Thursday, March 16, 2006

 

Battle of Alberta - Open Thread




Season Record: 33-23-10 Season Record: 37-20-7


Preview

Chill your beer, and warm-up your tee-vees, It's Battle Of Alberta Night, baby!

I'm not sure there is a better team to play to get Rollie his first shut-out as an Oiler. That's if the edgy Rexall fans don't boo him for letting in goals during warm-up.

I'm anticipating a physical affair tonight. Matt posted on some of the line-up shuffles, and the fantastic news for Oilers fans is that Roman Hamrlik is back on the Calgary blue-line. It really is like Christmas at a non-Cosh household. It also looks like Mac-T's inspired decision to put Pisani at centre will continue. I love it.

The big story line in this one, of course, is can Jamie Lundmark continue to spark the Flames offense with more performances like his 1GP, 0A-0G-0P-0+-0PM-1SOG? Sutter is looking like a genius.

Obsessive scoreboard watching:

Comments:

I actually forget there was a game today, as I am so excited about the Madness. Forgive me if I plug my own site on this one, please.

You need to add a standings link, or a breakdown on the sidebar. I was lost last night. I actually had to make two clicks to get the info I needed. God.
 


This is going to be great. Hopefully Hamrlik scores an OT winner. I won't even begrudge the Oil if they scare up a cheap OT point tonight and push the Canucks further back.

I have a Kokanee right here that says Rollover doesn't get his first shut-out as an Oiler tonight. I have another one that says Rollover never gets a shut-out as an Oiler.

Go Flames
 


Well, if we give Calgary a 2-0 lead we know that a) they will give it back and the game is essentially tied, and b) they won't score any more thant that. So the lack of a shutout won't bother us too much.
 


There is a significant lack of trash talk here of late...looks like both sides are scared to death of shooting off their collective mouths, and having their team deficate the sheets. Myself, well, I'm all for shooting my mouth off when things get too quiet, so...

What's the hardest thing about being a Calgary Flame?
a. Telling your parents!
b. Getting through the day knowing you probably aren't going to score tonight.
c. Learning how to read and write.

I could go on, but I think Cosh or Sac are likely far more creative for stuff like this than I am :P
 


Cosh and Sac? WTF!!

I'm like the Rodney Dangerfield of this board. I get no respect. Cosh and Sac. Pfft. I

You are right, though. People are on edge. Nervous. Crunch time.
 


It's nights like this that I really wish I had a friend with Centre Ice.
Hopefully the leafs game will end quickly and I can head to a bar that might be willing to change the channel once Domi is done being interviewed an hour after the game is over.



And I thought the worst part about being a Flames fan was having to watch the Calgary Flames play their tradmarked brand of hockey.
 


I thought it was the "Anaheim Mighty Ducks circa 1994" brand of hockey? I'm never sure, as I slip into a self-induced coma around the time I hear, "the Flames dump the puck in and pull all five men back behind their blueline." That usually happens at the 36 second mark of the warm-up skate, so...
 


I'd be more inclined to agree that putting Pisani at centre was "inspired" if MacTavish hadn't already used most of the 1.8 million or so possible lineup permutations this year. When they gave away that life-size Pronger poster I could practically hear MacT thinking to himself: "You know, if we just slapped a set of pads on this motherfucker, he'd fill most of the net just like that Dubnyk kid..."
 


Anyone notice that Fenwick has been suspiciously silent on this game. The calm before the storm? Lack of confidence? Chicken?
 


He always does that. Wants to avoid premature emasculation, I guess.
 


I'm pretty sure the worst part of being a Flames fan is listening to (a) the gloating of the Greasers faithful (who's last fading moment of glory was in 1990) (b) the complaints of the same Faithful that the first place Flames play 'boring hockey'.

Whatever. My boring team is pretty much a lock for the playoffs and does not have a whole lot at stake tonight. A win would be nice because we could forget about the Oilers until the playoffs, but it is not imperative. The Oilers have a lot riding on this one: if they lose they also lose control of their playoff destiny and need support from any or all of Anaheim, Vancouver and San Jose to get in.

I'm expecting big things from the Flames tonight. The Oil need this one and the Flames not so much. If Rollo lets in a softie early (which seems probable) then things could get ugly.

Go Flames
 


The worst part about being a Flames fan is constantly having to explain simple concepts to Oilers fans. Concepts like 81 points is better than 76, especially when you have two games in hand over the team with 76 points. Playing “boring” hockey is fine if you win enough to be first in your division, especially if you have three games in hand over the second place team. Having a sound defense and a great goalie is a good plan for playoff hockey, especially when there are no shoot-out for the offensively talented, yet goaltender poor, Oilers to get some cheap wins. That system worked well for the Flames in the last season’s playoffs, but I can’t remember how the Oilers did in those playoffs. Can anybody remind me? Did they even make it with all of their offensive talent? I guess all the recent success the Flames had sort of made me, and every other hockey fan, forget about the Oilers.

