Monday, January 24, 2011


Monday Baseball Standings

Real talk: tanking is an idea that seems very poorly thought through by those who advocate it. And although I do oppose tanking on karmic grounds, I don’t think you need that mysticism in order to make the case against. In the specific case of the Flames, it seems all the more clear.
Look, a guy can advocate change as a way of moving forward. I’m not saying Status Quo or Bust. I think trading Kipper, if possible, is a great idea, and it wouldn’t take much to get the fans on board. I’m warming to the idea of trading Regehr, mainly because I think the Flames can fill in the D more easily than the forward ranks. But “blow it all to smithereens” or the like makes no sense, and it’s too easy, and the payoff might not be there.

I hope the lads make the playoffs this season, even if they finish 8th and get swept by the Canucks. Well, by the Wings. I don’t see the downside, and it would sure make the next 3 months a lot more fun. Go Flames.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Monday Baseball Standings

**In the 20 games preceding the weekend in Ontario, over which the Flames put up a 9-8-3 record, they outshot their opponents 623-507 and were outscored 57-51.

450 saves on 507 shots is .888, which is a pretty bloody lousy SV%. My LOL of the weekend was Eric Francis suggesting on the Hot Stove that trading Kiprusoff would be a good idea as a means of tanking. Weird - Francis was better than anyone at setting aside the Cult of Sutter to judge Darryl on his merits; he ought to be able to do the same for the Cult of Kipper.

**Here's how I imagine the conversation between Katz and Tambellini in mid-April after season's end, if Katz weren't too busy trying to get even richer in the land development business.
Katz: Well Steve, since your 2nd hiring in spring 2009, you've shown me that you can assemble a shitty team accidentally, and that you can assemble a shitty team deliberately. What do you plan to show me next? And please don't say something like, you can assemble a shitty team, while on rollerskates.

Tambellini: [silence while he assesses Katz' question]

**Go Flames

Friday, January 07, 2011


Friday Baseball Standings

**So on December 13th, the Flames were 4 games out, and I said:
Their schedule for the next 10 games is about as favourable as you could hope for. If they can't make up more than half the gap between them and 8th by the time they head into Vancouver on January 5th, then maybe they are as bad as their record.

I guess they pretty much are. One thing that just struck me today that reinforces this: the big wins they had in October, the ones that showed us that the Flames would be a good team if they played right etc. etc., were agains Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Jose. Here in January, needless to say, no one's oohing and aahing over smiting these particular enemies.

**Now that I've been doing this standings format for a few years, there's a bit of data for year-to-year comparisons. Through January 2 this year, the Canucks were 16 games over .500 to lead the league. Through January 2 two years ago, both the Sharks and the Bruins were 24 games over .500.

**More on that: memory is funny, both in the "interesting" and the "ridiculous" sense. Your average Oiler fan around here (and by average I explicitly mean "not just the really stupid ones"), not to mention the local media, really believes that (1) the previous three seasons were lousy and hopeless on a persistent, game-to-game basis, and (2) right now represents a unique moment of hope and promise.

I think Tyler, Jon Willis, and many others have done a fine job expounding on the fact that young & promising does not necessarily lead to prime & successful. The other fallacy, though, tends to go mostly unaddressed: most unsuccessful teams seem a lot worse in retrospect than they do in the moment. Do you realize that the Oilers were alone in 7th place, 1.5 games up on 9th, on March 20, 2009? Of course you do - it's what made Steve Tambellini decide that adding Quinn and Khabibulin was a good idea. For rebuilding.

**"I've sat quiet and I've worked my (butt) off all year. I haven't said anything, while Arniel has gone to the media and said, basically, that I can't play. It gets to the point where I have to have some personal pride and I have to stand up for myself." -- Mike Commodore

Given where Scott Howson learned the hockey ops trade, I assume he's now searching for an ECHL team with which to place Mike Commodore.

**Good piece by Tom Benjamin this week. Naturally, I hope his season as a fan ends in wrenching heartbreak, but he's really eloquent regarding what it's all about. Which is also to say, Go Flames.

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