My Thoughts.....Maybe too positive??
Few days away from Christmas and the question I hold is “do I save money for play-off tickets, or do I go ahead and spend that money on gifts for the family?”
On this Sunday, I am going to take some time and answer some questions and share my opinion.
Are we bound not to make the play offs this year? Well with 98 points still left up for grabs and let us say we need 95 points to make the 8th seed. The Flames will need 64 points out of the possible 98 which means 65.3% win hockey is needed from here on out. So yes it looks bleak, and unless our home ice play and consistency improves, we will be talking about possible trades involving guys like: Regehr, Iginla, Glencross and Hagman come February, along with watching Nugent-Hopkins closely in Red Deer.
Who will not be wearing a Flames jersey off of the current roster after the trade deadline? Again this depends on where the team is positioned in the standings but even if we are out of the playoff picture, I do not think Daryl (or the new GM) will be able to move many bodies. And instead he will try to re-tool in the offseason. Still I have a tough time seeing Glencross not being dealt. When Kostopoulos came over in the Ian White deal, I felt Glencross was expendable and with his contract status come deadline day I can see a few teams making the call and presenting an offer. Another player is Adam Pardy; I really like his play this season. But with all the youth coming up on defence and his contract expiring at season’s end, he could draw some interest by a team who is in a good playoff position and is not comfortable with what they have in the farm. Realistically, if you are looking for major deals this team in my opinion will not be involved, straight due to contracts statuses. And yes I still think Iginla will be wearing red!
Should we just tank it and go for 1st overall pick? No! Absolutely not, where is the pride in that? As long as Jarome is on this team and the captain, this team will always try to move north in the standings! I know some media folk are insisting the Flames should blow it up and blow it up now. But in the past, teams in worse positions have made the playoffs. Now I am not saying the Flames will but why not try? What does this team have to lose… 1st overall pick?? That’s for the yearly embarrassment of the league and I will gladly let the Islanders or Edmonton take that, maybe even Toronto… although Boston will be the real winner in that scenario! The upcoming draft will be a deep draft though there is no real player that can change an NHL team by next season. There are still plenty of good prospects all over the first round. Second is we can’t blow this team apart, who will take Jokinen, Kotalik, Staios and or Stajan? I think the Flames need to play it out and hopefully make the playoffs. And if they do not make the playoffs you cannot make any progress until the offseason unless you are on the side of the people who want Iginla dealt.
Is our age and lack of star youth to blame for this potential horrendous season? Sure it is; our veterans have not been good or consistent! Now with the lack of “star” youth that is due to not drafting high and making trades in the past to become a Stanley cup contender (which I will not hold against this team). But viewing this from a positive angle, I now am glad we have these veteran players. Because if this team is to get out of this funk and perhaps make a push you need vets and experienced smart players, rather than inexperienced youth.
I guess I might still be in the “win now” phase and holding on to our last gasps of hope, but I do not think this season is over yet and I do see it getting better. Our play of late has been good, analysts like Pierre McGuire said the Flames needed to win 6 straight game against these weak opponents such as the Wild and Jackets, otherwise this team is done. Now I know we lost to the Wild last night and that snapped that opportunity, but winning 6 straight games in this league is tough and borderline unrealistic! And I also think it is too early for the Flames to be “done” if they lose a game… although maybe it isn’t…?
We have 5 games left this year and in no way do I think it is unreasonable to think we can get 7-8 points still before the year is up. That could have us start the season perhaps only 4 points out of a playoff spot!
I still have hope but do you? Let us know!