Monday, November 15, 2010

Sutter, Scoring Chances

Look Brett, your father is doing a good enough job turning this organization into a laughingstock, he doesn't need your help.

Unless we missed the press release, Brett Sutter has still not been suspended by the Calgary Flames for punching a cab driver, unprovoked, while he was heavily intoxicated.

Why not?

Seriously, how does a player who has 18 games, 2 points, and a minus 4 to his name not receive any punishment for embarrassing the organization? Why was he not suspended by the team, at the very least?

Even if you don't think he did anything that serious, at least understand the optics of the situation. Because to us, the optics look terrible.

Brett Sutter, who is a terrible player at the NHL level, lacking any skill whatsoever, and who, quite frankly, is barely good enough to play in the AHL, is on this roster for one reason, and it's obviously because his last name is Sutter.

He doesn't have the talent to play regularly. He doesn't have the talent to beat Meyer's out of the lineup. If he can't beat Meyer's, he isn't taking anyone elses spot. He has no spot on this roster. Do you know what good teams do with their young, err, 'talent', when it can't play regularly at the NHL level? They send it down to the AHL so it can develop. Brett Sutter has no spot on the Calgary Flames. He is also 23, which means that if this organization wants to get any return on it's investment in nepotism, it should send him down to the AHL so he can be getting playing time and experience. But they don't. They keep him up in the press box.

Why? To act as motivation to Meyer's? That's retarded (Darryl Sutter makes a lot of stupid decisions, so you may be numb to it by now). We think it has something to do with the fact that Brett makes $75,000 if he plays in the AHL, a league in which he has 23 goals in 212 games played, but $500,000 if he plays up in the NHL.

Brett Sutter is a punk. When you repeatedly tell a police officer in Arizona, a state that doesn't even have ice, that it's ok that you punched a cab driver because you are celebrating your rookie hockey game, it pretty much exposes you as being a punk. Darryl probably wants the punk out of his house the same way we want the punk off the roster. So he cooks up a big fat paycheque for the kid, so Brett can move out and stop bothering him.

We really don't think it's that far-fetched an idea. Since Darryl took over as the GM, he has been using the Calgary Flames as the Sutter Family employment office. Normally we would be content not to talk about it, even though the team has a terrible draft record and the scouting department is where Darryl tends to stock his kinfolk. Darryl's Caesar, and if he wants to use his royal power to enrich his family, well, that's a perk of the job. But we don't have to pretend about his motives and give him cover for it.

Brett Sutter is on the roster to collect a big league paycheque. We can live with that provided he acts like a good little child and is seen but not heard. The moment his ledger goes from positive to negative he has to go. And because he doesn't do anything, you know, on the ice, his ledger is neutral at the best of times. Which means going out and causing brand damage to the Flaming C makes him more of a distraction then he is worth.

He should have been suspended at the minimum. He wasn't even going to play in those games, so it wouldn't have effected anything, really. It just would have made the organization look classy and professional. He should be sent to Abby, too, but again, he is only up here so Darryl can give him a payday he would have received in no other organization in the NHL, so we are not holding our breath.

DB, other people have done things like this, worse even, while wearing the Calgary Flames colours. Yeah, you are right. You mean people like Al Macinnis, Theo Fleury? You know, Hall-Of-Famers?

The rules for mortals are different. Brett has no leash.

Some numbers talk.

We are big proponents of shots. The more shots you take, the more chances you have to score. Not all shots have the same percentage of success, however. 100 shots from the slot probably get you more goals than 100 shots from the blueline.

So let's look at the Calgary Flames. They have 495 shots for, which is good for 16th in the league. Colour us crazy, but a team that lacks true, dynamic scoring talent should be looking to increase it's shot totals above that of middle of the league. The less ability you have to score, the more opportunities you need to score.

What's driving down the shot totals? It could be two things, talent or coaching. The team may not have the talent to generate puck possession, which means it isn't taking the puck up the ice into the opposition's zone, which is why they generate few shots. Or it could be coaching. The coach is employing a safe system designed to limit chances against the team, which limits opportunities to be aggressive and generate shots.

The Calgary Flames, as the media and fans are told in a whine by the coach every day now it seems, are a defensive hockey team. So that's what limits the shots. But is that true?

The Calgary Flames have given up 460 shots. That's good for 8th place in the league. That number would suggest that the Flames are indeed a defensive oriented club. Which isn't good.

The Calgary Flames have a record of 6-6 when they outshoot their opponents, and 1-3 when they get outshot. That means on most nights they generate more shots than their opponents, but they still can't win more than half of the time, and when they don't outshoot their opponents, they lose. 

What this really means is the team is sunk. If they play their game of hockey (outshooting opponents, keeping shots against down), their chances of winning isn't that much greater than 50%. If they don't play their game, their chances of winning are quite a ways below 50%.

Personally we are not fans of Coach Sutter, but it appears that it isn't the coaching that's the problem. The team doesn't have the horses to go out and just play, which is why coach wants the team to play safe. At the same time, the team doesn't have a gamebreaker that would allow it to win those close hockey games on a consistent basis.

The team is not a good one. It isn't better than any other team in the NHL. It doesn't have the talent to win games, so it has to rely on the vagaries of bounces and luck and the smile of the hockey gods. The team does need to show more urgency, work harder, and play smarter. But it also needs more talent.

Our top forward in plus/minus is Morrison at +1. Yikes.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.


  1. obviously daz has succumbed to the pressures re: brett, and the kid's gone home to BC. the thing that's OUTRAGEOUS about him sticking around and making NHL money: wasting precious capspace. since the start of the season, brett's banked +/-$80,000. as we know from the debacle at the end of the 08/09 season, 80K will buy you a replacement player WHEN YOU NEED THEM at season's end.

    what an absolute travesty it is that he's still steering this ship.

  2. Does anyone think it was cheesy that he brought up his brother in his apology?

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