Two months of the season are done. Four and some change months remain.
How has the team fared so far?
The team has 22 points in 24 games, which is fucking deplorable when they are spending the money they are spending on what was at one time hockey talent.
So that isn't great. Have they beaten anybody, at least?
Why yes, yes they have. They have beaten eight teams for a total of ten wins on the season. Besides Killadelphia, who play in the East and should have won that game save for the NHL and it's continued pussyfication of the game, Calgary has beat the Columbus, Colorado, and Chicago, all teams who enjoy (currently) a position at the top of the standings in the West.
That's right. If you used 'C' as the starting letter in the name for your city, and that city has an NHL team, prepare to take big thick 'L's to the face when Calgary comes to town.
So if you are looking for positives, there is that. The negative is that the team is losing to teams in the bottom half of the conference, and they should probably not be doing that if they want to achieve some post season gates for the owners. Also, they have played the Red Wings three times and have lost all three (but they have been close games until the Wings decide to turn it on and win in the five last shifts of a hockey game).
We are now looking for the team to go on a good stretch, get on a winning streak, and then maybe they can play themselves up to 9th, and then they need to make another push, go on another streak, and maybe, if the stars align, they can make the 7th spot.
The team, it's managers, coaches, and it's players, put themselves in this position, so we don't feel sorry for them. If they want to be able to carry their heads with pride around this city, then they got to win, and that's up to them.
But the situation does put a big bright spotlight on games like tonights. Even if the team was in last in the conference with no hope, this would still be a big game. Beat Vancouver.
If the Stamps are underachieving (in the regular season, we have come to expect it from them in the postseason) then the season can still be salvaged if they beat the Eskimo's. Well, same shit applies here. If the team sweeps the Canucks, it will make the bitter taste of a wasted season less difficult to swallow.
You can't sweep a team if you lose to them the first time you meet, which makes this game an important one for the Flames. But this could get ugly in a hurry. The Canucks have won four games on the road this year, and two of those wins came against teams in the East, which is to say, bad ones. You know their coach is hoping to get his guys fired up to start winning on the road. It will be interesting to see how they (the Canucks) respond, how the Flames respond, ect. The Canucks play the Blackhawks next, in their (Chicagos') barn, so this thing could be a trap game for them.
This is old, but we haven't talked about Nystrom admitting to the world he was mentally weak, yet.
What the fuck is with the people in this city and their love affair for a first round draft bust who fled this team for a paycheque? Why are fourth line scrubs like Nystrom even getting interviewed in the media?
Look, we aren't the worlds most experienced travelers, but we have seen different markets in North America and how the sports media in different markets operates. Maybe the newspaper guys thought running a story about how playing in a Canadian market can be so tough, and how the Calgary chapter got a scalp in the form of Nystrom, would make their wives pussies drip. We don't know. But we do know that if you think the Calgary media market is tough, then you are a complete wimp. The fact that blogs like this exist is testament to the fact that the media in this city is not combative. The FAN960 guys aren't lobbying for players to be traded, or coaches to be hired or fired. They barely made a peep about Keenan.
This is a nice media market. It may be a loud, semi claustrophobic one, but it is a nice, professional one nonetheless. Phoenix has tougher media than we do. Or they would if the Coyotes could make it into one of their sports sections.
Enough with this noise about how Canadian markets kill their sports figures. They kill the sports figures who are here to collect paycheques and live the lifestye. Seriously, it's like that, and that's it. Nystrom likes sleeping in fancy hotels, he likes being treated like someone special, likes the money and the lifestyle. He jumps at every chance he can to do an interview, so you know he likes feeling like a 'star' and being famous. But he doesn't like the media and it's tone when the team decides to go on vacation in December and lose nine straight games? He doesn't like the responsibility of having to actually win, is what he doesn't like. He doesn't like 'expectations'.
A player who was drafted for his last name, who gave this organization 39 points, is talking about the pressures of playing in the NHL? Child, please. He is lucky he isn't talking about the pressures of having to play four games in five nights in the ECHL.
Fuck off and go away, please, Nystrom. We loved Kerr's take on the issue. To paraphrase, he said (sarcastically) something to the effect of 'I (Kerr) drove Nystrom out of town.' Exactly. Kerr has all the time in the world for the organization and it's players, and was a Nystrom cheerleader. Press like that was too tough? Good fucking riddance.
Fuck, you see what the good Mayor Nenshi is pulling? We will be upfront. We thought the guy was a product of academia, so we thought he would go soft and left when he got into power. Who knows, he may still. But so far, so good, right?
He wants to cut sending! Hurray! Even if some of his cuts are only symbolic, they should still be applauded. We never understand people who get mad at spending reductions if they are small and negligent on the budget. Yeah, there is still work to do, but every penny counts, and at least having the personal inclination to want to cut spending is a good thing (you know spending is out of control when we characterise $10 million dollars in cuts as 'symbolic').
Also, we like how Nenshi has made it look like a 4%+ tax hike is, like, a good thing. Shows the man can market, which isn't a terrible skill to have as Mayor.
And Nenshi beefs with the councils biggest tool, Pincott, which earns him mad kudos with us.
This talk about Jay Feaster being next in line for the GM post if Sutter is fired needs to fucking end, because if that is the plan, we are getting off the Fire Sutter train. Feaster is worse than Sutter. At least Sutter had played the game, could command some respect from free agents, and had access to the NHL GM's Old Boys Club (for better or for worse). Feaster is the guy famous for jacking up Tampa Bays salary structure so bad that they were forced to trade away real players like Boyle and Richards for monetary breathing room. It's a fucking joke this guy is being considered to run the team, especially considering this club could have gone with Nicholson and Yzerman if they had only been prepared to dump obnoxious piles of money in front of them.
Please, before we hired Sutter the organization was being run by a nice enough fellow in Button. But Button was a very bad GM, and we needed Sutter for the stability and seriousness his presence gave the organization. He may have plateaued as far as his abilities to improve the teams chances of winning a Stanley Cup are concerned, but that doesn't mean when you hire his replacement you hire down, and go backwards. If this club gets rid of Darryl it better be for someone with more cache, more bonafides, not less.
We know some more established media read this blog, and we implore you to stop this 'Feaster as legitimate option as GM' story now, before it garners traction. If you are going to talk about replacing Darryl, talk about Lanny McDonald, or hiring Nashville's GM (and their coach, too) away with the chance to build a team that he has the budget to maintain it, or whomever your particular favourite candidate is. Just stop talking about Feaster, and stop giving the idea legitimacy.
Everyone at the Flames ingame entertainment department should be fired. Fuck off with the techno, just fuck off with it, already. The crowd in the lower bowl doesn't respond to techno music because they aren't 17 year old girls with mouthfuls of ecstasy and a desire to dance all night. Are we being clear enough with you nimrods?
PLAY COUNTRY MUSIC. JUST FUCKING PLAY IT.
You know why people like country music? Well, lots of reasons, but a big one is THEY HAVE EASY AND FAMOUS CHORUSES! You want people to make noise? PLAY A SONG THEY CAN SING THE WORDS TO!
Look, the techno they play isn't even that good. It's pop techno. It's garbage. But we will try to meet you halfway. The next time the Flames score, play 'Thank God I'm A Country Boy', and if you want, go ahead and play the techno version (that's us meeting you halfway). We guarantee the crowds response to that will be 1000 times more noticeable than what you guys get with your stupid techno music.
Finally, a salute to the Irish for not raising their corporate tax rates, even after they just sold out most of their sovereignty to the IMF. Oh, and fuck German exporters. What, it's only currency manipulation when the Chinese do it?
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.