Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Almost set

Tanguay - Langkow - Iginla
Huselius - Lombardi - Nolan
Nilson - Yelle - Primeau
Boyd - Conroy - Moss

Regehr - Sarich
Phaneuf - Aucoin
Eriksson - Warrener


There's your nominal Opening Night lineup, as things stand today. The Flames are probably right about where you want to be in terms of the cap: the table at left shows them $2M under, but when Godard and Hale head off to the minors (if everyone's healthy) then it's $3M. That's a number that lets them acquire virtually anyone they want midseason or at the deadline, or (God forbid) pick up a goalie with some experience if Kipper gets hurt.

I still suspect that there's one move left (not including getting Giordano's signature on a contract). What we have here is a depth chart that requires a rookie to make the lineup at forward, but has no room for Giordano.

My problem with this is that I think Giordano should be in the starting 6. Sutter's principal problem with it (I'm guessing based on past behaviour) is the open 12th forward slot.

On the D: Sarich, Regehr, and Eriksson just signed contracts -- they're here to play. Aucoin was just acquired at considerable cost -- he's here to play. Phaneuf is going nowhere anytime soon, he's here to play. That's 5 D who are absolutely not getting traded or getting sent to the minors any time in the near future.

Clearly, if Giordano is to be more than an injury replacement or depth player, there's only one guy who can move to make room for him, and it's Warrener. I don't know what the conventional wisdom is on The Warrener, but I suspect that there's a few teams around the league who are thin on the blueline and would be happy to take him on. Yes, he's a bit overpaid, and injury prone, but he's a veteran; he's pretty solid when healthy (and he's not that old); and he's been to the finals 3 times with 3 different teams, so there is clearly some leadership and wisdom there.

Up Front: it wouldn't bother me in the slightest, but I just don't see the Flames hitting training camp with the message that "one of you rookies will make not only the team but the lineup". It's just... out of character a bit. Throw in Keenan's famous preference for experienced players, and I have to predict that they bring in one more veteran forward.

Together: I'm not looking forward to the day Warrener gets moved, but I think it's fairly inevitable. They need his cap space for next year, and they need his lineup spot for this year. I suspect they'll move him for (A) a veteran depth forward in the final year of his contract, or (B) picks/prospects/another David Hale, and then use the dough saved to bring in a Friesen type.


Not as worried about Giordano getting some ice; with Warrener and Aucoin being injury prone, I think Mark'll be fine. But will Keenan let 'em dangle with the puck?

That was basically my conclusion upon hearing the Eriksson signing as well. Warrener makes too much for what he does and is likely the most expendable skater on the back-end.

This team looks solid. But if Mike Keenan makes either of Lombardi or Huselius cry like a little girl and then pout, they're kind of fucked, no?

1) If Yelle is our third line centre, it's going to be a long fucking year.

2) And I might be alone on this, but I really like Giordano. There were a bunch of games last year where he was our best defenceman.

3) If you're looking for some comedy tonight, ESPN Classic is playing Game 1 of SJ/CGY 1995. First of all, the arena is half empty for a playoff game and the announcers bring up that Calgary is the quietest arena in the league at least 5 times. Second of all, our lineup is gross. James Patrick? Trevor Kidd? Shoot me in the face, what a disgusting team. And to think that this team actually got worse in following years. Yikes.

Re: 2), you're exactly in step with pretty much every Flames fan on the internet. Re: 3), HARSH, DUDE!

I sure as hell wasn't a Trevor Kidd fan, but that team wasn't bad. That was probably Fleury's absolute peak as a player -- I think in G4 of that series, he had a shorthanded hat-trick. Also, as I think I wrote a few months ago, Paul Kruse actually looked like he was going to be a player in that series.

And re: 1)? Depth chart and line combos not to be taken literally.

you're exactly in step with pretty much every Flames fan on the internet.

Good. I'm glad me and the internet can find some common ground.

As well, if you want to disprove Tom Benjamin's assertion that the offensive end of hockey couldn't have improved substantially more than the offensive end, then I recommend that you watch Islanders/Oilers (1983) on the NHL Network.

The quality of hockey was absolutely brutal. The offensive opportunities that were allowed are outlandish. Why? Because the bulk of NHL talent came from a population base of no greater than 20 million people. When 70% or greater of your league's players come from one small country, then your league is bound to be shit, and anyone who disagrees has either played in the NHL in the eighties NHL or is insane. Period.

As a community service, here is the maxim for the "I've never played hockey in my life, so my understanding of the sport is limited" crowd.

Defense is far easier to play than offence. Most idiots can be taught to play sound defence with the advantage of having a six foot stick to wield. It takes a real fucking talent to beat these stick wielding bastards and score consistently. That's why you can give me two )or three) solid scoring lines over a solid defensive core anyday. If basketball defenders had arms that were 10 feet long, the amount of scoring opportunities would be cut substantially. If soccer players were allowed to poke away balls with sticks, no goals would ever be scored. Morons play d, talents score goals, and there's far more morons than talents in the world let me tell ya. Especially when the brunt of your talent comes from Canada.

The NHL's biggest problem is that defencemen have long sticks and that top level American athletes don't play hockey. Like an American 1980 gold medalist once said, "If our best athletes played hockey, you never would have heard of Wayne Gretsky."

He's right and he's wrong. He's right because only second caliber athletes play hockey, that's why you see five foot nine, 160 pound pussies being drafted first overall (as opposed to Greg Oden or Reggie Bush). He's wrong because even the best athletes fail in hockey because the advantage given to defencemen is so substantial that even the best athletes in the world would be hard pressed to overcome it.

It’s too easy to defend in hockey, just like it is too easy to defend in soccer. If you don’t believe me, go play a one on one basketball game. Then go play a one on one hockey game where the objective is to strike the pick or ball against the post of the goal. Tell me which one is harder to defend/ Tell me which sport gives the player in defence a greater advantage. The fact that highly qualified, conditioned athletes yield six foot long sticks as part of their defensive strategy makes creative, quality offence all but impossible. The NHL will never make the highlight reals or capture the attention of Joe Sports Fan when NHL players can prove that they can pull off “I can’t believe someone did that” plays on a weekly basis. And they will never do that until the defensive advantage is substantial limited or, at the very least, top notch American athletes start playing hockey. For some reason, I believe the former is far more likely.

and there's far more morons than talents in the world let me tell ya.

slow down...this is gold.

Does anyone else get creeped out with the way Mclea keeps repeating six foot stick? What would Freud say?

Is this Tjarnqvist?

And I might be alone on this, but I really like Giordano. There were a bunch of games last year where he was our best defenceman.

Nope. The only person who seems to think that Giordano is merely a 7th defenceman is Jim Playfair.

It’s too easy to defend in hockey

I think Sheldon Souray would disagree.

Just for amusememts sake, do a line by lone comparison of the Flames to the Oilers for 2007-08 (i.e. first line vs 1st, 2nd vs 2nd, top D-pair vs top D pairing, etc).

I'm betting there isn't a single place where the Oilers are even or better than the Flames.

As a Flames fan, this makes me deliriously happy.

a) My guess is that Ericsson is the 7th guy and Giordano gets the 3rd pairing time with Warrener

b) MacLea, being big makes playing defence easier, but the fact is that half of defence is reading the play. If you can't do that it doesn't matter how big you are.

I'm betting there isn't a single place where the Oilers are even or better than the Flames.

A powerful argument, assuming the two teams play at even strength through all 60 minutes of every game. Fingers crossed!

Stanley Cups won? Starting goalies who will be back for 2008-09? Small satisfication, to be sure but I'll take what I can get.

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?