Go Flames.
 


Always nice to receive a dispatch from the alternate universe where the Gelinas goal went in, the '04 Flames didn't slink off to the Pantheon of Great Chokejobs, and a shirtless Jarome Iginla led a Stanley Cup parade through the streets of Calgary on the back of a rainbow-coloured unicorn.
 


I can’t say as I remember the rainbow-coloured unicorn, but I guess if I lived in a universe where Rollie the goalies was actually seen as a savior and not just another one of the bums on parade that the Oilers have had in their crease this year, I might be inclined to see tie dyed horned horses too. The Jerome Iginla burn was a little homo-erotic but funny none the less. I’ll take losing in game seven of the finals over the once every three years upset of the Stars.
 


Yeah, I know how this works. "We'll take painful playoff losses... we'll take the league's crappiest offence... we'll take a grouchy, inarticulate coach who can't keep his hands off guys like Cale Hulse... we'll take hockey that would make Iggy Pop nod out after consuming a bucket of crystal meth... we'll take long phoned-in stretches by Iggy... we'll take repeated showings of the 'You Can't Touch A Flame' video...". Enjoy your five extra standings points, because you've sure spent a quarter-century earning 'em.
 


Yeah I get that the offense is anemic at best most nights but it’s an offense that has won more games than the Oilers so how bad can it be? I’ll take a marble mouthed, surly coach who can win with Hulse and Ritchie over a slick talking one who is struggling to make it into the playoffs with supposedly superior talent. I can handle Iggy being enigmatic as long as he plays like he did in the playoff of ’04. The fact is 81 points in 64 games and first place in their division is better to watch than 76 points in 66 games. What I won’t take is the “Can’t touch a Flame” video. It sucks no matter who you cheer for.

Go Flames.
 


Oh yeah, I'm enjoyin' the HELL out of those five standing points. Thanks for asking.
 


Hee Hee. I've missed this kind of smack. Well done people. Well done.
 


>I can handle Iggy being enigmatic as long as he plays like he did in the playoff of ’04.

Everytime you guys say this, the little beads of sweat on your forehead give you away.
 


The fact is 81 points in 64 games and first place in their division is better to watch than 76 points in 66 games.

Really? Then why aren't you cheering for the Stars? They have 89 points. They must be waaay more fun to watch.

You have more points. We get it. In less games. We get it. You made the playoffs two years ago. We didn't. We get it. You lost. We get it. You made the playoffs three times in ten hockey years. We made it six times. We get it. You have one Cup. We have five. We get it. You need this much more than us. We get it.

Normally, I hate using the Cup argument. But it is just so sweet, isn't it?

And notice, still no Matt.
 


I don't know what Disco Dirk is talking about with all this 'recent success' of the Flames. Is he talking about the one playoff appearance since 1996? The loss in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals? Stellar top 10 draft picks like Brent Krahn and Oleg Saprykine?

Geez, you have my utmost sympathy. How do you even begin to manage cheering for such a successful hockey team? Perhaps you should form a support group with fans of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Their loss in Game 7 of the 2003 Cup Finals makes them just as successful as the Flames in recent years. I think the two fan bases could really help each other cope.

I think someone's car flag is obstructing his view of reality...
 


Normally, I hate using the Cup argument. But it is just so sweet, isn't it?

What other argument have you used?
 


16 giveaways through two. Ouch. Thank God for LeGG, who at least has a little spark.
 


I was talking about the loss in game seven of the ’04 finals, good catch Alex. I do consider that a recent success and I have no problem cheering for a team that is in first place in the best division in hockey. What exactly do you consider recent success? The odd first round upset of Dallas must be in six playoff trips in ten hockey years must be reason to celebrate. My mistake I thought that having a long playoff run was better then…well, not having one.
 


Damn. Good game, but why the hell didn't Kipper clear that stick in front of the goal when he had the chance?

Crappy way to lose.
 


Wow! Does it get any better? Hamrlik is the one victimized by Samsonov. Horc gets his 20th.

So sweet.g
 


I have no problem cheering for a team that is in first place in the best division in hockey.

I'm really happy for you. It's difficult to cheer for a winner.

I guess all the recent success the Flames had sort of made me, and every other hockey fan, forget about the Oilers.

What exactly do you consider recent success?

Well, if by "all the recent success", you mean one appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals, then yeah, Calgary has had as much recent success as Anaheim, Carolina, Washington, and Buffalo, all of whom also appeared in *one* Stanley Cup Finals in recent years. Unlike Calgary, some of them have actually had sustained playoff runs over a number of years and success as part of that.

