The Gods of Time have been merciful yet again, and blessed us with a brand new week for us to toil and coast and generally not reach the lofty goals those very Gods intended of us, thus leading them a great deal of introspection and questioning as to why they grant us this luxury in the first place.
But at least this week we get an extra day off, so try not to worry about it too much.
Meanwhile, your Calgary Flames continue their path to relevancy, still on the cusp of being out of the wilderness, but tenously close to being pulled back in by the Wolves of Playoff Missing Woe, which are most certainly a thing. Man, the woods are a dangerous place. Don’t go into them. Ales Kotalik is in there.
In the midst of all this quest is appreciable trends and patterns that experts suss out and use to provide evidence driven factoids and predictive results.
I am not one of those experts.
I’m here to just list a bunch of Flames related movers and shakers and arbitrarily rank them based on things I’m mostly pretending I saw them do.
So without further adieu, here are this weeks Power Rankings. As always, they are super cereal.
20. my pal stace
stace is a Sharks fan, a blogger at Battle of Cali and with me and Jeanshorts at the never ever ever updated Canafornians blog. She’s a real trooper and has had to endure a whole case of whoopass the Flames have opened up on the Sharks this season. In her quest to deal with all that trauma, she has done an admirable job of succinctly explaining the magic powers of Brandon Bollig and alerting us to the existence of people out there with Lanny tattoos:
stace makes the list this week because she asked if she could be on it, and I said yes because I can be bought.
Also it’s really hard to come up with 20 things.
19. Willy Joosen
The Joos is a real unsung hero within the Flames organization, and I thought he deserved some accolades this week. The Flames organist, I’ve noticed really strikes a chord (sorry) to opposing fans when their team runs through the Saddledome.
And make no mistake, Willy’s Nintnedo jams are not only awesome, they are effective. Case in point:
Zelda theme is the secret weapon. Let’s go let’s go let’s go
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) February 15, 2015
The Flames tied the game up, oh, 1 minute later or so.
Zelda theme plays, Flames score.
Secret Weapon status confirmed
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) February 15, 2015
Willy is a magician.
18. Joe Colborne
ha. haha. hahahahahahahahaha. AAAAHHHHAAAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
I guess this means Joe Colborne is the go to facepuncher when Brandon Bollig isn’t in the lineup, but this tilt with NOTED PUGILIST Luca Sbisa lasted about as long as Bollig’s average TOI.
Anyway, talk among yourselves, I’m going to watch this a few more times before we move on to #17.
17. Mikael Backlund
The Swedish center and 3 time NWA Western States Heavyweight Champion had 11 shots in 3 games this week, and generated far more offense than his otherwise meager looking points tell you would ever truly dictate. He was a possession beast, zone entry master, but again, in an effort to not drive up his value before he signs a contract extension beyond this year, we’re going to bury him at #17 because he sucks and is bad.
Also apparently he’s going to get traded for Bozak, so let’s not all get too attached.
16. Harry The Hound
harry the hound
— ari (@thirtyfourseven) February 15, 2015
Harry the hound?
— Shane Struck (@ThndrStruck) February 15, 2015
— cam edwards (@camedwards1) February 15, 2015
@DaveRandorf Harry the Hound? CmoN Dave!
— Paul D’Angelo (@pauldangelo) February 15, 2015
As you can see, somehow Sportsnet broadcaster Dave Randorf managed to make the biggest mistake in a segment that featured a man proposing to his girlfriend at a sports game, which as we all know, is the world’s dumbest idea and stupid and there should be a law that anytime someone does that, the significant other has to say no and the relationship is over forever.
Anyway, yeah, Randorf bungled it, and now the Flames are 1-0 when Harry The Hound is in attendance.
Harvey the Hound was unavailable for comment, because Craig MacTavish once ripped his tongue out.
15. Karri Ramo
Karri Ramo started his first game since Medieval times against the Canucks on Saturday, and let me tell you, it was really satisfying to see him get the win after everyone tried to paint the Finnish netminder as a guy that the Flames have lost confidence in, or as a goalie who is just not very good.
