Saturday, October 15, 2011

We Smell A Two Game Win Streak

Number one, because the Maple Leafs aren't very good. The NHL's undefeated team gave up 5 goals to the Ottawa Senators. The Leafs have also had a week off since the last time they played a game, and because they are the second youngest team in the league, that probably means they spent that week getting good and rusty. Oh, and Dion is a plus right now, and everything we know about statistics suggests that is simply an unsustainable thing for Dion in the long run. Might as well start reverting back to the mean in this game.

And holy shit, are those Leafs ever ugly. Like Rob Kerr ugly. Honestly, looking through their roster is like taking a walk through the paleolithic.

Holy shit, right? And some poor young puck bunny is going to have to endure that look tonight. Be brave hunny. Like Kessel's scoring streaks, it will end soon.

So this nice couple who just happened to be life long Chernobyl residents had a child...
(Alternative: Dion Phaneuf: This whole 'reading' thing is pretty tough)

What's that there toothy bursh thang there for, uch yup?

Kiss me, I'm Amish.

And Kessel is the worlds saddest motherfucking panda.

Seriously, thank the Lord for money, eh fuglies?

Furthermore, I think the Goal Song should be fired.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award

It's Friday, and that means just one thing: Hulk Hogan! We coming for you!

Huh? What? Oh right, right, You guys are right; It is also that time of the week when we present the much coveted and sought after Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award (the RTPIC)!

Speculation abounds as to who will win this seasons debut edition, because the nominees are all so deserving.

Will it be the courageous and valiant children, fighting the man! down at the #GiveMeStuffForFreeBecauseIamASpecialAndUniqueSnowflake movement in New York?

Will it be the given to the entrepreneurial stylings of some of the most American of the non-Americans? (By the way, stuff like this why we may be closet amnesty supporters: You want problem solvers like these gentlemen in your country, where you can turn their talents to more beneficial endeavors.)

Or will it be the Fun Nazi's out in Massachusetts? It's bad enough they are suddenly acting Shocked! Shocked! to discover that athletes may in fact drink beer during games (is this not an absurd story, hockey players of all levels?), but now they are even going after little innocent kids for their racist and bigoted practice of...celebrating Halloween, Columbus Day, and Thanksgiving. First the Fun Nazi's came for smoking, and now they are after candy. What's next on the Fun Nazi's agenda? Blow jobs?

(Speaking of BJ's, we once dated a chick of Jamaican heritage...that anti-Columbus shit is real, yo, and if you want to get some of that Jamaican jerk (if you follow our drift) you are probably smart to bad mouth the fool, too.)

The winner of this weeks Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award is: Miikka 'I'll Chain Smoke If I Want To' Kiprusoff!

He's a bad mother... (Shut your mouth)

Miikka Kiprusoff is The! Greatest! Flames! Goalie! Of! All! Time! (To have never won a Stanley Cup, but let's be real: he did, Bettman screwed us, and Blahfuck!)

Howard Dean Scream!

Deep in the vast silence of the void, a dying star clutches tight in its orbit a doomed planet. Krypton, having grown tall and arrogant because of pride, finds itself in front the peculiar judge that presided over the cases of Sodom and Gomorrah. The verdict is in little doubt.

Krypton, however, has it's Lot; Jor-El, who holds in his possession his peoples only hope of cultural continuation. Jol-El, a wealthy and smart man, has built a spaceship to carry the messenger of the hopes and dreams of his people. That messenger is Jol-El's very own infant son, Mii-kka.

With but scant moments left before the hour of judgement, Jol-El launches the spaceship into the ether, knowing full well this desperate gamble laughs in the very face of chance, and turns to watch his world burn.

* * * 

In the cold, crisp, quiet nights out in the fjords of Finland, the fiery descent of a star has the effect of attracting a crowd. That isn't odd; such an event would attract a crowd regardless of location. But in Finland, crowds have the curious trait of being full of vikings.

The viking who claimed the fallen rock from heaven was therefore necessarily a man of incredible physical and mental strength. And after Erik the Red had claimed the strange shiny and metallic rock, he gained immense political strength, as well. The rock Erik claimed seemed to contain a child; and while it would not open, and could not be opened (despite Erik's best efforts), it was as sure a sign of Odin's favour as there could be.

Favour of the gods will do things to a mans head. Erik amassed a grand fleet, and spitting in the face of death and spitting in Hels face herself, he set out over the Atlantic to conquer the horizon. After a long and ardours journey, he arrived in North America, named the region Vinland, and set out to conquer the peoples he found there. 

Aiding Erik in this process was the star child. The rock had opened during the voyage, and bequeathed the boy to him. Erik taught Mii-Kka, now christened Kiprusoff, in the ways of the Viking, and he learned quickly.

In North America, Miikka Kiprusoff would fall in love with a beautiful Iroquois woman, and turn on his former benefactors. After driving the Erik the Red and his vikings from the shores of his new home, he wandered the new land, drinking in it's wonders. He would eventually settle in Michigan.  

* * *

Miikka Kiprusoff was just like any other Detroit cop. He was trying to do a little good, and get home safely to his wife. But the prospects for doing just that had recently gotten a lot worst than they had been in the past. OCP, the company that recently entered into a contract with the Metro Police force for which Murphy, err, Miikka worked, was a joke. It didn't seem to understand or appreciate the need to protect their officers.

As evidence of this, Miikka just had to observe his current situation. He was out on a patrol in the toughest neighbourhood of Old Detroit, and all he had at his side was a 9mm semi-automatic and a rookie partner, Anne Lewis.

Wonders upon wonders, the two cops were surrounded by thugs while on patrol. A criminal element that had grown large and strong in the shadows of civic indifference, stretched and tested it's muscle. Separating the two cops, the thugs would isolate Miikka, and horribly torture him with shotgun blasts to the limbs and lower torso. Miikka thought he was finished when they shot him in the head.

Which would explain why he was so confused when he woke up. The company that had got him killed had brought him back. OCP remade Miikka, whose alien physiology had proven resilient enough to survive the ambush long enough for help to be applied. Miikka would engage on a crusade of conscience against the people who had turned Old Detroit into the hovel it had become. And eventually, Miikka would be forced to deal with the bad apples inside OCP itself.

Such actions made life in Detroit uncomfortable. Miikka was constantly having to deal with the criminal element, and he got very tired. With the passion extinguished, Miikka felt he had to move on. He resigned from the force, and moved to California to find his beach.

* * *
Sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away, wasting time, Miikka Kiprusoff sat and reflected. He had some adventure while out in California, for instance, he had avenged his friend Mikey's murder by stopping Victor Maitland's smuggling operation, so his time hadn't been spent completely on being idle. But still, he felt he was missing something from his life.

As he often did when he wanted to relax, Miikka went for a swim. While swimming the calming Pacific waters, and pondering the questions of life, he was swallowed by shark.

A normal man may have perished, but Miikka was a cybernetic alien, so he overcame. He found himself in the stomach of a great white. He had nothing to do, so he stretched. And he became very flexible. His cybernetically enhanced hand-eye coordination was further improved by the necessity of having to pluck morsels of food blackness of the stomach. The constant movement of the shark improved his balance considerably.

One day the blackness was pierced by a shaft of light. That shaft of light had been preceded by a large and sharp spear. Miikka would look through the whole created by the spear, and gazed upon the crazed visage of his saviour: Darryl Sutter, who just happened to be out hunting great white whales at the time.

* * *
And, uhh, then this shit happened: Tits! And Tits! happened because of the 2004 playoff run. Which happened because of Miikka Kiprusoff doing magic tricks like this:

Totally fucking G.

