Friday, January 13, 2012

Consistent

There are moments that serve, for better or worse, as symbols of lines drawn in sand. George Bush and his "Read my lips, no new taxes" is and example of one of those moments. Once he proclaimed, he was forced to maintain.

He didn't. He didn't win re-election.

No list of circumstances explaining why he could not keep his promise will be forthcoming because it is not necessary. He said 'no new taxes'. There were indeed new taxes. Guillotine.

Jay Feaster's famous guarantee was a line in the sand moment. The new GM, in his first officially sanctioned year, guarantees, on multiple occasions and on multiple venues, that his team will make the playoffs (and challenge for the division, but we digress). "Write it down," he tells us.

His team has to make the playoffs.

If one is confused about the moves of the Flames, it is because the lens you are using is wrong. You have to look at it through the lens presented above. He is earnestly trying to make the playoffs. To what should be everyone's bemusement, the organization fired Darryl Sutter for trying to win it all, only to go in the bold new direction of trying to win it all.

The team tried to sign Brad Richards in the offseason. Win now. They then traded Regehr and Langkow not for prospects, but for cheaper NHL players. They brought back Tanguay for a long term. Win now. They resigned Babchuk, which is a win now move (in the fact of what the dream of Babchuk is, 25, 30 points from the point, even though we all know he should not be anywhere near a NHL rink, let alone playing in the games.) Picking up Comeau on waivers, who makes 2.5 million dollars and is a 3rd liner at best, is a win now move.

Even going further back than that, not trading some players at the trade deadline last year was a sign the club was still in win now mood.

This team is in win now mode. The trade for Cammalleri, a fine player, but one who isn't going to fix the teams defence or it's lack of a capable centre that Stajan's 3.5 million cap hit and roster spot represent. But...

The trade allows us, fans, to hope. You may have to squint, but it is there.

Glencross/Jokinen/Iginla

Tanguay/Backlund/Cammalleri

Comeau/Jones/Stempniak

Kostopoulos/(Insert centre (Morrison, Byron, Horak, etc)/Jackman

That...that isn't great, but it isn't terrible. You'd like a little more grit in the second line, but you could probably live with this group of forwards. We still think it is missing a centre, because being able to push Backlund down to the third line would make the team a stronger one, but this is ok.

The defence of this team is still the clubs weak spot, however. Jay Feaster has to make the playoffs, and as of today, he still isn't in the dance. Would he risk the ire of the clubs fans by trading a first round pick (or something of future value) for a legitimate top four NHL defenceman? If he did, would the fans respond with ire, or would they get on board with the win now theme?

Some people are saying that Jay Feaster has pushed all in with this move. We don't think he has; But we do think he has pushed enough of his stack in that he is probably compelled to go, at some point, all the way in. At least we think. By making this move now, Feaster still has time, if the team tanks, to sell assets. Or add them if he feels he needs to.

Overall, an interesting move. Last night, King and Feaster didn't trade for just for Cammalleri, they also traded for hope.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

THE POWER OF DOME BEERS

So Cammo is a Flame now. Obviously. Everything we say here on DB comes to pass, we are just usually a year or two early.

Because we have fucking vision. 

The one thing we will say is that if this team is going to spend money in preparation for a playoff push, it still needs to acquire a blueliner and a centre. Which is going to be close to impossible, but we will see. It's not like the current management is shy about trading draft picks. Maybe Stajans testicles descend and he shows up at the rink. You never know.

If you want to bitch and moan about the trade, we get that too. But honestly, we hated Bourque and are on a high right now that he is gone.

Furthermore, Cammo is back. He's back, motherfuckers!

Cammo As Sad Panda

Cammalleri! Is! Availabe!

And if not, at least we can dream.

We were thinking about this situation, and more importantly, what the fuck we were going to have to write about this situation, when we got to thinking...

It's a fan perspective site. Do we really have to go look at Cammo, his numbers, his underlying numbers, his game tape, all that scout infested hippodrome's hectic hullabaloo? Why? We all watched Cammalleri while he was here.

Cammo is a killer. He shoots the puck. He scores goals. You wanna know why he hasn't scored 30+ goals since he has left Calgary? It's pretty easy to figure out; Cammo has 255 shots on goal his one season here, he had 39 goals. The other time he had 30+, with LA, he had 299 shots on goal.

(Jarome Iginla's 500th goal should have cemented this principle: In order to score a goal, one has to shoot the puck. The percentage chance to score on a bad angle shot is still higher than the chances to score on a shot not taken.)

We don't know why the Habs hate Cammo, but it looks like they do. His shots on goal have gone down every year he has been there. He barely got over 200 hist first year there, and he didn't get over 200 last year. Wild guess here, but methinks Cammo don't do no back-checking, which is why he is frustrated. Probably why he and Jarome hit it off. Oh snap.

Here is the point; The question being dreamed on is 'should the Flames trade for Cammalleri?' and we think, as fans, that the answer should be 'yes'. Would we give up anything to get Cammalleri? First and second round draft picks and some such? Obviously not. We need those to trade for Weber. (Oh snap.)

