in the past few years, my dad and i have really found a nice bond through hockey --specifically the flames-- and often spend tuesday nights over dinner, yapping about the strengths and faults of "our" boys. even if i don't talk to my dad for weeks (ie: when i'm in toronto), he keeps up-to-date (more or less) by reading this here blog. dinner last night was spent largely discussing my playfair-bashing, and how to fix it.
i hold playfair largely at fault for the underachieving (too eagerly shuffling line combinations, bad line changes, bad lineups & on-ice player decisions --just to name a few issues), but i definitely think what's currently happening in edmonton is also happening, to a lesser extent, in cowtown. when the grease shipped off ryan smyth, they lost their 'heart,' their cohesion, their innocence, and their sense of good times... and while it's becoming clear (slowly... eeever soooo sloooowlllyyy) that brad stuart IS more effective than andrew ference, there seems to be a different mentality in our locker room, post-trade. it wasn't a knockout blow, in the flames' case, but it seems to me that the team has been swinging wildly with no direction for weeks...
so back to solutions.
if you presume that this team has all the components, player-wise, to win the cup, then it's coaching that's the problem. with only 13 games to go, sutter is probably thinking it's too late to make a change... but i don't think it is... i think that ship will have sailed a week from now, sure. but today ?
if we can't beat the avs tonight, i wanna see ol' jimmy on the guillotine tomorrow. i realize it won't happen, but sutter's got to know the team will look a lot different (possibly weaker) next year. he, himself, has stated "this is the year" but has also proclaimed that he will not head back behind the bench [and i wouldn't want anyone else to take the job]...
so back to reality, i think jimbo's got to come up with some stability for the boys, a proper 'game plan' [and, no... "switch everything around to try to make something happen" is not a proper game plan] and a hellz nice suit/tie/shirt combo.
so... uh.... we're screwed.
flames will probably squeak out a win tonight, just to make everyone think we're back on track.