Monday, October 29, 2007

kipper signs

so kipps has signed on for another six years. sweet.

does anyone have any info on the no-trade-clause situation ??

good lord, i'm gonna hate it when the flames have to play against phaneuf next year....

Friday, October 26, 2007

in case you didn't know: the new jerseys suck

in addition to being hideous looking, for the most part, (though, personally, i think the new oilers shirts are among the nicest in the league), the new super-high-tech-scientifically-crafted-outerwear-for-professional-hockey-players totally blows.

i won't regurgitate the ideas or comments, but you can read about 'em here and here.

it does take me back to the episode of hockey night in canada, where ron mclean and don cherry were yappin' about the new duds, and had a sample of the jerseys to show the viewers. cherry spills some water onto the fabric to demonstrate how well it 'wicks'. the unpredictable liquid doesn't get absorbed into the material, but instead runs quickly down the surface and (we're told later) pretty much ruins a laptop computer that was unfortunately in the water's path...

what i didn't think about then, but what seems so obvious now is that the water (standing in for hockey player sweat) would not be wicked, absorbed or otherwise removed from the hockey player but, instead, trapped between the miraculous fibre of the jersey and the hockey player himself. when they said the material absorbed 76% less water, uhhh.... where did they imagine that water would GO ???? like, duh. this would create very hot, uncomfortable, wet, tired, and presumeably unhappy dudes, where the insides of their skates and gloves (the 'pooling areas', if you will) would feel like they just went for a dip in the sea...

so what will the NHL do about it ? well, nothing of course. reebok is offering to make the jerseys in the old (perfectly good) fabric on a "player by player" basis. so, speak up boys. that sounds to me like approximately 600+ jerseys with personalized touches.

flames play the avs tonight. could go either way, so let's call it a draw after regulation at about 4 goals apiece. look for both lombardi and ryan smith to be held off the scoreboard, for no reason other than i have them in my pool.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

stephane yelle: my hero

the other day, my dad offered me the choice of games this week: sharks or wild (my brother had already commandeered the tickets to the avs game on friday). it was really a no-brainer...

i have a bit of a history with the wild, having gone to a couple of games at the excel centre last december with jason , and having gotten a little emotional during the state of hockey ... the team is solid --great coaching, good goaltending, exciting forwards, an amazing record thusfar this year, and hey -- i've got demitra in both of my pools, and can't help but love petteri nummelin, the littlest defenseman with the best shootout record...

so, suffice it to say i chose the wild game and my folks went to see the flames implode on monday night v. the sharks.

[note: my mum said, tuesday afternoon, that the only calgary guys on the ice who did a good job during that game were the zamboni drivers, "they had a plan, and they executed it." genius, ma.... x]

anyhow. after monday night's results, i walked to the 'dome tonight with very little hope that the flames would be able to take down the only unbeaten team in the league (overtime/shootout not withstanding). infact, i'm pretty sure i told my sidekick to prepare for a "blowout." sure enough, after the first period, we looked poised to lose by a score of about 9-0. some bad penalties and a worse penalty kill left the flames looking tentative, nervous and flailing against a minnesota squad that looked confident, fast and well-coached. i can't point fingers (have you had the beers at the 'dome ???) but david hale was definitely not making me happy....

well, i don't know what was said (yelled ?) between periods, but the flames that took the ice in the second were a much more interested, cohesive bunch. each pass that was overshot in the first went tape-to-tape in the second. bad bounces against became good bounces for. the urgency was there. and ooohhhhh boy, was stephane yelle on a frikkin' mission....

the first goal was awesome. the second was amazing. the third was moving. the fourth was exciting. and the fifth ? holy cow. the fifth was like the second coming.... brilliant ...

if you put aside the first period, aucoin played very well. phaneuf was solid (as always) and gets extra points for pummelling veilleux. lombardi was on fire. tanguay turned his frown upside-down with his *sigh* two goals (finally). iggy was focussed. huselius was definitely trying. nolan made an effort. conroy was a goat (three penalties ?!??!). godard was only a liability in the first [this is, of course, where i'd need a shift chart to know how much he played in the 2nd & 3rd). mark smith was a non-event. regehr was shooting a ton. hale was only a liability on the PK once, and was on the PK for 1:36. warrener only took one bad penalty. sarich was good. langkow was langkow. moss was.... moss was playing ? ;) nilson was ever-steady (some might say fast on the forecheck). kipper was classic.... but yelle ? ohmygod. yelle was my hero....

