Thursday, December 30, 2010

my thoughts on feaster: stepping back

i don't have any formed opinions on flames "acting" gm jay feaster's CV and how it reflects upon the future of my favorite hockey team. i understand that his draft history is spotty except for some obvious slam dunks (who would surely have been selected by any literate human), and i'm aware that he's made some godawful trades. i know that he won a cup but wasn't really responsible for assembling the important winning players, and i know that he spent a long time managing a very successful AHL club. extrapolating these facts to how he's going to handle eleven no trade/no movement clauses, a boatload of lengthy contracts (some overpaid), an aging player corps, and a shallow pool of prospects seems pointless to me, at present. especially since he's not the guy in charge. he's the INTERIM guy in charge....

what i DID come to today, in my semi-hungover haze (after a pretty serious night of booze and laughs ---btw: fun times if you're reading this, teetotaling pals) is this:

it makes no sense that the org would sack darryl ---a guy who's been on his way out for eons--- without a backup plan in place. if feaster was brought in by the owners to replace darryl, then he would have been given the GM title on tuesday, non ? i mean, why keep the guy in indefinite GM limbo when he's already been walking the halls of the 'dome for five months ?? like.... what's the point in that ??

here's my take: feaster was brought in to oversee darryl, and to assure that he didn't make any rash/imbecilic moves before he was ushered out the door. feaster wasn't handed the title of GM outright because the org has earmarked someone else (who needs to concede his current position with another club before joining the flaming C's).

i came to this theory because i just can't get past why the executive/owners wouldn't hand feaster the reins entirely, unless there's something else at play, here. i can't comprehend the value in making the man plead his case a month after darryl's dismissal when he's been exposed to the team, it's players, and inner workings since the summer.... wouldn't his opinion on the club's desired direction have been made quite clear to the ownership by now, ESPECIALLY if they were the ones to bring him in ??!

methinks yes.
i guess we'll see....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

my thoughts on darryl's tenure, point form:

GENIUS darryl sutter moves:
- picking up kippy for a 2nd round pick (2004)
- picking up rene bourque for a 2nd round pick (2008)
- langkow for saprykin & gauthier
- turning an unhappy tanguay into mike cammalleri at the '08 draft
- letting theoren fleury play the '09 preseason ;)
- wearing the road tie

good darryl sutter moves:
- huselius for montador/johner
- re-signing gio
- leopold for ryan wilson/nycholat/2nd (albeit overpaying) cause we needed D badly
- seducing jaybouw (albeit overpaying)/trading leopold for his rights
- bringing in noodles as goalie coach/scout

bad darryl sutter moves:
- ference/kobasew for stuart/primeau
- jokinen/prust for kotalik/higgins
- 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 drafts (04/08/09 are actually not THAT bad, and selecting dion in 03 was like shooting fish in a barrell)
- letting huselius, cammalleri, and bertuzzi walk without actively replacing them with goalscorers
- telling mickis he should buy a house in calgary [regime change = buhbye, baby backlund...]
- building a team where 11 players have no trade/no movement clauses
- leaving the bench

REPREHENSIBLE darryl sutter moves:
- signing ference to a longterm "hometown discount" contract then trading him six months later
- re-upping primeau for 2 years at 1.4 mil per
- making ference pull his bags off the bus and leaving him at the rink in buffalo
- making jokinen and prust play v.philly after the kotalik/higgins deal had been leaked
- refusing giordano a one-way deal, signing anders eriksson 2 days later
- signing anders eriksson
- jokinen/3rd for lombo/prust/1st
- jokinen for 2 years at 3 mil per with a NTC
- andrei zyuzin
- cheaping ian white out of $5 so as to not sign him a 3 million dollar contract
- staios for johnson/3rd
- buying out a good-value contract in nigel dawes (15 goals, $850,000)
- signing raitis ivanans (1 game, 1.2 mil)
- not promoting rookies (dion/pardy notwithstanding)
- trading keith aulie
- not shopping dion phaneuf to all 29 teams

the move that should have led to darryl sutter's immediate dismissal (and didn't):
- miscalculating the cap (subbing jokinen's 5 mil for lombo's 1.8, leaving scarce room for injury replacement players), and being forced to ice a short bench to end the 08/09 season thereby falling out of first in the NW and thus facing (and losing to) chicago in the first round

am i missing anything ?

mikeH reminds me about the sutter(s) dismissal countdown, which started here on march 4, 2010 (but was alluded to here ---a harbinger of today's 'resignation'). tap out at day 299. booyah....


so long, dazza. thanks for the jokinens....

"darryl stepped down because i asked him to."
--ken king, 12/28/10

....uhhhh.... then it's not really "stepping down," is it ?

just sayin'.

[ten minutes into this presser, and i'm already kindof missing the smugness and 'quite honestly's.... ken king is a yawn]

Monday, December 27, 2010

Why Mikael Backlund will sit in the press box all season

I haven't been around these parts much for a couple of reasons. First, our team is losing. This makes it tough for me to get up any motivation to write. Second, I am dwelling in a pit filled with hate. Most of this is directed at Darryl and is probably justified, but I'd rather not pollute the Flames world with more calls to fire the GM. Well, "rather not" ends today.

In Sunday's paper there was a "feel good" story about Mikael Backlund, going on about how Mickis had his whole family in town for Christmas. I'm happy that the young swede was able to chow down on his mom's home cooking surrounded by his loved ones, but one part of the article left me fuming:

"Told to buy his own place this year, he moved into a new home in December..."

Really? Someone told Mickis to set down roots? To my eyes, this means that, realistically, no matter what happens, he is not going back to Abbotsford. You can't tell a player on an entry level deal to buy a home, incur the debt obligation, and then ship him back to the minors to slum it out in some rental condo with four teammates. Daz basically upgraded him to a one way deal with 6 words: “Go ahead, kid, buy a house.” And the blame HAS to be placed on the GM, adding another bullet point to the long list of Darryl mis-steps. All the NMC/NTC deals. The brain dead contract extensions. The bad trades. Picking up Olli Jokinen. Twice.

I can hardly type my hands are shaking so hard, and I hope to get through this piece without throwing my computer across the room. Backlund could be getting solid development minutes, while making $65,000 a year (capgeek), with no cap hit, but instead he's wearing a suit, munching popcorn, and warming a chair in the press box. What a total waste. Maybe up in the rafters of the 'dome is where Daz envisioned Staios' leadership making a difference.

So this is me begging now: Please fire Darryl. As soon as we possibly can. Every day that goes by he finds a way to push the team further from success. Some people have suggested that since we are already hogtied for the next season (because of Darryl), that there is no advantage to destabilizing the management at this point. I think this example with Backlund proves that an early intervention is required.

End venting session. That felt good, but it will feel better when we see some progress. And you know I'm still a fan...

Go Flames!

Friday, December 24, 2010

merry xmas !!!

sending all the best of holiday wishes to everyone out there.....

much love,


stats on blogger meetups

there have been a lot of nerdy blogger meet ups, and there have been a lot of losses... it's taken me the better part of the morning surfing the vaults and archives of hitthepost, openicehits, fiveholefanatics, completelyhammered, flamesblog, and (blast from the past) doubledion to try and nail down exactly which games coincided with blogger meet-ups and whether or not the flames did, infact, give away the two points.

the very first flames blogosphere hangout night was in toronto at shoeless joe's. it would've been sometime late in 06 and i'm quite confident it finished in a loss. that was me, duncan, hockeygirl, leanne, randy (stealthunder) from C.H, and my buddy ian. i know there's a photo of this in existance somewhere. maybe someone can point me to it....

there was a repeat of that event april 7, 2007 at the wheatsheaf in toronto with the same gang (think: nachos with onions). oilers took that one 3-2.

december 27, 2007 was when we all watched the flames fall 5-3 to the canucks whilst drinking pints at the kilkenny in brentwood: me, kent, leanne, rob from the GSN, his wife shannon and buddy ryan. i can't recall who else might have been at that one....

when randy and his twin bro were in town on march 7, 2008, we got a mini-crew together at flames central: kent, rob & leanne joined me there. nashville came out victorious 2-1.

