Friday, March 2, 2018

wtf, flames ?

here it is.
my first post in over two years.

please note: i refuse to research anything here, so my "facts" may just be things i read or heard or whatever, and totally refutable.  but it's a shitty, snowy day and i've got the raptors now, so here's my tough love for the flames:

if i understand the rules correctly, on trade deadline day (aka: this past monday), the calgary flames had to maintain 18 skaters and 2 goalies on their roster.  on the same day, anyone not officially on the stockton heat's roster would be ineligible to play in the AHL playoffs.  somehow the flames got around this by "on paper" demoting gillies and rittich both and then calling them back up (i don't actually understand this at all since it was a flames game day but  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).  regardless, i kindof understand the justification behind calling up tanner glass ---especially if treliving was in on any kind of trade that would have seen multiple roster players potentially departing; tanner's not imperative on the farm and he's a warm body in the headcount with the big club.  why he's getting icetime is what i don't get.  didn't we learn this lesson with nick grossmann ???

i'm stumped on this one utterly.  the flames went 9 and 1 with him in the lineup and, while no direct contributions appear on the scoresheet, the team looked better with him on the ice. the stockton heat's leading scorer got called up to play on the 3rd/4th lines while the flames struggle to put goals in the net.  instead of inserting him on the top line with gaudreau and monahan when ferland went down, we get a washed up journeyman in his stead.  it's baffling.  player usage on this team is unconscionable, in a lot of areas.

i'm also confounded here and my take is that someone higher up is calling the shots (read: burke and/or tre).  either that or the coaching staff are imbeciles.  you pick!!  why it took 50 games to remove troy brouwer from the power play and give dougie some of those sweet PP minutes is astounding, and the insertion of bartkowski over kulak every now and then is utterly inexplicable,  hey, maybe i'm not getting the full picture but i'm anxiously awaiting someone to break it down for me.

"stay the course" seems to be the mantra here, both from coach to player and management to coach. sure, it worked with paul maurice but i feel like the situation here is different.  my take is that the players need more consequence.  how did they react after getting harshly reprimanded at practice ?  win streak.  how many more times can we hear "they're doing the right things" when they look sluggish and lazy ?  welp, not many more if the playoffs are a legitimate target, sadly.

4. TRE
yikes, buddy.  this is your NHL calibre roster AFTER the trade deadline ??

who cares if we make the playoffs ?  this is not a team poised to win a round, much less a championship.  how does murray edwards expect the fanbase to push for a new arena when this is the product he's selling ?  and maybe that's the whole point.

john chan:  beers on you this year !!! hahahaha xo

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Let's see if this still works: You're crazy if you want the Hawks in Round 1

I’m listening to the Fan 960 Morning Show. I’ve lived in Ontario for 12 years now and it’s how I keep up. And, suddenly, I feel compelled to jump back into this blog for the first time in, uh, seven years?

Ryan Pinder, who I usually agree with, says the Flames should want Chicago at this point. Rhett Warrener says the same thing. “Boomer," whose takes are more questionable and less considered, says they’re crazy.


Let’s review, from the net out:

  • Chicago has the better goalie. 
  • Because the Ducks’ best three defencemen are all injured, Chicago has a substantially better Top 4. 
  • Chicago has the better top-end talent. 
  • Chicago has Joel Quenneville. Anaheim has Randy Carlyle. 
  • Anaheim is bigger, and is “in the Flames’ head.” (The former really doesn’t mean anything except for maybe that it leads to the latter, and that’s busted up with one win in Games 1 or 2.) 

I’ll take Gaudreau, Backlund and Bennett skating around Kevin Bieksa all day, every day. Bring on the Ducks.

(Maybe the playoffs will bring me back in here more regularly? Or maybe it will be another seven years. My last post was this half-assed re-publish of an e-mail exchange, and I’m extra excited to see if posts here still auto-publish to @hitthepost on Twitter, which I set up way back then.)