[after consulting the shift chart (!!!!!) i see that neither godard nor smith played a shift in the 3rd.... i was at the game and i can only recall that to be accurate...]

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

KEETLEY ??!? wtf ??

as if to confirm my suspicions from yesterday's post, or at the very least to make me even more suspicious, the calgary flames re-assigned curtis mcelhinney to the quad cities, and called up matt keetley this evening...

WTF ???

i don't know if anyone who has seen him play would argue that keetley is the next #1 in the system (apologies to both krahn and poor curtis, but no apologies to irv --who is younger, but clearly the one to watch). i loved this guy in prospect camp, and stated back in july after a goaltending practise:

"i was really surprised by keetley, as he seemed the most advanced and has a lightning fast, kipper-like glove hand. all around, he seemed more solid today than our leland."

...but is he READY ? that's the big Q. the kid's 21 years old and is, essentially, straight out of junior (save for preseason in alberta and 5 games in the QC). sure, he looked solid in the one preseason game he played against the panthers, but.... why bring him up ??!

it's completely plausible, of course, that mcelhinney is not 100%, and that keenan (having now opened the floodgates on pulling kiprusoff out of games) would prefer a game-ready backup. but it's also entirely plausible that sutter et al. are fasttracking keets to play fulltime, pending the next-season loss of and/or hard press on a contract for kipper.


minnesota v. calgary with kippy in some bad headspace ? it ain't gonna be pretty....

glad i'm gonna be there to watch it go down first-hand... :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

hey, kipps --come on in, the water's freezing

so 8 games into the season, kipper gets his first yank at the hands of mike keenan. i wonder how it felt.

i was listening to sutter on the radio the other night, with peter maher and rob kerr, and they were discussing kiprusoff's contract negotiations. sutter admitted they were ongoing, that he was talking to kippy's agent pretty much daily, but that the 'tender had to start showing up to games before sutter would entertain the big numbers (i'm paraphrasing).

what it sounded to me was twofold;

1. kipper won't re-sign until he knows the climate of the keenan era (i've said this before, and i'll say it again).
2. sutter wants a bonafide starter from game 1, and is using it as leverage to get a better deal

i think if this team is not a clear playoff contender by xmastime, kipps might get left on the side of the road in buffalo, ference-styles. i have no idea who we might get to pick up that slack (bless 'em, but krahn/mcelhinney ain't lookin' ready and keetley/irving are a couple of years away), but the cap's gonna have to go up significantly if we want to pay him the dough he wants... personally, i look at this team and think the urgency (and dollars) should be better spent getting dion inked longterm...

everybody thinks i'm crazy on this one, and that kipper should get any dollar amount he wants, but i think we should take a couple of years to build on what we have. we all know we'll lose most of our top two lines next year, and will probably have to pay more to replace them with good players.

what we need to do is get phaneuf under contract (so as to avoid the upcoming offer sheet that i guarantee will happen if we don't) and then trade kipper/langkow/huselius at the trade deadline to bring in some young'uns like philly did with forsberg. my fear is, of course, that phaneuf will be the juiciest tradebait....

i'm also interested in moving tanguay ASAP, before his stock plummets any further. i'm not excited about his 2 remaining expensive years, though i'm not suggesting kovalev is the answer (mind you, kovalev would line up nice with langks and is 800K cheaper...). i know tanguay CAN be good, but dang !! where is the goodness ?!?!?