12/5/08 we hit up schanks crowfoot and the flames actually beat the blues in OT. i guess we remember it as a loss cause the team didn't deserve a win ----and also most likely we were drunk. ;) kent, subversive (?), fenwick (?), doogie2K, and leanne (?) joined me for that one. details are fuzzy. feel free to set me straight.

saturday, march 27th 2010 was the PPV blowout in boston (bruins won 5-0) ---where we met at 11am at flames central, got loaded on breakfast beers and watched some random bears fan down two pitchers at a front row table by himself.... ;) me, kent, mikeH, azevedo, hayley, and sjc showed up to that one (before moving the party to the ship for way too much booze).

and then there was last night !!! good times had by all at schanks crowfoot (i'm sensing a pattern emerging) where the flames won again !! eight pitchers of 'hopper plus some nachos n' snacks made for a really fun night. supergood to see duncan back in town, as well as mikeH, azevedo, hayley, leanne, sjc & steinberg.... who later gave shoutouts on the fan, noting all the represented blogs... super radness.

happy holidays, everyone.
see ya at the next one....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

nerdy blogger meet-up TONIGHT !!!

anyone who's at all interested in watching the flames lose to the dallas stars tonight should hop a c-train and get on over to schanks crowfoot where we can at least mourn the loss together (over a couple too many pints). i'm pretty sure our team has never won when there's a concerted effort by us followers to hang out.

the RSVP list includes the ENTIRE hitthepost family, together for the first time, (me, mikeH & duncan, fresh off a plane from phaneufville), hayley from M&G, justin from the4thlineblog, and everyone's favorite non-blogger, SJC. steinberg has no choice but to be there repping flamesnation cause he gets paid for it (kent'll be enroute to exotic medicine hat for the holidays).... domebeers may or may not send a delegate, tbd, and invitations have officially gone out to some of the oldschool blogger crew like rob from the guerrilasportsnetwork, and leanne from openicehits.... a "regretful decline" was offered from newsboy at X92.9, who got suckered into xmas dinner with the inlaws.... just remember: you don't have to be a blogger to come, you just have to be able to find us. we look like nerds. keep your eyes peeled for the GIO jersey, as i'll be your gracious host.

ridiculously, gametime is 6:30pm MST.
see you there.

Monday, December 20, 2010

if gio had a pet....

...he would teach it to sing this:

i know it's stupid but it totally made my day.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

flames v. bolts: bits n' bobs

i had a superfun time at the game last night with my boss & our cordial host from f&d scenechanges, a staple in the calgary film & tv industry for decades and setbuilders extraordinaire. he plied us with booze (and more booze, and more booze) and snacks, and the flames didn't stink out the joint and made the firespitters go off four whole times, so it all made for a pretty fun night.

with kotalik back in the lineup, it's conroy+1 in the pressbox every night and last night it was david moss's turn (much to my surprise). alot of people see the value in sending mickis back to the farm but if the guest's seat beside conny is gonna be a rotating door of players, i don't necessarily see the value in it. and let's be honest: young backlund had a pretty solid game last night. not only did he make a crucial non-play on the game winner, but he seems to be playing with massive confidence at both even strength and on the PK. even after the beauty drop-pass to glenX, he drove the net and took away the man infront, allowing bourque a clear shot. that's some mature play, in my opinion. at this point, i'm not sure a demotion would help his game, so long as he's not eating popcorn upstairs with #24 every night...

before puckdrop there was some talk that the lucky player getting the night off would be olli jokinen. oh, how many flames fans that would have pleased !!! further rumour has it that david moss was feeling under the weather, but it may also have to do with his ill-timed double minor the previous game. either way, i think the lineup looked pretty solid without him, even though the hagman-jokinen-kotalik line did a whole lotta nuthin.

not much else to report; kippy looked in fine form, and it was nice to see gio's face without a bunch of metal cage in the way. also ? you don't realize how small martin st.louis is until he's getting absolutely CRUSHED in the tunnel of doom. i looked for a highlight of this but couldn't find it in the tsn or sporstnet summary packages.

lastly, i just want to point out that darryl sutter is paying the flames' third line nine million dollars. NINE MILLION !!! that's three each for kotalik, jokinen and hagman.... how do i know they're the third line? well, bourquey tells us so when asked about him and iggy both getting goals for the first time since october, "if we're both scoring that means that both lines are playing well & the top six forwards are getting the job done."

that's 6,175,000 for your second line, people. and i guarantee mickis would be happy to know that makes him a second line centreman.

Monday, December 6, 2010

i think i'm gonna be sick...

i just watched keith aulie stand up ovechkin on a quasi 2-on-1 (beauchemin made it back at the end). also ? he played 21 minutes on saturday in the win over boston. TWENTY ONE MINUTES !!! are you READING THIS SHIT ??!?! keith mafackin' aulie has played 8 national hockey league games and he's being considered a top four defenseman. yeah, i totally saw this coming when the trade was made (ie: "the potential of keith aulie was hardly discussed but TO ME that's gonna be a big deal... ")... i'm disgusted right now.

phaneuf trade: official fail for the flames. not because of dion, not because of white, but because keith aulie is gonna be better than both of them combined. in six months. [if he can stay healthy] book it. brian burke DID fleece darryl sutter... though not the way everyone thought... ugh.

and don't say aulie's only top four since he's on a terrible team, cause he'd damn sure be top four on ours. for 575K thru 11/12.


[as i hit "post" on this one, aulie got schooled by a hard capitals 3-on-2.... but i think my point still stands in comparison to staios, sarich, mikkelson & babchuk]

do you ever wonder....

....if roberto luongo has a bit of a mancrush on patty kane ?

i mean, there's obviously been the on-ice one-on-one stuff for the past few years, where kaner often gets the better of bobbylou but sometimes the goalie stonewalls the kid. then there was the olympic tournament hijinx where, early on, kane announced to the media "I've had my luck against him personally, so he's a goalie I wouldn't mind facing," and perhaps in response, in the post-gold medal match handshake lineup, luongo said something to make kane laugh (reportedly, simply, "see you in the playoffs.")

now, i'm all for sportsmanship so ---even though i openly detest the canucks as a rule--- i have to hat tip alex burrows* in last wednesday's blowout, for summoning the trainer immediately after mark giordano took a puck in the face, and for leaning over gio's crumpled, leaking body to see if he was okay. it warmed my cold, granite heart just a little to see that kind of humanely concern between bitter rivals (1:31).

on the other hand, when i saw this exchange the other night (@ 0:21, and also seen here at 1:01), i couldn't help but notice that there was MORE concern by the 'nuck for the 'hawk, when the situation was FAR less dire.... it looked more friendly than courteous, more compassionnate than considerate.... and when you factor in their storied past, soooooorrrtof out of place....

do they pal-around after-hours in limos with the ladies ? do they pubcrawl or clubhop in the offseason ? or do they just sit around and write poetry:

*alex burrows !!! in a post about good sportsmanship !!!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

paul maurice, ian white, and the situation in calgary

about nine months ago i had the good fortune to spend a couple of hours shooting the proverbial shit with the coaching staff of the carolina hurricanes, which certainly stands out as one of the single best events of my entire life. tom rowe is an incredibly genuine, personable, and intelligent human being (and coached gio in lowell, so we had lots to chat about !), and paul maurice is pretty much the coolest guy i've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

i won't go into a lot of detail here (but the tales are immensely awesome and i'd be happy to share them in person), but let's just say this: when maurice quizzed me on the dion phaneuf trade, i wonder now if he wasn't already pondering how to poach ian white from calgary... the linked article, here, kindof fascinates me on a few different levels, but before i take that on, i would like very much to wish coach maurice the most enormous of congratulations on his 1,000th game, being the youngest to ever do so at a spritely 42, and of course to offer my best wishes for another thou' before he chucks in the towel...


so ian white was coveted by maurice, a man i have the most intense respect for, who coached him with the marlies and the leafs. i've said time and time again that white was the only piece of the dion trade that made it worthwhile (unless hagman can ever play to potential), and was aghast that darryl sutter offered him the five dollar slap in the face... if i was ian white, i totally would've gone to arbitration.... anyhow, following that debacle, white had to go and have an awful october & november in the flaming C and make me look dumb. well, here's the thing: other than jackman, gio, and kiprusoff.... who DIDN'T have an awful october & november in the flaming C ??!? and it seems that on a team with little-to-no pressure, with a reliable defensive partner (joni pitkanen) on the first pairing, he's thriving. that says alot about the dire situation in calgary, if you ask me.

from the article on white:

He said the pressure to win in Calgary this season exceeded even that of his years in Toronto, with its massive media presence.

