Flames 3, Devils 2 post-game embers: Top four defenceman Dougie Hamilton

dougie hugging his teammates as he is allowed to be a top four defender once again

Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

The Calgary Flames, more or less, played a complete game. They scored early. They maintained their lead. They rolled their lines, they made sensible deployments. 

Sure, special teams still need some work. Despite four powerplay opportunities, no goals were scored; they gave up a goal on one of three penalty kills (to Jordin Tootoo, who is apparently a powerplay guy now). But for the most part, you have to be happy with how the Flames played.

They won, and they looked composed while doing so.

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Jonjan, or Stones?

We have a problem here: what do we call the excellent pairing that has been David Jones and Matt Stajan?

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I could go with either. I like Jonjan because it’s fun to say, and reminds me of another silly nickname in JoJoo. But Stones is an actual word, plus you could interpret it for being “ballsy” or whatever.

Either way, the point is: I’m talking about this because Jones and Stajan have formed an extremely cohesive unit on the ice, and one that is honestly a delight to see game in and game out. Neither is a flashy player in the slightest, so they’re almost never going to get the glory. That said, they’re competent players. You stick them out there, and they know just what to do, and won’t make a mess of things.

While they were two of just six Flames to be negative possession players on the night, they were also both two-point players. Stajan scored his first of the season while Jones got the 100th goal of his career; Stajan’s created off the rush he initiated, and Jones’ the result of Stajan forcing a turnover, with both goal scorers right in front of the net at the right time.

They’re smart, capable veterans perfect for a bottom six role. I remember a time when I wanted neither on the team. I love having them both now, though, and I love watching them play together. 

What’s up with Jiri Hudler?

Jiri Hudler’s usage appears to be going down – as it should be, because he has not been the player he was last season. 

While Hudler’s normal linemates, Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, played 19:04 and 18:50 respectively on the night, Hudler played just 14:37. There isn’t much of a special teams disparity to account for there, either; Hudler got a solid 3:30 on the powerplay, only 44 fewer seconds than Johnny Gaudreau’s 4:14. And while Monahan played 3:37 with the extra man, he had 1:30 of penalty kill time. That really only accounts for a minute or so Hudler wasn’t there for, when we’re talking about a difference of four, four and a half minutes he was missing.

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The entire second line, as well as Stajan and Jones, all received more ice time than he did; and rightfully so, as they all did more with it than him. Hudler registered one individual corsi event for, while the aforementioned five players generated at least one scoring chance apiece (and, in Sam Bennett’s case, four).

And then there’s Michael Frolik in particular, who took his spot for roughly two minutes of even strength ice time. Throughout the third period, the two alternated linemates.

When it was crunch time with a minute and a half to go and a one-goal lead to defend, it wasn’t Hudler out there alongside Monahan and Gaudreau, it was Frolik. And that line – along with the top pairing defensive unit of T.J. Brodie and Mark Giordano – kept the Devils from doing anything dangerous.

That said, Hudler actually did have a rather good ES CF% at 63.64%, second only to Deryk Engelland (who likes Deryk Engelland with limited minutes? I like Deryk Engelland with limited minutes!). But this isn’t the first time his ice time has started to fall this season. It’ll be interesting to see where we go from here, especially considering his potential to be trade bait.

Let’s talk zone entries

All three Flames goals came shortly after entering the offensive zone.

First, there was Gaudreau on Brodie’s goal:

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gaudreau entry 1

gaudreau entry 1-2

He could have avoided Adam Larsson outright by simply dumping the puck in. Instead, he was able to deke him out and carry the puck in himself, allowing the Flames to cycle it before they were able to get it to a wide open Brodie who did the rest. None of that happens without Gaudreau maintaining possession of the puck and getting things going the way he wanted them to go.

Then, there was Stajan’s dump in on his own goal:

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stajan dump in

Stajan had all the space in the world to get that puck in. Colborne turned on the jets and retrieved the puck first, allowing the Flames to continue the play. Throwing it out front of the net where a bunch of Devils suddenly had to converge created a bit of chaos, allowing Stajan to come in and finish off the job by potting it in the back of the net.

