all fresh sex on wheels.

  • Cammy - Backlund - Stemps
  • Byron - Monahan - Hudler
  • Galiardi - Stajan - Bouma
  • Westgarth - Colborne - McGrattan
  • Brodie - Giordano
  • Smid - Wideman
  • Butler - O'Brien
  • Ramo

More or less the lineup you'd expect to see at this point in the season, given injuries, mind numbing coaching decisions, and organizational philosophies. That second line is one I'm particularly intirgued in, as I think Sean Monahan could get a decent boost from what may be the two most consistent Flames forwards over the past 5 or 6 games. We all know Monarail has struggled a lot since returning from injury, partly because he wasn't 100%, so maybe now that he's healthy that line could be dynamic.

Anytime I see Backlund at 1C I get giddy.

Expect to see a lot of Gio and Brodie tonight. Obviously they're just the two best defensemen on the team and the club's best shutdown option, but also just because the Blues are good and the rest of these guys are more or less scrubs (not you Dennis, I love you). Could be a long night for that duo.

I don't know if Stone Cold Matt Stajan (pictured above), has any designs on exacting revenge on David "Dave" Backes for his terrible knee on knee hit in overtime the last two times these teams hooked up, but supposedly they're friends somehow and if the Franchise has any competitive juices in him at all (and we know he does), well...let's just say I'll be paying extra attention when the two of them are on the ice together.

Karri Ramo is not Reto Berra and that's a good thing.

The St. Louis Bloos

  • Schwartz  - Backes - Oshie
  • Sobotka - Berglund - Tarasenko
  • Paajarvi - Roy - Stewart
  • Morrow - Lapierre - Reaves
  • Pietrangelo - Bouwmeester
  • Shattenkirk - Jackman
  • Cole - Leopold
  • Elliott

Damn, son.

What you're looking at is basically the entire collection of every Olympic country's roster. That is a good looking lineup, and it's easy to see why the Blues are tied for third overall in the whole entire NHL. I mean that 4th line is pretty junky and you kinda see why Calgary would be countering with Westgarth and MccGrattan tonight (aside from they were going to do it anyway), but the Blues in general are a pretty physical team, and I expect a chippy affair tonight. Old school stuff, should be a lot of fun to watch.

Jaro Halak is currently on the shelf, so the Blues turn to one of the other two goalies they've always been comfortable starting. Brian Elliott and Jake Allen are clear steps down from Halak, but the Blues are good enough that no one's ever really been able to notice. Still, if the Flames want to pop a few tonight, it's probably better that Halak's not the one standing in their way.

Playoff Implications

Reinhart or Ekblad?

Players to Watch

I already touched on this, but let's go with Sean Monahan.

Assuming there's any kind of line matching going on, and Ken Hitchcock loves him some matchups, I have no idea who Sean's going to be going nose to nose with all night, but there's not a lot of options to shelter him. That said, I think he's in the best position possible to succeed tonight, and with some nicely skilled players in Byron and Hudler, there's a good chance we see him on form. He did score the other night against Colorado, and hey, he hasn't been bad lately, so maybe he's getting his nice looking rookie campaign back on track. Tonight's game should be a good test for him and the organization to see how his development has come along.

Also, goons. Lots of goons playing tonight. It's going to be a #GRITCHART heavy kind of night.

LE Fin

I think if the Flames scored one goal tonight, the way things have been going, we'd be happy. If they scored two, there might be a parade. I know a lot of fans are ambassadors of Tank Nation, so they're happy to see the way this season is going. Personally, I don't think they're tanking, they're actually just bad enough on merit to be challenging for that first overall pick.

Somehow I feel better about that. I'd sure like to be able to write these FGDs someday and talk about how the team is right in the thick of a division lead. Someday, friends, someday. That bright future horizon is not as distant as it looks right now, I promise you that.

