Tuesday, March 30, 2010

can the leafs not afford a photographer ???

first this, and now the leafs have re-vamped their website with a three year old pic of dion phaneuf, photoshopped into a toronto jersey [see screencap below, left, of the leafs' latest graphics project, with the original 2007 headshot at right]... to be quite honest (drink!), their picture-altering department has improved thousandfold since the ms-painting in early feb, but could they not simply hire a photographer to take some new shots of their future captain ????

for SHAME !!! i mean, dion doesn't even look like that anymore !!! does the leafs' org not think a guy who looks angry all the time is a good face of the franchise ???

anyhow, i know the leafs recently filmed dion for "intros at the game and such," cause my buddy lanny worked on 'em (yeah, that's his real name) ---so why not just drop a bit of cash for a stills setup/photographer and pop him in for a few minutes while he's all prettied up ??

gah ! i don't understand who runs these effin' teams....

[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 27]

Monday, March 29, 2010

pocketdawgs around the world: switzerland

1. if you ever travel the world and see a pocketdawg, i want a picture for my international pocketdawgs of the world series that i started about thirty seconds ago.

2. leanne from openicehits (which, btw, needs a new banner i see) couldn't make the blogger meetup on saturday cause she was in switzerland, partaking in arena treats and watching zarley zalapski's lausanne HC. um..... all-around highfives.

3. leanne suggests that the swiss pocketdawg (pochehünd, if you will) bread is superior, but the sausage is inferior to the dome brand.

4. there is a lot of tape in this photo, although the need for tape in this scenario is unclear.... just sayin'..... ;)
...and now it's five minutes to twelve and there is nothing i'd rather have right now that one of those.... thanks a LOT. ;)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

monday randoms: are we there yet....?

big ol' glove taps to the nerds who came out at 11am on a saturday morning to watch me get my drink on while the flames lost 5-0 to the bruins: justinA, sjc, mikeH, hayley & kent. good times were had by all, and (by the sounds of things), those of us who put in the extra six or seven hours of post-gaming were rewarded with sunday morning headaches.... ;)

- the flames got killed in the aforementioned boston game, and had a disgustingly poor showing at eric nystrom's homecoming on the island, but somehow managed to destroy the best team in the league in the nation's capital on sunday (well, on the scoresheet anyways)... all this really means is that flames fans get to keep their playoff hopes alive with fingers crossed that the avs season will tank in spectacular fashion....

- i'm sure by now that everybody's seen this, and thanks to sjc for alerting me to its existance. to me, the best part is the look on dvdg's mug (to playfair's right) throughout: totally straightfaced. it looks like dvdg is listening to nervous jimmy order a coffee at tim's, not blow an effin' gasket... the other best part (ie: best part #2) is the incredible hulk-like disrobing (i love how the assistant coach picks the jacket up immediately, so as to minimize the amount of spit and sweat on it presumeably).... i understand the use of superlatives, and that there should only be one "best part" but really, there are about eight best parts in this clip.... i gotta say: i have a whole new respect for jimmy canaryshirt..... i almost like the guy now.... ;) apparently he got fined an undisclosed amount for his outburst....

- i'm starting to feel a bit of a kinship with pat steinberg.... i don't listen to O/T after every single game but when i do, i try to help a brother out when he's at a loss (like, for example, some caller was musing about why gio and jaybouw have never played together, and steinberg couldn't recall.... so i dropped him an email reminding him that they were paired back when sarich was on the shelf... pat always seems grateful for the 411)... anyhow, yesterday i sent in my thoughts on daz which i believe he read on the airwaves... i was outtie by then, though, so maybe he skipped it:
darryl sutter has to go and my reasonning is this:

last year when the team was forced to dress a short bench because of blatant cap mismanagement, he should have been fired. he brushed off criticism and blamed injuries, but took no responsibility for spending to the cap and not leaving room for injury replacement... while he should have gotten pink slipped, he was given 'one more season' to get it right by the fans.... 09/10 was his mulligan year and (last i checked) you don't get a do-over on a mulligan.

bear in mind that john ferguson jr handicapped the leafs for years to come, and had he been removed from his job even one year earlier, it wouldn't be so grim in toronto right now.
i'll have a lot more to say on this subject in the coming weeks... ;)

- here's a production still from "keep your head up kid: the don cherry story" that began airing last night on cbc.... um.... i'm sure the story's awesome but it's like four hours long.... and also ? there's no way don cherry was that attractive when he was younger.

- there are a number of reports that dion likes to talk in the dressing room... there are also plenty of rumours around which might explain why dion is always going full tilt, full time.... 'nuff said.

- we decided that there was no place for puppies/dogs in the blogosphere.... but what about cats ?

[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 26 ---gettin' closer !]

have a great week, friends.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

lightening the mood.

okay, this is kinda funny (once it gets to introducing the teams, anyways). sorry for getting all bloggergate on you guys yesterday. i'm feeling a little better now.

the proposed blogger meet-up is on saturday for the PPV against the bruins !!! we're thinking flames central... game starts at 11am.... i know i'm in, and i'm pretty sure justinA and mikeH are in... are YOU comin' ??

[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 22]

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

stirring the pot: bloggergate

so, i really love blogging.

i love the work i/we have put into hitthepost, and i love having people who read it and comment on my stuff, the social community of it all, the gamethreads over at M&G, and when people i've never met can poke fun at me because they "get" me/my passions/my likes and dislikes.... i love having had the opportunity to meet people through a common interest (side-note: who's in for the blogger meet up for this saturday's PPV ??) and i have developed friendships in the real that began through reading and commenting on the various flames-centric blogs....

i think it's incredible that duncan and i (and d_p_h as well, for that matter) went to the same highschool, but never even spoke until we "met" online. i think it's crazy amazing that i spent fifty bucks and four hours getting a theo fleury book signed for awildermode; a favour that was paid back both monetarily and in a thousand thankyous by a dude i've never met in person, and who i am beyond certain would put me up in his spare room if i happened to be in redondo beach.... i think it's incredible that kent is widely acknowledged for his wisdom and talent, and i'm personally (for whatever reason) proud of his achievements since the time that we met when he, too, blogged under a pseudonym.... ;)

maybe it's because i have waaaaay too much effin' time on my hands, or maybe it's because i consider alot of the commenters to be my comrades, but when someone gets banned from a popular forum for no reason, i take it pretty personally.... and it's because of my soft heart that today, sadly, i thrust myself (and my white flag of reason) into what i presumed would be a complete misunderstanding.....

you see, one of my favorite current regulars over in the comments section at M&G is a dude that calls himself rod blogojevich; 459 comments, 2 fanshots, and one post (contributing to a profile of what most of us would call an upstanding blogosphere citizen), plus the most rec'd comment in M&G history (to the best of mikeH's recollection)... he's been helpful with links, sarcastic and funny in his notes, and innocuous in his opinions.... sounds like a nice enough guy, right ? well you can imagine my (and his, and everybody's) surprise to discover that, as of today and without explanation, he had been banned by the M&G site.... and so i began my investigation into why ???

well it didn't take very long to get to the bottom of it....

the long and short of it is that RO explained that he discovered today (with IP and email address recognition) that RoBlo used to comment under the handle Dustin Timberlake.... back in december, after a particularly offensive comment in one of the "clutch" comment threads, DT got hisself (understandably) banned.... what RO didn't know at the time, and what i found out just now, is that the rudeness was directed tongue-in-cheek at a real-life buddy of DT's (who actually noted, "thanks for getting rid of that Dustin Timberlake. I hope he wasn’t a solid, well-liked guy who posted here often. I didn’t mean to provoke him."). aaaaaahhhhh, hindsight !!!!! unfortunately, after 89 comments that DT posted between march and december, an ill-advised joke led to his expulsion.... and fair enough, says RoBlo. he gets it, it was dumb.... live and learn.... he signed up as rod blogojevich, about a month later.

