Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Flames thru 40

Note: scroll to the bottom for the cumulative numbers; these are for Games 31-40 exclusively. Numbers for Games 1-10 here, Games 11-20 here, Games 21-30 here.

Record: 7-1-2 (2-0-2 Home, 5-1-0 Road)
6 Regulation Wins, 1 SO Win, 1 Regulation Loss, 2 OT Losses

Scoring & Preventing Goals:
This doesn't stand above the previous stretches in the way that the record does, but it's likeable nonetheless. Key observation: it may be by only one goal (+1), but this is the first 10-game stretch in which special teams have been an overall plus (previous were -6, -4, & -2).

Also, The Most Exciting Play in Hockey was coined in jest, but (A) it legitimately IS exciting when you're in the building, as I was vs. the Ducks (it's a better We Win! moment than the final horn), and (B) having more of them For than Against is nice. Note also that the Flames scored once with their own goalie pulled, for the first time since February 12, 2003.

Player Rates:

(Click to enlarge; sorted by ESP/60) Huselius had a fantastic 10 games, no surprise there. The 2nd PP unit remains a black hole, although there might be the slightest glimmer of hope (?)... the Lombardi deflection goal against the Canucks (in the loss on the 27th) was, as best I can tell, the first 5-on-4 PP goal of the entire season by the second unit. Also, Nolan's tying goal in the New Year's Eve game was 7 seconds after a PP expired, but they were still "set up".

Which reminds me, I'm warming up to having Iginla and Tanguay on separate lines. Huselius' results above notwithstanding, those are really the two guys on the team who can drive production 5v5. Actually, the Eureka! moment for me here was when Keenan flipped Langkow and Conroy: Langkow/Nolan/Tanguay were ragging the puck deep on one of their first shifts together, and I realized, hey, this might work! Tanguay isn't good enough to carry both Conroy and Nolan 5v5 in a scoring context (who is?), but Iginla, with the help of Huselius, can certainly be effective with just about any NHL centreman.

10 games remain until the All-Star break, and relatively speaking, the schedule of opponents is pretty favourable. LA home-and-home, PHX at home, Rags & Isles at home, Oil and Preds on the road: all 7 there should all see the Flames as the betting favourites, as well as the home game against the Wild. The road games in Minnesota and San Jose are the only times the Flames can expect to be 'dogs.

It starts tonight with the Rangers at the Saddledome (7PM MT, TSN). Lefebvre reports that Primeau will be a healthy scratch tonight, i.e. he'll be watching the game from the press box, instead of watching it from the bench after killing his team with a dumb stick penalty against the other team's 4th line.

Let the good times continue to roll, please, with a 3-1 Calgary Win (Langkow, Iginla, Phaneuf). Go Flames.

Cumulative (Games 1 thru 40)


I like the new look "scoring" lines as well, although I'll doubt I'll ever be fully satisfied with Conroy in the top 6. Is it his ability to take a defensive zone draw that keeps him from plunging on the depth chart?

I think that the Flames will get blown out tonight, and you'll all be left scratchin your heads yet again. Rangers 6 Flames 2 with Kipper pulled after approx 32 mins...

Good analysis for January, except for the San Jose in SJ thing. Other than the fact that it's the second of a back-to-back for us, I like our chances against SJ better in SJ than I do at home.

I was looking at the game notes for tonight, and I have to predict 4-0 Flames win. Iginla x2, Langkow, Lombardi. NYR have all their streaks ended.

I'm hopeful that the Flames can make some hay this next 10 game segment and put a little space between themselves and the number 9 position in the WC. The Flames last 10 games are going to be tough divisional games and I think the last 4 are on the road. Lets pray we don't have to overhaul anybody the last week or two.

And in other news, the EIG are going to reject Katz's latest offer.

Good start for Calgary. And so far, unlike other games where we've scored early, we're keeping up the pressure.

Regehr gives a good interview. He'll make a good colour guy someday.

Mildly frustrating game. With the way the Flames came out and the way the Rangers hung back, this game should have been 3 or 4 to 0 by the 30min mark. Second half of the game we had to work way to hard to stay in front of a team that would have rolled over if we just would have made it comfortable for them. War Iginila and Huselius, but Hale and Eriksson are going to give me nightmares.

We've seen a lot of good things from the team over the last 15 games, but we haven't seen a really dominant win yet. This game had the potential, but we let them come back.

That's all I'm going to complain about, however. Three in a row at home puts us solidly above .500 both on the road and at home. Our goal differential isn't convincing yet, but all those 4-1 losses will take some time to erase. If we had played our entire season the way we have the last 15 games, we would be competing with Detroit for the Conference title.

Our wins certainly are definitely gritty over pretty, but it's giving us a gritty rise in the playoff standings. If we keep this up through January, I'll predict another Divisional title for us.

Matt - this post doesn't really seem to fit with what the BoA is. As best I can tell, it's supposed to be a chronicle of a terrible hockey team and a perpetual gong show. What are you trying to slide past us here?

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