Friday, December 10, 2010

Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award

It's Friday, and that means one thing: Flames lose! Flames lose!

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

As you all no doubt know, to win the award, one must make it through a gruelling gauntlet of numerous nominees. Nominees can come from all walks of life, and can be people, places, things, events, most anything, really.

And this week, like all weeks, the nominees for the Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award are strong. And they should be, as a lot of ish went down this week. We had Obama negotiating with the GOP to extend the current tax breaks, only to have his Democrats kill it. We found out Ivy League professors like to sleep with their family members, and that Bea Arthur was a Marine (Tripoli pirates watch your backs). But today, we have to start with the news that every red blooded male has been waiting for. Yes, that's right, Miley's legal!

And she celebrated turning 18 the way any packaged, plastic, pop creation would: by hitting the bong! Steinberg just got excited. Seriously though, this is a great example of marketing in action. Are we to believe that a girl with a lot of endorsements to lose would just let herself be videotaped hitting a bong? Of course not. Miley is changing genres, and her label is having her look made to look a certain way, as they are targeting a new consumer group. So how do we show Miley is edgy and tough and not just for 8 year old girls anymore, but 16 year old girls too? Hit the bong, dude! (On an unrelated not, how does white trash like Cyrus and Spears keep getting album deals? Is North America really that full of pedophiles?)

While we are on the topic of sexual deviants, we bring you the story of an Ivy League professor who was fucking his blood relative. FUCKING GROSS. David Epsein is the cats name, and he taught at Columbia, and has taught at Harvard and other bastions of deviants, err, higher learning. Oh, and he wrote at the Huffington Post. You knew we were going to go there, right? And really, we had too. Not that all liberals are sexual deviants, because certainly deviancy exists on whatever side of the King you sit on. We bring up the fact that a liberal professor at a liberal school was involved in an incestuous relationship because...we need a segue into an Obama story.

Speaking about liberal professors from liberal schools (that wasn't forced at all), has anybody in a position of leadership proved themselves out of their league faster than this Obama cat? Even Darryl managed to keep us buying the hope for at least five years. Obama isn't two years into the job and he is losing everybody (yeah, we read Peggy, what of it?)! And while our political sympathies do not lie with the man or his agenda, it is still very, well, sad to see what is happening to a man that came to the stage with all the hype and promise that Obama did. After taking a historic pounding in the midterm elections, the tin eared President actually made what we thought was a good political decision, and brokered a compromise with the GOP over extending the current tax rates. In exchange for not raising taxes on all Americans, the GOP gave Obama a 13 month extension on unemployment benefits. The two sides also negotiated a payroll tax cut, which would have provided immediate 'stimulus' to families just in time for the holidays. And then Nancy Pelosi heard about how Obama was crafting good politics and she snapped. The House, you will recall, is where the Democrats just lost 63 seats (which is, again, a historic rebuke). The House Democrats, because they all just got fired, really have no political authority to kill this bill. Yet they did. Nancy Pelosi said she would menstruate on anybody who voted for the compromise, and her caucus, trying to avoid some red rain, relented.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is insane. Nancy Pelosi is telling the President what the agenda is going to be? Uh oh. The President has spent the first two years of his time on the job pissing off people who are to the right of him politically, and at the same time pissing off the people who are to the left of him, politically (which, by the way, is telling. Obama got socialized medicine passed, and these kooks aren't happy?). Because of the way he went about passing his agenda, he turned off the independent voters as well. Do you know how bad at politics you have to be to alienate your base, your enemies base, and the independent centre, all at the same time? And because he is so terrible, and he has lost everyone, who is he going to call to provide backup when he needs it? Nancy Pelosi, lame duck, can dictate the agenda to the President because she isn't scared of him. She isn't scared of him because he has no allies. And he has no allies because he spent his time as President acting like a child (Obama famously told the GOP, during a negotiating session over the stimulus, that he didn't need to listen to the GOP because 'I won'). So much for being the smartest, coolest person in the room.

Also, while we are discussing cool people, Bea Arthur, anybody? The 'Golden Girl' was a marine during the fight to crush the Huns (which one, right?) and get this, during her time serving, she got written up! Yeah, she got 'disciplined', and had herself written up in a 'misconduct' report because...she got venereal disease! Hell yeah she was a Marine! OOHRA!

This weeks winner of the Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award: Alaska Nanooks, and their bad ass fucking Polar Bear!