Maybe I'm different, but I set my sights on success higher than one Conference championship and a 5 point margin in the regular season standings over Edmonton. Things like Stanley Cup wins, and sustained success are important. But like I said, it might just be me.

The odd first round upset of Dallas must be in six playoff trips in ten hockey years must be reason to celebrate.

I wish Flames fans would get over their inferiority complex. Given "all the recent success" of the Flames, why do their fans feel a need to keep comparing themselves to Edmonton?
 


It seems that blogger is having technical difficulties at the moment -- we are unable to put up new posts, but are able to comment. Although the comments are only showing up in some places.

As such, I am unable to put up a "BofA Flames Mocking" post. Please insert your mocking into the comments, instead.
 


Sergei freaking Samsanov bitches!

I stand by comments I made to friends earlier in the day, if you score three goals against Calgary, Calgary loses. Calgary is not capable of producing more than two goals a game. They just ride Kipper like a cheap hoe, and expect him to carry them to victory.
 


I was at the game tonight. It was glorious. Samsonov's end-to-end followed by that dish to Horcoff for the winner was utterly divine. The place went absolutely bonkers. Fantastic playoff-esque atmosphere, replete with plenty of Flames fans in the house whose chants only served to get the hometown faithful more revved. The second was totally flat for the Oil and it's only thanks to Rollie that we got out only one goal down. Considering Spacek's goal and other chances, there is no doubt that the new pick-ups for the Oil have transformed the team.

Other observations: The BG-Harvey-Peca fourth line managed to break things up nicely when we got bogged down defensively to provide some spark.

Kipper stood on his head and kept the score respectable with some jaw-dropping saves, but otherwise I felt the Flames were unremarkable, although Lundmark did show some good wheels and stick-handling. Both Flames goals were garbage, while the Oil had to show some real skill to get it by Kipper. I still don't know how Stollie got that second one in, it looked totally unreal from the angle I saw.

I think Hemsky and Samsonov should play on different lines. It's a dream to watch them together but they have very similar styles on the puck and would best be used freeing up room and feeding line-mates down low. When either of them have the puck you can just see the D scramble. Unfortunately they can't both have the puck at the same time, so split'em I say.

A lot of tails between the legs of the Flames fans heading home, plus torrents of elated Oilers fans talking trash, equals a lot of fights in the parking lot. I saw two decent dust-ups anyway. Just another weeknight on the northside I guess.
 


Oh, Edmonton, I miss you. The most revved up I've seen any hockey fans since I moved to Toronto was two nights ago when three guys wearing Darcy Tucker away jerseys were yelling at a custodian in the Bloor-Yonge subway station about how the Leafs were awesome. I don't think the guy understood what they were saying.

Also, Alex Abboud? Andy Grabia? Sheamus Murphy? Is there anyone posting on this blog that hasn't at one point worked for the U of A students' union? Anyhow, a hello to you all, good sirs.
 


Is it just me or does Fenwick's post look freaking ridiculous because his trash talking only showed up after his team had already lost? Because really, that's the sort of thing that if your going to post it four times, you should really say it before your wrong four times.
 


Apparently it was Go Time, Four Times. We get the point Matt. You don't need to post it over and over and over and over again.
 


...in the context of The Battle of Alberta, the Oilers still have the same goaltending problem as before, and his name is Miikka. --Mr. Matthew Fenwick

Tonight's game was textbook Flames hockey, with Kiprusoff standing on his head, Iginla creating odd-man rushes, and the supporting cast performing pretty much as advertised, forcing the puck to the outside and trapping the most dangerous individual opponents pretty effectively behind the goal line. I am, if anything, more impressed by Sutter's personnel judgment now than I was 24 hours ago.

The punch line? The Flames still have the same offensive problem as before. Its name is--The Entire Roster.
 


I've changed my mind. The worst part of being a Flames fan is listening to Oilers fans accuse my team of choking for failing to win game 7 on the 2004 stanley Cup final.

That's not choking. Choking is losing game 79 in the regular season and not getting to the playoffs at all. The 2004 Flames were huge underdogs and came within a goal of claiming the big prize. They gave a city 8 weeks of thrills. yeah, the big prize would be nice, but their achievement was a brilliant one.

Last night, the Oil had an achievement of sorts, thanks to a brilliant pick run by a broken stick and a confused Mikka, who expected Horcoff to take a 'good shot'.

Anyway, it was a fun game to watch, my team got a point on the road, we're still in first with a fistful of games in hand and Vancouver was buried a little deeper in the standings. One of the worst of all possible outcomes, but not the absolute worst.
 

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