Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Can We Trust These Bums?

I don't know about you. I was kinda enjoying getting back on this Flames bandwagon. The games were fun to watch (I blame Bourque), the team was winning (I blame Bourque). Nobody had tried to elbow anybody in the face after the whistle in a while (again, blame Bourque). It was fun. And it hadn't been fun in a while.

Sure, there were problems. Chris Butler was playing in the top pairing; some of the offseason blueline signings weren't playing at all. All of the depth kept getting hurt. Sarich and Hannan still were on the roster. The goal song continued to be extremely effeminate. I cannot stress enough how effeminate that goal song is.

But despite it all, the team was muddling through. Well, to be accurate, Kipper was muddling through. He was playing like he was doing {drug reference} before the game, as opposed to after it. The Kings game was kind of a shit show, as an example of how Kipper was stealing games.

Whatever. It also felt a little different. The games were fun to watch. Vancouver, Toronto, San Jose, all fun games. The team won those games, and that helps, but what also helps is the sense that the team was trying hard. As cliche as that sounds.

Because that label, that question, that notion of 'trying hard' has been with this team for a while now. I myself have in the past viewed the question not as one of trying hard or not, but one of having the talent or not. That proves the point though, in a way. If the team lacks talent (which I'm not sure it does, what with a potential five of six spots on the top six filled (when healthy) with capable NHLers), then it should be 'trying harder' more consistently than other teams if it wants to win, like it (management, coaches, players, Jarome Iginla) says it does.

So it was nice to see the team 'trying hard', as it were.

Then this happens. A mugging to the lowely Oilers. (See what I did there?)

It's pathetic. It's same old. And it's tired.

Call it arrogant, conceited, call it what you will. There is no way the Flames should have lost to the Oilers tonight by a margin of five goals based on talent alone. None at all. Injuries? They are missing Glencross out of their top six. Presumably, when Glencross gets back, one of Kostopoulos or Comeau would still be playing with the big boys. Their depth losses of Stempniak, Jones, Backlund, et al, have been covered reasonably well by the kids. The defence is as shaky as Japan, but surely wasn't five goal margin bad compared to the Oiler forwards.

The team didn't 'try hard'. They didn't show up. And when you pull that shit just as the city and the fans are starting to warm up and get behind the team again...it's fucking bullshit, is what it is. And they pull the Operation Sleep Walk routine at home? Can you imagine?

Imagine you are Ken King and Jay Feaster. What they fuck do you do? Again, this team was building momentum; it was almost forcing the terrible twosome into adding to the roster. Now...not so much. They can talk themselves into waiting. And waiting, I think would be the worst thing this team could do.

The team has Kipper playing at a high level. Teams don't get that every year. To me, you make the bet on whether or not you think Kipper is going to keep playing barely-legal-pussy good or not. If you think he is, you buy; if you think he isn't you sell. Personally, I think he is. I am also not the general manager of this team. Ken King is, so it is his decision.

But who knows; after last nights rape, a losing streak coming up against Phoenix and Killadelphia might give the organization pause. It might make them not buy, but not sell as well. It might make them wait. Which would be awful. Steve Downie was just traded for a blueliner who was just traded for a first round pick. Imagine what a Jokinen could get you. It could get you the blueliner in the above equation, and probably a lot more.

I'll conclude. The team was building momentum, and that momentum was going to give the club cover to go out and do something Darryl Sutter level crazy/ballin' at the deadline. But now, after losing to the Oilers in the no heart fashion that the team did, a no heart fashion that frankly the fan base has become accustomed to seeing (especially in big games, which was why the current streak was so refreshing) it gives all parties involved cause for pause. Essentially 'Can we trust these bums?' is what we are left to ponder.

Can we trust these bums? Can Ken King and Jay Feaster? Can they put their jobs and reputations on the lines for this team? Again, to me, the indicator is Kipper. If I was at the helm, I would be a buyer, and put all my chips in the middle. I'd bet on Kipper continuing to enjoy a strong year.

But a performance like the one the team had against the Oilers certainly makes you wonder if you can trust the rest of the team.

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

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