Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Flames Game Day

This is Ray Whitney. He has, quite quietly, put together a heck of an NHL career. He has two more years on a well-earned contract with the Carolina Hurricanes; during that time, he's likely to pass some significant milestones: 1000GP, 300 goals, 800 points.

In 1995, he was a San Jose Shark. At that time, he had established himself as a major-leaguer, but was still mainly known as that other Spokane Chief, having been drafted by the Sharks in the '91 2nd round after his junior teammate Pat Falloon was drafted in the 1st (#2 overall, right behind Lindros). I'll get back to him later.


I guess, whatever happens tonight, I can at least say that my optimism was justified. The Sharks aren't the '77 Habs; Brian Campbell isn't an "every shift" type of difference maker; the Flames have been the Sharks' equals (at least) 5v5; and Calgary's depth forwards haven't been run over by San Jose's 4 Lines. (Thru 6 games, the Sharks are +4/-4 5v5 with Thornton on the bench; with Iginla watching from the bench, the Flames are... +4/-4.)

These are all things that, contrary to the "playoffs are a different game" chanters on the tee-vee, follow closely from what we saw in the regular season (with a dose of common sense thrown in). Iginla and Thornton are great players who will create scoring chances every game; sometimes more, sometimes fewer, sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't; that's what they are. Nabokov and Kipper are excellent goalies who occasionally let in an iffy one; that's what they are.

The only thing that hasn't quite followed to form is the special teams, where CGY is 5/20 on the PP and SJ is 4/27. If they played another 6 games, I'd expect those numbers to reverse (or worse). But, they aren't... :)

So are there any wild cards for tonight? Things we might expect to see that are, uh, unexpected? Maybe a couple:

*Huselius. I'm really not a big believer in 'confidence' as a driver of results -- my default assumption is that pro hockey players are more confident in their abilities on their worst day than you are confident in their abilities on their best day -- but maybe this guy is the exception.

He had a terrific game on Sunday, got into it physically, and looked strong on the puck. Maybe this will translate into a PP goal.

*Godard. I wrote a big thing last month about consistency, using golf as an analogy. If the Flames were a competitive golfer, scratching Godard would be the equivalent of taking the 3-iron, which they always hit like crap, out of the bag and leaving it in the trunk. It's a move that can have immediate postive consequences on the score even though it doesn't magically make them a better golfer.

*The Tank...


I was in the Saddledome for Game 7, Sharks v. Flames, in 1995. The home crowd was weary from several seasons worth of disappointing playoff exits, and while they were plenty loud and ready to explode when things went right, they were tense. When things went wrong, there was an unmistakeable, "Oh, no, here we go again" vibe.

So based on some agonizing personal experience, I'm going to guess that the longer tonight's game goes with the result still in question, the more it will turn into a Guillotine Game for the home fans. They'll be raucous and emotional, but not necessarily in a manner that helps the Sharks. They'll just be waiting, assuming, knowing that Calgary's Ray Whitney, whoever that is, will eventually stick the knife in and twist. Go Flames.

Hell yeah. Go Flames!


Go Flames indeed.

No Flames No.

Wow, the Godard/Golf analogy thing blew me away. Well done. Hard for anyone to argue with this type of reasoning.

I don't know what Keenan is driving these days, but I hope it has a big trunk!

He's driving a shiny red 1977 Iginla with a big trunk and bigger shoulders.

Go Flames!!!

I'm pretty sure I still have a Pat Falloon rookie card in mint condition. I was sure that would be worth some money some day...

The only thing I'm clinging to is this has been a home series so I'll say that holds and the Sharks win.

And by "say that" I mean I hope like hell that's what happens:)

I never thought this series would go beyond six games because I though Campbell would be something more than a defender and I thought SJ's secondary scoring would trump that of Calgary's.

That hasn't happened; though Kyle MacLaren did get hurt;)

Anyway, I don't think SJ's played two consecutive shitty games in this series so I'd imagine they'll be on the ball tonight.

I feel ill.

That's funny, because the 3-iron is the only thing I ever hit off the tee.

And I couldn't disagree with you more on the confidence issue.

Given all of that -- Flames lose in OT on a heartbreaker knuckleball from the blueline.