Friday, January 2, 2015

ARENA REPORT: United Center

well, i guess it's been awhile, hunh....?

is my new year's resolution to write more ?  maybe.... i fully admit that twitter has robbed my brain of it's ability to elaborate on criticisms and witticisms; it's so much easier to tweet "i love lance" than to blog a well thought-out report explaining why i think he's just so awesome.  i could say i haven't written in almost a year because life got busier or something, but the truth is i'm just lazy.  140 characters is so much simpler than this.

with that said, it looks like i'm easily three rinks behind in my arena reporting, and if anything arena reports are probably my favourite feature on hitthepost.  i hit the bell centre last february to watch rene bourque sink his former team with the game's lone goal, then i travelled through a snowstorm to get to nassau to watch reto berra notch his only regulation win as a flame.  heck, i don't even think i wrote the arena report for boston from the time i watched iginla's penguins lose the wales trophy in the spring of 2013, or the time i went to watch the sharks beat the leafers last year....  i'll try to get those articles posted in the coming weeks, but i'll start with the united center, as it's the freshest in my memory.

first thing's first: chicago is a deceptively large city and the united center rose out of the darkness and the rain in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere.  initially i thought we could walk from where were were staying, near navy pier, but in hindsight that was pure lunacy.  in the end, we had gone to pre game at the ultimate detroit lions bar, the tin lizzie, to watch some sunday afternoon football ---and the cab to the UC seemed to take forever.

the united center itself is a middle aged NHL arena and it's obvious.  it's certainly a step or two above the joe or the dome or nassau in comfort and deco, but while the club level might be carpeted, there's still painted cinderblock walls and old school concessions.  it's no warm, homely excel center.

the bowl itself is the greatest.  it's very open and feels enormous and the famed crowd cheering through the national anthem did provide the electricity that i expected.  really something to experience.  chelsea dagger, in all it's goal-song glory, was also unfortunately electric. the 'hawks have got that figured out for sure.  and, wow.  the number of banners an original 6 arena boasts is humbling.

the couple in the seats beside us were really nice and full of calgary/flames questions, and the older hawks fan behind us wanted to ensure we were flames fans from calgary before giving us a pass.  walking around the concourse, there were a handful of flaming C's: a couple of iginlas and a backlund.  nice folks. plenty of high fives. :)

the arena snack, properly sourced via a couple of longtimers in the concourse (but also suggested by my companion, zak) was clearly going to be the chicago dog.  with the addition of the pickled beans and the celery salt, it's essentially a caesar in a bun.  tasty !!!!

and of course, anyone who follows along with me in real life knows that htp pal strombo was sneaky and put us on the television.  repeatedly.  a lot.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

separated at birth volume.... 6 ?

current era jake gyllenhaal and our boy zata.
that is all.

i'm gonna occasionally try to post stuff over here instead of twitter.
so there.


Monday, November 4, 2013

more to come....

the wonderful benefactor of hitthepost is upset at the amount of time i (don't) spend writing over here and doesn't feel like he's getting his money's worth.  he's threatened to charge an "inactivity tax" or, worse, link to a canucks blog instead of the original blogspot host.

so, thanks to JC i swear i will write something this week. and probably next.  good thing i hate bob hartley !!!


Saturday, August 3, 2013

2013 development camp notes (aka: better late than never)

it's been over six months since my last post and i figure that i should probably write some more stuff on here, since my buddy john donates his own money to keep the domain name active, i should appreciate that in more ways than just buying him occasional pints.

i've made it to flames' development camp almost every year since 2007 (there may have been a year or two i was unable to attend) and posted my notes each time, so i guess it would be a crying shame if i didn't do so this time around.

i'm tempted to list my thoughts as they appear in the "notes" app on my phone (editor's note: THIS is something i wouldn't have imagined writing in my 2007 summary !!!) but since nobody would be able to make heads or tails of that info, I'll decode them in point-form sentences below.  largely, my impressions came through the two scrimmages, coupled with a few sessions of drills.

- marcus granlund.  he's quietly solid but on closer examination seems to be doing all of the very best things: skating well, getting into the right areas, puck handling expertly and demonstrating a dirty, snipey wrister.

