FGD: Grasping At Straws

It’s Game Day, citizens, and your Calgary Flames are mired in their worst losing skid in quite some time. There does not look to be an easy out o’er the horizon here either, as the Flames travel to the Windy City (why DO they call it that?) for an encounter with those damn Blackhawks, who apparently do not lose anymore.

On paper, things look bleak. The Hawks have won 8 of their last 9, typically do not lose at home, beat Calgary in their last meeting, and realistically should already have a 2-0 lead in the season series if not for some early season heroics by Jonas Hiller and Mikael Backlund (goddamn it we miss you Mickis).

And of course, the Flames have…regressed. We won’t get into it, we don’t do any told you so’s, partly because you all already knew this was going to happen, and like the rest of us here at Flames Nation, you hate that the Flames have planted their faces firmly into the wall even though you saw it coming. No need to pile on, we all know what’s up. We all want the fantasy to continue.

In an effort to swing the momentum around back to our heroes in white (as of course, the Hawks are wearing those beautiful yet racially insensitive red silks on this day), I’m willing to try just about anything within my control, which as we all know, is essentially zero, but that doesn’t mean the effort isn’t there. So I thought today, I’d have my wonderful friend stace, from the Battle of California (and some other blog that probably doesn’t need much mention), come in and give the Flames a word of encouragement by talking pure trash about the Hawks. Stace has absolutely no connection to the Hawks, but she is my favourite person in the world and also happens to think Chicago is boring as hell. Obviously we’re all going to want to lend an ear and hang on her every word, because that is terrific.

#FLAMS

But first, as always, we have some business to attend to. Namely the lineup for tonight, courtesy of, you guessed it, Frank Stallone Daily Faceoff.

flames

(subject to change, as this was written before the morning skate)

I think Mason Raymond has officially played every forward position on every line this season, and for those of you who are fun police, no, that’s not a serious thought. But he has bounced up and down the depth chart on each wing this year, which is actually a very good thing. Versatility is a virtue.

As you may have read, Ladi Smid is out of the lineup after being tattoed in the head by Simon Depres (or if you believe Brad May, the “chest”), and as a result, Corey Potter was recalled from the AHL. Corey Potter is not Tyler Wotherspoon and therefore won’t play, because like most of the fans, I feel like the Flames forget Potter was still even on the team. No word on how long Smid is out, but Potter might get some playing down the line, because Deryk Engelland is Deryk Engelland. Anyway, it’s the third pairing, so regardless of anything, don’t expect much.

Don’t you kinda want to see Gaudreau and Monahan on a line together, just once? I can’t be the only one.

Ramo likely gets the call tonight, and good luck to him.

#HERKS

And then, of course, there are the Hawks, and I’m curious to see what stace has to say about the boring Hawks, because let’s face it, they have Patrick Kane.

And that is terrifying.

Here’s how the rest of their podunk jerk lineup plays out, or so says Daily Faceoff, who we agree with.

hawks

The weird thing about Chicago is how great and how awful their lines are all at the same time. Kris Versteeg on the second line, Patrick Sharp on the third, Dan Carcillo in the NHL, it’s all very puzzling stuff. And what in the Good Burger is a Klas Dahlbeck? Sounds like a high end vacuum, which I guess is not a bad quality to have in a defenseman.

UPDATE: The Hawks have assigned Dahlbeck to Rockford. There is an unending amount of sadness on my part because of this.

Anyway, Toews, Kane, Hossa, Saad, Keith. Goddamn. And Corey Crawford isn’t even playing. This Hawks team is good.

Also, not that it means anything lineup wise, but the Hawks did make a trade today, sending garbage forward Jeremy Morin to Lumbus for History’s Greatest Monster, Tim Erixon. Let’s hope the ex-Flame’s time in Chicago is as fruitful as Henrik Karlsson’s was.

Seriously, stop giving Tim Erixon a chance to live his dream.

But Wait A Minute Here

As promised, stace is going to break down why the Blackhawks are boring and actually maybe bad and why no one cares about them. I feel like truer words couldn’t be written about the Hawks if the distended, posthumous corpse of Bill Goddamn Wirtz penned them himself.

