The Flames season starts tonight and you know what? I'm actually excited about it.
I guess I'm excited about it every year, because I'm a mark, but this year is especially exciting because the team actually spent some money during the offseason. I'm also excited because I upgraded my season tickets this year, going from the nosebleeds to the second level.
Can the Flames make the playoffs? I don't know, I hope they can. I think on paper they have a team where I would be disappointed if they didn't. To me, the main thing is the goaltender needs to play well and stay healthy, otherwise the season is toast. Forward depth should be there and the defence should be able to play a little bit. I actually like the roster a lot.
The best move of the offseason was when they fired Gulutzan. Now we will all see whether or not Gulutzan was the problem or not. I think he was but who knows, time will tell. He got bit by the goalie getting hurt last year. Gulutzan's line usage was bananas so that should improve with him gone. The biggest inditement against Gulutzan, to me, was that Sam Bennett got worse under him.
I'd have prefered they signed Sutter to coach, so I don't go into the season with an automatic love for Peters. He's going to have to show something to win me over. Let's hope he does. You didn't see too many people in Carolina crying over his getting released from his contract. That could be a tell.
The shitty-no-good-terrible-awful third jersey the team used last year has been mercifully retired, and the cool-awesome-just-the-best-and-should-be-the-full-time retro jersey is back as the third. I like that move, can you tell? And I'll just repeat myself, the retro jersey should be the regular jersey. Hell, the white jersey should be the regular home jersey, but that's a whole other battle.
What I like:
- Team isn't constructed to rely on Sam Bennett scoring (ie: they brought in a real scorer in Neal).
- They traded The Pussy (Hamilton).
- Brought in some forwards that should push the other players on the bottom six to be better. There is some competition now, and some of these guys could play up, so the pressure to play well should be there for most of the roster.
What I don't like:
- I don't think they addressed the goaltending depth. Very scary.
- Did they have to trade Ferland? If they had this roster plus Ferland you'd be feeling really good about scoring.
- The team is relying on TJ Brodie not sucking. He has sucked for two seasons now. Big gamble.
I could be missing stuff. But all in all I am excited about the team, and if you hit me with truth serum I'd say this team makes the playoffs and surprises people when it gets there.
Furthermore, I think Derek Wills should be fired.