Matt man,

Im digging the Lowetide gameday thread. The early shark teams were a nasty surprise for the Wings (still remember watching that game 7) flames and gave a hell of a scare to Leaf land in '94.

This series has been the most entertaining during the 1st round, and hopefully we see a close one to the end.


This series has been the most entertaining during the 1st round, and hopefully we see a close one to the end.

Due respect to folks who are living and dying with the results of this series, but from my couch in Edmonton -- where there is no home team to cloud my perspective :( -- the Caps/Flyers series has been entertainment on an epic scale. One great game after another, tremendous action, hitting galore, outstanding goaltending, pedal to the metal the whole time. Plus a couple of overtime games including tonight's breathtaking Game 7. Whereas Flames/Sharks I can't think of too many games where I thought both teams brought their A game.

That said, they neither of them have an excuse not to bring it tonight, so let's hope for a bang-up finale. But it'll have to go some to equal the game in Washington for excitement, and I ain't switching channels 'til that one's decided.

Best of luck to the Calgary Flames this playoff season.

Man, that was just a gut wrenching ending for the Capitals. Philly winning on a penalty in OT...jesus. It just doesn't seem right.

Fucking zebras. T]Tocall that neutral zone crap after shoving their whistles 30 feet up their asses for two periods is flat out unacceptable. The fans should have garbaged the ice on those bastards tonight.

Best series of the year and the fucking zebras decide it. And Joffrey Lupul, to add insult to injury. And it cost me my playoff draft. FUCK!!!

Oh yes: fucking Lupul. Screws us out of a Rangers/MTL series and Crosby/Ovechkin. He's no longer just a blight on Edmonton...he's gone leaguewide.

Hey, me too Bruce. God I hate that guy.

was that 'Bleeding Gums' Murphy with the national anthems?

Only in the NHL do you see the best player in the league stapled to the bench at the series-deciding moment by fucking two-bit striped shirts. I am outraged. Incensed, even. That's just flat out fucking wrong.

Black, white, and orange stripes. Hmmm.

Christ, I loathe Lupul.

In other news, three CGY icings already.

Go Sharks!

Kiprusoff needs to play like Roloson tonight and steal one in the Shark Tank. San Jose came to play. Calgary has been second team to the puck all period.

I've finally figured out why Luc Robitaille and Martin Brodeur are in that Delissio commercial together: they probably shot the same thing in French right after.

Exhibit A why I'd rather have Matt Greene than Anders Eriksson. If nothing else, he could have made the same mistake for less money.

Nice! Good for Roenick driving that play.

No way can Hale let that pass beat him on the goal line side.

Cheap penalty. Nice tip by that '77 Iginla.


Get Erikson off the ice already!


Phaneuf in the box for something they gave him a "free hand" to indulge in all season.

Man, Goc is a awfully good forward to be sitting out all series until now.

If SJ loses this series it won't be for a lack of quality NHL forwards.

Calgary has to be happy with 1-1. Hell, they should have ben happy with 1-0. The longer they can keep it close, the tighter the sphincters will become on the Sharks bench. The crowd too, as was astutely pointed out above. Having lived through the Steve Smith game I know the feeling of impending dread permeating a building, and Flames fans know it all too well also.

The only thing I'm clinging to is this has been a home series so I'll say that holds and the Sharks win.

Barely. 2-1 for each home side isn't exactly overwhelming.

Also, I'm jinxing every team I root for in listening to games, so after the 1-1 tie, I turned off the radio.

LUPES! It sure is nice to see good things happen to good guys; didn't he play out west last year?

and Poti with the tripping penalty; that really is kumamatata 'circle of life' thing.

Phil/Wsh was certainly the most entertaining first round series; lots of action, scoring chances and hits.

Along the lines of what Ty said, Lupul fucked up a lot of shit with that goal:

- sets up Flyers/Habs which allows for another easy -- at least on paper -- for Cuntreal

- kills an OV/Crosby match-up that might've actually gotten on the front page of ESPN.com;)

Bruce: I feel your pain on the pool action. I've got four Rags and two Pens and I only picked it like that, it was a draft pool where everyone has different players, because I thought Nyr would face Les Scabitants in the second round.

As for the first period of tonight's game, Cgy just might have luck on their side. SJ controlled the play territorially and scoring chance wise but are still only tied after one.

