Friday, October 15, 2010

Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award

It's Friday, and that means just one thing: Hendricks gin, and lots of it.

Umm, what? Oh yeah, you're right. It is also time that time of the week when we present the Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award (the RTPIC)!

Before we get to the nominees, we want to say something about the Flames.

Last night, the players abandoned whatever system they use, and went all individual with it. They did that when they were down several goals. They panicked.

People panic for a variety of reasons, but they boil down to some basic things. Preparation, or the lack of it, and belief, or the lack of it. Preparation, because the human mind is incredibly elastic, and when we prepare it properly, it can handle doing the extra-ordinary. For example, very few people are born with the ability to engage in a battle and not lose their ability to think clearly. But, with proper instruction, most people can be trained in this skill. Belief, because when the bullets start flying, one of the things that is going to get you off your belly and over the trench is the belief that what you are doing can work. The belief in success is a very powerful incentive to actually try to reach for success.

The Flames abandoned the game plan when they got down on the scoreboard. They panicked. Was it because of a lack of preparation? We don't think it is. They have played 3 games in about a week. That provides the coaching staff with plenty of time for preparation. The problem, therefore, has to be belief.

Key players on this team (*cough* Jarome Iginla *cough*) are not buying into what the coach is selling. Who knows the exact reason why, but we would posit that it comes down to the players not believing the game plan can bring them W's. You can prepare for suicide all you want, but when the time comes to jump, if your heart isn't in it, you will not jump. For a player to adhere to a game plan they think will lead them to a big fat L, that is akin to suicide. When you look at it this way, it isn't hard to see why the players abandon playing as a team so that they can play like individuals. They are trying to win. They are deciding not to choose suicide.

This, it goes without saying, is not a good situation. Is it the coaches fault? Do the players not trust each other? We do not know, we are not in the locker room. In all honesty, on a certain level, it doesn't even matter, because whatever the problem, there are only a few solutions.

It's either the coaching staff or it's the players. You will have a hard time convincing us that it isn't a mix of both with this team. Clearly the team has problems with the coach. We have problems with the coaching staff, too. Like, why the hell is Dave Lowry coaching the power play? But after so many coaches over so many years, that cannot be an excuse anymore. Getting Mike Keenan fired was the players final cry of wolf, if you ask us.

Look, this coach happens to be brothers with the GM. You can try to tell me that they hate each others guts and don't talk to each other, but that isn't true. It isn't. We bring this up because the only solution to this problem, if we are going to stick with the coach, is that the coach needs to crack the whip and establish his authority. Besides belief, there is another way to get someone to jump over the trench and into no-mans land. That is a gun in your back.

Coach Sutter needs to bench a high profile, highly paid member of this hockey team. And he has to do it the first time a player, through selfish play, abandons the game plan. In short, he has to treat this veteran team as if it was a team full of rookies. They need harsh discipline if they are going to be brought to heel and made to listen. And because his brother is the GM, he shouldn't be worried about the players going above his head.

On Saturday, against the Oilers (a game we were stupid enough to buy tickets for), at the Dome, if Jarome cheats in his own zone, bench him. If Joker is giving you lazy, no hustle efforts, bench him. If Kipper lets a goal in during the first 5 minutes, bench him. Coach Sutter needs to go to war with his team. At this point the only tool that players have left him with to use is public humiliation. Benching star players at home is what he needs to do, regardless of the fact that the fans in this city pay huge money to see the team. They can cry about how they paid $200 dollars to see the Iggy sit on the bench for 2 periods and then the Flames lose, but if a lose today brings you three wins down the road, they will, on the aggregate, be cheering more than crying, and in the end, that is all they want.

The players on this team have made it clear that they don't fear the coach, and that's because the coach has done nothing to establish his authority. It's time for him to prove he is the great coach that everyone in the media keeps saying he is.

And for the love of whatever Deity you believe in, beat the fucking Oilers.

