Sunday, December 30, 2007

flames v. nucks pregame: your guess is as good as mine

i really have no idea what to expect from the new year's eve rematch between the flaming C's and the guys donning the green-and-blue uglies.... but i know i'll be in attendance.

a jekyll-and-hyde kippsie versus a nearly unflappable luongo.
i see bobby-lu got a tripping penalty tonight against the ducks, so with any luck maybe that means he was slightly off his game. still, he only let in one goal, so he's hardly coming off a netminder meltdown... miikaa looked like kipper1.0 at the end of the night on saturday, so fingers crossed that's the guy that will show up to ring in 2008...

the orcas are still without #2 defender mattias ohlund, but seem to be keeping the goals out from behind their #1 guy, luongo. the flames, on the other hand, are all over the map; though eriksson had a decent outing on saturday he can still be considered a liability at any given moment (which makes phaneuf the same). i have to say i've been appreciating the play of david hale, of late, as he goes out and plays shift after shift largely invisibly. except for that one shift where he debateably won a fight against matt cooke.... regehr also looked every inch the strapping lad he is when he absolutely wallpapered a niedermeyer...

the good news is clearly that if we can corral the twins, we should be able to notch a W. the EXTRA good news is that vancouver can watch as much tape as they want on the flames' twelve forwards, they'll still step out on the ice with no idea a) who will be on the first line, b) who will be on the second line, c) who will be on the third line, and d) who will be on the fourth line. while i'm not sure this will work in calgary's favour as far as netting goals, it should occasionally leave mike weaver or alex edler on the ice with any/all of iginla, huselius, tanguay.

prediction: 3-2 nucks (and it hurts me). sedins with a couple --let's say one each--- and trevor linden with the winner (for old times sake). on the other side, i'll say d.boyd with one and lombo with the other.


flames v. ducks postgame: whoah

while i intended to watch last night's tilt at home on my crappy tv, my dad called two hours before gametime to say he didn't feel like going and did i want the tickets. so i called my buddy J.Ho, one of the most hilarious and sarcastic hockey lovers i've ever met (who, btw, is KILLING in my pool), and we headed down.

the first period was a disaster, even though we hit the scoreboard with less than two minutes gone. boyd hit the back of the net on his first shift (with lombo and nystrom), and then for some absolutely inexcplicable reason, keenan followed up the goal with mark "minutes" smith's line. infact, our boy "minutes" seemed to be on the ice alot in the first period, with a noticeably absent iggy for huge gaps of time.... i presumed there was an injury of some sort, or an equipment issue, with the way we were juggling line combos four minutes into a game that we were winning...

but i was happy. cause at least i had it allllllll figured out:
keenan had clearly placed money on the anaheim squad....

the second period blew that theory, thankfully. we looked sharper and faster and much more interested. tanguay was now shifting with conroy and iginla ("claaasssic," says J.Ho, referring to october), and "minutes" showed up on a line with lombardi and nolan, and later primeau and langkow. very strange, indeed.

godard never saw a shift after the first buzzer, leaving the pugilism to phaneuf and moen. with nobody around to pummel, george parros decided he might as well get some points and scored a nice one to give the ducks the lead. owen nolan did, however, knock him to the ice late in the 3rd, with a gloved-hand punch to the face.... not sure if that one got replayed on HNIC...

and finally, i have a hangover.

in other news: cross darren mccarty off of the "what ever happened to" list. apparently the grinder will begin practising with the flint generals of the IHL any day now...

Friday, December 28, 2007

this one's for ST

well, with 6 of the 9-or-so regular flames blogosphere bloggers out at the ol' kilkenny last night, there's not a whole lot to say here that hasn't already been said. to sum up (for HG and ST, and the folks at BofA whom i've apparently been missing out on), here's a top ten of what was generally discussed:

1. lombardi should be centering tanguay and boyd. they looked incredibly good on the one powerplay shift they were allowed together, scoring a much-needed goal.