RO, understandably, feels like RoBlo is deceitfully circumventing the ban and sneaking around the system. RoBlo, understandably, feels like he's left all the DT bullshit behind him and shouldn't be punished for starting over... as for me, i just don't like the idea of banning people on principle when they've shown that they've been good team-players for a large chunk of time.... in my opinion, if someone is a jerk in the comments thread and gets banned but then decides to return and actually offer some decent opinions, then to ban that person out of nowhere for no current issue seems sortof... well.... shitty.

so where do we go from here ? RO says that RoBlo can contact one of the editors and they'll reinstate him under his old account... i don't want to stir the pot any more than i already have but why should he have to ??? as far as i'm concerned (and i realize that ultimately none of this is actually my business), RoBlo should get an apology and a reinstatement without having to beg for it... and don't even get me started on where the website's manager has been through all of this today. *ahem* you should either check your email more often or get your head out of the proverbial sand... a response would've been courteous...

in the end, it's a pretty sad day for me.

i don't know if i want to partake in a regime that i feel headhunts and holds grudges. i understand the need for moderating, but i don't know if i want to contribute to a website that deletes posts describing unfair banishings with no forewarning so that the situation remains a big ol' secret... blogging is supposed to be enjoyable for everyone, a forum for discussion and debate ---not a dictatorship (except in the case of domebeers, but i digress)... i don't know if i want to continue participating on a site where the folks in charge can take harsh measures against its readers when they feel slighted.... i'm sure i'm being overdramatic and no doubt i'll get over it, but it's been a sad, sad day for me and my blossoming little hobby.... maybe i'll just stick to my own site...


[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 21]

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

are the sutters TRYING to tank this year's team ??!

i realize the answer is "no," but with brent giving toskalol the start the other day in minny, and with what is(n't) going on today, one must think that they've made plans to head home for calving season....

there has been zero action on either the flames website, or that of their AHL affiliate today which signals to me that my beloved team plans to go ahead and replace daymond langkow with brian mcgrattan for tonight's tilt against the ducks. while this might've been an acceptable move back in october, with the playoffs on the line i don't understand why a guy like DVDG (or brett sutter, or jason jaffray) isn't called up to add a bit of reinforcement in areas where the flames will need it (ie: defensively).

seems like a no-brainer to me.

with eric nystrom showing relative proficiency as a centreman, however, mcgrattan can be insertted on the fourth line, where he'll play a game total of +/- 4:00.... how useless.... and yet another indiction of the culpability of this regime; there is no upward mobility for any AHL level competitors not named mikael backlund. if randy carlyle plays his cards right, the ducks should have no problems beating up our first line of defense (ak: our offence).

the lineup for tonight should look like this:

bourque - stajan - iggy
hagman - conroy - kotalik
dawes - backlund - moss
mayers - nystrom - dvdg

but instead, we'll have a pugilist fourth line that will do nothing but bleed goals against. i dunno. i thought signing mcgrattan was dumb back in the summer (darryl should've stuck with himself being the enforcer) and it's proving to be an enormous gaffe at this point, in my humble opinion.

either way ---let's hope the flames can pull through and grab a W tonight, if only so that we can all pretend that there's still a glimmer of hope for the postseason. i'll be attending in my gio jersey, so if you see me feel free to say hello... ;)

ps: does anybody else wonder if scott cruikshank bothered to translate mickis' blog from last week, or if he just hitthepost and ripped my work, adding in some soundbytes from the blogger, himself ? does anybody else find it curious that i mentionned to steinberg on friday, via email, the existance of said blog ---and that pat probably sees cruikshank around the bowels of the 'dome all the time ? i mean, i could totally be over-thinking this (i AM a girl !!!) but it strikes me as coincidental that #60's blog has been around for years and yet only gets a mention in the MSM after the much-hyped ikea birthday trip for princess cake ??? just sayin'..... anyways. i'm sure poor mickis will be forced to take it down sooner rather than later.

****UPDATE: just as i hit "post" on this mafacka, the flames announce that they've recalled brett sutter for tonight's game.... my first thought: LOL. i can't honestly say that i know whether or not DVDG is any better than young brett this year, but either way it reeeeeeks of nepotism; nepotism on a sinking ship, i might add (aka: one last kick at the can). anyhow, i wonder if the team is even gonna make mcG come to practice anymore since his tenure in a flaming C is clearly over..... except for the last game of the year when the flames have been mathematically eliminated, where he'll draw in to beat the living hell out of burrows and/or kesler and get the entire bench and front office fined/suspended..... ahhhh, how AWESOME would that be ?!?!?

[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 20]

Monday, March 22, 2010

monday randoms: pre post mortems :)

first and foremost, i would like to extend my best wishes (on behalf of the entire htp team) to daymond langkow and his family for what must be a very scary time... the word on the street is that he's fine and his hospital sleepover in st.paul was purely precautionary, but nobody ever wants to see a guy unable to move his legs after an incident.... especially when he's clearly awake and coherent.... that shit's terrifying in a life way.

- i came in 7th of 12 in my fantasy pool, which pisses me off because i really thought i could make the ground into sixth (8 points) by season's end... buuuut apparently my pool had a playoff format so the top six teams spend the last three weeks battling for the title. i now have a bye for the next week (the screaming dobermans are tops in the consolation round), which kindof defeats the purpose of being in a fantasy league. *lame* ... i'm KILLING in my facebook pool: 1.75 points behind canuck-loving htp pal, goad, and miles ahead of all my other friends.... in two other pools, i find myself 126th of 149 (mikeH is 98th), and 19th out of 71... this last one will pay me out ten bucks anyways cause the guy i made a side-bet with is 59th... i guess i'm just not that good at regular season pools, but i'm still totally proud of the fact that i won $600 in a playoff pool in 2003....

-speaking of playoffs, it's not looking like the flames are gonna make it this year... if i was in charge, i'd clean house in the front office and install some non-sutters to run the team. of course, if i was in charge, i wouldn't have to petition the new regime to hire me... ;)

- dustin boyd may have landed the proverbial deathblow to darryl sutter's job in calgary by netting two goals for the preds and solidifying their rank in the top 8.....it's all so magnificently ironic i can't begin to describe it.... if i was any good at photoshop, i would take this image and give the little dude in the front a blonde afro, and the big dude in the back bigger ears.... aaand while on the subject if you try to write "darryl" in T9 on a cellphone (aka: predictive texting), it gives up after writing "ears." i've been meaning to share that for eons....

