Oilers 7, Flames 3 post-game embers: Suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked

Slow starts: A death knell for playoff hopes?

Seven straight games of slow starts (per HNIC) and back-to-back games when the team randomly shows up when it’s too late. As much as we had hoped to see this team turning a corner mere weeks ago it feels like this is October all over again which, among many other stories, is quickly becoming concerning.

If this team has any aspirations of tasting postseason hockey this year then the ship needs to be righted. It starts – obviously – with the youth and young core regaining form. I’m looking at you Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett. 

While there is no denying Gaudreau is a special talent on the ice, he has struggled mightily this season finding consistency. Bennett, fresh off his healthy scratch versus the Nashville Predators, saw some unreasonable luck on the Anton Slepyshev goal and is still trying to find consistency. Sean Monahan, who has goals in five straight, is starting to resemble the Monahan we all know and love: a guy who scores goals.

It goes deeper than that with roster inconsistencies though. Alex Chiasson is a forward on this team, good in a role suited for him, floundering in a role he is in now. Troy Brouwer is not at the level you would expect and you have to hope he can offer more. The list goes on and on, and it’s getting tiresome.

Jyrki, my boy, why? Play Brett, seriously

Gulutzan is of course talking about this incident which might be one of the most glaring gaffes the Calgary Flames have given up all year:

Really, all Jyrki Jokipakka had to do was stay on his side to make it an evenly balanced situation. It was 100% avoidable. This of course doesn’t excuse Chad Johnson, but the situation was manageable if played correctly.

There was some promise – or hope to say the least – that Jokipakka could step up this season, take a leap forward, and cement himself as a NHL-caliber defenseman. Not an elite puck moving defenseman. Not a second-pairing, solid option defenseman. Just a defenseman that could play minutes for you while not being a complete liability.

Unfortunately for Jokipakka it’s hard to discern what actual value he provides in the lineup. You have to ask yourself what does he offer that Brett Kulak offers already. In 35 games this season, Jokipakka’s CF% at 5v5 is dead last among Flames defensemen at 44.62%. His FF% is 43.88% and his SF% is no better at 45.62%.

His GF%, which surprisingly stronger than expected than TJ Brodie’s 37.74%, is slowly eroding, too. Relative to his peers, you see even more startling results showing the drudges of playing him over Kulak (via Corsica Hockey):

Note – Positive stats in Rel.CF60 and Rel.CF% are good things, while a positive Rel.CA60/FA60/SA60 is a bad thing. Read as “Player x surrenders y more CA60 than his peers”.

relll

You can expect someone like Dougie Hamilton to generate more shots than his peers because that’s who he is. More often than not you’re a beneficiary of it because he creates more than he gives up. The concerns primarily lie with how limited Jokipakka’s usage is, but the results produced in that time are concerning. Virtually across the board the team doesn’t benefit from him on the ice.

Listen, Kulak may or may not be the answer, but at this point you need to play him. It’s not that Jokipakka gets any special teams time either. Virtually all of his minutes come at 5v5 which means you’re not impacting pairings or tandems in existing special teams roles.

Just stop being negligent and play Kulak so fans and the team know what he actually is. Minor adjustments might actually help right this ship.

Why matchups can matter: 3M vs McDavid line

There is no denying Connor McDavid will eventually become of the most electrifying men in the NHL. We can accept that, and managing McDavid every night is an opposing team’s nightmare. Not every team has the luxury the Flames have in having a bonafide shutdown line. McDavid vs Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik, and Matthew Tkachuk? 18.75% CF at 5v5. In that he only had two shots on net.

Hamilton and Mark Giordano were a big part of that too, playing 8:21 at 5v5 against McDavid and keeping him to 25% CF.

Here’s the thing: One lapse in a matchup at 5v5 resulted in McDavid scoring. Another lapse in a matchup led to substantial offensive zone time and McDavid drawing a penalty. If you give this kid rope, he will take all of it, and when you play him against an elite shutdown line like the 3M line you can get good things like this:

What is this goaltending?

