Archive for the 'Flames' Category

11
Nov
08

Toronto Is In Calgary tonight…

and I am lucky enough to go! Toronto is finally in Western Canada for the first time in 3 years, and facing Calgary for the first time in 2 years.

I paid a pretty penny for these tickets, so once again hopefully I see a good game, but once again I have my reservations. Toronto is coming off a huge 6-3 rout of the hated Habs, while the Flames are coming off their own rout, except it was them who got manhandled by the Hawks. For this reason, I’m not expecting a win from the Blue and White. The Flames will probably want to come out flying in order to get passed their showing on Sunday, meanwhile the Leafs will probably come out flat-footed after their huge win.

The only saving grace for the Leafs could be this single fact. Toronto is 3rd in the league averaging 35.2 shots per game,  while Kipper’s SV% is 0.888. So the Maple Leafs should score at least 4 goals tonight, and since the Flames average 2.94 Goals Per Game, this should be a win for Toronto.

Depends what school of thought you belong to I guess.

07
Nov
08

Last Night’s Preds/Flames Game

Wow, that was unexpected, especially if you read my previous posting. There are a bunch of things that I want to write about last night’s game, so I will start and in no particular order.

  • The Score: Holy crap! I would have been happy to see like 6 or so pucks put away, but 13? First of all, the Flames came out flying, or so it seemed, because I still haven’t decided if it was the Flames or if it was the Preds that came out so flat. One thing is for sure though, its a good thing the Flames played one good period and got away to such a big lead, otherwise they would have been routed.
  • Leads me to my next point quite nicely. The tending was horrid last night. First, Renne allows 4 goals on 10 shots, no wonder he got the hook, “Thanks for the night off!” says Ellis. Second, Kipper. I’ve said it before about him, I think he’s overrated, especially as the league’s highest paid goalie. Don’t get me wrong, on nights that he is on, he’s one of the best, but then again, all goalies in the NHL are like that. It just seems to me that Kipper has had one stellar season and since then, he hasn’t had the same swagger. Third, Ellis. Well he just didn’t impress me that much, but hell, it was his night off.
  • The refs. I thought they did a splendid job. Maybe a miss on the Penalty Shot. Granted I don’t know the ins and outs of the NHL Rulebook, but I was under the impression that if the shooter got away a decent chance he shouldn’t get a penalty shot. Aucoin did clearly hook the guy, but he still had a chance to come in, make a move and get a shot off, all he needed to do was get it up and he would have scored. Maybe the refs were just trying to make it interesting.
  • The Calgary Flames fans. I have this theory that all the fans that the Flames have, just started watching hockey 4-5 years ago, just soon after the Flames got made into a decent team. “Why,” you may ask. Well, its simple. They are dumb and have no hockey sense. If they knew anything, they would know that Dion probably ran his mouth off to get his back-to-back Unsportsmanlike penalties, the officials don’t just give those out for no reason. They wouldn’t cheer when the linesmen get knocked down or are almost struck by an errant puck, especially when its the other refs they are made at. (Note: The ones with those red stripes on their arms, they call the penalties and for the most part control the flow of the game.)

Anyways there was going to be more, but I am running out of time. Oh, one last thing! After a thorough discussion with my buddy, we’ve come to the conclusion that the right call was made, or wasn’t made I guess, when the Preds appeared to have Too Many Men. It was an errant puck that struck a player, and he made no attempt to play it.

06
Nov
08

Preds In Town Against Calgary

I’m not writing about this because I am a fan of either of this teams, but because I get to go to the game tonight, which is enough to get my excitement up.

Now, if only the game is actually exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to NHL games, but last time I went, it was a snooze-fest, and Flame fans hammered the post-game talk shows with calls about how great the team had played that night. Needless to say, I was less than impressed. What made it worse was the fact that I had high expectations seeing as the Capitals were in town, tonight, different story all together.

Nashville. Personally I dislike Nashville, not because of the team but because of the market and their fans. I don’t believe they deserve a team, but they have one, and they barely kept it (just turn a blind eye to the whole Del Baggio thing).

The team itself I don’t mind, but I sure don’t have high expectations for this game. I have a feeling its gonna be as boring as can be, but hopefully I am wrong, and hopefully one of the teams come out flying, and they have all the reason to. Calgary is coming off of two losses and are looking to rebound after a loss to the Coyotes. Nashville for their part, are coming of a 4-0 shutout against the Canucks. So here’s hoping to both team coming out of the gates fast and hard, with some big checks and a lot of speed through the neutral zone. Oh, and I wouldn’t mind a fight or two.

