Monday, October 03, 2005


Preaching to the choir

Two good little blurbs from Michael Farber's bit on the Flames from the SI Preview:
Whenever a player such as Atlanta's Marian Hossa claims that he deserves Iginla money, the appropriate response is: No, you don't.

And here he quotes Darryl Sutter channelling Tom Benjamin:
"Is [Langkow] looked at as a Number 1 center? I don't think so. But I think he's a perfect Number 2. If you can have two or three perfect Number 2s, you're in pretty good shape."

Indeed - and I guess I'm not the only one expecting Matthew Lombardi to step up.


A nice swipe at SI today by Tychkowski:

"Calgary made it to the final in 2004 and was picked by Sports Illustrated (long known for the attention it pays to hockey) to finish first overall this year."

SI deserves it; Michael Farber, probably not. It's not like they pulled him off the college football beat to churn out some hockey content.

Sure, Farber is a genuine hockey wizard. Afterall, the last time he reviewed the Flames he picked them to come 24th.

Hey, I'm just vouching for the fact that he's not a dilettante.

Duhatschek might be the only hockey writer who I give the benefit of the doubt, so to speak - if he writes something, I might assume that there's something to it, or think about it a bit more. Every other writer I will gladly dismiss out of hand if they write something that conflicts with my own observations.

It's not like hockey is the Iraq War or something, where to a certain extent, we have to rely on what's being reported to form judgements. I'm watching the same games as the reporters, so I don't really need them.

Re: Lombardi situation, I agree that, if anyone on the team, he's the only one who appears to be a potential number one centre. The problem lay in the immediate future, however, where the team has to find a place for him to develop.

He won't be starting on the first line and Reinprecht's got a solid place between Kobasew and Simon at the moment at second string. Throw in Stephane Yelle as the defensive specialist and faceoff man, and there's no room left for Lombardi in the middle of a line which would get decent ice time.

I hate to say it, but it might've been better off if he'd been sent down to Omaha just to get some adequate playing time.

His only saving grace will be the inevitable injury bug which will hit the team come mid-season. That, or if Reinprecht (or Kobasew) fails to connect with his linemates, Lombardi would be perfectly suited for the jump.

(Then again, I didn't pay attention to the Lombardi's line combinations during pre-season.)

I guess I'm one of these guys who figures that these things work themselves out, even in the absence of injuries (which would obviously accelerate things).

If he's looking good in practice, and in his limited ice time, then he'll get some PP time. If he continues to look good, then some game (or games) when the Flames are struggling to click, Sutter will mix up the line combos (which he does A LOT), and Lombardi will get more chances.

In short, if he plays well enough, he won't be stuck on the 4th line all season.

And I disagree about the AHL; at this point, he needs to learn to be an NHL player -- I don't think getting more exercise in Omaha will help his overall development at all.

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