Wednesday, September 06, 2006

 

Festivus

Flames rookie camp opens tomorrow! Full camp opens next Thursday! First preseason game is September 17th!

Generally speaking, I'm incredibly psyched about the Flames' chances this season, but I can get to that later in month. For now, I thought it might be interesting to get all the negativity out of my system. I hate promising anything in the way of future posts, but for the next few days, I'd like to go over the criticisms I have of what the team has done, and is doing. It's not to say that things won't change, and in some cases I might be misreading (or misinformed about) the intentions of the organization, but for now it all falls into the category of Stuff I Don't Like. Call it -- The Airing of Grievances.

Backup Goaltender

I'm not happy with Jamie "Noodles" McLennan as the presumptive #2 goalie (career NHL stats: 245GP, 77-104-35, 0.901Sv%). He is, by all accounts, an excellent guy and a great teammate -- good guy to have around the dressing room. But there are other things to consider here, principally the ability to stop a lot of pucks that bear Gary Bettman's signature. McLennan's career-high save percentage is 0.910, achieved playing for the Flames in the low-scoring 03/04 season. And did I mention he's 35?

I can't find, nor do I recall, any specific comments made by Darryl Sutter on the expected role of Jamie McLennan. It would thrill me to find out that he was signed as an insurance policy. That is, the team hopes that Brent Krahn or Curtis McElhinney earns the #2 job, starts one-quarter of the regular season games, and continues to improve throughout, and if Oh Crap That Doesn't Work Out, at least they have a veteran who is better that what's available on the waiver wire.

If that is in fact the case, then I take back this whole rant. My worry is that the present plan is to send Krahn and Mc-E back to Nebraska and start Noodles in 13 games. And if Kipper gets sick or injured? "We'll expect these guys to step up" and/or "we'll cross that bridge if we come to it."

A little common sense and a quick peek at the '08 expiring contracts shows us that it's probably worse than 50/50 that come Summer 2008, Miikka Kiprusoff will be all of (A) healthy, (B) elite, and (C) affordable. It would be nice if Option B at that point was better that Leland Irving off of his first pro year, or a 43-year-old sun-ravaged mummy-husk.

I have no doubt that the organization is much less indifferent about the #2 spot that are the radio jocks. But by how much, and what are they going to do about it? I do not know.

To Be Continued...

Comments:

I agree that the time is fast approaching to give Krahn a chance at the NHL level.
 


I agree that the time is fast approaching to give Krahn a chance at the NHL level.

The best part is, every time he lets in a bad goal, you can look up in the sky, thrust your arms out, and yell, "KRAAAAAAAAHNNNNN!!!"

I can see the Sun headline already: "The Wrath of Krahn." Or maybe a Botany Bay reference.
 


I make no assertions that Krahn can or will be a quality NHL goalie. But either give him a shot, or cut the cord. If he's not good enough to be on the big club this year, then it's time to dispense with the fiction that he's this dynamite prospect that just needs a bit more experience and fine-tuning.

The existence of Leland Irving should make it easier to abandon this experiment, if anything (as Sutter and the organization need not worry so much about a perception -- or the reality -- of being "prospect-less" in goal.
 


Never thought I'd see the day when a Star Trek reference made it into a hockey site post. Thank you grabia.
 


Wow, is Krahn really still considered a prospect? Seems like he's been in the system forever, and Sutter appears to lack confidence in his ability to even play 20 games behind Kipper, else we wouldn't be seeing Boucher or McLennan riding the bench.

Anyhow, his AHL numbers certainly seem solid, and it would be nice to see evidence that the Flames actually have a future in goal once Kipper leaves.

I mean, stays. Forever. Because he loves Calgary.
 


Please do not accuse people of crimes in our comment threads without, at bare minimum, a link to some media report.
 


I don't care what Matt says. Jim Peplinski did fuck a goat to death in 1988.
 

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