Thursday, January 19, 2012

GAMEDAY! Flames vs Kings~ Plus More

Flames vs Kings
8:30pm SNET-W & FAN 960
Sutter vs Sutter Round 2

Another crucial game for the Flames, but don’t you worry; Matt Stajan is back!
Flames go into LA after an exciting shootout loss to the Sharks where they played a decent game and had opportunities to win the game. Tonight’s game I expect to be a similar affair; both teams have great goaltending and I am sure it will be on the display again. The challenge for the Flames is getting that offence going. Players like Backlund, Stempniak and Comeau have to get back to creating offence and putting that puck in the net.

When you break down the stats between these two teams it is clear that the Kings are the better defensive team including on the penalty kill. Also LA can win face offs which for another season is an embarrassing stat for the Flames. This was not addressed in the off-season and so far into the season we still don’t have any capable centers who can win a draw consistently.

I expect a high intense style game as these two teams met last week and both clubs know how bad they need the points. With that being said I am nervous for the Flames, who in my opinion lack the skill to go along with the grinding effort.

This and That:
It’s been out there that Feaster has contacted teams about certain centers (Gaustad & Vermette) really this should be no surprise to anyone. The Flames are terrible at face offs and our current group of centers in my opinion are not what we need moving forward. Backlund has been disappointing this year; if a broken pinky in camp affects a player this much and for this long than the doctor that helped him should lose his license. Horak/Byron, have shown exciting moments at times but are not ready for a full year in the NHL at center. Also neither guy will be more than a third line center; also keeping in mind Byron mostly plays on the wing now. Jokinen has been good not great but good, depending on his price tag we might be forced to re-sign him in the off season. Then there is Jones who has been great since he has been here and should solidify a spot on the bottom two lines as a center for years to come.

Feaster has to focus on the center position. Come July 1 there will not be much out there for good center- men, so the trade route might be his only way to improve that position. Gaustad would provide a big presence who can win face offs and hold down the third line. Vermette is a second line center and really we have a lot of those in the mix. But he brings speed and in a new environment can score 20-25 goals.

If next season our centers look like this: Vermette-Backlund-Gaustad-Jones/Horak, I would not be upset. With the UFA class we are not going to get a legitimate #1 center and we do not have the assets to acquire one in a trade. As of right now our centers next year would look like this: Backlund-Stajan-Horak-Jones, good luck in the West with that group.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Flames Panel Who won the Habs vs Flames Trade.

Well, the Habs got a gritty forward in Rene Bourque. If he can keep his head in the game, Rene can score 20-30 goals a season. He has ton of speed and has the potential to be a top 6 forward. His main problem is that he gets lazy and takes silly penalties. But if Rene can keep his head and stay motivated, he can be a very gritty, talented forward. He not a soft player. But he really needs to work hard on a consistent basis.

The Habs get a no-nonsense forward in Patrick Holland. He has the potential to be a solid third-line forward. He is solid skater, who plays pretty well in his defensive zone. He has a good head on his shoulders.

The Flames get their top 6 forward in Cammy. He has scoring ability in buckets. Cammy has really struggled this season, but he had a career year with the Flames in the '08 season. He has a great one-timer, and more importantly, is great playmaker who connects with Iginla. The two were very successful in Calgary.

As for the prospect goaltender, the Flames are realizing that Kipper won’t be here forever and that they need to start to thinking of the future.

So who gets the best of the trade? Well, usually the team that gets the better player wins the trade. So logically, that means the Flames; but let’s not be too hasty here. If Bourque can keep his head, the Habs might not lose too much. The Flames do get the best player and prospect, but the Habs get a higher draft pick. To me, it’s a wash.

So I went to the regular panel and asked them the same question: Who won the Bourque trade? The Habs or Flames?

Mike Walsh:

Here is how I break down the trade:

Cammalleri is better than Bourque
Holland is equal to a 5th round pick
Ramo is equal to a 2nd round pick.

Based on that, the Flames have won the deal.

