Thursday, February 02, 2006


Goalie Swap

A comment in the Sun's account of last night's trade caught my eye:
Sutter says Sauve's performance in the 7-4 loss to the Avs wasn't a factor.

"It's not something that happened last week, this is something we've worked on for a long time," said Sutter.

Two choices here:

He's lying. He spoke out of frustration after the Avs game. He was disappointed with Sauve that game, but was otherwise not that unhappy with the guy. Whether he regretted or not, he knew it was a bell he couldn't un-ring, and had to pursue a trade.

He's telling the truth. He was unhappy with Sauve's progress, focus, and work habits over the season to date, and had decided that he had to find a new backup. The Avs game confirmed his instincts, and solidified his decision that Sauve was outta here. Having decided that, he elected to use Sauve as an example to send a message to the rest of the players. This message was probably a hair harsher that he would have liked in retrospect, but it also reflected his own frustration at his error in judgement in acquiring the guy in the first place.

Lastly, as a larf, here's what the Flames had to say about Phillipe on August 10th:
Questioned whether Philippe Sauve was ready to be an NHL backup goalie, David Marcoux didn't hesitate.

"Absolutely," answered Marcoux, the Calgary Flames goalie coach.

"He spent three years in the American Hockey League -- in his last year, he was dominating -- and has developed into a very good goalie.

"He's been through good times and he's been through bad times and he's used all that experience to build a wall around him."

Whoops. Really lastly, I just found what the Herald's Jean Lefebvre had to say about Sauve 4 weeks ago, in the Flames Mid-Term Report. Under the category of Biggest First-Half Development:
The emergence of Philippe Sauve as a legitimate option on those nights Kiprusoff needs a breather. The only image most Flames fans had of Sauve when he was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche was the 2003-04 contest the Flames pumped seven pucks past him. So much for first impressions -- Sauve have been quite good, sometimes even great, in limited work. Sauve's trustworthiness could be key in the second half as the Flames remain mindful of Kiprusoff's workload and ailing hip.

Either Jean is a bit inattentive, or Sutter's definition of "a long time" is a counterintuitive one.


Whether or not Sutter was telling the truth, the fact is that GM's do not make good coaches, and vice versa, for a long period of time. Sutter has had both roles for far too long (see: Maple Leafs, Quinn) and something needs to be done.

As an Oilers fan, I will happily watch the Flames fall during the remainder of the season, and finish in 7th or 8th, and watch them eliminated in 5 games, and then I will be proven correct when everyone in Calgary shouts out for Sutter to choose one of the positions, because he can't do both.

Speculation, speculation, speculation.

Mole hill, you are now a mountain.

I don't know. If Sutter hung Phil Sauve out to dry basically because he was having a bad day and then wouldn't correct himself, that's a serious problem. Not his credibility with the fans and media, who cares about that. But if his actions and words don't match, even the dumbest Flames player can see that, they'll stop taking him seriously, and the team is in for a fall.

I am still out of breath because I had to register my smug satisfaction with tonight's oiler result. Especially all the hacking I took from oilfan.

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