No nominees this week. The winner of the Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award is...wait, actually, a few more words on the Flames. JBlow hit someone in the first period, rubbed him out against the boards. We need a lot more of that from him. He needs to pick a player who plays in the Northwest division and make him his bitch, the way Reggie does (or did) Hemsky. Also, Peter Loubardias was so boring calling a boring game that we didn't even notice him until the end of the game when he broke out with 'the aforementioned one' to describe a player. After hearing that and listening to Loubardias and Simmer make excuse after excuse as to why this team slept walked through a game at home we remain as convinced as ever: Fire Peter Loubardias.

This weeks winner of the Roman Turek Profile In Courage award is...the French riots.

The French, much to the worlds surprise, are rioting. Shocking, we know. That never happens.

This time, the noble French are upset over the shocking overreach of the current government. To quote the source: Polls show two-thirds of French people oppose Sarkozy's plan to raise the minimum retirement age to 62 from 60 and lift the age at which people can retire on a full pension to 67 from 65.

My god, the horror. Can you fucking believe that the bloodthirsty Tyrant Sarkozy would dare increase the burden on the French? The people already carry a bone crushing load by being forced to work until the age of 60 (the humanity) before they can collect a government guaranteed pension. And now the Dictator Sarkozy would further humiliate the pure blooded Frenchmen by requiring him to work until the decrepit age of 62?

Such anti-human behavior hasn't been seen in France since the Vendee!

Can you believe what some people will do when they are asked to work?

The French are clearly in the right here. Who wants to work, right? In that vein, we have some suggestions for the Calgary Flames players, some tactic they can use when Coach Sutter gets on their back about stuff like effort.

First, the Flames players need to cut the beerline at the Saddledome. Lets be honest, the best thing about going to a home game is the beer. People don't come into the building expecting to see goals or anything, it's Calgary. If the players cut the beer line, then they cut off the fans. With no fans in the building, the players won't need to be worried about being booed when they give a poor effort. They will be free to give poor efforts all they want!

Second, the Flames players need to block the opposition bus from reaching the Saddledome. If the opposing team can't make it into the building then the Flames won't be asked to skate, and avoiding skating seems to be this teams top priority. To stop a bus a good tactic to employ is to lay down right in front. That way the bus driver needs to stop so he won't run over you. So all the Flames need to do is lay down right in front of the opposition bus. And the Flames are experts at laying down in front of their opponents.

With no fans and no opposition in the building, the Flames will be able to finally not work and give half hearted effort for the whole year, in comfort.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nothing New

We got nothing. Nothing new, at least.

Still reading?

We don't get the first line. Do not get it. Specifically, we do not get why the Flames keep insisting on using Olli Jokinen as a centre. Notwithstanding the fact that the Flames came into camp so in shape that every time one of them throws a bodycheque they hit the IR, which we understand may have necessitated using Joker in the role, he should not be centre on that line. In fact, he shouldn't centre any line we have on the team. He shouldn't, because he should be employed as a winger.

Olli Jokinen is 6'3, 215 pounds, and shoots left. Which means if he plays on the wing opposite our Elvis the Flames would boast two power forward body types who shoot from the wrong side. It would mean the Flames would feature two wingers who love love love to cheat for offense. It would mean whoever centres that line would have all his hair turn grey and fall out prematurely (which makes it a good thing we signed both Conroy and Tanguay, because Conroy couldn't possibly get any older, and Tanguay couldn't get any balder). But unless the coaching staff divorces itself from the notion that Iggy and Joker have to play together, it is the only way to employ them that makes any sense.

Like we said, nothing new here. Joker is a shooter, Iggy is a shooter. The facilitator on that line happens to play all the way across the ice from the dynamic duo. The facilitator on that line, who plays left wing, also happens to have the best vision on that line. The guy with the second best vision on that line? Jarome. It isn't even Joker, who plays the centre. This makes little sense.