these are the things i've been thinking while watching my team stink up the joint against the sharks. again, kudos to the opposing team for watching a shizeload of tape on all of our hottest moves. and, again, kudos to the sharks scouts/management for using their 2nd round pick in 2005 to pick up a guy i think will be a norris candidate down the road...

one final thought: why does every single godard goal get reviewed ???????

eric nystrom

it would have been more of a coup to write this 3 hours ago when i walked past him at the airport, but eric nystrom was the callup to replace (you choose) david moss or wayne primeau. clearly mark smith will be shooting pucks at the game on monday night but nystrom was the chosen guy from the quad cities to fill the second open spot. i probably would have selected brandon prust or grant stevenson in his stead (both with significantly better stats), but clearly it is not my choice....

all i know about the guy is that he has an unfortunate bald spot, some serious facial hair growth, and only brought a second bag "cause it has a pillow in it"... total fluke due to me picking up my brother at the airport tonight....

anyhow. i didn't realize nystrom did much of anything in camp, or in the QC, to warrant the callup. but so be it.

tomi mäki would still have been my first choice. DVDG would have been my second...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Bloodhound Gang: The Case of the missing shift chart pt.1

anyone as old as me, or older, will probably remember the kid's show 3-2-1 Contact . it was a classic for the kid set. anyone as old as me, or older (or even a bit younger, to be fair) will remember the most famous part of that show : the bloodhound gang. anyone younger than that will only remember the bloodhound gang as a mediocre rock/hiphop band, with such albums as "hooray for boobies," and such hits as "fire water burn" (a track that was 'flames-ified' during the '04 cup run; t-shirts were emblazoned with "phaneuf, phaneuf, phaneuf is on fire"... but i digress....)

it will come to no surprise to anyone who reads this blog with any sort of regularity ---you all knew it was coming. a rant about the decision of the folks to remove the shift chart from the options on the game summaries has definitely been in the works. it just so happens that tonight i feel like writing, and have an hour to kill before retrieving my brother from the airport.

i'm going into this rant with very little actual information about the switchover from last year's to the 'new and improved' 07/08 version, but i know that there have been some upset people (not the least of whom are the new york rangers, who filed a lawsuit against the NHL, as they weren't thrilled about giving up control of their team site). all i know is that i miss the damn shift chart, and i'm pretty sure it's not grounds for litigation...

i wasn't going to bring it up, but i must begin by pointing out that the shift chart was probably viewed as more important by hockey fans outside the GTA, and i have to presume the guys running are mostly leafs fans. every single maple leafs game can be watched on basic cable; each and every hockey night in canada begins with a leafs game (unless ottawa is playing, and then that is shown in their small market), and the other games' televised rights have been snatched up by sportsnet or tsn. and if you decide NOT to stay home to watch the blue and white implode in the 3rd, half the bars in town will be showing it... the bottom line: if you live in the golden horseshoe, you needn't open a shift chart to see who mats spent most of the night feeding passes to.

calgary has 14 games on PPV this year, and one inexplicable total blackout, so on nights there's no coverage i turn to to provide me with some information. sure, i can see who scored in the game summary --but i have to check the event summary to see which guy dressed as the backup goalie. the event summary will tell me if lombardi was being loved (18 mins of icetime) or hated (11 mins of icetime), but it won't tell me if he was playing on the 2nd line or the 3rd line. i can gather, from the event summary, if iginla was being double shifted due to TOI... but i can't see when exactly nolan started getting benched to allow him to do so. or if moss disappears mid period, comes back and leaves again, i can know how long he lasted before feeling truly concussed...

oh, and the faceoff chart and the play by play are essentially useless... does anyone actually look at those things ?!?

please please please, ? please bring back the shift chart...

(i called this "pt.1" because i do believe i will hear something at some point re: my query to the site in question)

Saturday, October 20, 2007


i will re-post later, with the youtube clip of mats sundin's shorthanded goal from tonight's game against the 'hawks. it's not so much that sundin's goal was outstanding, as much as andrei zyuzin tripping over his own feet (and subsequently giving away the puck on his own blueline) was poetic. absolutely pure classic zyuzin....

i would have embeded the video here, but apparently doesn't know how to use HTML either....

