Sunday, October 31, 2010

backlund on backlund is over :(

while he hadn't written anything since the world championship last spring, mikael backlund's blog has been officially removed from the airwaves.


we'll miss your insight, mickis.

Friday, October 29, 2010

gio re-signs and makes me happy

i'm sure everyone is expecting a comment from me regarding gio's deal, since he's widely known as my favorite player. as i said over at flamesnation: i think it's awesome... and in darryl sutter's team hierarchy, he fits exactly where he SHOULD fit* ----with the (speculated) exact same cap hit as robyn regehr. in the years moving forward, gio is the most likely candidate to become a shutdown/PP hybrid and i think +/- 4mil is where he would've slotted in on most NHL clubs. getting him for 3.5 would've been a steal and i think daz is smarter than to give him a second slap in the face to the tune of $3,999,995 [the first slap being, of course, two-way deal offered and declined in '06]. the difference between those numbers is less than what we threw away to see raitis ivanans to play one game (6 minutes ?) in a flaming C.

bottom line: i think everybody wins.

i thought this might be a nice time to post my entry to the calgary sun "meet mark giordano contest," whereby the winner will be the person who best describes why #5 is their favorite player. hey, i'll probably lose to some kid with a big box of crayons who draws a fun likeness of the 10am shadow, but my mini-essay was honest and as concise as i felt i could be on the subject with the price is right rules (ie: without going over). in the end, i probably lost the competition by not using caps, or more likely by slagging anders eriksson and randy sportak, but.... meh. it was worth it:

It won't be difficult to convince you why Mark Giordano is my favorite player, but it will be difficult doing so in 300 words or less... ;)

when calgary's #5 opened the 2009/2010 season's scoring with a beautiful goal against vancouver, my phone went berserk with text messages. not only had "gio" scored a goal, but my favorite player had tallied the team's first goal of the year !! all of my friends country-wide watching the game acknowledged that nobody would be happier about it than yours truly....

i first started applauding gio as a player in 2006 and i was up in arms when darryl wouldn't sign him to a one-way deal (ultimately forcing him to go to russia). i've often lamented how much better the team would have been with giordano on the blueline the subsequent year, instead of anders eriksson (who was signed the day after gio announced his overseas intentions).

in 2008 when i got my jersey lettered GIO, i was a trailblazer at the saddledome. earlier the same year, i engaged in a spirited email debate with your own randy sportak when he suggested Sutter's aforementioned non-contract decision was a sound one (i wholeheartedly disagreed).

this February, i had the pleasure of speaking with giordano's AHL coach (tom rowe), who was surprised to hear me name him as my favorite player. though he'd always respected his work ethic and hockey sense, he didn't think gio was 'superstar' enough to unseat guys like iginla or kiprusoff as anyone's most-loved flame... the next night, #5 dumped 6'3" 210lb hurricanes' blueliner, joni pitkanen, into the carolina players' bench and virtually onto rowe's lap. i'm sure in the commotion of it all, rowe grinned a little about that gal from calgary who knew a thing or two about mark giordano....


*presuming, of course, that iggy starts earning his 7mil, and jaybouw starts earning his 6.6 mil.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It won't be difficult to convince you why Mark Giordano is my favorite player, but it will be difficult doing so in 300 words or less... ;)

When Calgary's #5 opened the 2009/2010 season's scoring with a beautiful goal against Vancouver, my phone went berserk with text messages. Not only had "Gio" scored a goal, but my favorite player had tallied the team's first goal of the year !! All of my friends country-wide watching the game acknowledged that nobody would be happier about it than yours truly....

I first started applauding Gio as a player in 2006 and i was up in arms when Darryl wouldn't sign him to a one-way deal (ultimately forcing him to go to Russia). I've often lamented how much better the team would have been with Giordano on the blueline the subsequent year, instead of Anders Eriksson (who was signed the day after Gio announced his overseas intentions).

