As the Calgary Flames prepare for training camp, there seems to be one common theme we’re hearing from the team as they’ve all now arrived in the city. Whether it be individuals looking to bounce back from down years or whether guys are looking at it from a team standpoint, everyone is looking at the 2010-11 campgain as a chance at redemption. That optimistic approach will be the theme around the Flames to start the season, but eventually it has to turn into results.
It started Wednesday morning as Flames players filed into the Saddledome to check in ahead of their annual golf tournament the next day. We heard from new players, or new old players, like Alex Tanguay and Olli Jokinen. And we heard from returning players like David Moss and Curtis Glencross and Steve Staios. It continued into the next morning when the Flames teed off, as we heard from Jarome Iginla, Craig Conroy and Rene Bourqe. To a man, everyone seems motivated to erase what was a disappointing season last year. For the sake of Flames fans, we hope that words and sentiment turn into results on the ice.
I’m all for a feel good story, and in some ways the Flames would be this season. The expecations are lower than they’ve been since, well, 2003-04. After five straight trips to the postseason, Calgary missed out on the dance, and did so with a fairly disappointing span of about four months. But I have a feeling hearing Olli Jokinen talk about getting back to being a point-per game player and listening to Jarome Iginla talk about how much better the team is may get tiring throughout a three week training camp. People want to see results, and the Flames know that.
So, as glad as I am that we’re hearing this talk right now, I’m more excited to get down to training camp and the preseason. The fact that Flames players are showing a good level of positivity is good for the fans that follow them, especially knowing there is also a certain level of cynicsym out there right now. So, as this storyline plays out prior to the regular season starts, we’ll all get excited for another year of hockey at the Dome. But you can’t blame Flames fans for having that excitement dry up fairly quickly if things don’t start in some sort of positive manner. After what happened last year, even the most positive fan may wear thin on patience if the team starts poorly.
- I’m back from holiday on the West Coast of the United States. Went to see the Dave Matthews Band at The Gorge in Washington…too many Canucks fans. Can’t they just stay concentrated in their one pocket of the country? In all seriousness though, that team scares the hell out of me. FML.
- Kent is working on a stats primer for the coming season, to really try and explain some of the "advanced" numbers we can sometimes throw out on the site. I think it’s a great idea, because it took me a good three or four months to completey wrap my head around Corsi and zone start numbers…a primer like this can really be helpful.
- As we move closer to the start of the regular season, I’ll be compiliing a division-by-division breakdown to preview the coming year. For the four other Northwest Division teams, we’ll go team-by-team. Expect that over the month of September.