***UPDATE: my buddy nuuuugs over at gripping the stick did (in ten minutes) what would have taken me five hours and created my boyd v. daz image.... THANK YOU !!!!! :-D

-apparently the most common submission in the contest to name the newest additions to the RCMP's K9 unit is "crosby." i thought i'd put this in because i know arik likes puppies.

- darryl sutter ruined my team.

- i realize this is way old news but it's been kickin' around the desktop for awhile.... puckdaddy did a photoshop contest with the "golden roar" and had about a gazillion submissions; my favorite of which was not the winner:

have a great week, friends !!!

[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 19]

Sunday, March 21, 2010

c'mon, flames central !!! get it TOGETHER !!!!

flames central opened on april 10th, 2007.... that's about a month shy of three years ago.

the flames-themed sportsbar and restaurant is run by the calgary flames organization & local buisnessman, victor choy,'s concorde group (which also owns and operates such establishments as the mercury, the whiskey, the bungalow, bass brothers, mynt, the sky360, and the infamous republik in all of its incarnations). anyhow, i don't really have a whole lot to say about the joint except that it's a pretty decent place to watch a game (biggest LED screen outside of dubai, i've been told), and that i'm getting slaughtered in their hockey pool.

the reason i'm writing this (and i admit this post is way past due) is that on the second floor, the walls are lined with framed player 'portraits;' poster-sized photos of some of history's favoured flames, with a bit of info on each of them.... i always stop on the gallery's west end to say hi to håkan loob, but lanny's around, and langks, lombo, and theo are all hanging about, among others.... but here's my point.

late in april, 2007, my buddy richie took me to flames central to show me around. he works in construction and has been employed by victor choy for ages, and has helped renovate most of the properties listed above. he knew i'd like the planet-hollywood-meets-my favorite-hockey-team styling and was pretty proud of the place.... the first thing i said as we nosed around upstairs ?

"uhhhh... they might want to fix the spelling of brad mccrimmon's name..."

richie immediately got on the phone to victor and let him know the error... in the three years since, i've mentionned it to victor myself (when i ran into him at the cjsw anniversary party), and i also pointed it out to flames' vp of communications, peter hanlon, when i saw him at the fan forum a few months back....

aaaannnnnd the last time i checked, poor mccrimmon was still mis-spelled....

that's kindof outrageous.

(this post was clearly written with a hangover.)

[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 18]

Saturday, March 20, 2010

on injuries....

before last night's game against saint joe's sharks, i got a bit carried away in a comment i wrote over at flamesnation, where pat steinberg got a bit carried away in complaining about the flames' injury woes.... let's face it, kids: higgins and glencross on the shelf can hardly be considered a predicament, and we're awfully lucky (compared to other teams and *ahem* what happened last year) that it's only two guys.....

anyhow, i saw steinberg's article as a precursor to future team post-mortems that excuse them from the postseason due to man-games lost.... anyhow, here's what i wrote (which, btw, became kindof eerie for a minute in the first period when wallin appeared to have injured kotalik on a hard, clean check ----but it turned out that #26 was healthy enough to continue with his particular brand of mediocrity)... :


hmmmm.... i think i see where this is going.....

one of the top line guys (let's say bourque) will go out tonight on a huge, clean hit by "the big swede," nic wallin... the lines will get shuffled and mcG will draw in on sunday.... in THAT game, sarich will block a shot and we'll see pardy dress on tuesday, where hagman will head to the dressing room after an ugly knee-on-knee with corey perry... enter jaffray for the islanders match where we'll lose (sniff) gio on an indisputably dirty doug weight headshot. kronwall will get the callup for the flames v. bruins, and mcG will go out when lucic breaks his hand on grats' orbital bone (too bad nobody will see it cause it's a PPV).... higgins will return in washington where toskala will take a puck in the face leclaire styles (the headline will read "flames' backup takes semin shot in the eye") and we'll bring up shantz to mind the gate....

bored yet ?

lets see.... at month's end lombo will get his final revenge on the flames when he beats iggy to the icing call; our captain will go hard into the boards to end his season... johnny armstrong will get the nod and play just shy of a full period in colorado before re-injuring his everything, so chucko will get his last shot at making the bigs with the flames (before being traded and turning into a superstar) against the blackhawks on april 4th. that same game, in a totally freak play, nystrom will lose both an edge and his helmet, opening the door for bourque's triumphant return against the sharks at home two days later (where he'll go out yet again on another huge, clean hit by "the big swede," nic wallin)... brett sutter will hop a flight from abby to play against the wild, and accidentally injure robyn regehr following a mixup at the bench... keith seabrook (not to be mistaken for keith and seabrook) will suit up in a flaming c for the first time, in the last game of the year, where the flames' regulation loss will leave them in 9th spot, one point behind dustin boyd and the eighth place preds...

anyhow, if it doesn't go EXACTLY like that, then darryl sutter had better not blame "all of the injuries" for his team not making the postseason.


i thought it was kindof fun(ny), anyways, so i figured i'd share it over here.

in other pat steinberg news, i was excessively amused to hear him refer to kent wilson as "kent nilsson" on the radio last night, and it turns out that the guy has never read either htp or the comments at M&G (or else he wouldn't have referred to me as a dude). not that it's a bad thing, i'm just sayin'....

welcome to the ASM, steinberg. i presume you're reading NOW.

Friday, March 19, 2010

a love letter to the edmonton oilers

dear northern greasers:

look. it's way overdue, but i guess i should apologize for our captain accidentally taking out sheldon souray on a check back in october... i should also apologize for sheldon souray breaking his hand on iggy's head during the retribution fight in january that, ultimately, ended your #1 blueliner's season. i AM sorry those things happened, but (once again), you're the bigger man, edmonton.... and i appreciate.

anyhow, the jist of this letter is to show my appreciation for your attempt to knock off the detroit red wings in regulation tonight, to help your fellow albertans make the postseason... even though you pussed out and let a baddie in with 0.4 seconds left, you battled hard through OT and won it in the skills comp. that shows some manhood and i didn't think you had it in you.

long story short, i think it's rad that you pushed through and got the W for your future (and for your southern brothers). next year when you have eberle and hall (or seguin ---you choose), we'll try not to crush them too hard under reggie and gio, and we'll even let them get one or two past miikka....

i swear.


moonlighting around the web

it's always flattering to be asked, every now and then, to offer my opinion on the subjects that other writers are bouncing around in their noggins.... this week was a rather busy one with puckdaddy re-opening the wound made by the questionable tastes of nhl merchandise marketers, and the 4th line blog asking for my two cents on a number of things including hockey and puppies....

in other news, the flames meet two of my favorite defenders in dan boyle and niclas wallin tonight (it would be three except pickles is on IR). i'd presume it a loss for the home team except for the fact that the sharks got their asses handed to them in vancouver last night, and it's probably been a pretty exhausting past 13-or-so hours. if the flames can capitalize on a tired team from NoCal that has been struggling as of late, then we should skate away with a W.

onwards and upwards !!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

realtime photography

i just got this in a message on my phone from my pal strombo.... i think it was meant as a jab in the ribs.

the caption ?


ps: i totally saw dion lying on the ice blocking shots in front of giguere tonight !!! maybe he IS learning something !!!!!! or maybe he was just being REALLY lazy....