If the Flames brass wants to play Jarome and Joker together, which we don't think is the best way to employ the resources of this team, Joker has to be moved to the wing. We have a season plus of evidence to show that they don't work as a centre-rightwing combo. We have no evidence to show us how the combo would work as LW-RW, but we have inclinations it might work. Again, both are shooters, both are big bodies, both try to get theirs. Remember the last time we had a scoring winger to play with Jarome? That Iginla-Camo combination certainly sucked.

Jarome is a shooter, Joker is a shooter, Hagman is a shooter, Bourque is a shooter. Those should be your top six wingers. Tanguay should be a centre, especially considering the injury situations the team finds itself in. Hell, if the team is so desperate for centre's that they convert David Moss we would love to hear the argument against making Tanguay a centre (and please don't say size. That would make you look silly, eh D Roy?). Conroy should be a centre, or an option to centre that line, because he has an actual brain in his head and knows the game. Matt Stajan and Mike Backlund are the other two centres this team has, and we would content that both of them would be better options at centre than Joker.

Joker has a certain level of suck, for sure, but some of that may be just the way he is used. We are very glad he has been a centre his entire career. That doesn't make him a centre. 90 points in the SE for a Florida team that let him get away with anything he wanted, in retrospect, doesn't impress. He didn't do anything in Phoenix (besides dividing the locker room, if you believe the rumours) and besides that one game in Philly, what has he done here to prove he is a centre, let alone the mythical beast that is 'Top Line Centre'?

There are better options on this team to use as the centre for Jarome. If the coaching staff insists that Joker and Jarome play together, then Joker should be moved to the leftwing, and someone else should be moved to centre. We would try Tanguay or Conroy, but that's us. That would allow the team to still then use Backlund and Stajan on the other lines.

The best reason to not make this move is the worst reason. It may hurt the players feelings. Is that a good enough, a compelling enough reason not to try to improve the team? We don't think so. Let's be real here, ok? Tanguay signed with us as soon as we called. That means he didn't think other teams were going to call, not with anything more than a minimum value contract. The same story with Joker, he signs with a team that exiled him, with the full tar and feather treatment. He signs with that team as soon as it calls him on the first day of free agency. Both these players are desperate, and have signed contracts that reflect that. Both Tanguay and Joker are playing here to get another contract in the 4 plus million dollar range in a year or two. The Flames are doing those two a big favour by having them on the roster. If they ask those two to jump, the answer from both of them better be something like 'how high?'.

Of course, the team could simply recognize the fact that Joker is what he is, and what he is is a shooting guard that comes off the bench. In hockey terms, he should be providing offence for a checking line. He should be with Glencross and Jackman, not Jarome.


Why is George Johnson trying to humanize a guy who is stealing money from the Calgary Flames?

Cards on the table moment: We here at Dome Beers are fans of the Calgary Flames. Specifically, we are fans of the Calgary Flames winning. Players on the roster that do not help with that do not get any love from us. We don't care if they are good people who donate 90% of their money to charity. Score a fucking goal.

Players who get 3.5 million dollars to play hockey better fucking play hockey, period. If they find themselves sitting in the press box, maybe they should retire, no? Pride may be a sin, but we are also aware of the more humanist classical philosophies, too. To those ancients, pride was to be protected. If a warrior lost his ability, nobody thought twice if he retired the sword and picked up the spade. It was commended, because they felt that was the way to protect ones pride, ones reputation (also, if you stayed out in the martial field when you lost a step, you died).

Corey Sarich is not a top 4 blueliner in the NHL, not on any team that matters. He makes 3.5 million dollars. Good for him for cashing in, we don't besmirch him for that. But is 3.5 million dollars worth your pride? Corey Sarich is one of the last 'Old NHLers'. He is a dinosaur. The team is using him in the press box. You know what that means? It means that nobody would trade for him, and the interest level was so low that the team doesn't even think that if they play him minutes and try to showcase him they will be able to generate interest. Corey Sarich can only play for the Calgary Flames at this point in his career, and only because Darryl gave him an insane contract. And as of today, he can't even do that.

