Friday, February 15, 2008


Flames Game Night

Flames are at the Staples Center tonight (830PM MT, RSN West) to take on the Kings, who just got home from an 8-game roadie.

This Week's Sign of how Persistent the Conventional Wisdom can be: just listened to Rob Kerr on FAN960 say something to the effect of, "I think we all agree that the Kings' biggest problem this year has been goaltending." This might have been (probably was) true last year -- I certainly remember Tony Amonte beating Cloutier from outside the blueline -- as well as early this season, when Bernier got tossed into the fire, and J.S. Aubin was still getting starts. But now? That's just not defensible.

Mudcrutch fave (and Calgary guy) Jason LaBarbera has a .910 SV% this season, which is 21st of 44 goalies with enough minutes. By contrast, Kipper is 36th, Cam Ward is 37th, and Olaf Kolzig is 44th. 21st of 44 isn't blowing anyone's skirt up I suppose, but it's quite clearly not an explanation for why his team is dead last in the league. The facts that they're outshot by 3 shots a game, or that they allow the 4th-most shots per game, or that their PK is 3rd-worst in the NHL, would seem to be a lot more relevant. Not to mention that, for all the talk about their talented young forward corps, Alex Frolov is their only guy who can drive positive results 5v5 (Kopitar has a loooooong way to go, and the numbers say that since the early season when Mike Cammalieri led the league in goals, he's been... terrible).

Anyway, survey says, Jason LaBarbera is an $850k/yr steal. Apparently he gets the start tonight, and Diamond Dan goes tomorrow v. PHX. Nonetheless, I'll say the Flames squeak out a 3-2 Win to go to 2-0 on the road trip (Huselius x2, Moss). Go Flames.


This just in: Flames need a #1 center to solve their scoring woes.

Tell me you're just tossing off a sarcastic comment, and not relaying an imaginary problem and solution discussed on the TSN panel.

That was basically the topic discussed by Dreger during a Flames telecast on TSN a few weeks ago.

My latest theory on Dreger -- which sits better and better with me all the time -- is that TSN hired him to make Bob McKenzie look even better and more credible.

A couple weeks ago he wondered aloud if the Leaves might be tanking because -- wait for it -- Maurice was playing Tlusty with Sundin, when maybe Wellwood (or somebody) might have "earned it" more. I will never pay attention to his garbage again.

I smell an early hook for Kipper, even though none of the goals have been particularly weak. Though, I missed the good replay of that 3rd one.

Ugly, ugly start.

The good news is, the Kings are crappy so I still have hope...

I agree completely Matt. Dreger still has a lot of Sportsnet in him.

You know what? LaBarbera is going to get stiffed as an FA this year, I'm sure. I'd love to see the Oilers move Roli and lock LaBarbera up for two at $1MM per. Instead, I suspect that there's going to be a two year, $6MM deal for Garon.

LA's defence has been horrible in the games I've seen - the most recent two were the CGY/VAN set. The Flames were just pounding home unconsted shots from the slot. I think it's safe to say that playing in LA is a drag on the guy's save percentage so I see that 21/44 to be quite decent. He looks at this point to be a Steve Trachsel type but at $850K annually, that ain't half bad.

3-2 already? Is the Triple Crown Line playing tonight?

Good on them (cough Boyd) for getting one of them back, but 2 GA in 2 shifts is atrocious.


haha...yeah, poor Boyd. A lot of his numbers are awful this year but I can honestly say it's not really his fault.

He actually looked great that period.

Can anyone explain Godard/Smith over Nilson to me? Anyone?

Does anyone else think that Alex Frolov is the best player in the NHL that no one talks about?

The guy is a fantastic LW. Best Russian outside of the "big three" of Ovechkin, Kovalchuk and Malkin from where I sit.


It's like the Flames are required to have one major blunder/terrible decision by a defenseman at the offensive blueline per game.

it is time for cujo to start earning that 447th win and the $1.5 million

This is incredible suckage.

metro - at least eriksson is in the box...

damn it, spoke too soon. i did not want dion in there

The impression you would get from the Corsi stuff tonight is that Kipper fucked up tonight, or LaBarbera was gold. Not exactly... though you have to like what Lombo/Yelle/Moss have done tonight, they really have pressed just about every time they're on.

Yeah, there's 20 minutes left, but I assume CuJo is coming on for the 3rd, and it's time to look ahead to the Ducks game. Frolov = 1st, 2nd, 3rd Star. Good man.

I'm glad other people are noticing Alexander Frolov. He's been an absolute BEAST on the ice since his groin injury has lessened. It's still apparently nagging him, so I'm wondering what he'd be like when he's at 100%!!

P.S. From the beginning of the year, the defense was more questionable than the goaltending.

I dont think the corsi numbers tell the story this time. The quality of the chances yielded by the Flames in the first half of the game more than out-weighed the shot differential. Kipper wasn't GOOD, but he certainly wasn't "at fault" either.

Now that we've completed our sweep by basement teams (Edmonton, Chicago, LA) can we please go back to winning?

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