It was incomprehensible to start Johnson last night. After being pulled for three goals on five shots you would have to hope Brian Elliott could fair a bit better. Only slightly, but even then it isn’t anything to be impressed with. It’s hard to actually decipher what is wrong in the crease for this team. Is it something in the water? Did those dastardly Shelbyvillains spike the water supply in Calgary?

Regardless, here we are, at what appears to be another crossroads after last year’s roaring tire fire in net. Who do you go back to? Is it Elliott’s time play consistent games or do you immediately go back to Johnson, again?

This, among other topics, is exhausting and there aren’t any easy answers.

  • Stu Cazz

    In post games interviews GG says he never talks to the team post game, win or lose, only the next day. hmmm..wonder why this team lacks passion?

    Their is plenty of blame to go around if that’s what we want to do…I have said that we over value our team as homers and it’s obvious we have plenty of gaps. Visiting teams see this and start their back up goalies with success against the Flames.

    I don’t think Murray Edwards will tolerate any of this and I sense a major house cleaning in the off season including Burke, the coaching staff and the scouting staff as many prospects are failing….I doubt Treliving leaves despite his contract status….I’m confident the organization will not follow the Oiler 10 year rebuild loser model…..

    • Kevin R

      I was kind of shocked when I heard about Tre’s contract status. I have no problem with Tre & they should be extending him. Yes he’s made mistakes but I have more faith i him with trades than Daryl or Feaster. Feaster scared the be-Jesus out of me.

      Tampa are really struggling right now too. Wonder if we were so hot on Bishop last draft, I wonder if an Elliott for Bishop trade would be prudent. I would love to see a 30 game audition from Bishop. The upside on that is Vegas could very well target Bishop during that UFA period & then we don’t have to worry about expansion pillaging.

      • Stu Cazz

        I wouldn’t be shocked about Treliving..he is not going anywhere. It is typical for Flames management to keep negotiations under wraps…I’m hearing Burke is going to retire and they are elevating Don Maloney in some capacity. Treliving will run the show…stability is important. Lessons learned from our neighbours to the north.

        • Kevin R

          Totally forgot about Maloney. Makes sense & if that’s the case, then Tre is probably part of the picture going forward.

          Last year, deep down & myself included, we blamed the horrendous goaltending we had. This year is a swift kick to the groin that we are a 3rd year rebuilding team. Lots of work & pain to go through yet. I have resolved myself to no playoffs this year but hope the playoff chase will be a longterm benefit to the young players. The only problem with being in the bubble is the 2nd half for a rebuilding team is to give some of our AHL kids some prime time. Being close, I doubt that will happen.

          • Stu Cazz

            Agree. We are only close because of the weak Pacific which is actually getting stronger other than the Flames. Been following Stockton closely this year and the only prospect that is close is Jankowski. I would like to see him play a few games up here regardless.

  • Franko J

    @ Mike

    You are correct this team is exhausting to watch and there are no easy answers.

    As mentioned by a fellow blogger in Redman from a previous posting as fans we have been “tricked” into believing this team might be something they are not.

    The next three games on the road will be crucial to whether this team is contending for a playoff spot or fading into another 4 to 6 finish in the standings.

  • The sun still came up this morning. For now I’ll just assume that game was an off-night for the team and they’ll regroup. There’s no reason they cant win all the 3 road games before the All Star break and beyond that secure a playoff spot. Sure they need to make some adjustments but the season isn’t over.

  • #97TRAIN

    Every team that Brian Burke has had he has left in a mess and “Fred Flintstone” has done the same to The Flames.

    It would be embarrassing to have ” brother love ” look alike running the show.

    Good luck.