22
Oct
08

Caps at Flames Last Night

I was lucky enough to get tickets to Calgary’s game last, and I was so stoked. My first chance to see the high-flying Capitals live… and what a disappointment! Yes, Ovechkin showed what a talented and dynamic player he is with a couple between the leg dekes, but other than that, I am glad I didn’t have to pay for the tickets!

I have a few points that I want to bring up, and they pretty much all have to do with how disorientated I think Flames’ fans are. After the game, as we’re driving back, we were listening the FAN 960 and their thoughts on the game, and then the phone-in portion of the show. Everyone thought that the Flames played a tremendous game, and that this is the kind of hockey that is going to get them places. But, let’s look at some numbers, shall we?

  1. Flames went one for nine on the power play. 1 FOR 9! They also failed to score on 4 separate 5-on-3s (granted out of those they were only actually up two men for approximately 4 minutes, but still.) Their one power play goal was on a giveaway, as the Caps failed to clear the zone, and Iggy just intercepted it and shot a knuckler past Theodore. They other goal the Flames managed to score, came just seconds after their PP had expired, yet everyone failed to notice that the Flames had just spent 20 seconds running around their own end defending the Capitals PK unit. At no point did the Flames seem to even set up in the opposing zone, because they have no set up, their PP set-up is, pass the puck to Dion and he’ll one-time it.
  2. Did Keenan forget to teach the Flames how to break-out of their own end this year? I don’t think I saw them managed to break out cleanly once last night, and the majority of their passes were off target or getting picked off. This also explained why Langkow almost got his head knocked off when he was trying to pick up that Suicide Pass. Which brings me to my next point…
  3. Why does every big hit have to result in someone getting jumped? I understand that Bourque was protecting his teammate, but how’s this for an idea of protecting your teammate… don’t pass the puck up his ass. Side note: The 9 minute penalty was called correctly, and he deserved it.
  4. Kipper. Oh Kipper. You got first star last night, actually managed to only allow one goal, which brings your GAA to 342.4 and SV% to 0.730. Okay, exaggerations I know, but at the start of the game, its good thing the Capitals shot wide 5 times because you were sliding around like you were in a mud wrestling match. I think you’re overrated, and have only had one solid season, all the others you have ridden a hockey team that should be much better.
  5. Pries and I figured out how it was humanly possible for Bertuzzi to play 25 minutes last night… the Flames play at half speed, therefore allowing Bert to play twice as much because he only expending half the energy. I don’t know whether it was the Caps’ speed or the Flames’ lack thereof, but man, were they ever slow going through the neutral zone. This may also explain the terrible break-out I mentioned on point 2.

So there you have it Flames’ fans… if you want to consider your team a Stanley Cup contender, you better hope that the Flames figure some shit out, because if they keep playing like last night, and that was their best effort, I’d hope for an early spring.

P.S. Calgary was out-shot, even with the 9 PP chances, how does that make sense?

23
Apr
08

NHL Play-Offs: Round Two

Alright, so as I’ve found out, doing this, following the post-season, and writing finals all at the same time is harder then I thought, but with one final to go… I should be able to balance it out better. Onto the play-offs!

First Round Review

  • Eastern Conference
    • MON vs. BOS: I chose Montreal in 5, and figured they would walk right through this series… MON took it in 7 and Price had two bad games, which I think are outshined by his two shut-outs.
    • PIT vs. OTT: I called Pittsburgh in 6, claiming that the Sens were the biggest chokers in recent history… well I was right, the Sens are big chokers… bigger then I thought they were. PIT swept.
    • WAS vs. PHI: I picked Washington in 7, and they were one shot away from making that happen, but the Flyers persevered in 7.
    • NJ vs. NYR: I really thought Brodeur would carry the Devils through when I picked them in 6, didn’t really think that NYR would for the most part, manhandle the Devils in 5.
  • Western Conference
    • DET vs. NAS: I underestimated Ellis in this when I picked the Wings to sweep the Preds, but other than one wicked bounce… Ellis was spectacular,  but wasn’t enough to get the Preds through as they lost in 6.
    • SJ vs. CGY: I picked the Sharks in 7, and I feel as though they are lucky to have pulled it out after blowing a 3-0 lead in Game 3. But they did, and won in 7.
    • MIN vs. COL: I picked this one completely by guessing, and was biased because my Dad’s team are the Avs, so I chose them in 6, and low and behold, they won in 6.
    • ANA vs. DAL: I really thought that the experience of the Ducks would make it impossible for the Stars to win when I picked Ducks in 5… turns out Dallas won in 6, and the Ducks never had a chance!

So in the end, I finished with a 5-3 record and I called 2 of the 5 in the correct number of games. Not bad… but not good at the same time, hopefully the second round is better for me.

