Flames Fan Ask – October 12, 2013



Our popular (it’s popular right?) segment Fan Ask is back for another week! This week we’ll talk 4 goal celly’s, Monahan and the Flames’ hot start – nothing really out of left field. If you want to submit a question that will appear in this weekly feature, submit something here.
So let’s start with Jumbo Joe:

What are your thoughts on Botchford publishing Thornton’s quote?
Ok, so before I answer this, for the six of you that don’t know what happened, here’s a little back story:
San Jose Sharks captain Patrick Marleau was partaking in a media scrum in the Sharks locker room and was inevitably asked about teammate Tomas Hertl’s 4 goal night and the between the legs shot he used on his fourth goal. Thornton overheard the question and was probably sick and tired of his teammates having to answer the same asinine question about it threw in his two cents.
Note: Since we here at FN are a family friendly website and my mom is looking over my shoulder as a type this, I’ve replaced any expletive words with "Jumbo Joe". Also because it’s more fun this way.
He first hollers at the reporters to "Shut up" and when the scrum turns to him, he tastefully adds “I’d have my Jumbo Joe out if I scored four goals. I’d have my Jumbo Joe out, Jumbo Joe-ing it.” Interesting. How do I do that celly in NHL 14?
Now, I’ve been in locker rooms as a player and this doesn’t even come close to touching the type of stuff said in there. After all, boys will be boys and there isn’t a time we show it more than in the locker room. Nothing is off limits, however it’s said with the expectation it stays within the confines of the room. Obviously the minor hockey I played didn’t come with the media parade that accomponies NHL teams but every single reporter in every single NHL city has heard these types of remarks from players and no one has reported it – obviously because they realize that, like Vegas, what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room.
So you can plant me firmly in the, "Botchford published the quote for the page hits and attention" group because that’s exactly why I think he did it. He’s undoubtedly heard this stuff thousands of times during his career so why did he choose to go public with this particular one? I don’t know, maybe his views have been down recently but point is, he shouldn’t have done it.
Sean Monahan, keep him or send him down?
Keep him. Not because he leads the team in scoring or because he’s a good sell for the fans, but because he’s ready to play in the NHL and he’ll develop better in the NHL than the OHL. Looking at his game through 5 games, there are only two things I can pick out as weaknesses in his game: One being face-offs and the other being the occasional slip up in the defensive zone – whether it be a lost assignment or puck battle.
Starting on the faceoff front, he won’t get better at facing off against NHL calibre centerman in the OHL, plain and simple.
The defensive zone issue should also be viewed in the same manner, in my opinion. He was praised for his effort in his own third of the ice last year in the OHL so sending him back will only yield the same result and stagnate his development. Yeah, it won’t hurt him but it won’t benefit him either. Defending against, again, NHL calibre forwards and learning on the fly in the show is the best way of going about it for a physically mature Monahan. I’m also willing to bet that the Flames will let him go to the World Junior’s in December either way so he won’t be missing out on that opportunity.
Are you surprised about the Flames’ start?
I was surprised about the Washington game but after seeing the way they played and that they were keeping the work ethic and commitment to the system consistent, I really wasn’t surprised about the outcomes of the other games. Sometimes hard work beats out skill and the 3-0-2 Flames have proved just that.
Do you think the hot start puts a damper on the rebuild and the quest for a top pick?
Ok, so I’ll answer this in two parts,
1) The hot start accelerates the rebuild rather than hurts it because they’ve established an identity and culture, and thankfully in the process have avoided being caught in the situation the Oilers find themselves in of being so used to losing without consequence that when it comes time to actually win, they can’t really find it in them to compete. At the end of the day the Flames will more than likely find themselves outside of the playoff picture, but at least they something really tangible to build off of.
2) Technically collecting points hurts their odds of finishing last but who cares?! They’re winning games and putting on a heck of a show doing so.

  • loudogYYC

    I agree with much of what you say about Monahan and I am moving quickly from the 9 and gone I started the season with to the camp that says he needs to be here to really develop, I think the next 3 games Anahiem, San Jose and LA will either confirm he should be here or he’s not ready to go against more physical and talented centers.

    While I’m impressed with the start and the way they are playing I am still not convinced that this can be maintained; the season is 82 games and I suspect they will have runs of losing that might be longer than 5 games. I also agree that developing this style goes along way in creating the culture of the rebuild.

    I hope everyone in FN has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • I’ll answer the last question a little differently…

    The Flames are 5 games into the rebuild. Five. A sample that small doesn’t have any influence on their rebuild whatsoever. When Roman Turek first arrived in Calgary, the team had one of it’s best starts in org history. Craig Button re-inked Turek for 3 more years based on those first 10 games, the team folded immediately after and stunk for the next couple of seasons anyways.

    The Minnestoa Wild led the Western Conference in points a couple of seasons ago around mid-December. They were a bottom-5 club by the time the season ended. The Edmonton Oilers have had more than a few streteches of “X” games over the last 7 years that causes commentators and fans to announce the Oil had finally turned the corner.

    This start is a blip on the radar. We really don’t know anything meaningful about this team yet.

    • BurningSensation

      I respectfully disagree with you about the timeline on the Flames ‘rebuild’.

      I start the clock with Feaster’s promotion and the trading of Regehr. It was that move that signalled the old guard was on notice, and that younger cheaper assets were going to be collected.

      Every move since then from dealing Bourque to the acquisition of more draft picks, to the inevitable trading of Iggy was being done with the intent of retooling the roster from top to bottom.

      Rebuilds for teams without young assets take time, in part because you have to rebuild the farm system, draft good young players, and develop them. We’ve just started seeing some of the results of what Feaster has accomplished since he took over.

      I for one, am excited by what he is doing and where the Flames are heading.

    • please cancel acct

      Disagree.The Identity of this team is being built before our eyes, and that is Meaningful.

      I doubt many fans believe there recent success will continue without some bumps and glitches.

    • piscera.infada

      I agree. It’s no reason to state the rebuild is done, and move on. However, I do tend to think similarly to Roatis on the idea that this does give the team something to build off of. Moral victories only carry a team so far, it’s actually learning to get points that matters. If this team can even have a few more stretches like this, this year, I think you’re flying. I don’t think there’s any acceleration to the rebuild at this point, but I have a hard time saying that because the percentages are severely skewed (something that wont keep up in the long term), it’s not a positive for the rebuild in the long term – so in short, there is a tangible benefit.

      I believe this road trip will be a wake up call for a young team. That said, if they can come together and create even more momentum you could have something special brewing – not necessarily for this season, but in the near future.

      This year needs to be about not getting too high during the highs, and not getting too low during the lows. It also needs to be about buying into the system and creating some momentum going forward – so far so good in that regard. We can’t look at this start as a harbinger of amazing-ness (not a word, yeah, I did it), but I don’t think we shouldn’t enjoy it and/or not take positives from it. It’s the same way I look at Monahan. Yes, his percentages are high, and sooner or later he’ll fall down to earth, but it doesn’t mean he isn’t playing good hockey, and it doesn’t mean he hasn’t done what he’s done.

      • everton fc

        I get a feeling this road trip will tell us a lot about this team. And that feeling is they’ll surprise the heck out of us all. They have yet to be blown out. They’ve yet to lose in regulation. People are critical of MacDonald, but he’s also made some terrific saves. Look at the defence in front of him. Not ideal. He’s done a lot. Give the guy some credit.

        Hudler and Stempniak seems very good mentors. I like the character of this team.

        A lot, so far.