  • MontanaMan

    Next year will be the key year for me. Wideman and Engelland off the books; need to pick a goaltender; Stajan; youngsters in the A; Bouma. Lots of questions but lots of opportunity. I don’t think Wideman is tradeable (even retaining salary) so he stays until his contract expires. Engelland is a decent trade chip for a playoff team wanting to get tougher and looking for depth. Same for Bouma. But neither for much return. My take is that I’d like to get much younger, much faster and dump some of the older and slower players. You don’t touch the core (JG, Monahan, Chuk, Bennett, Brodie, Hamilton) but everyone else is available.

    • #97TRAIN

      One thing I see wrong in your core is no size. You think Tkachuk is big at 6′ 1″ 195? No that’s not big and Hamilton as you know is very soft for a big man and does not use his size to his advantage.

      Until you change the physical makeup of your team you’ll stay right where you are in the standings.

      Look no further than Edmonton . They wear teams down with their size and skill.

      • Scary Gary

        Tell that to the eastern conference where speed is skill both seem to work quite well, even in the playoffs.

        Colorado are the heaviest team in the league by weight and the flames are tied for second tallest (behind WPG).

      • The GREAT WW

        I love it when Oilers fans try to give advice on how to build a playoff hockey team: “it’s easy, just win the lottery 4 times in 6 years…”

        Let me guess; your financial planning for retirement consists of taking all your money to the casino in the hopes of hitting the jackpot?

        That is exactly what your Oilers have done….

        WW

        FN Mod: edited your post; make your point without the personal attack.

        • #97TRAIN

          This team is changed from top to bottom . Ya we got lucky with McDavid . Live with it. Chiarelli has totally changed the makeup of this team.
          He has built this club into a good team in 18 months.
          I don’t think you liked watching Johnny and just about everyone else getting pushed around last night did you?
          That is what happened for years in Edmonton . Too small and no push back. Things gotta change the Flames are not the Blackhawks.

          • T&A4Flames

            Nobody on this board gives a rats ass for what you have to say. You think you guys have found some secret potion that instantly made you a contender. Well, you haven’t and you aren’t. After 10 years you’ve finally shown growth beyond bring a perennial basement dweller. Yay you. You got gifted McDavid and with him you suddenly had bright hockey people wanting in on the McDork action. Stop giving “advise” for our team. We don’t need it from the likes of you.

          • Stu Cazz

            A fire hydrant can successfully in the short term manage a team that inherits McDavid. I would be concerned about his record with Boston and the reasons why he was fired. Do some homework….

          • Randaman

            Boston’s main issue is Neely thinking he’s the smartest guy in the room and telling the G.M. How to do his job. That is what happened in Boston and is still happening to Sweeney. Neely has the owners ear, always has. Kinda like Lowe and Katz.

          • I am Batman

            You are right, Chia hasn’t proven a whole lot. Clearly your GM is a world beater and he is building a beast of a team.

            We haven’t done our homework on Chiarelli because we are busy being happy at the Oilers being where they’re at right now, we are happy about having McDavid and we are happy about sweeping the provincial rival in conclusive fashion.

            I understand the bitterness but don’t hate us, hate doesn’t help the flames make the playoffs . The only thing that helps the flames make the playoffs is if they start showing up for games, not like last night.

            Johnny did show up in after hours though so maybe the team already turned the page?

          • Kevin R

            Look, the only good thing for a Flames fan last night at the game was it was easy getting out of the parking lot. Oilers are playing very good this year. They have some decent heavy game going on that will get them to the playoffs. This year & next is your window. Enjoy the ride & I expect Oilers will probably win the majority of games next year as well. But when you guys have to start paying McDavid 12.0mill per instead of $950K & Draisaltl 6.5 instead of $950K, the chemistry balance you have will be flying out the window. I watched Lucic last night & yes he’s a big SOB but I don’t know how many rushes he was trailing the D-men up the ice. He is slow now, I can’t imagine what he’ll be like in two years at 6.0 mill per.

            Only thing I can say is being at the game last night showed me how awful it must of been for our Northern brothers to watch that for 10 years. Most of you stuck with your team, I tip my hat to you guys.

