Flames Misc. – December 13th

 

I’m feverishly working on another project this morning, but I wanted to take some time to note some Flames-related news bumping around the airwaves today.

– Jarome Iginla was named the NHL’s first star last week. The captain has had a better go of it recently due to a number of factors: being reunited with Jokinen and Glencross, playing a bunch of weak sisters, scoring a pair of empty net goals and legitimately finding his legs. I think the October/November version of the captain has finally gone away, although we should not expect the current outburt to continue: Jarome’s percentages and chance numbers stunk to start the year. Both have started to come up, the former as a matter of regression, the latter due to a mix of better play and soft as butter competition.

It’s definitely good to see Iggy hasn’t completely fallen off a cliff – his underlying numbers were amongst the worst on the club to start the season. He’s likely to settle right around the 50% mark in terms of possession and scoring chances since that’s been his territory the last few seasons.

– It was announced today that Michael Ferland and Max Reinhart were both cut from Team Canada’s WJC roster. I find Reinhart’s ouster particularly surprising given his age and the quality of his play the last season and half. Ferland was always a bit of darkhorse, so his being cut is less of a shock.

Although the Flames won’t have representation on Team Canada, Markus Granlund (FIN), Bill Arnold (USA), John Gaudreau (USA) and Sven Baertschi (SWS) are currently still on tap to play for their respective countries. 

– Finally, Darryl Sutter is rumored to be Terry Murray’s replacement for the Los Angeles Kings. Darryl was probably a better bench boss than executive during his time in Calgary and his clubs, despite generally lacking in talent, usually outshot the bad guys (mostly by suppressing shots against). I’m not sure how Darryl will adapt to coaching in the post-lock-out NHL some 6 or so years since last stepping behind the bench, but his re-surfacing in LA under ex-Sharks colleague Lombardi isn’t nearly as bizarre as it would have been had someone hired him to be a general manager again.

The Kings  are mediocre in terms of possession this year despite a roster that should, at the very least, be above average at controlling the play. They have also suffered from a rotten shooting percentage at ES, which will regress as a matter of course, but real improvement is required of a team featuring Kopitar, Brown, Gagne, Richards and Doughty.

It will be interesting to see if Darryl can up their shot ratios, assuming he’s the guy.

    • thymebalm

      Totally. He was a very good coach. I think he’d do fine in the “new NHL”. I always found him very capable in exposing other teams’ weaknesses as a game progressed.

  • thymebalm

    Was suprised that the Kings had to get permission to talk to Daryl. How long was his contract? So wouldnt that be ironic for next Flames- LA game, Sutter versus Sutter, good for TV storylines.
    Was BS both Reinhart & Ferland were the first cuts. Too bad, sounded like Ferland really wanted this. He’ll just have to win a Cup in Calgary & represent Canada in the Olympics & Worlds.

  • thymebalm

    Too bad for Ferland, espcially after reading about how much his family sacrificed to get him into hockey. I also expected Reinhart to be a near lock for the team, given his ability (at least at the junior level) to play on any of the lines.

    • amaninvan

      It is too bad. I thought Ferland had a good Red VS White game, scored a goal and looked strong. I really thought he deserved another game, at least a chance to play along side linemate Mark Stone. As for Reinhart, he had the (mis)fortune of playing with Smith-Pelly, who really stood out during the same game, and kind of stole the focus off Max.

    • flamesburn89

      I also believed Reinhart would play on Team Canadas WJC team. Seems like the kind of player that Canada would want. He could play on the 3rd or 4th lines, play against the other teams top competition, play on the penalty kill, and still contribute offensively.

      At least he gets to go back to the powerhouse in Kootenay.

    • flamesburn89

      I also believed Reinhart would play on Team Canadas WJC team. Seems like the kind of player that Canada would want. He could play on the 3rd or 4th lines, play against the other teams top competition, play on the penalty kill, and still contribute offensively.

      At least he gets to go back to the powerhouse in Kootenay.

  • BobB

    Speaking of the WJC. Can someone tell me how the Connelly hit on Howden was a bad hit?

    I understand that maybe you might let up in the camp, but I have no idea how it’s a bad hit.

    He’s against the boards, with his back to the boards, shoulder down, no jump. People are saying it’s late but it’s clearly before the whistle based on the TSN highlights…

    I don’t agreed that we’re “pussifying” hockey in general, but I don’t see how that’s a bad hit.

    (Disclaimer… I can’t see the puck, but I assume he has it in his feet/on his stick)

  • RexLibris

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Ferland and Reinhart being cut from the team. Some very good players have been cut from the national squad in years past because their development hadn’t reached the peak yet, or they were seen to have skills duplicated at other areas of the roster. The question usually becomes “what will they do with it?”. Some players take it and run, using the experience to fuel them, others take it personally and sulk.

    Besides, this tournament is in a development model. Ryan O’Marra and Darren Helm both had terrific tournaments in their respective years and were projected, based on those performances, to be top 6 forwards. Sean Burke was one of the best international goalies Canada had ever dressed. I understand the disappointment, but instead, focus on their next two months’ performance.

  • RKD

    As a coach Darryl Sutter lead the Calgary Flames to game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.

    The year after the lockout, the Flames won the NW and finished third in the West only to be eliminated by the Ducks in the first round. Kent, that was post-lockout.

    If the Kings hire Sutter, Jan. 14 will be battle of the Sutter brothers round 1. Darryl vs. Brent.

    • The Flames won the division that year because Kiprusoff was the best goalie in the league.

      The team also good at limiting shots against that season, but also fairly lousy in terms of doing anything at the other end. Sutter’s teams have been decent defensively most of his coaching career, but only once have they been amongst the top-10 in scoring (once in SJS). Usually they finish around 20th.

      Being a trap/defense/build from the net out team is somewhat anarchic in the post-lock out NHL. The best teams dominate possession and they have good to great forwards. Modern coaches also work the benches pretty actively.

      Defense/goalie oriented hockey was sensible in the dead puck era. Less so now. What’s more, the Kings issue isn’t limiting chances against, it’s scoring. Some of that is percentage based, but they were also lackluster at driving the play under Murray relative to expectations. Sutter’s challenge isn’t instilling a defensive system in LA (which has been his primary specialty as a coach, and mostly in a different era of hockey) it’s getting the team to play more in the offensive zone.

      We’ll see how he does.

      • RexLibris

        I think you meant anachronistic.

        Anarchic is my team’s defensive coverage in the final minute of a period.

        I’d agree that Darryl Sutter’s team structure blueprint had it’s best-before-date sometime around 1999 to 2003. And yeah, hiring Sutter to run the Kings might be the wrong direction. But then again we are talking about Dean “no-physical-required” Lombardi here, so who knows. Of course, what would be really funny would be to see how Dustin Penner thrives under Sutter. Seems like a marriage made in heaven to me.

        Oops, sorry, I forgot to add “~” there.