Friday, October 07, 2005


Game day thread

Flames play in Columbus tonight, 5PM MDT on Sportsnet West. The guys on the radio are presently trying to guess which forward Sutter plans to scratch (Ritchie is in). They're saying Reinprecht or Simon, since they got singled out the most after the Wild loss. I'm skeptical (my guess is Wiemer); Sutter isn't generally going to call out a player without giving him a chance to redeem himself.

Speaking of Sutter, before Wednesday's game he was being interviewed about the penalty crackdown, and he talked about the team's "strategy" to minimize the impact. Basically, he said that they've talked about taking special care in three situations:
  1. No penalties when you're forechecking
  2. No penalties when you're backchecking
  3. No penalties when there's already a penalty
The first makes a lot of sense: be aggressive, but the point of forechecking is NOT to gain puck possession at any cost. The second amounts to a reminder to use your legs to recover position, not your stick. And the third is critical: you don't want to turn a 5-on-4 PK into a 5-on-3, nor do you want to cut a PP short.

At any rate, I found the approach interesting. It seems preferable to a broad directive like "Don't hook guys".

Comments are open through the game; feel free to toss in your observations.

UPDATE, 2 minutes later: It is Wiemer. Nash for Columbus is also confirmed out.


My prediction -- Flames blank Columbus 4-0

My prediction -- A team bereft of offense comes together and slaughters the Flames 6-3. Oh wait, that can't happen again, can it?

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