          • The GREAT WW

            The same Chiarelli who traded a 16 overall (Barzal!!?) and a 31 overall for Reinhardt?!

            The same Chiarelli who Picked Puljujarvi over Tkachuk?!

            There are still a lot of suspect moves being made by your new superstar GM….

            WW

          • someguy

            He also brought in our starting goalie in exchange for a 2nd round pick.

            He brought in Patrick Maroon for a song AND got Anaheim to retain salary.

            He signed Milan Lucic as a free agent.

            He pulled off a blockbuster trade of sending Hall to Jersey for Adam Larsson, a trade working out very well for both teams.

            He brought in Zack Kassian for a terrible goalie.

            What’s YOUR GM done? Oh yeah, he brought in 2 terrible goalies who suck the hind banana. He signed Dougie Hamilton….how’s that working out for you folks so far?

            Yeah, maybe look at your own team before criticizing another team’s GM.

            *mic drop*

          • CMG30

            Doubt many people will defend the Reinhardt trade now and not many people were pleased when it happened. Most folks chalked it up to MacTavish’s last gasp.

            OTOH, I wouldn’t be too cocky about Tkachuk over Puljujarvi. Drisitle had a rough go in his first season and got sent down. Bennett looked like the steal then too. There’s a long road ahead before any calls can be made.

          • 24% body fat

            your tkachuk point over puljijarvi point might be the stupidest thing on the internet. We are 50 games in. JP was not given the gravy minutes Tkachuk is and is not required to play a featur role.

            Sam Gagner destroyed tonnes of people from his draft in his rookie and sophmore year, is he better than benn or couture? Should Phoenix have drafted him instead of Turris, Philly instead of JVR?

            In 2014 the flames would have picked bennet with the 2nd 3rd or 4th pick and he currently is 9th best in that draft. This is with a consistant more sizeable sample size. The odds of Bennet becoming better than those players ahead of him is much less, than JP, Juolevi, Segachev, Jost, or Keller passing Tkachuk.

            Complete hippocrit. Just like Monahan is better than Barkov or McKinnon. You keep thinking that Walter.

          • RickT

            If gravy minutes are 30% OSZ, and playing against the other teams top lines (running roughshod over McDavid’s line as an example…), then sure. Those are absolutely gravy minutes and not at all being thrown into the fire.

            I, however, would argue that Tkachuk’s entrance into the league is much more akin to learning to swim by jumping in the deepend.

            I agree though, it is much to early to crown one as a better pick. Tkachuk is having a super impressive rookie season. But, just as Hall seemed a better luck than Seguin for a year or two… You just never know.

            Fingers crossed Tkachuk ends up better, and has a long and dominant career.

          • 24% body fat

            thats his 5 on 5 minutes, first line pp in front of the net, with the flames top offensive players. JP never got that.

            and in total minutes, JP was getting a little more than half tkachuks

            All of flames nation wanted JP, just remember that. And if the players were flipped what would you all be saying.

          • Petzl

            [redacted – FN Mod; make your point without insults], #19 does not get top pp minutes, he started the year off the pp for the first ~20 games now he plays on the second pp away from Monahan and jg (top offensive talent). Poolparty might be great but he has been underwhelming and actually starting him in the nhl was stupid considering how poor he looked in preseason.

            I always think 5 years is a good measure of who turns out better, at this point it’s too early but chucky looks like he will be fine considering he’s playing some of the hardest minutes in the nhl. He has the benefit of playing with very good possession guys but he’s fitting right in. Poolparty we will have to wait and see, he will likely benefit from some good teammates when he’s ready to come up. Honestly would still be happy with either of them at this point.

            Also you’re say Jp was getting

          • Big Jacks Meat

            WW you bore me. Jesse is 18 . Tkachuk is a good player their is no doubt but Give Jesse a chance , he will snipe at some point as Connors wingman.