And Jones’ goal, where things didn’t go as smoothly on the entry:

failed stretch

Stajan was unable to handle Brodie’s stretch pass, resulting in a turnover to the Devils. He redeemed himself by forcing a turnover of their own, which ultimately resulted in Jones’ goal, but compared to the previous two entries – Gaudreau carrying the puck in himself, and Colborne being fast enough to collect a puck that had no obvious opposing recipient – the outcome could have been worse.

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T.J. Brodie’s skating is unreal

… How?

He danced around Lee Stempniak to get the opening goal of the game; he had that shift in the third where he generated a scoring chance just by going past everybody else, leaving them with nary a hope at catching him. Any time you see a potential two-on-one forming your worry instantly evaporates when you see it’s Brodie back on the play.

He’s almost impossible to get by, but he can sure get by opposing players. This is what’s seeing him become the Flames’ number one defenceman, capable of playing in all situations at huge minutes: because he seems to move about the ice effortlessly, on a completely different level from other players. 

You can’t play hockey if you can’t skate. T.J. Brodie can skate exceptionally well, so he can play. A lot.

And finally, Dougie

Is this it? Has Dougie Hamilton’s time as a top four defenceman officially returned?

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He’s been flirting with it for a while now. Despite technically being on a top four pairing with Kris Russell, he hasn’t been in the top four in minutes, with Dennis Wideman always leapfrogging him: sometimes with special teams, sometimes by simply taking over Hamilton’s partner.

Except throughout most of this game, Hamilton was actually leading his team in ice time. He finished with 22:43, which was fourth on the Flames, but we’re talking about a grand total of 16 seconds separating him from Mark Giordano, who had the most ice time. The top four defencemen were used evenly throughout, and finally, Hamilton was one of them.

Part of that was thanks to powerplay time. While Russell initially started the game on the powerplay, he was soundly booted off as the game went on. Hamilton led the way with 4:29 on the man advantage, and he looked pretty good out there with it. He helped gain the zone; he was taking shots. The Flames may not have scored on the powerplay, but Hamilton brought a new threat to the proceedings.

At 41.67%, he had the worst zone starts out of all Flames defencemen at even strength, so it doesn’t really come as a surprise to see that he was another of the six Flames who failed to be positive possession players. That said, he mostly saw the Devils’ Travis Zajac, Kyle Palmieri, and Sergey Kalinin out there: three of the Devils’ best possession players on the night. And indeed, when they weren’t facing Hamilton, Palmieri and Kalinin were north of 60% ES CF, while Zajac was at about 58%.

When those three Devils were on the ice against Hamilton, they ranged from 29.41-36.84%.

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Let’s keep this rolling. It took about a quarter of the season, but if this is the Hamilton we’re getting for the next six years, well, the Flames’ backend will be in pretty decent shape.

  • cberg

    “While they were two of just six Flames to be negative possession players on the night, they were also both two-point players.”

    That line was also hugely buried with D-zone starts and as a line was hugely positive in Corsi-Ozn%. They played tremendously well pretty much all game.

    Nice write-up Ari. Agree with Hudler, he’s struggling which may lead to changes if things don’t turn around….

  • DestroDertell

    Jonjan, I like it, fun to spell with my french accent.

    “All three Flames goals came shortly after entering the offensive zone.”

    An obvious consequence of having no offensive structure; making it very rare they’ll sustain any kind of pressure.

    “At 41.67%, he had the worst zone starts out of all Flames defencemen at even strength, so it doesn’t really come as a surprise to see that he was another of the six Flames who failed to be positive possession players”

    He also played with Kris Russell, who went back to his ole ways of “can’t pass, can’t manage gaps”.