Corey has had a good career. He has gotten paid and he has won a Stanley Cup. Is 3.5 million dollars worth it to a man who was once a player in this league to sit in the press box for 70 games?

Johnson regales us with tales about Sarich and how he enjoys spending time with his family. If he can't beat Staios, Pardy, or Brodie into the lineup, maybe it's time he makes being a dad his full time job.

Sarich, in case you were interested, should be playing ahead of Staios, in our opinion. Steve Staios getting the start smacks of politics.

Even if Staios is better than Sarich, which he isn't, he still shouldn't be starting ahead of him. He is a fucking Oiler. And he isn't like Glencross, who had a cup of coffee with them. He is a blue and copper blooded Oiler.

And Morrison still makes our stomachs churn. That signing looks awesome now that we are employing him as a winger. Hey, we know who could play wing...

Finally, if anyone from the Flames HR department is reading this, you need to know you fucked up big time with your entertainment department hirings. We wouldn't be shocked to find out you went young, which means cheap and inexperienced. For an organization that prints its own money, we find some of their resource allocation puzzling.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Curtain?!?

Scotiabank Saddledome

The Flames got a new sponsor for the Saddledome, Scotiabank. Scotiabank likes to call itself ‘Canada’s hockey bank’, so this partnership, we guess, makes sense. Except what the hell is a ‘hockey bank’? Is that different than a straight vanilla consumer deposit bank? Does Scotiabank not do mortgages, unless they are for hockey rinks? Is the trading desk at Scotiabank focused on how printing money is going to affect commodity prices or how the Calgary Flames are going to clear salary cap space when Langkow gets healthy?

Really, we here at Dome Beers are big fans of corporations trying to incorporate and appropriate a nations cultural touchstone’s in marketing advertisements for children’s bank accounts. With that said, we do get what Scotiabank is trying to do, and the branding of the Saddledome fits that strategy.

Still, we have a few thoughts/questions on the whole deal. First, the length of the deal is a little strange, because a 10 year deal is a very short one. Usually these things get signed for 15 – 20 years, as the stadium isn’t going anywhere. But that’s the thing, right? We all know that in the dreams of the Flames, the Saddledome is going somewhere…namely, the garbage bin.

So what to make of the 10 year deal? We could make several things of this deal. Obviously, the first and probably most likely is that the Flames plan on being in the Saddledome for another 10 years. They have discussed things amongst themselves, have gone to the province and the G-men, have seen the mene, mene, tekel, upharsin (get it? Writing on the wall, get it?), and have decided that they will push for a new stadium in 10 years. This will allow them to get themselves in a better position to fund the construction, ect.

Who knows? The cynic in us can see another scenario unfolding. The Flames have been pushing for a new stadium for a couple of years now. One would assume that the timeline the Flames have is much shorter than to wait for 10 years. In fact, all indications out of the Flames organization would point to a timeline in the 5 year range. They would like a new stadium sooner than later.

So take the fact that we know the naming deal is for 10 years, which is relatively short, and the fact that the team wants a new building built earlier than when the naming deal runs out… could the Flames be trying to take the naming rights revenue off the table in any potential deal with the government?

We don’t think it is too crazy to ask. The Flames were clearly angling to try to get some government funding for their new building earlier this year. Which is fine for them to do: special interest groups lobby the government for handouts and perks all the time. The reaction from the masses may have surprised the Flames. People were not happy about the fact that they may be building a billionaire a new stadium for his hockey team in the middle of the current economic climate.

When impasses like this used to happen, the Flames would usually play the ‘fine, but then we will have to move the team to a better market’ card. Well, what with the Americans making their money worthless through over active printing presses, and coupled with the fact that we have seen what the greener pastures of an American market looks like (we are talking about you, Phoenix) that threat doesn’t come across as believable anymore.