01f20cee6c900dc633fe87a421630f41
The Book of Loob is the Nation's resident expert in flim-flammery and twaddle. An unabashed Flames fan, when BoL is not intellectually bankrupting Flames Nation, he can be seen rooting for Blair Jones, often to excess, at Book of Loob. Follow him on twitter here.
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#1 Flames4Life
January 09 2014, 03:01PM
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Why would Burky and the boys even contemplate holding on to the first round pick? There are tons of teams out there who would kill to have it, and with all the hype this year you know that they'd overpay. That pick plus one of our skilled forwards like Schwartz of Sobotka should be able to net us a solid asset like Zdeno Chara? How good would our defense look with him in the lineup? Boston would love to get a high end first round pick this year after letting Seguin go for nothing.

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#2 Ryan Pike
January 09 2014, 03:28PM
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I miss Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey.

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#3 Byron Bader
January 09 2014, 04:18PM
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Two trashes on Wayne Gretz 3D hockey. Come on now!

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#6 RKD
January 09 2014, 09:27PM
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How soon before a Flames fan throws their jersey on the ice?

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#7 Parallex
January 09 2014, 03:11PM
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Hey... someone on the Flames finally realized that having goons dragging down multiple lines is a bad thng. Congratulations, you get a cookie whomever you are.

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#8 Byron Bader
January 09 2014, 03:36PM
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Cripes. Their fourth line has a guy who's gotten 20+ goals seven times (past his prime obviously), an effective pest at center and a guy who can drop them who's also effective enough. We have the Dancing Bear Squared and Joe Colborne. Wouldn't be shocked to see their 4th line put up 2 or more goals on us with their five minutes of play. Hope not.

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#9 cunning_linguist
January 09 2014, 04:25PM
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Blues defeat Flames 6-5 in regulation. Monahan gets a hatrick and 2 assists, Backlund gets 2 goals and 3 assists, and both young centers cement themselves in Hartley and Burke's good books for lots of ice time and good linemates. McGrattan destroys Backes for the hit on Stajan. Whilst McGrattan is in the box, Lapierre lays a cheap hit on Matt Stajan because it seems to be Stajan's job to receive dirty hits. Westgarth then proceeds to beat the living daylights out of Lapierre. Paul Byron then goes end to end to set up a Monahan goal. He is largely untouched and unbullied because we have shown St Louis our truculence and they fear us. Meanwhile, Johnny Gaudreau watches the game from his dorm room at BC. Noticing that a small player like Byron is surrounded by beef and able to play his game, he instantly decides he will sign with the Flames at the conclusion of this season, and texts back Burke to say "I love you too".

After the game, Peter Chiarelli calls Burke and says "we would like the best player from the 2012 draft". Burke then brokers a deal to send them Jankowski for Iggy (so he can retire a Flame) and a 1st round pick. After news of this leaks to the media, Burke announces he has instead traded Jankowski to Pittsburgh for Oli Matta. Burke then announces that he has changed his mind about size and truculence and will instead build a Calgary Flame team out of a proper balance of skill, speed, hockey sense and perhaps a sprinkle of pugnacity and testosterone.

At least that's what I'm hoping for.

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#10 Taylor McKee
January 09 2014, 06:13PM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

I miss Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey.

Best. Game. Ever.

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#11 Bean-counting cowboy
January 09 2014, 04:32PM
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Is it odd that I find myself hoping the Oilers didn't suck so bad so we could finally one-up them at the draft table next year?

I mean c'mon Oilers, how can you suck that bad for that long. If we draft 3rd and them 2nd and one of either Reinhart or Ekblad end up being studs, I'll be pissed.

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#12 Baalzamon
January 09 2014, 05:35PM
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Flames4Life wrote:

Why would Burky and the boys even contemplate holding on to the first round pick? There are tons of teams out there who would kill to have it, and with all the hype this year you know that they'd overpay. That pick plus one of our skilled forwards like Schwartz of Sobotka should be able to net us a solid asset like Zdeno Chara? How good would our defense look with him in the lineup? Boston would love to get a high end first round pick this year after letting Seguin go for nothing.