Please, we implore you, watch those videos. Seriously, they are made out of the same subatomic particles that they make Awesome out of.

Watched the vids? Good. Your life is probably brighter now, right? Your spiritual muscle just got a little pumped, right? How could it not? But what you probably are also thinking, and we know because we thought the same thing, is that you are currently wasting your life. Are we right? You saw that video, and you thought to yourself "Wow. That's what I should have been doing. I should have been making completely insane video's featuring a Polar Bear blowing up oil tankers with hockey sticks made out of lightning." We know you thought this, because that's exactly what we thought, too.

Unless you work in the Flames in-game entertainment department. You saw that shit and were like 'I hope nobody shows that to Ken King, because then we are all out on our asses!' Which, you should all be, by the way, because the video montages at the Dome suck and are boring.

But you know us, we aingt here to just hate. We got an idea for you, Flames in-game entertainment department, and you can go ahead and steal it. Because we stole it. That's how you get good ideas, you find them and you adopt them, like Caesars Roman Legions used to.

We don't know how many of you have ever been to a California Angel game, but we have. And they are fun, let me tell you. You know why they are fun, and are fun, divorced from the baseball game? Because they do goofy shit with the teams mascot, the Rally Monkey. The Angels in-game videos feature a famous movie scene, and they will cut out one of the stars in the scene and replace him/her with the Rally Monkey, which is cheap hilarity, but that's exactly what you are after at a sporting event.

You see where we are going here, people? The Flames have a mascot everyone loves in Harvey the Hound. Why not put the Hound in some videos? Why not use, as an example that might be able to generate some laughs, the scene from Ghost, where Swayze and Demi are doing the naked pottery thing, and replace Swayze with Harvey? See? Cheap, easy humour everyone can have a laugh at. Much better than videos of a serious looking Morrison looking seriously at the camera with a serious look on his serious face.

Or better yet, spoof Godzilla. Have Harvey rise up from the waves to destroy Tokyo. Have Harvey beat up Mothra. That would go over huge.

And while we are on the topic of using Harvey as a marketing tool, do any of you out there not wonder why the Flames don't sell little Harvey The Hound teddie bears? Especially during December? Ken King, who do you have working in your marketing department? Why are we supplying them with ideas that they should have come up with years ago? Ken, look man, we like the Flames. Despite the tone of the site, we really do. We want to help the team be better. We aren't saying that you should hire us, although you should, but send us an email, we can help. We did invent the Domes 'Retro Night', after all (true story).

For being more entertaining than the hockey game last night was, the Alaska Nanook's opening videos win this weeks Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award!

Seriously, can you believe they are not selling plush Harvey The Hound dolls? It boggles the mind. The Flames seem to be making money in spite of their marketing department, not because of it. When we are picking stocks, we look at how efficient a corporation is at generating value. Well, if we were looking at the Flames, we would see an organization that is letting opportunities to create profit slip away because the status quo is working today. Which is to say, we don't see an incredibly well run one.

Bourque should be benched for the first period of the game today. Him, Glencross, Olli, all of the players who seem to think they are more important than the team, and seem to think that taking selfish penalties is ok. We are fucking sick of the selfish play. How do you reign that in? You take away minutes, that's how.

This team is full of veterans. That means they are supposed to be smart, and know how to play. These guys are not smart. They are dumb and selfish. The coach has to be harder on them because they cannot be trusted to self police. Look, one of the empty words that gets thrown out a lot about this team is 'leadership'. Normally we would discount the concept. Well, we would like to know if Jarome went up to Bourque yesterday and threatened to pound the shit out of him if he keeps taking stupid, selfish penalties. That's what leadership is, straight up. And we doubt he did.

This team does not self police, even though they are a veteran group. Coach Sutter has been put into a shitty situation by his brother. We understand that. But if this team won't self police, he has to be the cop. Even if that smells like Pee-Wee. 

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Olli Sucks, Conroy Is The Man, And Other Things You Already Knew

(I go to TSN to find some stats, and the page loads up, and OH MY GOD WHATS WRONG WITH THAT MANS FACE! SOMEONE GET A PAPERBAG FOR THAT THING BEFORE I PUKE IN MY *HURL* TOO LATE! Dion is ugly will never get old.)

