Monday, January 16, 2012

Banzai

Ten Thousand Years To The Emperor!

Ya'll know what we are referring to? Of course you do. Everyone knows about the Pacific campaign.

But let's suppose, we don't know, you are perennial punching bag Eric Francis. You may need to be let in. That's cool.

You see class, way way back in the day, in the 40's, the American GI's were island hopping their way to Japan. They had heard about Godzilla or some shit and were after choice photos to show the sweetie back in Idaho. Anyways, the Japanese thought they had an ancient privilege when it came to collection photo's of the King Lizard, so they got upset at the American intrusion, and fought back. Thing is, America is huge and had miles and miles of unbombed factories, a fairly huge and skilled labour force, and a big pool of unruly farm boys that Uncle Sam wanted to get out of the house. Japan, being fairly small and eminently bombable, never really had a chance.

Think Flames vs Boston, if you will.

Anyways, it turned out that the Japanese really liked this Emperor cat who claimed the ancient photography privileges. They liked him so much, it turns out, that when the Americans would show up with all their fancy land, naval, and air superiority, instead of surrendering and showing the Americans where they could get a decent photo of Godzilla and Mothra necking, they actually decided to fight back.

Thing is, the Japanese had this thang called Bushido. It's a warrior code. Wanna know a secret? Warriors are stubborn. The Japanese felt compelled to literally die for their photo opportunity hogging Emperor. And so, they did. But you know the Japanese: they are a stylish people. They simply couldn't die without putting on some sort of show.

And hence, we get the term 'Banzai', or 'ten thousand years.' The Japanese would yell out 'Banzai' as they drew their swords and rushed the Americans, who instead of using swords, used high caliber machine guns.

Banzai charges, you may have already guessed, tended not to work. The Americans would indeed get their pictures of Godzilla. In fact, they would pair the big lizard with Matthew Broderick and make crazy bank but that is a marketing story and we are telling a history one.

What the hell are we talking about? Honorable suicide in the face of death. That's what a Banzai charge is. Its kinda like a defiant 'Fuck You' in the face of the inevitable.

Was the Flames trade for Mike Cammalleri a Banzai Charge?

The team, as it sits today, is four points out of 8th place. The team has to climb over four teams as well. It has games in hand on exactly none of those four teams, and three of the teams Calgary is chasing have at least one, most have more, games in hand on the Flames. There are only three teams in the West that have allowed more goals against than Calgary has, and eleven of those Western teams have more goals for than the Flames do. The teams PP is middling, as is it's PK. If you are one who thinks shot generation is important (and we do) the Flames are in the bottom of the league in terms of shots per game.

This team needs a lot of help. The probability chance it has to make the playoffs is smaller than the probability chance for the team not to make it. The Flames, it could be argued, should probably be selling assets, not acquiring them at the cost of futures. But that is not what the Flames did. The Flames traded a couple of futures for Cammalleri, plus Bourque.

That trade may address the PP, it may address the goal scoring and shot generation issues (although Cammalleri was not generating a ton of shots in Montreal and we don't play a run and gun style even though we should). But what this trade does not address is the defensive issues of the team. Chris Bu7ler is still playing in the top four, and he is not a top four guy, not on a good team.

Did the Flames commit 'honorable suicide' by trading a second round pick (and leaving them without one for the next two drafts) to make a run at the playoffs in a year where they should be selling assets? Maybe, but they also left themselves a two month cushion with which to make a decision to sell assets at the trade deadline if this thing goes sour.

But what if Feaster is managing for his job? To us, that is what the Cammalleri addition signals: Feaster is trying to win this year because...and the only because we can think of that would make sense is that because his job is on the line. Ticket sales are not down that much to warrant a trade just to sell some more. If Feaster is managing for his job, then the possibility of a Banzai Charge being under way increase. Because this team does need a real defenceman if it has any hopes, in our view, of challenging. Bouwmeester/Gio/Brodie/And Someone Legit. If Bu7ler is the fifth or sixth guy then this team will be in good shape. But to get to that position is going to cost, and the Flames don't have anything to sell except futures.

Would Feaster trade a first to get the defenceman his club needs to compete? Will Jay Feaster complete the Banzai Charge? Would King make him, knowing that if the club takes a swing and it goes badly, it will be Feaster on the firing line, and not him?

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

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