In 2008 when i got my jersey lettered GIO, i was a trailblazer at the Saddledome ( Earlier the same year, i engaged in a spirited email debate with your own Randy Sportak when he suggested Sutter's aforementioned non-contract decision was a sound one (i wholeheartedly disagreed).

This February, I had the pleasure of speaking with Giordano's AHL coach (Tom Rowe), who was surprised to hear me name him as my favorite player. Though he'd always respected his work ethic and hockey sense, he didn't think Gio was 'superstar' enough to unseat guys like Iginla or Kiprusoff ... The next night, #5 dumped 6'3" 210lb Hurricanes' blueliner, Joni Pitkanen, into the Carolina players bench and virtually onto Rowe's lap. I'm sure in the commotion of it all, Rowe grinned a little about that gal from Calgary who knew a thing or two about Mark Giordano....


M&G gamethread spillover: afterthoughts

i'm kinda bummed i missed the M&G gamethread last night since it was all about the flames nerdherd, with all of my favorite nerdy blog buddies (except kent) talkin' shop, cuttin' up jokinen and staios, swapping recipes & "how-to-make-beer-BETTER" conversations, and otherwise generally being all-around awesome.

instead, i went over to my buddy AA's place to watch the game cause he's a dirty greasers fan and i figured we'd have a couple beers & figuratively noogie the hell out of each other. except apparently he's a little down on his luck ("man, we can't catch a break." " i'd love to see my team win once in awhile." "it's been so depressing for so long now."). after the flames scored the fourth, he got all pouty and switched the channel to basketball so i totally missed my boy gio pounding somebody's head in. boooo !!!

anyhow, something we were joking about a few games back (over on M&G) was the fact that you can hire the predators' mascot, gnash, for "a birthday party, a classroom full of kids, retail promotions, school fundraisers, corporate events, parades, or even wedding receptions." well, low and behold less than a week later, my friend in smashville posted her kid's birthday pics on the ol' facebook:
what an awesome mom. floor hockey and gnash for a 4 year old birthday ?? i wish i was her kid... ;)

nothin' else goin on, really, except that today is the deadline for the "meet mark giordano" contest. i friggin' better win.

Monday, October 25, 2010

for fun

my buddy ken$$'s "nhlpa approved" oilers merch.
coupled with eberle, this is almost enough to make me like the greasers.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

flames v. preds: who cares, my JERSEY'S HERE !!!

here's the thing.

after spending over a year bitching and whining to anyone who would listen about not being able to get a flames retro jersey, now third jersey, in a ladies' cut: i would like to present the ladies cut third (retro) jersey. for sale at the flames' fanattic (and probably other places too, but whatever).

now, if ONLY i knew who's name to get on the back.... i still kinda want #11 sjöström (cause that's who sparked the whole mission), and still debate #11 mickis, but to be honest: neither feels RIGHT. when i got the #5 GIO jersey, i just KNEW.... i'm still toying with getting this one lettered #5 GIO as well....

it sucks there aren't any other good character players on this team.

tonight i'm stoked to see our lombo line up against his old team and i have no idea how the flambés will respond after a win (with a lot of issues).

Monday, October 18, 2010

win !!!

this has nothing to do with hockey (other than the fact that naheed knows mikeH and TOTALLY watched sid and the boys lose to the yanks with us at the ANZA club in vancouver during the olympics), but how rad is it that nenshi won the mayoral race, and MORESO that he kicked the race's ass through a viable platform, social media, and the youth vote. i can't wait to hear the stats but 300,000 votes in the election ?!?!!! that's unheard of in a generally apathetic city like cowtown. i also think it's CRAZY cool that the "redneck calgarian" stereotype took a massive hit. oh, and that nenshi went to school with my buddy who owns a scanner.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

flames v. grease: my prediction

if you close your eyes, this is how i imagine tonight's game will go:

Friday, October 15, 2010

goals ? what goals ?

