Wednesday, February 01, 2006

 

Flames Game Night

Across the country on TSN, it's the Flames hosting the Blue Jackets!

Columbus is getting a bit of attention for their improved play of late, but it's somewhat of a mirage.

As has been the case for years, they are a decent home team and a terrible road team. I mean terrible: they're 6-18-2, and the best team they've beat on the road so far this year is Phoenix (plus MIN, STL, FLA, & CHI x2). Their shootout losses to the Avs and Wings have to be considered giant upsets.

The Flames have won both matchups so far this year; one was a dominant effort in Ohio, and one was a dodgy performance in Calgary, where Marcus Nilson chest-bumped the winning goal past Marc Denis in a 2-1 win.

Brass tacks: Calgary ought to win rather solidly. And I hope they do: I'm not interested in sensing any weird, powderkeg vibe detected by some. It's a 3-1 victory. Go Flames.

[Postscript: speaking of vibes, the pic of Nash gives me the sense of a guy who would take it out at the end of a date. Just me?]

Comments:

I'm with Cosh, the whole team seems a bit . . . unbalanced . . . at the moment.

Tonight will tell whether or not they have really lost their mojo.
 


The Flames have a disconcerting habit of playing down to their opposition. This is not a new thing, I think they brought it with them from Atlanta. So, when they have a few games in a row against the lower echelon teams, and serve up turd after turd, they might seem to the more casual Flames observer to be a bit ... unbalanced.

But they have some tough games coming up where they will (hopefully) play up to the opposition and look for all the world like a decent team again.

Where does this leave us tonight? Probably another turd, but the last one for a while. Since they are at home, they'll probably eke out a 1-0 or 2-1 win (maybe in overtime) and leave us all scratching our heads about it after.
 


Fuck that.

Calgary wins 5-1.

Zherdev leaves on a stretcher.
 


I like how Matt gave evidence of how shitty Columbus is as evidence of a Flames victory. Like that's mattered lately.

I should have brought my Oilers jersey down here to counter all the god damn car flags waving around. What the hell is the deal with the car flags?
 


I like how peter gave evidence of how shitty Columbus is as an excuse for how shitty the Flames are.
 


I see a Calgary blowout. Columbus needs to pay a price for signing MacLean long term.
 


This may come as a shock, but let it be known that I hate Ference. I hate how he plays, I hate how he looks, I even haye how he skates - as if constipated and enjoying it. Why the hell is he on the PP at the end of the game fucking up pass after pass to Phaneuf? I honestly believe he has one of those Conklin diseases, bubonic brain diarrhea or something.

Donovan, Simon, Lombardi, Weimer. They can all eat shit.
 


Lol. JH pretty much sums up what I heard on the radio on the way home from a movie tonight. I have to admit, after watching a captivating yet utterly depressing movie like Syriana, it's nice to come out and hear that the Flames lost. In a shootout. Again. To Columbus.

The funny thing is, everyone was bitching about getting a scorer. I see Sutter addressed that need, sending Reinprecht away for Mike Leclerc. According to the TSN story, Leclerc has "63 goals and 90 assists in 26 NHL career games with Anaheim and the Coyotes." Apparently the guy is better than Gretzky. I wonder how long it will take for them to fix that one.

Ever notice how quiet Matt is after a loss?
 


I got nothing. The only thing I want in the whole world right now is to encase this thread in Lucite and mount it on my wall next to the box score of the game.
 


Nice trade for the Flames. One backup for another, and perhaps their most creative offensive player (albeit struggling) for another grinder.

I guess you can never have too much grit.

Note to Flames - don't go to the aid of your teammates. Even if you don't throw a punch you are likely to be stapled to the bench, publically scolded, and then traded out of town.
 


Let it be known that I also hate Ference. I urgently hope he is packaged in some sort of deal at the deadline (for just about anything in return). He's horrible.
 


It was a good trade. Reinprecht has been "struggling" (aka sucking) all year, his offensive creativity not worth the sweat off a grinder's nutsack. Leclerc is, at the very least, a wake up/bitch slap to the rest of the Flames, and Sutter somehow manages to get the most out of trades.

Boucher for Sauve is a good deal.

Sacamano - "don't go to the aid of your teammates"
McCarty, Warrener, Phaneuf, Iggy, Weimer (God bless him), March, etc. all step in to fight for their team. That's not a problem for Sutter. But for a goalie to finally feel the need to get into the game after 58 minutes have passed, that just doesn't cut it and shows inexperience.

Mind you, maybe Sutter didn't really need to duct tape Sauve to a Junior High school flag pole, pants him, and then gather all the kids around to point and laugh.


The Flames seem to think that beating the Oilers and doing "just barely enough" to stay on top of the NW division is all they need to do. Fuck that.
 


Thankfully we made it through that 'easy 4 game stretch' of the schedule only going 1-1-2. Now that things are about to get tougher (Vancouver, San Jose) the Flames will get better.

I know that makes no sense, but this seems to be how the Flames do it.

My $0.02 on the trade:

Boucher is an upgrade over Sauve, and has shown himself in the past to be better than any of the Oilers' 3 backup goalies, so I'm happy about that part of the trade. Sutter had clearly lost confidence/faith in Sauve, so he had to go. I expect it was more than one bad game in Colorado that led to that. If Sauve was showing in practice, he would have had more starts.

I always liked LeClerc, but I don't see him as an upgrade over Reinprecht. A little shake up won't hurt these guys, though.
 


So exactly how many times can Sutter use this "shake up the team" tactic before something breaks? The number of Flames remaining from the Glorious Stanley Cup Finalists of 2004 is down to less than half the roster.
 


Shake ups don't logically always lead to breaking.

Sutter's shake ups 2 years ago during the season worked out quite well.

The offseason moves obviously worked because the Flames are in first in the NW with only 30 games left.

So far this year the only shake up (before last night) was Huselius, and that was a very good move.

I have faith that the son of Go... er, Sutter, knows what he's doing.
 


Sutter's shake ups 2 years ago during the season worked out quite well.

Getting Kipper worked out quite well. Everything else was just details.
 


I'm still hoping that the next shake up involves Ference.

Speaking of which, I'm not so sure Ference has "Conklin disease". He may actually have "bubonic brain diarrhea or something", but Conklin's infliction is something else. and it's spreading. So much so that concerned people have set up at least one treatment facility...

http://www.conklincenter.org
 


oh man, that conklin center thing is fucking awesome.
 

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