Anyway, take it away stace:


I’ve been holding something in for quite a long time. It’s been eating away at my insides as if I drank sulfuric acid. There has never been a good time to get this out, so I’ve spent much of my time isolating, stewing, contemplating, losing self-worth, you know, like a good blogger tends to do. These feelings of anguish are completely overwhelming and I can’t take it anymore. I’ve come to FlamesNation to let Flames fans and the world know the thing that ails me:

The Chicago Blackhawks are boring.

Oh good gravy that felt good to say. The Blackhawks are boring, I cannot stand watching them. I know what you’re thinking, “but they’re one of the best teams in the cap era!” “They have the potential of being the next great sports dynasty!” Yeah, I don’t care about those things at all. “Jonathan Toews is one of the best all around players in the league!” How many times do I need to emphasize that I don’t care? “Patrick Kane wore a CAPE!” I. Don’t. Care. “You’re just jealous that they’ve won two cups!” I’m jealous that Carolina won a cup too, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t awful to watch.

I didn’t always used to feel this way. Once upon a time, Chicago was interesting to watch. I watched them singlehandedly disassemble my beloved team in the Western Conference final in 2010 and then continued to watch them win a Stanley Cup a couple weeks later. Did it suck? Sure, but it’s same shit different day for us Sharks fans. The point was, although that playoff run was painful, it was still great to see a team go through such a long and painful drought to achieve greatness.

I don’t hold many grudges against teams, my hatred is more geniune and pure than that. The Sharks have been eliminated by twelve different teams in the playoffs in their 23 years of existence. I don’t hate any of those teams because of the playoffs except for maybe the Dallas Stars and the Los Angeles Kings, naturally. I hate teams not due to a single incident, but for a compiled series of events. I also hate teams because they are boring. I hate Chicago.

Thhhheeeiiiirrrrr ggggaaammmeeesss ggggooooo bbbbyyyy ssssssooooooo sssslllllooooooowwwwww. The only time they’ve been truly exciting in the past couple seasons was in that series against Los Angeles during last year’s playoffs. If the Hawks played like that all the time, maybe I would hate them a little less, but they don’t, so I hate them more. Don’t tease me by acting like you’re all exciting Chicago, and then engage in a major snooze fest for 82 games in the regular season. “Bu-bu-but the fancy stats, bu-bu-but the poncho!” I don’t caaaareeeeeeeee. Good for them that their underlying numbers are great. They are boring and dumb and I hate them.

I like the spontaneity of the game. I like tire fires. I long for the unpredictable results. Chicago is none of these things and they’re the worst. Nobody cares about prolonged success. Nobody is happy for you. Their fans continue stroking the cock of their team with every seemingly perfect pass and beautifully executed dump in. Every misplay by the hands of another team is a canvas and the Blackhawks are Monet. Every save that Corey Crawford makes is as if George Harrison played “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” for the first time. Every time Teuvo Teravainen takes a breath in Rockford, birds fly in to comb his hair and help him clean his cottage in the forest.

Stop trying to convince me that your team is *above* doing stupid things. Stop trying to convince me that this team is such a blessing to my eyes. Stop trying to convince me that they saved hockey. The only thing that they saved were themselves from getting moved to one of the sunbelt states. To quote Oscar Wilde, “most people are boring and stupid,” and I’m convinced that he is speaking of the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans.

I like the Sharks because I never know what to expect. It’s exciting even though they might shork, it’s great when they don’t shork. The Flames are having an extremely unpredictable year and it’s been a treat for their fans and people like me who are on the outside looking in. Even Edmonton’s disasterous season has been a pleasure to watch because you never know what ridiculous thing is going to happen next. Chicago will limp into the playoffs with their not-special style of play and everyone will continue sucking at the teet, showboating their way to the Western Conference final as I roll my eyes until they fall out of my head.

Conclusion

the lion and the lamb Isaiah 11  6

Brandon Bollig sucks. If I have to hear about him and his 6 minutes against his former team one more time I’m going to murder every lion I find and feed it to the world’s supply of sheep.

Outside of that, let’s just really pray to the PDO Gods or Lanny’s mustache that luck starts swaying back towards Calgary’s sticks, because it’s way more fun to enjoy the entirety of this decade long case of Oilers schadenfreude when the Flames are putting up W’s at the same time. Also because of building a playoff contender or whatever or something.

Mostly the Oilers thing.

Anyway, the good thing about Chicago is they’re not a part of that hellish Eastern Time Zone, an abomination on this planet if ever there were one, so the game is at a close-by Central Time 6 PM. Of course, it’s on a Sunday so you don’t have to race home in rush hour and cut off city buses to make it home for puck drop, so I guess it’s all moot. You are the worst, Eastern Time.

