Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Crap is Crap. What the Heck?

After the incident Monday morning with Hartley leaving practice, someone has to worry that maybe Hartley has lost a little control of the dressing room. Are the inmates running the asylum? If this were the first time, I wouldn't worry, but this is not the first time this has happened. Hence, my alarm, or should I say, concern on this incident.

The Flames have been inconsistent at best. In fact, the Flames have been more awful than good. And this incident really worries me, because a team in shambles should not be doing the crap they displayed on Monday, February 8th.

There is no excuse for this, and I understand why Hartley did what he did. The players have to realize that the season is on the line here. If they continue to play the way they are playing, they may not be able to recover. Which will result in major changes in the offseason. Trust me, it will happen.

Stupid, lazy players are taking off whole periods at a time. Too many times I have said the Flames have to play a full 60 minutes. I, for one, am tired of seeing a very bad powerplay. They have done nothing all season and continue to struggle.

Forwards giving up on plays, floating in defensive zone coverage. Too many breakdowns in their zone. Defense caught standing still while opposing forwards skate around them, and no forwards to back them up.

Then let's talk about the goaltending. Actually, let's not, and pretend we did. At least they have been outstanding since the All-Star break. Unfortunately, it's way too late to save the season. I, for one, wonder why it took them so long to show up.

So you tell me, what gives these players the right to be so happy and pull the stunt they pulled on Monday? This happy-go-lucky attitude may very well mean the end of the Flames. Good on Hartley for doing what he did.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Flames heating up

What has been going in Calgary? The Flames have seemed to have changed their ways. So why the change of fortune? The Flames have been upping their play and suddenly seem to remember how to play.

What exactly has changed in the Flames’ play? I especially noticed a couple of things. The first is that the Defense has started to pitch in. They jump in the play at a moment’s notice. They look like the old Defense of last year. Gio is beginning to show his true colors. He is playing smart, picking the right times to pitch in.

Brodie is the best D-man on the team right now, bar none. By far he is playing the best hockey he has ever played his best hockey as a Flame. He is getting help with Hamilton’s arrival. His obvious problem was adjusting to the system; he has seemed to have adjusted.

Russell and Wideman are still having issues, but they have improved of late. Seems Russell is getting better as his positional play. He is back to blocking his shots.

So what is still needed? Simply put, more supportive scoring from the forwards. Right now it lacks mostly because of the Frolik. The Flames right now have a terrific top line, but they need more scoring from their second line. Which they were having before the Frolik injury. They need Mr. Hudler to be more visible. For some time, we have not even heard his name, he has to be the Hudler from last year.

Plain and simple, we have to somehow get more results from Backlund. He has all the talent. He has to learn to use the skill that he has. He needs to think with the puck and get smarter.

Sam Bennett is one of the best young players in the game. He must get back to where he was when Frolik was healthy. The Flames have to do a trade, or, better yet, find a linemate who can think like Bennett. He is not quite there to run the line; he needs a smart player to go with him.

That means Ferland has to step up his game to add some offence. Right now, he is one of the best pests in the game. He has to start capitalizing on scoring chances. The problem is, he has to get more scoring chances. That means Bennett has to realize he does not have to do everything himself and start trusting Ferland to give him a chance to score.

I have enjoyed watching the defensive coverage is getting better and getting smarter. The forwards are beginning to take responsibility in their zone. They are hitting and playing physical within the limits. Forwards are helping defense. They are finding ways to win and not to lose. I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

The Flames may not look like they’re trying to improve the team. But I cannot express this enough, they are one of the busiest teams in the League. The problem is, there are not enough sellers and too many buyers. That means the sellers are asking for the moon and the buyers are only offering the stairs. It's a game of chicken; the question is: Will the Flames be the first to cluck?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sorting the Facts from Fantasy; and, of course, a Rant

Bottom line: The Flames are really trying to improve the team. The problem is this is real life, not fantasy. What I mean by that is that Flames trades are easier said than done.

Why is nothing getting done? There is one main reason: No one is willing to trade a player for prospects and picks. Simply put, too many teams feel they have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs.

As a result, if you want the million dollar prize, you are going to have to give a million in a half back. This is what is causing the end of any deals. The Flames have pretty much told anyone and every team in the League they are in the market for a top-six forward. Unfortunately, every team has told the Flames they want a top three dman. And the Flames are telling them they do not want one that badly.

Yes, I know they are trying, or else I would not be doing this blog. The Flames are in no hurry to trade Brodie; he is about as close to untouchable you can get. And you can pretty much say that for Hamilton. Although, I could see him gone before Brodie. Okay, now before you go nuts, I am not saying they are trading Dougie. What I am saying is, Brodie is ahead of him on the depth chart.

There is a reason I have not mentioned Gio. He is not drawing much interest with the way he plays. That is not inside info, just an observation. If he starts picking up his play, the Flames may have an asset they can deal. Again, no inside info, just an opinion from a no-name blogger.

As for the other two the Flames defensemen; the Flames would love to trade Wideman. The problem is that teams are seeing him as a one-year wonder. The way he is playing, can we really blame them? As for Russell, the Flames have to make up their minds what they're doing with him.

Amongst the forwards, the main asset is Hudler. Nothing is getting done because Flames cannot get anything close to making it worth their time. As for anyone else; you're kidding, right? The Flames are either not going to get a thing for them, or the player is us untouchable.

There is no way the Flames are giving up Johnny Hockey or Mr. Monahan. Oh, I am sure they could get a stud for Bennett, but I would harm them if they did. The answer could be Backlund, but he is really struggling and won't get the Flames a million dollar prize.

So there is the problem in a nutshell. Right now, it is a game of chicken. So, Brad Treliving, are you feeling a little fowl?
Flames Jambalaya is in no way, shape or form associated with the Calgary Flames Hockey Club or the AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat. This is a fans blog for fans. We just happen to love the Flames, so we write about it.