2. kipper just isn't quite right

3. conroy's goal was a one-off (sarcastic, yet appreciative, applause ensued)

4. phaneuf needs to get signed ASAP, or we'll need to trade someone expensive to make room for the extraordinarily huge offer sheet that we'll have to match come july 1

5. nachos are better without raw onions

6. sedins are as annoying as ribiero and alfredsson (though we see them more often and two at a time)

7. dave actually does exist

8. losing to vancouver is painful. losing to vancouver repeatedly is excrutiating...

9. calgary's fourth line will never, ever, ever be allowed a goal (especially with mcgeough officiating)

10. the mystery favorite snack of coach keenan is ice

so there you go, kiddies. another meetup, another loss. we will have to keep these group viewings to a minimum and to meaningless matchups... 'twas very nice to finally meet some of the more socially absent bloggers, and put faces and names to the various handles (uhhh, i suppose that means me and MG, specifically)...

flames meet the ducks tomorrow night and god help us if we lose....

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

flames v. 'nucks: can't wait to see you !

flames v. nucks
kilkenny pub, brentwood (just north of the station by the blockbuster)

i've met duncan & leanne, so that's easy.
leanne knows dave.
duncan's got MG's #, i believe (and will use it if necessary...) ;)
anyone else will have to look for the congregating crew in flames jerseys... that means you, kyle, rob and any other interested parties....

DD, ST --you will be missed...

[which of my jerseys to wear is yet undecided... the current issue women's shirt is undefeated in regulation, but i'm looking for a proper win tomorrow.....]


Sunday, December 23, 2007

the craig conroy blues

here's the thing.

pretty much the entire month of october, i bitched and whined about conroy being on the first line... well, at some point in november, he moved down to the second line and i was relatively quiet about his play --presumeably because i spend the majority of the month on another continent.

what i've noticed in the past couple of games is that conroy is a stalwart as the team's #2 centre, and (if you ask me) his play DEMANDS that he be demoted to the third line (at LEAST). and i'm not even talking about the god-awful incident that led to elias' overtime winner. i'm talking about his consistant inconsistancy. sure, the guy might be slightly better than average at winning faceoffs, but currently has little to no other redeemable qualities. still, night after night, he ends up on the ice far more than a slumping player of his calibre should be.

there are seven centres on the flames gameday roster, though (obviously) three of them are starting on the wings. currently, our second line is tanguay/conroy/boyd, our third line is nystrom/lombardi/nilson, and our fourth line is primeau/yelle/smith. if you ask me, something is totally wrong here... i've said it once and i'll say it again (slightly louder, and slower for emphasis): lombardi needs some linemates that can keep up to him. and i could easily say the same about tanguay. kudos to boyd for having a helluva game (even after getting rudely dumped in the 2nd period), but i saw an opportunity or two where they probably would have passed to the centreman, had there been one anywhere in the vicinity...

craig conroy spent the better part of the first 20 games on the first line, but in the first 36 games, he's only managed to garner 14 points. [MG covered this a few weeks ago in the infamous STONEHANDS post]. it seems ridiculously obvious to me (especially after tonight's game) that lombardi should be centering tanguay and boyd, because having conroy on that line seems to be a pure waste of otherwise talented players...

not that i have anything against nystrom, mind you....

what i'd like to see is as follows:

nystrom/conroy/ ?????

the empty spot can be as easily filled by owen nolan, mark smith or david moss --i don't care.

on the upside, the flames looked solid in the first sixty minutes, and by this i mean ALL THE FLAMES --including eriksson, hale and (yes) even conroy. the devils played an interesting version of the old trap, whereby every decent flames scoring opportunity was stymied by a mess of white shirts infront of brodeur. shots on metal, blown tires, great saves, and fanned attemps were also at premium tonight by the hometowners.... the score probably should not have been as close.