***UPDATE: it sounds like phaneuf took a shot off the leg. i could be wrong but i'd be willing to bet that the shot in the leg happened BEFORE he was lying on the ice. ie: i guess he might be hurt so that means he probably still sucks.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

is there such thing as an owership deal ?

i have always maintained i'm not so great at maths, and with 13 games left i realize that it's still possible that the flames will pull it out and make the post-season.... possible, yes. realistic ? ...not so much....

because really, it's not the losses that makes me think we're done, it's the way we lose. the vancouver game was a total abomination and the detroit game was classic 09/10 calgary (giving up goals in the last minutes of periods).... this team has trouble scoring goals and has for months. it seems pretty clear to me now that the problem is not the players, it's something bigger; i'm basing this theory on the fact that the current squad has the exact same issues that the january version did and the team is made up of 30-35% different players (give or take higgins)... and also, our best players are never our best players....

a friend of mine works in the bowels of the 'dome and queried a much more "in the know" guy about why the flames never hoot and holler (or offer any rallying-type words that begin in "c'mon !!") as they exit the lockerroom for a game. the guy suggested that it's the way that sutter wants it. all business, no fun. right. good. awesome.... let's just say that i know how well i perform at work when i hate my job.

an interesting theory came out the other night on overtime with pat steinberg, and that was that the flames' ownership group may actually have instructed darryl sutter to get the team into the playoffs at all cost.... while i'm still perpetuating the idea that dion had asked for a trade, this "ownership insistance theory" would go a LOOOONG way in explaining the addition staios and his ugly 10/11 contract.

the other theory that makes sense, of course, is that darryl sutter has lost his fucking mind and was desperately making moves to save his job.... this is is the one i would like to go with.

darryl also once made mention of the jokinen trade being "an ownership deal" because of his pricetag.... i'm not sure exactly what that means but i would rather they stay the eff out of the dealings, especially if they're aged and senile as suggested by our newest pal domebeers.

and in case anyone is wondering my thoughts on the ovechkin suspension, here it is:

i was yapping last night about how i don't think 'intent to injure' plays, even if they seem to fall in a 'grey area', should ever be overlooked for reprimand. i also propose that, in these instances, the degree of injury should be factored in, and i'm also a huge believer in what i'm going to dub "comparison suspensions." here, i would sum up that if maxime lapierre got 4 games for a late hit/boarding infraction on scott nichol, then ovechkin should've gotten 4 games for what is essentially the same exact play. the biggest problem with the colin campbell wheel of justice is that (in regards to comparison suspensions) matt cooke got no suspension for feasibly ending marc savard's career (and quality of life), while sean avery got a six game suspension for ending phaneuf's by way of insults.

thanks to "the guy i haven't thought of a nickname for" for the inspiration (read: quote) on the avery/phaneuf thing.

oh, and happy birthday to mickis. :)

[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 14]

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

update on backlund, by backlund

happy 21st birthday to mickis tomorrow !!!! the lucky guy got hisself borned on st.paddys day, but it doesn't sound much like he's all that interested in getting messed up on green beer.... fyi: if you wanna catch up with him, hit ikea on thursday march 18th and stake out the cafeteria. ;) anyhow, an update from his blog ---the highlights being that he'll find out tomorrow morning (wednesday) if he'll lace up in colorado.... eff, you might as well. i vote: let mickis play !!!


"Now when I write this, it's my 21 - year day in Sweden, but we still have 6 hours left here in Colorado, USA. Just 21 years is indeed a big deal here in the U.S. when you finally get to go out over here! Birthday will be celebrating in Denver, Colorado, as I said, we play here tomorrow and then fly home after the game. So I had thought that I would go to IKEA on Thursday when I come home and eat my favorite cake, prinsesstårta! May be that it will be buying the Daim and also a nice lunch with meatballs, potatoes, gravy and lingonberry jam!

I have not played game for a while now. I've been in the gallery since we played against New Jersey, March 5, so it was a bit boring because you always want to play! But I have fought on and drove hard fys and extra skating. For now, it has been pretty okay since I was called again. We started of course with a heavy loss against Minnesota, but then came back and won against New Jersey and then we won three consecutive games after that. But then we went to Vancouver on Sunday and had a heavy match there and lost, and since yesterday we played against Detroit at home and lost again after a really tight game in which Detroit won by 1-2! The match could have gone anyway but it was a heavy loss for us and now we are 3 points for playoff spot, we hunt and the remaining 13 games! So we should win 10 of those if we are going to the playoffs and I really hope!

I myself of course hope to play soon, we want to be with and help the team when it is a bit frustrating to sit in the stands and not be able to help the team. 'll See if I get the chance again tomorrow for my birthday, get to know tomorrow morning after warming! There will be a really tough match tomorrow, we meet a strong, young Colorado who has gone quite well this year and is on 6th place 7 points ahead of us. I hope and believe that we win tomorrow then we had two heavy loss which gives us a real pleasure revenge.

After the match tomorrow as I say we fly back to Calgary again and play at home on Friday against San Jose and then we fly back on Saturday and play on Sunday away against Minnesota. It's a tough schedule we have with the game almost every other day and a lot of traveling! But it's the most fun time in the season when it starts to tighten and every match is like an end-game match for us!

Today I was, Pardy and McGrattan down and drove fys before we flew to Colorado where I sit now in the hotel room. Soon it's time to go and eat dinner with a bunch of the team.


i understand the word "fys" to be like practice of some sort, but maybe shep can offer more info.
hit the post: helping you learn swedish one word at a time.... ;)

more on my thoughts re: the state of the flames tomorrow. the post is pretty much done but i wanted to get this view from the inside up.

[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 13]

Monday, March 15, 2010

monday randoms: shall we talk about next season ?

- i came to this horrifying thought today: does darryl sutter have any interest in actually SIGNING ian white, or does he plan to use the inevitable offersheet to restock the draft pick closet ??? realistically (and devastatingly), we all know that darryl gave all the ian white money to steve staios, and with pardy signed though another year we don't actually NEED a seventh warm body on the blueline (since we're obviously not considering age, skill, or ability)... we also know that darryl (presuming he's still in charge) isn't likely to begin the draft without a selection in the first two rounds.... so, according to what i understand about offersheets, and what i've read about ian white, we're probably looking at a second rounder at minimum, or a first and third return.... is the gamble worth it ? i'd say nope. but i'd also say that ian white would sure be worth the 2.7 million bucks we're gonna give to the 36-year-old who's been on the ice for every single even-strength goal-against (save for one) since his arrival in cowtown.

- i've given him a chance, but after almost six weeks i've decided that ales kotalik is pretty much useless.... i'm not saying he's jokinen or bertuzzi painful, and he's certainly not a total liability on the ice or anything ---he just doesn't really CONTRIBUTE anything.... he's like the nhl equivalent to a crystal deodorant rock; using it is probably not gonna make you smell WORSE, but it sure as hell ain't gonna make you smell BETTER....