Our humble opinion on the matter is this: team has so many holes that adding a scoring winger will not solve our problems. It doesn't hurt, mind you. But:

Glencross/Jokinen/Iginla is only together for this one year. If Jokinen is playing well at the deadline, it seems to us that you have to trade him. Have to. You know the real reason why? Because we can trade him, get something for him, and then resign him (if you are so inclined) in the offseason. (Wait...that Kotalik trade actually did long term damage to the Flames...)   

Team doesn't really have a second scoring unit. Bourque is the scoring winger. Tanguay is coming back eventually. Matt Stajan is eating the salary cap space of the centre of that line. Ideally you would swap out Stajan and Sarich for Cammo, but that isn't going to happen.

Stempniak/Backlund/Comeau line is one we don't hate as the third line, but again, if the Flames had any sense they would be trying to trade Stempniak for something. That isn't a knock on Stempniak, because looking at behindthenets corsi numbers on him paint him as one of the few 'good' Flames, but third line guys are available cheap every year on the market.  If you could trade Comeau, for even a late pick, we would do that too for the same reason.

And everyone on the fourth line, Whalen willing, we would trade as well. They are all on one year contracts, essentially. Gotta move them. Actually, before we tried to trade Morrison, we would see if he wanted to become head coach. But if he said no, then yeah, trade his ass.

You know what? If they could acquire Cammo for cheapish, that would make everyone feel better about the team doing the smart thing and trading all of it's one year contract guys (in a year, in our view, where the team isn't exactly realistically competing for the Cup). A Ken Ken Koup, if you will.

More so, the big name free agent forwards on the market are essentially wingers anyways. We can pay one of them an obnoxious amount of money, or pay Cammo $12 million over the next two years. Seems to us that the team should probably be using the 'obnoxious' amount of money (you know, the $70 million we offered to Brad Richards) on several defencemen.

Anyways, it is fun to dream, right? Hey, the Ducks are coming to town...maybe we should trade for Getz?


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

Monday, January 9, 2012

The 500th Goal

People have written about the milestone, the man, and his place with the franchise. But fuck all that shit, yo. We want to talk about the goal. Because it was one of the most beautiful goals that we, as a hockey loving people, may ever see. It was truly a once in a lifetime display of skill, vision, and heart.

To give a goal of such historic magnitude it's due, we must start at the beginning. Not of hockey, or of Jarome Iginla, but of the actual game. The Flames had just finished out a disastrous road trip with a 9 - 0 loss suffered at the hands of the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. The mood in the city was akin to that found inside a badgers den in the middle of winter: Angry, terse, and hungry for blood. Coaches blood. (Badgers eat coaches, right?)

The howling mob, however, was not fed any coach gristle. It was in fact not fed anything. No coaches were fired, the managers did not get canned, and only one player got traded. People were pissed off. And it was in this sour stupor that we all made our way down to the Saddledome, hissing at the team, but holding out hope that a redemptive moment would be authored by #12.

The opponents that day where the vaunted and much feared Minnesota Wild. This peculiar opponent was known for its penchant of winning games 1 - 0. In fact, and you can look this up if you don't believe us, but every single game the Wild have ever won has been won with a 1 - 0 score. These guys are stingy: The Wild banned condom use because they hate it when rubber gets into the slot. The Wild's goalie, Backstrom, was just coming off of his 15th consecutive shut out. Jarome has a tall task ahead of him if he was going to score 500 on this night.

Oh yeah, Jarome had the flu, too. And he had a case of the gout. Shingles. Can't forget he also had shingles. Plus his back was killing him. Also, Jarome's car had died that day, and he had to take the bus to work, but as he was getting on the bus, his dog ran out to wish him well but the bus driver didn't see it and smush. Jarome's baggage at this game included more than his skates and his stick.

The game started like all Wild V Flames match ups do: with a flurry of chances. Only the world famous defensively responsible play of Jarome Iginla  kept the contest close. The score should have easily been 1 - 0 Wild. But when the bell rang and the period ended, it was in fact 0 - 0, even though the Wild had outshot the Flames 25 - 0. Jarome Iginla had 10 saves himself.

In the locker room during the intermission, coach Sutter excused himself from the room so that Brendan Morrison could conduct the coaching session properly. Morrison regaled the room with tales of Markus Naslund, how Naslund didn't have even 400 goals, and what exact type of pussy that made him (a saggy one, for those wondering). Morrison then looked Iginla in the eyes. Do you want to be remembered as a saggy pussy, Elvis?

The second period started innocuous enough: The Wild consistently generated three on one scoring chances, only to have a racing Jarome Iginla swoop in and break the play up at the last moment. It was vintage Iginla, really. About halfway through the second period, somehow, someway, a Flames player not named Jarome Iginla managed to get his stick on the puck, and was able to sneak a seam pass up the ice. Jarome got the puck, and fired it away at the Wild's net, only to be met with a clank.