            PS , Was at the game , Your rink stinks and sucks. Are you guys ever going to put a shovel in the ground and get something built. Or should we move Rexall down the QE2 for you. Give you a good deal !

          • FlamesFanOtherCity

            It’s unfortunate that it took a former mayor selling out a city to build a rink. Looks nice. Shiny and new. Too bad the owner will make a fortune in rent from all the city workers forced to move to a Katz building. Too bad that decent paring isn’t available. Oh right, forgot about the dirt parking lots for hundreds. And the underground parking for all the former Oilers turned staff.

            You are right about Poolparty. Too soon to call him a bust. Strange that he was supposed to be the most NHL ready of the draft picks. Strange that a Finnish GM would choose to pass on him. He could turn out to be the steal of the draft. He has a long ways to go to impress in the AHL yet.

          • Randaman

            I hate to break this to you but most if not all facilities are built with public money these days.
            There are many benefits to having a new facility built. Try to look beyond your shallow opinions before spouting off about billionaires.

          • MarbledBlueCheese

            I would advise you to read some of the excellent pieces written by Kent Wilson on the topic, re: “Calgary Next.”
            The idea that public funding for major sports venues is a good investment for a city is fairly lacking in evidence.

          • CMG30

            In general what you say is true. Rarely does it work out that public money building a sporting venue a good investment.

            There are a tiny handful of exceptions however, and Rogers place up in Edmonton is starting to look like it just might be one of those.

            This is a real danger for Calgary as NEXT boosters are going to be waving their hand northwards shouting look! look! When the situations in the two cities couldn’t be more different. Sure, the ‘Dome could use an update, but the case for public money funding it in Calgary just isn’t there.

          • Randaman

            My son lives in Calgary and has been to a couple games this year. He went with company tickets and has said he would not pay for tickets. The building is not fan friendly with small concourses and reminds him of Rexall in Edmonton.

            Your corporate community is what supports the team, not the every day fan. Get used to it. Money talks and it WILL be public money sooner than later.

          • Primo

            1) Your son doesn’t buy tickets to the Flames because he is a Coiler fan not because of the building.
            2) Yes the Saddledome needs to be replaced but please do not compare the Saddledome to Rexall. Rexall was a barn and a more suitable comparison would be the Calgary Corral.

          • Randaman

            Kent Wilson? Really? That’s your source of education on this subject? Stanford studies? Really? All these studies are localized and antiquated.

            Calgary would benefit huge from a new larger facility. The mistake is combining the facility with a football field for a team in a second rate league. Yes, I’m not a fan of the CFL. The league barely survives financially and would be a burden on the overall financial stability of any proposal.

            My opinion

          • McDavid's Comet

            The sticking point with CalgaryNEXT is the land that it has been proposed to built on cannot be used until the poisoned earth from a pre-existing wood treatment plant has been cleaned up, and it going to cost 100 mill to do it. The city of Calgary wants nothing to do with the price tag and Flames Organization wants to share it with city, prov., and federal funding. There are a lot of roadblocks preventing it from happening.

            Alternatively they could build the new arena next to Saddledome however then there is a lot of re-infrastructure involved which also costs a ton of money to do before they would be able to break ground.

            Ultimately it comes down to the city and Flames Organization to hash out the money and how it will be spent to accomplish the project. If it can happen in Edmonton then it will eventually happen in Calgary it just depends on how long it takes to do it.

            If you have seen the plans for it though you will see it will be a beautiful facility.

          • MontanaMan

            Agree with this 100%. I don’t hear the same people complaining about about millions of tax dollars being spent on a downtown library (library in 2017? Check out how many people use the current downtown library) or “art” for local roads. Yes, it would be ideal if the billionaire owners built it themselves but the reality is they won’t. It’s business and negotiation. In the end, the taxpayer and the owner will contribute. Regarding your comment about the CFL, it’s a league on it’s way out, the average fan is more than 50 years old and there’s no business case to build a new stadium. Build a proper arena in the downtown core or second choice on the rail line in the Stampede grounds. Forget about football and track and field – build a hockey arena.

