Sunday, September 30, 2007

well.... here we go !

i didn't listen to the game last night, but i'm trying to gather some information about what to expect in calgary on thursday as we open the season against the flyers. the verdict: i'm a little scared...

kipper seems game ready, and i'm not concerned. mcelhinney (who, btw, was my call for the backup job months ago ---which makes me supersmart, even though he clearly only got that spot due to krahn's injury) seems more comfortable than he was two weeks ago. the verdict : should be fine.

we've got a pretty decent lineup, all in all, and i'm not at all worried that we will watch some highly entertaining games... i am, however, concerned about our inability to put'em in the net, which is a problem that has carried over from last year. there is no shortage of shots on goal, and no shortage of incredible scoring opportunities, what's lacking is that little rubber disc hitting the mesh in behind the goaltender. why ? not sure. keenan blames it on effort. some might blame it on good opposition goaltending. i blame it on rhettro's black cloud of bad luck.... verdict: remains to be seen...

1-4 i think we'll do fine. the matchups of phaneuf/sarich and regehr/aucoin allows for some firepower and some conscience on each shift. it's 5-6 that, quite frankly, scare the bejesus outta me. eriksson and warrener, who look to be the ones slotted in as starters, are defensive liabilities and get my heart racing on each shift. but #7, david hale, is no better... rhetzky played all of 12 minutes last night, was penalized twice and ended a -1. there is no way to skew those stats towards anything postitive... verdict: frightening...

it's gonna be a tough year....

Friday, September 28, 2007

my new favorite flame

as announced by MetroGnome earlier this afternoon, the calgary flames have welcomed a new, redundant, presumeably average centre into the fold. but here's the difference: mark smith is my kinda dude.... [i'm an awesome googler...]

is his hair blonde, brown, or blue ?

sorry ---is his hair blonde, brown or red ?

does he drive a souped up hummer or a vw bus ?

is he in a band ?

i've got my fingers crossed that this will be one of those darryl sutter coveting old players situations that will work out (more like kiprusoff than lundmark)... so while i know we don't need him, and i figure we don't want him, i would like to welcome to calgary the 07/08 version of darren mccarty (meets sean avery): mark smith.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

it's hard to tell...

when the calgary flames hired mike keenan back in june i figured the team would either skyrocket to the top, under his leadership, or (quite simply) tank. after two weeks and six games of training camp and pre-season, i'm still not sure which way it's gonna go.

the players themselves look pretty sharp. iggy's looking a step faster and lombardi more confident. huselius is starting the season in post-season form, and is gonna be hard to place anywhere but the top line. regehr and phaneuf are dishing out the hits like they're solid gold dancers. nolan looks ready to play in a grinder role (but if he gets stuck in a scoring role, we might have some problems). sarich and aucoin are fitting in nicely....

the line juggling that i detested last season, with playfair, has started up again, but i understand it's absolutely acceptable (and necessary) in exhibition play. still, i think throwing together 'unrealistic' lines is a waste of time and energy --i listed two such threesomes in recent posts: primeau/langkow/iginla, huselius/peters/stevenson. i would also be very surprised to see phaneuf and regehr ever take the ice together (when not killing penalties to either sarich or aucoin)... i would have loved to see a creative speedster like boyd play with another of his ilk (tanguay, iginla), and thought he was mis-used on a line with a guy like yelle, even though sandbox did bring some calmness to the two rookies on his wings...

i think (hope ?) the last two games of exhibition play show a bit more of what the year will show, ie: a full lineup. my understanding is that tanguay and lombardi are both nursing soreness (if not injury) and may not play. i would love to get conroy back at centre, between primeau and nolan. i would adore seeing langkow flanked by iggy and huselius. tanguay and moss centred by lombardi. nilson, yelle and the one remaining rookie (sounds like peters ??)...

is that so much to ask ???

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

questions for you:

1. how can huselius/peters/stevenson sound like a good idea ???