  • DestroDertell

    Most of the reason for Hamilton’s unimpressive possession numbers was the Flames abhorrent start (he and Russell were something like 29% after the first period). I couldn’t believe it when Kelly Hrudey started praising the Flames start, because that first ten minutes was some of the worst hockey I’ve ever seen from anyone. The only thing that saved the Flames was the Devils’ concurrent ineptitude in the offensive zone.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    The lines should be like this for the next 3 games and see what happens? Gaudreau Bennett Frolik / Ferland Monahan Hudler / Colborne Stajan Jones / Bollig Backland Jooris. The defence : Hamiton Brodie / Gio Russell / Engelland Wideman .The goalie should be Ortio. Pp1 Gaudreau Bennett Frolik Hamiton Brodie ; pp2 Ferland Monahan Hudler Gio Russell. 4 great lines and 2 great pp lines . It might shake Monahan And Hudlers game up .

    • Bean-counting cowboy

      I like the Johnny-Bennett-Frolik line; have been hoping for that all season. Rather than use Backlund on the 4th line, I would prefer to see him as Monahan’s winger. Monahan is winning faceoffs, but getting killed defensively. Also gives us a 2nd center if Monahan gets kicked out. Colborne is playing better, but Ferland has chemistry with those guys. That puts Colborne on the 4th line with Bollig (ugg) and Jooris at center.

      Brod-amilton is going to happen. I would prefer having Gio play with Wideman, because Wideman can score and Gio can defend. Russell needs reduced minutes, and he would be fine with Engelland. With this, all our 3 pairs have a LHS and a RHS playing in their “natural” side.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Stones played great last night. More of that please.

    I was pretty happy with Jooris and Ferland too but Bollig did absolutely nothing to help that pair out.

    • McRib

      I would actually argue that “Bollig doing nothing to help them out” would be a significant improvement from last night…. Bollig killed absolutely every single one of their chances before it even started, if Derek Grant, Kenny Agostino, Emile Poirier, etc were on that line they would have had at least two goals.

      • wot96

        Jooris and Ferland had that chance in the first that was just hard work and hustle. It may have sparked the team. So those two had a chance without Bollig. The rest of what you say…yes…100%. Grant would have been nice to stay up but in his absence, I would like to see Agostino up as I think his game is a little better developed that Poirier at this stage.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    I think we need to see more Ferland. The dude gets around 10 minutes a night and has been creating fantastic scoring chances. Will he one day be in the top 6? There is really nothing about his game so far that makes me think otherwise..

    • Cfan in Vic

      Soon, I think. They may be easing him back into it, post injury.

      Holy crap did Bennett look nice out there with his board work. His line had like 4 consecutive spinoramas, at one point, leading to a nice scoring chance. Amazing.

      Nice to see Jooris hustling around, not looking like a liability. Bollig weighed that line down big time. Derek Grant would have been nice to see on that line. Oh well.

      Hudler looked a bit better. Definitely not back to his old form, but incrementally better. Maybe he can build off of that…

      Another decent game from Ramo. He looked as composed as he ever does (moderately).

  • Kevin R

    Everyone likes to get on Hartley for his inexplicable hate for some players & not being fair with the ice time. Kind of the same on this site where Colborne just can’t catch a break on here either. The “line” had a great night but lets just talk about how fabulous Jones & Stajan were & nickname those two only. Colborne had an excellent game & was as much part of the lightning rod that generated the goals as Stajan & Jones. Sorry, it just pisses me off sometimes when I read this stuff.

    • Cfan in Vic

      I’ve liked Colbourne waaaay more this season than last.

      I don’t think he’ll ever be the best decision maker, but at least he’s identified what he’s good at (board work, muscling dudes away from the puck, body in front of the net), and sticks with it. I think he’s been pretty effective.

      A lot of the flak he gets is due to bad passes (quick decisions), and I think we’ll always have to put up with a bit of that from him. He has more value this season though, because he can actually play his role now.

    • McRib

      My biggest issue with Joe Colborne is with what other NHL Organization is he even an everyday NHLer…. None, you could waive him through the league tomorrow. He couldn’t even stick full time with Toronto!!! The only reason he is in the NHL is because he was a 1st Round Draft Pick and hype carried him towards getting likely two extra chances that most prospects outside of 1st Round Busts don’t usually get.