Neither of these things are true, and Karri went a long way in demonstrating that in the win, even if he did give up a goal to Ronalds Kenins or whatever the hell that cyborg’s name is.
I mostly wanted to post a picture or Karri Rambo, as it’s been a while, but his play this week at least justifies my reasoning for doing so.
14. Sven Baertschi
Our favourite misunderstood youth since young Stalin, Baertschi scored a hat trick against Syracuse of the AHL last week, leading the Baby Flames who hung TEN GOALS on the Crunch, because all of Tampa Bay’s best prospects are already playing for the Bolts.
Lost in the Gore at Glens Falls was Ben Hanowski somehow going -3 in a 10-0 shutout. (This part may or may not have happened).
13. Mason Raymond
#MayRay has quietly put his game back together since being basically the worst player ever following his lengthy injury earlier this season. Raymond scored 3 goals in 2 games out in California and was an effective third liner against the Canucks on Saturday.
He scored a very pretty goal against the Sharks, but it’s this controversial marker against the Kings I’d like to highlight this week, because watching Jonathan Quick continually show what a giant manbaby he really is continues to be one of the sole sources of joy in my otherwise dim, melancholy existence:
I could watch this on loop forever. I will once I stop watching that Colborne fight video.
Happy Valentine’s Day. pic.twitter.com/P8RhCa9cSP
— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) February 14, 2015
11. Dennis Wideman
Dennis Wideman is on a three game point streak. The Trade deadline looms ever closer. Coincidence? Yeah probably.
I mean, at this stage, Wideman is really not going anywhere. He’s still putting up points, which blinds us to the fact that as a defenseman, he’s basically the Delta Airlines of the position. Much like Delta, he’s expensive and doesn’t offer much more than being offensive, so he’s not going anywhere.
He’s got a great shot. He needs to remember that. There were a few instances in the past few games where he tried to get fancy and make a pass in a location where he probably could have shot.
It didn’t look like this, but it may as well have:
“He just toe picked it” gets me every time.
10. This guy
With the E Kane trade final, WPG has now added Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford to their roster to bolster the playoff run. Not great for CGY.
— Flames Boxscore (@FlamesBoxscore) February 11, 2015
You have to admit, the FlamesNation Power Rankings do a good job of introducing you to people who want you to be aware of things you need to worry about that you never would because it’s not really a thing.
We’ve found our niche.
9. David Jones
How about this setup:
You know, David Jones may be the most easily replaced player on the team, as of late it’s hard to deny he’s been like, effective man.
Jones has found a groove on that second line with Bouma and Backlund, the latter who is of course the catalyst for this all but also just very, very terrible at hockey. If your benchmark for a second line winger is a guy who puts up 0.5 PPG, well guess what? That’s David Jones this season.
Trade him while he’s hot!
8. Lee Norwood
I got nothing, man. Lee Norwood sucks.
7. Brian Burke
start your 2015 off right by pretending Brian Burke is Blanka pic.twitter.com/LUgg6hZrDx
— Bread Frathwaite (@bookofloob) January 1, 2015
With all the discussion currently surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs downward spiral, an amazing thing I could follow forever and never lose interest, there has been a minor swell of that conversation directed at Flames President and former Leafs GM Brian Burke. Stupid things. Things like this:
Doug MacLean “why didn’t Brian Burke build the Leafs the same way he built Calgary?”
— Hope_Smoke (@Hope_Smoke) February 10, 2015
In reality, the big secret is Burke’s fingers are conspicuously absent from this iteration of your Calgary Flames. Any forward progress in this current stage of the rebuild is coming off the sticks of the players drafted by either Jay Feaster or Brad Treliving.
A general rule of thumb is when Brian Burke is not making a lot of noise, he’s busy doing something else, and that seems to be the case here.
I mean, I haven’t seen Kevin Westgarth in months!
6. Jeff Petry
The Oilers are an awful, awful hockey team, and you will never find a finer comedy than one of their games, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be paying closer attention to future Flames defenseman Jeff Petry.
