Monday, April 27, 2009

flames v. hawks: post mortem

well, it was no shocker.

we lost in six games to a superior team.... and i, for one, really hope we didn't bump'em up so much that they can't absolutely DISMANTLE the vancouver canucks. i think that the boys (toews, kane, havlat) can rack up the score, and the defense (seabrook, keith, and khabi too) can stun the swedish offense. sure, we got 44 shots on goal ---three times the chicago output--- but that just goes to show you what an elite goaltender does in the second season... on the ride home, the fan960 kept talking about how we outplayed the opposition; i didn't see this at all. our passes were consistently intercepted, and our forward momentum was regularly shut down... let's not kid ourselves: we lost this series fair and square.

a lot will be made about injuries in the coming days... i'm already hearing that dion phaneuf was playing injured a lot of the year (ribs, apparently) and we all know that sarich was skating on a broken foot, langkow had a hand injury, and conroy's shoulder was probably effed in the last two games. add to that the presumption (true or not) that bourque was not 100% and regehr, obviously, didn't play PLUS all the guys were bruised up pretty good. well, i'm guessing that none of the other teams who WON their playoff series' were all playing at full bars either... so it seems kinda bunk as an excuse.... we just couldn't get it done...

in the 06 olympics, i was pretty pissed off that they continually dressed pronger with a broken foot instead of a healthy dan boyle (who spent the tourney in the pressbox). this situation is no different to me; it is the coaches/managment's JOB to figure out if it's preferrable to play an injured player over a replacement... sarich with a broken foot is obviously preferrable to a healthy eriksson, but is an injured/struggling phaneuf better than a healthy pelech ? well if we're talking playoffs then i'd probably say yes, but if it's true that dion has been injured for months, then why not replace him with pelech in FEBRUARY, to give the rookie some bigleague icetime when it (apparently) doesn't matter ? OR, if dion's injuries aren't bad enough to sit him out, but bad enough to affect his output, then WHY IS HE PLAYING 25 MINUTES A NIGHT ??!?!?!? riding a 6 million dollar defenseman into the ground when he should have been resting (or undergoing surgery, i'm hearing) seems decidedly suspect to me. there's no way a coach should be allowed to do this to a franchise player if there's any truth to the extent and duration of dion's ailments.... i will address this question again in the next days when i put sutter's 08/09 cap fiasco under the microscope...

this season was a failure at best. there were a couple of months in there that i conceded keenan might be deserving of a jack adams award, but that has long since vanished.... after the bay-area blowout in early november, when he re-evaluated and totally altered the team's system, i thought that the coach had gained some valuable insight and perhaps humility... but that was short lived and the long-term proved that his "cowbell" (playing aging, non-producing veterans over the hungrier rookies) was his downfall. in tonight's game 6, after a thoroughly devastating team performance in chicago, keenan's big series-changing gameplan seemed to be: bertuzzi on the top line. well, i hate to tell you that it didn't work in the last month of the season, and it sure as hell wasn't gonna work tonight.... when they needed him most, keenan failed miserably to provide anything useful to his team, and they came out flat, once again, and never recovered from bertuzzi's second first-minute penalty in as many games...

i pray to whatever hockey gods exist that tonight was the last night i have to see todd bertuzzi in a flaming C. the same goes for anders eriksson and jordan leopold... i also presume that our favorite squid (who has struggled something fierce since the addition of jokinen) will depart for greener pastures, and hope that adrian aucoin asks far too much for anyone in their right mind to consider a contract offer... i hope that our GM is able to re-sign dustin boyd and adam pardy, and CuMac if he'll get a better on-ice deal than the shaft he saw this season....

i get very little in the way of positives out of this playoff season, but pardy and nystrom would probably top the shortlist.... those guys have far exceeded any expectations i had for them in training camp, along with david moss, glenX and rene bourque... hell, i didn't expect conroy to be as effective as he was (though i had often stated he would be one of the best 3rd line centres in the league, while playing on the first line was a huge overestimation)... warren peters certainly held his own, and i hope to see him back in the biggies next year (along with dvdg who, like boyd to some respects, got the shaft as well)...

in the next days i will post some (what i believe to be) damning evidence of sutter cap mismanagment (nothing major, just mathematics). in the meantime, i will propose that this organization needs a major restructuring, a house-cleaning (if you will). although a good portion of the team's loyal and loving fans stayed on after the final buzzer to applaud their boys, nothing summed up the general feeling of disgust better than the one guy who walked down to the glass and tossed his iginla jersey onto the ice in the game's final minutes... this gesture horrified me, at first, but will remain in my mind as a single person's two hundred dollar statement to a 56 million dollar team...

kudos to that dude.
we (the fans) got royally screwed this season....