Saturday, December 22, 2007

coaching solutions

i wish i could take credit for the idea but i can't.

last night, it became clear that the flames were not likely going to extend their win streak to seven games --i realized it about halfway through the third. although tanguay managed to stay out of the sin bin in the final ten, dallas was still able to apply good pressure and tie the game at twos. dallas looked faster, stronger, hungrier with better coaching in the latter part of the match...

so here it is:

keenan coaches the road flames, playfair coaches the home flames.

that should give us W's in about 90% of the remaining games.

done annnnnd done.

Friday, December 21, 2007


guess what my mum got me for my birthday ?

i suppose i'll have to wear it to the game tonight...

and also, huge congratulations to our boy andrew ference for (pretty much single handedly at a solid -2) allowing crosby's first gordie howe hat trick.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

xmas housecleaning

i've been back in calgary for three days now, which is long enough to realize how overdue i am for a proper post, and yet not quite long enough to get past the jetlagged laziness to actually write one. i'll try my best, bear with me.

i watched our currently victorious team play their little hearts out in columbus the other day (is it just me or does everybody fight the urge to write "columbia" every time the bluejackets come around ??). it was certainly a performance that was huge on heart and hustle. this, of course, was a drastic difference from the last game i had the opportunity to watch: october 26th's classic early-season flames 3rd period meltdown whereby we gave the win away with a painfully bad tanguay penalty, and lost the game 23 seconds into OT. against columbus (columbia?) the last five minutes of the third was some of the best calgary flames hockey i've seen.... ever. it was a simple, by-the-book darryl sutter style outing.

fingers crossed that they can continue the winning streak once back in the 'dome...

here's another exciting tidbit i've been sitting on for weeks:
back in october 2006, i went on a bit of a rant about the hideous nhl-issue ladies pink jerseys on my 'other' blog (before i started this one) --feel free to reacquaint yourself with my venom here (aka: my proudest moment). well, apparently the nhl and the geniuses at reebok have finally taken heed of my wrath, and designed and manufactured this little number:

aside from the fact that i still think the new jerseys are kindof ugly, and due to all the on-ice problems i imagine we'll get new ones again in the not-too-distant future, i'm very pleased that it only took a year for them to make good by the ladies...

if you want your jersey customized, though, you have to follow these rules:

to which i have the following queries:

1. what if my favorite player was langenbrunner ? or vanbiesbrouck ? bummer.... (see rule #3)
2. according to rule #2, i can't get "loob" on a flames jersey, but does it not leave the option open (technically) to get "loob" on a rangers jersey ? does it mean i could get "macinnis" in flaming red, but not blue ? or does it mean i can't get "gretzky" on any of LA, EDM, NYR or STL ???? this stipulation makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

okay. i'm done now.

glad to be home. can't wait to see you guys on the 27th.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

flames rule australia

well, it's clear that the two months away have not dulled the passion i have for my team.

yesterday i was out driving with my friend em and her sisiter through sydney city (to take the token opera house/harbour bridge photos, which i've been putting off mostly due to disinterest). at a red light, i noticed a guy across the street in a current-issue canucks jersey, which i pointed out to my australian friends.... as we passed through the intersection, the guy now in the crosswalk to our left, i could not fight the sudden urge to yell "VANCOUVER SUCKS !!!" out the window...

my friends laughed, the guy was suitably surprised (he perked up at the word 'vancouver', and then looked severely disappointed at the 'sucks' part), but i have to admit that i was quite stunned by the outburst, myself.... i didn't know i was gonna scream it until the words were flying out the window....


seemed like the right thing to do....

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

flames blogosphere calgary xmas meetup

is it happening or what ?
we can all hang our heads in shame together, drink some beers (duncan will get cut off after 2, methinks), and maybe do some kind of fancy win-dance to turn this team around.

who's in ?

i'm back on the 17th. birthday 21st. xmas 25th. any of those days are out (well, to be fair i could go on the 17th, but i'll be giddy from the jetlag)...

hunh ?
hunh ?