It's a grab bag...
Our feelings towards the Heritage Classic are a little...muddled. Don't get us wrong, it was a terrific event that we enjoyed (live and in person. Shout out section D!) and from what was probably as good a vantage point as you could have expected to have gotten (row 46, on the benches with the people).
But the NHL and the Calgary Flames also sold a lot of tickets to the event that were situated in locations that they knew had severe sight restrictions. At the Alumni game (which they kept one side of the stadium closed for, which was stupid) we sat from rows 1 - 15 and those seats were not good at all. At the HC, when there is a stage for a band to play and the equipment and all the press, it must have been even worse. Should we call the organisation and the NHL out for what appears to be a blatant money grab, or should we embrace caveat emptor?
The Flames, the NHL, they sell spectacle. Keyword in that sentence is 'sell'. If they want to bleed every last dollar they can out of the event, power to them. But let's not pretend that engenders goodwill with the people who are on the wrong side of the transfusion.
The scene: last nights game, second period, Zombies down one goal to the Bears, in our own zone. Scene set.
Curtis Glencross goes to engage whichever Bruin moloch has the puck, and instead of, we don't know, engaging in anything that could remotely called defence, waives lamely at the puck, and let's the Bruin skate past him. Instead of stopping immediately and pursuing the play, Glencross loops. He fucking loops! In our own fucking zone, people.
He's dead to us. D-E-A-D dead. You want to spend money and term on a selfish boneheaded player? Why? Because he got hot for a month? How come you people shit on Iggy for leaving the zone early and cheating for offence and ignore it when Glencross does it?
Whatever. Hate that soft shit. And that stuff doesn't show up in the stats, surface or otherwise. A shot against is recorded, but it's recorded for or against everyone who is one the ice, and it's just one players fault, and it's that players fault because of stupidity.
Glencross thought he was going to strip the puck from the Bruin with a flick of his stick, and then it was him versus the goalie from the Flames blue line out. Glencross thought he was going to take that puck up the ice and score a goal and tie the game off this play. Utter fucking stupidity. Do you realize the type of risk factor there is associated with a play like that? The chance of failure is greater than the chance of success regardless of who you are, and this is even more true when your name is, say, Curtis Glencross as opposed to Sidney Crosby. And any shinny player knows this.
Selfish, stupid play. And we waived Hagman because he wouldn't pass the puck!
This anti-Darryl ish has got to stop. The pro-Darryl crowd, crow a little. Go ahead, you deserve it. But don't think the Flames catching Zombie-itus has taken us out of the Fire Darryl camp, either. Certainly, however, Darryl Sutter over Jay Feaster.
Steve Macfarlanes is the one we are going to pick on, but everyone with ink stained hands has participated in it. Steve will be our voodoo doll representative of the Calgary MSM.
Steve Mac writes: "Sorry, Don. While Sutter doesn’t deserve all the blame for his team’s awful first few months of the season, he does deserve plenty."
Darryl Sutter doesn't deserve the blame for the players poor performance. If he does, then this team is in big fucking trouble because then we are a very mentally weak teams The players play the game, on the ice. Do you know how hard it is to crack a major league roster? You are telling us, with a straight face, that individuals who are able to overcome that type of pressure are turning to mush at Darryl Sutters glares? It's absurd. These are grown ass men we are talking about.
Steve Mac writes: "Truth is, they couldn’t even enjoy their wins with Darryl around. And losses were like death."
Good. If you listen to Ken King, Flames President, the goal and mission statement of the Calgary Flames is not to have their players enjoy wins and feel good about losing. It's to win a Stanley Cup. Sorry if that intrudes on the Country Club.
This meme that Darryl Sutter is magical and has a magical aura about him is fucking stupid and it's insulting. Stop peddling it. We don't care Darryl Sutter didn't treat you like the unique and special snowflake you and the rest of the media apparently feel you are. Couldn't give less of a fuck if Darryl was curt with a concession worker or ticket taker or whoever. His job was to put the Calgary Flames in a position to win a Stanley Cup. He traded for Ales Kotalik, after trading one of the owners favourite bobbles in Dion Phaneuf, after Olli turned out not to be the mythical 100 point number one centre. When you are on thin ice, you can't trade for Ales Kotalik unless Ales Kotalik turns into a 30 goal scorer.