I don't understand this comment.

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#13 the forgotten man
January 09 2014, 09:09PM
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Westgarth is a waste of oxygen out there...slow, cumbersome and specializes in taking penalties...instead bring up a young body from Abby and let him skate.

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#14 seve927
January 09 2014, 09:25PM
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I like how Burke has fixed the problem Feaster had of blowing leads.

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#15 Carlizzle
January 09 2014, 09:57PM
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Paper bag night at the dome on Saturday, it's gonna get ugly.

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#16 EugeneV
January 09 2014, 10:37PM
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cunning_linguist wrote:

Blues defeat Flames 6-5 in regulation. Monahan gets a hatrick and 2 assists, Backlund gets 2 goals and 3 assists, and both young centers cement themselves in Hartley and Burke's good books for lots of ice time and good linemates. McGrattan destroys Backes for the hit on Stajan. Whilst McGrattan is in the box, Lapierre lays a cheap hit on Matt Stajan because it seems to be Stajan's job to receive dirty hits. Westgarth then proceeds to beat the living daylights out of Lapierre. Paul Byron then goes end to end to set up a Monahan goal. He is largely untouched and unbullied because we have shown St Louis our truculence and they fear us. Meanwhile, Johnny Gaudreau watches the game from his dorm room at BC. Noticing that a small player like Byron is surrounded by beef and able to play his game, he instantly decides he will sign with the Flames at the conclusion of this season, and texts back Burke to say "I love you too".

After the game, Peter Chiarelli calls Burke and says "we would like the best player from the 2012 draft". Burke then brokers a deal to send them Jankowski for Iggy (so he can retire a Flame) and a 1st round pick. After news of this leaks to the media, Burke announces he has instead traded Jankowski to Pittsburgh for Oli Matta. Burke then announces that he has changed his mind about size and truculence and will instead build a Calgary Flame team out of a proper balance of skill, speed, hockey sense and perhaps a sprinkle of pugnacity and testosterone.

At least that's what I'm hoping for.

early favorite for post of the year.

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#17 EugeneV
January 09 2014, 10:44PM
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chillout wrote:

the blues traded keith tkachuk at least 7 times at the deadline. so they got many assets in return without going full tank

It was actually only once, but this is what the Thrashers paid for 22 games and 18 points from Tkachuck.

On February 25, 2007, Tkachuk was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers for Glen Metropolit, a 1st round pick in 2007, a 3rd round pick in 2007 and a 2nd round pick in 2008.

Makes me wish Don Waddell was still around for Burke to Sack and Pillage.

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#18 EugeneV
January 09 2014, 10:47PM
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Brent G. wrote:

The comment on Sobotka and Schwartz makes me think it's a really poor attempt at trolling by a person who literally knows nothing about hockey (maybe a computer?) lol

Or someone who watches games by looking at stats and never actually "watches" the game.

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#19 EugeneV
January 09 2014, 10:50PM
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seve927 wrote:

I like how Burke has fixed the problem Feaster had of blowing leads.

Trade ban just ended.

Also, do you think that a trade of any magnitude doesn't take a bit of time to set up?

I also think he is happy to be where they are in the standings, and doesn't want to rush anyone up from Abbotsford. Look what lots of AHL gmae time has done for Byron.

Let the guys stay on the farm, and take our time making any deals. Look what happened with JBo last year when Feaster gave him away without getting offers from every possible team before jumping into bed with the Blues.

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#20 EugeneV
January 09 2014, 11:02PM
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beloch wrote:

In the last two games the Flames have had 60 shots on net and 0 goals. They actually outshot the blues tonight! That's some seriously bad voodoo! It's like the Flames are in a Stephen King novel and just spat on a seemingly harmless little old lady!

Cammaleri is the ONLY player on this team with a goal scoring acumen. Nobody else could even score in the Minors or Junior, so what do you expect?

