Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Flames 3, Coyotes 2, Confirmation Bias 19

Calgary's win over Phoenix tonight was televised on RSN West, and I caught a goodly bit.

**Boyd really is on fire. In their first two games, the Flames have scored 5 goals; Boyd has been in on 4 of them (2 EV, 1 PP, 1 SH). But it's not just that, he's creating chances and driving possession. I liked the guy last year for his potential and his touch, but it's just a fact that he got creamed, and you can only put a bit of that on the Erics. He wasn't really a big-league forward last season; he sure as hell looks like one right now.

**Phaneuf got the first star, which is... .... not the same decision I would have made. Way to start the season with a nice high-event game, Dion!

**I liked what I saw from Giordano. Hasn't lost his ability or desire to take the puck past the top of the circle, but didn't make any mistakes that I noticed.

**I liked what I didn't see from The Warrener and Vandermeer (J.) -- no giveaways, no struggling in their own end, no mention of their names hardly.

**Old guy I love: Moss. He just makes smart plays all the time. New guy I loved, tonight: Bourque! Fast, active stick, happy to bump around. Like Shean Donovan went through a time machine.

**No surprise with Andre Roy. He probably shouldn't be an NHL player. He also fell down about 0.9 seconds into his first fight as a Flame. So noo... I didn't fall in love.

**Regrettably, no surprise with Brandon Prust either. Suffice it to say that there was no evidence on display tonight that would explain why Sutter elected to give him that unexpected one-way deal. Though in fairness, he was mostly playing with

**Wayne Primeau. Gahhh. Look, I don't have a personal grudge against this man, and I'm sure he's an A-1 character. But he stinks. His performance for most of the past year has been below replacement-level. And regardless of the standard (and essentially accurate, though incomplete) scouting report on the guy -- which is that he's big, skates well, and can hit -- he is a goddamn floater. I'm sure he's not any of the things that "floater" implies (lazy, cares more about his own stats than how the team does, etc.), but a floater he is. When the puck is in the Flames' end, he coasts around and his feet don't move.

The benefits of his veteran savvy, whatever exactly that is, are not evident on the ice. He's not good at getting the puck out of his own zone, or at keeping it in the other guy's. He can't score, can't pass well, doesn't kill penalties, and turns the puck over in the neutral zone too much (another couple of beauties on that count tonight).

We know that the Flames are lacking a bit of quality in the top 6 this season compared to last. It can be overstated a bit, because Nolan is eminently replaceable, Conroy is still around, and Huselius was replaced (twice!). But on the other hand, maybe not, because it's even money that Bertuzzi is kaput as a remotely effective player, let alone a dynamic one.

What this means is that the Flames cannot afford to ice a 4th line that doesn't get results and has no chance of doing so going forward. I'm happy to give Prust a few extra chances, but the Flames cannot ice a 4th line of [Anyone]-Primeau-Roy this season. Not on a regular basis, not at all. Roy will stick around for (at minimum) grudge matches, I suppose, but there are 10 guys in the organization who can provide at least what Primeau provides, and all of them have a chance of being better next month. He needs to get busted down to Moline, where at that point Ryan Mcgill can confirm that Primeau is nowhere near his best forward, and then this can be over.

I'm not the guy who wants all the rookies to play, and who doesn't believe that there are things learned best via NHL experience. (I'm no prospophile, check my hard drive archives.) But Primeau, in all his veteranness, isn't good enough to play on this team.

Go Flames.


I see Primeau is to you what Eriksson is to me. Perhaps if they both get sent down we can throw some sort of party?

Perhaps if they both get sent down we can throw some sort of party?

Absolutely! In fact I almost added a P.S. to the post, (Also, please cut Eriksson, thankyou.).

The difference is that everyone's on Bubba's ass and seems to see his, er, "limitations", whereas Primeau has gotten a free pass.

Kerr was on the radio Tuesday afternoon with some good things to say, and at one point said ~, "Yelle and Nilson, god lov'em, but when they went over the boards, you were hoping for a push. There was no illusion that they were going to create offense."

Basically true -- also true, to some extent, of virtually every 4th line in the league and quite a few 3rd lines. But Primeau is still here, and whatever failings can be attributed to Yelle and Nilson apply doubly to Primeau. Yet he's the invisible man for some reason.

I would probably guess Primeau is the worst of those three players.

The difference is that everyone's on Bubba's ass and seems to see his, er, "limitations", whereas Primeau has gotten a free pass.

It's pretty puzzling. If you take a gander at the messageboards today, you'll find they are filled with effusive praise for Primeau's game last night.

I dunno what it is. Guy is so obviously an impotent presence. And I haven't even mentioned his ridiculous salary...

Bourque is good. The Flames should trade him while his value is high.


(A list of St. Albert Saint alumni I haven't been able to cheer for because they played in Calgary: Rene Bourque, Jamie Lundmark, Steve Reinprecht AAGH IT'S GETTING TOO DEPRESSING).

I thought this was a BofA site, not just a Flamer site. Where the heck is Andy or Sac?

They've come to the sensible conclusion that the Oilers are wholly irrelevant.

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