Monday, May 29, 2006

 

Flames Miscellany

**Soon-to-be UFA Stephane Yelle was resigned right on the heels of Calgary's elimination from the playoffs. The Flames' news release does not disclose terms; TSN.ca says his salary for 2006/07 will be $2.8M.

I love Yelle; as such, I'm going to reserve comment on the deal until the numbers are confirmed. I HAVE to assume that the $2.8 mil is actually for the next two years, not one year.

**News-To-Me Dept. (I stopped reading the Calgary papers after the 1st round): Dion Phaneuf broke his foot in Game 80 of the regular season, and sprained his knee in Game 5 of the Anaheim series.

I think it's Dennis at IOF who has pointed out a few times than Phaneuf's raw G/A/Pts numbers, combined with his flair for the huge hit, flattered his actual value/performance in his rookie season. I'm not inclined to rebut this, exactly. (At least, I don't think he was as good an offensive defenseman this past season as you would think from a quick glance at his stats: just from memory, quite a few of his PP goals were at 5-on-3, to boot).

That said, I'm relieved to learn that he was hurt, because he looked pretty weak in the playoffs. I don't agree with Dennis that Phaneuf was basically a 5th/6th defenseman with some gaudy PP stats. He really was very good this season, and I think the bodychecking aspect of his game was overblown (in a Monster way, so to speak). His play in transition, going both directions, was exactly what you want to see from a presumptive Norris candidate going forward. He makes plays, I don't know of a better way to put it. Hopefully next postseason, being a little older, a little wiser, and a little healthier, he'll be a lot better.

**Good to see Peter Maher headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame. The timing is perfect, I'd say: he's got another 2-3 good years before Bob Cole Disease sets in and becomes irreversible. He's just what you want from a home broadcaster. I've said this before at least once: there is nothing wrong or shameful about a broadcaster "cheering" for one team; the problem is only if/when his bias affects his ability to give a decently accurate account of what's going on. Maher is good this way; if the opponent scores because so-and-so missed a backchecking assignment, I hear about it (instead of, say, a rehashing of the last call/non-call that didn't go the Flames' way).

**Where Do The Flames Go From Here is a topic for the offseason, but for a hint of the way I'm thinking, check out Tyler's commentary on this season's Panthers:
Playing a game that has a ton of shots each way is a point in their favour -- the bigger the role played by the goaltender, the better the chance that Florida is going to win the game.

Of course. It's hard to call the Flames #27 Rank in Goals For this season simply a personnel issue: they were T-11th in PP%. Flames fans have been drilled that the team "can't win by trading scoring chances", but I don't know that this is actually true: with a Top 3 NHL goalie and a pretty talented D-corps, "trading chances" should work in the Flames favour more often than not. (Further "data" points: they did come back from 1 and 2-goal deficits frequently this season, and the two 6-5 games of the season were both wins).

You don't turn a team's identity inside-out in one offseason, nor would you want to, but there's some things to think about here. Anyway, more on this another day.

Comments:

I think I remember that deal and I'm also pretty sure its over 2 years.

If not, then Yelle must have a stash of Sutter porn somewhere. (shudder)
 


in other flames misceallany, Jerome shot +3 at Canyon meadows yesterday, while Kipper parred the back 9. hee hee.
Go oilers.
 


In Dwayne Roloson miscellany, the Oilers website lists Genesis as his favorite band.
 


Right now, I don't care if Roloson's favorite band is El Debarge. HE CAN DO NO WRONG!!!!
 


From the Kick 'em while they're down dept:

I saw that SportsNet West had a new golf show on this month. It's called "Flames This Week" :P
 


C'mon. Roloson's obviously talking about early Genesis. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is awesome.

Phaneuf is the dark cloud casting the tiniest little shadow over the Oilers' playoff run: win or lose the Cup, we're going to have to deal with this prick for a long time. No doubt his stats are opportunistic to some degree, but Jay Bouwmeester is getting an awful lot of love for reaching the same raw point total three years slower.
 


Nice to know Matt is still around... Way to ruin wy aliceinwonderland fantasy!

Sry Matt, I'm a bit edgy these days as you can imagine. Nothing I say for the next 2 weeks should be taken seriously. Take note people.
 


A Flame player getting respect from Cosh? I like Phaneuf even more now...
 


Yeah, Dennis had a great line on Phaneuf, back when it looked like there would probably be a battle of Alberta, something along the lines of:

"Right now Phaneuf is a bottom pairing defenseman and a powerplay specialist. I can't stress that enough." :D

We were getting a head start on the goading there.

That's all true of course, if you need more proof just pick any CGY home game against a team with a star player (by NHL game number) and I'll run the numbers for head to head icetime. Just takes a second to do. The point will be driven home with a hammer methinks.

But frankly, any 20 year old defenceman that is good enough to play in the NHL is probably going to be very good at some point. Even though you can't sensibly expect them to help you win games at 5on5 at that age.

And as much as it pains me to say it, five or six years from now Phaneuf is probably going to be the best defenceman in the league. And he's still going to be freaky looking. And Eric Francis will still be an halfwit with a sexual crush on him.
 

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