Thursday, March 1, 2012

Brent Sutter Thinks Post Whistle Scrums Are Important To Getting Wins In The NHL Which Is Bizarre

Quoteth Sutter:

"I watched the game (Tuesday) night between Philadelphia and San Jose. It was a 1-0 hockey game, and it was a complete war. Everything in the offensive zone was directed to the net, and everyone was crashing the net. It didn't matter whether it was in one zone or the other," Sutter explained. "This time of year, it's not so much about Xs and Os... It's a nuts and bolts game now. There's going to be scrums after whistles, you've got to win the battles. You've got to go nose to nose."

I don't know. You guys like this? I think it's horseshit.

I'm looking at the boxscore of that game. It's a game, to me, that looks like it was played between two teams that observed the X's and O's. It's a close game, 23 shots to 26, between two teams that are pretty good offensive teams (Both teams have + double digit goal differentials). That suggests to me it was a close game. That suggests to me both teams were playing 'their game' or 'their system' or however you want to put it. There were only 3 penalties taken, and one of them, a delay of game for shooting the puck over the glass, is also suggestive of team play that observes the X's and O's; instead of doing the But7er/Comeau thang and trying to force the puck up the ice and turning it over, the player tried to do the 'right' thing and shoot the puck off the glass and down the ice.

I didn't see the game, so I don't know if it was a 'complete war' or not, but if it was, it looks like trench warfare as opposed to the naked emotion of the Saracen horde, which is what Sutter seems to be calling for at the end of his quote. What's also head scratching is that time and time again you have heard Sutter say that he wants this team to be a puck possession team. Is 'Puck Possesion' not synonymous with 'X's and O's'?

Let's move on to the latter part of the quote, though: "There's going to be scrums after whistles, you've got to win the battles."

What? What the fuck is this idiocy? Read that quote from beginning to end. Maybe I am crazy, but is he suggesting the Flames are losing because they aren't winning the scrums after the whistle?

Maybe I am crazy, because it looks like to me the Flames are losing because over the last four games they have been outshot by 52. Just by watching the games, it looks like the Flames don't have a ton of real NHL defencemen, and the forwards aren't doing them any favours by passing the puck poorly and turning it over all the time.

I'm not sure what winning the scrums after the whistle would do to fix these problems, and I'm a little surprised why nobody in the press conference asked Sutter why he does.

I think I kinda know what the guy was trying to say; that the team needs to be more engaged in the game. I also know that whining about the teams identity several years after you have been hired to be that teams coach is an extremely bad look.

Game time! Which quote is worse: Keenan's assertion that the team didn't practice the powerplay, or Sutter's assertion that the team would win more games if it won more post whistle scrums?

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

George Johnson Likes The Metaphors And Similes

Hey guys. Trade deadline sucked, eh? The crazy GM didn't follow through with his threat to ship out all those stinking bum players and oh look the team blew another lead at home.

Matt Stajan!

Matt Stajan! indeed. Hey, you know what I am wondering, though? Just what type of mood George Johnson is in.

Flames Pick Bad Time To Deliver Flat Effort

"Warning! Warning! Don’t get behind these Hitch-honed Bluenotes. They do lockdown better than Alcatraz."

Prison!

"The Calgary Flames are starting to lose the plot. Unravelling like a ball of granny’s knitting near a frisky kitten."

Not just kittens, motherfucker, but frisky kittens. 

"Since clambering up to the rather modest heights of eighth place in the West on Family Day Weekend, the locals have pooched four games in a row."
 
I say the 'pooched' counts. As it follows after his kitten simile. 
 
"They briefly touched their seemingly-impossible goal then, too, before slipping back into the inky abyss."
 
Now I am a proud member of the unwashed masses, so I had no idea abyss's were 'inky'. I googled the thing and it came back with 150K results, so yeah, I guess 'inky abyss' is a thing. I also found this. George Johnson is a cultured mofo, mofo's. 
 
"And they’ve not demonstrated the mental resolve to cling tight to something so precious."
 
George must be sick. He missed a perfectly good opportunity for a Lords Of The Ring reference. 
 
"Of more concern, the magnificent Miikka Kiprusoff, arguably for the first time this campaign, seemed tired, a trifle frayed at the edges. An uncharacteristically weak first goal surrendered, from off the right wing off the supersized David Backes, tied the game — Curtis Glencross propelling Calgary ahead — jolting the St. Louis wiring into action."
 