UPDATE**** it's under review but it is decidedly possible that the leafs' second goal went in off of zyuzin's stick... yep. it was an own goal by the unlucky russian, credited to a pinching and crashing kaberle (aka: the anti-zyuzin).

sure, it could be just that he's having a really really really really bad game, but i can't help but wonder if he is just this bad, untelevised, every night... and then i remember that he is.


best. pic. ever.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

still busy buuuuuut....

huge congrats to daymond langkow for posting a gordie howe hat trick tonight. not only that, but a gordie howe hat trick with an extra freakin' goal. this guy is on FIRE... :)

been busy buuuuut....

sum 41 played the 'dome last night and my buddy's band from toronto was the support band. ie: no pre-game tonight, but stay tuned for pics of me in the bowels of mecca, drinking molson canadian (like a good hockeylovin' girl) just outside the flames' dressing room...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

two !!

i don't have a lot to say, here, except the beer at flames central is JUST like the dome: kinda average, pretty expensive, gets you drunk, and ohhh jeeeeezz, the hangover !!!! a good time was had by all, of course"'all" was just me and duncan...

7-4, though ? that's a bit of a coup if you ask me. 4 goals is still, obviously, too many to let in, but the flaming Cs potted one on the PP, one SH and 5 at ES. that's AMAZING.... i would know more if there was a stupid shift chart, or game highlights [are there no tv cameras at the sommet centre ? would the fans have to pay extra fort that ??] but here's what i gathered:

- langkow was double shifting, on the ice for the 6th goal (with iggy & tangs), but also with huselius & nolan for the 7th.
- lombardi is slick and fast on the PK and takes advantage of the bounces
- godard might be good for something other than making people bleed and taking bad penalties. and even if he's not, he's definitely making a statement about wanting to stay in the lineup....
- keenan seems to have settled on his offensive lineup, but seems very scattered, still, with defensive pairings (i presume this is because playfair is the defensive specialist). here are on-ice pairings for all of the goals last night:

1. 8/33 (PP)
2. 6/28 (SH)
3. 3/33
4. 8/44
5. 3/33
6. 3/6 (SH)
7. 8/44
8. 3/6
9. 28/44
10. 3/33
11. 6/28

HUNH ??!??!?!?!?!?!??????!!!!

congrats, anyways, on two hard-fought road wins. let's see if we can take it to the 'lanche on tuesday...

Saturday, October 13, 2007


it has come to my attention that in last night's 3-2 overtime victory, a square peg did, infact, fit into a round hole. congratulations, conny, you got yourself an assist on a goal scored by your pal, iggy... i'm still not sure that makes me wrong on the whole "you don't belong on the first line" thing...

after 2-goal games by langkow (v. philly, v. vancouver) and huselius (v. detroit), our favorite speed demon matthew lombardi decided to take the game home by himself last night in dallas. on his first goal, he capitalized on a bad bounce, and the second saw him scoop up a bad brendan morrow drop pass. the ensuing play on both goals had him flyin' up the left wing and unloading bullets from the circle. i haven't seen televised highlights (only internet), but it appears turco never had a chance... damn that kid is good... interestingly (though explainable by a possible line change situation), lombo found himself on the ice with iginla for the OT goal.
[also interesting: phaneuf and eriksson were on the ice as well....].

kipper may have let in yet another softy on the stars' second goal. i can't wait till he starts making the saves on those ones... then we might begin winning games in straight time.

tonight we rock into the music city, to meet an ego-bruised bunch of predators. this will be a tough match for the flames, being that that nasvhille got humiliated by the coyotes two nights ago [freddy sjostrom got two goals, for cryin' out loud... i don't know if that's ever happened before...]. they will be out for revenge, and what better way to regain some pride than by sticking it to a team that just came off of seven straight losses ??

