Friday, October 28, 2011

Kenspiracy

This may be something, it may be nothing, but we thought it was at least a little notable.

Edmonton did it's thang, (and the best part of Edmontons thang is they are paying Katz $20 million dollars to...keep the word Edmonton in the teams name, or something) and people are rightly interested in whether or not something like that is going to take place here.

Something like that being an euphemism for using tax dollars to build an arena. And while we personally think that is a better use of tax dollars than green garbage bins or tacky bridges, that still doesn't make it a candidate for the prudent use of tax dollars.

Anyways, on Global News they ran a story about the Edmonton deal, and then talked about it's implications as it pertains to Calgary. Interviewed in this story was Ald. Brian Pincott. Mr. Pincott said that the Flames had not approached city council about an arena.

We thought this was an odd statement, because Ken King has always implied that the lines of communication between him and the relevant powers were open when it came to a stadium deal.

So we sent Mr. Pincott an email, and asked him what the what up was. He responded: "Anyway, yes, in my 4 years on Council, a new arena has never been raised or mentioned (officially). As far as I know, the Flames organization has not approached Council. Now, they may have floated desires (and I am sure they have them) for city land to someone in administration, but not high enough up the ladder that it would ever have been discussed at Council. Sure, we all know that the Flames want a new building, and yes, we all know that they will, at some point, be coming to the City to ask for either money or land or both, and we all know that now that the City of Edmonton has reached a deal for their arena the pressure will most definitely be on us to do something. And, I don't think there is very much, if any, support for that at Council. Certainly not from me."

SIC on everything.

First off, we must say we are glad to hear that Mr. Pincott doesn't support the idea of using city dollars to build Murray Edwards an arena that Murray Edwards can afford to build himself.

Second, we think this means that they, the Flames, may not be looking at the city of Calgary per se for funding. We think they are going to try and secure it through the Stampede Board.

And who is on the Stampede Board? From the website:
Composition:
1 Government Representative of the Province of Alberta (who shall be a member of the Legislative Assembly)
20 Members elected by shareholders of the company (Up to 4) Members appointed by the Board
up to 3 Members of Council, consisting of the Mayor and 2 Aldermen
1 Government Representative of the Government of Canada

See? Because it is such a clusterfuck of interests, nobody gets the blame put squarely on them if the have to make the unpopular decision to fund a new arena, and the body is so large that people who need to vote against the proposal for political reasons still could. It's pretty cool.

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

Very quickly.

Quickly getting back to old misanthropic us:

From the Sun's (which advertises strip clubs on it's front page, which warms a guy's heart) Macfarlane:

'Clinging to victory over the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday night improved their record to 3-4-1 — seven points in eight games so far.'

8*2=16.

7/16=0.4375.

'Seven points in eight games so far' makes that sentence read a whole lot differently than 'capturing 44% of the possible points available'.

Anyways, go Flames go!

(RTPIC still coming. Probably.)

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

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Here's The Deal

It's no secret we are not high on the Calgary Flames. We don't like their management, some of the player personnel decisions that they have made, hell, the play personnel period. We don't like the coach, we don't like some of his decisions or matchup principles, and we aren't always a fan of his style of play. None of this is any secret.

But here is the thing. Ultimately, we are fans of the laundry. We cheer for the Flaming C, capitalized. If we just cheered for the players, we would have stopped cheering for this team when it signed Bertuzzi, or Marchment, or Rob Niedermayer. Right?

So we continue to cheer for the set of players wearing this years laundry. It's with a certain reluctance, however. At the end of the day, we have lost faith in this group. We don't believe.

Hope is like an Alexander, however; it can and will find a way to conquer. Indeed, hope is the one possession the human animal is born with. It's almost as if it is hardwired into us. And while it may be an ethereal possession, lost in a moment, it can be regained just as easily, moreover, with even greater ease than it was to lose.

This is the reason the activity of fraud is so subversive: it feeds on hope. It is one of our biggest complaints with the team: that it fraudulently sells itself as better then it is, and is then heavy handed with the people who point this out. And the people who perpetrate frauds are often stained by this activity. That is why people assumed the club was simply engaged in marketing when it went after Brad Richards, for instance, or that may have been the reason Babchuk was brought back.

Back to the point: Hope grows in barren soil. And when we look at the Flames situation, does one not see a desert? The team currently sits at 13th. It lets in more goals then it scores, hasn't had a win streak all year, and is sitting millions of dollars worth of salary in the press box every night. The noise around this team is about which player is getting traded to where. Rightly, not a lot of people believe.

Boy, it's funny what a win will do. Because the team, injured at that, just destroyed the division leader, the Colorado Avalaughatourabilitytoplay5on5hockey. The score is deceiving, the team could have had 10 goals if the hockey gods had been kinder. By itself, a win over a bad team that started their back-up goalie doesn't mean anything, but at this time of the year it just serves to reinforce that the sky is not falling and the standings are in need of a correction. Because back up goalie or not, that Colorado team does not look like a division winner.

