So, V-Day. Ya'll know we like the French around here. Some Hugo:
Maîtresse, embrasse-moi, baise-moi, serre-moi,
Haleine contre haleine, échauffe-moi la vie,
Mille et mille baisers donne-moi je te prie,
Amour veut tout sans nombre, amour n'a point de loi.
It basically means "let's do the dirty like the animals do", only, you know, more eloquently. And in French, so if you can speak it nicely, she will dig it. Change 'Maitresse' to the girls name, obviously.
And chocolates by Papa Chocolate, for Whalens sake. That's Bernard Callebaut's real company. He can't even sell chocolates under his own name anymore, so don't get confused.
Right On Schedule
We ran a post at the end of January where we laid out a schedule of wins the Zombie Flames would have to go on if they wanted to find themselves very much alive and in the playoffs at the end of the season. With permission (always wanted to write that) we reproduce it here:
Who would have thunk it, but we are right on schedule.
Now, we have certain teams X'ed because they were division leaders, ie: good teams, and we don't think the Flames have proven they can beat good teams. Others are X'ed simply because they come against division opponents, and we assumed they would be split. Whatever. The point is that if you are in the 'We Believe' crowd, Saturday's game against the Canucks should have done nothing to discourage you.
That's us. We went on the twitter the other day and talked about whether the Flames should be trading the one year contracts on the roster. God bless your hearts, Domebeer-aholics, but you pushed back. Kisses, that's why you guys are wonderful.
The team is on a streak, why would we shit on them? Easy, we don't believe they are a good team. They were not a good team at the beginning of the year, haven't done anything to improve the talent on the team, and started off this current win streak by catching a lot of backup goalies.
It comes down to how you perceive this team. Do you look at all 58 games they have played, or just the last 15?
At the same time, we should give the team their due. They have gone on an amazing streak of point collecting
There are 24 games left in the season for the Flames, and they have put themselves into a position to push for the playoff spot, at the very least. As the team set out this year to make the playoffs as their only goal, this is all we can ask for as fans, right?
Sure, but they are not in a strong position to make the playoffs. They have played the most games out of any team in the Western Conference, which means every other team they are trying to catch up to or pull away from has potentially more points than they do. For the sake of discussion, we are counting out Edmonton, Colorado, St. Louis, and Columbus. They are done. We are also not talking about the Red Wings, the Canucks, or the Stars, because they are the division leaders, and we aignt catching them. So that leaves us with:
(Standings are from Sunday, Feb 13th)
Now there is a lot of faults with the chart. We haven't looked at the schedules of those teams, so we don't no if some of the games in hand they have come against each other. We assumed every team would win all their games in hand, probably not realistic. We haven't factored in three point games or anything like that. Therefore, this chart is almost worthless. We simply use it to show the worst case scenario, to provide an illustration on how important games in hand are, and how tenuous our playoff hopes really are.
Let's not sugar code anything here. If you read this blog we are assuming you aren't a mouth breather go-Flames-go fan. We are assuming you can see reality. The Flames fucked themselves very badly by taking weeks off at the start of the season. Honestly, had they got two more wins during the first half of the season, our potential to make the playoffs would be much, much higher.
That's the rub. The Flames chance to make the playoffs is probably lower than their chance to miss. But not by much. The NHL is a watered down league. It has too many teams, and the cap is eroding the talent base of the great teams.
The $64 million dollar question is if the the Flames are real or not.
With 24 games left, that means there are 48 points in the air. Usually it takes 95 points in the West to make the playoffs, but teams have made 8th place with 91.
For the Flames to get 95 points, they need 31 points in there last 24 games. 31/2 is 15.5 games, so they are going to have to win 16 games and make 32 points in there last 24. That's 16-8 in their last games.
If you go by their full 58, not likely. If you go by their last 15, it's possible, even likely. Again, depends on your point of view.
Our point of view happens to include the fact that Red Wings rock Datsyuk, the Stars rock Richards, The Canucks rock one of the sisters, and we rock...Brendan Morrison.
What Is To Be Done
So the Flames find themselves in this situation. They have three choices:
1) Realize they are in a soft position to make the playoffs, and trade assets to try to bolster the club in an attempt to make the playoffs.
2) Realize they are in a soft position to make the playoffs, and do nothing to bolster the club. Play it out and come what may.
3) Realize they are in a soft position to make the playoffs. White flag the season and trade assets so as to improve the clubs chances next year.
Door number three is going to suck. The team, whether we believe in them or not, has played themselves back into the conversation, at the very least. The organization has money. In a worst case scenario, you could probably live with Badsuck, Glencross, Tangs, and Pardy leaving the organization for nothing. But at the same time, at a certain price maybe you gotta do it. If you could weasel out a first round pick for Tangs, or if the hockey gods are smiling and Glen Sather is dialing, Glencross...?
Short of that high price, however, the team has earned being kept together to see what they can do.
So options one and two then. Should Feaster trade assets to make the team better? Sure, if those assets are named Hagman or Staios, right? And you know what, are draft record is shit anyways. We see why some people are like screw the first rounder, trade it to get better. But we don't have a second or third rounder. We aren't ones who are in love with the question marks that are draft picks, but it probably wouldn't be too healthy to go the first three rounds of the draft without a pick. If they trade the first rounder, it better be for a steal of a deal.
Clear The Buffet Line
Here is a question that probably deserves more attention that it is going to get, but is Feaster, what's the term, general-managing(?) for his job, or for what's good for the team. Like, does he have to make the playoffs to keep his job?
Usually when teams fire their general managers, they rebuild. That's why they fire their GM's. The new guy doesn't usually tend to keep the players that got the old guy fired. Yet Feaster hasn't dismantled anything. He has kept everyone. He hasn't even fired a warning shot across the bow. Why not? Because it looks like he thinks, for some reason or another, maybe implied by ownership, that if he makes the playoffs he keeps his job.
Which would be insane, because it would mean he was managing for the short term, which means he is the same as Darryl, who just got fired for managing for the short term.
We forget, did Nenshi run on increasing the cities taxes? No, he didn't? Oh. That means he probably should have a referendum on it, don't you think?
Nenshi's outside the box thinking is to raise taxes. Called it people, and you thought we were crazy. Look, we know the last mayor and the city council spent a shitload of our money on frivolous stuff. Sucks Nenshi, but that means you have to be responsible and not spend a shitload of money on what you think is probably good stuff, but what will amount to be at the end of the day, a bunch of frivolous stuff.
Be an adult.
Who would have thought that the Calgary City Council, which is full of communists, would agree on anything with the legendary General Jack D. Ripper?
Go on, General.
That's not crazy at all, Calgary City Council. Not at all. Not in the slightest.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.