April 19 2013 12:10PM
The Ducks are in town tonight. They are this season's candidate for the "Wild Award" - the team who wins despite getting handily outshot. Anaheim is riding great SH% and SV% this year despite completely lackluster possession numbers and is a good bet to crash and burn down the road as a result.
Also, Miikka Kiprusoff is in net tonight, perhaps for the final time on Saddledome ice. He had a noteworthy performance against the Red Wings, so it would be good to see him go out on a strong one again tonight. As long the team still loses, of course.
But! None of that is as important as the inaugural Charlie Simmer Drinking Game. Long discussed on twitter and in the comments here, some of us will endeavour to make the CSDG a reality tonight with some help from our friends at Tilted Kilt.
April 19 2013 08:49AM
Beyond trying to bring a more evidence-based approach to NHL analysis here, the other primary goal of my writing and criticism is to shed light on the degree to which randomness is infused in the league's results on any given night (or series of nights, that is). Mostly because without constant reminders pretty much anyone can underestimate the influence of luck.
April 17 2013 08:05AM
pic via Frances Larrede
The year is winding down and so too is the Roman Cervenka experiment. The Flames elder rookie was a guy I frequently included in pre-deadline articles as a body the team should shop, mostly because I can't see the experiment continuing beyond this season.
April 15 2013 11:23AM
(Steve MacFarlane is a veteran sports writer here in Calgary. Once upon a time he was a fixture at the Sun, but has since moved on to bigger and better things. We're trying to add Steve to the permanent roster here at FN. For now, we debut his first exclusive piece for us today. Enjoy!)
By Steve MacFarlane
The Youth Movement. It’s about time.
While covering the Flames on the newspaper beat for seven seasons — from lockout to lockout — the team’s biggest problem became more and more evident each year. Too many veterans playing the latter half of their careers. Not nearly enough kids hungry to prove deserving of a spot in the NHL. That much was obvious to everyone.
But it was a subtle side-effect of that lopsided mix of age and experience over youth and exuberance that I’ve always believed really caused the gradual disintegration of the team’s success on the ice: The players’ off-ice chemistry.
April 15 2013 08:27AM
It isn't terribly noble to wag your finger and say "I told you so", but I think this is an article that needs to be written. I spent all of last season doing my damnedest to defend Mikael Backlund from a growing chorus of naysayers in the Flames media and fanbase. The team was going through another disappointing season and Backlund wasn't really contributing, at least in the most obvious ways. The 23 year old was hurt all the time and whenever he was in the line-up, the puck wasn't going in the net for him. People in this city are highly conditioned to expect draft picks to bust, so it seemed like another failure in a long line of wasted prospects.