Thursday, March 08, 2007


Flames Game Day

The Flames are in Nashville tonight (6PM, RSN West) to see if they can (A) sweep their 3-game roadtrip, and (B) beat the Predators for the first time since January 2004 (context: last time the Flames beat the Preds, Roman Turek had the shutout).

I still think the Red Wings will win the Central Division and the WC, but I like Nashville's chances now better than I did two weeks ago. Looking at their remaining schedules, they play 3 H2H (the extra one is in NSH) and have 6 common games (where the opp't and the location, i.e. Home/Road, is identical). Here's the remainder, where they differ:
The first instinct is to give the edge to Detroit (their final week is @CBJ, vCBJ, @CHI, vCHI), but the situation up north has changed that calculus a bit.

Moving on, you know what annoys me? This:
If the Penguins move after their Mellon Arena lease expires at the end of June, it will reinforce the widely held notion in much of the United States that the NHL is a rinky-dink operation.

That's Scott Burnside. I guess he's right, but only because it's self-fulfilling. You know what the Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, and Tennessee Titans have in common? They all relocated to new cities in the 1990s (sidebar: the NFL got its salary cap in 1987). Yet no one thinks the NFL is a rinky-dink operation. The NFL also meets and changes some game rules every season!

If the NHL had better leadership, maybe someone would point out that -- all sympathies to Penguins fans -- relocation represents an opportunity just as much as a crisis. For example, I think I'm pretty safe in saying that the NHL is better off with the Colorado Avalanche. Creative destruction is a part of growth. Anyway...

I'd love to see a win tonight, but I'd be satisfied with a good performance. Road voodoo aside, they can match up. Flames PP (9th) vs. Preds PK (5th) is a near wash, as is Preds PP (19th) vs. Flames PK (23rd). They're both very good ES teams, the Flames have a slight edge. Here's one stat that's a bit hard to account for -- Goal Differential by Period:
I guess Nashville probably has a lot of big 3rd period leads, and rolls 4 lines, but surely that's a bit much (also: that's incredibly dominant in the first two periods).

Close matchup, close game. Bubba 2 (Bubba, Bubba) Calgary 3 (Langkow, Phaneuf, Lombardi with the OT winner). Go Flames.


I picked Lombo to score too. He needs to have a bounce back game.

The NFL has a national television contract which prevents anyone from ever suggesting they are a rinky-dink operation. The NHL? Not so much. I do agree that part of the NHL's problem is the self-fullfilling prophecy, though. A change in leadership might be the answer. The NBA was nothing until Stern took over. It was the Magic and Bird, Celtics and Lakers, as well as terrific marketing that really did save that league.

Who cares what anyone in the US thinks of hockey?
Cut out every team save Minnesota, Boston, the Rangers, maybe the Islanders, St. Louis perhaps, Jersey to some extent, one of LA, San Jose or Anaheim on a good day and keep the Canadian teams.
The remaining league would be comprised of teams that are committed to hockey in cities with some kind of following.
There would be no big TV deal, no national marketing, players who earn a fraction of what they do now and the fans in this city especially would go to the games at affordable prices.

And, as long as there is competitive hockey and a rival down south in Calgary, we'll still love it.

After the 1st, 2-1 Nashville, but I thought Calgary was the better team. The first goal was kind of lucky, and the 2nd rest soley on the shoulders of Yelle. The giveway was awful. If his name was Lombardi, he'd benched for the next 3 games for that one. Even if the Flames don't win tonight, it sure looks to me like they've turned a corner on the road.

Shots are pretty close, and that first Nashville goal sounded a bit flukey...

Maybe the boys have overcome their road woes...

And then the Predators score again...

Nice! Iggy pulls the Flames back within one...

What the fuck is wrong with Hamrlik tonight? He's been brutal!

The D in general havne't been the best of our players of late... those were two lazy penalties at teh end of the period leading to the fourth goal...

Who is Jeff Cowan and what has he done with the Oil's vaunt?

You;ve got to be freaking kidding me... two 5 on 3's by defencemen and the Predators scor on both... This sucks...

Jeff Friesen!!! Holy shit!

Fuck, Jason Arnott again...

Zyuzin out for the rest of the game... Which may or may not be a god thing...

I never realized how fun these threads are to read when you aren't watching the game.

What the hell is Stuart doing grabbing Tootoo while he's fighting Regehr?

Don't worry Andy, we do the same thin for Oiler games... which has provenn extremely entertaining over the last couple months... ;)

Oh, and if you are heading out to the movies this weekend, be sure to catch Wild Hogs...

I just like reading the Flames threads and going "Who the fuck are all these people?"

What the hell is Stuart doing grabbing Tootoo while he's fighting Regehr?

Trying to beat on him, of course.

He laid off. Kind of like the team laid off playing winning hockey.

Zyuzin out for the rest of the game... Which may or may not be a god thing...

If it were a god thing, then we should have higher expectations on Susan. ;)

I don't think Stuart realized they were actually fighting at first. He backed off once they starting going.

All in all, the Flames made too many mistakes, but 5 on 5, they played pretty good. I thought the officiating was horrible. The Preds got away with all sorts of stuff, and the Flames got called for everything they did. Add in the worst game in a long time for Hamrlik, and you get the result you would expect.

2 out of 3 on the trip is still a step in the right direction.

2 out of 3 on the trip is still a step in the right direction.

No way. They beat the bad teams and lost to the good teams. Too late in the season to call it a step in the right direction.

(I'll give it to you on the officiating, though. Horrible.)

Oh, and if you are heading out to the movies this weekend, be sure to catch Wild Hogs...

Sorry, Randy. 300 it is, which means Nate gets the moolah.

Flames fans...

Is it safe to say that you guys don't want to draw Nashville in the first round in any way, shape or form?

I don't think anyone wants that team right now. They're scary-good, even without Forsberg.

That Nashville team looks pretty good and yes, given our record against them, I'd rather someone else have a go at them than my team.

That said, every team in the West looks like it would provide pretty tough opposition. I'd much ratehr start the playoffs in the East, but I don't think that is allowed.

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