          • Primo

            Looks like the so called plan B, a building primarily for hockey on the Stampede grounds will be the plan. It will be built on the current site of the Big 4 building along side the LRT including an encompassing new BMO Centre, Hotel and other amenities. The Stampede board is the driver and a partnership arrangement will be struck with the Flames entertainment group.

            RFP proposals are currently being reviewed for a total upgrade to the existing McMahon stadium including new concourses.

          • MarbledBlueCheese

            I will take Kents well researched and logical assessment of the issue over “your opinion.”

            Again, prior to spouting off about it, perhaps actually read the work that he did, where he cites many examples and studies pertaining to the issue.

            No doubt the province and city will eventually pay something for wherever the Flames play next. That doesn’t mean it’s either a practical or beneficial thing to do.

          • RickT

            I’m sorry. The Stanford study in 2015 is neither localized nor antiquated. Kept Wilton’s articles are also well researched.

            However, if you don’t like the suggested sources do your own search. Use academic sources, use google, or any of your other preferred methods. I’m sure you’ll see many articles with the same conclusions as mentioned.

          • RickT

            Absolutely, many are. Does not make it the correct course of action.

            Look at the research. The negatives far out weight the benefits.

            I’m sure you’re capable of some quick googling, being mindful of the publisher and their interests. Stanford did a really great study. Many sports centred sites have done their own studies with the same conclusions (look no further, even, than this Nation site).

          • RickT

            As others have pointed out, one data point does not make a rule.

            I agree, Edmonton’s is looking great. And great for Edmonton.

            Situations are much different between the two places, and the proposed locations, etc., etc. There are many more examples of it not being the benefit claimed so mightily.

          • Stu Cazz

            If you have an understanding of the Calgary proposal you will see that public money is not directed at a private venue. Only the public field house component.

            The only facility that received public money in Alberta was the new Oiler building and that was justified by politicians on the basis of reviving a dead downtown core. That would be difficult to do in Calgary.

          • Stu Cazz

            Totally on side with what you said…a project of the magnitude will enhance growth for sure. I am in agreement with public money to support private venues only if the spin-off benefits to the community are clear and effectively communicated as they were by Katz.

            In Calgary about half the public are opposed without understanding the facts and benefits of an new facility that would include public venues such as field houses, hotels, restaurants, convention centres etc. That brings growth.

          • hags437

            Really Walter Whiner? Lol I love the hypocrisy in Flame fans when they are ready to anoint Tkachuk as the superior player to Puljujavi after 50 games and yet preach patience with Bennett. Lol Listen Walter Whiner keep throwing jabs it highly entertaining. Just don’t whine like a little $&&%# when Oiler fans are throwing it back in your face that you got swept this year, Oilers are for real and you still have goaltending issues, your coach is Eakins 2.0 and your best player is a 4 ft nothing who’s underachieving and oh yeah Tarde marked his name!! Bahhaha..what a goof. Ah that felt good

            FN Mod: this is an example of a bad post. Not wasting my time editing it. Just, use this as an example of what not to do.

          • Randaman

            Really Mr. Moderator? Come to Oilers Nation and see some of the spew that Arminius puts forth.

            This post was mild. Thin skinned or what? Maybe you are just an upset Flames fan rather than a neutral observer?

            Thank-you

            FN Mod: as has been posted before, this site is moderated. We have no control over what is posted on sister sites. If people want to post here, they follow our rules.

          • hags437

            Lol what a bunch of babies Flamesnation are. Thin skinned is right. Just so I’m clear…was it the Eakins 2.0 or the Johnny Hockey trade Mark thing I said??

          • ginganinja

            The mod just said it was a crappy post. It may have something to do with the run on sentence, disregard for spelling and grammar, and its generally childish nature. Honestly as an Oiler fan that can’t stand Arminius, I hate to see fellow Oiler fans posting crap that looks like its straight out of his notes. Please show everyone that we are a more intelligent people, not the opposite.