So the Flames, in their quest for corporate welfare, may have to actually negotiate. Well, what’s to negotiate over? If the Flames use public money to build a private stadium, the public is going to be owed some compensation. They can argue over rent, over concessions, over parking, over a number of things. Some of those things are easier for one party or the other to negotiate over. It would be very easy for the government, provincial or federal, to say that ‘Hey, we built the stadium, we want the naming rights revenues’. Who knows, the government may go all loopy and deny naming revenues by using the stadium as an advertising platform: The Southern Alberta Sports Stadium, or something.

The Flames may be hedging their negotiating position with this move. If the stadium is built within the next 10 years, they can claim they have a contract in place with Scotiabank that can’t be changed until it runs out. Naming rights revenue off the table.

Maybe. We could be off base completely: Scotiabank bought the naming rights to the Saddledome, so a new stadium may be free game for sponsors. We haven’t seen the contract, we don’t know if the naming rights Scotiabank purchased get transferred if the Flames move into a new stadium. You would think that, Scotiabank being a bank, they would be, but who knows, maybe ‘hockey banks’ operate differently.

Mike Ribeiro Gets Caught Acting Like Mike Ribeiro

He chose to use 'Fierce' for his mugshot

Domebeer-aholics, you know how we like our drunk hockey players behaving badly stories. It’s taken a little while, but the good people of Dallas have provided us one in the form of Mike Ribeiro. Everybody point and laugh at the drunken Frenchman.

Mike’s 30 years old. Mike has millions in the bank. Some advice from us to Mike: Mike, get a girl, get a house, get a car, and get grown up. It’s not like a major sports team has made you one of the foundations of its franchise, or anything like that.

We bring the Ribeiro acting like Ribeiro thing up not to make fun, but to point out that if you click on the story they have up on TSN, you will discover that they have closed comment on the story. So, just to make sure we are all clear, when an athlete who doesn’t play hockey gets into trouble the comments to those stories will be opened for every one liner the readers can think up, but when an athlete who plays hockey gets into trouble, they obviously must be protected, and the comments will be closed.

To be honest, we were a little shocked they ran the story in the first place, TSN being an advertising operation, and not a news one.

Home Opener

Home opener was LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME, Calgary. Last year, they had like a light show on the ice, and it was pretty cool. This year they hung a curtain down in the middle of the ice and projected boring player introductions on to it. Which was LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME, Calgary. The sheet didn’t even fall right, and some guy had to repel down to free it off a speaker and save the whole LAAAAAAAAAAAAAME endeavor.

We hate to be sexist (because we love the ladies), but we are going to be: that whole thing had to be designed by a woman who doesn’t watch hockey. Or a guy who is really, really into theatre.

Honestly, a fucking curtain? Why not just trot out the purple wearing trapeze artists? It wouldn’t have been any worse. You really get the feeling that whoever is running that department for the Flames doesn’t get their work reviewed. There is just no way in hell that the head of that department went up to Darryl Sutter and told him they would be dropping a curtain in the middle of the ice and projecting the intro onto it.

So to recap: last year they had an ill laser show which featured fire on the ice. This year they had a curtain. LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME, Calgary.

That wasn’t the only thing we had a problem with. The music hasn’t gotten any better, the MC’s at the Dome felt that it would be better to play techno music than to play some country. As we discussed with our fellow patrons in the beer line, techno fucking sucks. Certainly there is a place for it, which would be at the club when we want to see girls writhe, but at the Saddledome? At one point they played the Mortal Kombat theme followed by Sandstorm. Enough! Where’s Merle Haggard?

And we are pretty sure that they did not, DID NOT, play ‘The Hockey Song’. What the fuck is going on with the music over there?

Finally, a word on the beer at the ‘Dome. It’s spectacular. Upon returning from the beer line with some fresh beer from the bowels of the facility, we saw that Beerguy just happened to be situated by our seats, so we put our two fresh beers down and got two more, this time from the can. The difference between the two was visible. The beer from the kegs hidden deep inside the ‘Dome was much darker than the canned variety. Tastier too. It also made us 10 times more attractive to the girls than the canned variety, which was nice.

At least they still do something right down at the stadium.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.