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.