In reflecting on the season thus far, I found myself repeatedly coming back to a concept expounded early last season by Brian Burke. In a press conference, he used a metaphor to explain a team’s progression through a rebuild and towards contention.
In short: a team crawls, then it walks, then it runs, then it sprints.
In terms of Calgary, the crawling season was last season. The Flames had serious, serious deficiencies – granted, partially from blowing the whole thing up – and the season was primarily used to identify some of those deficiencies and fixing them. In short: the team moved forward, gradually, and identified ways to become better.
You can make an argument that the team has progressed well into the “walking” stage. The club has fixed some of their deficiencies and are basically waiting for some of their key pieces to progress. Look at Sean Monahan: he’s gone from being a raw rookie to being a strong center. There are a few other players in key roles that are progressing, and the notion is that once the team moves from being “promising” and towards being merely “a good team,” they’re leaving the “walking” stage and entering the run.
A team that’s “running” is a good team that has a lot of things going for it. They’re a playoff team regularly. A “sprinting” team is one that’s scary-good and dangerous to play against. They’re a Cup contender, ideally.
Anyway, it’s a holiday weekend and this was a thought rattling through my mind. What do you think of this concept? Am I off my rocker? Do you have a different way of conceptualizing a team’s progression?