Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday Paper Reading

Reading the paper, yo. These are the things I wanted to comment on.

Randy Sportak sounding the clarion bell about a month before the trade deadline. Which I like, obviously, but would have liked even more last year. The notable thing to take away from the thang is this juicy stat: The  Flames probably need to have 56 points to make the playoffs, and that would require them to go 19-10-4. 

So is it true? Because shit unless the Flames trade for Rudy Gay that aignt happening. 

Last year eighth place team had 95 points. 48/82= ~58% (I'm using the real number not the rounded in the calculations) * 95 = 55.6.  So yeah, 55 or 56 points seems like a reasonable number based on last year (and taking the three year average it is 55.99). 

And Flames currently have 13 points. Not good. So what about this 19-10-4 ish? Well, 48-15=33. 19+10+4 =33. And that indeed equals 55 points. 

We are fucking doomed, homie. 

Can I provide the weary masses any hope? I can try. What Sportak's math depends on is the pace of point accumulation being similar to what is is in a 82 game season. What if it isn't?

Points per game? I'm dumb, so that's what I'm going to go with as a proxy for pace. 09-10 is 95/82 = 1.1585. 10-11 it's 1.1829. In 11-12 it's 1.1585 again. So average that jazz and we get 1.1666. 

Currently (this year) the team occupying eighth place is on a 18/16 = 1.125 pace. If we translate that, I think we get (1.125*48)...54 points. (For those curious, the team is on a 0.8666 pace, good for ~42 points.)


Good on Sportak for bringing this to our attention. 

George Johnson calls someone with zero points a rocket ship. 

Actually if you can stomach your way past that Johnson calms us all down and reminds us that Cervenka was hit in the throat with a puck last game, which is why he was sat in the third period. You can choose to buy it or not. 

And SVEN is back so Cervenka is getting sat for him, not Aliu. Which makes it easier to swallow.

Odland/Hall get a good quote from the coach:

 “We’re talking about a game of passion that world-class athletes play,” Hartley said. “You need a certain size. I think Akim brings that size.”

Which is exactly the problem. I get it looks bad when the team lets a guy check their goalie. I do believe it speaks to the group dynamic as a whole, and I do think it is reasonable for people to suspect there is something wrong with a team that doesn't stand up for individual teammates. But the real issue is the team is too small. (And they are losing, which could go along way to explaining their bad group dynamic we are all speculating they have.)

Vicki Hall uses GAA, like it's a stat that can convey meaning. 

Odland. Best writer they have on their staff. 

Furthermore I think the genius behind the goal song should be fired. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cervenka Benched For Aliu?

Fire everyone. Why? Read the title of this post. QED.

Seriously...they are benching a guy who can play in the top six for..Akim Aliu.?

They are benching a guy who's contract is up at the end of this year for...Akim Aliu.

If you wanted to write something satrical about the Flames poor roster choices, this would be it, wouldn't it? But its not satire. Its real. Really, really, real.

Someone needs to get Bob Hartley on camera saying "I think taking Cervenka out of the lineup and putting Aliu in the lineup will increase our teams chances of winning." 

I'm sure the problem here is that he thinks its a good idea, but he just hasnt said it out loud yet. I think once he is forced to say it out loud his brain will kick in and he will realize what he is doing is bad.

Maybe Hartley and Feaster are trying to tell us something about their job security. As in, they have enough faith in it they would bench a top six guy for an AHL third liner.

Just amazing.

Furthermore, I think they should all be fired. Im going to stoke out if this is true. Why wont they get O'Reilly?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Regurgitation On Hope

I had intended to write about Rudy Gay and the general situation revolving around the Raptors (hack allegories are fun!) but when I plopped down into my chair an anecdote popped into my mind, and I'll start by sharing that:

Some measure of time ago I had a twitter exchange with (memory fuzzes) Kent Wilson about the difference between the teams of the 90's and the Salary Cap era teams, regarding the level of hope a fan could feel towards the teams chances to win (and by extension, how disappointed a fan in each era could feel about not winning).

My argument was that it was it better to be a fan in the 90's. The team couldn't (or wouldn't) compete with the big money teams for free agents, and as there was no salary cap, big money teams often loaded up on the best available hockey talent. It was difficult to field a team on $30 million dollars that could beat an $80 million dollar one. Because of this the expectation to win could never realistically be entertained, and therefore the fan was inoculated from being too disappointed. (And if the team did happen to catch lightning in a bottle...)

The formulation of No Chance = No Hope = No Worries, if you will.

Contrast that with the situation of the Salary Cap Era. High payrolls means the team has the chance to acquire the best hockey talent available. That in effect translates into hope. There is always the chance to improve. Not only that, but the fans of the Flames find themselves rooting for a big money team, a team that spends close to the cap maximum every year. Now the expectation to win is not only entertained  it is demanded. Far from being inoculated from disappointed, the population is now susceptible.

Chance = Hopes = Worries.

Today, looking at the standings, there are plenty of things to be worried about. The team has more games played then it does points; the team has the second worst goal differential in the West. The team has let in the most goals in the West; The team is 2-6 at home, the worst home record in the West.

The team has a top ten payroll, and it is looking like it will miss the playoffs. Again. So people are worried.

I think what worries people the most, or at least what worries me the most, is the lack of direction. The Flames season is well over a quarter of the way over. The team has flaws; generally it needs centres and it needs a goalie. #34 may come back in time, and start playing well enough, to alleviate us from the latter problem. Backlund could be out until at least mid-March (could be longer) and that translates into 10 - 12 more games without him in the lineup. Over half of the season could be gone, and any realistic chance to make the playoffs could be gone by that time as well.

I think the time for evaluation, if not over, is quickly approaching the terminal deadline. If the team wants to make a push, it's gonna need to bring in some horses from elsewhere, which means dealing draft picks and potentially young prospects. The team is going to have to apply some cost benefit analysis to that scenario to see if the potential to maybe dig its way out of from a hole and make the bottom half of the playoff tournament is worth spending draft picks and young players on.

Or it can go the other way. The team can look itself in the mirror and decide that it maybe has a better chance of missing the playoffs than making it. The team could decide to trade away it's useful pieces (all of the wingers not named SVEN, for an example), restock the cupboard, and lay the foundation of the next iteration of the team.

Either move would represent action. Lack of action in regards to this under performing (remember kids they spend to the cap ceiling) and underwhelming team is killing the hope. And the Flames should realize that eventually lack of hope will lead to lack of ticket sales.

Furthermore, I think Ken King should be fired.