'Frayed', 'Propelled', 'Wiring'. You know, I think these all deal with electricity in some way. I'm giving Johnson points. 
 
"...mounting a comeback seemed a bridge too far for Iginla and Co." 
 
A war reference out of nowhere. Points deducted.
 
"In a difficult spell such as this, you simply cannot compound problems with avoidable sins."
 
Eww. 'Difficult spell; and 'Compound' is really good, and since alchemy has at some times been seen as the purview of the devil, I'm even ok with the awkward use of the word sin at the end. 
 
Alright. He writes another paragraph where the Flames are basically described as slow and plodding and he then follows that up with a paragraph about how the Blues are crisp and efficient. It's cute but not relevant to the score.
 
Let's add this shit up:
 
So we have prison, frisky kittens, pooched, inky abyss, a missed Lord of the Rings reference, poor wiring smack, A Bridge Too Far (awesome movie) and alchemy. What does that equal? George Johnson gets high before he writes. QED.

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

Monday, February 27, 2012

Today Is The Trade Deadline

Hola.

Some thoughts.

The Flames are 7 points out of a top 5 draft pick position. 7 points.

The team is also 3 points out of a playoff spot. Although if you were to plot this whole thang on a trend line, it certainly would look like the club was testing a bottom after establishing a new ceiling.

It's a bit of a predicament. What does Ken King order Jay Feaster to do?

To me, I think you have to look at it this way: You make the determination about whether or not you think the team is good enough to make the playoffs. If it isn't, you have to make the determination about why it isn't. You then have to determine the cost of what it will take to address the problem(s). If you can afford the price of the solution, I think you go ahead and address the problem(s). But if you can't afford the solution...

I don't know if the Flames are going to win the Stanley Cup this year, (and winning championships should be the goal) but as of now it does not look like the most probable thing in the world. With the roster built around some aging players, notably Iggy and Kipper, does the team have the ability to purchase what it would take to make this team a contender for the Cup this season and the next two?

I don't know if it does. I am not a GM and do not call other GM's, so I could be wrong. But it strikes me that the team essentially has SVEN as prospect bait and that is about it. (I don't think you can sell Backlund as a legit top six prospect anymore, so his value has vaporized.) It has a first round pick (and next year futures, I suppose) to dangle as well. Pretty meager. Could those assets net you the multiple players the club would need to acquire to make it an elite club in the NHL?

Seeing the prices and rumored prices for impact players, it looks doubtful.

To me, the club, first off, needs to get healthy. Because when healthy, I only think it needs to acquire two players. The top six looks like it has five players in it. If you move Cammo to the wing, we would need another centre, and if you keep Cammo at centre, then we need another winger.

The defence is in desperate need of a top guy to play with Bouwmeester. Even when fully healthy, I think the defence looks like Bouwmeester/???? Gio/Brodie But7er/Smith. All those guys are on the soft side to play against. A tougher, defence first guy to play with Bouwmeester would allow Bouwmeester to get more involved in the offense as well.

The club needs a top six centre who can create and distribute, and it needs a tough, defence first blueliner who can play some minutes. Those guys are not cheap. I don't think SVEN and a first gets you both of them, and without both of them, I don't think the club has a shot at a Stanley Cup.

But the goal, according to Jay Feaster's Gaurantee, isn't to win the Cup, it is to make the playoffs.
Now the team has already burned their second and third and fifth round picks this year. If Feaster gets desperate to do something dumb in the name of making 8th, then his only ammunition is SVEN and the first. That scares me. Hopefully the club doesn't move those assets for a rental/depth player.
...

Other thing, of course, is that Feaster is in a no win situation because, once again, he tried to eat his foot. The rant during intermission followed by a press conference where he recanted made him look like a crazy pregnant lady. Now if he stands pat at the deadline he looks like an idiot, and if he buys at the deadline it looks like he is going against what he says, and is being to do something against his wishes. The only way out is for Feaster to trade Joker, and if he does that, a good chunk of the fanbase will hate him.

Which I find hilarious. What I don't find hilarious is that after the made the Guarantee, which was stupid, he apparently didn't learn any lessons from that episode. Which is disheartening. You would hope, as a fan, that the GM had the ability to learn from his mistakes. Because Feaster made a lot of mistakes in Tampa Bay. And it looks like, from this episode, that Feaster doesn't.

It also looks like he got spanked by Ken King for the comments he made during intermission. If Ken wants the job, why doesn't he just take the title?


Furthermore I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired.