Monday, March 13, 2006


Flames Game Day: Rematch

Calgary v. Colorado, 7PM MST, RSN West. The Flames need to come back fast from a bad result, losing 3-0 to the Avs. Peter Budaj was somewhere between solid and sensational; if the Flames get as many good scoring chances tonight as they did yesterday afternoon, there's no way they get held off the scoreboard again.

Either way though, this business of trading odd-man rushes with the Avalanche has got to stop. At one point in the 3rd period yesterday, each team had four of them. Not sure what the Flames allow on average, but I'd estimate that it's zero-point-something.

For today's special pre-game feature, I'm going to take a break from the relentless positivity. There's probably two big things that frustrate me about the Flames more than anything else, and both of them were amply demonstrated in yesterday's loss.

1. Andrew Ference has got to improve at keeping the puck in at the blueline. He has a remarkable knack for letting the puck hop over his stick, combined with absolutely terrible instincts on when to hold the line (pinch) and when to back off.

This glaring flaw in his game is all the more noticeable because of his teammate Phaneuf. Lots of glowing things have been written about the rookie Dion, all of which are true (if occasionally overexcited). But one aspect of his game that I haven't seen applauded is his play at the attacking blueline. I've been sitting on this thought for two months, just to make sure I wasn't fooled or exaggerating, but I seriously think that Dion Phaneuf might be the best player I've ever seen at holding the offensive zone (the fact that the boards are on his backhand makes it even more impressive). His decision-making and his coordination are just unbelievable: when he pinches, and it's pretty often, the puck stays inside the blueline, period.

For most fans, myself included, the flubbed puck at the blueline is the most frustrating mistake a defenseman can make (for forwards, it's the fanned one-timer). I think it's a huge reason why 5th/6th D-men (often 2nd PP unit guys) seem to take a disproportionate amount of crap from us.

2. Everyone gets knocked off the puck sometimes, or has it stripped away. But why-oh-why does it always seem to happen to Kristian Huselius when he's skating away from the opposing goal? Look Tommy: if you're going to double back with the puck, you had better make G.D.F'in sure that you keep it until you get turned around, or get rid of it before you lose it. This kind of turnover is essentially impossible for the other two forwards to recover from; it's a nearly guaranteed 3-on-2 (or 2-on-1) the other way. Just stop it. I'm begging you. Really.

In tonight's game, I think Colorado scores the 1st goal, and Calgary scores the next four. I also expect Lundmark to draw in (in Tommy's place, perhaps?). It's the good guys' last home game before they make way for the figure skaters and head out on a 7-game in 11-day road trip. Go Flames.


Im with you on both counts. Good catch(es).

Is the same Huselius who is essentially the same player as Samsonov?

Sac's never going to let that one go Matt. The only appropriate response is: Roloson.

Yep, same guy. Thru 2 games with the Flames, he was 0-3-3, +2 (team record: 1-0-1).

Robert said....

Drawing upon the scoring records of Samsonov and Huselius after *two* games does nothing to increase the validity of a comparison between the two players; one need only to look at the career statistics of the two players to glean from this basic measurement of production that Samsonov is a far superior player. (This is a useful comparison considering both are 'offensive' second line - or, depending on the circumstances, occasional first line - forwards.) One need only look more carefully at the two players by watching them on the ice and considering what they bring to the table to further justify the judgement that Samsonov is the better player.

Come on Flames fans; credit where it is due...

Sure Samsanov is a fine player. i wish we had grabbed him.

I am also glad my GM was not dumb enough to swap Quimby for Rollo.

Go Flames

BWA! Bringing Roloson into a discussion of Samsonov vs. Tommy is about as useful as pointing out that Edmonton has 5 cups and Calgary only has 1

Oh wait, you're right, that is fun.

Don't be so hard on my main man Ference.

Big deal that his one and only shot from the blue line, a fluttering wrister, wouldn't leave a mark if it hit Mary Kate Olsen in the ribs.

And who cares that his passes consistently miss the mark by 8 to 10 feet - wingers absolutely LOVE suicide passes.

People might notice how he's always trying to "get back into" position, but no worries, as the coaches continue to emphasize that Ference is "pound for pound the toughest player on the ice". He's a 157-pound machine, easily overpowering players 10 or 12 pounds heavier.

Seriously though, I find it hard to believe that his team mates haven't yet resorted to the Full Metal Jacket soap-in-the-sock beating of his pathetic ass. Dion alone has enough reasons to beat the shit out of him. He could easily have 3 or 4 more powerplay shots on net were it not for Ference fucking up the cross ice passes for the one timer.

Nothing amuses me more than Jhuck's rants against Ference. Seriously. And I thought I hated that guy.

Also - the Mary-Kate Olson comment was gold.

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