Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Go Time

I love this time of year, though I've forgotten how miserable playoffs combined with school can be.

I haven't done a preview for this series, and I'm almost debating whether I should. San Jose I just know as the team of fantasy playoff heartbreakers. I've drafted a couple of guys from there this year, and with the exception of a late-season addition of Brian Campbell to a team in a league where I had no chance of winning, it's been ugly.

In a lot of ways, I see San Jose post-lockout as having made changes in ways we probably should have made changes. They've gotten rid of a lot of deadweight and guys who've gotten older and less useful (hi, Wayne Primeau), and replaced them with lots of youth. Oh. And some guy named Joe Thornoton?

The conventional wisdom has been that there's no point in looking at our head to head record versus the Sharks prior to the trade deadline, since they got Brian Campbell after that and apparently that's made all the difference. I rather disagree with this - they're still playing the same system, after all, and they're 95% the same team. While they're arguably a much more effective team now, I think we need to look at mistakes we made in these games and clean those up. Nothing too earth shattering:

Keep the Sharks' shots down: In a good majority of games this season, the Sharks badly outshot the Flames. More shots => more goals. More goals bad. We need Sarich to be back to the form he was in earlier this season, Eriksson to spend as little time on the ice as possible, and the other guys to be a bit smarter. Overall, I think I'd like to see the forwards committing a bit more to defense than has been their wont this year. They've done that a couple of times this year, and it's resulted in fantastic results on the scoresheet.
Inconsistency: This one's been done to death. I think we need to remember that as drunken-sailor-wandering-all-over-the-map as we've been, we're not the only team to suffer so. Looking back at the year that was, I see I've called San Jose inconsistent any number of times.
Special teams: We need to minimize activiation of these. Dead simple. Theirs have been better than ours.
Role players: I'm beginning to believe the main battle in this series won't be Iginla vs Thornton, or Kiprusoff vs Nabokov. It'll be Lombardi, Nilson, Boyd, Aucoin against Mitchell, Carle, etc, etc.

Anyways! I'm totally in the mood for playoffs! As I seem to often do near times when we're set to play the Sharks, I had the chance to catch the Hitmen in action last night, and they squeezed out a win for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against my relatives' Swift Current Broncos. And guys, it was a hell of a game! It was also the longest game in Hitmen franchise history, not even bothering to count the twenty minutes spent replacing broken glass). We should be so lucky if any of the Flames' playoff games are this effin' good.



  1. Joe Thornton? Never heard of him.

    I understand, I feel like I'm so behind because I have to focus so much of my time and energy on school.

  2. To be fair, I think the last time I was in school and the Flames were in the playoffs was high school at least... never happened while I was an undergrad, I'm pretty sure.