What's more, here is a line from the Herald story about his 263 motherfucking wins:

"It's huge for me," said Kiprusoff, who turns 35 on Oct. 26. "I know Mike pretty well.
"He was the starting goalie in San Jose when I first came over to North America. He's a good guy."

And everybody who has a 'Mike Vernon was in a bar' story smiles. Good on Kip for continuing in that proud tradition.

Sometimes, we wonder about the fans. There is nothing wrong with being an 04 fan, but if you are one, you don't know how spoiled you are that Kipper is the goalie. Because some of us had to live through some crap, like Kidd. God, Kidd fucking sucked.

For saving the franchise, Miikka Kiprusoff wins this weeks Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award.

Furthermore, I think the Goal Song should be fired.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Calgary Barbra Streisands Vs The Team We Beat For A Stanley Cup

The Habs have not won a home opener since 2008-2009. So if one is looking for omens, there is that.

They are also injured. Cammo won't be in the house to gas Kipper high glove. Unfortunately, Campoli will also not be in the lineup, which means the Flames are going to have to find their turnovers somewhere else.

Now, let's talk about the Calgary Barbra Streisands.

So the goal song is terrible, and happens to have the words 'Barbra Streisand' at the end. We have been told that there is a version of the song that the Flames should have been using that takes the 'Barbra Steisand' out and replaces it with a 'yahoo' and some gun fire, but hey, it's not our fault that whoever played the song at the home opener didn't use that version.

(We will pause to let the reader reflect on the fact that for the home opener, the team couldn't get the right song loaded into the computer. The management of this team sucks, though, so it isn't surprising.)

Now, the goal song may be terrible, but it is very appropriate. First off, Barbra Streisand is an older woman, who is famous for her diva-esque behaviour. How appropriate, right? Because the Calgary Flames are an older team, who have so far played like women (by that we mean 'soft', ladies. We would take Wickenheiser on the roster over, say, Matt Stajan, in a second), and are famous for their 'Country Club' like behaviour towards the grind of the NHL season.

Further, it works because this club loves its 'BS' (Feaster and Kings bravado about challenging for the division, Jaromes insistence that the club did indeed give effort in the first two games.)! Right?

Anyways, this is probably a game the team should win, but we see a $62 million dollar payroll and assume a team spending that much should have a chance to win every game. We are of course wrong in this assumption, but to be wrong is to be human.


Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Taking A Look

Last time we talked we were talking about the shot for/shot against ratio.

We were using the metric to demonstrate effort, or lack of it, on behalf of the Flames. The lack of effort manifested itself in more concrete ways, for example, the lack of scrums after the whistle, but because we don't have a stat for that, we used shots for/against instead.

Well, in a small sample size that makes sense. We all saw those two games, so we all know the Flames slept through them. But what about over an entire season? (And we should, to be thorough, do this for multiple seasons, we know, we just were lazy.)

So last year:

The above is the raw. How did it corelate to points totals?

Very roughly.

Now our own personal feelings on this is that the data is hiding things. For instance, over the course of a season, the top team in the league is going to sleep walk through some games. They may only show up to play for one period out of the three. The top team(s) can do this because they are that much better than their opponents. So we can see the shot totals be skewed because of talent factors and things like that.

The Coyotes and Predators having such a discrepancy between point total and sf/sa rank speaks to this. Those two teams have a counter punching style of play; They are going to give up more shots than they are able to take by design. Generating shots for the sake of generating shots is not the be it and end all of team construction. in other words. Defensive hockey teams can also enjoy success.

It appears that over the course of a season, the sa/sf ratio is too rough a stat to give us a gauge of a teams potential for success. (or for why the team had success). And that makes sense: Shot quality exists. 100 shots from the red line are not worth the same as 100 shots from the slot. Generating shots from the slot is harder than generating them from the red line, so it makes sense that a team that is going to the slot before attempting to generate their shots (ie: good teams) may have their shot totals suffer as a result, even though their chance for success may improve.

