Monday, April 24, 2006


Flames-Ducks Game 2 review

It was a very disappointing result.

I don't have a ton to say about the edge in play. Yes, Anaheim deserved to win, but I think you can make too much of these vague things like "winning the 1-on-1 battles" and so forth. The fact is that Anaheim scored once on a breakaway and twice on 2-on-1 rushes, and these are things you just don't expect to see from the Flames at home. If you showed me a random game sheet where Matthew Lombardi was -4, I'd just about bet the farm that it was from a road game. [Disclaimer: I do not own a farm]. The positives, as I see them:
Sacamano and I both mentioned Hrudey (glowingly) earlier; he had a good bit during the OTT-TB game showing Spezza making unnecessary/dumb moves with the puck. Well, I saw Scott Niedermayer doing the same things in both games.

He's very calm back there for sure, and yes, the man can skate (so can Ference). But he's not perfect. He makes mistakes that the Flames can, and I'm sure will, take advantage of. And the talk of him taking on Jarome Iginla man-to-man is frankly an insult to guys who have actually done that in the past (I'm thinking of Mattias Ohlund in particular). He'll continue to be out there against Iginla most of the time, I'm sure, but it's as the Ducks' best defenseman, to defend against Calgary's most dangerous line. But when this series is over, neither he nor Iginla will have the bruises and scars to show for constant confrontation.

Phaneuf had a terrible game last night, but I think both he and Regehr are better players than Niedermayer. We'll see what happens.

Beating the Ducks on the road will be a different challenge than at home. The Flames aren't going to get the matchups they want on the Selanne line; the Lombardi line is going to have to play a lot better, if they stay together, which I don't think they will. It's unlikely that they'll continue to shut out the Ducks PP, or get more opportunities than the Ducks.

The upside is, their forecheck should be a little less tentative in Game 3. Iginla has come to play. Regehr is doing a hell of a job putting the body on Selanne; Warrener or Dion/Hammer will have to pick that up on the Pond. And, after the lovin'.... we've got Kipper. Back tomorrow with Game Night.


Niedermayer excellent performance last night seems to be erasing the memory of his below-average showing on Friday against the Flames...

It makes me scratch my head when people claim he's a Norris nominee this year. Players like Lidstrom and Zubov and even Schneider should be ahead of him in my opinion.

It makes me scratch my head when people claim he's a Norris nominee this year.

Relax. It's only people who see him play that say that (which I'm guessing you're not), and none of them live on the East Coast. Based on boxscores and proximity, Lidstrom will take it.

Relax. It's only people who see him play that say that (which I'm guessing you're not)

Your respone to "head scratching" is "relax"? How do you react to people who raise their voice? Bludgeon them to death with a golf club?

Anyways, I've seen Niedermayer play a number of times this year, and last night was the first time he actually impressed me. Previously he seemed largely invisible, aside from a few give-aways here and there (see: first game of the series).

Now, granted, he may have been performing some truly herculian feats at the Pond while I wasn't watching this season...but, otherwise, I think there are several far more deserving blueliners for the Norris come year end.

Oh, and, you can take your condescending attitude and shove it.

Your response to "relax" is to write that post?

Oooooh...a Ducks-Flames fan squabble! What a nice change from "All of the Oilers fans lay the boots to jhuck".

Incidentally, I agree with Matt's point about Niedermayer although I always wonder what the value of a defenceman like him is compared to an elite forward anyway. I suspect that the elite forward is the better buy 90% of the time.

OK, on the value of Niedermayer. I think Carlyle gets to play his style of game because of Scott Niedermayer. He gives the defense a sense of composure and mobility while playing all the critical minutes.

And while Francois Beauchemin has proved to be a valuable partner, Niedermayer has "adopted" this rookie for the most part, and helped make him look pretty good in return.

His numbers aren't the highest, and my Norris vote would go to Lidstrom, but for what he does creating and cancelling opportunities, he deserves consideration. I don't care if he wins it, but I'm sure glad we signed him. He's earned both his and Rob's salary this year.

Niedermayer's a way different defenceman than both Regehr and Phaneuf. His game's just not based on power like those two, but that doesn't make him any less effective.

And are we really comparing Ference and Niedermayer's skating?

Ha! I knew Kamloops Boy would pop up if I slagged a Niedermayer...

Sure, a defenceman can be as effective as RR and Phaneuf without the same power game -- I just don't think Niedermayer is one of them. Again, in a week, we'll have slightly more conclusive proof one way or the other.

And I readily concede, in terms of past performance, it's hard to argue with success. He's won (tell me if I missed anything): Memorial Cup, World Juniors, World Championships, World Cup, Olympic Gold, and 3 Stanley Cups. Somebody up there, or possibly down there, likes him...

Again, in a week, we'll have slightly more conclusive proof one way or the other.

As long as you are in no way referring to the outcome of the series, I agree. But then, I've been described as a sabermetric extremist.

Wow...I never thought I'd have a stroke at such a young age. But I don't know how else I'd explain the fact that I thought I just read someone saying Phaneuf was better than Neidermayer.

I mean sweet fuck...are you serious? Reghier isn't as good as Neidermayer and that's one thing. But to compare Phaneuf to Scott N? Man oh fucking're stark raving mad.

How many tough minutes does Dion play compared to Scott?

Here's the deal...Dion is a lot more Hootie than he is Mick Jagger.

A Ducks fan? There's a first.

Sorry. You cannot compare Scott Niedermeyer to Phaneuf, Zubov, Regehr, Schneider or Andrew Ference in any way, shape or form.

The Devils win no Cups without Scott Niedermeyer and without him the Ducks aren't even close to the playoffs.

He is to the Ducks what Pronger is to the Oil - different player - same impact.

All these comparisons are moot. Niedermayer is a different defenceman than Regehr or Phaneuf because he's the best skater in the league, bar none. The two Flames can play better physically and Dion has a bigger upside simply because he has a few more dimensions. Who's most valuable to his team? Right now, because of who's around him, the answer is Niedermayer. Which could win him the Norris, but won't necessarily win the series. I'll take Regehr and Phaneuf over Niedermayer and Beauchemin any day.

Ha! I knew Kamloops Boy would pop up if I slagged a Niedermayer...

Sigh... Rob Niedermayer didn't play for the Blazers — he holds no special place in my heart. Robyn Regehr, however, did, and was then and is now, in no way comparable to Scott Niedermayer.

(I think Niedermayer's the best Blazer ever, in fact. And that's a mighty good group of alumn's to best — Recchi, Iginla, Doan, Sydor, Regehr, Tucker, Calder, Nash, Lukowich... etc., etc.)

Phaneuf's a great rookie at 20 on one of the league's better teams? True. But then let us recall how an 18 year old Niedermayer stepped onto a mediocre Devils team and had 40 points in 1992-93. (Long before the league's power-play goofiness I might add.)

Man, even in junior, Niedermayer was ridiculous. He had 69 points in 64 games as a 16-year-old. Phaneuf was a late bantam draft pick and lucky to even be in the 'dub at that age.

Niedermayer's awesome. He's having an awesome season. The only defencemen better than this year are Lidstrom and Pronger. The end.

I thought I'd share this little gem with fellow enthusiasts... Once you dig in a little there are many oustanding articles. Check it out when you feel like reading - golf school

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