Despite being burdened with the unbearable curse of wearing an orange and blue jersey. the Edmonton pivot has put up 3 points in his last 4 games – way more than Taylor Hall – and is doing everything he can to scream at the rest of the league “GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE”
The League is going to listen, Jeff. You’re going to be one of us soon.
/rubs palms together, rather menacingly
5. Sam Bennett
Terrific news, as it’s been reported that Flames 2014 first round pick Sam Bennett is essentially healthy and wearing a big boy jersey at practice this week. While he’s not ready for game action yet, he’s able to take body contact, and that’s a major hurdle to overcome before making it back into the important shit.
And as was mentioned by Elliotte Friedman this past weekend on Hockey Night In Canada, the belief is, as soon as Bennett is 100%, he’s going back to Kingston of the OHL. This is absolutely the right call, because you don’t want to have your blue chip prospect get his first taste of pro game action so shortly after such a hard injury to come back from, only to be wallpapered into the boards from behind by PROBABLY KEVIN BIEKSA.
That guy is an ogre.
Anyway, kudos to the Flames brass for uncharacteristically doing the right thing on this one. Now if only we could retroactively go back and erase any memory of Anton Babchuk ever being a Calgary Flame.
4. Olli Jokinen
The twice former Flames center was part of the return for the Toronto Maple Leafs the other day, as the Buds sent Cody Franson over to the Nashville Predators, adding to their already stacked defensive corps.
Don’t be so goddamn greedy Nashville.
For Jokinen, this is some shit right here. As you all know, the Finnish McDonald’s foodie is now 36 years old, likely in the twilight of his career, with only 6 games of playoff experience to his otherwise lenghty and impressive resume. He was on the first place team in the NHL, and looked poised to at least semi-legitimately compete for the chance to lift Lord Stanley’s drinkware for the first and presumably only time in his career.
Now he’s on a team that will not win anything ever again until the end of time if there is any justice in this world, but for Olli, that sucks.
Fortunately, he will not be a member of the Blue and White and Loser for very long. The Leafs are rebuilding (this sounds familiar), and will try and flip Olli to whoever is willing to deal something of any tangible value at all. And you all know what that means! (Johnny’s got 13 now, you’ll have to pick something else)
The best thing about Olli being in the news is having any reason at all to start posting his now world famous gifs. Bon appetit!
I miss these.
3. Lance Bouma
Boums continues to keep making us pay attention to him. We’ve discussed the game winning goal against the Canucks. We can talk about how he keeps setting new highs in TOI. We can talk about how he doesn’t look out of place as a Top 6 guy when he’s got Backlund there guiding him along. But seeing as we’re just past Valentine’s Day, let’s dig deeper into what matters most: Lance Bouma’s heart:
— Stroumboulopoulos (@strombo) February 15, 2015
Lance’s head Photoshops very nicely.
While we’re at it, we can talk about Bouma’s other organs too:
Lance Bouma blocks shots and is probably a tender lover.
— Mike FAIL (@mikeFAIL) February 15, 2015
How did Mike’s tweet not get a billion RTs there?
I guess the point is if Lance Bouma signed his donor card, there are going to be some unfair advantages to some people needing body parts should Lance ever decide that he’s going to die.
— Bread Frathwaite (@bookofloob) February 15, 2015
I’ve decided that the Gaudreau – Monahan – Hudler line is too in sync for the line to be considered a sum of it’s parts. It seems more likely to me that somewhere over the past few weeks the trio have permanently melded their brains together and now function as one single entity.
For a while it was Hudreau, but ever since putting Seanahan in that center spot over Josh Jooris, it’s been chemistry unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Or at least I’ve ever seen, I was terrible at chemistry in high school. But this line, I don’t know, did they get stoichiometry’d or something?
I don’t really care. As long as those three are together, let’s let the good times roll.
The best part of it is that Jiri Hudler has taken on the role of Dad within the group, which is hilarious, because have you ever seen pictures of how Jiri Hudler spends his free time?
If you haven’t, well I apoligze for this:
Right? He has horrible posture. Don’t want to teach the kids that.
1. Steve Montador
RIP Monty 🙁
Dana Murzyn is not a doctor.