Craig Conroy: 17 GP, 2 G, 0 A, -1, 9:25 ATOI

Olli Jokinen: 25 GP, 2G, 8 A, -5, 17:24 ATOI

We all hate Olli, right? At least, we here at DB do. We put the above stat line to illustrate the fact that we think Olli should be sitting, and Craig should be playing. We aren't going to only use stats that show Craig is better. We could, and who would notice, but we won't. So when we start looking at the stat lines at the end of this paragraph, we will include Corsi rel Qualcomp/Qualteam, ect. even though they might hurt our case. After all, we might as well find out together if we are crazy or not.

And thems the charts. Maybe not so crazy, after all.

What do we see? Look, we know the minute difference between the players skews some things. Olli has had more minutes to prove he is useless and ineffective than Conroy has. We get that. We just don't get why. Actually, that's disingenuous on our part. We know why: Sutter paid the man, and took a big hit to his reputation to do it, so dammit Jim, the man's going to play.

But really, he shouldn't be. We aren't saying that Conroy is going to step in and put up 50 points. We are saying that he probably gives you more than Olli does, especially if you use the guy to send a message to Olli. If Olli is going to play like winning doesn't matter, then play Conroy. The fans would rather see him not score than Olli not score. Besides, Olli came into this year talking junk about how he was going to get back to being a point a game player. That aignt fucking happening, if you haven't noticed. But if the team harbours any hope of it happening, it would be wise to try to humiliate or embarrass Olli, in the hopes that it will light the fire in him (assuming there is any left). Sitting Olli to play Loubardias's replacement, Conroy, would be a good place to start.

The stats that jumped out to us were the ZS%, because those imply that Conroy is more adept at moving the puck, or at the very least keeping the puck, in the offensive zone. It is the offensive zone, you will recall, where fun things like scoring on the other team occurs.

But really, most any of the stats you look at show Olli isn't head and shoulders above Conroy, a guy many believe is done in the NHL. Some of the Corsi ones paint Olli as better, but let's take a bit of a look. Corsi is really just a measurement of pucks directed at the oppositions goalie by your team or against your own by the opposition. So Corsi Rel Qualcomp is Corsi relative your competition. Well, relative to his competition, Olli is a plus player. That looks good until you see that Corsi relative his teammates, he is a negative. That implies to us that Olli is a drag on his line, a line that goes out against some stiffer competition. Olli is hurting that lines opportunities to be productive. Conroy, on the other hand, while negative on his Corsi Rel Qualcomp, is a plus player in Corsi Rel QoT. Which means that Conroy isn't hurting his lines chances at getting opportunities to produce. Now negative Corsi versus 4th line players isn't something to be heralded, but at least he isn't actively hurting the team in the role he is employed in, unlike Olli, who is.

The decision to play Olli Jokinen regardless of what he is actually doing on the ice is a stupid one. That's a decision of the genius Brent Sutter, who is at no fault whatsoever for the teams struggles, even though he is paid to keep the team consistent. Unless, of course, the GM of the team is telling the coach who to play and who to sit, in which case why employ two Sutters if one is going to be GM and coach anyways?

Olli Jokinen should be benched. We have seen what he brings. Give Conroy the chance to play his way out of the NHL, at the very least. It won't hurt the teams competitiveness, and in fact, may help it.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Looking At The Goalies *UPDATE*

Miikka has let in his fair share of softies this year, but whenever the teams struggles are discussed, his name is curiously absent. This isn't fair. If Jarome Iginla is expected to be the offensive driving force of this team, score 500 goals a game and be a 2 point a game player, by extension then Kipper should be expected to post 82 shut outs a year.

These unrealistically high expectations come from the players past performance, and their current salary. They also speak to desperation (because the team has been built around these lofty assumptions about these two players in particular, they have to pan out and become reality if the team is to have any chance).

Whether it is fair to have these expectations about the players is moot. Some will say it is based on what they make, some will say it is unfair to expect greatness year in and year out from mortals. We here at Dome Beers find the concept of 'fairness' inherently disgusting and communist. The expectations are the expectations, for whatever reason. The question is, did you meet them?

The way this team is built, and has been built for several years now, there are expectations on Miikka. The year this team most recently went to the Stanley Cup, Miika posted a SV% of .933. The year we won the division, he posted a SV% of .923. Miika's historical SV% average with this team, going back the last seven seasons, has been .917.

Clearly, this team is built around Miikka being able to stop pucks at a higher than average clip. If Miikka can do that, some of the issues this team has scoring goals are mitigated, and the team is hoping at the end of the day, when everything comes through the wash, the goals they can prevent being scored on them outweigh the goals they were not able to score (do to inability to score, the whole list). That is, the goals Miikka prevents the other team from scoring are goals the Flames do not need to score, which, in theory at least, means the Flames need to score less goals than an other team who is using an average goalie does to win games.