          • RedMan

            what i enjoy most about your posts is that you actually believe what you say has credibility and is somehow painful to us, when in fact your childishness has sadly been proven to not be an act, but is still quite amusing. You actually think your saying things that are smart. it’s ironically funny – keep it coming!!! 😀

          • FlamesFanOtherCity

            Bla bla bla, the team has changed. Two reasons only why the Oil have one more regulation win than the Flames; Talbot and Talbot. If the Flames can shut down McDavid for the entire game, save for a couple of mis-matched shifts, then he is not going to carry the team. Your great #2 center is playing as a winger. Eberle shows up when there are goals and assists available.

            The Flames crapped the bed in the opening 5 minutes of the game, so there was little chance of winning a 4-3 game; you have to go for a 6-5 game. Starting Johnson was a huge mistake; he is not the goalie that has had recent success. Six out of seven starts with two wins to show for it.

            The lineup choices have been confusing at best. Brodie has not looked capable as a LD, so why force it just to have the LHS-RHS balance. Chaisson has not looked like a top 9 player. Johnny has had little success playing away from Monahan, but has done well with Versteeg and Monahan. Ferland plays better on LW, but is playing RW.

            Fix those things and have BT look for a viable 4th defender and a top 9 RW. The west is hard to predict. The Oilers have fooled their fans into thinking they are a contender. Maybe a bubble playoff team, but there is a lot of hockey to play against teams other than Calgary.

          • Derzie

            There is one universal truth in all of this: f@1k the Oilers and f@!k McDavid. We got bigger problems right now. (and the Oil have 2 more wins than our tire fire of a team. Two. Hardly a bragging point)

          • Ogie Oglethorp

            The Oilers are on pace for 102 pts. They have a 98% chance of playoffs. Just stop with the embarrassing 2 more wins BS.

            Let’s look at WHY they have been beating us, and we might be able to learn a thing or two instead of sounding like bitter asshats.

        • Derian Hatcher

          I don’t think anyone will deny the gong show that we’re the oilers under poor management and too many coaches. There is also no denying that the poor performance and profound luck resulted in getting 97. If anyone can feel the pain of frustrated flames fans, it is true Oiler fans (sans trolls), who remained faithful despite immense frustration.

          However, if the flames organization can learn from the many, many mistakes hat the Oilers made, the turn around will be shorter.

          To me, as an Oiler fan, I am just thankful that they finally have competent people in charge.

          A relevant and healthy BOA is what every fan wants.

  • #97TRAIN

    Don’t worry Flames mark my words. The moment you guys win 2 in a row you’ll all be saying ” Now this is the team I knew we had” I see it happen almost weekly on here.

    FN mod: you should have ended it there.

      • someguy

        Well, the last decade has seen us get the best arena in the world, McDavid, Taylor Hall, Draisatl, Darnell Nurse, Eberle, and the Nuge.

        Who did you get? Monahan, Gaudreau, Bennett, and um….fluctuations between playoff failure and mediocrity.

        Flames haven’t fared much better than the Oilers post-2004, so you don’t exactly have the right to thumb your nose at the Oilers, now do you?

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Watch your mouth as this is the same ownership group that is tirelessly working the backrooms and stairwells at city council laying down a plan in which billions of tax dollars will flow their way to build a new home for the team. Show some respect for these visionaries.

      • Randaman

        So are you saying that if the Flames built a state of the art building that spurred growth and rejuvinated development in a particular part of the city, you would be one of those anti-visionaries that would poo poo the thought?

        I used to live in Edmonton and Calgary. The new building in Edmonton is spectacular and Calgary is long overdue.

        Rethink that Juan, really!

        • BlueMoonNigel

          It all depends on how big a bag the taxpayers are left holding to pay for the new barn.

          The Edmonton situation is a bit different in that the new building was built in a part of downtown that was economically depressed save for the dope dealers and prozzies who were making a killing.