"It was big-time refreshing to come here," White said. "I know most of the guys there aren't having a whole lot of fun now. It's not fun when you're losing, especially all of the pressure and stuff there. It was a very, very stressful first two months of the year there for me."

so there you go. it's a pressure cooker in the flames dressing room and 'most of the guys' aren't having a whole lot of fun. while you can clearly chalk this up to the team's losing record, you have to also wonder how much of it can be attributed to coaching, management, ownership, and the other players in the room.

happy saturday, everyone.

Friday, December 3, 2010

flames v. wild: again !!!

in what will probably be a recurring theme this season, i would like to thank gary bettman for (yet again) scheduling two games in one week with the same intradivisional opponent. it's kindof hard to muster up the panic to want to watch this one, what with all the good feelings around the convincing win against the wild on monday evaporating with the wednesday shaming at the hands of the hated vancouver canucks. so we get to see if we're ACTUALLY better than the wild, or if it was just a one-off. the good news is that this team can no longer be considered elite, even by the city's most hardcore koolaid drinkers and all those guys named sutter.

it's starting to look decidedly possible that kotalik will finally take his #26 off the shelf and suit up for the first time this year. it's also official that our team's favorite hot-head and king of the terrible penalty (rene bourque is the obvious runner-up in both categories), curtis glencross, will be allowed to play: apparently the colin campbell wheel of justice landed on apple fritter. i was totally convinced with glenX's history that he'd get at least a game or two.... i guess that means jackman on the shelf ---it should be kostopolous but we all know how the sutter-to-player tunnel vision works.

follicularly, i give the upper hand to the flames... too bad good haircuts don't win games. perhaps in an anti-movember stance, alex tanguay FINALLY conceded to the baldspot and shaved his lid, and in a show of support (or drunkenness, or desire to be mistaken for his countryman, jokinen), nik hagman also lopped off his goldilocks... iggy was also sporting a fresh bic'ing during monday's pre-game skate. on the wild's side, i gotta say ---although eric nystrom still boasts some killer lashes, he still looks like this on top:

time to throw in the towel, bud. a decent pair of clippers costs about forty bucks...

and speaking of hair, poor, poor gio is gonna have to grow a full beard, since he's gonna have a mess of a time shaving away the 10am shadow with all the foreign material holding his face together:

(god, that looks sore...)

anyhow, i'm gonna stay in this evening and catch the game on the telly whilst socializing with my nerdy blog pals over at M&G. come join us !!! and speaking of joining us.... i'm still aiming for a blogger meet-up on december 23rd for the flames v. dallas game. i believe duncan will be in town, and though i'm not yet sure if kent or mikeH will be in the city, i'm trying to decipher if we'll need to book a table (schanks crowfoot, so we can make life easy for steinberg who may or may not be allowed to drink pints on the job). lemme know if you wanna come :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

flames v. 'nucks postgame: god bless gio's face

"I will always cheer for the Flames... unless one day I have a son that plays in the NHL then I'll cheer for his team, which I hope isn't the Flames."
--- my friend Bryan, postgame 01/12/10

flames v. 'nucks: i've missed you, goad !!!

while i can't think there's any way ----short of a kiprusoff xmas miracle---- that the flames might actually WIN the game tonight versus their peskiest divisional rivals, i AM excited to see a good, heated tilt. while we've seen the greasers three times this year already, tonight is miraculously the first matchup between these two squads and it's effin' DECEMBER. thanks for that, gary.

if you want a good pre-game stats report, go check out htp friend kent wilson's write-up over at flamesnation. if you want a bit more humour and some lineup notes, check steinberg's post. and if you want to see puckdaddy's take on the best movember moustaches in the nhl (including one that turns my current favorite swede, nic wallin, from "hawt" to "70's pornstar hawt"), you should click here.

with raitis ivanans still on the shelf (thank god), look to tim jackman & glenX to handle the fisticuffs. and while we're on the subject, i wonder if flames fans shouldn't buy steve mcintyre a little xmas cheer as a thankyou for keeping him out for as long as he has. god knows who will get to sit when our own overaged latvian is deemed healthy (which probably won't be long, given the frequency his name pops up alongside ales kotalik's on the "any day now" list).

on another note, i took a bunch of pix in NYC that i'll have to find appropriate places to post, and today's gem is this ---in the heart of the east village, i found a bar called iggy's selling $5 shots & hipster favorite, or as i like to call it "breakfast beer," PBR.

if only OUR iggy could get five dollar shots. for seven mil, that's a LOT of shots.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

flames v. wild: postgame

in line for pocketdawgs pre-game, me & mikeH saw this utter disgrace : some chick drinking a domebeer through a straw. and in case you want to tell me that she was actually using the straw to avoid unwanted spillage ---she was definitely drinking the beer through the straw. and in case you want to tell me that she was actually using the straw to get a bigger drunk on, i would explain that is a dangerous game with the heroin beers.

(photo credit: mikeH)

(faces blurred to protect the innocent)

Monday, November 29, 2010

arena report: the prudential

after attending the tilt in jersey last week, i'll be hitting the dome tonight with htp bff, mikeH, for what promises to be another match in mediocrity when the flames meet the wild... didn't bettman and his posse of GMs create a whole bunch of ridiculous new rules so that i didn't have to sit through soul-destroyingly boring sixty minutes of hockey every game ? thank god for 4-on-4 OT and the shootout, cause otherwise the last two games would have been largely outclassed by championship darts and competitive knit-offs...

i missed a lot of good stuff while i was out of town on the eastern swing (though i caught a lot of good stuff too ---i saw the peewee herman show !!), like darryl sutter dropping a couple of "quite honestly"s, yet-again bashing the media, and further proclaiming his delusions in the local rag. i also missed shovelling my walk multiple times while my fingers froze, walking around nyc instead, sweating in my autumn coat. so i guess i win... ;)


it's a good thing i occupy my fan-hood with other things than those pesky, hard-to-come-by wins. i vowed to hit every rink in the league before i die, and i'm trying to knock 'em off one or two a year. st.louis in '09, deadmonton '08, and minny '06, i went to a subway series (rangers v. islanders) at madison square gardens in 2005, so i didn't bother hitting the flames game there last week ---for fifty bucks plus all ticketmaster and MSG service charges, you can get a single seat with "limited view." no thanks. when i attended five years ago, you could buy a seat in the bleeders for andrew jackson, and then sit yourself right beside rookie goalie, henrik lundqvist.

so this year, i chose the 4-year old prudential center, and (other than the fact they overlooked putting in an additional 2000+ seats) it's a beauty. honestly, a brand-new arena really makes the saddledome look like a dump.... i don't know why i thought they'd be jerks, but the staff were insanely polite and courteous and interested in the numerous flames fans. one usher saw my gio jersey pre-game and asked if that was the opposition for the evening's matchup. not only did she not know where calgary, canada was, but she didn't know why (if they were in the same league) she'd never seen them before.... ;)

not only is the building all pretty n'stuff with it's glass windows, but they've got a hockey-playing T1000 out front in an open "square"-like space fit for a really good rally. they call it "championship plaza" and i guess they have a right ---what with all the stanley cups--- though i think it might be a wee while before they bring the silver chalice back to stand with this 30-foot, right shooting dude:

(click to enlarge)

because i'm a total hockey nerd, and a frugal one at that, i elected to buy us cheapie bleeders with the knowledge that the prudential holds 17,000 but attendance rates hover around 12,000. since the red-line section 'club' area was ticket-policed, we decided our actual seats were preferrable to lower level corners and actually pretty effin' decent ---akin to high 200's in the 'dome:

and what would a htp rink report be without discussing the food ??! i was über-impressed that there was a gluten-free stand (hotdogs w/gluten-free buns etc), and a sushi bar that had sushi chefs creating your rolls as you wait, in addition to the pre-packaged stuff.... YUM !! upon arrival and some schmoozing with the prudential ushers & medics (happenstance, not necessity), i was told that without a doubt, the best arena snack was the chicken fingers & fries. it was a hefty $9.50 but could easily be considered a meal for two. the fingers were pretty standard (though tasty !) but the fries were outrageous: imagine deep-fried mashed potato sticks.... eff yeah !!! PLUS their condiment stations were awesome: in addition to your standard K, M, R, they had frank's red hot and a brand name bbq sauce (which i can't currently recall):

anyhow, the flames played listlessly and boringly, as per usual, and i blame brent for the loss (i mean.... who puts TANGUAY in the shootout after he missed the net CLEARLY a half dozen times during gameplay ??!?). le sigh. anyhow, i expect nothing different tonight.

ps: someone should invent deep-fried mashed potato sticks.
pps: god bless gio.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

i heart NY

i like to fancy myself a decent writer, but there is really no possible way to put into words how absolutely magnificent new york can be. i'm not sure if it's the indescribable way the city at once breathes new and old, or the awe inspiring immensity of the surroundings that really gets to me... how i can be the sole being on the latenight platform counting rats scurrying on the subway tracks, as easily as i can be the only soul in a crowd of hundreds who stops to notice a saccharinely sweet couple getting their engagement photos taken at the children's tables in bryant park....

i'm tired.

i can't believe i've only been here four days with all of the activities i've packed in. still, i feel like i've done nothing yet.... *sigh. it's so crazy cool, the perfect dichotomy of it all....

i really seriously considered going to the game last night but in the end, opted for dinner with my two cousins and their partners. good choice, looking at the gamesheet (as though there was any real doubt that last night's tilt would end in a L for my team). the decision was largely based on the high cost of shitty bleeders with "limited view," coupled with the fact that five years ago i purchased those same seats gameday for 50% of what they cost now, and then sat almost directly beside king henrik (before he WAS king henrik) cause there was pretty much nobody there.... i've been to MSG twice, once for rangers v. islanders, and the flames blow ---so the interest dropping a wad to attend last night's game was minimal.

i DID, however, sit at the bar in a high-end sports pub a block away from MSG called "NYC Stout" for about two hours pre-game, where i met a couple of interesting characters, saw a crapload of rangers fans, and managed to get a pretty good buzz on from the ol' brooklyn lagers. for the first while, i sat with a dude named mark who was from boston and had never heard of iginla.

"that surprises me, actually... he's a bit of an allstar," i express.

"an allstar in CALGARY," my new frenemy points out.

"uhh.... no, probably everywhere if you ever watch hockey."

turns out, it's okay for me and my nerdy blog buddies to jack up my team's captain, but it's not okay if that someone is from the US of A.

i guess that's about it for today, kids.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

sutters of the world unite !!!

so darryl finally realized that young brett needed to go further away from calgary than abbotsford cause he did a dumb thing i like to call "drinking" at the team rookie dinner (which, btw, is my take on what an inebriated sutter once referred to as his "rookie game"), and i guess carolina is about as far away as you can go in the NHL.

oh, and brett's cousin brandon plays there. and brett's cousin brandon has had some success there. and i'm sure that's where brandon's dad, brent, will buy a house once he's let go from his current post. and maybe darryl will want to go there when he gets canned since the canes are one of the youngest teams in the league and they might be wanting to bring in more over-the-hill type players.

what a total reactionary move by a GM fighting to save face, his family name, and his job.


what's NOT funny is we just cleared a roster spot that forces steve staios to play every night. AND brendan mikkelson... and even though he started the season with the big club, i would highly doubt that tj brodie will be called up to skate with the team cause he's under the age of 28 and therefore not (according to what appears to be the sutter mantra) NHL ready. i can only presume this means pardy is close to a return. **sorry. babchuk's a defenseman. scratch this. (til he gets hurt).

ian white is having a rough season, but no more terrible than jaybouw (at half the price). yeah, maybe he wasn't "working" with regehr, but you know who won't work there even more ? steve fucking staios. mark my words, this team is now set for a repeat of last year's 9-game losing streak, and (if he isn't relieved of his duties by then) darryl is set to trade the proverbial farm with a bunch of shitty deals that will leave us with less value players and more ridiculous contracts than he did last year. dark days are a-comin'.

like i said before the ian white slap in the face (aka: contract signed for five bucks less than three mil), if darryl can't get the defenseman inked then we got nothing for phaneuf. i still believe that (unless hagman starts playing to ability). stajan's okay but i'd peg him as a natural 3rd line centre. just brutal work.

admittedly i know very little about babchuk or kostopoulous. but the fact that i don't know much about'em means they're probably not huge difference makers. which means we're gonna lose alot more games.

and finally: trading ian white during movember is a disgrace.
just sayin'.

Friday, November 12, 2010

brett sutter likes to party (and other things we already knew)

i kinda feel bad for brett sutter this morning. not because he got into a bar fight in arizona, and not because it was scottsdale (the "softest" area in the state). i don't feel for him cause he got arrested, shamed his family name (cause, granted, his pops has been walkin' that road for years now), or because he made peter hanlon speak more words in a sentence than "double fisting ?"

i feel bad for him cause the worst possible time for a pro athlete to get their mugshot taken is in the first weeks of movember:

...and let's not joke around ---this is a BEAUTY.

the attempt-to-grow-a-porn-star (or a ringo starr ??) 'stache aside, the kid is clearly:

a) unsoberized
b) fearing the wrath of what will come "tomorrow"
c) tired
d) sunburnt from a day of paintball/golf
e) all of the above

a proud, proud moment for the flaming C's and the entire sutter family. though, no more proud than this moment, i'd imagine.

or this one.

...or this one.

i'm thinking that maybe he did it on purpose to distract the team, its managers, coaches, and fans from all the losses.... and how painful the team is to watch on the ice (kippy, glenX, haggy, moss, gio, and mickis notwithstanding). if so, well done young brett !!


[ps: i get the feeling vicki hall reads htp]

Monday, November 8, 2010

hitthepost roadtrip !!!

the flames can't notch a W at the 'dome so i decided to drop a metric fuckton of money to go see if they can beat sather's blueshirts or lamoriello's devs in the comfort of their own rinks.

ps: i've paid for airline tickets already but if anyone wants to donate hockey tickets to a very cute flames blogger (and a friend or two) to MSG on nov 22 or the prudential center nov 24, i'll take'em !!!