17 comments:

awildermode said...

at least the sharks went out, too.

Mike H. said...

Since I'm trying to keep smiling (to prevent myself from crying), I would add Cory Sarich to your list of positives. I thought he played well last night and generally stepped up when our #1 defenseman (no doubt this is Regehr) went down.

Even last night when he was on the ice for the Burish goal, he was pretty much the only guy doing his job, taking the body to Byfuglien when he came into his zone. Leopold had instead chosen the big guy as an ice dance partner, skating alongside without actually impeding his progress.

I'm sure that half of Dion's inability to heal was trying to satisfy Elisha's unnatural appetites. Once we get her out of the picture I fully expect his game to return to normal.

By the way, sorry about all the texted profanity last night, but really, can you blame me?

Can't wait for football season to start.

wrkd4it said...

You will LOVE Bruce Dowbiggen's column in today's (Tues) Herald.

duncan said...

I do love that, wrkd4it, so much that I did a whole entry about it.

Nice one here by the way, WI. The fans did get screwed this season.

Rob said...

Hey Guys,

Thanks for the wicked blogging all season. I am looking forward to the post mortem posts and other wicked tidbits you produce.

I find the anecdote about the iggy jersey being tossed on the ice extremely compelling. Where was CGY's fearless leader when we needed him most? Not that the debacle of this season was his fault by any stretch.

Something has to give. The 'one and done' era needs to come to an end.

Goad said...

Great job.

It has been fun reading your thoughts on your beloved Flames regarding their trials and tribulations down the stretch, into (and out of) the first round of the playoffs.

I understand you disdain for the Canucks and their fans as the feeling is mutual for your Flames. I do however sense an underlying nervousness to the usually well-placed dismissal of the lowly 'Nucks.

The Hawks were good against Cowtown, but not that good.

Chances are that most of the teams that qualified for the post season in the west could have swept aside the wounded and befuddled Flames in 6, or certainly 7 games.

That being said, the Hawks are in tough against a rested, focused Canucks team to which they have conceded (by no fault of their own) home ice advantage. I will make no predictions but we all know that there's a good chance the Nuckleheads could get past the Blackhawks and head to the Conference final.

After that.... who knows. No point in speculating.

The trepidation of the Calgary fan stems from the realization that this is not the soft, weak, one-dimensional Canucks you have come to despise and loath. This team has depth, character, grit, resiliance and flare. Things reserved for the beloved Flames. Things sorely lacking from those same Flames.

We know you hate us. We also know why you hate us. But those reasons don't necessarily hold true anymore.

C'mon over to Canada's team. There's still room on the bandwagon.

Go Canucks Go!!!

Say it with me now. You'll feel better.

Go Canucks Go!!!

R O said...

Chances are that most of the teams that qualified for the post season in the west could have swept aside the wounded and befuddled Flames in 6, or certainly 7 games

That being said, the Hawks are in tough against a rested, focused Canucks team to which they have conceded (by no fault of their own) home ice advantage. I will make no predictions but we all know that there's a good chance the Nuckleheads could get past the Blackhawks and head to the Conference final.

Victory against the Blues (via an undeserved sweep courtesy of a blown goal call) giving you a false sense of security, I see?

R O said...

This team has depth, character, grit, resiliance and flare.The Canucks do not have character. Teams with character do not dive to get goals waved off (Luongo), or dive to try and draw penalties (Sedins), or pull the opponent's hair in a fight (Burrows), or insult other players' wives (Kesler and Burrows).

walkinvisible said...

goad:

no. fucking. way.
;)

you're absolutely right about the current version of your team, which is precisely why it stings so much more to watch them succeed, and why we want you to stumble that much harder...

compared to the 08/09 flames, your team appears to have an elite goaltender, viable scorers, an endless pool of dependable defenders, and a responsible coach & gm.... add it up and it's devastating to those of us that hate them.... ;)

that said, i agree with RO that beating the blues is hardly a feat; the team was bottom-feeding through the majority of the season and pulled into the playoffs on the back of a hot goalie... "the hawks were good against calgary but not that good" is the kind of attitude i'm hoping your team buys into (one which will make them look rather silly after 10+ days off, i should think). make no mistake, my friend. the hawks are probably bigger and faster than your boys, have as much offense and a bruising defense....

it should be a good series. ;)

i think i said it somewhere along the line: i will be awfully happy for YOU if they win, but there's no way i'll be ridin' in that wagon with you...