yesterday on flamesnation's florida panthers' pre-game, in response to kent wilson's comment "Watch for Iginla to be matched against Weiss' line and for that to be the primary conflict," i mockingly wrote:
"i think the primary conflict will be the flames meager arsenal trying to get one past a big-name goaltender. this is not our forté."
call me nostradamus.

but it doesn't take a visionary to see that the lineup the flames are currently icing is simply not a winning team. i remember when we gave up cammalleri and bertuzzi (the latter, admittedly, i never liked but acknowledged he was still good for >ten per season), i got lambasted on the message boards for asking "who's gonna replace those goals ?" i was told that hockey isn't a goal-for-goal scenario, that the team collectively needs to just pull up its socks, and that goal scoring would be a shared duty by all four lines.

uh hunh.

well, here we find ourselves in the midst of a drought that (let's face it) is now entering not its' third GAME but realistically its third MONTH with this team. darryl seemed to ATTEMPT to address this lack of scoring by picking up stajan, hagman, and kotalik to end the season, and by giving mickis a shot --but let's not kid ourselves. stajan is not derek roy, hagman is no stamkos, kotalik is no ovechkin, and backlund is no patrick kane.... and i hate to say it but iggy's over in the goalscoring world. i'd be totally content to eat my words, but i'm afraid i'm way too right...

sure, we've got some injuries, and our two best "goalscoring" types are in the pressbox (bourque, kotalik), but darryl should've seen this coming. bourque is forsberg incarnate (in the injury not the skill sense) and kotalik was coming off of a pretty hardcore shitty season in NY so the over/under on him regaining status as an elite player was pretty low. darryl went all-in on these two anyways, and then wasted the valuable remaining dollars shoring up a blueline with unusable, aged stop-gaps (i'm lookin' at you, staios), and bringing on $1.2 mil worth of worthless goon.

how fucking good would nigel dawes look out there, right now ??!?!

just sayin'.
(countdown to the flames calling up jon rheault ? 3-2-1....)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

here's my take: iggy needs to shut his cakehole

my guess is that this theory won't go down very well with the masses, but the good news is that only a handful of folks regularly (if ever) read my meanderings.

scott cruikshank wrote an article over in the herald that points out how our captain, my captain, had a high-decibel disagreement with assistant coach dave lowry at practice the other day about the powerplay. "Lowry seemed to want more of a slot presence from the captain. Iginla seemed to want something else altogether."

um. sorry ??

with all due respect to #12, players should play, coaches should coach, and managers should manage. end of story. there is no way in hell that iggy should be telling lowry where, on-ice, he's gonna hang out on a powerplay, no matter how many millions he's banking or what letter is sewn on his chest. good lord, could you imagine if young backlund piped up "yeah, i think maybe i should be on the blueline, actually."


if there are truth in rumours, then i've heard some things about iggy over the past few months that piss me the hell off. i take this hearsay with a grain of salt because (let's face it) it's not like i'm getting this stuff from jarome. BUT i've heard he was instrumental in the return of alex tanguay, and i've heard that he refused to play on a line with daymond langkow.

ie: i've heard he's a player, manager AND coach.

and, if you ask me, a once-elite power forward who's visibly struggling and fighting the puck every night, and who's stats have been on the decline for years now, should shut the hell up and listen to his COACHES.

just play, friend.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I go on about last night, in e-mail form

In the interest of efficiency, I will not write an original post, but pass along an e-mail exchange I had with a colleague (an Avs fan) this morning:

Colleague: Wouldn't you both say today feels like opposite day? #Flames #Oilers

Me: This is what I think: Last night will be looked back upon as when the pendulum shifted in the Oilers' favour. It's going to be four or five years, at least, before the Flames are any good again. Probably longer. By that time, the Oilers should be at the peak of their powers. That's some 2007-08 Blackhawks over there.

