Friday, January 13, 2006


Blast from the Past

Calgary Herald: Errant blueliners hear Sutter's bark
Thursday night, though, [Sutter] issued a very personal challenge to a pair of his slumping defenceman.

"Jordan (Leopold) and Andrew (Ference) have got to be better for us," grumbled the head coach in the wake of a 3-2 National Hockey League loss to the New York Islanders.

"A helluva lot better. One guy's supposed to be a defensive player, I hear that's our unsung hero, but he's got to compete harder. Bottom line. This is a team that's 12 games over .500 and he's a minus player?

"The other guy's supposed to be an offensive player, gets a lot of offensive minutes, and hasn't scored a goal for us yet this year. You go past this year, through the 26 playoff games and 10 games before that to find the last time he scored."

I didn't know that Leopold's goalless drought extended so far back: that's eighty games without a goal for a guy who won the Hobey Baker Award with 20G and 48pts in 44GP. That said, I don't really have a problem with the guy. He's tops on the team at +13, and he's full value for it. Notwithstanding his puck-bobble last night (where half the blame should go to Tommy anyway), that led to a partial breakaway and the penalty where the Isles scored the winner on the PP, he's excellent defensively. Andrew Ference, on the other hand...

Ference has managed to chalk up a minus-8 +/- rating on the season, despite leading the team with 18 assists. Some days he looks fantastic: moving his legs well, moving the puck well, and generally running the show back there. But too many other days, it's the opposite: his legs aren't moving, he gives the puck away, and he looks like he's afraid to push anyone around.

Basically, he's Kari Eloranta, 20 years later. And Flames fans of the early/mid '80s will certainly remember how Eloranta could both tantalize and infuriate us. At any rate, if Hamrlik isn't back on Saturday, Coach needs to switch up the defence pairings, because the evidence is that Ference needs to be paired with a guy who's more reliable than he is. The pairing with Regehr Jr. didn't work at all last night, and his early season struggles (documented here, here, and here) came while he was paired with Montador. Put him back with Warrener, and let Phaneuf cover for Richie (or Roman, as the case may be).

UNRELATED NOTE: Both Calgary papers are calling this the 2nd 3-game losing streak of the season, and the first since the L/L/OTL in Games 3/4/5. I'm not sure why they're not counting the L/L/SOL in Games 11/12/13; same diff, if you ask me.



Unless some sly criticism of the breeding habits of Mennonites is intended, you should prefer the practice of the English public schools, whence a younger brother would be referred to and addressed as "Regehr minor" rather than "Junior".

Yours &C.,

Speaking of Hobey Baker.

This guy seems to be fairing pretty well in comparison to most of the other Y2K finalists. Especially compared to that goalie from New Hampshire.

We'll go with RR2 from here on out; a '2' should be sufficiently general so as not to imply a difference in generation.

P.S. Go to hell.


Interesting Hobey Baker finalists list. Brendan Morrison, Marty St.Loius, and Chris Drury were finalists twice, and Brian Gionta three times but never a winner.

And look at the winner's pictures from 87 and 85. I haven't seen college kids that look that old since Steve and Andrea.

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