Friday, November 23, 2007


Well, at least panic isn't setting in...

It was one thing when Mike Keenan chucked ace defenceman Dion Phaneuf up front for a couple of power plays during Thursday's game against Chicago.

But it's something else for Keenan to be considering — or least threatening — to give Phaneuf a regular shift as a winger. That's the way it looked at Friday's practice before the team jumped a plane for Denver, with Phaneuf working the left side on a line with Jarome Iginla and Craig Conroy.

This is going to be a real hold-your-breath weekend for Flames fans, as the team is on the road in Denver tomorrow night St. Louis Sunday evening. (I might have said 'cover-your-eyes' weekend, but the Avs game isn't televised and the Blues game is a PPV). Two wins and it's just about like the Flames are back to square one. Two losses -- even if one or both are in OT -- and they are going to be in a non-playoff-sitting hole that it could take six weeks of playing very well to climb out of.

I remain optimistic -- apart from the two SH breakaways and their one 1st-period PP, I don't think the Blackhawks had any scoring chances last night -- but they need to get a few bounces right now, and Kipper has got to start making some big saves. Go Flames.


Agreed that the Hawks didn't generate much, but Kipper just has to win them a freaking game (or 3 or 4) here, and soon. I haven't watched every game this season, but I don't believe it could be said that he's won them any games this year to date.

The 1st SH goal was a bonehead play, and the 2nd was just a bad luck bounce, but I just keep coming back to Kipper. He's just not good enough right now.

Holy fuck that would be hilariously awesome. This team is such an unprecedented disaster, let's just blow it up and get it over with.

Now having said that the Flames will make zero changes and definately win the cup just to make me look stupid. I'll take it though.

What worries me the most is the Flames seem to be finding ways to lose games even when they play well. Good teams find ways to win games even when they don't play well.

People are calling the shorties lucky against Chicago, but both are mental errors that have been endemic to the Flames all season. They are always trying to way too cute instead of just getting the job done. Tanguay should have stopped that puck and Aucoin should have tackled Sharp as it was obvious he was beat, penalty be damned. Especially when Sharp has 3 shorties in the past 5 games or whatever.

And Kipper did make the one big save close to the end. It was the scoring that let them down.

I forgot the game was early tonight. I can hardly believe how much we're owning Colorado. Only 13 shots, and the game is almost done! It looks like the Chicago game wasn't an accident.

When the Flames are on, they are an outstanding team.

What are the usual criticisms of the Flames this year? Top heavy? With four different centers scoring tonight (plus a defenceman) we're looking pretty balanced. Weak defence? Kipper isn't up to standards yet, but look at the shot totals from the first and second periods: 12-4, 15-3. (It looks like we tried to play a shutdown defense in the third, which I don't think we're quite ready for.)

The only real problem with this team is that we are inconsistent. It's impossible to tell which Flames team we're going to get. Games like 2-1 against Chicago where we play well but lose are easy to ignore if we play well every other game. A 2-1 loss doesn't mean too much bracketed by a 4-1 and a 5-2 win. But the five game losing streak at the start of November . . . that takes a lot to overcome.

The St. Louis game is important, because every game is important, but the one to watch is the Detroit game. There's been a lot of talk about Colorado's domination of us, (which I bought into), but in retrospect it looks pretty weak. We should have won the first two games this season, and we dominated Colorado in the most recent two. Only the middle game showed Colorado as the clearly better team. Detroit, on the other hand, has given us real trouble. They haven't just beaten us, they attacked our strongest points and come out ahead. How are we going to beat Detroit? One word: Kipprusoff.

Good to see that pussy Phaneuf get smacked around a little. Visor-wearin queer!!!

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