      He is a soft as butter, incredibly inconsistent, perimeter forward that might as well be 5’10” because he never uses his frame…. He played close to 14 minutes last night and got favourable offensive zone starts… Hopefully when you get opportunities like that (which he he has had regularly the past couple years under Bob Hartley) once and awhile you have “an okay night”. But that’s the thing so maddeningly frustrating about Joe Colborne he plays well enough every 5th or so game to justify his continued existence on the big club (in Bob Hartleys mind). I would also argue that there are 5+ forwards with Stockton that would out produce him if they even had half the opportunity Bob Hartley gives him regularly.

      Oh he is also terrible defensively (last nights second goal was him completely ignoring his man on the weak side), so even when statistically he “has a good night” he is still killing us defensively. I don’t really fault the Flames anymore for trading Sven Baertschi (hear he is a lousy person), but if he had the opportunities Colborne did last year he would have had 40+ points in his sleep (rather than 28). That’s the thing I think most people dislike about Colborne, it isn’t that he is a horrible person (he actually is a stand up guy) or player, but it’s the fact that you could call 15+ other NHL Teams right now for relatively nothing and get an AHLer they have no use for who is more talented and deserving of an opportunity than Colborne to play in the NHL. When this team starts to be a regular playoff contender (outside of one lucky year), Joe Colborne will be long gone. Nothin against the guy personally. He just isn’t a guy you become one of the best teams in the league with and considering that we are in a rebuild I think that spot could be give to someone with more of a future on Calgary.

      • YWC

        Wow.. thats a lot of reason to hate the kid. I agree most of your comment on his weaknesses, but he is also figuring out in this level. He is way better than last year and I think he has improved many of his weaknesses you listed.

        The goal by Stajan is also a result of his hustle and using his frame.

        Btw also koodos to the first line. They were great creating chances. That includes Bolligb who had one of his best game IMO.

      • YWC

        In order for this team to become the perennial playoff contender we all wish it to be, I believe we have bigger issues to address when it comes down to who actually needs to be on this team, or rather, who shouldn’t be. Goodbye Bollig, Engelland, Smid, Russell, Wideman, Raymond, Jones, Stajan, Hudler, Ramo, Hiller, even Hartley. I’ve come to realize that it’s a transition period – and while Joe Colborne may not be on the level of a Sean Monahan or a Johnny Gaudreau – he’s the perfect complimentary player and serviceable in his role, at least until someone better comes along and replaces him.

        I’m not a fan Big Joe. But playing a Bollig over a Jooris is what really bothers me and is more of a glaring issue.

        • wot96

          There are a couple of players on your get rid of list that should stay if their salary demands are reasonable. Hudler and even Jones, though I have never been a huge Jones fan, I think he is playing well. I do not agree that Colborne is a perfect complementary piece. Frankly, I would put Bouma on this list unless he can demonstrate that he is in the 15 goal a year plus range consistently. Yes he is a hard working guy that hangs it all out there every night but so do other players and they aren’t paid $2m.

          McRib is right, the second goal was entirely on him floating towards the puck and leaving his man open in the low slot. His defensive liabilities are not sufficiently compensated for by whatever he brings offensively. They just aren’t. He is toolsy, but he just can’t put it all together.

      • Kevin R

        You know, Im not a scout or anything & I don’t count corsi events when I go to games. I went to Calgary Cowboy games, Pee’d my pants when Calgary got the Atlanta NHL team moved over, started to be a Flames season ticket holder in 1996 & watched Iggy get a goal in his first playoff game against the Black Hawks. So trash me because I am more of an eye test commentor. I am intrigued with stats & have my own vision of how they should be used within a professional organization from a Sports Pyschology perspective.