Second Round Predictions

  • Eastern Conference
    • MON vs. PHI: While Briere hauled ass in the 1st Round, he wasn’t playing against Komisarek, Markov, & Price. I expect his production to stall, and I believe the Habs too much depth and speed for the Flyers to handle. Canadiens in 6.
    • PIT vs. NYR: I was pulling for the Pens vs. Caps, because that would have just been epic, but now this. This is a completely different match-up for the Rangers, and while I under estimated their depth last round, I seriously doubt that they can bring it when they are forced to play defensively. Pittsburgh in 7.
  • Western Conference
    • DET vs. COL: Let’s call this one the “Senior Men’s Cup”. Colorado’s average age is 26.7 while the Wings clock in at 28.2; two of the oldest teams in the league. Still though, I think the wings pull it off and Theodore can’t keep playing like this… can he? Detroit in 6.
    • SJ vs. DAL: The Sharks could be tired after the physical series with the Flames, and the Stars disposed of the Ducks with ease. The Stars showed that they will not be intimidated and that they can apparently handle anything. Dallas in 7.

So there you have it, I am looking for a Montreal/Pittsburgh Eastern Final, and a Detroit/Dallas Western Final. Now I have to go back to studying.

17
Apr
08

________ing Out the Arena

The Flames’ home, the SaddleDome is completely engulfed in red, just like the Capitals’ Verizon Center. The Jets used to White Out their arena, and that tradition has carried over to Phoenix. The Stars the other night, Blacked Out the American Airlines Center.

So what did the players think of the spectacle? Word is… they hated it! Most notably the tenders. Apparently the can’t see the puck. Weird… I always thought that black on black out be just peachy, but evidently it doesn’t, trust me I tried.

Let me be the first to say, I love the look of an arena being coloured out. I remember getting chills when the Coyotes made the play-offs for the first time after they left Winnipeg, and I saw the White Out. It looks unbelievable! Having said that, sorry Stars fans, I don’t know if you guys have the colours to do it, unless you did gold, that might look unreal.

I just saw a highlight of the Dallas/Anaheim game, and it appears as though the AAC is completely blacked out again. I am guessing that nothing is going to change that, but if I was Turco, and I hated it as much as he apparently does, I’d be urging the fans to do something different. At least though, on the bright side (ohh as if there is!) its not like its an advantage for any team. (Wow, I just got an amazing idea!) What if… half the arena (the end that Turco faces) wore white t-shirts, and then between periods, the fans all switch coloured shirts, so that Turco would always be facing white, and the other team’s goalie sees black. That would be unreal!

Credit to www.zimbo.com for the picture.
10
Apr
08

Night Two of ’08 Playoffs

Montreal vs. Boston

Initially, I thought this was going to be a blow-out. Two minutes in and the Habs are up 2-0 already, they were on pace to win 60-0! Obviously that would never happen but still. Boston eventually comes within one before the end of the period after the Habs kinda slowed up. Smolinski’s goal was a bit of a questionable one, but the Bruin’s defenseman was clearly pushing his guy right into Thomas. Lastly, I don’t know how bloody stupid Canadien fans must be, but when they start chanting, “Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Good-bye” in the third period of game one, of the first round… they are ‘effing stupid. You guys should be ashamed, and I hope the B’s blow the hell out of the Habs in Game 2. Canadiens win 4-1 and lead series 1-0.

Detroit vs. Nashville

Again, I didn’t watch much of this game, but I was shocked when I flipping to it and realized how quiet it was in the Joe. Seriously, the Red Wings, another Original 6, President Trophy winners and the fans didn’t even seem to be into it. The only other thing I saw, was the empty netter, and why the hell the Preds decided to keep Ellis on the bench when the draw was on their blue line is beyond me. Red Wings win 3-1 and lead series 1-0.

San Jose vs. Calgary
Wow, night of the goaltenders eh? Nabokov bounces back and posts a shut-out while making awesome, unbelievable saves on Sarich in the first, and Nolan in the third. Kipper stood on his head, especially in the second period when the Flames took 7 consecutive penalties and only allowing 2 goal on 27 shots. That’s nice work for an entire game, let alone one period. Kipper ends up making 41 of 43 saves. Meanwhile, I just feel that I have to say, that the Sharks did embellish a few of those hooks and slashes in the second. Talking about you Big Joe and Mclaren. Sharks win 2-0 and series tied 1-1.
Anaheim vs. Dallas
Well, no surprise… other than the score. Anaheim comes out trying to intimidate the Stars and just take a shitload of penalties. The Stars power-play took over from there, scoring on 4 of their 7 chances. I didn’t watch this game, but I did see some highlights of Bertuzzi. First he takes a 3rd man in penalty late in the first and then they should him apparently slashing away at Morrow while he was down. Sounds like vintage Ducks and Bertuzzi. Stars win 4-0 and lead series 1-0.