Sunday, March 27, 2011

Flames Continue to Hold on

We Still Have Life After a roller coaster ride of a game Saturday night versus the Oilers, the Flames find themselves with a weak pulse. I would like to begin by giving Iginla and Staios some props after last night. Both played great and Staios looked like a young offensive defenseman and was rewarded with the game tying goal! Iginla was focused and played with a purpose and you could feel his intensity through the TV screen all game long! I have been greatly disappointed with Regehr and Bouwmeester the past 2 weeks and last night was no different. Bouwmeester had a couple good shifts early on in the game but I felt he digressed as the game went along. I understand Regher and Bouwmeester play a lot of minutes and against top forwards but last night they got worked by AHL’ers. These two need to step up and play big if this team wants any chance of even making it past Wednesday’s game. After going -3 Backlund still received plenty of ice time and almost tied Iginla in time on ice, due to injuries Backlund is getting the extra time and although his effort is certainly there, he needs to make quicker decisions and keep it simple! Now let’s look ahead, Anaheim who look like the “Mighty” Ducks again are playing well and their stars and being stars! Clearly the Ducks belong in the top eight of the West but if the Flames plan to play in the playoffs, they have to knock this surging club off. If the Flames cannot pull out two clean points without giving a point to the Ducks, I believe we can kiss our playoff dreams goodbye. This is “THE” game. I hope the Flames crowd comes to cheer but mostly let’s hope our players come to play. Not sure what this club needs to get motivated and show up but if they can’t on Wednesday than I hope this club gets blown up in the offseason. But for now there is only one thing to say! “GO FLAMES GO”

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Keep cheering!

What Now?

With a three game losing streak in full effect! and both center men Morrison and Moss seriously injured, what happens next? The depth brought in with Carson and Modin in case of injures have not helped, resulting in Ales Kotalik being re-called! Also keep in mind that Backlund has been giving the task to play on the top line while this team attacks a massive task in trying to retain a playoff spot. Needless to say a lot is stacked up against this club!
Even though everything is beginning to look bleak, something tells me it is not over yet and I will say this team will be in the playoff dance! I know, I know… the team has looked bad for the past week and the effort seems to be missing! But I believe in the veteran leadership and the voice of Brent Sutter coming down on the players. Also adding the whole hockey world is back down on this club and we get games against the AVS and Oilers. In all that, I still see playoffs and success!
Like I have said before, the Californian road trip that starts Sunday will decide the faith of this team. So hook up that heart monitor and cheer loud! Even if you think it’s already over…like you’re really not going to watch? In my opinion it is not over yet!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Calgary Flames vs Poenix Coyotes

Calgary Flames vs Winnipeg Jets?

The Flames will play an ultra-important game against the “current” Phoenix Coyotes tonight in Arizona. The Flames are just two points ahead of the Coyotes and have played one more game! After a wild yet exciting 4-3 shootout win over the Dallas Stars the Flames look to get four quick points on the road and head back to Calgary to face the league’s best in the Canucks. We all know how important every game is and tonight is no different, I suspect many Flames fans will be on hand in Phoenix and hopefully the Flames can make them proud and get the two points. Last night’s game in Dallas definitely exposed a weakness, where the “veteran” team coughed up a three goal lead before they woke up again. Hopefully tonight we see a more sturdy Flames team who can seal the deal in regulation and begin to create a small yet important space between them and the 8th/9th place teams in the West!

I have not commented on the two new guys on the squad so I will; With Modin I think we are all well aware what he will bring at his age, a somewhat reliable forward with a big shot, in the three games I have seen him play I think he has had one good one (against the Preds) I guess my question is “couldn’t Conroy provide a similar aspect” Then there is Carson, have we even seen him? I know we have but like Mikkelson, I am not counting on much!
All that matters is two points!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Flames Win 6-0 And My Personal Veiw Of the Dead Line

I was really disappointed in some ways with the outcome at the trade deadline. No, not in the way that most people were. You see, I am of the opinion that the Flames' prospect cupboards are a little empty. I was really hoping that we could have gotten some picks back on the deadline.