- if you take that above paragraph and sub in the name "david" for "ales," and "moss" for "kotalik," then you also understand my current thoughts on #25... with the past couple of years invested in the original dreamcrusher award winner, it makes me sad to say it but he's been largely invisible on the ice for me since returning from injury.... i'm not even being sarcastic when i say jamal mayers has impressed me far more than ol'mosser this year... two words to remedy this situation: hellooooo pocketdawes.

- while i wish he would've cleaned the glass at GM with ryan kesler's face instead (hat tip to sarich for giving this a go), i love gio for windexing the #2 most hated guy on the 'nucks, in alex burrows, with a nice clean hit.

- huge props to toskala for the shutout last night, and big ups to kippy for keeping the flames in the game.... it's a bummer we can't put pucks in nets cause we're really doing a pretty bang up job of keeping 'em out (all things considered)....

- it's probably a bad idea to let a GM hire his brother as head coach. not to say darryl's ever fired a coach in-season (even though it was well warrented at least once), or that brent deserves a good canning, but this is going to become problematic at some point, one would think....

- john armstrong is a prospect that rated pretty high on a few peoples' lists a couple of years back, and who's career was pretty much decimated by a string of injuries.... meh, he's handsome (and cocky as hell for a guy who's played all of 14 games this year for abby).... in fairness, the clip was probably filmed back when he was healthy in september LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE YOU SEE ON TV. ;)

- flames announced that the vintage retro throwback jersey is going to be the "official third" next season. hm. interesting.... since i published that tidbit of information back in november, after being led to believe as much in a series of cryptic effin' emails by the flames' retail manager. anyhow, if there is no ladies cut third come october, i'm gonna be protesting in the front office.

- i spent some time over at PPP trying to figure out if they know how awful dion can be.... the post entitled "what's up with dion phaneuf" seemed to lend credence that at least SOME people are on the right track... i threw my two cents worth in, but managed to stay off the gamethread so as to not be accused of trolling... which i would have been guilty of, since phaneuf managed to be a -2 in a game where his team scored six times... :P

- no need to dwell on what a totally and thoroughly shitty performance the flames put in against the dirty 'nucks.... suffice it to say that i like the practice of summarizing such blowouts with haiku; a tradition started over at M&G at some point in january (if i remember correctly)... anyhow, my submission for last night:

first was a bloodbath.
kippy got the mercy pull.
gio smashed burrows.

- i'm lookin' to hit the game tonight (maybe) but don't have any tickets... if anyone's got a line on some for a good price (read: cheap), hook a sister up... ;)

have an awesome week !!!!!!!

[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 12]

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

to make us feel better: dion phaneuf

in the past few weeks i've taken an unforseen renewed interest in watching toronto maple leafs games.... hey, i used to watch that team all the time when i lived in toronto, and i will freely admit that without the likes of kaberle, antropov, and stajan (for good) and lumme, berg, and svehla (for humour), i probably wouldn't be half as interested in hockey as i am currently.... i've got a ton of friends who bleed blue, and i felt for all of them while they helplessly watched some idiot (*ahem…jfj*) completely dismantle any trace of hope they had for a successful team this decade...

since the flames suddenly, and without warning, dealt them a kid who was once considered a cornerstone of the core group, i've been trying my best to watch any/all leaf games televised and a few extras online.... i suppose this is a misnomer, since i don't even really watch the GAME per sé (jeez, that kessel guy's got some skill and luca caputi is currently making burkey look like a visionary), i just wait 'til #3 takes the ice and then examine every move he makes.... maybe it makes me a bad person but what i really want to see (and i admit that this could explain why i see it) are the bad defensive habits that dion picked up along the way... i really want to see confirmation that daz did the right thing; that we gave up on jovanovski not scott stevens....

the first few games in leafs blue made dion a veritable toronto superstar. he came out huge and made some monster hits, got in a fight, scored a goal. the crowd at the ACC, eager to welcome him after an enormous first performance, chanted his name.... but now we're just over a month in and i wonder if the honeymoon period might be over. the bloggers over at PPP seem to be noticing that dion's advertised "bullet shot" is actually generally off target:

"if you had to estimate, how often would you say a phaneuf shot actually hits the net? 5% of the time? 10%?" ---daoust

"1.09%" ---chuck diesel

"i was all worried that i was going to miss poni and his high and wide shots, but with phaneuf it’s like poni never left. thank you dion!" ---daoust

for me, the biggest concerns about dion are his pricetag, his lazy own-zone play, his ill-timed huge hits that take him away from the play, and (quite possibly the biggest detriment) the effect he might have on the development of luke schenn. having not watched a whole lot of leafs hockey earlier in the year, or late last season, i can only imagine that schenn's been struggling in the bigs... but it wouldn't surprise me if his stats have actually degenerated since the arrival of phaneuf, because to my eye: he looks to be taking notes (and all the wrong ones).

anyhow, here are the three boston goals from last night ---all with dion in good position but not engaging the play, except when he unsuccessfully (!!) utilizes the warrener move in clip#2, and blatantly crosschecks/interferes with a bruin crease-side in clip#3.

sure, you can argue that the leafs have a lot of problems defensively and that dion is really just a bystander in all of it. you could insist that the leafs' forwards need to be more responsible, and that the goaltending needs to be more reliable.... but my thesis in this "report" is that dion has NOT improved at all in the last six weeks, and whether or not he improves in the future is moot. lockerrom 'cancer'* aside, daz needed to make changes and i fully support the shipping of dion out of town before the word got out any further that he was a dud on the blueline....

*my buddy's buddy is buddies with matt keetley's sister (true)... ;) apparently when he started with the flames, he thought dion was a pretty good dude but the big contract turned him into a douche and the rumours of lockerroom strife were totally bang-on.

[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 7]

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

flames v. wings: D-day = DEFENSE day

i just wanted to post this link of the event summary and point out the following defensive notes:

- the addition of staios has evened out the defender minutes, and i'm pretty happy about that. while I'M not convinced that sarich is a better defender than pardy, at this point, brent sure is... at least brent is proving that he understands where #6 sits on the depth chart in relation to the other five guys dressed:
  • sarich 17:43
  • staios 18:54
  • gio 18:59
  • white 19:15
  • jaybouw 22:20
  • regehr 23:14
- staios has levelled the blueliner minutes, but seems to be on the ice for a hell of a lot of ES goals against.... this is problematic, at best. even though i'm totally skeptical about his skills, i will admit to being MUCH happier that he's sharing icetime with a struggling jaybouw, and sarich is being sheltered by the ever-steady gio.

- regehr has UNQUESTIONABLY improved his game since the flames dumped dion. [additional note: the dion phaneuf drinking game is now how often, during sportcentre or the like, you can see a maple leafs goal against where dion is standing in, or directly infront of, the crease trying to stop a goal with his stick. here's a hint for you, brother: you probably want to disengage the man infront, or try to stop the puck with your body. the 20 square inches of blade is probably not gonna cut it.... ps: i drank thrice tonight, on all boston goals...]