2. was anyone else aware that jamie mclennan is no longer playing in russia ? as reported last week in the *ahem* edmonton sun:
Jamie McLennan recently returned from Russia where his stint with Metallurg Magnitogorsk was cut stunningly short, fuelling speculation that if Curtis McElhinney or Brent Krahn don't impress during camp, ol' Noodles will be summoned to back up Miikka Kiprusoff again


flames v. oil: gameday preview

top ten things i hope to see tonight:

1. adam pardy
2. iggy and lombo together, all night [with tanguay or huselius. don't care]
3. primeau/conroy/nolan [let's give it another try]
4. warrener and hale in the pressbox. not that i like eriksson, but if he's gonna play, let's see how he plays with pardy. [not that he'll play with pardy buuuut....]
5. david van der gulik or tomi mäki on a line with yelle and nilson. [oh, shit... uhhhh.... nevermind...]
6. another W for the Cs
7. another injury, a la moreau, to one of the greasers [to anyone but souray, who i have in my pool] [okay this is just mean]
8. more of robert nilsson
9. more of a kipper-like kipper
10. more of playfair in un-horrible suits [good thing the game's not televised]...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

flames v. sharks: post game

point form, as i am once again tired.

the opening forward line. i was aghast that keenan dreamed this up, and shocked that he put it on the ice for the first shift. such an obvious mismatch vs. cheechoo/marleau/thornton that it led to a goal against 30 seconds in. ugly.

2. primeau/conroy/nolan.
it is possible that i love this line, though preems and connie make o'no look really really really really really slow. still, they were a force on the PK and some good shutdown at ES. also generated some scoring chances and some decent hits. good hard fast forecheck. i'm sold.

3. defensive pairings
i'll admit to being confused by what's currently going on out there. i know it's pre-season but eriksson and hale on the PK ? regehr and phaneuf at ES ? hale on the PP ??? hale looked halfway decent (which isn't great), warrener looked about as good as he gets (which is pretty bad). eriksson looked zyuzinesque but still clocked over 24 minutes of icetime... regehr looked comfortable for the first time i've seen this year, and absolutely levelled a couple of guys.

4. d.boyd and young sutter
probably just played their last games in calgary. they lined up with stephane yelle for most of the night, which gave them some (but not enough) defensive stability. sutter took a couple of bad penalties early and came out relatively unscathed from a couple of bad giveaways. i love d.boyd's creativity and spark but it's just not enough. both players end up a -1.

5. godard
beat the crap out of some guy named murray. in godard's favour, however, was the fact that he got to rest up on the bench before the big tilt --posting a total of 4:13 in icetime.

6. huselius/langkow/iginla
these guys look ridiculously good together, and should really not be separated. i'm starting to think tanguay should continue playing with lombardi, and then when the going gets tough iggy can double shift.

here's my latest lineup thoughts:

nilson/yelle/prust (when healthy)



good on the boys for getting a win, and in shootout no less. good on the boys for SCORING THREE TIMES in the shootout...!

a little fun: flames v. sharks pre-game

so i was looking online for something to say about tonight's game that hasn't already been said, and ended up finding the above. yeah. some dude has WAY too much time on his hands....

we all know that the flames' top line (which is shaking down to be 40/22/12) is starting to click and that adam pardy and d.boyd are still fighting for a roster spot. nolan and conroy are resting minor injuries (is it just me, or are there a helluvalot more sore groins this year than ever before ??), and mcelhinney will be backing up kipper once again... *yawn*

i'm hoping we'll see D.boyd on a line with huselius & lombardi tonight, which will leave B.sutter and davey moss to fend for themselves. if pardy shows up paired with warrener, then i'd think he might actually have a shot at the big club. blah blah blah... (poor gio...)...

the sharks will probably play a straightforward type game. don't expect marleau to get in any dust-ups tonight (if he even dresses)...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

that's GOT to hurt...

my favorite NHL blueliner (and #1 fantasy pool defenseman, sadly) suffered a bit of a mishap last night:

"Boyle was injured in the Lightning locker room when distracted while hanging up his skates. A skate slipped off of the hook and hit him in his left wrist, cutting a tendon.

He'll have surgery on Sunday and will be out of action for several weeks."

DANG !!! that makes me cringe... vinny le C apparently also went down with injury last night. if they hadn't beaten us for the cup in 03, i'd feel a little bad for the team....

exhibition#4: post-game

i take back everything i said about the sutters.

brett sutter worked his hindquarters off tonight, ending up with a couple of decent scoring chances and a few monster hits resulting from a whole lotta hustle. i'd tell you just how much time he spent on the ice on a line with D.boyd and D.moss but has let me down yet again by refusing to post any kind of stats whatsoever...

