Calgary Flames

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Bloodied and Beaten

What a start to the 2010-11 National Hockey League season for the Calgary Flames. They looked fast, they looked hungry, and their power play was really clicking. Oh, no wait, that was the Edmonton Oilers. Damn. I don’t really know where to begin. How do you describe such a pathetic effort? How do you wait five and a half months to redeem yourself for a disappointing season with an effort like that? New season, but the Flames are still the same. They couldn’t score. The power play was heinously unorganized for a majority of the game. They were beat in almost every footrace that was up for grabs. And, to make it more insulting, the Flames "tough guy" was knocked the F$%K out...

The Ultimate Question

Will the Calgary Flames make the playoffs? That seems to be the question I hear more than any other when I watch TSN, Sportsnet, TheScore, or drop in on conversations at the local watering hole. So, will they? Well it’s a little more complicated than that. It involves beating out seven other teams in a very, very competitive Western Conference. I could go through every team and tell you what’s good and what’s bad about each and every team and why the Oilers will fail because they are still one year away and how the Kings might be the team to watch this year because Kopitar, Doughty, Johnson, and Bernier/Quick in net make up the next coming of the Blackhawks. These are t...

This and That and Morrison

With the regular season on our doorstep my goal of profiling every single player on the Flames roster came up a little short. But with that being said I will run down, quickly, those players I missed and share my thoughts on the signing of Brendan Morrison. The Rest of the Healthy Forward Core: Bourque, Glencross, Conroy, and Meyer Bourque is coming off a career year and has looked great in camp. I liked the line combination of him Hagman and Backlund but it looks as if the newcomer BM will take Backlund’s spot up the middle. I’m not extremely pleased with this, but I will get to that later. As for Bourque, he is the key to the ‘secondary scoring’ for the Flames. With Staj...

For the 'what ifs' in life

“You may say that I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.”- John Lennon What if... What if the Flames won the Stanley Cup this year? What if the Flames don’t make the playoffs this year? What if Darryl Sutter doesn’t make it through the season? What if Iginla scores 50 again? What if Olli scores 40? What if Olli scores 10? What if Tanguay has 50 assists this year? What if Kipper wins the vezina? What if Kipper got hurt? What if Calgary skipped over the Keenan era? What if the lockout never happened? What if the lockout never ended? What if the Gelinas goal actually counted? What if Turek never got hurt? What if the Flames nev...

Olli Jokinen: Here we go again

With the news that Olli Jokinen has suffered a minor injury in last night’s pre-season tilt with the Phoenix Coyotes, I thought it was time to look deeper into the man they call the Joker. If you read my column, and I believe there is maybe one person out there who does (Hi Dad!), you know I have never, how can I best put it, enjoyed having Olli Jokinen troll the ice wearing the Flaming C. When he was traded in the fire sale last season, I was elated, even if the Flames received two NHL wash-outs in return. But to understand the situation in its present state, let us go back to the beginning when the Flames initially traded for Olli. Upon his arrival in Calgary Jokinen blossomed...

Flames in Net

The goaltending position in Calgary has never been a worry for the past half decade, and considering Flames fans tend to worry about pretty much everything else, it’s nice to have one less thing. This season, Calgary looks to have its strongest tandem to date in between the pipes with Miikka Kiprusoff and newcomer Henrik Karlsson manning the 4X6. Kipper for his part, was the lone bright spot and hands down MVP of the Calgary Flames last season. Was he smoking a new kind of weed? No one really knows. Regardless of what dope he may or may not be into, Miikka Kiprusoff is a world class goaltender that deserved a better fate last season. His numbers last year speak for themselves. H...

Niklas Hagman: A Good Fit

Coming over in “The Trade” from the Toronto in late January of last season, Niklas Hagman was considered to be the most highly skilled player that took the westbound trip to Calgary. A six foot tall, quick, Finnish forward with loads of unused potential was bound to help the Calgary offence going forward. The following 27 games didn’t exactly yield the projected returns that so many fans had hoped for; only five goals and six assists. Is it tough for new players to fit into a new team mid-season? Of course it is, and that’s why I’m willing to cut Hagman a bit of slack for the end of last season. Face it, nobody in a Flames jersey outside of Kiprusoff, had a March to rem...

Mikael Backlund: The Time is Now

Answer: Trevor Kidd, Niklas Sunblad, Cory Stillman, Jesper Mattsson, Chris Dingman, Denis Gauthier, Derek Morris, Daniel Tkaczuk, Rico Fata, Oleg Saprykin, Brent Krahn, Chuck Kobasew, Eric Nystrom, Dion Phaneuf, Kris Chucko, Matt Pelech, Leland Irving, Mikael Backlund, Greg Nemisz, and Tim Erixon. Question: Name the Calgary Flames first round picks for the last 20 years. Not many gems on that list are there? The Flames drafting history has read like a who’s who of overrated fringe players for the better part of two decades. Most likely, casual Flames fans have never heard of Mattson or Sunblad, and why should they, Sunblad played all of two career NHL games, while Mattsson never...

Alex Tanguay: Back in the Saddle

Brought back from the depths of darkness, Alex Tanguay is back in a city he loves and playing with a player, Jarome Iginla, which he dearly missed. Tanguay spent the last year wallowing away in Tampa Bay, getting ever so slowly pushed out of the team picture. By the time the season ended, it was clear that Tanguay did not want to be in Tampa, and Tampa did not want any part of Alex Tanguay. And so, on July 1st 2010, Alex responded to a call from his former boss Darryl Sutter and signed on the dotted line. He was excited to come back to a place he knew and place that loved hockey. He self-admitted last year that “hockey was no longer fun” and he wasn’t enjoying himself in Tam...

Goons "R" Us

Raitis Ivanans and Tim Jackman. When Sutter made these signings I couldn’t help but scratch my head. Jackman is 6’4” and 210lbs. Ivanans is 6’4” and 240-256 lbs, depending on which website you look at. Jackman had 98 PIM, 4 goals, and 5 assists last year in 54 games, while Ivanans had 136 PIM, 0 goals, and 0 assists in 61 games last season. Both were signed to one-way contracts; Ivanans received $600,000 and Jackman is making $550,000. Ivanans has played in every single league imaginable on his way into the NHL; The MetJHL, UHL, CHL, ECHL, AHL, UHL, ECHL x2, UHL again, AHL again, back to the UHL, and then finally landing in Los Angeles with the Kings. His p...