So it now appears that the majority of posters today what the team fixed "RIGHT NOW" rather than the rebuild taking a natural course?

That's easy, Just start giving away tomorrow for today so we can compete to get into the playoffs, just like we did since 1995. SOOOOOO CLOSE..not!

Be patient and hope it only takes a couple of years like Chicago or Pitts.

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#21 EugeneV
January 09 2014, 11:05PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

what's weird is Burke fired Feaster for not doing this fast enough. What has Burke done since?

Westgarth. yeah.

this streak of futility has to be some kind of record... it really is horrible.

?????????????????????????

Seriously????????????????

T......W......A......T!

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#22 EugeneV
January 09 2014, 11:08PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

what's weird is Burke fired Feaster for not doing this fast enough. What has Burke done since?

Westgarth. yeah.

this streak of futility has to be some kind of record... it really is horrible.

Ken Holland himself couldn't fix this team in a month and you think Burke could do it inside of a month in which no trades could be made for 3 weeks?

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#23 mk
January 09 2014, 03:02PM
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The more I see that shop of Stajan, the more I think he could do with some juicing... :)

I like how the Blues are constructed as a team - lots of players who are more valuable than their box stats indicate. But screw 'em - let's see some goals boys!

GFG

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#24 Lordmork
January 09 2014, 03:19PM
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To me, the Calgary lines look about as good as they could be with the current roster. Is that because Hartley has finally figured out which of his players are good, or is it just random chance?

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#25 everton fc
January 09 2014, 03:26PM
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And I'm sure we'll see Reaves take on either McGrattan or Westgarth. Typical.

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#26 Justin Azevedo
January 09 2014, 03:27PM
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omg the lego sports video.

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#27 VK63
January 09 2014, 05:23PM
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My flames deity is Sergei Priakin. When others signed skilled Russians the flames went out on a limb and signed a no account grinder.

So.. prayers to the grinder!!

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#28 suba steve
January 09 2014, 05:29PM
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VK63 wrote:

My flames deity is Sergei Priakin. When others signed skilled Russians the flames went out on a limb and signed a no account grinder.

So.. prayers to the grinder!!

It was more that the Soviets decided to let Priakin go, and he was the first, not that the Flames were chasing after him. And not to long after they let Makarov come over, and that worked out pretty well (especially for Gary Roberts).

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#29 mattyc
January 09 2014, 07:31PM
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speaking of train-wrecks... we may very well outdo the PHX performance.

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#30 Carlizzle
January 09 2014, 09:13PM
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Deja vu all over again 4 goals on 23 shots, exactly the same from Phoenix and Phoenix finished that game with 28 shots. Now 5-0 on 25 shots.

What now Burke??

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#31 Keith Fredlund
January 09 2014, 09:14PM
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Are they still the hardest working team in the league? It sure doesn't look like it lately. Another rough one. Coach?

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#32 travis
January 09 2014, 09:30PM
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Ahh. Finally, their true colours. It's about time we bottomed out. We need high end skill, and no other way, than drafting it.

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#33 Carlizzle
January 09 2014, 09:31PM
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Hartley still has the same stupid look on his face, like he knows what is coming, or is it? I thought that he was gone after the last disastrous homestand. What else has to happen in order for something resembling a positive change and a step in the right direction for the development of the organization? What is further down than rock bottom?

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#34 RKD
January 09 2014, 09:41PM
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RexLibris wrote:

That was so last year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ4_6QV2nhQ

I was only referring to it because of the recent event in Shelbyville.

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#35 Burnward
January 09 2014, 09:41PM
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@KetchupKid

It can't get worse.

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#36 beloch
January 09 2014, 09:42PM
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In the last two games the Flames have had 60 shots on net and 0 goals. They actually outshot the blues tonight! That's some seriously bad voodoo! It's like the Flames are in a Stephen King novel and just spat on a seemingly harmless little old lady!