Definitely a more-than-acceptable result for the period. If the Flames can take the lead, or even carry the play for a stretch here, listen to the glglfbt sounds coming from the crowd.




The Sharks already look Literally. Crushed.


Spoke too soon


Sharks score!

And I guess that "never playing Gary Glitter because he humps children" boycott is over for some reason. I hear that song everywhere now.


3 point night already.What a great year for him.

Flames are dying by the Fenwick stat tonight.

Mike Keenan is an idiot.

Holy CRAP, Eriksson.

Staple him to the bench.

Oh baby. This game is coming around nicely now. That CuJo move was inspired.

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Please note that I said "Mike Keenan is an idiot" at 9:31 PM, before Setuguchi even scored.

Here's to having a coach people actually want to bleed for in a Game Seven. If this were my team and Keenan were coaching, I wouldn't even have been watching.

Boom! Dagger!

Thanks Iron Mike.


Well, there's the Flames D-zone coverage I remember. You know, if I had Anders Eriksson on my bench, after I wondered what the hell I was thinking even dressing him, I might send him back to the hotel, just so he never gets on the ice again.

Anyone want to meet me in Calgary to burn cars in celebration?

Colby Cosh said...

Here's to having a coach people actually want to bleed for in a Game Seven. If this were my team and Keenan were coaching, I wouldn't even have been watching.

You have to give that much to Julien in Boston. Those guys couldn't possibly give any more than they did.

NFT is a tough thing to overcome.

I think Cosh has it pinned; it's Ron Wilson's extra bleedworthiness. No, wait, that's too stupid even for Pierre McGuire to say.

Excellent shot on the PP there by Roenick, he's having a nice game.

The other Flames fans have said what needs to be said about Eriksson.

This game isn't over yet. The Flames will come out flying in the third and the fact remains that the Sharks are a team that has shown very little gumption over a several year span.

Logic and history tell us Iginla scores in the first four minutes of the third period.

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A couple gratuitous bounces result in Sharks goals by catching the Flames goalie down and then Joseph lets in a goal that Kiprusoff would have definitely had.

Good job Iron Mike.

So, Kipper goes back in to start the 3rd, right? Right?

Lowetide said...

This game isn't over yet. The Flames will come out flying in the third and the fact remains that the Sharks are a team that has shown very little gumption over a several year span.

Dear Falmes Fans,

Keep in mind that this guy liked the Pronger deal for the Oilers.

Nothing to see here.

Go back to your meltdown.


Nice reverse pysch there, LT. I don't know if a guy named Mark Giordano is watching the Anders Eriksson Experience tonight, but if he is, a bit of schadenfreude aimed at Sutter wouldn't be out of line.

I see your Nolan and I raise you a Roenick!!!

When Keenan pulled Kipper in G3 I was thinking how insane it was because one bad goal from the rusty Cujo and it there was little chance the Flames could score four goals, let alone five. But they did score four and CuJo didn't flinch and they won.

Now, we head to tonight and CuJo's caught deep in his net on the 5-2 goal and Cgy was probably cooked anyway but that one just added some seasoning.

I have to say, the time between Nolan's goal and the tying marker by JR was pretty damn lonely from this corner of the country;) You had the Habs going on through last night and then Philly winning tonight and giving them another easy series in the second round and now I had to consider the possibility of BOTH the Habs and Flames being in the second round.

Thankfully, there doesn't appear to be much of a chance of that happening right now:)

Not really sure what happened to Cgy tonight; you can honestly count their first 40 min scoring chances on one hand. Flames did come out and put together some good early shifts in the second and looked like they might fluke out after Nolan kicked in the second goal. But then the Sharks caught a lucky break and Calgary forget there was a game going on.

I thought all along that the Sharks were better than Cgy but even I didn't think they were This much better.

RQ: Dennis? Is that you? :-)

No, wait, that's too stupid even for Pierre McGuire to say.

But would he scream it into a microphone?

I think I can see Kipper on the bench holding a voodoo doll of an overweight bald man and peeling the skin off it. I wonder what's up with that.

LT: I don't have to say I was right; every game from Ladislav Albelin drives that one home;)

Flames made it a two goal game and they had as many chances in the first five min of the third period as they did in the first 40 min combined.

