i think that's all that needs to be said on that front. as mentioned in the hundreds and hundreds of comments over on the M&G gamethread and postgame (where i'm responsible for about $75.00 worth of my two cents) i am starting to think that the flames look a hell of a lot like the toronto maple leafs and i've developped a little breakdown to support my theory. if you remember at the start of the year, we all wondered aloud who would do the flames' scoring, well, that query has reared its' ugly head once again.... at the same time, leafs fans joked early-on about having four 4th lines..... hmmm.... coincidence ? ah, this shit writes itself.... ;) i'm not gonna go by position, even though that makes the most sense, i'm gonna go by impact.... i won't even bother with the bottom 6 since i have a feeling it'll be pretty muddled ....
1. iginla (RW 7M: 21G / 22A) - kessel (C 5.4M: 15G 13 A)
kessel and iginla have similar numbers (the former missed 12 games to start the season), are both considered to be their team's "elite forward," are both the highest paid guy on their respective clubs and are both struggling in 09/10.
2. jokinen (C 5.25M: 10G / 22A) - blake (LW 4M: 10G / 16A)
fans love to hate these guys and are both a product of bad GM moves (olli in a trade, blake in a contract). for skilled guys they seem to have a lot of trouble getting pucks in nets.
3. bourque (LW 1.35M: 17G / 21A) - stajan (C 1.75: 14G / 22A)
these players both battle hard every night and come up with some beautiful and timely goals. neither are afraid to get dirty in the corners and both show good value contracts.
4. dawes (LW 850K: 10G /15A) - hagman (LW 3M: 17G / 11A)
i don't know that much about hagman but i'm thinking this is the best comparison. smart, useful, second line winger.... ?
5. langkow (C 4.5M 11G / 19A) - ponikarovsky (LW 2.1M 16G / 15A)
steady, steady, steady... always dependable. both have historically had top-line assignments but often find themselves relegated to second line duties. both play significant roles on the PP and PK.
6. bouwmeester (D 6.68M: 2G/16A) - kaberle (D 4.25: 5G / 36A)
a couple of strong, solid, smart puck moving defensemen. both play big minutes at EV, and on the PP and PK. both are bonafide #1 guys but often considered to be 2nd pairing....
7. phaneuf (D 6.5M: 8G / 11A) - beauchemin (D 3.8M: 4G / 16A)
both spend enormous minutes on-ice (EV, PP, PK) and are counted on to provide some offence. heavy hitters. neither (IMO) are super hockey savvy....
8. regehr (D 4M 1G / 12A)- komisarek (D 4.5M 0G / 4A)
both injured (i'm guessing at regehr, here but kommie's missed 16 games). both used to be pretty awesomely tough, stay-at-home, shutdown guys, and both are kindof painful to watch these days....
nystrom - stempniak: occasional flashes of brilliance. hard grinders.
glenX - kulemin: get moved up and down the lineup a lot.
boyd - mitchell: underpaid, underrated, young.
sjöström - primeau: both fast, good PK types, both pressbox sitters.
prust - mayers: 4th line grinders/pugilists.... some ability.
mcgrattan - orr: classic textbook goons. period.
pardy - schenn: young defensemen with rosy futures.
finger - sarich: overpaid for ability but still decent blueliners.
white - gio: highest value contracts per club. huge minute-eaters.
flames fans this year have been laughing at toronto getting run out of rinks night after night all season long.... but i gotta say, the make-up of their squad is not unlike the one we cheer for: frighteningly bottom-heavy with very little in the way of naturally talented scoring forwards. when healthy and "on their game" calgary's blueline is far superior, but lately i think the two have pretty much evened out.
the main difference between the two clubs is that the leafs have gone with a two goalie system (both netminders riddled with inconsistance) while the flames rely on workhorse kiprusoff for most games. backelhinney gets (and loses, it seems) only the occasional start. infact, it's in this capacity that i see the teams' divergence and the result seems plain, whether or not the stats are there to back me up: kiprusoff > toskala / gustavsson. quite simply, kipper has stolen games which we had no business winning, leading in no short part to why the flames' record is better than the leafs' in 09/10. end of story.
yeah, you heard me right... now: bring on the angst.
interesting reference pages: calgary player contracts/salary, toronto player contracts/salary, sportsnet player comparison page.