- this was the first game where i saw ian white do things that i'm confident dion would never have done (in a good way). early on, he cleanly knocked the puck off of zetterberg(?)'s stick with a diving play that would have otherwise led to a breakaway.... this would never have happened if phaneuf was the defender.... EVER. he would have either tripped z'berg or stood around, waiting to see if regehr could make it back in time or if miikka could make the save....

- gio is bonafide. 4 hits and 3 blocked shots. love'im.

- i also want to hat tip to chris higgins, honorary 7th defenceman tonight, for getting his long-due first goal in red. love'im too. ;)

- and, finally, a last note on the 'last line of defense' : backelhinney looked pretty bad on the goal he let in tonight in relief during the ducks v. cbj game.... and i think i'm being generous by saying "pretty bad.'

huge win for the boys. if they keep this up, i might have to stop counting the days til sutter(s) dismissal (currently at 6).

flames v. wings: D-day

so i had a dream last night that i was on a lush island in a village of thatched huts and a handful of people when a plane went down in flames.... am i watching too much lost ? well, according to dreammoods.com:

To dream that a plane crashes, suggests that you have set overly high and unrealistic goals for yourself. Your goals may be too high and are impossible to realize. You are in danger of having it come crashing down. Alternatively, your lack of confidence, self-defeating attitude and self-doubt toward the goals you have set for yourself is represented by the crashing airplane; you do not believe in your ability to attain those goals. Loss of power and uncertainty in achieving your goals are also signified.

if you substitute "you" for "the flames" then i think we might be on the right track, here. tonight is the first night in the next month or so that will go a long way in deciding whether or not the team that sutters built will get a taste of postseason action.... personally ? i have absolutely no idea who to suggest for a win tonight.

my buddy, lanny (totally the dude's real name) suggests that the wings are gonna "beat up on the flames tonight for some vital points" and that could well be the case. i have to wonder if the bounces haven't started heading north for the flambés and that we might get a few past jimmy howard with a rested kippy on the back-end.... who knows ???

anyhow. it's datenight with my pops so i'll be having a burger and a pint during the early 5pm start. hopefully tonight i can dream of flaming Cs playing into june..... buuuut probably we're gonna get destroyed.

[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 6]

Monday, March 8, 2010

monday randoms: cleaning off the desktop II

i want to reiterate once again just how totally proud i am of the work that duncan, mikeH, and i have been putting up here with relative frequency as of late, and to remind everybody that hitthepost is not the epicentre of statistical debate, but instead a forum to offer opinion, commentary, and sometimes quirkiness.... with that said, some of today's monday randoms will have absolutely nothing to do with hockey, but i've got nowhere else to share the following items that all make me laugh like crazy....

1. the handsome men's club
this sketch is almost ten minutes long, but i assure you it's all funny. god bless kimmel... ;)

2. i don't even know where i found these but they're so incredible.... kinda makes you wish you had a poodle, don't it ? poooorrr dooggies... :(

3. a closer look at iggy's gold
...is a little like this. h/t to sjc for unknowingly allowing me to put this up... thanks. ;)

4. preds fan pics
apparently the preds have re-named their town "smashville" and have a greenscreen situation at the rink where you can take your pic with a cup-inspired background.... i would really love to show you the most adorable example of my friend's two boys, but it wouldn't be right to post pix of someone else's kids.... suffice it to say, i think it's rad that the team promotes such fun stuff, and i will gladly argue with anyone who thinks nashville doesn't have a hockey fanbase.... i bet you dollars to donuts one of those kids will grow up to play hockey. ;P

i guess that's it for today. slow day ? maybe.... or maybe i just think that's enough for one person's brain to absorb in a twenty-four hour period....


[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 5]

Sunday, March 7, 2010

accountability for the msm

in the post-game analysis of today's 5-2 flames victory over the minnesota wild, either john shannon or mike brophy (i wasn't watching, just listening, so i'm not sure who actually voiced it) made note that jarome's improvement in the past few games has to do with all things olympic being behind him. while i have no problems with that theory as speculation on his current (two game... it's only a two game) upswing, they announced that now that "jarome isn't busy doing olympic ads" in his downtime, his focus is back squarely on his nhl club....

um.... WHAT ???

the MSM has been under a microscope for some time now by the blogging community, largely for presenting opinion as fact or for disregarding statistics when supporting their theses. longtime commenter, R.O, called out fan960 overtime host, pat steinberg, over on flamesnation a few days ago, for ignoring the advanced numbers when he suggested that langkow "hasn't played well enough to earn a spot beside Jarome" in response to a caller post-game on friday.... steinberg continued (in the comments of the lefebvre column) that "he hasn't been playing well. He's not creating, he's giving up the puck, and he hasn't been great in his own zone." when challenged by both R.O and yours truly with my two cents, steinberg then defended his stance by using catchphrases like "stating an opinion," and by insisting "I'm NOT an expert, nor do I have any great knowledge of the inner working of the team or the game. Never played, only have watched as a student."

[note: steinberg spent a bit of time defending langkow today on the fan, using at least one of the excuses i served to him two nights ago on FN when he discussed part of #22's troubles of late having to do with a "cavalcade of wingers." ... well done, pat. you made it more about opinion while still maintaining your position... also ? he totally mentioned "a guy on flamesnation" jumping all over him for saying langks wasn't very good.... and then called him a great two-way guy and, essentially, a bonafide 2nd liner.... ;) ]

the problem is (and i'm certainly guilty of this at times, as well ---but i don't have thousands of people reading/listening to my opinions) that when he argues with folks, he doesn't often make it sound like an opinion, he makes it sound like a fact.... and i'm only using steinberg as an example, here. many of the panelists/pundits/talkingheads do the exact same thing (i like to think bob mckenzie, kelly hrudey and to some extent ron maclean are pretty successful in describing a VIEWPOINT).... hey, i'll be the first to admit that the line is a fine one.... but there SHOULD be some accountability for the time-filling "falsehoods" propagated by so many media personalities.

and to shoot down brophy and shannon's allegation about iginla's on-camera distractions, i'm not even suggesting that iggy DOESN'T shoot commercials during the season, i'm saying that he DIDN'T.... the nike "destiny" spot was filmed in toronto in august (where, fyi, he threw a slapshot down the barrel and obliterated a camera)..... every other commercial currently on-air with jarome was filmed in september: samsung on sept 8th:

scotiabank on the 9th & 10th:

and coca-cola on about the 11th or 12th when jarome's bit was shot on a greenscreen at a studio in the northeast.... [ps: why was jarome in whistler in this spot ????] [pps: there is no youtube video of this spot that includes jarome eating a sandwich.... i'm not sure why.... meh. at least we all saw it during the games. ;) ]

i'm pretty sure that it's possible to get a couple of hours of printshoot stuff on a day off, but i don't think a lot of in-season time is spent doing this kind of high-end press with pro athletes... additionally, the sponsors and the player agents/handlers work out the number of hours they spend on set, and you absolutely cannot exceed that. on a 12 hour shoot, i believe we were allowed jarome for 6 (and if i remember correctly, we had wickenheiser for 8). i remember working with catriona lemay doan once and she had a very low number of hours in her deal (i think it was like 3 or 4), while i did a GM ad with jordan staal when he was still in the OHL and i think we had him for about 8...

anyhow, i guarantee you that neither mike brophy NOR john shannon have a clue about the stuff i wrote above, and yet they certainly didn't hesitate in offering it up to the general public as newsworthy information. i get pretty annoyed when the talking heads present these myths as FACT. because it’s not a fact, yet nobody is there to correct them, and (inevitably) someone will turn up at work tomorrow and suggest around the watercooler “hey, so jarome was so tired-looking because he was doing all these commercials in january —-he shouldn’t be sponsored so much.” and the rumour will propogate itself.