Couple this with the situation developing in Vancouver. This Loungo stuff may or may not be for reals. We think it is, because it has been around for years. It is feeding off something, obviously. Eventually this festering wound is going to heal, or it is going to pop. Loungo either starts stealing games and silencing the critics, or he doesn't. If he doesn't, the team is going to be adversely affected: they are going to have to take sides between him and Schnieder, the coach is going to have to decide, the GM is going to deal with the mess. And Vancouver is a team full of Jay Bouwmeesters. They are the most Tin-Man no heart team in the league. Without question.

So maybe, just maybe, their is a chance for this team to do something, despite it's coaching staff, management, and even some of the players (Looking at you, Stajan). Colorado, Edmonton, Minnesota don't look great, and if Vancouver tears itself a part...

There is a chance. Here is the deal though. If the team wants us to believe in it again, and wants the environment in this city to change back to what it was, it needs to provide some tangible proof of commitment. The Flames play the Blues and the Canucks next to finish out the homestand before going on the road against some good teams in Detroit and Buffalo. They have not had a win streak all year. Now would be a good time to get one.

Not that anyone needs to be told this, but the city wants to cheer, it wants to have hope, it has just been a victim of fraud too many times to do it without a little evidence. The Flames have an opportunity to build some real momentum here, and to show us they are worthy of Feaster's famous guarantee. More importantly, to show us they are worthy of the dollars spent and time committed.

They have shown they can beat bad teams. Now they need to show us if they can beat some good ones.
...

To that end, if the team plays well enough, and the Canucks collapse, there could be an opportunity. Should the club go for the it guns blazing, or prudently pursue playoff success? That is going to be the question of debate if the Flames hold up their end of the bargain.

Of course, teams with good players on them generally don't find themselves out of the playoff hunt themselves, so here is to Nashville enduring a terrible 20 game losing streak this year.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Colorado's PP

Colorado is about to come in here and feed the Flames their shit. How did this happen?

Honestly, we think it is that they (Colorado) are a well coached team. A well coached team that gets, and this is the important part Calgary, and capitalizes on the power play.

But lets look and see if we can't look and see.

(G/G),(GA/G),(5-5F/A),(S/G),SA/G),(PP%),(PK%)

Calgary: 2.14 / 2.86 / 0.92 / 26.6 / 28.7 / 16% / 85.2%
Colorado: 2.88 / 2.50 / 0.87 / 30.8 / 32.2 / 29.2% / 88.5%

So it is pretty glaring when you look at it. First off, the Flames have 5 points while the Avs have 12 because the Avs score more goals than they give up. Eureka, we know, but it is important because we want to see where the Avs are scoring their 'more' goals. And you can see they are scoring their 'more' goals on the power play.

Looking at the teams 5 - 5 F/A numbers, we can see that both teams do not generate a 'plus' level of offense while at even strength. In fact, the Flames are probably the better team 5 on 5, because they seem to be doing better at this metric (0.92 vs 0.87) than Colorado while generating less shots. But they aren't so much better than Colorado, and we would say the teams are probably a wash.

Back to the power play then. Colorado is scoring at a 29.2% clip, good for second best in the entire league. Obviously this is probably the reason they are enjoying success right now. The question is whether or not that 29.2% is real or not. And we highly doubt it is real: in 2010-2011, the Canucks had the best PP at 24.3%, in 2009-2010 it was Washington with 25.2%, and in 2008-2009 it was Detroit with 25.2%. It does not seem likely that Colorado will finish the year with a higher power play success rate than these teams. There is room for regression in Colorado's numbers, so there is subsequently hope for Flames fans that the hockey gods start to turn on the Avs come Wednesday.

Drilling down further into Colorado's PP numbers, it gets even fucking scarier. They are scoring at a 36.8% clip on the PP while on the road, while also generating quite a bit of chances (19, or 6th most in the league). Looking back through the years, the teams with the best road PP success rate seem to have one that sits at 28% when it is all said and done. Not that you need that, because scoring at a 36.8% clip on the road probably isn't sustainable over the long term, intuitively.

So they have a good PP. A real good one, and it has been killing suckers left and right. We would be advised not to take penalties. Colorado does not take penalties: they are the 5th best team when it comes to not taking PIMs. Calgary, however, isn't so good at avoiding the sin bin. They are 17th in the league in this category, with almost double the amount of aggregate PIMs than Colorado has taken this season.

It looks like the Colorado Avalanche are a special teams team then. They force the opposition to take penalties, they score on the PP, and they themselves don't take many penalties. They are not great at 5 on 5, but they are not terrible either. The game plan seems to be to tread water at even strength and then kill you on the PP.

We take a time out to say that they probably learned this shit from Vancouver. Fuck you, Vancouver.