It's weird, because the second and third line centres are Backlund and Morrison, which sucks, but is it much of a step down from Stajan and No-Neck? I would say it's a step sideways, and that's troubling. Also troubling: too many Sutters.

Me: A healthy Langkow is better than Morrison, but at this point that just makes him a good third-line centre. So, no. Backlund’s got promise, but not playing with Curt Glencross and Tim Jackman. The most galling thing of last night, forget that Jokinen is still THE EXACT SAME PLAYER, was watching Tim F'ing Jackman on the third line for the Flames, and Dustin Boyd playing a great game in the same role for the Habs. Young, fast, promise — but Darryl would rather have a career minor-leaguer whose best season IN COLLEGE was about 0.7 PPG.

Weirdest thing, I actually thought Brett was one of the best players on the ice last night for the Flames.

So, yeah, not the best start.

an explanation on why i despise my team, part 2.

an explanation on why i despise my team, part 2.

last night's game forced me to re-read some of the stuff i wrote back in early july when darryl sutter officially, completely, and unequivocally lost his mind.

hate to say it but... um... holy cow was i ever right.

the other thing that i found to be a truly hilarious re-read last night was the text conversation i had with duncan on july 1 when he woke me from a peaceful slumber to ruin my life (thereby repaying the favour of me spoiling his vacation on the cabot trail in 2008 by dropping the news of the bertuzzi signing):


"tanguay, yes. it's your turn to ruin my day if there's more"

"Major rumor: FUCKING JOKINEN. All the big insiders say it's in play. 2 yrs/3.5 per"

"please say jussi. please say jussi. please say jussi. please say jussi."


"i'm going back to bed now. wake me in 11/12.... actually, to be quite honest, it's rather hilarious. no better way to say 'fuck you' to the fans."

"Did you mean to be funny with 'to be quite honest'" ?

"yes. now kindly excuse me while i shoot myself."


in fairness, jokinen was not the only flame who had a brutal game last night, but i bet his performance stung a little to those who had bought into herr sutter's explanation that the only reason he previously sucked was because he wasn't playing with a good playmaker like tanguay. uh, whoops. i guess that theory doesn't hold kool-aid.

jokinen, if you watched him carefully, contributed absolutely nothing to the play, offensively or defensively. just like last year, the play would die on his stick ---either he'd pass it directly to a guy in blue (this happened most frequently, and if i were jordan eberle, i'd be sending him flowers this morning for such a sweet feed on his first nhl goal), or just get checked off of it. truly painful to watch. funny, it turns out that paying a guy a little less doesn't actually improve his skill set.

ian white had an abysmal night, though (unlike with jokinen) i don't expect that will continue. regehr somehow played less minutes than pardy, who was in the box for four, so that really points to injury or illness, in my eyes. jaybouw looked to improve through the game and i'm not ready to give up on him, either, especially paired with gio who is an animal. brodie was solid and, aside from the two delay of game minors, pardy didn't suck. i think there's hope on the blueline, we just need to play more teams with no skill players, is all.

tanguay didn't look too bad, in fairness, and iggy actually had a couple of chances so they get a pass. the hagbourqisson line is gonna have to dig deeper for opportunity, or (what i'd prefer to see) maybe we'll change the name to hagbourqland cause i thought mickis had a fairly solid match ---save for falling over on his best opportunity. i know morrison played, cause i remember thinking "dougie risebrough !!" when i saw his #8 those few times. he contributed nothing. sutter re-tread, indeed.

the bottom six is a joke in its current incarnation. glenX and mickis have some skill (and i can't even make fun of jackman since he was probably the best guy on the ice last night outside of the god-like kiprusoff and my boy gio) but were hugely out-matched by the oilers 6-9, and don't even get me started on the fourth line. the only reason ivanans "fought" (and i use the term loosely) in the dying minutes was because everyone knows that the hired goon needs to scrap in the rival's building... ESPECIALLY when both his linemates and the journeyman third liner have all had dust-ups. jeeeeeebus, i miss pocketdawes.

