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Archive for February, 2012

Blues 3 – Flames 1

28 Feb

Al MacInnis is Forever a FlameAnother blown lead. And the Flames get 2 out of a possible 8 points on their 4-game home stand at a critical part of the year.

Now I actually agree with Sutter that this is a tough stretch, and they’ll have to work through it. No one thought that they would go 23-0 in the final 23 games. The only thing I’d be upset with is that Calgary vowed to shoot more in this game – they had 3 shots in the second period. Feaster said that he – now – has confidence in this group to make the playoffs, and with the loss last night their playoff odds drop to 25% from 50% when they were actually in a playoff position (for 3 days).

I think that Al did something at the ceremony to ensure his team won. He’s probably mad because we didn’t retire his number. I’m mad for him.

 

Flyers 5 – Flames 4 (SO)

26 Feb

Another blown lead, another shootout loss. This is not the time of year to forget how to defend a lead boys.

This game had a little bit of everything. The Flames finally scored a shorthanded goal, Tanguay scored on a penalty shot, there was a comeback, five on three goal, overtime and the shootout. Bryzgalov was awful, even though Calgary was outshot 45-21 they nearly walked away with this game.

With only a single point the Flames drop to eleventh in the West, one point behind Dallas, Los Angeles and Colorado.

 

Coyotes 4 – Flames 3 (SO)

23 Feb

Chris Butler is out for three weeks, but that’s okay because Derek Smith is back. He has been a much better defenseman this year anyway. Curtis Glencross came back as well, and I was surprised to see him inserted into the top line after missing 13 games.

The game started pretty slow, and the Flames got a really lucky bounce to get that much needed first goal. But what was even more lucky, downright bizarre even, was that Matt Stajan scored to give Calgary a two-goal lead. Mark down two assists for Phoenix goalie Mike Smith.

The Flames found a way to blow that lead though, one again deciding to coast through the second period. So Langkow has 8 goals this year? What does Lee Stempniak have? 12. I guess that wasn’t so bad a trade after all.

And then Scott Hannan made a sweet pass to Ray Whitney to send him in alone to put the Coyotes up by one. With 2:00 left in the third, the unproductive power play actually scored to tie the game. The extra point was huge on this night, and it went to… Phoenix. Crap.

This blog-as-I-watch idea is stupid.

———

The game aside, let’s focus on what (if anything) the Flames may do in the next four days. So who is in play from the Flames roster come trade deadline day? Well if you believe the knuckleheads at Roger’s Sportsnet – and I do – they have perennial powerhouses Blake Comeau and Scott Hannan up for grabs.

According to Jay Feaster, if the team plays the way they have tonight and that last Edmonton game, then they don’t deserve to stay together. Come on Jay, how dumb do you think we are? We all know that a team’s philosophy doesn’t change in six days. I’m pretty sure you’re the one that told us that.

 

Oilers 6 – Flames 1

22 Feb
Sarich leaks Oil from the ears

Sarich leaks Oil from the ears

What do you think would happen if the top line on your team was Lance Bouma, Matt Stajan, and Tim Jackman? Well, you’d get your ass handed to you by the second-worst team in the league. You’d witness the team behind you in 9th place lose, and still knock you out of a playoff spot.

There was a point in this game were the Flames were out-shot by a 3-1 margin at 34-11 after two periods.  It was a bad, bad performance all around. Kipper played well for half the game, but alas even he fell apart in the second half of the second period.

Calgary’s top line was a combined -7 last night. Awesome.

 

Flames 1 – Los Angeles 0

19 Feb

Kiprusoff absolutely stole this game.

And with that performance the Flames find themselves in a playoff position (although tied for 9th) for the first time this season. Hockey is exciting again, for the first time in years, but I wonder how long it will last? You would think the youth of Calgary can only continue at this rate for not too much longer.

Calgary Flames beat Los Angeles Kings in LA

This says it all

 

Stars 3 – Flames 2 (OT)

17 Feb

I’ll take the one point in this game. The Flames were outplayed, especially in the third, and had to come back form 1-0 and 2-1 deficits. If it wasn’t for back-to-back power plays with five minutes left in the third Dallas would have won in regulation.

The single point means that Calgary is now two points back of Phoenix, which is okay because Phoenix is now in 7th place, and Calgary is 2 points back of L.A. for eighth. Got all that? This now means that the L.A. game Saturday night is a bigger game than the Dallas one was.

7  Phoenix PAC 58 28 21 9 65
8  Los Angeles PAC 58 27 20 11 65
9  Calgary NW 58 27 22 9 63
10  Dallas PAC 57 29 25 3 61
11  Colorado NW 58 28 26 4 60
 

Why ‘Forever a Flame’ is an insult to MacInnis and Flames fans

16 Feb

So the Calgary Flames will honour Al MacInnis by hanging his jersey a banner in the rafters at the Saddledome. He’ll be the first player honoured under the new “Forever A Flame” program, which will see the sweater numbers of former Flames kept in circulation with the current team. Not retired, honoured.

Why not retire his jersey? Is it because we have such a historic franchise of all-stars that we are running out of numbers? This team has been around for over 30 years and we have two: Vernon’s #30 and Lanny’s #9. Why not do what the Canadiens do and retire the number for a set period of time? Maybe keep the number retired for as long as that player is alive, and it goes back to the franchise upon that players death. So they’d be retired for 40 years or so. And in special circumstances a new player could ask the retired player if he could wear that number. Like if Marty Brodeur were to be traded to the Flames. And he probably will be, a la Grant Fuhr.

Who do you think is going to wear #2 after this anyway? They’d have to be a real jerk. Come to think of it, who has worn #2 for the Flames since MacInnis left? Are we really denying anyone anything? Jamie AllisonMike CommodoreAlan Letang (who?), Darrel Scoville (again, who?), Darryl Shannon, and Brad Werenka. All due respect to that group of no-names, but denying them the privilege of wearing #2 would have gone unnoticed.

Al MacInnis was a first-round pick of the Flames in 1981, he would go on to be named an all-star eight times in 13 seasons with the team. He also took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP when the Flames won the Stanley Cup in 1989. MacInnis continues to hold the franchise record for assists with 609. His number was retired by the St. Louis Blues in 2006 (he was a Flame for longer) and a year later he was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Calgary isn’t going to retire his number? Just. Plain. Stupid. Shame on you Calgary Flames brass.

 

Flames 5 – Maple Leafs 1

15 Feb

This really shouldn’t have been a 5-1 game, it was more of a 6-5 in overtime game. The score seemed losided because of Miika Kiprusoff. I’ve said this a lot before, but you see an highlight reel save and it’s almost old hat now. We expect miraculous saves, night in and night out. How this guy wasn’t an All Star this year is beyond me.

So a lot to talk about.

  1. Kipper. 41 saves on 42 shots. A .975 save percentage. There was more posts and crossbars (on both sides) in this game than I can remember. I can remember 5, but I’m sure there was more. So why wasn’t he an All Star? He is currently 5th in wins – which is pretty good for a goalie on a team in 17th place overall. He is 5th in the league in Goals Against Average (among goalies with more than 30 games) and 7th in Save Percentage (30+ games). The best 5 goalies in the league? I’d have to say Henrik LundqvistJonathan QuickTim ThomasMiikka KiprusoffJimmy Howard. Of course Lundqvist, Thomas and Howard all have fairly decent teams in front of them.
  2. Flames. The Flames haven’t lost to Toronto in Calgary for nearly a decade. The win moves Calgary to within one point of 8th, and 3 points out of 6th. Thank you slumping Chicago! Next up? A huge game in Dallas. A win and you put 5 points between us and the Stars. A loss, and Dallas is one point behind with a game in hand.
  3. Phaneuf. Dion’s hook lead to a penalty shot which lead to Paul Byron’s 3-1 insurance goal. That is kind of what broke open the gaem for the Flames as the Leafs had all the momentum at the time. I think the penalty shot was the 3rd shot of the period for Calgary. Also, I’m not sure why he got booed, because he under-performed when he was here? Because he got too friendly with other player’s wives/girlfriends? Because we clearly lost that trade? Because there was a lot of beer consumed for a Tuesday? (I’m just saying, there was no booing at the beginning of the night), I don’t get it. I would absolutely have traded him. But for White, Mayers, Hagman and Stajan? Ouch.
 

Flames injuries continue

14 Feb

You always hear about the ‘man games lost’ number, which is usually misleading because one game without Sidney Crosby is probably worse than an full season without Raitis Ivan?ns. Who, by the way, played one game for Calgary last season but counted as 81 man-games-lost.

Anyway, this year has been bad, as bad as I can remember. Curtis GlencrossBlair JonesDavid MossLee Stempniak and Derek Smith are all injured right now. That’s your entire second line. The second line tonight against the Leafs? Tom KostopoulosMike Cammalleri and Blake Comeau. That line has a combined 18 goals all year, or as much as Mikhail Grabovski – T.O.’s number two centre.

Calgary has 254 man-games-lost due to injury this year (as of Feb 10) which is second most in the league. Second only to Pittsburgh.  But they win so they’ll get no sympathy from me. Calgary can’t win with a full roster, much less a decimated one. Feel bad for us!

 

Flames 3 – Canucks 2 SO

12 Feb
The Sedin sisters and still no Stanley

The Sedin sisters still waiting for Stanley

It’s always great to get a win when you did not expect it. The two points moved Calgary from 12th to 9th (tied with Colorado) and two points out of 8th.The only downside was that Mikael Backlund suffered an undisclosed upper body injury during the second period and did not return.

Calgary now faces Dion’s Phaneufs on Tuesday (a winnable game for sure) and then a huge game against Dallas on Thursday. Dallas plays today (Sunday) the the Flames could be back down to 10th by mid-afternoon.

 
 
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