Only six of the 16 teams (37.5%) that made the playoffs had a SF/SA rank above 15. This seems to suggest that it is a beneficial thing, if not necessarily the most important thing, to generate more shots for than a team takes shots against. (4 of the 14 teams (28.5%) that missed the playoffs had a SA/SF rank below 15.)

What are we trying to say? Nothing new. If a team has immense talent (compared to it's opponents), it can get by not giving the effort every game. The 'play to the level of the competition' effect. Conversely, if a team lacks talent (and probably more weighted to offensive talent) but gives immense effort (and effort can be described as many things; here, for example, we could use the Predators players diligently playing a system) they can also win some games the talent level would say they should lose. A successful team combines talent and effort. Shocking.

If a team is bad it is because it lacks both talent and effort. Colorado and Edmonton were bad teams last year; Edmonton lacked so much talent no amount of effort was going to overcome it, and Colorado was reportedly wracked with locker room issues, which will effect effort, and the play of the talented players.

Calgary does not have a surplus of talent. We know this, but we also know that a team can get by this handicap (at least until the playoffs) if it gives effort. That was the whole second half of last year, outworking teams that were less talented than Calgary. But Calgary has shown through the first two games of this season that it does not want to play with effort.

This could get ugly, fast, as a result.

If the team continues to play this way, how long does the organization let it go? What if we go 0 - 5? If the organization is super serial about making the playoffs and challenging for the division (which is admittedly laughable) it may not be able to wait a prolonged slump out and keep their collective noises from growing.

The roster has a lot of deadwood on it, expensive deadwood with NTC's. The GM just got hired, and King is entrenched. The Coach is on the hot seat, and Craig Hartsburg is not the solution.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired.

Monday, October 10, 2011

If We Put As Much Effort Into Watching The Flames As They Did Playing The Games We Would Have Missed Every Game This Year

First, we were going to use some hit stats to illustrate the lack of effort, but then we discovered that whoever keeps track of those stats likes his mescaline.

Not to worry though. We will use 'Shots For/Shots Against' instead.

According to the NHL, the Flames have a paltry 37 shots for, and have given up 72 shots against. As much as we all think the Flames suck, and as much as we realize there is not necessarily a correlation between payroll and performance, there is no way in hell that a $62 million dollar hockey team produces that ratio of shots for/shots against based on talent alone. (We desperately hope.)

The reason a team would put up a ratio like that, or rather, what a ratio like that indicates, is a lack of effort on behalf of the Country Club.

Some perspective:

Last place. Dead fucking last.

Now, either the Flames are the least talented team in the league, or they are half-assing their way through the start of the season.

The Flames are bums. QED.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired.

Wiki Says St Louis Is A Hell Hole

Hey, what do you know? St Louis is consistently rated as among the most dangerous cities in the United States of America. It makes Edmonton look like a Mormon enclave. Awesome. It's a good thing Darryl's kid isn't on the team anymore, because the cab driver would shoot him.


So yeah, we will be happy with the team as long as they don't get murdered walking downtown. Or raped. They seem to like doing that as well in St Louis.

Furthermore I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Notes From Opening Night

Alright. We shit on the team enough, we might as well give some dap when they do something right.

In that spirit...

The music was better than last year. Not everything they played was our cup of tea, but for the most part, we enjoyed it. Two things though: One, there must be another song they can play on Saturdays other than Nickelback. And two, they didn't play the hockey song. They haven't been playing the hockey song for a while at the Dome, true, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't play it. And please, if your opinion is that they shouldn't play the hockey song at a hockey game because it is hokey, don't bother sharing it. Go tell six year olds Santa Clause is a lie instead, you joyless fucks.

The opening intro video they did was well done. The production quality was very high, and we enjoyed it very much. The one thing we would have changed is we would have included Theo's epic goal celebration, we would have included Steve Smith goal, and we would have included the 'it was in' goal that Gelinas scored against Tampa Bay in 04. But that is pretty nitpicky, and again, the video was pretty good. We didn't like how they got rid of lasering fire on the ice, they went with lasering the logo and player names, which is alright but not nearly as cool as the fire they went with in years past.

