Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Flames Game Day: im a 16 h8r

**The Flames host the Colorado Avalanche tonight (730PM MT, Flames PPV). This will be the 4th time they've played each other this season, and they tangle again in Denver on Saturday.

So Calgary plays the Avs 5 times in the first 23 games of the season. They also played them 6 times in the final 25 games of last season. So over a stretch of 48 regular season games, these two teams will have met 11 times. 11 out of 48. The CFL only has 8 teams (and a slightly unbalanced schedule to boot), and it's impossible for two teams to play each other any more than that.

**Following up on last night's post, I think it's actually possible that Keenan will start Curtis McElhinney tonight. Yesterday he was called up from The QC and Keetley was sent back. C-Mac's goals allowed in his past 6 starts (consecutive, btw): 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 0. 161 saves on 167 shots (0.964 SV%). So:
To me that all adds up to the backup starting tonight, and then one of Saturday or Sunday (Sat. if he beats the Avs tonight, Sun. if he doesn't)

**Dept. of Things That Make Dion Phaneuf More Expensive: Ryan Getzlaf signs a 5 X $5.3M extension with the Ducks.

**Looks like both Mark Smith and Eric Godard will be in the lineup tonight, as Marcus Nilson is likely out with a concussion. He got it from Trevor Linden on Sunday evening; Linden received a 2-minute boarding penalty (gotta hand it to the Canucks, they're making their boarding penalties count).

Now, it so happens that I pretty much despise Trevor Linden, and have for his entire career (save for about 10 minutes after his tying goal on Hasek in the 1998 Olympic semis). I know he has done a bunch of charity stuff -- he's the first guy I ever heard of who had his own luxury box for the local Tiny Tims to take in a game -- but man, he looks like such an unhappy prick most of the time. His eyes never betray any emotion, but I always get the impression that it's not because he's stoic, but rather because there's nothing in there.

Reflecting on this, the question of whether he's going to be elected to the HHOF some day crossed my mind. The less tangible stuff not related to individual career accomplishments: long-time captain, good hard-nosed Canadian boy (plus), no Stanley Cup (minus), volunteered a lot of his time to the NHLPA (uh, neutral?).

So then I ambled over to hockeydb to check out his career numbers -- off the top of my head, I had no idea what they were other than I was fairly sure he didn't have 500 goals.

As it turns out, he has 1337GP, 369G-489A-858Pts. What stunned me, though, is that the last season in which he scored 20 goals was 1995-96. 12 years ago! He's been a 3rd/4th line role player and "leadership guy" for more than 10 full seasons!

At any rate, while Canucks fans can no doubt look forward to his #16 flapping from the rafters of the Garage, I doubt we'll ever have to see his joyless expression on a HOF plaque.

**Prediction: Curtis McElhinney gets the start, improves on his NHL career SV% of 0.500, and gets his first career win. Calgary 4 Colorado 2. Go Flames.


So over a stretch of 48 regular season games, these two teams will have met 11 times. 11 out of 48.

How many of those games have the Flames won? Two? Three?

One of the nine that have been played so far. Unbelievable.

Our woeful record against Colorado over the last 45 games or so is a big reason why my team seems to be 'underachieving' or, as I like to call it, a godawful embarrassment (cacking a 4-0 lead? Pretty embarrassing, that).

If the Flames win 5 of those 9, they easily make the playoffs last year, avoid detroit and who knows, maybe they last more than 6 games. If they had won 2 of the 3 they should have this year, in regulation, they are 10-9-1, and nobody is happy, but we are right in the hunt.

Go Flames.

Peter - I would say our woeful record against Colorado is a symptom, not a cause, of our underachievement.

I think MG has outlined the causes very nicely at his site.

Oh, fair enough. Maybe if we hadn't lost seven (SEVEN!) in a row to Colorado we would not be alive to the issues that seem so obvious right now.

Still, it can be a fine line between suck and not suck. Time to cross the line back into the heady world of not suck.

Go Flames.

Time to cross the line back into the heady world of not suck.

Man, thats a bumper sticker!

I am amazed that we managed to both dominate and beat the Avalanche at the same time. No fluke comebacks tonight!

Is it just me, or are we looking less top-heavy than at the beginning of the season? Nolan is finally producing, Lombardi is putting up nice numbers, Nystrom is more than a warm body to cover for injured forwards, and Moss finally picked up a goal, and will probably follow in Nolan's footsteps. Langkow and Huselius have been too quiet recently, but during that bad patch Iginla and Tanguay were the only players worth mentioning.

Here's my take on Keenan's goalie strategy: he believes that neither Keetley nor Mackle can play on their best day as well as Kipper on a bad day, so he'll just rotate them through the minors to make sure they both have the opportunity to get playing time. This idea relies on Keenan having a good relationship with Kipper; good enough for Keenan to trust Kipper to be honest and say when he needs a break.

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