Gameday Preview: Fallen Empire



(Note – Thanks to the great work Pat puts into his FGD posts, we plan to phase out the gameday preview moving forward. However, I wanted to add a few notes on the Senators today because they’re an interesting squad for a couple of reasons)

The last time the two clubs met, we considered them near mirror images of each other. A month and change since and it’s clear that the rot is further along in Ottawa than in Calgary. The Flames, for all their various faults and their dubious future, still have a number of functional money players, adequate depth and a shot to compete most nights. Ottawa, ignoring Spezza, really doesn’t. Alfredsson has given in to the ravages of time, Heatley caught the bullet train out of town and Murray has pissed away the rest of the heavy lifters the organization once boasted in spades. He’s also the guy who signed 36-year old Alexei Kovalev to a two-year, $5M per deal and decided that a doddering Sergei Gonchar was worth $5.5M for the next three seasons this past summer. Might be the worst GM in the league right now. 

Speaking of Murray, he’s also a dead man walking. Ditto Clouston. Both guys contracts are up this year and it would take a Flamesian reversal to see either one of the save their jobs. A bunch of Senators will likely be up for auction come the deadline in a couple weeks as well – Chris Philips, Jarko Ruutu (puke), Alexei Kovalev, and Mike Fisher will probably go on the block, although the return for most of them will likely be minimal.

Peter Regin, another potential trade target, is a guy who interests me personally. A sophomore who has good possession numbers over his first couple of seasons, he has been a healthy scratch more than once this season, mostly because the bounces haven’t gone his way. If he can be pried out of OTT for a later-round draft pick or something, he’d be worth a look.

The Sens are legitimately bad. They’ve bled talent and made spectcularly bad bets in the face of their failing fortunes since peaking back in 2007. Hopefully this is a future the Flames can avoid.


  • icedawg_42

    Flames just better not take them for granted, or play down to their level. I dont think they will, they seem to have matured significantly in the last couple months.

  • thymebalm

    For how much we do bash Dutter for some of the ludicris signings/deals he has made they really have remained relatively consistent and competitive since they peaked in 2004. They are always in, or close to making the playoffs in that time which is a lot more than could be said than the majority of hockey clubs in the NHL these days. The Detroits are few and far between in that consistency over that length of time.

    My point is that, the Flames easily could widdle themselves down to Ottawas level and watch an aging core with increasingly bad bets (i.e. Kotalik, Jokinen, Staios, etc.) although I truly believe they are focused on this youth movement and remaining good in the interim while building for the future. With a good scouting staff this is possible to do. I dont think you need to go the route of Chicago or Pittsburgh in a rebuild because without Toews/Kane or Crosby type of player it doesnt work. There are many many examples of teams that failed at this strategy, likely more than the ones that truly succeeded.

    Maybe I am naive but I believe Feaster and truly believe he has a plan set out that will keep them relatively competitive while restocking the cupboards without losing Iggy (a la Peter Chiarelli). There are obvious expendable parts to this team that would warrant mid level draft picks (i.e. Hagman, Bourque?)

    Ottawa is in a much worse situation than Calgary has been for a long long time; probably we would have to look back to the “young guns” for a comparable. I think they will remain competitive for the long haul year after year while looking to infuse youth into the line up. Defenders like Erixson are probably next in.

    We spend so much time looking at the average age of a team when really why should that matter? It all comes down to wins and losses and after that it truly doesnt make a difference. If they are built to compete every night it will minimize the ebbs and flows between being NHL world beaters to mediocre or worse like we have seen with Chicago; Vancouver will be next in a year or two.

  • Well crap, according to the Flames’ twitter, Tanguay is out with a concussion and Pardy is out indefinitely with an upper body injury.

    Call off the parade…

    Seriously though, the injuries are starting to pile up again, which is really bad for our attempt to squeak into 8th. Too late to tank, looks like a 9th/10th place finish again.

  • Vintage Flame

    Wow.. Tanguay out and Bourque goes from the third line to the Top line.. That’s a hellava emty net goal. It will be interesting to see how long he remains there. I think he’s on a fairly short leash.

    I would have maybe liked to see Moss moved up, but it’s pretty hard to take him away from GlenX. They seem to be playing well together as of late.

  • CitizenFlame

    Seriously, Tanguay is out? How did he get a concussion?

    We here at FN should count ourselves lucky, none of the other nations have near as much game day coverage, pre or post-game. I come here every game day (and well, pretty much every day) to get the goods going into each contest. Thanks, guys.

  • icedawg_42

    The Tanguay thing happened on the 3rd period play he got called for holding against Chi – I do not know exactly how, that’s just what’s being reported. Pardy’s out with a shoulder injury – yes, same shoulder…great…haha Vintage, I dont think he’s being promoted on basis of his performance, I think moving Borque to the top line is probably in hopes of ‘getting him going’ – someone commented on it being a way to get him away from Joker – yeah, maybe. Skill wise, when Bourque’s going he’s the logical choice. Now – how long till we see the Bouma Backlund Neimsz line on the ice for the big team??