....and even moreso when it's a hockey-related opinion stated as truth..... i mean, seriously. is it THAT hard to drop an "in my opinion" or "i think," "i see," or "i heard" every once in awhile ?

responsible commentary would be preferrable, please and thank you.

rant: over.

[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 4]

Saturday, March 6, 2010

the mathematics of winning

congrats on a big flames win last night, but i don't really want to get too excited about it until we see a bigger trending towards the type of gameplay from the last two periods... i'm also not superkeen to discuss the latest flames trades, the sad cap situation for next year, and/or my thoughts on sutter(s). i'm gonna go with a subject that was deliberated at length with both mikeH and my buddy dan whilst in vancouver; one that i'm totally and completely underqualified to analyze (cause i'm not so strong at maths):

which is "harder" to win: the stanley cup or an olympic gold.

i've deduced that the evaluation is two-pronged (this, btw, is NOT a play on words describing the horrible nightmare i had the other night where i was blissfully. married. to. chris. pronger.... *shudder*):

1. making it onto an NHL team vs. making it onto an olympic squad
2. the number of wins needed to win one championship over the other.

let's begin, shall we ?

1.A) number of players
without talking about the makeup of teams or player types (see B), in a pure mathematical way there are 30 teams in the NHL, each generally carrying 20 players, and thus there are 600 NHLers (give or take) during any given year. as for the olympics, there are 12 teams with 22 players (=264) but since it only comes along every 4 years, that number should technically be divided by four (66). 600:66 basically says it's ten times more likely for a player to make an NHL team vs. an olympic team.... right ? ;)

1.B) calibre of player / player types
in (A), i don't take into account that there are 60 goalies in the NHL and 24 (÷4) in the olympics, or that there are 180 defensemen in the NHL and 84 (÷4) in the olympics.... so from a basic numerical perspective, which position a person plays factors into the odds.... beyond sheer numbers, there are also probably more than a dozen "pure goons" like bryan mcgrattan in the NHL, who would NEVER exist in an international tournament like the olympics.... like stevie Y said in pre-2010 team selection interviews (and i'm paraphrasing here), "we're not looking for strong checkers, we're looking for strong players who can check." clearly, only the upper echelon of NHL players (be them goalscorers, playmakers, defenders etc) will ever be named to an olympic squad.

1.C) NHL v. european leagues
while 100% of the gold and silver medal teams at the 2010 olympics were made up of NHL players, many of the other countries populated their mens' teams with european league players. the emergence of the KHL as a legitimate hockey league, and with the swedish/finnish elite leagues producing young high-end athletes, means that not all players who lace up for their countries will ever step foot in the NHL. a good example of this is norweigian captain tommy jakobsen, who played in the swedish, norweigian, deutsche, and austrian leagues in addition to nearly two decades of international games, but not a split second of NHL play... admittedly, this is the exception to the rule as the majority of elite players (ie: those who would be candidates for national squads, and certainly their captaincies) will stream to the unparalleled top north american league.

1.D) country population / olympic recognition
i like to call this the "anze kopitar" sub-heading because, while there is absolutely no doubt that he would be listed within the NHL's elite players (and would be named to any country's international squad), he is slovenian. slovenia has a total population of about 2million, of which only 0.05% (980) are registered with their ice hockey federation, and their national team is ranked 17th by the IIHF.... so while the player, himself, has undeniably beat the odds into elite-hood, and would most definitely be an olympian on any of the 12 teams in the tournament, the calibre of his nation's hockey team will (most likely) prevent him from ever attending. on the same subject, but on a different tack, canada has an enormous pool of potential players and the mathematical probability of making EITHER the nhl OR the olympic team is MINISCULE, but definitely not IMPOSSIBLE (as is kopitar's current case).

2.A) 4 stanley cups for every gold
as difficult as it is to play 82 regular season games + AT LEAST 16 postseason matches to win a cup, every year the slate is cleaned and players get to try for it again. with the olympics coming along only every fourth year, and with players getting injured, older, and their roster spots usurped by up-and-comers, i would suggest that most elite-level NHL players would be active for two or three olympics (5-12 year careers/stanley cup opportunities), and in the peak of their play for only one or two of those.

2.B) regular season v. round robin
this section is a joke because, let's face it: in the nhl you have a 16/30 chance of making the playoffs and in the olympics' current format, you have a 12/12 chance of getting out of the round robin. sure, 4 teams in the olympic tournament don't have to play a qualification playoff game (QP), but realistically you can tank in the round robin and still win four in a row and gold medal. post-lockout NHL parity makes it increasingly more difficult to get INTO the post-season, so that 53% chance of playing the "second season" seems less than that.... also, and i'm not smart enough to elaborate on this, the three-point-game system has truly effed up the .500 system (since somehow now teams with losing records can still find themselves sitting above .500).

2.C) 16 of 28 wins v. 4 winning straight
to win a stanley cup, a team must win 16 games out of 28 (4 x best-of-seven series). to win an olympic gold, a team must win 4 games straight (QP, QuarterFinal, SemiFinal, Final). in truth, depending on the pool, if a team wins two in the round robin, they could still feasibly lose the third game (in shootout?) and get a bye into the QF. ie: technically, a team in the olympics only has to win 3 games in a row (*ahem, the last three), or 5 of 7 total. physically, a seven game tournament is FAR easier on the body than a potential 28 game playoff run. conversely, there is a lot of emotional duress involved with single-game eliminations....

i bet you were expecting me to have a decision here, at the end, where i suggest it's harder to win one over the other. if pressed, i would say that it would be mathematically more difficult to win olympic gold (certainly more difficult to make an olympic TEAM), but to be honest i think you only have to be HOT to win that medal. even mediocre teams, made up of average players, can feasibly be streaky for four games, but it takes a very solid, dependable, and deep squad to crack the top 16 and endure the two months of NHL playoffs.....

anyhow. that was fun. please throw your comments in if you're so inclined....

[sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 3]

Thursday, March 4, 2010

blog updates: backlund on backlund

firstly, congratulations to freddan for knocking up his ladyfriend... he announces it in swedish over on his blog (that i will continue to read cause i still love that guy). ;)

mickis has also updated his blog and it translates loosely as follows:

"6 benefits 1 loss on the roadtrip, NHL now!
Yes, our roadtrip during the Olympics went really well for us! We started to play against Toronto on and won with 5-1, where I had 2 goals. Then we flew on to Providence and played 3 matches in 3 days only to Providence, where we lost 2-4 I had 1 assistant then drove (2 hours bus) we have to Bridgeport and played and won by 1-0 then ended the weekend in Providence where we took revenge and won 5-2 and I had 1 goal. After the weekend we had 1 days off and then I took the opportunity to take care of my body so I and Kronwall went to the Westin Hotel and drove hottub and steam room! Then later that day I took a full body massage at our hotel.