Fair enough. And we have all seen it work, to one degree or another, in the past.

This year, Miikka is sporting a SV% of .907. That is the lowest among starting goaltenders (starting goaltenders being defined in this case as goalies who have received the most GP for their team so far this year), save for Edmonton, Colorado (in this case we are counting Budaj as the starter as he has started more games than Anderson, even though we are aware Anderson is the superior goaltender), Chicago (Turco, Crawford has a better SV% than Miikka), and Columbus (although Garon, the 'backup,' has a SV% of .931 in 10 games.).

You want to know why the Flames aren't in the middle of the pack, in the thick of a playoff race? Well, the play of the goaltender may be a reason for it.

Sacrilege around these here parts, we know.

Anyways, here is the chart. Again, first goalie is defined as the goalie who has more games played at this point in the season. We also averaged out the numbers of GP and SV%, to show how far above or below the average the Flames were in the respective category.

And that is that. The team is built around, among a myriad of other assumptions, one that asserts Miikka will play the goal position at an elite level. This isn't happening right now. He is, in fact, playing at a slightly below average level. He isn't playing terrible, just not good enough, which is really the story of this team. Not terrible, just not good enough.

For more nightmare fuel, we offer this fact. Last year, the year we didn't make the playoffs, do you know what Miikka's SV% was? .920. Gulp.


As was pointed out in the comments, we should have looked at E/S and PK SV% seperately. And we have now done so. Chart in 3, 2, 1:

Looks better than the first chart, certainly, but it still shows the cat is playing average goal, when the team needs him to play above average goal. It also illustrates the fact that there isn't just one problem with this team. Kippers stats may be 'average' but that doesn't mean they are not good. He is within 11 basis points of the leader of the category, although the expectation is that he be the leader in this category. But to get back to the point, a .921 SV%, we don't think, could be considered 'sucking', in and by itself. The team is hampered by not being able to score, and it gives up too many goals. As simple as it sounds, it is that simple.

In other words, good teams are not average, they are above average. Not in every category mind you (although, if a team was, it would be a great team, not a good one), it just has to be above average in at least one, and you strive for more. The Flames are a below average team on 5 v 5 (with a 5-5 F/A on 0.94, good for 20th in the entire league), below average on special teams (PP% of just 14.5%, good for 24th in the league, and a PK% of 80%, good for 24th spot in the league), and are receiving just average goaltending. They might not be last place bad, but they certainly deserve to be in the bottom half of the conference, and the league.

Getting off Kipper for a moment, when you think of all the one goal games this team has had, or games that are one goal until the opposition scored on the open net (and by our rough count it's like 8 - 10 games), a few PP goals may have saved the season, or at the very least, preserved hope among the fanbase. Again, the shitty PP is the fault of the players because they are on the ice blah blah, but it is also Dave Lowry's fault, because he has been in charge of the thing for two years now. Uhh, would somebody please fire fucking Lowry and can we then hire Fleury or Bure or someone who knows how to score to come in and coach the PP?

We don't think the guillotine for someone who has failed at their job for two seasons is too much to ask. We want Lowry's head in the basket. That doesn't make us bad people, it marks us as concerned Flames fans.

Also, for those interested, here is Kippers stats and where the team has finished.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

Monday, December 6, 2010

We Have Done This Post Before

Flames lose. They lose a game where they manage to take 20 Cent out in the first minute. They lose a game that despite the fact they took 20 Cent early, they gave up four powerplay goals.

Look. The Sun, Herald, Flamesnation, M&G, us, we have all declared the Flames season dead. Nothing the team did last night changed that assessment, and nothing probably would have, save had they beat the Blackhawks by a 10 goal margin.

Is the team a last place team? No, it has more talent on it than that. But is it a team that can legitimately challenge for a Stanley Cup? No, it's not. You can't lose all the one goal games this team does and expect it to be able to win one goal games against good teams when the pressure is on, which it would need to do to win a Cup, provided the team can even make the playoffs.

So nothing really is new. The team, honestly, is probably a good bad team. Which is the worst type of suck, isn't it? The 'we are in the middle of the pack' suck. Now maybe the team is worse than the Oilers and the Islanders, and we continue being awful for a full season and earn a good draft pick with our terrible performance. But we really don't think the team is worse than those two bottom dwellers. Some time this season the Flames will pick it up, end the year in 9th place, get a middle to late first round pick. Which won't be a total disaster, as draft picks are question marks anyways, but it won't certainly be characterized as a good thing, either.

