Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rumour are Just Rumours.

Trying to figure out which rumours are true and which aren't can be rather frustrating. What I am referring to is all of the Rene Bourque rumours. There have been many guesses of many teams, ranging from Boston to Columbus or Montreal.
I have heard two in particular about the Blue Jackets. First let's discuss the names. The main one I have heard is Antoine Vermette and a second round pick. We all know that rumours are there just that. The other name is Derick Brassard, but this is mostly just speculation, which does make sense. Derick is a gifted young centre with tons of potential.

Then there is the rumour of the Boston Bruins. No names mentioned. It has to make you wonder what the possibilities are. I wonder about having Brad Marchand, but this is just speculation.

As you know, rumours are just rumours. Like I said, I have heard it all -- from Bourque going anywhere to Bourque going nowhere. There are very few people I trust, but the ones I do trust, I report. They of course always warn me that it might not happen. But when I get told enough of one team talking with the Flames; where there is smoke, there is usually fire. I have been told enough times that the Jackets are talking to the Flames. Who is going? Only time will tell.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

GAME DAY! Flames vs Avalanche

Flames vs Avalanche

8pm @ Scotiabank Saddledome

SNET-CGY & SN960theFan

Tonight we get to see if the Flames can hand the Avalanche their first road loss of the season. With a road record of 6-0-0 and being a +6 in goal differential the Avs are feeling good!

The Flames on the other hand have had a couple good performances but have very little to show for it in points and goals. Glencross one of our better players to date players is a game time decision; but look for him not to play and see Hagman draw back in. Another guy we could see back in the line-up is Babchuk.

The hard shooting blue liner has seen very little game action this year. I know many people feel he is a bad signing but in my opinion he just has not been used properly. Anton is a #6 defence man with a good shot for the power play. At times last year he showed that he can be an above average d-man in his own zone, but you can’t rely on him for that. Give Babchuk his 12 minutes of ice time and let him blast bombs on the power play. I know that is all he is good for so I am not sure why the team and fans are so upset and expect so much more?

If you think the rumours are running rampant now; let us hope the Flames don’t lose tonight! If that is the case expect the rumours to climb to a new high starting tomorrow. With Feaster stating that he will not wait to make changes and other teams looking to shake things up (Columbus, WPG & Montreal just to name a few).

What is my take? Simple if Feaster can make the team better for this year, he will do so. Feaster and the Flames brass are committed to making the playoffs this year. With around 20 million coming off the books come July 1st, Feaster will review and re-structure the team then. But for now he wants to win and find players who can help this team today. That is why Bourque has not been moved; a lot of rumours around him and teams have made offers but Feaster will only move him if he gets real quality in return which does not hurt the Flames. Bourque has been average at best and his puck possession stats are bad so maybe a scenery change is what is needed for him. Also Brodie’s value is high and Feaster may look add him if a deal makes sense.

On the Turris front: Again more speculation that CGY has made an offer to Phoenix, but what does Calgary have that would seriously interest Phoenix? Phoenix won’t sell Turris for cheap and Phoenix can’t add more salary.

Flames lack intensity and drive, the team needs a real fourth line that does some dirty work and grinds out some tough minutes. Although I like Jackman, having this slow fourth line with a floater as your center will not get the job done.

I expect a Flames win tonight!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Blow this up.

With all of the rumblings, the Calgary Flames pretty much have to move. The team is underachieving in all categories, especially in offensive goals. The offence has gone barren, and basically Kipper and the Tower have to be almost perfect every night.

Jay has told the media and the fans that he will not stand idle during this slump, and his cards may be forced right now. The problem is that the cards he has right now are not so good. Most of the Flames assets are not for sale.

The biggest asset that seems to be available right now is Bourque. The main problem is what the Flames can get for him. Some of the players I would like the Flames to acquire are on the Rangers, Canadiens, Wings, and Leafs. This is just a collection of players who I think would be good acquisitions.


I would love the Flames to pry Bozak away from the Leafs. He is a smooth-skating center who has great puck-handling skills. He just might be the man who can get Iggy and Tangs the puck.


One word: Dabinsky. He is a terrific young player, who is not too expensive yet, who has lots and lots of talent. I also like his versatility; being able to be shuffled between centre and left wing. I am sure the price will be steep.


With all the injuries they have, they really don't make a good trading partner. They pretty much need the same things as the Flames. But in a fantasy world, I would love to grab Tomas Plekanec. The problem is the cap hit, and he is probably the Habs' best player right now. A more logical name would be Max Pacioretty, although he is not a centre.