adam pardy also had quite a game, making his defensive partner for the majority of the evening (anders eriksson) look a bit like a clown. while pardy certainly looks like a rookie at times, he has good size and sense, if not always the best positionning. he is a good skater, and he appears to have a huge offensive upside, with a goal and an assist tonight in the OT loss. eriksson, on the other hand, somehow turned over the puck behind the net, which led directly to a goal against... ugh.

further defensive notes, i am constantly surprised to see aucoin with regehr, and sarich with phaneuf. it seems kindof backwards to me, but i'm fairly confident that any pairing of those four will turn out well. it's the bottom two defenders that have me worried... i know hale ain't so great, eriksson is starting to look a lot like zyuzin, and pardy is a longshot at best --so i'm not sure who will be paired with warrener when the season starts...

additional notes:
-to all the people who booed the reveal of the new oilers jersey: i disagree entirely. if you ask me, their away shirt might be the best in the league... simple. clean. HOT.

-as much as i like the idea of lombardi centering tanguay and iginla, langkow certainly can get that job done soundly.

-godard is godawful. can't we just get primeau just do the punching ? at least he can hit the net and has some serious wheels on'im when he's not making other guys bleed. i would venture a guess that (without stats to prove it) godard saw about 4 minutes of icetime tonight. total waste of bench space...

-good effort tonight by both peters and germyn, though i would imagine darryl's buying them tickets to the quad cities currently... stevenson also played very little, while sutter and D.boyd sold me on at least another tryout.

onwards and upwards. tuesday v. the sharkies.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

done work. officially paying attention

i wrapped up the last bit of paperwork on three consecutive jobs (only one day off in the past month) this evening, so i can officially start paying full attention to what's goin' on in flamesville. i will also use the weeks-straight of 14 hour days and lack of time to read/watch much of anything as an excuse to explain why i really thought DVDG would get one more kick at the can.


i still won't be wrong about chucko...

the thing that i really don't understand is how prust is still listed on the big club roster, when i'm almost positive that he can't possibly be playing... is he playing ?!?!? there's no way he's playing....

nystrom's gone and yet, brett sutter's still around... ? sure, he's fast buuuutt.....? i smell nepotism....

enough for now. i need sleep bad and i cannot wait to get up at noon.

i'm not worried.... yet

it's a bit unnerving to see the flames lose 3-0, 3-2, and then 4-0 but i am honestly not all that concerned (yet). kipper seemed to have a decent half-game, and although tanguay is playing constantly with lombardi, they have yet to be reunited in a game situation with our top RW. defensive pairings are still being worked out, and some of the baby flames are still fighting for the 12th roster spot...

i'm devastated that 13 players got sent to the quad cities on wednesday following a game that there are no stats available for. it's not that i'm bummed that i didn't get to see tomi mäki play, it's that there's no way to know if he deserved the demotion...

after last night's loss to the 'nucks (and their scoring youngsters), i would have to say that grant stevenson, eric godard & our boy DVDG are sounding like the favorites to make the big club. with mäki gone, we all know who my pick is...

saturday night v. edmonton. let's get it together....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

exhibition#3: pre-game

i officially hate games in saskatoon.

i'm not sure the deal but there is absolutely noplace i can find any info on the game other than the outcome, and the scorers. i don't even know who dressed, much less who got a ton of ice time and who was benched for the majority. part of me wants to make it up just so i can say tomi mäki had a kickass game.

why has the nhl not posted any stats ? did no stats-takers travel to piskatchewan ? did they not bring enough stopwatches ? were there no available cameramen to film the game ?

i don't get it. but i think it's bunk.

tonight there better be effin' highlights....

*****UPDATE: i see now that mäki got the shaft and played on a line last night with cunning & peters. ie: no NHLers to make him look better (like they did with DVDG). i still don't know how many minutes he played but on THAT line, i doubt it was very much. bah.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

exhibition#2: pre-game

in a twisted sort of home-and-home series (whereby the sun-drenched florida panthers get to wear their new red jerseys on well-laid saskatoon ice), the flames get a shot at redemption.

i presume that curtis mcelhinney will start tonight, but then again i'm a girl. i really haven't got a clue how long it takes to heal an O'NO shot to the nuts... ;)

i also presume that any/all of iggy, langks, juice and rhettro will play, and that we'll get our first look at offseason pickups sarich & eriksson. i'm HOPING that they'll dress regehr again, so we can get a handle on his potential pairing with the newcomer from the lightning...

i'm also (clearly) presuming that my boy tomi mäki will see some icetime, as will david van der gulik. and with the best shot of all former omaha players to make the big club, i wouldn't be surprised to see D.boyd out there for a second straight game.

hopefully we win this one.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

the 2nd annual DREAMCRUSHER award....