i don't have a lot of hope, at this point, however. goalie aside, this is not looking like a playoff club, and it sure ain't a cup-winning club.

as goad said: "ruh roh."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Still around: Duncan's season preview

I'm somewhat disappointed with my decreasing output — and increasing ambivalence — about the Flames. It's pretty easily diagnosed: This is not 1986 or 2006, and I don't like exposing myself to pain, nor do I subscribe to the "hope springs eternal" storyline put forward by the hockey media re: all Canada's teams before Game 1 of the season. Hope does not spring eternal at my house in Toronto, unless you're referring to hope that it won't be Charlie Simmer on the colour-commentary on the first Sportsnet broadcast this year. (Or has he already been on in the pre-season? I don't know.)

I puked up quite the volume of Tweets on July 1 on my thoughts about Darr's performance in the free agent market, and that was just about Jokinen. Jackman? Ivanans? I like creativity, and there ain't none where I can see. I have fond memories of Tanguay, and think he can still play well, and liked the price. Of course, I should have known better that he wouldn't have stopped there, etc., etc., Steve Staios.

I look forward to tonight for a few things: Tanguay, T.J. Brodie — it's been so long since we had a young surprise to get into — watching Mark Giordano play again.

I also remember watching Brent Sutter's Red Deer Rebels in his second season with the team, and realizing that it took that group a full year before getting his system. That, of course, is junior hockey, which is not the NHL. But those Rebels were pretty freaking good. But there might be something to it. So I look forward

I look forward to the throwbacks in 15 games, and I look forward to the Heritage Classic, because I'm one of the fans of that jersey. I also look forward to more output from WI and all the bloggers who keep my head in the right place about the Flames.

I also look forward to me, potentially, writing blog posts that don't come across as so maudlin. It could happen!

Time to go put on my jersey.

the debut of hagbourqisson: bring it

i really don't have much to say about the 10/11 season that i haven't already said here and/or over at flamesnation in the past weeks. i'm not a huge fan of the bottom end of the lineup, especially with the expensive players we've got in the pressbox (due to injury and otherwise).

how pardy draws in over sarich tonight is beyond me, but ---wasted capspace aside--- i can't say i'm against it. also, if ever there was a game raitis ivanans HAD to play, it would be tonight (and i'll spend the rest of the season wishing we still had pocketdawes instead, no doubt). the jury's still out on tim jackman for me, and how young brett draws in over a guy like conroy (injury aside, of course) is kindof mindblowing.

do the sutters still think it's pre-season ?!?

up north, we'll finally get a chance to see what their kids are really made of. i'm not convinced taylor hall's quite ready, but i expect to see some points notched by either or both of eberle and pääjärvi-svensson (just because MPS was forced to drop a name by the NHL doesn't mean i have to do it). i only wish i was with my boy AA down in the 'hat for the tilt....

again, me and mikeH will begin the evening at FC if anyone's interested in stopping by to say hello. we'll be there for 6pm (the FC hockey pool draft) and i'll be the gal in the gio jersey. hopefully he can repeat his season-opening goal from last year....


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

i'll be okay with the latest re-tread when:

- he makes iggy and tanguay look good

- he makes jokinen look replaceable at 1/4 the price (this shouldn't be too hard)

- he becomes such an integral filling in the bourque/hagman sandwich that we come up with a ridiculously clever nickname for that line

- he scores a gwg on bobbylu at the callcentre and points at the flaming C on his chest to tell the crowd where it's at... [note: i hope goad's in the crowd for that one so he can tell us just exactly how much louder "boos" are than "luus".]

welcome to calgary, brendan morrison. make us proud.

ps: mikeH and i are gonna be down at flames central on thursday for the hockey pool draft pre-game. i think you need to register (i'm not sure if it's too late or not) but if you wanna come down, you're more than welcome to join up !!!