Goad said...

Although I don't deserve one as this is shameless baiting, I will offer my rebuttal.

"an undeserved sweep"? 4 games, 5 games. who's counting? We all knew how that one was going to turn out.

As to R O's comments of "a false sense of security". I will have you know my two letter named friend that I am a Canucks fan. I have witnessed, first hand, nightmarish displays of ineptitude that only a Leafs fan would understand. Years of over-hyped under achieving squads that defy logic. I make no claims that my boys will "go all the way". I simply point out that the positive shift in attitude and culture surrounding this version of the Canucks is irksome to the perennial Vancouver bashers.

Kes and Burr. They are quite the pair aren't they? How good would they look with a burning case of "C" on their chests? I think they were quite complimentary of "Kelly".

Overly familiar? Probably.
Insulting? Definitely not.
Employing effective gamesmanship? Absolutely.

Moving on to the Hawks. I think they are going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come in the NHL. I only hope my boys can squeak by them before they realize just how good they are. I would much rather have met the Flames in round two but the path can't be paved in gold now can it?

I hope this discourse has been both enlightening and entertaining to my new-found flatland friends. I know I have enjoyed it immensely. Look for me at the game tomorrow. I'll be the one in full face paint, wearing an Ohlund jersey, screaming my ass off, enjoying second round action.

C'mon now...

go Canucks go!

Go Canucks Go!!

GO CANUCKS GO!!!

R O said...

Kes and Burr. They are quite the pair aren't they? How good would they look with a burning case of "C" on their chests? I think they were quite complimentary of "Kelly".

Overly familiar? Probably.
Insulting? Definitely not.
Employing effective gamesmanship? Absolutely.
See, I'd have a hard time convincing anybody I know ('specially of the female persuasion) that making lewd comments about another guy's wife, to that guy's face, is a sign that I have "character".

"Kes" and "Burr" are extremely gay nicknames.

walkinvisible said...

boys boys boys...
let's agree to disagree, shall we ? we all know that a passionate flames fan and a passionate canucks fan will never truly be friends ... ;)

in saying that, i am totally unaware of the lewd comments/"kelly" situation, but (as a female) am accepting in the knowledge that dudes will say stuff to other dudes on the ice to knock them off their game... "sloppy seconds," for example, seemed tame to me, aside from the forum it was uttered in....

and i have to agree with RO on the nickname thing... seriously, you guys need to work on calling guys things like "squid," "nyzerman," "shinpad," and bootuzzi."

Goad said...

How about "Floatuzzi" "Chokinen" and "Kiprusieve"?

R O said...

How about "Floatuzzi", "Chokinen", and "Kiprusieve"?Floatuzzi is nice but it's starting to get too far away from his actual name.

Personally I prefer the simple moniker "Loo", for obvious reasons.

walkinvisible said...

chokinen is effin' money, though... ;)

Goad said...

Why are we wasting our time discussing amateur golfers?

As I sat in my row 20 seat contemplating the plight of the tapout-clad scalper, I could not help but beam with overwhelming glee that my boys had been tested to the extent that they had.

As game 1 of round 2 started it's third period 3-0 in favour of the home town Canucks, I could not help but feel that this was all too easy. My nuckleheads had endured a lackluster attack on the part of the Hawks, showing little or no interest and were ahead 3-0.

Much to my surprise and bemusement the Hawks came back and tied the game, only to be trounced on an incredibly bad line change and an empty netter.

If the Hawks had lost the game 3-0 I would have had serious doubts about my 'Nucks. They played an uninspired, unemotional 2 periods and lead by 3. By the Hawks tying the game I feel my boys became re-focused, asserting their dominance. If this is the best the Hawks have to offer I say "what's the big deal?"

You know you want to.

Don't be a traitor.

Say it with me now...

go Canucks go!

Go Canucks Go!!

GO CANUCKS GO!!!

walkinvisible said...

goad:

i truly love your passion, here, but you really gotta face it: it ain't ever gonna happen...