....officially goes to....

Kris Chucko.

sorry, man but you are a total waste of all the time and energy invested by the calgary flames organization. i realize that i was totally wrong last year about davey moss, with this baby flames award, but i can't honestly forsee your career turning out the same. you had only 9:00 minutes of icetime, all of which was spent skating far too slowly, passing far too sloppily and looking far too much like a lunkhead. three words for you ? NEVER. GONNA. HAPPEN.

in other post-game news:

-matt keetley got hung out to dry by the rest of his team, and still looked awful sharp. sure, he let in three goals but stopped 31 of 34, 5 of which were seriously decent panther opportunities (including a breakaway and a two-on-none). interestingly, keenan left him in for the full game [i'm wondering what's going on there, to be honest, cause mcelhinney was announced as the starter, but lalande dressed as the backup]. i figure with another year or two of confidence building, keetley will be a superstar. he's got a great glove hand and is quick like kipper... deservedly got the first star tonight...

-owen nolan looked sloppy and slow, but absolutely LEVELLED a guy with about 3 minutes left. i say put him on the ice with any of yelle, nilson & primeau in a grinder situation and he might be useful. on the second line he'll be a dud.

-lombardi is beyond game-ready. he played much of the night with tanguay, and i can't wait to see them both on a night when iggy dresses. 26 minutes, which is over 50% more than playfair was giving him last year. ie: keenan loves'im and is giving him the opportunity he should've gotten last year [y'know... when he was getting benched]...

-d.boyd looked average.

-aucoin looked fairly comfortable paired with phaneuf, even though he began the game (to my surprise) paired with regehr. it's early, but if he continues on this level, [31 minutes on the ice] i don't think we'll miss hamrlik much...

- ramholt played a decent game with our reggie.

- david hale surprised me by making a few good hits and maintaining better than average positionning.

- yelle wears the #7 well.

god, i can't wait for game #2. mostly to see what tomi mäki can do in a game setting...

like huey lewis once said...

"this is it !!"

i'm so very exhausted from nearly a month of work with one day off, and with one more week to go, i figure i can push through. i'm cuttin' out early today, though, cause there's this thing i like to call "a hockey game" to attend... hopefully i can skip out early enough to catch the pre-game skate (unlikely) and the pre-game movie (still a possibility). last year's rip on "Sin City" was kinda lame, so i've got my fingers crossed that they actually hired someone with a respectable portfolio to make these cats look good... i know it'll never be" the state of hockey", but it'd be nice to get an anthem....

anyhow. i'm not sure what the lineup will be tonight. of course i'm hoping my boy mäki will get to take the ice, and i'd like to see a bit more of david van der gulik. i presume boyd will be out there and mcelhinney will play a period and a half (unless krahn's bum knee is feeling better).

poor krahn. his best shot ever at a backup role in the bigs and his knee goes out.

run-down tomorrow. can't wait.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

damn you, murphy !!!

played hookey from work.
drove to the 'dome.
9am skate: cancelled.

totally my luck.

see y'all on SUNDAY !!!

Monday, September 10, 2007


1. tomi mäki scored a goal today in the red v. black scrimmage.

2. tomi mäki did not accept me as a friend on facebook. he cannot possibly know that i am his biggest supporter...

C2I: tell him that your pal WI is his biggest supporter. and if he doesn't believe you, get him to ask anyone in the blogosphere. and then get him to score more goals...

Friday, September 7, 2007

to commemorate the 07/08 season....

jason got this:

okay, so it's really not to commemorate anything but it's a kickass version of a sacred heart. it's not done yet, but that's a hellofalotta work in one sitting, i must say.... ;)

for all of my blogosphere buddies, i just want you all to know that i love hockey. and YOU love hockey. but jason ? that dude's got it baaaaaad for hockey...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

rookie camp...