i'm hoping that the flames will come out strong and with that extra confidence and just lay it to the preds.
(sorry amy !!!)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

report card: keenan

in my humble opinion, keenan is failing.

i'm not sure why he insists on starting conroy on the first line, but i really want to throw things at the beginning of every game. tanguay/conroy/iginla DOES NOT FUCKING WORK. quit trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, dude...

according to peter maher/rob kerr, the reason behind putting langkow on the second line was to provide the team with more scoring depth... HUNH ?? let me get this straight....: so, we'll take the only guy on the ENTIRE TEAM who's truly performing off of a line where he's (at the risk of being redundant) PERFORMING, so that he can maybe.... uh.... get used to a couple of new guys and hopefully start performing there ??? while the other guys he was performing WITH try to perform with a guy who's done pretty much SQUAT for the past 3 years [don't get me wrong, i think conroy is a great personality/leader in the lockerroom, and a fantastic 3rd liner, but i'm sick and fucking tired of everybody thinking him and iginla are a great pair. people, that ship has SAILED....].

i have had major concerns about line juggling on this team for a very, very long time. some of my thoughts, historically, on haphazardly switching up combinations can be read here, here, here, and here. maybe i'm not the smartest hockey strategist in the universe, but in my opinion, if you are coaching a struggling team with serious identity problems, that is learning new systems and adjusting to new teammates and staff, wouldn't you consider keeping your ONE WORKING LINE TOGETHER ??!?!?!?????? the flames had FIVE days off between vancouver and detroit, so why not let iggy, langks and tanguay use that time to solidify what they're creating (read: goals, good feelings, positive feedback) as opposed to splitting them up ?!


i could really go on for hours, buuuut i might as well save it for the next thousand posts i'll write on the subject. and i really didn't even mention the second line....

welcome back, davey moss.

and corey sarich....? helluva blunder, buddy. what the hell ?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


"...cause positivity is NOT about being soft, it's about being SMART...."
-NKOTB circa 1990

i am on this huge positivity kick right now, in life, and so i'm not allowing myself to think about all those horrible things that could feasibly happen tonight in the motor city... and i'm trying to not be scared.


if you think that the flames have won only a single matchup thusfar this year, in 10 games (pre-season and regular), it is hard to believe they will walk out of one of the toughest buildings in the league with a W. in all honestly, though, if the LIT line continues to produce, we've got a chance, and if the NHL line keeps at it, they will begin to score eventually. so why not tonight ?

not sure if moss is playing, but i'm starting to think that it will be mark smith and not godard who gets the bench if he does.

oh, yeah.
my brother coined the term "erikzyuzin." feel free to use it as you see fit.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

the double injured goalie scenario (DIGS)

i have wondered, historically, what would happen if both the starting goalie and the backup were injured in a single game. i have mused on the possibilities but realize now that any teammate (presumeably a defenseman) would strap on the pads and pray. i know this because that's what keenan essentially said would have happened tonight if kiprusoff went out with injury...

ie: mcelhinney got hurt in the warmup (damn you nolan and your shots to the nuts)... just kidding [kidding about the nutshot, not the injury, unfortunately].

i'm not sure who the next in line is but i presume we'll see keetley back on the bench for the next game...

as for the game itself, i don't have a whole lot to say. except holy cow, does lombardi ever look so much better flanked with some real players. he had a great game... hunh ? LIKE DUH.

in other news, tomi maki scored shorthanded tonight in the quad cities' season opener. :)

Friday, October 5, 2007

the return of playfair

after one period of hockey at the flames' home opener last night, i had decided to hate keenan. why ? for the same reason i detested playfair by the end of last season (and i'm not talking about the suits): certain line combinations are never gonna produce.