Jarome Iginla's arch nemesis, The Post, had heard about the impending milestone and, unknowable to Iginla, had made an appearance at the Dome. Jarome quickly went to the referee to complain about the use of a player that was not on the roster of the Wild.

"It's actually not even a regulation sized net, either," the crowd picked up the referee saying. "It's one of those small ones, that kids play on."

The referee called in to Gary Bettman's office to see whether any rules had been broken, but as Gary Bettman wrote the rules to be opaque, he had to tell the referee that he had no clue whether or not any rules had been broken. "Game On!" proclaimed the referee.

The second period would end not with a whimper, but with a clank.

Inside the Flames locker room, the mood was despondent. The crowd had began to boo them; Coach Sutter was desperately trying to make adaptions to his game plan of 'get lead, sit on lead, blow lead.'; Matt Stajan had a locker room stall. This were looking bleak. That is, until Jarome Iginla stood up.

"I don't care if Roy is in net, I don't care if they have Orr and Robinson are out there on the blueline. I don't care if they go insane and put Scott Stevens out at centre just so he can crank people. I don't care. We are going to win this game. Get on my back, boys."

As Jarome delivered his rah rah speech, lightning hit the Saddledome.

The third period began very much like the first two. Jarome was unable to score as he was hemmed in his own zone for most of the period. But then, something peculiar happened. Just as Jarome was swooping in to break up yet another Wild three on one, another strike of lighting hit the Dome, causing the lights of the place to shut off for a brief moment. When the lights returned, they showcased a nightmare.

Jarome Iginla looked up the ice from nearly 200 feet away. Tending goal for the Wild was St. Roy. The Wild blueline had an Orr and a Robinson on it. Scott Stevens was out playing centre, but it looked like he was only out there so he could smash and destroy whoever came through the neutral zone.

Holy Shit

Jarome looked at his bench, and saw nobody there. He looked to his left, and to his right, and again, nobody was there. The moment was setting up to be too big for his teammates, and they had left. It was just Jarome out on the ice. Well, him and Kipper. Kipper winked at Iginla, and sent him streaking down the ice with these words: Fuck em up, champ.


What came next was pure magic. Jarome took the puck up the right side of the ice, deftly avoiding a Wild winger who had also transformed into a nameless Hall of Famer as well. Probably Sakic. Upon entering the neutral zone, the Jumbotron exploded, showering sparks down on the players below, but specifically Jarome. The hot sparks, seemingly commanded by the hockey gods, attempted to lodge themselves into Jarome's eyes. "That's why I wear a visor," Jarome smirked to himself, "for situations just like this."

The neutral zone seemed to be an entirely different world. The lone remaining Wild winger had disappeared, and the ice resembled a Wild West town at high noon. And Scott Stevens stood in the middle of the street. It seemed to be the end of the road for Jarome's rush. Certainly all those in attendance thought so. But Jarome didn't get to be a 499 goal scorer because of luck. He had moves, after all, and he decided to drop one on Stevens. Just as Stevens approached from the side to deliver a devastating blow to the head, Jarome Iginla dropped a Liu Kang bicycle kick on him. IT. WAS. EPIC. And it also got him through the neutral zone.


The hockey gods were not pleased. No sooner had he crossed the blueline than did the fireball machines start belching flames at his direction. The ice behind Jarome melted, ensuring there wouldn't even be the option of retreat. In front of him stood St. Roy, Robinson, and Orr. Fireballs where launching at his back, and sparks where showering down all around him. But he persevered.

Robinson came first, attempting to drop a spinning elbow on Jarome as he entered the zone. Iginla, who once played on a team with the noted criminal Todd Bertuzzi and hence knew a thing or two about completely illegal hits, saw Robinson coming. Jarome simply dropped a spin move of his own (counter clockwise) and sent a flying Robinson into the fire strewn landscape. It was just #12, Orr, and Roy now. And #12 liked his chances.

As Orr raced to confront Jarome at the top of the right face off circle, Jarome lifted his stick in preparation of his shot, but then he hesitated. Would this shot go in? Should he try to make a move and get it in deeper? Just then, the ethereal specter of Harvey The Hound appeared over his shoulder. Shoot the puck, Jarome.

And that is exactly what Jarome did. Slamming his stick down with such force that it shattered instantly, the puck leaped off the ice at what must have been 400 KM/H. Jarome had aimed for the short side top corner, one of the hardest shots to make in hockey, but especially when one has to beat the glove hand of a saint. But the puck was shot with such velocity that when Roy brought his glove up it incinerated. The puck hit the corner with such force that it also ignited the mesh, and melted the goal posts. The puck had so much force that it went through the boards. It even tore through the protective netting that kept the crowd safe before landing harmlessly in Harvey the Hounds paw. Harvey and Jarome exchanged a knowing wink.

And the crowd? Well, the crowd went seven first names crazy.

Don't believe us? Take a look for yourself:



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