That's it. Keep it on hockey.
Except when he does: "Wrong on all counts, Don. Langkow had stopped being a top centre well before his unfortunate injury last season, Kiprusoff was probably the team’s MVP in first half of the year, and Iginla probably should have been benched on a couple of occasions but was still routinely given regular shifts by head coach Brent Sutter until he turned his game around by committing to the kind of game his bench boss wanted him to play."
It's still fucking dumb. Langkow may not have been a Dome Beers favourite, but that doesn't mean he was a garbage player. Langkows numbers may have been down because he was so busy being the teams only responsible defensive forward, who knows, just a thought. Furthermore, on the Flames, Langkow was indeed the top centre. Losing Langkow to injury definitely affected the Flames ability to win games. To scoff at it like it is a nothing factor is very strange. And come on with this Kipper was the MVP shit. Kipper was mortal during the first half of the season. He wasn't bad and he wasn't the reason the Flames lost every night, but there were nights when he was. Iggy is the teams MVP. Has been basically the whole season. We know how people like to remember the first month of the season, but lets get real here. Also, because we aren't in the room where Jarome and Brent have their conversations, we certainly aren't about to cast assumptions about them, but it's nice that Steve does.
We get it, Darryl was mean to you. Because he was mean to you, you were very happy when he was fired. Not for the team, but for yourselves. Now that his players have fought there way back into the conversation, riding percentages or otherwise, admit it, some of you media people are a little pissed off Darryl is getting vindication of sorts.
In that vein, we know we are captains on the 'Fire Darryl' team. You know what, though? That doesn't stop us from admitting that Darryl's team is playing well right now. If the hockey gods see fit, and bestow a Stanley Cup on the Flames this year, we will happily credit Darryl Sutter with it.
And look, this isn't fancy analysis or nothing, this is from the gut and from the heart: Jay Feaster is from Tampa Bay. Are you kidding us with that? Darryl Sutter was usurped by this guy? And notice now that the players caught lightning, Feaster is suddenly running the team for the short term, just the type of thing Darryl Sutter got fired for.
What makes it worse is that both Lanny McDonald and Bob Gainey were in the city over the weekend. Instead of the gay (not that there is anything wrong with that) Tokyo Police Club and the german club rock wannabees Metric we could have seen Murray Edwards roll up to the stage and fire Feaster and King during the first intermission and introduce the replacements, Bob (as GM) and Lanny (as President), for the second.
Why were we singing the American anthem at the Heritage Classic?
What the hell is Sportsnet doing interviewing Hagman during the game last night? This guy was just sent a message by the organization that he isn't good enough, and the media in this city run out to give him a hug. Why?
Look, we know it's cool to be hanging around with pro athletes and all, and we are sure their jocks smell wonderful, but please. You are in the media, you are suppose to be the fans intermediary with their team. You think there are real fans out there who think Haggy is fine and deserves a big hug for sleep walking through a season? Either the guy is a horribly overpaid third liner or he is a no heart scoring winger who can't score anymore. It's one or the other, and whichever it is it isn't good.
Badsuck (who is quickly going to lose that nickname),whether he has grown more talented or whether it is the coach putting him in good situations to succeed, is who we want to see. We want to see players who are contributing. Yet Roger Millions and Sportsnet runs out and grabs Hagman. Why? So he feels like he is still part of the team?
That's not your place, and it's not your role. If anything, if they were going to put Hagman on they should have asked him if he felt any shame cashing in his game-cheques.
They can lose to the Bruins, but they have to beat San Jose. For legitimacy purposes, at the very minimum.
It's tough to believe in them when they haven't really beaten a great team in a while. San Jose is one of the better teams in the conference. Beat them, and we are fully on-board, illusion or not.
Loved the captain saying that the team was going to keep on keeping on while it 'played itself in'. While it might not be Broadway Joe, that's a guarantee of a playoff birth. That's what we like to see.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.