Tuesday, March 28, 2006



This is quite the little division & playoff race we have going here, no? Two points separating Calgary from the 4th/8th Canucks, and I have to admit, I'm a little nervous.

The Sauve & Reinprecht for Boucher & Leclerc trade has been an absolute bloody disaster. The winner of the "talent swap" aspect is still to be determined, but considering the Flames' record is a sub-.500 10-9-3 since Sutter went off on Sauve, it sure looks like he mishandled the whole deal. Also worth raising an eyebrow: Sutter worked for "a long time" on a deal to pick up an experienced backup goaltender; the Flames just played 7 games in 11 days; and the important, experienced backup got one start. That's now 2 starts in 18 games as a Flame (11.1%). The inexperienced Sauve got 6 starts in 53 games (11.3%).

On top of all that, if you know a Mighty Ducks season ticket holder who is also a clergyman, put him in touch with me, as his word is the only way I'll believe the now-injured Mike Leclerc ever scored 20 goals in a season. If the Flames season goes all the way sour, I'm gonna get under a blanket, cue up the highlights of Rhino's goals in the 6-5 win over Vancouver, and sob gently.

And, I've already mentioned (a couple times): Dion Phaneuf is a gifted rookie. How gifted is he? He's so gifted, he's already working through his sophomore jinx.

Now that I have that out of the way, we have the following going for us, which is nice:
And best of all, this is still a stronger roster than the one that won 15 playoff games in 2004. I wasn't totally sure, but some callers to the FAN960 yesterday afternoon (while trying to explain the Flames' problems) accidentally convinced me.

Like for instance, the guy who thought we missed the speed of Oleg Saprykin. Uh, not so much dude--if I was still waiting for him to break out, I really would have an ulcer. Leopold was our most talented PP D-man last season; now he's 2nd unit, behind Phaneuf & Hamrlik. And for all the mostly-deserved laffs about the Flames' puny scoring numbers, the 2nd-leading scorer in 2003/04 was Shean "Figure 8" Donovan (18G).

This is a good team that has been in 1st place all but one day since December 29th. mc79 has the Avs favoured to win from here; the 2 head-to-head games they have, both in the 'Dome, should tell the tale. Go Flames.


Hey, has your "most talented PP D-man last season" scored a goal yet?

Yeah, two in 3 games! This is very exciting...

I gotta agree with your Rhino/Leclerc assessment. We got hosed...
Reinprecht has 5 goals and 7 assists in his last 12 games and is a +6. Leclerc has 1 goal and a broken wrist.

While comparing offensive numbers between the players is unfair thanks to the difference between the two teams (systems, yadda yadda), I still question the wisdom behind trading an offensive asset for a lesser offensive asset from a team lacking offense. Did Sutter, perhaps, figure that Rhino was too soft for the play-off grind?

I think he was backed into a corner with the Sauve thing, and that was the only way he could get himself out. I doubt (I'm hoping anyway) that he thought he was upgrading at forward, I think he was (is) praying it comes out a wash.

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