          In 2004-5, we used the area now home to the new arena in Edmonton to film parts of an independent film about the post-apocalypse. Film itself met with mixed reviews, but everyone said we absolutely nailed the location as it looked exactly what many thought life after life might look like.

  • freethe flames

    We are just not as good as we came to believe during our little run. Not enough talent in the top 9. Need a legit number 4 defender. Goaltending was supposed to be solved but frequently does not look better than last year. Yet despite that we remain a bubble play off team.

    Players need to become accountable to themselves. Coach needs to rethink his system and better utilize his players. GM needs to find a way to fill the holes in his line up. Fans need to set realistic expectations.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      What your talking about is a full-on rebuild. We are already three years into a full-on rebuild and you want to go back to Year Zero? Unacceptable.

      Yeah, let’s blame the fans. They are the softest target going. The Flames are closing in on almost 30 straight years of bad and mediocre hockey. How dare they expect more from their team. Shame on them! How selfish of Flames’ fans to expect that Johnny and Sean meet or exceed their performances from the past or that night after night, Sam start to look like the highest draft pick in Flames’ history. I can see your point exactly that if the fans would just dial back their expectations of the team, the club will be fine. Sure we’ll be the NY Islanders of the west. What an ambition!

      • Ogie Oglethorp

        I don’t think it’s full-on rebuild, but it’s time to pivot and not become the Oilers perpetual rebuild.

        The Oilers put everything on their top picks. They refused to admit Hall, Nuge, Yakupov weren’t going to make them a contender. They continued to ride their high picks despite poor results and running in place, or backwards.

        Obviously dumb luck shifted things for them, but if we back the truck up to pre McDavid, you could argue we are in a similar place.

        Are we willing to admit our ‘core’ isn’t right? Are we willing to trade some of our big assets to dramatically shift the course here?

        We NEED another first line elite talent. We need a goalie.

        The options are continue to rebuild, hope for another high draft pick and wait more years. (Oiler style)

        Or double down on our core, insist they will get it and just need time (Oiler style)

        Or we make some BIG moves. Johnny, Sean, Sam? I don’t know who. But the alternative to making a big core change is the Oiler perpetual rebuild approach where we refuse to look at the core, instead hoping they kids just figure it out, get better or we are gifted the next McDavid to save everything.

        This summer is the time.

      • freethe flames

        Don’t know where I said we need a full rebuild but clearly we need to rethink what we have and what we need. Whose blaming the fans; what I said was we need to rethink where this team is. I do expect more from Sam and Johnny but I also realize that Sam is still developing but many here expected him to be a star already. No dialing back their expectations won’t make the problem go away; we still want the team to win but the truth is the current squad is just not good enough.

        • BlueMoonNigel

          “Not enough talent in the top 9. Need a legit number 4 defender. Goaltending was supposed to be solved but frequently does not look better than last year. Coach needs to rethink his system and better utilize his players. GM needs to find a way to fill the holes in his line up.”

          That reads like a full-on rebuild to me. I suspect when you bemoan top 9 talent, you really mean top 6 as the Flames already have more than enough guys to ice a solid third line.

          There are not enough legit #4 defencemen in the league now for the demand, so unless the team is willing to take the long and dangerous road of trying to develop one, expensive free agency and costly trades seem the most likely way.

          Ditto for the team’s suspect goaltending.

          Coach doesn’t create his systems on a napkin before the next game. Months of work go into making it, teaching it, sticking to it, tweaking it, re-evaluating it, etc. Changing systems is not something that should be changed as often as one’s drawers.

          GMs the league over would love to fill holes in their rosters but there’s a simple matter called a salary cap which keeps their wishes and dreams from becoming earthbound. Tre more than many of his GM cohorts also has very little in his kitty right now to plug the many holes that have sprung leaks. Even with the cap relief that he’ll get in the summer, a lot of that dough is already earmarked, so unless he can shift some boat anchor contracts in the summer it will be status quo.