Now THIS is how you tank properly.
After being rather disappointed to see how the team handled its personnel decisions (too well) on this recent road trip, it’s good to see Brent Sutter go back to what brought the Flames to the basement: insane line combinations.
Brendan Morrison centering Iginla and Tanguay? Check. Olli Jokinen anchoring the Bourque-Kotalik group? Check. Moving David Moss off the ultra-effective fourth line, which is one of the few that’s been producing with regularity of late? Check and mate.
Hell, they’re even letting Kipper have this one after giving him the ol’ hook in his last two starts due to their general terribleness. AND Cory Sarich returns to fill the much-needed role of defenseman who turns it over at the blue line. The Flames haven’t had that for a while.
Finally, we’re back to blowing it up good and proper, and against a team that Calgary has trouble with, backed by a goalie it can’t solve. What could possibly go wrong?
Interestingly, and a bit counterintuitively, Minnesota has been playing pretty well of late. It has done so by getting strong performances out of their few good players and excelling at special teams. Overall, as Kent pointed out this morning, that is the opposite of what Calgary does, and that, too, bodes well for a loss.
Am I being too negative? Probably. As I’ve said before, I advocate blowing this team up, from orbit, if necessary. It deserves nothing less, and the more losses that are assured, the better position this team will be in to move forward. I’m kind of surprised no one’s advocating this more vociferously, but then there’s a little less than half a season to go yet and that’s not the best way to ingratiate oneself to a fanbase.
Plus, in advocating a fire sale and supreme tank-job, I have to recognize that Calgary wouldn’t even have a real reason to fully commit without first trading for some borderline NHL-level prospects. Who would play out the string otherwise?
It’s a tough situation, I know. But it’s one that needs to be done. This lineup sheet could be a hell of a good start.