- jankowski (whom i've since dubbed "junkowski") seemed awkward to me.  maybe he's nursing some kind of injury or maybe he's just been way overvalued as a first rounder but, to my eye, he was a lower calibre player all-around compared to some of the other first and second year guys.  i'm not, at this point, suggesting he's a nemisz or chucko type throwaway but i'm not convinced he's a future NHLer, either.  on the other side of the coin, he appears FAR less lanky and rake-like; i heard he put on upwards of ten lbs and that shows on his frame, to be sure.

- tyler wotherspoon has also filled out physically and has certainly developed the appearance of a pro (ie: a man amongst boys).  a note: my phone autocorrected his surname to w'spoon. amazing.

- turner elson (aka: my horse from last summer) looked more skilled than almost anyone else on the ice, which likely proves that development camp is not a litmus test for "real life."  i'm not in any way suggesting that turner elson is ever going to be a top 6 NHL forward, but if his goal was to show off his talents to the flames' brass, he succeeded overwhelmingly.  he is a pro-level player, without a doubt, and clearly a guy who likes to be on the ice.  he pulled a marek malik during a 3-on-3 drill and stayed late to shoot from the hashmarks repeatedly. oh, and he almost got punched out by joni ortio while having a BIT too much fun during free time. i'm excited to see what he does in abbostford.

- kenny agostino really picked up his game towards the end of camp and showed that he's got some slick moves and incredible foot speed.  i'm actually looking forward to seeing more of this dude.

-  i made a note about josh jooris' impressive puck control, so he was more notable than, say, a morgan klimchuk.

- i made quite a few notes about pat sieloff but not all were positive.  i think he has the tools to be a rather impressive defenseman but i'm concerned about his temper.  the book on him reads that he's "intense" on the ice but i fear that it might be rene-bourque-style emotion that gets him into trouble, and  the high number of penalty minutes he took last year might be an indication of this.  during scrimmage/3-on-3 action at camp, i watched him two-hand crosscheck an opponent in front of the net (in an injury way, not a clear-the-net way), and punch the glass in frustration after missing a pass.  this is practice, guy.  maybe reel that intensity back in just a smidge.

- keenan kanzig looks like a project to me.  he's huge (obviously) but his other skills need to catch up.  his skating seems awkward ---he has strong but choppy strides for a big dude.  he got absolutely schooled by a lightning-fast gaudreau streaking into the offensive zone, causing kent to pronounce, "well, that was inevitable."  even if you consider kanzig was not likely, in a development camp scrimmage situation, "allowed" to crush such a player against the boards on the rush, I'm skeptical that he would have been fast enough to catch him.  the coaches had him stay late after practice every day for a one-on-one chat.  so they're clearly trying to impart some information to the young defender.  i will allow this: he has better vertical than any player I've ever witnessed doing simple drills, which makes him THE MOST ADORABLE. 

if i had to pick a dreamcrusher out of camp, i think it would be john ramage who has some catching up to do.  ....or maybe joni ortio, who seemed thoroughly disinterested in being there.

in other news, going back through the archives to do a little research for this post i found an old quoted finnish tömi mäki interview that ----now years later with "better" translation services on the interwebz--- reads as follows:

Mikä on naisihanteesi ja onko sinulla tyttöystävää?

- Sellanen helmi. Ei oo tyttöä tällä hetkellä.

What is your ideal woman, and do you have a girlfriend?

- Dude gem. There is no escaping the girl at the moment.

can we all start using the term "dude gem" please, immediately.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

pocketgaudreau watches the ball drop for new years !!

while the real johnny gaudreau, or as he's being dubbed these days, "johnny hockey," has become a household name after a couple of stellar games at the world junior hockey tournament in ufa, russia, his tiny, flat, laminated namesake cruised back to nyc for nye.

here's a couple of shots in times square:

 Waitin' for the ball to drop.

HAWT night shot of the little man in Times Square in all of it's nighttime awesomeoness

good luck to johnny hockey in his quest for WJC gold (well... not TOO good of luck, cause i'm still pullin' for canada !!!), and good luck to pocketgaudreau on his continuing adventures on the road with carly rae jepsen !! here's where he'll be at in the next little while.  maybe his kind and wonderful host @pnoitch can get some more rad photos !!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

pocketgaudreau in the big smoke !!

PG hippying out in kensington market
PG hitting the city tv / muchmusic building at queen & john
 checking out the OCAD Sharp Centre for Design
Jays game at the Rogers Centre (aka: Skydome) for Ricky Romero bobblehead day
postgame cervezas with PG and htp pal amanda with a great view of the CN tower
PG went to visit Rob Ford at work, but he was out for lunch

PG watched as the city folks cleaned the wading pool in a west end park.... in HAZMAT suits.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

PG takes manhattan

i feel a lot of guilt that i never write over here, but then i realize that i detest reading pre-season articles because i'm not convinced there's even going to BE a season.  so i guess i'll offer up some amusing tales of PG's travels, and hope that some of the longtime htp readers will enjoy the ridiculousness in this, the site's 900th post !!

PG met me up in NYC at my cousin's place, having been a last-minute consideration (sorry, little buddy) for my august sojurn.  duncan popped him in the mail from exeter, as he was mid vaycay when he was summoned to the big apple.

Enroute to NYC !!!

bryant park, aka: my happy place
amazing photo #1 in times square (heros: NYPD & the happy tourist)
amazing photo #2 in times square (hero: photobomber & future potential angry mass shooter)
brooklyn bridge &freedom tower from the east river ferry
brooklyn cyclones game at coney island with the iconic and defunct parachute drop

empire state building and the LES from the top of the rock

central park and the top of manhattan (plus the part of the hudson that the miracle happened on)
radio city music hall

anyways.  PG had some fun in new york.  from there, we went to toronto for a week and i'll post those pics sometime soon.  duncan took him back and he's off on an adventure to halifax, having narrowly missed a debaucherous weekend in denver to see phish (true story).  some other time, pocketgaudreau... some other time.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

PG went to SF (and other trivialities like dev't camp)

i have a really hard time understanding where the time goes, and i can't believe i still haven't done my arena report from madison square gardens OR from sunrise, florida ---so i will aim to get them accomplished sometime before the snow flies.

i DID sit in on a couple of days of prospect camp a few weeks back and my main observation is that winsport is a hella amazing facility up there at COP.  also, i held the door for clint malarchuk & met a couple ryans (pinder & pike).  those were pretty much the biggies.

as for the baby flames, man oh man is johnny gaudreau ever a diamond in the rough.  the kid has some seriously developed hand-eye coordination and he's got that thing people call "hockey sense" in droves.  he's also got mad footspeed, silky soft top-shelfy hands, and some radical moves on a breakaway/shootout.  4 more inches in height and about 30 more lbs and the dude would be fighting for a roster spot next time the flames suit up (whenever that might be).

further notables: sven is still sven, which is awesome, and  nemisz is still nemisz, which is not.  other than that i guess the goalies looked halfway decent, sieloff might become significant, ramage struggled, max looks to have plateaued, and my horse (turner elson) was kindof great one day, and kindof invisible the next.  i did find it interesting that the flames org held the camp DURING stampede week for the first time in memorable history, presumably to showcase the city to the prospects in the aftermath of the tim erixon debacle.


in the meantime, our favorite little pocketfellow has been crossing the continent !!  after an epic trip to iceland and the UK in april, the little laminated dude headed out to visit colin stuart in san francisco:

PocketGaudreau at the San Francisco Marina / Golden Gate Bridge

PG takes on Alcatraz

following his adventure in NoCal, colin brought PG back to calgary where he had some seriously good times at the legendary calgary stampede:

PG running amok at the rodeo...

....checking out the midway....

...& enjoying the nightly fireworks
and into an envelope he went off to his next adventure as duncan roadtrips eastern canada !!  remember you can always follow the little one on his twitter page, @pocketgaudreau.

out for now !!