The one player that comes to mind with the Wings is Jiri Hudler. I think Jiri is a skilled player who could excel with the Flames especially. He would be given a better chance to succeed, with his ice time probably being doubled. But I doubt the Wings would let him go.

There you have it: the players this blogger would love to pick up. There are more options to trade with JBO. The problem with him is his cap hit, being slightly over $6.5 million. Teams are going to have to send back cap with this trade, and the Flames may have to entice them by offering a little more. The Bourque option seems a little more feasible because of his contract. It is a lot easier to move $3.6 mil than $6.67 mil.

Yes, I feel Jay really needs to shake up this team right now. The Flames cannot afford to fall behind so early. There are too many players taking the night off. Iggy is struggling, and the team has no one else picking it up. Even Glencross was struggling. Olli right now is the best forward, and really could use some help.

On the defence side, they need to get the puck to the forwards more quickly. There also seem to be too many giveaways in our own zone at the wrong time. Although there is never a good time to do a giveaway. They have to be smarter with the puck, and the forwards will have to help the defence by giving them clear targets.

They have to be more organized in their own zone. There are too many times where the are caught running around in the defensive zone. The team has to remember their assignments and stick to them. Jaybo and Gio have pitch in at the right time, and not get caught giving away too many 2-on-1 chances on the other end.

Chances are needed. Only time will tell what Feaster has in mind.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flames vs Rangers

Flames vs Rangers

Two guys who didn’t want to sign here come to the Dome tonight.

Jay Feaster went after Brad Richards hard and we know he offered him the most money. But at the end of the day Richards chose John Tortorella over playing with Iginla. Although he would have been a nice addition and Iginla would have had his number one center for the first time, fans are not as upset about that decision as the Tim Erixon one.

Erixon a former Calgary Flames first round draft pick made a scene that not many will forget. Refusing to sign and making the Flames brass fly out to New York to meet with his agent hours before the deadline. If he did not sign he would go back in to the draft and the Flames would be left with nothing. So Feaster pulled the trigger with a very adamant New York Rangers team who Tim’s dad once played for. The Rangers interestingly enough were able to sign him quick; in return the Flames got two second round picks (Granlund & Wotherspoon) and forward Roman Horak. Looking back at the fiasco maybe this didn’t turn out so bad. With that move, yes we lost a highly touted prospect but gained three possible futures NHL’ers and filling our prospect cupboard a bit.

Now we know the reason why he wouldn’t sign here; Tim Erixon felt he had no chance to make the Flames squad as there were too many d-men. Ironically he was originally cut by the Rangers but with injuries he was called back up and will find himself back in Calgary with his new team.

The Rangers come in off a convincing 4-0 win over Vancouver, not an easy task to do. That however was their first win of the year, after four games they come in here with four points in the bank and will look to continue adding to that.

Flames also come off of a win in Calgary in Tuesday where they downed the Edmonton Oilers. The Flames will have to be better if they want to knock off the New York Rangers. NY clearly has more offensive power than Edmonton and has a goaltender who can steal some wins for them. The Flames will have to be structured and capitalize on their chances, while maintaining good defensive pressure on the likes of Gaborik and Richards.

The game starts at 7:30pm and I am sure we will hear some boo`s for Erixon. For the Flames projected lines for tonight’s game; please follow @flamesjambalaya and we will get you those as soon as we know.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Flames vs Oilers ROUND 1

Flames vs Oilers

Round 1

Well here we have it, the first meeting of the year between the Alberta rivals. One team is full of hope and youthful excitement. While the other one needs to find their game fast at the start of this six game home stand.

I expect a fast start; Calgary will want to jump on the Oilers who played last night. But with all the youth and it being the battle of Alberta I expect the Oilers to match that excitement. Expect a scrap early, Eager will want to make his presence felt and some are suggesting Leblond will be dressed for the Flames. So expect an early brawl if that is the case, another player to watch is Glencross; always comes to play against his former team and he has been good this year.

Jokinen will have to play against the RNH-Eberle-Hall line. I will watch this closely but in my opinion looking at the match ups, the Oilers should stand little chance against the Flames five on five. Now we all know that means the Flames would have to play to their potential and play a full 60 minutes. Let us hope we don’t see a repeat of the first BOA of last year.

Another return we could see is Brendan Morrison, the veteran center seems ready to go. And if the #1 line struggles early you could see BMo jump in and replace Moss on the first line alongside Iginla and Tanguay. Although having a rusty Morrison centering the not 100% Iginla may not be the best choice.