[i'm lookin' at you, steinberg.]

no, seriously...
i'm sorta cute-ish.

bottom line: me and the gio jersey are hittin' the road mid-month. pix (and other road tales) to follow.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

the flames are SO bad, i'm gonna talk about baseball

please take note:

i am not, nor have i ever been, a fan of baseball. sure, there's something really awesome about going to the park and having a hotdog and a cold beer on a warm summer evening, and hangin' with your buddies under the pretense of watching a live sporting event is pretty kickass.... but 30 teams playing 182 games apiece totally cuts into the REAL highlights on sportscentre, and it drives me mental....

the thing i DO like about baseball (aside from the live-action stuff mentioned above) is the same thing i like about most sports: the characters. i mean, do you REALLY think anyone watches the WWE for the make-believe piledrivers and bodyslams ? no. they watch because it's interesting to see mick foley lay the beats down with a sock puppet, and to see the elaborate ruse of tripleH marrying stephanie mcmahon. people watch because, for example, the rock was one of the most captivating personae ever to grapple in the squared circle. is it any wonder that one of the single highest rated segments in terms of viewership in "raw" history featured the rock n' sock connection ???

but i digress...

i had zero interest in the world series this year until i realized that SF's superstar pitcher, tim lincecum, looked exactly like the kid from dazed and confused... and apparently, i wasn't the first to think it.

click the link, it's an hilarious article.

anyways. if the flames continue stinkin' this way, i'm gonna probably look into other sports that bore the hell out of me, just for something to do.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

my new favorite pic:

thanks to the calgary herald for posting a gallery entitled "changes are a coming for the flames," and captionning this particular photo "Flames defenceman Cory Sarich bounces a puck off of the cross bar while shooting on Miikka Kiprusoff during practice on Monday November 01, 2010 at the Saddledome in Calgary Alberta."

i got a good laugh out of both.

the fact that cory sarich had (undeniably) the worst game of his career the other night vs. washington is probably why the gallery has twelve photos total, with seven of them being of #6... y'know, to prove to the fans that sutters didn't take him out behind the barn and put him out of his misery.

but apparently changes are coming.
le sigh.

i bet a sixer on the game wednesday so i'm gonna guarantee a loss. this puts me in win-win territory: either the flames win a game and i win a sixer, or i'm a visionary.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

backlund on backlund is over :(

while he hadn't written anything since the world championship last spring, mikael backlund's blog has been officially removed from the airwaves.


we'll miss your insight, mickis.

Friday, October 29, 2010

gio re-signs and makes me happy

i'm sure everyone is expecting a comment from me regarding gio's deal, since he's widely known as my favorite player. as i said over at flamesnation: i think it's awesome... and in darryl sutter's team hierarchy, he fits exactly where he SHOULD fit* ----with the (speculated) exact same cap hit as robyn regehr. in the years moving forward, gio is the most likely candidate to become a shutdown/PP hybrid and i think +/- 4mil is where he would've slotted in on most NHL clubs. getting him for 3.5 would've been a steal and i think daz is smarter than to give him a second slap in the face to the tune of $3,999,995 [the first slap being, of course, two-way deal offered and declined in '06]. the difference between those numbers is less than what we threw away to see raitis ivanans to play one game (6 minutes ?) in a flaming C.

bottom line: i think everybody wins.

i thought this might be a nice time to post my entry to the calgary sun "meet mark giordano contest," whereby the winner will be the person who best describes why #5 is their favorite player. hey, i'll probably lose to some kid with a big box of crayons who draws a fun likeness of the 10am shadow, but my mini-essay was honest and as concise as i felt i could be on the subject with the price is right rules (ie: without going over). in the end, i probably lost the competition by not using caps, or more likely by slagging anders eriksson and randy sportak, but.... meh. it was worth it:

It won't be difficult to convince you why Mark Giordano is my favorite player, but it will be difficult doing so in 300 words or less... ;)

when calgary's #5 opened the 2009/2010 season's scoring with a beautiful goal against vancouver, my phone went berserk with text messages. not only had "gio" scored a goal, but my favorite player had tallied the team's first goal of the year !! all of my friends country-wide watching the game acknowledged that nobody would be happier about it than yours truly....

i first started applauding gio as a player in 2006 and i was up in arms when darryl wouldn't sign him to a one-way deal (ultimately forcing him to go to russia). i've often lamented how much better the team would have been with giordano on the blueline the subsequent year, instead of anders eriksson (who was signed the day after gio announced his overseas intentions).

in 2008 when i got my jersey lettered GIO, i was a trailblazer at the saddledome. earlier the same year, i engaged in a spirited email debate with your own randy sportak when he suggested Sutter's aforementioned non-contract decision was a sound one (i wholeheartedly disagreed).

this February, i had the pleasure of speaking with giordano's AHL coach (tom rowe), who was surprised to hear me name him as my favorite player. though he'd always respected his work ethic and hockey sense, he didn't think gio was 'superstar' enough to unseat guys like iginla or kiprusoff as anyone's most-loved flame... the next night, #5 dumped 6'3" 210lb hurricanes' blueliner, joni pitkanen, into the carolina players' bench and virtually onto rowe's lap. i'm sure in the commotion of it all, rowe grinned a little about that gal from calgary who knew a thing or two about mark giordano....


*presuming, of course, that iggy starts earning his 7mil, and jaybouw starts earning his 6.6 mil.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It won't be difficult to convince you why Mark Giordano is my favorite player, but it will be difficult doing so in 300 words or less... ;)

When Calgary's #5 opened the 2009/2010 season's scoring with a beautiful goal against Vancouver, my phone went berserk with text messages. Not only had "Gio" scored a goal, but my favorite player had tallied the team's first goal of the year !! All of my friends country-wide watching the game acknowledged that nobody would be happier about it than yours truly....

I first started applauding Gio as a player in 2006 and i was up in arms when Darryl wouldn't sign him to a one-way deal (ultimately forcing him to go to Russia). I've often lamented how much better the team would have been with Giordano on the blueline the subsequent year, instead of Anders Eriksson (who was signed the day after Gio announced his overseas intentions).

In 2008 when i got my jersey lettered GIO, i was a trailblazer at the Saddledome ( Earlier the same year, i engaged in a spirited email debate with your own Randy Sportak when he suggested Sutter's aforementioned non-contract decision was a sound one (i wholeheartedly disagreed).

This February, I had the pleasure of speaking with Giordano's AHL coach (Tom Rowe), who was surprised to hear me name him as my favorite player. Though he'd always respected his work ethic and hockey sense, he didn't think Gio was 'superstar' enough to unseat guys like Iginla or Kiprusoff ... The next night, #5 dumped 6'3" 210lb Hurricanes' blueliner, Joni Pitkanen, into the Carolina players bench and virtually onto Rowe's lap. I'm sure in the commotion of it all, Rowe grinned a little about that gal from Calgary who knew a thing or two about Mark Giordano....


M&G gamethread spillover: afterthoughts

i'm kinda bummed i missed the M&G gamethread last night since it was all about the flames nerdherd, with all of my favorite nerdy blog buddies (except kent) talkin' shop, cuttin' up jokinen and staios, swapping recipes & "how-to-make-beer-BETTER" conversations, and otherwise generally being all-around awesome.

instead, i went over to my buddy AA's place to watch the game cause he's a dirty greasers fan and i figured we'd have a couple beers & figuratively noogie the hell out of each other. except apparently he's a little down on his luck ("man, we can't catch a break." " i'd love to see my team win once in awhile." "it's been so depressing for so long now."). after the flames scored the fourth, he got all pouty and switched the channel to basketball so i totally missed my boy gio pounding somebody's head in. boooo !!!

anyhow, something we were joking about a few games back (over on M&G) was the fact that you can hire the predators' mascot, gnash, for "a birthday party, a classroom full of kids, retail promotions, school fundraisers, corporate events, parades, or even wedding receptions." well, low and behold less than a week later, my friend in smashville posted her kid's birthday pics on the ol' facebook:
what an awesome mom. floor hockey and gnash for a 4 year old birthday ?? i wish i was her kid... ;)

nothin' else goin on, really, except that today is the deadline for the "meet mark giordano" contest. i friggin' better win.