Riv: how can LT be so right about the Flames having jump yet be so wrong about the Pronger trade?:)

The Flames may want to consider wailing on each other with their sticks during this power play to get the 5 on 3.


Simpson is absolutely burying Keenan for bringing in CuJo and I mention this for two reasons:

1: I agree with Simpson that it was a stupid move but it was also a stupid move in G3, albeit one that would pay off, but I don't remember Simpson framing it like that at the time. Maybe I'm wrong abou that.

2: it's about the only negative thing he's said about anyone connected to the Flames all series.

I can't begin to express how disgusted I've been with Simpson this series. Fuck, it's not like I expect him to interject with "I love the Oilers" every five min but the guy worked for them, he's supposedly on his way back there and yet he's taking every opp to shine the collective Flames knob.

In keeping with that theme, Hrudey was nearly despondent in the second intermission.

I wonder if they'll send him ahead to Mtl to kiss the arse of the Habs.

Huh. Looks like Cgy has better goaltending when no one's in net.

Neil Young in the crowd. My word he looks homeless.

Wow, what a dissapointing performance. Kipper sucked, Cujo sucked, Phaneuf was useless, Aucoin was terrible, and Ericsson was shitty (no surprise there). Hard to win when your goalies let it 2 terrible goals, and the opposition gets every bounce they need in front of the net. Bah.

Also, fuck Pat Falloon.

What an awesome night! Calgary gets beat by Roenick...ooooh man how low can you fall?

I take back every bad thought I ever had about Jeremy Roenick. What an awesome game.


7-2-6 +2
7-0-0 -2

Now, I'm not SAYING, but I'm just SAYING.



What's that PDO? Marleau vs. Lombardi?

It's hard not to like Lombardi a bunch. He's a heck of a player IMO.

But yeah, Marleau outplayed him.



Contracts in mind, I'd prefer Lombardi... but, he's a Flame, and Matt decided to say he'd take Lombardi over Marleau without considering contracts.

And it's easy to not like him a bunch, he plays for Calgary.

Well, I now feel vindicated for picking on that useless boob Anders Eriksson all year. Someone used the phrase "running into lightposts" to describe PJ Stock recently. I think that applies to Bubba's game tonight (and many other previous).

Calgary's immobility on the back-end and poor puck skills caught up to them in this game. Also, the Sharks played really, really well, especially once they got the big lead. Picture perfect coverage all over the ice. They certainly deserve credit.

I'm confused, Dennis. Where are you getting this idea that Montreal is getting "another easy series?" They barely survived the last one against an opponent they went 8-0 against in the regular season, and should have, based on the season series, rolled in four. What the hell makes you think that Philly's going to turn over and spread 'em and let the Habs have their way with them? I mean, really.

There's no such thing as an easy series, unless you draw Ottawa in the first round this year, apparently.

he's supposedly on his way back there and yet he's taking every opp to shine the collective Flames knob.

Perhaps the Mother Corp. wouldn't take kindly to one of their cash cows (a Canadian team) getting routinely buried by one of their analysts, even when they deserve it?

I think that tradition requires a link to this great post:

I'm actually kinda, sorta glad that the Flames are done. And I'm not the only one.


As magical a time as it was, I don't think anyone who experienced 2004 -- other than drunk-ass teenagers and their like-minded wannabes -- was really aching to do it all over again. It would have been too much.

Another year of being spared that pain.

What killed the Flames in game 89 was basically what killed them all year; Inconsistent goaltending from Kipper, terrible PK, and not enough of everyone else besides Iggy.

Anyone know where I can get some of those "momentum goals" Craig Simpson referred to tonight?

It's really too bad Nolan's was just a regular goal and not a "momentum" one. That would have guaranteed the Flames victory.

Doogie: that was a bad regular season team that Mtl faced in the B's so I don't know what happened in the how's and why's -- perhaps Mtl's kids showed their age and they really aren't as good as their reg season record -- but Bos got pretty damn close to them.

So, now they've got Philly and on paper the Habs should beat them too. Though if they let the Flyers get inside on them like they did the B's, they should, and hopefully they Will, lose.

Though, the Habs other possible opponent was the Rags and I think that was the less favourable matchup for Cuntreal.

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