Monday, January 26, 2015

Flames Report Card

Since we are not going to have too many games, I thought we should sit back and look like what we have. So today it is report card time. Do the Flames make the grade?

I will be grading goalies and defense in this blog.

Goaltending

Jonas Hiller

When Jonas has been on his game, there are very few better.  I remember The Game: the performance of the year was against the Hawks. Hiller covered the angles. His rebounding control was extraordinary. Yet his worst performance was against the Panthers. Let’s face facts; he was terrible. Letting in a few bad goals seemed to rattle him. Hiller has to get more consistent. Grade: B

Karri Ramo

Karri has been a solid team player. He has had his times, including a two-game shutout streak. He has been one of the best back-ups in the NHL. If he can continue to give the Flames a chance every time he plays, the Flames will be in the playoff hunt through the season. Of course the Flames have three goalies at this moment. Rumor has it that he will be here for the whole season. Only time will tell. Grade: B

Defence 

Mark Giordano

Mark has been one of the most outstanding D-men in the League. He kills penalties, he is a great skater, and most of all, he knows his position. He knows his role and what is expected of him. He is a true leader. He is the definition of a leader; he does everything that he expects of his teammates. He is outstanding on and off the ice. Grade: A

TJ Brodie

TJ has been a pleasant surprise. I love his skating ability. He is the perfect partner for Gio. His passing skills would match any defenseman in the League. The only blemish on his record is that at times he pitches in at the wrong time, showing overconfidence. Grade: B+

Deryk Engelland

Deryk has really been struggling this season with his speed. He has to pick it up. He has been caught out of position too many times. But he has has a lot more disciplined than I thought he would be. I just want him to be smarter out there on the blue line. Grade: C

Kris Russell

Kris has been one the best shot-blockers in the League. He does what is expected of him and knows his role. He is a perfect parter for Wideman. He is there most of the time to cover up for Wideman. Grade: B

Dennis Wideman

Dennis is on a career year. He has twelve goals this season. He has been very good, adding to his offensive production. He has been very effective in the offensive zone. I have been very impressed with his defensive zone coverage. He has been better than I thought he would be. His speed still gets him in trouble at times. Grade: B

Ladislav Smid

Smid is a stay-home defencemen. He is very adequate, nothing flashy. You get what is expected of a number five dman. He is a what he is.
Grade: C+

Raphael Diaz 



When the Flames signed Diaz, he was an after-thought. He had a solid preseason, I was not expecting more than a few moments of offense from him. Which is exactly what he has given us. His defensive zone coverage is not great, but he fills a need.  Grade: C

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Flames New Year’s Resolutions



What do the Flames have to do ensure we do not get into another eight-game losing streak?
 
If I was Brad Treliving, my New Year’s Resolutions would be:
 
Defense 
 
We really need another top-three defenseman. That might very well be very difficult to accomplish.These are the defensemen that I think the Flames should pursue.
 
Flyers
 
If the Flyers drop out of the race, there could be a few players to be had.The one I would love to see the Flames acquire is Braydon Coburn. He would be very expensive. But he would really help the Flames in the defensive zone. 
 
Canes
 
I have no doubt the Canes will be sellers at the deadline. They will be looking to unload. They have a few players I would like. One defenseman I would love to see the Flames to acquire is Justin Faulk. He is a stable defenseman who can add offensive scoring. He would a great add.
 
There are more, but those two are the defensemen that I would go after.
 
Other Possibilities
 
I might look at Fedor Tyutin from the Jackets; but I do not think the Jackets will let him go. If the Panthers drop out of the race, I wonder if the Panthers would consider Kulikov. He is a young player who would help the Flames in the back line. The main reason why he is not in my top two is that he is probably not on the table.
 
Offense 

If I was Brad, I would want another top-six forward to add onto the scoring. My two picks here are:
 
Sabers
 
I would start talking to the Sabers about forward Drew Stafford. Even though he is not having a great year, I think he could flourish in a new environment. Drew has been a thirty-goal scorer in the past. If he can return to his earlier days, he might very well be the perfect antidote for the Flames' offense.
 
Coyotes
 
I would ask the availability of Martin Hanzal. I think that Martin would be a perfect second-line center. He is a good, steady center who could help the team with the scoring, and is also solid defensively.
 
Other Possibilities
 
If Hanzal is not available, the Coyotes might very well consider trading Doan or Vermette. As for the Sabers, Stewart is a possible replacement. Another forward I might consider is Jagr out of the Devils.
 