Monday, October 25, 2010

for fun

my buddy ken$$'s "nhlpa approved" oilers merch.
coupled with eberle, this is almost enough to make me like the greasers.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

flames v. preds: who cares, my JERSEY'S HERE !!!

here's the thing.

after spending over a year bitching and whining to anyone who would listen about not being able to get a flames retro jersey, now third jersey, in a ladies' cut: i would like to present the ladies cut third (retro) jersey. for sale at the flames' fanattic (and probably other places too, but whatever).

now, if ONLY i knew who's name to get on the back.... i still kinda want #11 sjöström (cause that's who sparked the whole mission), and still debate #11 mickis, but to be honest: neither feels RIGHT. when i got the #5 GIO jersey, i just KNEW.... i'm still toying with getting this one lettered #5 GIO as well....

it sucks there aren't any other good character players on this team.

tonight i'm stoked to see our lombo line up against his old team and i have no idea how the flambés will respond after a win (with a lot of issues).

Monday, October 18, 2010

win !!!

this has nothing to do with hockey (other than the fact that naheed knows mikeH and TOTALLY watched sid and the boys lose to the yanks with us at the ANZA club in vancouver during the olympics), but how rad is it that nenshi won the mayoral race, and MORESO that he kicked the race's ass through a viable platform, social media, and the youth vote. i can't wait to hear the stats but 300,000 votes in the election ?!?!!! that's unheard of in a generally apathetic city like cowtown. i also think it's CRAZY cool that the "redneck calgarian" stereotype took a massive hit. oh, and that nenshi went to school with my buddy who owns a scanner.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

flames v. grease: my prediction

if you close your eyes, this is how i imagine tonight's game will go:

Friday, October 15, 2010

goals ? what goals ?

yesterday on flamesnation's florida panthers' pre-game, in response to kent wilson's comment "Watch for Iginla to be matched against Weiss' line and for that to be the primary conflict," i mockingly wrote:
"i think the primary conflict will be the flames meager arsenal trying to get one past a big-name goaltender. this is not our forté."
call me nostradamus.

but it doesn't take a visionary to see that the lineup the flames are currently icing is simply not a winning team. i remember when we gave up cammalleri and bertuzzi (the latter, admittedly, i never liked but acknowledged he was still good for >ten per season), i got lambasted on the message boards for asking "who's gonna replace those goals ?" i was told that hockey isn't a goal-for-goal scenario, that the team collectively needs to just pull up its socks, and that goal scoring would be a shared duty by all four lines.

uh hunh.

well, here we find ourselves in the midst of a drought that (let's face it) is now entering not its' third GAME but realistically its third MONTH with this team. darryl seemed to ATTEMPT to address this lack of scoring by picking up stajan, hagman, and kotalik to end the season, and by giving mickis a shot --but let's not kid ourselves. stajan is not derek roy, hagman is no stamkos, kotalik is no ovechkin, and backlund is no patrick kane.... and i hate to say it but iggy's over in the goalscoring world. i'd be totally content to eat my words, but i'm afraid i'm way too right...

sure, we've got some injuries, and our two best "goalscoring" types are in the pressbox (bourque, kotalik), but darryl should've seen this coming. bourque is forsberg incarnate (in the injury not the skill sense) and kotalik was coming off of a pretty hardcore shitty season in NY so the over/under on him regaining status as an elite player was pretty low. darryl went all-in on these two anyways, and then wasted the valuable remaining dollars shoring up a blueline with unusable, aged stop-gaps (i'm lookin' at you, staios), and bringing on $1.2 mil worth of worthless goon.

how fucking good would nigel dawes look out there, right now ??!?!

just sayin'.
(countdown to the flames calling up jon rheault ? 3-2-1....)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

here's my take: iggy needs to shut his cakehole

my guess is that this theory won't go down very well with the masses, but the good news is that only a handful of folks regularly (if ever) read my meanderings.

scott cruikshank wrote an article over in the herald that points out how our captain, my captain, had a high-decibel disagreement with assistant coach dave lowry at practice the other day about the powerplay. "Lowry seemed to want more of a slot presence from the captain. Iginla seemed to want something else altogether."

um. sorry ??

with all due respect to #12, players should play, coaches should coach, and managers should manage. end of story. there is no way in hell that iggy should be telling lowry where, on-ice, he's gonna hang out on a powerplay, no matter how many millions he's banking or what letter is sewn on his chest. good lord, could you imagine if young backlund piped up "yeah, i think maybe i should be on the blueline, actually."


if there are truth in rumours, then i've heard some things about iggy over the past few months that piss me the hell off. i take this hearsay with a grain of salt because (let's face it) it's not like i'm getting this stuff from jarome. BUT i've heard he was instrumental in the return of alex tanguay, and i've heard that he refused to play on a line with daymond langkow.

ie: i've heard he's a player, manager AND coach.

and, if you ask me, a once-elite power forward who's visibly struggling and fighting the puck every night, and who's stats have been on the decline for years now, should shut the hell up and listen to his COACHES.

just play, friend.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I go on about last night, in e-mail form

In the interest of efficiency, I will not write an original post, but pass along an e-mail exchange I had with a colleague (an Avs fan) this morning:

Colleague: Wouldn't you both say today feels like opposite day? #Flames #Oilers

Me: This is what I think: Last night will be looked back upon as when the pendulum shifted in the Oilers' favour. It's going to be four or five years, at least, before the Flames are any good again. Probably longer. By that time, the Oilers should be at the peak of their powers. That's some 2007-08 Blackhawks over there.

It's weird, because the second and third line centres are Backlund and Morrison, which sucks, but is it much of a step down from Stajan and No-Neck? I would say it's a step sideways, and that's troubling. Also troubling: too many Sutters.

Me: A healthy Langkow is better than Morrison, but at this point that just makes him a good third-line centre. So, no. Backlund’s got promise, but not playing with Curt Glencross and Tim Jackman. The most galling thing of last night, forget that Jokinen is still THE EXACT SAME PLAYER, was watching Tim F'ing Jackman on the third line for the Flames, and Dustin Boyd playing a great game in the same role for the Habs. Young, fast, promise — but Darryl would rather have a career minor-leaguer whose best season IN COLLEGE was about 0.7 PPG.

Weirdest thing, I actually thought Brett was one of the best players on the ice last night for the Flames.

So, yeah, not the best start.

an explanation on why i despise my team, part 2.

an explanation on why i despise my team, part 2.

last night's game forced me to re-read some of the stuff i wrote back in early july when darryl sutter officially, completely, and unequivocally lost his mind.

hate to say it but... um... holy cow was i ever right.

the other thing that i found to be a truly hilarious re-read last night was the text conversation i had with duncan on july 1 when he woke me from a peaceful slumber to ruin my life (thereby repaying the favour of me spoiling his vacation on the cabot trail in 2008 by dropping the news of the bertuzzi signing):


"tanguay, yes. it's your turn to ruin my day if there's more"

"Major rumor: FUCKING JOKINEN. All the big insiders say it's in play. 2 yrs/3.5 per"

"please say jussi. please say jussi. please say jussi. please say jussi."


"i'm going back to bed now. wake me in 11/12.... actually, to be quite honest, it's rather hilarious. no better way to say 'fuck you' to the fans."

"Did you mean to be funny with 'to be quite honest'" ?