Rene Bourque is a very good hockey player, when he decides to play, and that has been his problem. He has become unreliable, way too inconsistent and in fact for being a power forward, he rarely drives and attacks the net. Rather, he has been playing on the perimeter and taking shots from the outside. If Bourque can get back to playing as an actual power forward, Montreal has themselves a very good hockey player.

Mike Cammalleri is a one shot sniper, something the Flames have been missing. He had his best season playing alongside Jarome Iginla, and the Flames are clearly hoping that the chemistry is rekindled and sparks the offense.

The other pieces: Patrick Holland is a good prospect, but he is still a project. If he plays in the NHL, in my opinion, he will be a bottom 6 forward in the league. The Flames ultimately get a 5th round pick back, a pick they gave up for Pierre Leblond. Kari Ramo is in his mid 20's, and from everything I have read, has become a much better goalie since going over to the KHL. Now that doesn’t translate to anything at the NHL level, but he adds depth to the organization. Ramo has already stated he would like to come to Calgary, and I don’t know if would be willing to come back over just to end up in the AHL.

Montreal gains a 2nd round pick and from the Flames perspective, they will have ample opportunities to get that pick back through 2 trade deadlines. 2nd round picks tend to be the cost of playoff rentals on deadline day, and the Flames are likely going to be in a position to dump players for those type of picks.


All in all, I think it’s a good deal for both teams. Both Cammalleri and Bourque had worn out their welcomes. Now it’s really about which one will make the bigger impact on their new team, and my money is on Cammalleri. Who won the Cammalleri/Bourque trade?

Great question; mostly because two underachieving teams made a trade that could go either way for either team.

I will say the Flames won this deal but only slightly…for now.

I was one of the loudmouths who wanted Bourque out of town. His selfish play and lack of real emotion had gotten under my skin. Some Habs’ fans will likely say something similar about Cammalleri’s play this year. So in the sense of Bourque for Cammalleri, I would say the Flames won hands down (more star value in Cammalleri). Now in the contract sense, it gets a bit more interesting. As long as Iginla is in Calgary, the Flames will push for the playoffs. Some may call it a pipe dream, but it is reality. Cammalleri is more expensive, with a bigger cap hit, but Bourque’s term is longer. It will depend on how both players end up performing, but I am more at ease having Cammalleri for two more years at $6 million than Bourque at $3.33 million for four more years. So in the end, Cammalleri may attract better quality free agents and convince Iginla to re-up his contract when it ends in just over a season from now.

Where it gets interesting is all the added players/picks (Holland & 2nd rd pick to Montreal, Ramo & 5th rd pick to Calgary). Holland will become a solid character third line player down the road. A second round pick could get another Cammalleri type calibre player if developed properly, or he could be an AHL-lifer type player. Now Ramo, the goalie who is arguably the best goaltender outside of the NHL, could be the successor to Kipper. It is too early to tell, but the argument can be made. I will say if he comes over next year, we could see Irving and or Karlsson flipped for a pick in the near future.

All in all, I feel Calgary got more “guaranteed value”. From what I have heard, Cammalleri is a vocal guy in the dressing room, who brings a spark which the Flames can use. I also feel as though Gauthier made a rush decision to accept this deal and should have been patient (trade deadline) before unloading a guy like Cammalleri.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Why the Flames Won't dealing with the Ducks

All sort of rumours are going around in the NHL about the Calgary Flames. But Feaster is having trouble getting the message across. Feaster does not feel he is being unreasonable, but if you ask the opposing General Managers, they are saying he is not playing nice. So the problem is who do I trust? So I had to go to my special and trusted sources to find out secret dialogue that is not meant for peons like you and I.

First of all, I must inform you that I cannot say this enough -- do not tell anyone. If my sources found out about me going public, I could lose them. So shhhhhhhhhhh, and don't say a word on how you know about this conversation. This is a conversation between Jay Feaster and Bob Murray.

Feaster: So really, is everyone available? Really honest-to-goodness the truth?

Murray: Really. Jay seriously, why are you calling? Like you have anything we have!

