1. …It was neither
I guess that’s as close to realism as this franchise is going to get.
After we heard all about how the franchise was Going For It and (most of us) feared what horrible implications that might possibly have, it turns out the team stood pat at the deadline and it went by with little more than an extension for Tim Jackman, which we’ll get to in a second.
So for all the rending of garments, no, Feaster wasn’t stupid enough to sell off what meager non-roster assets the organization has laying about for a guy like Andrei Kostitsyn or whatever, which, if it’s not tacit acknowledgement that this team, if it were to sneak into the playoffs — not a guarantee — would get scalped by Detroit or Vancouver in four, maybe five, games and be golfing about a week and a half later than originally planned, at least shows he’s sensible.
Brian Burke is 1 trillion percent correct when he says the prices are absurd on deadline day, and that scared almost all GMs off moves worth noting apart from the frankly startling Cody Hodgson trade. Feaster was of course wise not to engage in that kind of bidding, which led to someone giving up a first-round pick for Paul freaking Gaustad.
But at the same time, he seemed not to be willing to trade anyone from the team (again, the Jackman re-signing), which, given the prices, likely disappoints the "rebuild" crowd, of which I am obviously amongst. Not that I believe there would have been an incredible number of bites for a Kiprusoff or Iginla, at least, not ones sufficient enough to get them out of town, but could a Jackman or a Kostopolous or someone like that have fetched something? Probably. However, if you hadn’t long ago abandoned the dream of an earnest rebuild, you’re an idiot. So there’s that.
Standing pat really is the best of both worlds. It gives the "the answers are in that room" crowd the ability to prove themselves right, and the "blow it up" crowd the ability to say they told you so when the Flames finish the year in 10th. Everyone’s getting what they want, really.
2. Speaking of Jackman
I like the re-signing. He’s a good, and now extremely affordable, player and that’s validated by so many teams (apparently) calling and asking about him on Monday.
He does okay against bad competition, which is all that’s ever asked of him, and while this season probably hasn’t gone as well as anyone would have liked, he’s almost certainly a better player than this. I’m not saying he’s a Shawn Thornton type who chips in 10 goals a season while carrying a fair amount of menace for other enforcers, but four or five goals a year seems a reasonable expectation for a guy who plays his role.
The Flames have, for the most part, used him pretty well, and it’s good to see him rewarded for it.
3. Monday’s loss shows there’s a long way to go
Okay so the other thing about the group that thinks this is a team that compete for the playoffs is that they saw their arguments in no way bolstered by Monday’s feckless performance.
Yeah, the Blues are a good team, but they’re not exactly elite in this league either, and it’s not exactly encouraging to see the Flames keep getting leads and then immediately piss them away. This time, they didn’t even have the decency to bring a lead out of the first period, conceding two goals inside of six minutes to go in the period, and that was the end of that.
Holding an opponent to 24 shots is good and all but generating 21 is decidedly not and that’s 11 straight games in which the Flames have been outshot. More to the point, Calgary got slaughtered on the dot (30-19) which is pathetic on home ice. The goals allowed were not very good and the fact that the penalty kill gave up two goals to a team that had been struggling to score on the power play can’t be encouraging.
Miikka Kiprusoff has been great this season (excepting that first St. Louis goal) but if you’re only going to score one for him, as Calgary has in three of the last five games, you’re not gonna win a whole hell of a lot.
4. Close to getting Moss back
The good news, though, is that we’re now less than a week away from David Moss’s projected return to the lineup. He’s targeted for a March 5 return, barring setbacks. That’s next Monday.
It’s one of those things teams who don’t make a significant move at the deadline say when they don’t make a significant move at the deadline, but Moss coming back really does add a "top-nine" (see also: bottom-six) forward to the lineup that has been lacking. That was likely enough for Feaster to not go out and acquire one with a pick he couldn’t afford to give, which is a good thing.
I went to the Flames’ website and it said the team had lost something like 282 man-games to injury (I’m not sure how often they update it) but with more guys coming back all the time, maybe the "this team can compete for a playoff spot" crowd will be proven right after all.
(No, they won’t be.)
5. I’m a little worried that was too negative
Here’s Jarome just to be sure.