Let's aim for a top 5, Calgary.

We know the coach gets a lot of leeway from the people who cover the team. All the coaches do, the assistants too. We know why. They have personal relationships with them. That's cool.

But enough with this shit about how the coaching staff is good. Enough. Individually, and in a vacuum, who knows, Brent Sutter may be the worlds greatest coach, employing cutting edge strategies with the latest and greatest in motivational techniques. Who knows, right? But on this team, on the Calgary Flames, Brent is a bad coach, and it's time someone in the media started questioning him.

What is the job of a coach? A coach is given a roster, and is told to win games with it. So at the end of the day, a coach needs to win. A good coach is one who is able to win with the roster given to him, a bad coach is not. This is a terrible way to evaluate the position. There have been good coaches saddled with bad teams, and if you have a bad team, the coach isn't coaching to win anyways, he is coaching to not get embarrassed. So we understand that some of you will shout 'not fair' to what we are about to say.

Evaluated on wins and losses, this coach, Brent Sutter, is worse than Playfair or Keenan. WORSE THAN RUSTY MIKE KEENAN.

A coach needs to get his players to respond. Do you remember 2004? Of course you do. Do you remember how the coach at the time, D Sutter (oh why oh why do you not come back and coach?), as cliche and stupid as this sounds, managed to get 110% out of his roster, probably 90% of the time. And he had to because that was the only way the team was going to win. This current Sutter head coach, while his team may be more talented than the AHLers we were rocking in 2004, still needs to work 110%, 90% of the time if it is (or was) serious about contending. And he isn't able to juice stones to that degree.

Look, it's harsh because he is working with a bad roster. But the roster isn't last place bad. Some of that has to be on the coach. This coach isn't able to connect with this group of players. The problem is that this group of players is the same group we will have next year, barring major reconstructive surgery. If he isn't able to get them to buy in during year two of his reign as coach, what makes you think he will be able to get them to buy in year three?

He may be a good coach. Cool. But he isn't here, not with this group.

You know how we know he isn't that great? The team has had like 20 closed door meetings with the team in 24 some odd games of the season. That's normal right? Good coached teams have that happen, right?

And do you all have twitter (follow us!)? Last week Roger Millions sent out a tweet about hot the assistant coaches are working really really hard and it would be so unfair of us to correlate the shit product we see on the ice with their efforts. Honestly, when we read that, we threw up in our mouths.

What bullshit wagon circling. Look, we like Rog, sat in his seats at Stamp games, think he is a much better play by play guy than that human boredom machine Loubardias. But fuck off with this shit, we aignt stupid. How you can tell me it isn't Dave Lowry's fault that PP sucks, even though he has been coaching it for two years and the PP is actually where a good X and O coach can steal some wins for his team? Look, the roster is Darryl's responsibility at the end of the day, so if we are taking logic to it's end, then yes, it is Darryl's fault. Darryl built the roster so it must be his fault. But Darryl isn't divine. He can make mistakes. If he did, it is up to the coaches to mitigate the mistake. If he gave this team such terrible personal that it is a matter of fate that it would be in the bottom of the league in terms of PP effectiveness, that would be one thing. But he didn't.

This team has Jarome Iginla on it, has a Bourque on it. It has passers in Stajan and Tanguay. It has a point from the shot in Babchuck (who will be known on this page as Badsuck forevermore), well, it would if he could ever hit the net and not try to decapitate whoever is standing in front of it. It has the pieces necessary to score on the PP. So it isn't Darryl's fault this time. This particular problem with the team is entirely on the coaching staff, Roger Millions obfuscating notwithstanding.

The Steelers are awesome. That was a great game last night. Did you know that the big bad Ravens can't beat a team that is starting the fan sitting in row 8 seat 3 at left tackle? Seriously, the Steelers have no O-line right now, and even lost more members during that game, and they still won. Pathetic, Baltimore.

The Steelers gave the ball to this backup, Redman, and he ran the ball in from about 10 yards out. That is what we are talking about. When your number is called, make a play.

This website is getting to be a big downer. We are going to do a fake interview or a skit or something this week, we promise. Even if it tanks, at least it won't be on how the Flames are sucking.

Maybe we will have the Hair's discuss geopolitics. Should be fun.

Furthermore I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.