The second week of our roadtrip began in Bridgeport and we won the match 3-2 o I had 2 ass. After the game we drove to Worcester (2.5 hours bus) and when we arrived it was time to check out Sweden's quarterfinals and it was not so good as you all already know! It was very disappointing in my room and Kronwall threw things about themselves in sheer frustration! Roadtrip ended with two matches against Worcester and we won both, the first after penalties and the other during the regular time, I had 4 points in those games.

So in total we won 6 matches and lost only 1, it will also be added that the team had played two matches before I flew over there and they won both of those as well so it was a really good roadtrip, 8-1-0! For me, it was also really good, I had good speed in skates and created very positions and played with a cruel good self-esteem! I was also praised for my game as Player of the Week in AHL during the second week of the roadtrip! So it was really fun to have such a nice prize!

We flew home on Sunday to Vancouver again and landed in the early 3e period in the Olympic final so after we got our luggage, we looked at the match at the airport and it was good pressure there! All watched the match over the entire airport! A very exciting and good game! We took the bus also home to Abbotsford, and I got on the road know that I would be named later on Monday or on Tuesday. So I went home and packed, washed and got into the apartment.

On Monday I went down the hall to run a bit fys and the ice bath and then I got my plane ticket to Calgary and later on Monday evening, I landed in Calgary!
I was so happy to be named again, although I knew the roadtrip that I probably would be named if I'm good! It was a nice feeling to sit on the flight back to Calgary and it felt really good at training on Tuesday. Yesterday Wednesday we played our first match after the break and I can not exactly say it went well, we lost by 0-4 at home! For me, it was however quite good but it felt good to lose lodge first game after the break, and especially not at home! So for us pulls us up to tomorrow's match at home against New Jersey!

So we play at home tomorrow and then we play away against Minnesota on Sunday and gone to Detroit on Tuesday! Must be great to play against all the Swedes in Detroit and in particular against Lidas!

It feels so good to be cruelly named again and I hope to stay here in the NHL now, the rest of my North American career! I've been playing really well at the end since I was named the first time and the coaches and management are pleased with me so I'll just continue to show them that it is in the NHL that I'll play!"

this is pretty much the only happy news in flamesville, but i gotta say i'm stoked for the guy....
maybe shep shed some light on what word always translates to "cruel good" and "cruelly" (but both mean good things). anyhow....

a boatload of trouble

i will be the first to admit that when you attend a game, you see different things than you would by watching a broadcast but from my eye, the calgary flames are a thoroughly deflated club and might not actually win another game this year. they were consistantly stood up at the offensive blueline by a non-playoff team and, on the occasion they were able to penetrate the zone, lost the puck within seconds in board battles. what opportunities they had on net (and there were a handful) were whiffed or covered by a steady wild squad.... the bottom line is that we are in a boatload of trouble.

i know i'm gonna sound like a homer when i say this but the only guys who looked GOOD last night were backlund and gio (and i mean this in a hockey way, not a boy way). i thought backlund was, HANDS DOWN, the hardest worker in red last night and was rewarded with a couple of nice little opportunities. i gotta say i miss the third B in the killer Bs line (moss just doesn't cut it, i'm afraid) but there's some nice chemistry between backlund and bourque. and while brent insists on playing gio on the third pairing, he did a lot of things right; my dad even said, at one point, that gio was the best offensive AND defensive player for the flambés, and he's not far from wrong. he notched a couple of shots on goal on the scoresheet, and sent another couple of BEAUTIES towards the net (i'm pretty sure he's been practising a shot that sizzles inches wide of the net at about knee height that bounces straight off of the back wall and out into the slot.... now we just need someone standing out front with the wherewithall to tip that puckhome).... he also seemed to enter the zone at will, unchallenged, with the puck on his stick. oh, and did i also mention the two awesome hits on his nemesis, clutterbuck, and the highlight of the night that you'll NEVER see: a perfect dodge of a flying c'buck in the corner, reminiscent of the dustin brown elbow dodge of months back.

a couple of guys get hat-tips for effort last night, and here i'd say hagman, iggy, nystrom, higgins, and kipps. the rest of the team looked like a bunch of chumps who couldn't care less about winning. stajan was downright invisible. kotalik was only noticeable for being terrible. same goes for jaybouw, i'm afraid....

too many point shots. too many passes. too many fancy plays. not enough deep pucks. too many shinpads.... y'know ---the same old story.... and somehow, sutter's solution was to bring in the bigger, older dude on the blueline.... no joke, we are gonna get absolutely DESTROYED on friday against joisey. picture it: the kovalchuck unit or the ZZ POP line will surely make a regehr-staios pairing (c'mon.... we all know it's gonna happen) look downright silly, and there is no way in hell that the jaybouw/sarich duo could handle'em either......

note: i would like to see a hagman - iggy - higgins line just so we can call it the higgy line.... hey, with the separation of the johnson pardy, brent should do this just to make me happy.... seriously, i mean ---it's not like we're gonna win anymore games anyways... ;)

sutter(s) dismissal countdown: day 1

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Darryl Sutter, Ken King and the long, slow road to continuing disappointment

So ...

Here's what I wrote about Darryl Sutter in the summer of 2008.

And here's what I wrote in November of 2008.

So, it's a bit bittersweet that, in March of 2010, my Flames fan bretheren agree with me.

I don't care how many get-rid-of-Vandermeer secret deals Darryl Sutter has in the hopper, today was a joke. And I wish it was the final indication that I was right about the guy but, obviously, things were clear well before the Lombo+1st for Jokinen deal (which is about when WI got over him).

Please don't get me wrong: I HOPE I'm wrong. I hope that Toskala finds his form in his backup role, that Staios turns back the clock and inspires his new teammates with shot-blocking and selfless play while fitting perfectly into the system and that, uh ... well, there's no way the Boyd-for-a-fourth deal goes well, so I'm not even going to try it.

But the, even of those things happen, let's look at this a different way: What could $5.7 million in cap space score you on the open or trade market this summer? Probably a pretty good player, right? But, hey, at least the Flames get Ales Kotalik and Steve Staios next year. They will obviously be better than replacement players at the league minimum.

Two other takes I like: WI's (here) and Kent's (here).

Once again, let me emphasize: Darryl is not the owner of the team, nor its president. He's just a longtime incompetent in the GM's chair allowed to continue by his bosses. Ken King is a corporate/media guy, and Darryl Sutter plays him like a fiddle. If Sutter goes after the season, and King doesn't, I won't expect improvement.

Because I feel like I need to be full in my assessment of recent days, I do like the Stajan signing, I think that money's appropriate for his history and position on the team, and that he'll be a complimentary player going forward, particularly with Conroy on the way out and Backlund looking like a guy who's going to stick around.

But, that's also saying that in relation to the Flames' current personnel situation which, well, is less than optimum given the team's decision on player movment the past two seasons, which has been mostly abysmal.

Lookin' forward to that squeak-in first-round exit that'll save Darryl's job, too. GOOD TIMES.