        To my point, Colborne has improved significantly since the Flames acquired him. They paid a 4th round pick for him & I would really hazard a guess they could get much better than a 4th round pick for him from another team. Yeah, maybe 15 NHL teams wouldn’t, but I could list 10 that would. His game is noticeable out there & when he is on, the kid is a bonafide 3rd line player. Even the big guns making 7.0 mill are inconsistent. How many goals & points do Getzlaff & Kesler have versus Colborne? You can make the same argument for most players in the league. To get a real consistent player, who plays at the top of their game, game in & game out are the true unicorns out there. But you missed my point. Colborne had a better game than Hudler, better game than Backlund, better game than many Jersey players as well. If you are going to applause Stajan & Jones, how do you ignore Colborne. That is my point. Crap on him when he is bad, but it should go both ways.

    • Rock

      I totally agree they are like sheep on here.. Colburn was the direct result of the second goal all his hustling caused the goal. Far as Hamilton looking great well maybe he has a nice hair cut cause I still have a hard time seeing it with his play. The power play was nothing special I see Hamilton as a 3rd winger more then a defense man

  • wot96

    Ferland has skills to score crash and dig in the corners a spark for Monahan and Hudler .Frolik can help Bennett with face offs .i wouldn’t change Colbourne Stajan Jones line Work well together with 3rd line scoring . Id be fine with Hamiton Brodie gio wideman Engelland Russell parings

    • McRib

      It’s just a pipedream, just like Brod-amilton is.
      Ferland isn’t established enough to take on 1st line minutes or responsibilities.

      Backlund is playing well enough to be in the top 6. He isn’t scoring but provides that defensive responsibility that Monahan/Hudler need help with. You can see it when Johnny is trying to play in his own end. He can’t cover the bigger defensemen.

      Colborne is good on cycles, but I think Ferland offers a better option for Stajan and Jones. Ferland can fight for a spot in the slot, while Colborne prefers to stand in the crease.

  • McRib

    Hartley has a love for Bollig so he will play him for grit and fighting ect, but till they send him down he’ probably play.I’ d like to see his ass traded or sent down and bring up Carroll big strong and will fight if needed throws big hits and great skills, great hand and would score lots and not take stupid penalties.Carroll way under rated.

    • everton fc

      I like Carroll. A long shot, but no too much of a long shot, me thinks.

      The loss of Bouma – we don’t talk about him much. I think his presence on regular shifts is something we need back. Our left side would look like this:


      And Bennett. Not bad.

      • OKG

        Try Gaudreau-Bennett-Bouma-Ferland-Colborne

        Colborne is the fifth best LW on this team. Don’t be fooled by his assist stats, for every assist he has, he has a dozen soft turnovers from his predictable board game.

  • KACaribou

    What’s with the Bromance with Hamilton here? Some of the same people who stated absolutely positively that Hamilton would be matched with Gio without quetion this season; are now saying Brodie/Hamilton.

    Hamilton played well last night but he softly slid the puck from his corner right to a waiting Hawk which ended up a goal only 1 game ago. There’s a lot of hope and expectations I know.

    But why all the excuses when it comes to Hamilton?

    If his possession numbers suck, it’s because of who his is playing against? Another player wouldn’t be afforded the same excuse – he’d just plain suck.

    People get on Colborne because he’s soft as butter? Hamilton could put a sleeve or crackers in his hockey pants and still have to crunch them up for his soup after the game. But that’s okay apparently?

    Backlund sucks… Bollig sucks… Russell sucks… (whispers Gio sucks)… Wideman sucks… Colborne sucks… etc etc. Hamilton is awesome!!! Huh?

    Wishing the kid the best but Hartley had put him exactly where he has earned to be; third pairing, now second. He’s a good skater and is in on a few scoring chances every game. He’s got the potential but he has not earned a Bromilton combo yet. Let’s be fair and objective here.

    Or it must be true love.

    • piscera.infada

      Hamilton played well last night but he softly slid the puck from his corner right to a waiting Hawk which ended up a goal only 1 game ago. There’s a lot of hope and expectations I know.

      That’s such a trite, cherry-picked, argument.

      In the game against Florida, Brodie coughed the puck weakly up the slot, and that (obviously) ended up in goal that actually cost the team a game.