Finally, the team went with 'HH' on the helmet, which was very classy.

We walked up the Saddledome around 7:30, 7:40. The Saddledome external lights were not on. When we left after the game, they were. What is that? Did they wait until 8 to flip the light switch? Why? It's a little thing, but it just seems to speak to the half-ass way the team is run. The Dome should have turned their external lights on at like 6, just for the optics of it.

The beer seems to have lost it's oomph. Now, this could be because the team quit in the second period. We acknowledge that. But it seemed...we don't know, less potent. We had fasted all day and sat pretty high up, too. If the beer dominated anyone, it should have been us. But again, maybe it is just us being sour. We did the two a period thang though, and thought it was more of a challenge in years past.

Now here is what pissed us the hell off: The team didn't come out with any heart for the home opener. The team is way to casual. We think that is the coach, and this is probably going to be the year of fire coach junior on Dome Beers, even though the guy came into this season as a lame duck, which we think shows he is just playing out his time before he gets to go back to the Rebels, so he is probably gone at the end of the year anyway.

And thank the deity for that. This team is largely the same as the one from last year. There shouldn't really be any need for the team to gel, of for the coach to have to spend time feeling out the players. The Flames were only too happy to leak that Darryl interfered with Brent and his coaching. Well, maybe he was doing that for a reason, because after an offseason where it was heralded that Brent was able to coach his way with the people he wanted, the team comes out flat to it's home opener. That's what the kids refer to as a 'fail'.

Here is an example. Flames have a PP. The PP ends, and coach junior is so...we don't know, panicked, that he sends another player out on the ice, and the team takes a too many men penalty. A too many men penalty at the end of a PP? For reals people. At least coach junior didn't use 3 defensemen on the PP.

We also got scored on off a face off. Coach junior, -2.

The team seems to lack speed. The fastest guy looked to be Glencross, but Glencross didn't look that fast compared to the Penguins players. Glencross is a fast skater compared to the rest of the Flames, but there are other fast skaters in this league on other teams, and because the Flames only have one guy with speed, Glencross can be neutralized. The rest of the team is slow and plodding. When you add in the bad coaching, you can see why the team has problems gaining the offensive zone for long enough to set up a play.

Speaking of setting up the play, Iggy getting the puck on his stick in the neutral zone is stupid. Iggy should be ending plays, not having them run through him. At this point, Iggy represents a shot. That's about it. He should be used like it. He should be setting up in a spot, and the rest of the team should be running a play to get Iggy the puck. As it is now, the team seems to be getting the puck to Iggy in the neutral zone, and then Iggy is carrying the puck into the offensive zone. Well, that is stupid, because it essentially means that Iggy will need to pass the puck or risk giving it away, and nobody on the team has near the offensive ability as Iggy does.

The team seems to be dumb. They seem to improvising in the offensive zone, and they just aren't smart/confident/poised enough to have success doing that.

Again, poor coaching.

The other thing is the Flames breakout play needs to be freshened up. The D getting the puck to a forward sitting on the boards in the neutral zone is one that every team in the league knows the Flames run, and because of that, that play was broken up numerous times by the Penguins.

The goal song is terrible. As long as they use it, we are considering calling the Flames the Calgary Barba Streisands.

Anyways, we have other shit to do today, so we will leave it at that. Oh wait...if the NHL turns into the No Hit League, we won't watch. That's what we wanted to say. There were like two body checks thrown the entire game, and the one good one that Sarich threw, they gave him a penalty on. It was stupid. No hit hockey is extremely boring, and the league should be careful. Because, honestly, if the league turns into no hit, well, we can go to the local rink and watch a shiny game, hell, play in a shiny game. It's more fun than watching a No Hit League.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired.