FlamesNation Power Rankings: A Rising Juggernaut of Sorted Lists

prankings

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:

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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.

Untitled

And make no mistake, Willy’s Nintnedo jams are not only awesome, they are effective. Case in point:

The Flames tied the game up, oh, 1 minute later or so.

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

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

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

ramofirstblood

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

svenwars

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.

12. Scorch

#NeverEverEverForget

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

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:

Yeah.

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

photo

I got nothing, man. Lee Norwood sucks.

7. Brian Burke

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:

k.

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

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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!

spvord

Olli_44c888_2028367

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:

Lance’s head Photoshops very nicely.

While we’re at it, we can talk about Bouma’s other organs too:

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.

2. Hudreaunahan

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:

382810_jiri-hudler

Right? He has horrible posture. Don’t want to teach the kids that.

1. Steve Montador

RIP Monty 🙁

Sign-Off

murz

Dana Murzyn is not a doctor.

    • Long story here.

      The Nations story editor is, let’s say, a bit dicey sometimes. Generally it’s very good, but sometimes, like, say, when you’re trying to add larger gifs, it kinda goes haywire.

      To the point where, let’s say theoretically, it crashes your whole story and you had to write all of your rankings from 9 to 4 over again.

      So waffle was in here originally, but I forgot to re-add it the second time around.

      Of note, the auto-save feature on the editor does not work as well as advertised.

  • Burnward

    “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.”

    Who is it that Treliving has drafted that have progressed our rebuild ???
    ( don’t say Bennett, my 11 year old nephew would have drafted him at #4…)

    WW

  • piscera.infada

    Having a few Crown Royals & chatting hockey with our own hockey panel :-} we had a consensus in a what to do with Ramo. This team is a rebuilding team in a totally unexpected hunt for playoffs. Personally, I would rather resign Ramo (rather than lose him for nothing) & trade Hiller. Ramo is younger & I don’t think we have seen his ceiling yet. Especially if Ramo wins tonight, this is compounding the dilemma even more. How about a real bold move with a team like Philly who are at the cap hell, stacked on RW & desperate for a goalie & LW. Sven & Hiller for Simmonds & Coburn. Turn around & float Wideman to Detroit for a 1st & Diaz can replace Wideman’s minutes on the PP. Suddenly realized Philly has several scenarios for being a good trading partner with us. I would feel pretty good with Russell & Coburn in that 2nd pairing.

    Agree with you Loober, what a great time to trade Wideman. Would Reinhart & a 3rd be a good offer for Petry?

    • piscera.infada

      That’s an interesting proposal (I’ve been very vocal about adding Simmonds for a long, long time). That said, I’m unsure if Sven and Hiller get that deal done, but a Hiller/Mason tandem would give them some crease stability next year. It comes down to having no real read whatsoever what Sven would be worth in a trade.

      That all said, strictly on the merits of adding Simmonds and Coburn, both on very reasonable contracts, I’d be all ears.

      • piscera.infada

        That’s what we thought as well. Philly’s odds for playoffs are slim & doubt GlenX would be of interest, so maybe if you added a 2015 2nd to Hiller & Sven. Simmonds is the key & we can shelter Porrier next year. Coburn is what 4.5mill for 2 more or 1 more year. We solve some of Philly’s cap issues with this deal as well. With Coburn, I think we can move Wideman, even if its a decent prospect & a 2nd from Detroit. I see Coburn & Simmonds as part of the future as well, just not a playoff push or rental scenario.

        • piscera.infada

          Coburn not so much for the future but Simmonds definitely.

          Coburn would be one more year at a 4.5 million dollar cap hit. At worst, he’d be a great stop-gap for next year. His future with the Flames would be entirely contingent on what term or dollars he wants as a 31+ year old.

          Simmonds, on the other hand, is signed through 2019 (his 30 year-old season) at only a 3.9 million dollar cap-hit. You take that player on that contract all day long. He’s everything the team needs, at the right age, and he plays the game the right way. Love the player.

          I’d be interested if one of the “stats-guys” could give me their thoughts on Simmonds. Simply doing a cursory look at his underlying numbers over the past several seasons, he looks to be kind of all over the place.

          • RedMan

            Was reading the Bruin pre game & it brought to mind a Bruin thread I read of how they are getting down on Reilly Smith. He seems to be struggling after his red hot start after the trade last year. RFA coming up that will require Cap $$$ the Bruins don’t have to throw around. They are strong on RW & not much in the pipeline. Maybe a Sven for Smith swap straight up may be of interest to Boston. RW for a LW. Just food for thought.

  • As a flames and flyers fan I can confidently say the flyers brass will under no circumstances be trading Simmonds. The flyers have the forward core to be an elite team. They just also happen to have the worst D in the NHL, while overpaying all of them. Coburn could be a possibility and would be a great fit on the 2nd pairing. Matt read is another player we could leverage from the flyers with their cap troubles and I could see as an asset on the flames. Not sure what it would take to get it done, but would probably still have to be a substantial package.

    • piscera.infada

      Don’t disagree on Simmonds value to the Flyers organization, nor do I doubt that they would be reluctant to move him. That said, if Voracek has anywhere close to the season he’s having this year, next year, he’s going to command a huge raise. Add that to new contracts to both Schenn’s and Couturier (who I would argue they’d be less willing to move than Simmonds), and it seems to be somewhat of a logical move.

      As I said though, I doubt the proposed trade would be enough for Philly, but I’d be very interested in what it would take to get the deal done. Both of those players would look great in Flames silks.

      • piscera.infada

        Agreed, the flyers have cap problems for the foreseeable future. However Read is on a similar valued contract to Simmonds and therefore he is the one I see them moving. Simmonds at under 4 mil a year until 2020ish is phenomenal value and don’t see them getting rid of that contract. In my view, and as someone who watches a lot of flyers games schenn will be the disposable young forward asset, while Read and any defenseman will definitely be available ( although flyers brass are pretty unpredictable), especially if it frees up cap space for the flyers by not taking a big contract in return. The flyers have a lot of D prospects in the pipeline they need to make room for on the back end, as well as cap problems galore. If someone is going to take advantage I want it to be the flames.

  • piscera.infada

    Love that “Here’s Ollie!” pic! My understanding is he will be flipped before the trade deadline to a contending playoff team….well he is at the Centre of the Universe for now….