Domebeer-aholics, you know that we are big, big fans Jay 'Blow Over The Limit' Bouwmeester.
And really, what's not to like about a 6'4, 220 pound D-man who can skate like the wind? You know, besides the softness, the lack of intensity, the unwillingness to throw a body check, the unwillingness to get involved in the rush, or to pinch in, or to score, or create offensively, or to not be a minus player. Oh yeah, also, at 6.7 million dollars a year, the total unwillingness to step up in the locker room and become a team leader, to take the team on his back.
Hey Domebeers, the cat is 26. Right. Awesome. Paying 35 million dollars for potential. That hasn't gone wrong in these here parts before, now has it?
Anyways, thanks to GM Sutters penchant for giving every breathing thing on Gods green earth a No Trade Clause, we are probably stuck with the cat. It isn't the end of the world, but still, it is another example of Darryl over allocating resources, which hurts the team in the long run. Whatever. We can't change reality. What we can do, like a Casper Patrick Swayze, is shape and mold reality to better accentuate the make up of the Flames.
Uhh, English please, Domebeers. Right. What we are saying is this: We have a guy in J Blow who does have some skill. That skill is physical, his being 6'4 and 220, his being able to skate. It is also mental, by which we refer to his ability to do whatever the coach tells him to do without making a fuss about it. By all accounts, he appears to be a good soldier (which sucks for us, because again, at 6.7, we don't need a grunt, we need Navy SEAL). These are the skills that need to be harnessed and utilized more effectively by the idiot coach, Brent Sutter, if we are to get production out of one J Blow.
What exactly are we talking about? Let's start with the PP. We have been watching the playoffs, as we are sure most of you are doing, and there is something we immediatly noticed about the Flyers, who had a killer PP in the regular season (21.4%, good for third in the league) and are scoring at a 24.3% clip in the playoffs. Did you guys notice it too? Pronger sets up in front of the goalie on the PP.
Why did we notice Pronger? Well, besides the fact that he is hard not to notice out there against Montreal, we think the guy is an ok comparison to J Blow, physically. Pronger is 6'6, 220, but doesn't skate nearly as well as the Flames resident drunk driver. Pronger is also a winner, which J Blow, who hasn't won anything at any level of hockey, isn't. Pronger is also mean, will hit, and isn't a finesse softy. In short, Pronger has a lot of the intangibles that J Blow doesn't, but the way that they are utilized shouldn't be that different.
Shouldn't be. Should not be, but is. Why? Because Peter Laviolette is a real NHL coach, not a junior coach masquerading as a NHL coach. It took Laviolette all of two seconds to figure out that it might be a good idea to establish a net presence with a big, hulking, 6'6 Pronger. Especially on the PP. Brent Sutter still hasn't figured out Beta lost out to VHS, which probably goes a long way to explaining how someone who claimed to practice the PP all the time still ends up with 26th ranked PP.
Listen, Dumb (GM Sutter) and Dumber (Coach Sutter), is it really too hard to figure out? Do you guys not watch any other NHL team, and see how they run their shit? When your team is consistently mediocre, you should probably watch the teams that are effective in areas that your team is not, and try to pick up on the 'best practices' that they employ. Right, we forgot, the Sutters know everything about hockey. They know so much that they refuse to stick a 6'4 body in front of the oppositions net, or to tell Jarome he needs to get the hell off the side boards and into the middle of the ice (it's called the slot Jarome, and you two used to be best friends) or maybe, just for shits and giggles, put Jarome on the point so he has some time to actually get his shot off. GM Sutter specifically knows so much about the game of hockey that he saddled better versions of this team with coaches who were over their head in Playfair and Brent, or were washout retreads in Keenan.
While we are on the topic of Pronger and J Blow over 0.8, we would like to make the following observation. Cammo is 5'8 182, and getting shut down by Pronger et al because of it. You know who is a thorn in the side of the Flames? That little flat chest midget, Pat '20 cent' Kane. He goes 5'10 (yeah fucking right) 178 (skeptical of that, too). He is the same size as Cammo, yet J Blow isn't able to shut him down. Curious. We would chalk that up to Pronger being a winner, and J Blow being, well, J Blow.
And that isn't good enough. At 6.7, J Blow is the second highest paid player on this team. We cannot pay that much money for a solid D-man. Solid D-men cap out at around 5 million dollars. If you are a solid D-man who has offensive ability, then you get paid into the 6 plus range. So J Blow, by virtue of his contract alone, has to be more of a contributor on the offense for this team. Which means that the idiot coach's much vaunted 'system' should flow through J Blow specifically. J Blow needs to lead the break out, and if he can help it, keep the puck on his stick through the neutral zone. The one guy on this team with speed is Glencross, and Glencross has some of the worst hands we have ever seen, so please, please, please no stretch passes to that big moment chocker. J Blow should be taking the puck through the neutral zone and Bobby Orr-ing that shit right to the net. While that is happening, Iggy should be getting into open ice up high, and the centre and other winger need to do the dirty work if the puck goes into the corner. If something bad happens, like a turnover, and J Blow is down low, than we can thank the heavens that we also have Gio on this team, and his ass better get back and cover, which he has the speed to do.
This shit is hockey. It isn't rocket surgery. And for a couple of hockey lifers, the Sutters show almost as little creativity as the players on the roster.
But because the Coach is all buddy buddy with the newspaper scribes and Boomer and Kerr on the Fan960, you would think that none of this teams troubles has anything at all to do with coaching. It is just funny that way.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.