Feaster: Oh, I thought you would trade us that player Hagmen.

Murray: Jay, you really need to get a cup of coffee. You put him on waivers, remember?

Feaster: Oh yeah. I do need some of that coffee. I will be right back.

Goes and gets a cup of coffee

Feaster: How about Ryan Getzlaf?

Murray: We\re really not trading him. I just wanted to appease him. Make him think we are doing what he wants. He is not playing nice.

Feaster: How about Bobby Ryan?

Murray: You don't want him.

Feaster: Yeah, I do.

Murray: No you don't, because he has cooties.

Feaster: How about Ryan Perry?

Murray: We are not trading him. He did not want to be left out, so we had to say we are trading him too.

There you have it, a heated discussion. Now you know Bobby Ryan has cooties, and Ryan Getzlaf is not playing nice, and Perry does not want to be left out.

Without my sources, you would of never have known that Murray does not want to trade any of the Ducks players, unless Murray was really just getting rid of Feaster. Is there more to this conspiracy? Maybe no-one wants to deal with Jay, who really is big bully? Don't worry, I will stay on this. So many questions and no answers.


Friday, January 6, 2012


How bad are the Flames in Calgary? Bad enough that the fans have declared a State of Emergency. How bad are things in Calgary? Bad enough to get me to come out of hibernation and write on the comical misfits of the NHL team known as the Calgary Flames; or I affectionately know them, the Keystone Cops.

Seriously, I was pretty much determined never to write again, and most of the people in Calgary think that is a good thing. What finally got me out of hiding is that no team can be this bad without me addressing it. What make me laugh most of all is remembering the words of Jay Feaster saying that the Flames were good enough to make the playoffs. Now I can just hear him saying "I was misquoted," claiming insanity, that he did not know what he was saying, that didn’t even know what he was doing.

Before everyone says it is because of injuries, let me say this: Thbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbtttttttttttt! Get over it. The Flames are just — well, in a word — awful. To the point that it is comical to watch them. Someone needs to tell the Flames' defense to maybe try to pass to their teammates. Of course, it might help if the forwards could try to see if someone is behind then when doiing a back pass. Make sure that someone is there to receive the said back pass. These hints may be very easy to understand, but the Flames don’t seem to understand the basic principal. Yes, Butler was a -7 against the Bruins, but guess what? He was not responsible for all of the goals. Far from it, there were five Keystone Cops with him. Maybe the Flames don’t understand the rules, that the team with the most goals wins. Maybe someone sent a memo on Thursday that the rules have changed.

The forwards seem to think that the puck comes right to them because they want it to. They seem to think that they don’t have to skate hard, because the other team will feel sorry for them. Well actually, the Bruins did feel sorry for them, after they scored nine goals. Irving should have sued his teammates for stupidity. Rumour has it that Kipper was caught trying to escape the arena when Irving was pulled. I do not think he was too excited about coming into that game. Oh, and could someone please take time to explain to Olli that there are more players on the ice than just Iggy. Olli seems to think Iggy can’t live until he scores his 500th goal. He is trying to make sure Iggy gets it at all costs, whether the Flames win or not. So I guess the Flames will lose, until Olli can get Iggy his 500th goal. Hence, Flames 0 and Boston a whole lot more than that. Kipper and Irving are casting lots to see who is in net Saturday. The loser plays and the winner sits on the bench and laughs at him. Irving seem to be winning at this game. Maybe the dice is loaded.

In other news, the Flames have decided that Brent Sutter is not to blame here, thus making it known that the players are totally brainless. For some reason, Feaster is not having much luck trading with any of other teams, who seem to have picked up on the message, and they are not so eager to deal with the Flames.

Which pretty much means we are in a Catch 22. We can keep blaming our players, which is good, then we know who is at fault. The problem is, every other team knows it too, making kind of hard for the Flames to improve the Keystone Cops.

So we now wait to see if Feaster has hired someone yet to hypnotize all the other 30 General Managers in the League. So now we wait, and hope for the best. Ya right — we are doomed.

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.