....and dayum am i gonna miss it.

i'm looking at the schedule, and MY schedule and i'm not even remotely convinced i'll make it out for even an hour. and i'm terribly depressed about it. but i'm HOPING that C2I or leanne can make it and then tell me (US ??) all about it...

with the devastating loss of taratukhin, i'm decidedly hopeful about the possibility of david van der gulik. while i thought the former might look pretty sweet in a playmaking role (a la huselius), the latter should fit nicely with guys like yelle, nilson, nolan, or primeau...

oh, and i'm still hoping that my main man tomi mäki can make the big squad. fingers crossed for my (second ?) favorite finn...

who will award the dreamcrusher ??!?!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

new UNIFORM good LORD !!!

so here's the thing. i was so focussed on the jersey that i didn't even consider the rest of the uniform. when i saw that the jersey was actually acceptable, i went back to work and thought very little upon the subject, perfectly content until jason mentioned that some teams (such as the blues, it is rumoured) would be spiffing up their breezers. so i took a closer look at the 'jersey unveiling' here at flames central, and was....well, unsure about the bottom half.

until jason forwarded me this gem:

oh my lord, lombo looks like he's headed to the freakin' circus. WHY SO MANY G@#!DAMN STRIPES ?!?!?

the jersey's fine. the socks are average. the breezers are worse than the canucks jersey... i'm depressed...


new jersey

if i had time, i would write a helluvalot more... this post will change as the day rolls along....

re: the new flames jersey---
i don't mind it, actually. unfortunately, i think the alberta flag is a slap in the face to the rest of canada, though, as it seems to somehow flaunt our current state of riches (aka: prosperity cheques). the maple leaf is a good addition on any canadian team jersey, in my opinon, especially a red one... i wish those shoulder patches were a bit smaller, though, cause they look like they were purchased at M.E.C for the backpacks of euro travellers...

in seeing what some of the other teams have done to their logos/jerseys, i'm pretty stoked with the way the flames have left ours. i think i like the black(home) and red(away) piping towards the sides and i'm unoffended by the stripes under the arms. i hate the new vancouver jersey & the new boston logo sucks, so i'm glad to be somewhere in the happy range, here.

there's some talk that a lot of teams will go back to striping on the side of the breezers, and i wonder if calgary will buy into that nonsense, or stick with the solid black of the last era. hopefully the latter...
****UPDATE: the flames went all out with the stripes, so instead of being sleek and streamlined from the waist down, they look a little like they got mauled by the vancouver canucks jersey of old (the flying V). and/or a wee bit too close to a german national team... oh, god, how STRIPEY !!!! :(

additionally, i'm not really sure how conroy became the flames poster boy, but i would have preferred lombo. is lombo too busy (read: pretty) ? i would think that somewhere in his five-year deal, iginla must have signed up to be the "face of the flames," and i'm therefore totally stumped how he came to get the day off...
*****UPDATE: apparently lombo WAS at the unveiling, as was dion... no sign of iggy. what's up with THAT ??!

in related (yet cryptic) news, can someone please tell me if entourage season 3 is out on dvd ??? someone said it was, i said it wasn't, with dinner on the line. ;)

fingers crossed

the countdown begins:
3 hours till the jersey unveiling...

uhhhhhh gaawwwd i'm nervous.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


i shook hands with two NHLers tonight on 17th avenue; both were really nice guys when i stopped to say hello. one is a former flame, noticeably not sporting his recent stanley cup ring. the other is easily the sharpest dresser in the league who was standing outside gravity pope hackin' a dart.

'nuff said.

what's up, russia ?

less than a week after calgary flames' youngster marc giordano signs with dynamo moscow, rumours are flying that our #1 prospect, andrei taratukhin, will also play next year in the motherland. while i find this news utterly devastating, i'm starting to see that the NHL isn't what it used to be.

with new cap regulations, it's looking like the younger players and past-prime veterans are realizing there is money to be made elsewhere. it's these 'mid-level' players who seem no longer satisfied with 2-way contracts and infrequent big league icetime, and are weighing other options. infact, there are some pretty decent NHL players crossing the pond to play in russia this year.

if i'm not mistaken, the following players are due to join the russian superleague next year:
- yashin (like, duh)
- gio
- oleg tverdovsky
- stanislav chistov
- nils ekman
- oleg saprykin
- alex perezhogin
- alex suglobov
- jamie "chopper" "noodles" mclennan

and others still are rumoured to follow
- Danny Markov
- Taratukhin

is this just the beginning ? will the russian league's inflated salaries draw more elite players in the next years ?

In other news, brandon prust is out for camp due to recent hip surgery. that, coupled with the potential departure of tukhs, leaves tomi mäki in a pretty sweet position to nab the 12th roster spot... he just needs to take out DVDG ;)