in 2003, craig conroy centred jarome iginla, leading to a very productive year for both. well, this is not 2003 and iginla should be playing with langkow or lombardi. conroy is one of the best 3rd line centres in the league, but he is no first liner. seeing him out there with iggy and tangs on every shift in the first made me want to throw things (and by 'things' i am referring specifically to the stupid microphone-shaped BLUE fibreoptic flashlight, that would have been much more appropriate for the season opener at REXALL... last time i checked, my team's colours were RED and black).

it is decidedly possible that lombardi is still nursing a sore wrist, but then i would have rather him in the pressbox than on a line with nilson and yelle. i mean, seriously... this REEKED of 07/08's classic misuse/benching of lombardi, and with ol' jimmy canaryshirt still holding a place on the coaching staff, i can't help but pin blame on him for this combination. lombardi is not a grinder and should never be played as such (except for the PK, of course). it's really simple: flank the guy with a couple of equally speedy/creative wingers and there will be goals. in the 5-or-so minutes he played with huselius, you could see some scoring opportunites present themselves, and if he hadn't been wasted the entire first period, then i would presume there would have been more.
oh, and 20 minutes of icetime does not scream "injury" to me...

eric godard played less than two minutes. sure, he beat the crap outta jesse boulerice, but our problem is SCORING. pardon my language, but fuck eric godard. bring up a rookie or trade for a vet who can put the damn puck into the back of the net. i'd rather see two minutes of boyd/peters than godard.

mark smith looks like primeau: he skates fast and has some decent puck control but is a defensive liability (ending a -1). not sure he belongs on the PK but kudos to keenan (ie: playfair) for flogging that horse....

kipper made a couple of good stops but is ultimately looking totally octoberish....

and, finally, i knew eriksson was bad. but i didn't think he'd be personally responsible for the first loss of the year. aucoin was just as bad (actually, probably worse, truth be told) and was on the ice for all three flyer goals. by the second period, keenan (ie: playfair) had reunited regehr with warrener as the "shut down" pair, leaving our new two worst defensemen (aucoin and eriksson) to absolutely shit the bed together.

[sarich and phaneuf looked really really good. JUST sarich and phaneuf....]

Monday, October 1, 2007

the iggy holler

my best good friend jason sent an email today, describing how he was checking the EA sports message boards and stumbled upon this thread for NHL 09:

1 - Does your home arena have a goalie chant? What is it? What does it sound like? Do you have any examples?
2 - Who is the crowd favorite and what is the crowd chant that is used to address him? Can be more than one!
3 - What is/are the team chants used in arena during a game?
4 - Are there any playoff specific chants used in your arena?
5 - What, if any, opposing teams does your arena have chants for? What are these chants?
6 - What song or music is played after a goal is scored?
7 - What song or music is played after an opposing team receives a penalty?
8 - What is the intro that your team uses at the beginning of the game? What song plays? Are the lights on/off? Does the crowd chant anything? Are there any props involved in the intro. Ex San Jose coming out of a shark.
9 - Are there any other crowd chants that are unique to your arena? What are they and how are they used?

So here's what someone posted for the Flames:

Calgary Flames

1) Kipper... pronounced KIP PER KIP PER You guys had it right in 07
2) Crowd favorite is Jarome Iginla and when he scores or does something sweet the whole crowd goes " IGGY, IGGY, IGGY (slight pause) OI OI OI" (This would be awsome to hear as every flames fan knows!!!)
3)typical nhl chants
4)To many to even mention
5)To many to even mention
6)Typical songs... However Johnny Cash Ring of Fire is played quite often, and is allways the home win song
7)"Raise a little hell"
8)the calgary flames usually produce a media video that plays as they skate out... here is a you tube link to a a home opening flames start

This video depicts alot about the arena, things to note are flame throwers hanging over the ice, and out of the now old scoreboard. The announcer has also been the same and has the same consistant voice for over 5 years.

This is also a good video showing the flame throwers and ambiance with the announcer
Im sure the arena anouncers will not be arena specific, however if by the odd chance they are, then we also need to mention the fact that when iggy scores and its announced it goes alot like this


so there you go.... i'd never really considered what that would look like spelled out.... too funny....