Now, we also mentioned something about coaching. Check out behindthenet and just look at the zone starts. But here is what we want to highlight: The top 5v5 minutes guys on Colorado are Winnik, O'Reilly, and Landeskog. Their Ozone starts/finishes are 29.6/40(!), 32/38.8, and 35.7/45.2. In other words, Colorado has guys on the team who can take the puck from their zone and move it into the oppositions. This is probably one of the reasons they get so many penalties.

The Flames are less well coached and you can tell immediately. The top minute even strength guy is Iginla, who has never been known as a two-way forward (and is played about 3 minutes more on even strength than everyone else on the team). The next two guys are then Tangs and Joker. Offensive guys. We think this is important: Colorado seems to be using 5 on 5 to generate penalties, and then they generate their offense off the penalties. They probably do this because the Colorado coach has a brain, realizes offensive production 5 on 5 is much harder to generate in the NHL than in the WHL, and has adjusted his game plan accordingly. He looks at his roster and says "I'd have a killer PP, but these guys would get killed if we tried to play even up on most nights. I'm going to try to generate PP chances."

Our coach has a different approach. He seems to want to tire out our best weapon on the PP, Jarome, by using him as two way forward on even strength. Instead of utilizing his bottom half of the roster for defensive responsibilities on even strength, he seems to want to bury them. Now whether he does that because he doesn't trust them or because he feels his best players should be out there on 5 on 5 we don't know. But it seems a stupid way to utilize the roster: over 82, the bottom half is going to be fresh, but the real players are going to be gassed and worn out. And a losing streak in the final two weeks of the season is going to be the result.

But whatever, we all knew the roster was poorly constructed when the season started. It's just too bad Ken King didn't. It's also too bad he compounded the mistake by bringing back a coach who seems to be over his head at the NHL level. Why is that guy allowed near the hockey operations department, again?

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

Monday, October 24, 2011

Stampeders Should Wear Red Helmets

There is a weird relationship between this city and Henry Burris. It's hard to fingerprint, but it is there. It manifests itself in ways that aren't hard to located: the calls to QR 770, the internet message boards, the chants at McMahon for the backup (although, to be fair, the backup did happen to be Drew Tate).

So what is it about Smilin' Hank? Is it the inconsistency (8 TDs against 7 INTs in the playoffs)? Is it the perceived selfishness of the player, as it pertains to on-field play ( anyone else catch his LT act on the sideline)? Is it the bra?

It's probably a combination of all these things to some, and none of these things to others. We happen to think it is the playoff losses in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. And it isn't the losses, it's the fact that some of those teams, 2009 and 2010 especially, were expected to win Grey Cups.

We bring this up because Hank Burris fucked is out of tickets to Drew Tates coronation. For no good reason at all, other than to be selfish dick. And while we can't be that mad for losing something we never had in the first place, we still think we should call party foul.

@HenryBurris tweets out "First response to this wins 2 tickets at the 40 yard line." We are pretty sure we are the first to respond to Hank. We respond with a 'yo'. And then we wait. And wait...and wait. While waiting, Nik Lewis does the same thing, sends out a tweet about tickets, gets a response, and then gives the tickets away. This takes Nik Lewis 2 minutes.

An hour passes since we initially have responded to Hank, and nothing. At this point, we have pretty much ruined any chances of getting tickets by tweeting junk to him, stuff like "We are sure he sent the tickets, they probably just got intercepted."

Still, nothing. Nothing at all is coming out of @HenryBurris. And nothing will; the next tweet out of Burris comes after the game, congratulating Drew Tate. None of the tweets that have followed have mentioned the tickets.

We think we know what happened. But we also want to share why we are a little perturbed. It's not that we didn't get the tickets we should have. Again, we can't be angry over losing things we never had. However, that Burris didn't address the tickets at all is a little bush. He didn't have to give them to us, but if he is going to announce he is giving tickets away, he actually needs to give tickets away.

Unless...

Here is what we think happened. Henry Burris knows who Drew Tate is. He knows better than us, the fans. So he needs to start hedging. We think Hank is tweeting about giving away tickets to create a cover story that allows him to then pocket the tickets he is 'giving away'. You know, to scalp. He could have also kept them as a collectible. Tickets to Drew Tate's coronation are going to be worth some cheese in the future.
...

Drew Tate side steps a D-linesman who has an open line to him, and then throws a fade away spiral for a touchdown. Sick as fuck.
...

Getting shut out at home is not how one goes about getting into the playoffs. Honestly, if we were inclined to believe in this team, we would talk about how this team has been generating scoring chances, at least lately, and that it is only a matter of time before they start going in.

But this team has won two games in October. We face Colorado, who has gone 6-0 on the road so far, and then we close out the month against the Blues, a team that has beaten us 5 - 2 already. We have seen this movie already. It ends with 10th place.

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