Monday, November 19, 2007

Some belated post-games

Not too many surprises this weekend...

The Flames played the who-are-they-now? Oilers on the weekend, generally outplaying them. It was pretty close until Kipper stole one, some guys who haven't been scoring lately managed to hit the twine, and presto! All was well with the world.

Less than 24 hours later, the Flames were in Vancouver to play the Li... sorry, the Canucks, and unsurprisingly, looked like a team playing their second game in 24 hours. Lackadaisical is probably the nicest word to describe their play. Despite coming out ahead in the shot clock, genuine scoring chances were few and far between, and that turned the game into a loss. It definitely didn't help to have Regehr and Moss gone for parts of the game (is it just me, or does Vancouver have horrible karma injury-wise?) It was a bit disappointing given that the Canucks' D is sorely lacking... well, players, at present, and a chance to capitalize on the Manitoba Moose's simplistic defensive scheme was squandered. I don't think the schedule is an adequate excuse for last night's performance - if they can't do this every so often, how legitimate a playoff team do you expect them to be?

There's just a couple of things I'd like to get out there, as well:
Rumours: Let's just get this clear, hey? If we didn't change the coaching at this point in the season last year, it's not happening this year. Take any muttering that says "Keenan," and file that next to the UFO sightings and the alien abductions. Also, I hereby pre-emptively cancel the Flames' incessant search for a #1 centreman - between Langkow, Lombardi and Conroy, we average out to a 1.352-center*, and will probably be just fine. You're jokin' if you're thinking about Jokinen. Marleau is also highly unlikely, given the Flames' cap situation.

*(Yes - I know that if you take 3 whole numbers and average them, you're going to get a x.0, x.333333, x.666666. And?)

Things I like: Oh. This is harder than I thought. Kipper had a good game Saturday? That's the goalie I remember the Flames having. Um. Lombardi's really good, as of late. He might not be ready for the toughest minutes yet, but I like his work on the PK, and well, that goal that Nolan set him up for was a beauty. Won't see a better one.

Things I would like to change: Special teams. The PK has been terrible, and that's no secret. One of the key points in yesterday's match were the powerplays (three minors which translated into two overlapping 5-on-3s, essentially) which the Flames enjoyed early in the second period. Shortly after nothing happened there, we got dinged with a penalty and Vancouver never looked back. Uh-oh.

Also, the D. They've just looked awkward this year. I'm not sure whether it's the rotating pairings, but...argh. With a D-corps so supposedly stacked, losing Regehr should not be so glaring a gap.

The big thing is the three (or has it been only two? Sadly, I'm losing count) weeks of squandering divisional games. I think I'd be ok if we lost a pile of games, as long as they were against the Eastern Conference. Remember that at the start of this stretch, the Flames were, in the eyes of many, off to a great start. Not so much anymore. And losing to divisional opponents sucks, and it just sets a bad precedent for the rest of the year.

Anyways, that's enough for now. If you want more, look to MG and Matt for much more (and much more fantastic) detailed analysis of the way things have been.

Look for another divisional tilt tomorrow... I hereby nominate Dave to do the pre-game. And it'll be amazing. Right Dave?


  1. Yeah Leanne Keenan is definitely here for the year. But I have to wonder about some of the players. Something is clearly not working.

  2. It's been part of the frustration of the last couple of years - the team isn't living up to its potential. And we can sit here and dissect it all we want, but who knows what's wrong?

    I think this is where we miss a guy like Ference - not necessarily because of what he does on the ice (though that was improving steadily by the time he left), but because he's so damn smart and personable off the ice.