 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Breaking News: Twelve Days of Christmas for the Flames



According to my secret sources (the squirrels), Brian Burke is meeting with some of the players and coaches before the Christmas. They are trying to keep these meeting hush hush, but my sources have special ways to get into the room. Apparently, Brian is meeting with some of his favorites, asking what they want for Christmas. Burke does not want people to know he plays favorites. It is not professional to play favorites. He does not want jealousy to be an issue in the dressing room.
Our sources worked overtime to get this info. The problem is that they do not speak English, so some of this could be lost in translation. I will try my best to get you the full story.
So my squirrels—oh, I mean insiders—said Burke would only answer to ‘my true love’. He is kind of funny that way. 
Burke: So, Sean, what is it do you want for Christmas?
Sean Monahan: Well, Mr. Burke—
Burke: Excuse me? How do you address me?
Sean Monahan: Are you serious? Okay then… my true love, what I want from thee is a Stanley Cup in a pear tree.
Burke: Okay then, get out of my office.
(The squirrels, have informed me Burke is never big on words; he's right to the point.)
Burke: Good afternoon Mark. What would you like for Christmas?
(Mark was kind of cocky. He looked at Burke.)
Mark Giordano: Not to have to call you 'my true love.' 
Burke picked up the phone, and next thing the squirrels saw was McGratton coming in with brass knuckles.
Mark changes his tune: My true love, what I want from thee is two more defensemen and a Stanley Cup in a pear tree.
Burke: Fine, get out of my office.
Burke: Hey, Johnny, what do you want for Christmas? 
Johnny Gaudreau: My true love, what I want from thee is three snipers, two more defensemen, and a Stanley Cup in a pear tree. And of course, not to have to call you ‘my true love.' 
Burke: Do I need to bring in Mr. McGratton?
Johnny ran out before Burke could get an answer from him.
Burke: So, Brian, what do you want for Christmas?
Brian McGratton: (pretending to gag) My true love, what I want from thee is to send four more players to the hospital, three snipers, two defensemen, and a Stanley Cup in a pear tree.
Burke: (sweating) Please leave my office.
Burke: Coach, what do you want for Christmas? 
Coach Hartley: (while making certain finger gestures) My true love, what I want from thee is five golden Stanley Cup rings, four players to hospital, three snipers, two defensemen, and a Stanley Cup in a pear tree.
Burke: Curtis, what do want for Christmas?
Curtis Glencross: I am so delicate, my true love, what I want from thee is six fewer practices, five golden rings, four players to hospital, three snipers, two defensemen, and a Stanley Cup in a pear tree. 
Burke: (trying to find something to throw at him, yells) Get out of my office! Dennis, what do you want for Christmas?
Dennis Widemen: (trying to poke his own eyes out) My true love, what I want from thee is seven more power plays, six less practices, five golden rings, four players to hospital, three snipers, two defensemen, and a Stanley Cup in a pear tree.
Burke: Kris, what do you want for Christmas?
Kris Russell: (choking on his words) My true love, what I want from thee is eight more block shots, seven power plays, six less practices, five golden rings, four players to hospital, three snipers, two defensemen, and a Stanley Cup in a pear tree.
Burke: Fine, get out of my office. Markus what do you want for Christmas?
Markus Granlund: (turning blue, holding his breath) My true love, what I want from thee is nine minutes playing time, eight block shots, seven power plays, six less practices, five golden rings, four players to hospital, three snipers, two defensemen, and a Stanley Cup in a pear tree.
Burke: Fine, get out of my office. Juri, what do you want for Christmas?
Juri Hudler: (while covering his ears) My true love, what I want from thee is ten more Johnny Hockeys, nine minutes playing, eight block shots, seven power plays, six less practices, five golden rings, four players to hospital, three snipers, two defensemen, and a Stanley Cup in a pear tree.
Burke: Get out of my office. What do you want for Christmas Lance?
Lance Bouma: (crying for being made to say the words) My true love, what I want from thee is eleven more body checks, ten Johnny Hockeys, nine minutes playing, eight block shots, seven power plays, six less practices, five golden rings, four players to hospital, three snipers, two defensemen, and a Stanley Cup in a pear tree.
Burke: Get out of my office. Jonas, what do you want for Christmas?
Jonas Hiller: (drinking lots of alcohol) My true love, what I want from thee is twelve more shutouts, eleven body checks, ten Johnny Hockeys, nine minutes playing, eight block shots, seven power plays, six less practices, five golden rings, four players to hospital, three snipers, two defensemen, and a Stanley Cup in a pear tree.
Burke: Get out of my office.
My wish to you is to have a safe, Merry Christmas!
 
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.