      These mistakes happen, and while I–and most others– are willing to admit Hamilton had a horrible start (roughly his first 7, or so games) to his season, he has been substantially better in very facet of his game since then. His possession numbers aren’t great, because 1) they were sank by his start (which goes for every player on the roster, more or less), and 2) he’s been saddled with an absolutely grotesque grouping of partners.

      You want to call it like it is? He’s been a better defenseman for the past ten games than any of Giordano, Wideman, Russell, and Engelland, yet he’s not given corresponding ice-time.

      He’s made mistakes in clearing the puck? Yes. Every. Single. Defenseman. On the current roster has. It’s a systemic issue in not only defensive coverage, but the break-out and neutral-zone strategy this team employs. This team badly needs some semblance of NHL-level defensive structure. The gaffes in this particular area occur with such regularity, that it can’t be anything other than the system.

      And we can all stop with the “he’s soft” label. No, he isn’t Giordano or Regher, in that he doesn’t use his body as his first line of defense. That isn’t his game. He uses his speed, and that’s very much the way the defensive side of the game is transitioning–look at Brodie, Josi, Subban, even Keith (to an extent). Despite this, he’s still unequivocally not a soft player. He’s much harder on the body in his own zone than Russell or Wideman. He’s actually effective at pinning players to the boards. But, he’s not a lumbering oaf who’s claim to fame is throwing big hits–so I guess there’s that…

      • KACaribou

        Dude he’s soft.

        If you don’t think there is value in guys throwing big hits, why don’t you Youtube Chris Pronger who is roughly the same size as Hamilton. After that maybe you can tell me why Pronger always seemed to lead his teams far into the playoffs, or why he is in the Hall of Fame when he really could have made it without pounding his opponents. Just a lumbering oaf? Don’t think so.

        But I have a feeling I know who could replace Beaumeester as the new NHL iron man down the road and why…

        • piscera.infada

          Man. That’s garbage. Chris Pronger was a great defenseman–he had quite a bit more going on in his game than just “big hitter”.

          You know who didn’t throw big hits? Some dude named Bobby Orr–although, I’m not sure if he made it in to the hall of fame, might want to check it. Who else? Nicklas Lidstrom. Who did? Scott Stevens–great player, different era. Who else? Dion Phaneuf–not so great. Niklas Kronwall–again.

          Your entire argument here is a false equivalence: “doesn’t play like Pronger–not a good defenseman”. You know who doesn’t play the game like Chris Pronger? TJ Brodie, but you’re not arguing he’s bad, are you? In fact, I had a Vancouver fan just last year point out that Brodie’s “soft”. All he did in that series is consistently get the puck out of his zone, and burn the Canucks for 6 games straight with his skating. “But he doesn’t hit like Pronger…” Right?

          • KACaribou

            This will be my final comment to a person who thinks Bobby Orr didn’t make big hits. Oh brother…. I suppose you also think Lanny McDonald wouldn’t be among the Flames top 10 forwards of all time also….

          • piscera.infada

            The point is, for his era, he didn’t. He also wasn’t one of the best (if not the best) defensemen of all time because he threw big hits, or because he was “tough”.

            The final comment thing is good though. I’m sick of reading your trash takes.

      • Cfan in Vic

        I agree about Hamilton. Big hits are not his game, but he has actually layed a few guys out over the last few games. He’s starting to make much smarter plays, despite the lack of D-structure they play within.

        All other aspects of his game are definitely coming along. It’s crystal clear to see his steady progression over the last 10 games or so (unless you’re blinded by bias from the first 9 or so). All D players are going to make mistakes, even Brodie, but Hamilton hasn’t been making a lot of them lately.

        He’s going to be very effective.

      • KACaribou

        The point was not ME saying Gio sucks, but this blog ragging on all these other guys like Bollig, Backs, Russell, Wideman, Colborne (even Gio’s name is whispered). But Hamilton seems to get a free pass. Like Kevin R said, be fair with everyone when they are good and bad. Write without fear or favour.