I can’t wait for the game and a good one it should be, many Oilers fans will mix in the C of red.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

This and that

There has to be a huge sigh of relief as the Flames defeat the Habs 4-1.  After the first two games, I was already hearing “get rid of Moss”, “what is wrong with Kipper” chants, and of course, “we need a first line centre”.  What am I hearing now? “Moss is awesome”, “Kipper is back”, and of course, “who needs a centre”.  

Ah, the life of a finicky fan. But as fans, they are allowed to be. The Flames are the best, and at times, the worst in the League.

Talking about a centre, there of course have been huge rumours on every site  on the internet that the Flames are going after Kyle Turris from the Coyotes.  I am not so sure that is the way to go. Yes, he has a lot of potential, but if the Flames were to go after a centre, I would rather grab a more established one.

Let's talk about the defence. They still have trouble with the speed of the forwards. The forwards must come back and help the defence.  In order for the Flames to be successful this season, they have to be very good in their own zone.

You have to be excited with Bourque's play right now, as the sniper is getting hot.   The first line might have had their best game, led by Tangs, who continues to maybe be our best playmaker on the team right now.

Can I brag up Stajan for a minute? Everyone has been really hard on him, and rightfully so. But against the Habs, he had his best game of the year, playing with tons of grit.  Especially on Bourque's 2nd and the Flames' 4th goal of the night. Matt showed lots of hustle to get the goal.

And of course congrats to Kipper for his 263rd victory tonight.

Buttler is improving; he is still getting his playing time. I am sure he will be a solid dman, but it will take some time. Hannan is playing pretty well with Gio. He might not as sound as Regehr, but he is still a solid replacement.  Hannan seems to be a good fit with Gio covering him when he sneaks in..

I must admit I was confused at all the hate of Jbo of late with Flames fans.  He is not the rushing dman that he was with the Panthers, but he is still capable of playing top minutes. I get it; his cap hit is not exactly cap friendly, but nonetheless, he is still playing some pretty good hockey in his own zone. The only real problem I have with him is his soft play at times.

I have to make a comment on the Horak play. He is really playing with a lot of guts for a rookie. He is playing with tons of heart, and is a great faceoff man. Good on him.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Two Games in

Two games in to the season and two bad performances by the Flames. Defensive breakdowns and lack of offensive pressure has many fans wondering if we are in for a long hard year.

A lot of optimism was around the club to start the year and the attitude of “every game matters” was adopted by the team. So why the slow start? You can point finger at particular players, coaches and even the 10 days off during the pre-season. I will say it is a mixture of all three;

You have asked Butler an inexperienced player to be part of the team’s top pairing, to shut down the opposition best players and allow Bouwmeester to score 15 goals. Simple task isn’t it?

Game one to Kipper, game two to Karlsson, game three to Kipper and we will see about game four “Brent Sutter”. Is that the best way to get your goaltenders in rhythm? I get we want to play Kiprusoff less but let the guy establish his game before pulling him back.

Iginla, bad first game but that was expected, game two he was a little bit better. I expect as the next few games roll along that we will see a better Jarome. I am not sure the Moss experience 2.0 on the #1 line is working. Who would you put there until Backlund gets back? Stajan…really?

Glencross has been dynamic and besides a bad penalty he has shown he was ready for the year. Wish I could say the same for Bourque but I can’t. Sure he has a goal but his floating “not using his body” game continues. The reason this team has so few shots on goal is because players like him and Tanguay are trying to be a little too fancy.

I do believe it will get better but for some players I don’t think it will. It is only two games and there is a long season ahead, but when you write “every game matters” everywhere, the microscope will be out.

Answering some questions:

-Will we see Turris in a Flames jersey? Perhaps, some rumours floating around and Eliotte Friedman said in a blog that Calgary is interested. My take is unless a reasonable contract is signed and Phoenix lowers their asking price for possible return; you will not see Turris here this year.

-When will Brendan Morrison suit up for his first game of the year? Hopefully soon, he joined the team on this current road trip and is close to being ready. Maybe we see him in Montreal but if I had to pick one of the two games I would say Toronto on Saturday, although that is very unlikely too, pending how the team plays in Montreal.

-Should the Flames claim Nystrom at half price? No, that is my answer but I know many people feel they should. I just would be shocked if Feaster does make that move but his work ethic would be welcomes.


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.