And so are the Hawks. Seriously, they hate Native Americans and Buffalo can drivers, and the entire fan base would all probably jump at the idea of stoning Eric Daze to death in the middle of Burnham Park for the shot at one more Stanley Cup before the St. Louis Blues finally overtake them in the Central Division.

All this is a roundabout way of saying go Flames. Do it for Eric Daze, and do it for the good of humanity. And do it for us, because everyone wants to talk about a five game losing streak about as much as they want to talk about Larry Heather’s political aspirations.

That’s an awfully bizarre note to end an FGD on, so I guess, on closing all I’ll say is Go Flames.

And San Dimas High School Football Rules!

  • Burnward

    Glencross is simply dreadful. Even when he wasn’t putting the puck in the net, he was responsible defensively but this year he’s awful in his own end and has turned the puck over three times at his own blueline tonight. He really needs to it going.

  • Colin.S

    Flames have played two solid periods so far. Couple close calls on the Flames end but the D and Hiller have both been pretty good. Another period like the first two and the Flames should walk away with at least a point.

  • prendrefeu

    …Kinda feeling like GlenX should get traded or dropped down to Addy, bring up another shot of youth. Ferland or Poirier.

    Is it just me or does it seem very evident that the team played better, more cohesive, when the vets were injured?

    • Cool Story, Brodie!!!

      Traded perhaps. “Dropped down to Addy” means you must put him on waivers and you will lose an asset in return for nothing! Poor strategy.

  • RKD

    What a total cluster with the goalie pulled. . Passes all kitty wompus and a disaster. Not a single chance. Oh well..moving on. Get rid of bollig and mcgrattan and call up wolf for muscle. His numbers are rather good and he isn’t putting up with anything. I like his attitude on hockey fights. Com

  • RKD

    When the vets came back they knew they had a guaranteed roster spot and therefore no incentive to fight to earn their spot back. That type of lack of motivation could be contagious in the dressing room. A lot of the younger players who got displaced due to the return of Stajan, Raymond, and Colborne are probably pissed off internally. That can change the dynamic of a dressing room in a real hurry. Raymond has been pointless thus far, Colborne and Stajan only have 1 assist each to show for.

  • FeyWest

    You know what advanced stat they should track. Time played with goalie pulled. It predicts shittyness of team in that they are losing when the game ends. The metric of that is undeniable. Also J Toews is a douche and I’d like to punch P Kane. I’d actually really like to punch P Kane and f his playoff side steps. What an asshole!

  • RKD

    Couple of thoughts: 1) One of the few games that the opposition made the Flames look slow (at times). That Hawks team is quick and their transition is deadly; 2) JG continues to play well but those moves 4 feet inside the offensive blue line are killers when they don’t work out; 3) Might be a good time to look to move Wideman. Never been a fan but he’s got the stats this year and should be tradeable for a decent return. Keep going hard boys and let’s see the youngsters very soon – get Ferland back and bring up Wotherspoon and a few of the other kids.

  • FeyWest

    Were just getting all these losses out of the way now. “When you eat you gotta save the best for last” just getting ready to go on a tear. Don’t get me wrong I’m always optimistic but not ignorant. Calgary’s getting burned on the finer points by some hot teams and strong teams. Keep taking notes and refining our game, always something to learn and grow off of losses to get better.

    Felt bad for Johnny hitting a rough patch on ice there for the giveaway, not poor play just poor luck.

  • RKD

    You know what I think? I think that you should track this as an advanced stat. Minutes played with goalie pulled. It’s highly predictive of teams likely to be losing. Also I hate J Toews. Captain Serious is a douche. And Patty Kane I’d punch that guy for sure. I really hate that guy. Playoff sidesteps….. Stairway to the mouth of the NHL player most likely to blow me. I think that the flames need to fight more. If they don’t win and kick no ones ass I’m not happy however if they do win and kick no ass I can live with it but losing without fighting? Why even watch. yeah yeah yeah syntax spelling sentence structure all wrong doesn’t change the fact that the hawks are homos

  • RKD

    What are you a-holes censoring me? You have a writer with a synonym for masturbating to porn rags and I can’t call J Toews a man humper? Eat it blow job. You probably listen to Oasis and call your underwear Jenifer.