        (No I won’t respond to anyone here who doesn’t know enough about hockey to think Bobby Orr didn’t hit or fight).

        • Bean-counting cowboy

          I would argue many on here including myself trashed Hamilton for his early play. His play recently has improved dramatically.

          Hamilton certainly hasn’t received any free passes from Hartley over the past few weeks.

          Also… all of Calgary has been talking about Gio not being the Gio of last year. Most people are whispering it because we don’t want to believe it could be something of a permanent decline.

          There is no reason not to at least experiment with a Brodie/Hamilton pairing in my mind.

          Edit: we are committed to Hamilton for the long haul regardless. Let’s see what he can do. His results in Boston suggest there is more there and he has already been a top pairing defensemen. Why are we talking like he can’t play there?

          • KACaribou

            Agreed. And I have no problem with Hamilton. I want him to win the Norris. But I am not going to say so when what I have seen isn’t even close. I just wish that big body played D more like Pronger than like Jay Bouwmeester.

            Otherwise I completely agree with you, especially the Gio take. Truthfully this year has been more like the historical play of Gio than the last couple have been. And anyone who thinks he is tough to play against and a pounding checker like Engelland should lift their heads up from the advanced stats and actually watch the damned game!

          • Rock

            I agree to many people looking strictly at advanced stats. I seen on HNIC they were wondering what happen to Hamilton why he was so poor. But then you come on here they think he is so great his advance stats says he is good but all hockey people watching the game can see he is a liability in the defensively. the love affair Ari and posters in here have with Hamilton is just that they don’t watch the game did advance stats show the direct give away that results in a quick goal like in Chicago nope it don’t. When you mention it they want to blame Colburn, Russell, England etc. any player that has played for the flames in the past. Gio saved the game last night with a blocked shot but yet everyone says he was terrible. Now he wasn’t the strongest but he did save the game with a yes I will say it a blocked shot hmmmmm

          • KACaribou

            Don’t you realize that saying blocked shots are good is SN blasphemy? No idea why every professional coach in the league is getting their guys to block shots. I guess they haven’t read SN for proper coaching tips. Obviously the NHL coaches are complete idiots. I have read enough here to know that Bob Hartley must be….

    • Rock

      In case you didn’t notice, Hamilton played 1 second fewer minutes than Brodie and 4 seconds fewer than Russell and 16 seconds fewer than Gio. And he played on the PP. Hartley is sure penalizing him for that “mistake” against the Hawks.

      Speaking of which, where was the forward on that play? Shouldn’t Monahan or other player been supporting the ring out? You see other teams doing that.

      Against the Devils, Hamilton was easily the 2nd best D-man on the ice.

      As far as having a Pronger out there, that was the old NHL, where you could knock a guy out with a hit to the head, and it was a hockey hit. I like the idea of having a hard-hitting defenseman, but we didn’t trade for one. Players like Lidstrom played a long career by not being that guy.

  • Cfan in Vic

    I guess we’ve forgotten about Smid. He’s the one guy who will always make you pay along the boards. He’s been sitting long enough. Time to pull one of those chickens running around with their heads cut off.

    • Cfan in Vic

      I think the only guy Smid is going to replace is Engelland. That didn’t go too well last time, and I think it works against Smid, that Engs is actually being pretty effective with limited minutes.

  • OKG

    K so that was pp goal by too too. Maybe joe screwed up but he was killing a penalty which I don’t think in agree with but whatever yeah you give up goals on the pk. He still finished +2 and had a good game. Quit trying to crucify him for a pp goal. Not like he made a massive braincramp at ES

  • Slowmo

    Ok Kevin R let call the line stonecol no d in the names so I like stonecol whicha think? I think perhaps Huds is hurt a little and Gio still isn’t a 100% or he is just scared to reinjure himself or maybe he is a Oli and now he has his huge contract he is no longer willing to muck it up. I don’t know and would hate to think he is an Oli type player I will go with still not a hundred percent Dougie I think just is taking longer to figure out our style of play here in the west he skate just as good as TJ just doesn’t show yet.