"yes. now kindly excuse me while i shoot myself."


in fairness, jokinen was not the only flame who had a brutal game last night, but i bet his performance stung a little to those who had bought into herr sutter's explanation that the only reason he previously sucked was because he wasn't playing with a good playmaker like tanguay. uh, whoops. i guess that theory doesn't hold kool-aid.

jokinen, if you watched him carefully, contributed absolutely nothing to the play, offensively or defensively. just like last year, the play would die on his stick ---either he'd pass it directly to a guy in blue (this happened most frequently, and if i were jordan eberle, i'd be sending him flowers this morning for such a sweet feed on his first nhl goal), or just get checked off of it. truly painful to watch. funny, it turns out that paying a guy a little less doesn't actually improve his skill set.

ian white had an abysmal night, though (unlike with jokinen) i don't expect that will continue. regehr somehow played less minutes than pardy, who was in the box for four, so that really points to injury or illness, in my eyes. jaybouw looked to improve through the game and i'm not ready to give up on him, either, especially paired with gio who is an animal. brodie was solid and, aside from the two delay of game minors, pardy didn't suck. i think there's hope on the blueline, we just need to play more teams with no skill players, is all.

tanguay didn't look too bad, in fairness, and iggy actually had a couple of chances so they get a pass. the hagbourqisson line is gonna have to dig deeper for opportunity, or (what i'd prefer to see) maybe we'll change the name to hagbourqland cause i thought mickis had a fairly solid match ---save for falling over on his best opportunity. i know morrison played, cause i remember thinking "dougie risebrough !!" when i saw his #8 those few times. he contributed nothing. sutter re-tread, indeed.

the bottom six is a joke in its current incarnation. glenX and mickis have some skill (and i can't even make fun of jackman since he was probably the best guy on the ice last night outside of the god-like kiprusoff and my boy gio) but were hugely out-matched by the oilers 6-9, and don't even get me started on the fourth line. the only reason ivanans "fought" (and i use the term loosely) in the dying minutes was because everyone knows that the hired goon needs to scrap in the rival's building... ESPECIALLY when both his linemates and the journeyman third liner have all had dust-ups. jeeeeeebus, i miss pocketdawes.

i don't have a lot of hope, at this point, however. goalie aside, this is not looking like a playoff club, and it sure ain't a cup-winning club.

as goad said: "ruh roh."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Still around: Duncan's season preview

I'm somewhat disappointed with my decreasing output — and increasing ambivalence — about the Flames. It's pretty easily diagnosed: This is not 1986 or 2006, and I don't like exposing myself to pain, nor do I subscribe to the "hope springs eternal" storyline put forward by the hockey media re: all Canada's teams before Game 1 of the season. Hope does not spring eternal at my house in Toronto, unless you're referring to hope that it won't be Charlie Simmer on the colour-commentary on the first Sportsnet broadcast this year. (Or has he already been on in the pre-season? I don't know.)

I puked up quite the volume of Tweets on July 1 on my thoughts about Darr's performance in the free agent market, and that was just about Jokinen. Jackman? Ivanans? I like creativity, and there ain't none where I can see. I have fond memories of Tanguay, and think he can still play well, and liked the price. Of course, I should have known better that he wouldn't have stopped there, etc., etc., Steve Staios.

I look forward to tonight for a few things: Tanguay, T.J. Brodie — it's been so long since we had a young surprise to get into — watching Mark Giordano play again.

I also remember watching Brent Sutter's Red Deer Rebels in his second season with the team, and realizing that it took that group a full year before getting his system. That, of course, is junior hockey, which is not the NHL. But those Rebels were pretty freaking good. But there might be something to it. So I look forward

I look forward to the throwbacks in 15 games, and I look forward to the Heritage Classic, because I'm one of the fans of that jersey. I also look forward to more output from WI and all the bloggers who keep my head in the right place about the Flames.

I also look forward to me, potentially, writing blog posts that don't come across as so maudlin. It could happen!

Time to go put on my jersey.

the debut of hagbourqisson: bring it

i really don't have much to say about the 10/11 season that i haven't already said here and/or over at flamesnation in the past weeks. i'm not a huge fan of the bottom end of the lineup, especially with the expensive players we've got in the pressbox (due to injury and otherwise).

how pardy draws in over sarich tonight is beyond me, but ---wasted capspace aside--- i can't say i'm against it. also, if ever there was a game raitis ivanans HAD to play, it would be tonight (and i'll spend the rest of the season wishing we still had pocketdawes instead, no doubt). the jury's still out on tim jackman for me, and how young brett draws in over a guy like conroy (injury aside, of course) is kindof mindblowing.

do the sutters still think it's pre-season ?!?

up north, we'll finally get a chance to see what their kids are really made of. i'm not convinced taylor hall's quite ready, but i expect to see some points notched by either or both of eberle and pääjärvi-svensson (just because MPS was forced to drop a name by the NHL doesn't mean i have to do it). i only wish i was with my boy AA down in the 'hat for the tilt....

again, me and mikeH will begin the evening at FC if anyone's interested in stopping by to say hello. we'll be there for 6pm (the FC hockey pool draft) and i'll be the gal in the gio jersey. hopefully he can repeat his season-opening goal from last year....


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

i'll be okay with the latest re-tread when:

- he makes iggy and tanguay look good

- he makes jokinen look replaceable at 1/4 the price (this shouldn't be too hard)

- he becomes such an integral filling in the bourque/hagman sandwich that we come up with a ridiculously clever nickname for that line

- he scores a gwg on bobbylu at the callcentre and points at the flaming C on his chest to tell the crowd where it's at... [note: i hope goad's in the crowd for that one so he can tell us just exactly how much louder "boos" are than "luus".]

welcome to calgary, brendan morrison. make us proud.

ps: mikeH and i are gonna be down at flames central on thursday for the hockey pool draft pre-game. i think you need to register (i'm not sure if it's too late or not) but if you wanna come down, you're more than welcome to join up !!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Flames are 3 - 0 !!!


yeah, i know it's exhibition and doesn't matter (that's what carey price says, anyways), here's what i'm excited about so far in the first three flames' games of the year:

- that gio is on a rampage that screams "contract year," the likes of which i'm not sure i've ever seen. two words for that ? bring it.

- that the flames beat the canucks twice in one night. this will probably never happen again and i'm really thankful it didn't go the other way. booyah.

- that henrik karlsson looks like a steal, thusfar. hopefully he can win a couple games. also ? he's swedish, so i'm excited about that in itself.

- the potential that kotalik is gonna prove us all wrong and be a menace. especially if he learns to play D and we can pair him with the aforementioned raging gio.

- that goals can, indeed, be scored.

i'm not getting ahead of myself ---i'm still not convinced this is a playoff team and if we go to battle with #27 in the lineup, i think we're hooped on the blueline.... but i'm slightly more optimistic than i was a week ago (unless we're talking about anything jokinen-related, of course).

i can't wait til games are effin' televised.
(how is it that the flames can stream the prospect tourney from penticton and not bother to give us any real preseason action online ??!?)

enjoy the last bits of summer. hockey (and winter) is around the corner....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

brent catches the disease

brent sutter, on iggy, olli, and tangs (from the calgary herald):

"We need to be patient with this now," Flames coach Brent Sutter noted after the annual Red and White game. "We have the opportunity to allow that to happen. So why not? Let them try to work things out. Hopefully, at the start of the season, it'll be where we want it to be. But time's going to tell that. To be quite honest, they're going to tell that by their performance."

why do i feel that this particular darrylism actually means "we're effed" ?

in other news, i let out a massive sigh yesterday upon hearing that gio was paired with staios in the red v. white game (though, in truth, it will minimize the damage). kent also sent me a text that read "karlsson looks good."

..."in a hockey way, or a swede way ?" i replied.


Monday, September 13, 2010

thrash it up, pocketdawes !!!

word came down today that nigel dawes has signed a one year, two-way deal in atlanta for $600K (aka: the kind of money the flames reserve for tree-shaped guys with fists who can't play).

in the same way that nobody really noticed darryl sutter become the calgary flames' executive VP last month, the thrashers have quietly cobbled together a pretty decent team, if you ask me. i mean, their goaltending is somewhat suspect but could totally work out... and with a motley crew of skaters that have been underappreciated like johnny oduya, dustin byfuglien, nik antropov, freddy modin, and htp favorite rich peverley, i have to admit they have the potential to do some damage. oh, and don't forget evander kane. that guy was named after a boxer, for cryin' out loud !!

i mean, the 2010/11 atlanta thrashers are like an afterschool special. watch 'em rally to a cup...

i'd be a pretty happy girl.
congrats, pocketdawes. i hope georgia treats you well....