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#37 RexLibris
January 09 2014, 09:48PM
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@KetchupKid

They play Pittsburgh tomorrow night and Chicago on Sunday.

Moving ahead in the standings would mean winning both games.

I'm not putting money on that happening.

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#38 Baalzamon
January 09 2014, 09:49PM
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what's weird is Burke fired Feaster for not doing this fast enough. What has Burke done since?

Westgarth. yeah.

this streak of futility has to be some kind of record... it really is horrible.

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#39 KetchupKid
January 09 2014, 09:50PM
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@RexLibris

Heh. You've cheered me up Rex.

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#40 seve927
January 09 2014, 09:58PM
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mattyc wrote:

We haven't had a lead to blow in a while so that's 'progress' right?!?

Yep, who'd have thought his sweeping changes would take effect so quickly and effectively?

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#41 Byron Bader
January 09 2014, 03:37PM
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@bookofloob

Big ups on the Wayne Gretzky's 3D hockey lead off. Brought me right back to the days of 1997.

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#42 suba steve
January 09 2014, 05:16PM
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bookofloob wrote:

The "Blues Style" rebuild is the rebuild model I prefer over all other recent rebuild styles, though Colorado's looks pretty good too. There's nothing overly flashy about what the BLues have done, they've just brought in quiet, effective young players and added the right personnel to coach them along.

Never tanked for a top tier pick along the way. As an entity that's just a nice looking roster. The Flames are more than capable of executing something similar to that.

I'm just not entirely sure how the Blues style rebuild differs from what the Flames seem to be doing.

Blues had 9 first rounders in five years (2006-2010), drafting anywhere from first overall (in 2006) to fourth (in 2008) to 26th (in 2007 from New Jersey). So it's not like they never really sucked/tanked/ traded away assets/ whatever you choose to call it. When you select first (or fourth) overall, you had a pretty bad year on the ice. And when you have 4 extra first rounders in 5 years, you have stripped the cupboards bare.

So how is that different from the Flames trading for draft picks, selecting 4th this year and 1st next year, if we were to be so lucky?

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#43 RKD
January 09 2014, 05:18PM
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I went to the Blues game Dec. 23rd and that was some of the most exciting hockey I've ever seen. If the Blues get a quick lead of a couple goals, they might sit back like last time. The Flames seem to have good first periods, bad second periods and then come alive late in games. Hopefully the Blues bring out goals in the Flames like the Avs did on Monday night.

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#44 chillout
January 09 2014, 05:32PM
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@suba steve

the blues traded keith tkachuk at least 7 times at the deadline. so they got many assets in return without going full tank

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#45 negrilcowboy
January 09 2014, 06:32PM
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watching the trainwreck known as the maple leafs, the only truculence the dion is displaying is towards that towering hurricane forward nate gerbey. seems the dion realy picks his spots carefully these days.

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#46 Carlizzle
January 09 2014, 07:44PM
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2 goals on 11 shots and Halak assisted on the 2nd.

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#47 Brent G.
January 09 2014, 07:59PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

I don't understand this comment.

The comment on Sobotka and Schwartz makes me think it's a really poor attempt at trolling by a person who literally knows nothing about hockey (maybe a computer?) lol

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#48 RexLibris
January 09 2014, 08:41PM
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Liles scores and the Leafs lose badly.

I love hockey.

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#49 negrilcowboy
January 09 2014, 08:44PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Liles scores and the Leafs lose badly.

I love hockey.

amen brother, the meltdown is in full motion. whats fantastic is most of that team is locked up for 5 years.

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#50 RexLibris
January 09 2014, 08:48PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

amen brother, the meltdown is in full motion. whats fantastic is most of that team is locked up for 5 years.

I can only live in hope that Nonis decides that Sam Gagner will solve his woes and that Jake Gardiner is a lump of coal.

Seriously though, how is it that Burke hasn't pillaged this guy for all his worldly goods by now? Colborne for a 4th was a nice deal. He can't find a way to trade Ferland for Franson?

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