Most of my friends consider me a real downer, and say I should have more faith in the Flames. I prefer to think of myself as a realist. The Flames are a playoff contender, and for that I give them credit. There is no way I would have even considered them that in December. The concern I have is that they may not be a cup contender. I am not sure this team can beat the Wings and Sharks, and especially the Canucks.

I wonder if another first round is in the future. If this is in the cards, I wonder if planning for the future would have been the better part of valor. I love the prospects we have, but what really worries me is the lack of picks. Too many times, this team has traded its picks for a kick at the can.

I am really getting tired of the Flames either just falling short of making the play-offs or losing in the first round. I would have loved to see the Flames stop this cycle of madness. The one good thing is that Jay did not trade any high picks, which is an improvement.

Another question that came to my mind is: What is Jay telling us about how he feels about the team? It tells me that he feels this team is capable of making a run. It also makes me think that he wants solidarity in the dressing room; a policy of “united we stand, united we fall,” to give the players the confidence that management is behind them. You never know what that could do in a locker room. A boatload of encouragement might just be the medicine this hockey team needs.

So Jay feels this team is good enough to make a run, which is fine. But hanging on to Glencross is a gamble; we could lose him for nothing. In the market right now, he could very well demand upwards of $4 million a year. Now he wants to stay in Calgary, so hopefully that would mean he might take a discount. The other question mark is Babchuck, who has a bullet shot from the point. How much of a raise will he demand?

So Jay decided to play Russian roulette and keep both players, to see if the Flames play for one more kick at the cat. Ah, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

The Flames made two more deals by simply adding two more players, a young defencemn and a vet at the forward position. The first acquisition was Brett Carson from Carl. A stay-home dman, a solid 6:4 210 no-nonsense defender. I wonder where this puts Brendan Mikkelson in the pecking order? I guess only time will tell.

The last acquisition was the trade which brought Freddy Modin from the Thrashers for a seventh round pick. It pretty much cost the Flames nothing, while putting some pressure on Hagmen and Kostoppoulos by having someone looking over their shoulders. Mostly Hagmen. It will be interesting to see how they respond for the rest of the season.

The game against the Blues started out well, and ended as the Flames had a terrific first period, firing 16 shots. I thought Bishop was very good in the first. They were solid in their own zone, and they continued the pressure. A great steal by Ibby to set up Tans nicely late in the period, to give the Flames a 1-0 lead. It was a very hard-hitting first period, with a playoff atmosphere.

The Blues were very good in the second period, and probably deserved to be tied going into the third. The main problem the Flames had was taking too many penalties. The penalty killing was very solid as Sarich and Regehr were both solid. The Flames were caught at times, but generally pretty solid defensively through 40 minutes. The Flames only allowed 14 shots in the first 40.

The Flames had the best third period of the season as they pounded the Blues for 5 goals in third period. On a sloppy line change by the Blues, Morrison sets up Iggy on a two-on-one breakaway to put it 2-0. The pp, which has really struggled, gets on track with a great deflection by Moss to put it 3-0. Then the Flames get another 3-on-1 as Morrison sets up Iggy for another one-timer. Bishop has no chance, and it is 4-0. The Blues continue to make silly penalties as Sutter rewards Sarich and Regehr on the pp and Roybn rewards him with blast from the point to put it 5-0. Backlund makes a give-away and Hagmen scores on a semi breakaway to put it 6-0.

In the third period, the front line could do no wrong. They were all over the puck. They took advantage of the breaks, scoring on every chance they had. Morrison really might have had his best game of the year, making some beautiful passes to Iggy. I have to mention the save by Kipper off Bergland in the third. It was outstanding. Kipper is in his zone. Final score 6-0.

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.