Friday, September 10, 2010

learning to love #13, step 1

skip to 2:00.
don't watch any earlier than that cause he's annoying with his theory on how the flames were awesome last year in the first 40 games.
at EXACTLY 2:00 i might admit i thought jokinen was a little bit funny.

the "OFFICIAL THIRD" jersey (*yawn*)

the scoopiest dudes in the world over at icethetics have unveiled the flames' retro rbk edge OFFICIAL THIRD jersey for the 2010/2011 season. while it looks an awful lot like the sweaters that the boys wore for five games last year (you might remember my boy gio opening the team's scoring in this very shirt), it was absolutely NOT in any way to be considered the calgary flames' third jersey.

retro, yes.

throwback, yes.

vintage (looking), yes.

cup-era reminiscent, yes.

but THIRD JERSEY, nooooooooooooo..... (wrist-slap)

since i was schooled by the club's director of retail, brent gibbs, just over a year ago, i can now safely and confidently say that the jersey above IS, infact, the club's OFFICIAL THIRD JERSEY.

now, let's see if they decide to offer it in a ladies' cut.

[if yes, do i move forward with "MICKIS" ??? decisions, decisions....]

Thursday, September 9, 2010

2010-2011 season: the sad truth

here's the thing:

i think i'm more excited about the upcoming second cycle of battle of the blades than the nhl season. why ? because the flames are gonna blow, and BotB is boasting theoren fleury ANNNND pj stock. hell, the only way the cbc could've gotten it more right would've been if they'd inked my boy forsberg to compete for the title... ah, well.... all i can hope is that theo and peej end up in the finals....

when mikeH and i went to the playing with fire signing last year, as the line moved forward and we approached the table, i realized i had to say something not-stupid to a dude who played on the 1989 cup winning team.... i had to say something "chatty" to theoren effin' fleury while he signed two books (one for me and one for awildermode), and i knew from experience i was no good at it [case in point: me blushing like an idiot the previous month when i met iggy]. so, i opted to query his opinion on battle of the blades.

from the linked hitthepost article, written 10/24/2009:
i told him that i look forward to his jersey hitting the rafters of the 'dome, and asked him who he thought would win the battle of the blades.... ;) he laughed and said he hadn't had time to watch --who did i think would win ? i looked at him and grinned, "claude lemieux."

"i love that guy," he mumbled with a smile as i shook his hand and walked away....

bring it, theo. i hope you don't come in second....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

the team might not win a game, but at least our captain's hip

i'm not sure if iggy actually follows or supports the los angeles dodgers but he's PWNING that pristine, flat-brimmed ballcap.


i'm on a roll now, with these taster-sized posts !!!
watch out....

[editor's note: i only hyperlinked that word above so my mum doesn't point out a typo]
<3 !!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

3 reasons that the flames won't make the playoffs this year:


new this year: the organization designed, printed, and included playoff tickets in with the season tickets. presumeably this cuts down on mailing costs in the spring, but a stupidstitious girl like myself looks at it like a waste of paper. way to go.

2. if you take the correlation seriously, the latest surge by the stamps is baaaaaaad news for our beloved flames.

what can i say ? with training camp mere days away, now seems as good a time as any to start making fun of the guy that's been earmarked by corporate as the saviour of this squad. ie: he deserves to make this list.

let's hope i'm wrong.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

as promised: puckdaddy link

thanks, wysh, for taking me along for this ride.


Monday, August 9, 2010

monday randoms: puckdaddy, mostly....

- i'm once again flattered to have been asked by greg wyshynski, over at puckdaddy, to contribute a female perspective on NHL issues. i'll link to it tomorrow (or whenever it's up).

- another thing happening, currently, over at puckdaddy: the mount puckmore exercise. in a nutshell, they've got team representatives from all 30 NHL squads picking which four people best describe the history of their teams (aka: which faces would be carved into your team's mount rushmore). i've been thinking about this alot, actually, and i decided to share my decisions with you in advance of the actual unveiling of our monument [ps: which of you is writing it, hunh ???]

1. the obvious two
there's no way anyone can try to convince me that the first two faces on the flames' mountain would not be lanny mcdonald and jarome iginla. without a doubt, these two franchise players define the class and leadership displayed in their respective eras and any conversation about the history of my club would be incomplete without their names.

2. the third
after lanny and iggy, it's a little more difficult. i have been hugely vocal about wanting theoren fleury's #14 retired to the rafters at the dome, and i think he should be the third face on puckmore for all of the same reasons. he's a former flame recordholder in scoring titles (until iggy came along), and he's overcome so much adversity in his non-hockey life. also ? the fans effin' love the little dude. personally, i'd be hard pressed to imagine this shrine as complete without theo's scarred mug up there...

3. and finally....
the last guy's tough. REAAALLLY tough. if you think about incredible team players, you've got a few left to choose from (kippy, and gilmour come immediately to mind) but most of the other big names would appear on other teams' foursomes (mcinnis & niewendyk are good examples here). håkan loob is somewhat entitled, being the only swede to have ever scored 50 goals in one NHL season (a record that still stands), but the majority of his hockey contributions have come overseas as GM of eliteserien oft-champions, färjestads BK. oh, and just because mikey V lucked out and has a banner in the rafters doesn't mean it deserves to be there....

no, the fourth guy should be a non-player. some good options, here, are doc seaman, bob johnson, and cliff fletcher.... but to ME the last face on mt.puckmore should be this one:

not only does he boast one of the best nicknames in pro sports, but he was an active part of two cup runs, had a thirty-some-odd year career, and was the first professional hockey athletic trainer to be inducted into the hall of fame. additionally (as if we need more reasons), he remains a community ambassador to the Flames, and his on-bench celebratory dance is one of the most memorable in the 89 cup win. i heart bearcat murray.

**UPDATE: hayley wrote up the puck daddy mt.puckmore yesterday, and you can find it here. i have no idea why sarahM (who alerted me to the aforementioned article in the comments) deleted her note. meh.

i guess that's it for today.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

thoughts on the heritage classic presser

i listened to most of the press conference today that was broadcast live from mcmahon stadium and here are my thoughts, in order of importance:

1. if steve staios is the new voice/face of the calgary flames, i'm starting to doubt that he'll get sent off to abbotsford after training camp. this is nerve-wracking due to the fact that his salary cap number is enormous, that he's gonna get top-line minutes (and drag down jaybouw yet again), and he's gonna suck all over the place. and while i'm totally gutted by this revelation, i'm sure matt pelech can now be considered a jumper.

2. what. the eff. is this ??

i was listening to the unveiling in radio form (ie: picture-less), so it was described as "burgundy and yellow... unlike anything the flames have ever seen before." know why ? cause it's mafackin' UGLY. all of a sudden i'm craving a happy meal....on a positive note, kudos to those in charge for realizing that the C of red means that any jersey created by the org MUST be in the crimson/burgundy/red family. also a bonus is that the guy with zero taste or style, who presumeably designed the 25th and 30th anniversary crests, is continuing his run of mediocrity. and the worst part is that if they offer it in a women's cut, i can't even say with any certainty that i'd avoid purchasing one.... sweeeeeet !!!

from steinberg's twitter :

from the calgary sun:
(i admit, it looks better in person... it's starting to grow on me already but still appears to have been designed by a child... also ? it looks as though glenX might have been hittin' the cheeseburgers, and i ain't talkin' about the jersey....)

(further investigation, aka: reading puckdaddy, shows where the design originated. too bad all the things that are awesome about this uniform are absent in the latest version... and here i'm talkin' about the haircut, the gloves, the skates, and the fact that the photo is in black & white.)

3. unless there was some change of ownership in the past few years that i'm unaware of, mcmahon stadium is still owned by the university of calgary. thus, when gary bettman was going on and on about its storied history, it probably would've been nice to at least MENTION the calgary dinos, and when he was doling out thankyous to the stampeders etc. (jon haverstock comes to mind here), it would've been courteous to also hat-tip the U. all class.