Thursday, August 28, 2008

early lineup predictions: the WI version

i think most people have weighed in on what they think the flames 08/09 lineup will look like, and i suppose it's fine time i did the same.

1. bertuzzi - langkow - iginla

the flames are short on natural right wingers, so it hardly makes sense to put two of them on the same line. still, with all the hullaballoo about iginla wanting bertuzzi so bad that sutter went out and signed him (a bit farfetched in my opinion, but i digress), it's hard to imagine bootuzzi ending up anywhere but the first line. langkow and iginla are obviously locks here.

2. cammalleri - lombardi - boyd

i hope it's not wishful thinking that lombardi will centre the 2nd unit, but i think it's safe to say cammalleri will appear here. three centremen on one line, however, is a bit of a stretch. i like the looks of this one because of the speed potential, which is why boyd gets the call on the opposing flank. admittedly, after iginla, langkow, cammalleri, bertuzzi, and lombardi, there's quite a dropoff in offensive ability on the team: yet another reason boyd gets the call here.

3. bourque - conroy - glencross

even though i know very little about bourque, the overabundance of LWs on the squad make this line seem plausible, and i certainly like idea of this trio in my head. my limited (but hugely positive) impression of glenX from his stint in edmonton makes him seem like a perfect linemate for conroy: gritty but maintaining scoring potential. conroy can still be largely effective in a third line role, and i think these two are the wingers that will take on some decent competition while providing enough tertiary scoring....

4. nystrom - primeau - nilson

i may be the only one that still sees the value in marcus nilson, and here i've insertted him in the lineup for his *ahem* experience. i'd love to see brandon prust here instead, but i fear nystrom and prust on the same line (and there's nowhere else to put him). perhaps nystrom gets sent back to the farm and prust takes those minutes... who knows. primeau gets the call here based purely on size. let's face it, roy will probably steal some time on this line from one of these guys most nights anyways...

alternates: moss just doesn't seem to fit in, for me. if you put him in boyd's spot on the second line (totally possible), then boyd doesn't really fit in anywhere. while moss's stats may be better than boyd's, currently, i think it makes more sense to nurture boyd as his ceiling seems much higher.

1. regehr - sarich
like duh

2. phaneuf - vandermeer
uhhhh, yep.

3. giordano - aucoin
hockey-wise this makes sense to me, though money-wise it would benefit the team to shake adrian's 4mil. if that were to happen (and it won't), then i suppose i'd shake up the pairings entirely and insert pardy or pelech.

alternates: i no longer consider warrener or eriksson members of the calgary flames, and will not until one of them shows up in the player's box on or after october 4th. one or both best be playing the year in the QC. i'd be a pretty happy girl to see warrener retire but i can't see that happening. it'll be his last chance to make that kind of money, and will likely bank it as he forsees an amonte-style forced retirement in his not-too-distant-future.

Monday, August 25, 2008


it's no secret, (at this point) to my nerdy hockey blog friends, that the two subjects i'm the most comfortable in discussing are the baby flames and european (mostly swedish) leagues. for anyone unaware, i spent a week in sweden during the lockout in december 2004, and attended four games in three different levels of hockey during that time.

kent was musing a bit today on some flames' prospects who played in europe last season. being right smack dab in the middle of what i consider "my element", i thought i'd provide a tiny picture show of the arenas i visited in the various swedish pro leagues.

1. sweden DIV 1 hockey:

moab hallen: capacity 650 (180 seats,370 standing): home of IFK kumla

my friend's kid. note the rink size and roof

kumla v. skåre. note the scoreboard.

this arena was slightly larger than your canadian community rink with bleachers-style seating. the penalty boxes were recessed into the stands with no glass on the backsides, so my buddy pår went and talked to one of the guys from skåre who was sitting in the sinbin....


speinbanken arena: capacity 1700 (400 seats, 1300 standing): home of IFK arboga

leksands v. arboga

michael ryder was playing for leksands in this game, and helped his team vault into the eliteserien for the following season. the best part about this rink was that the zamboni was attached to a retractable hose in the rafters that provided it water as it drove around the ice.

i stood up for the entire game.


scaniarinken: capacity 7500: home of södertälje SK

djurgårdens v. södertälje

it was a bit of a hike from downtown stockholm to get to this rink (two commuter trains and a bus) but it was definitely well worth it. the tickets were like seven bucks for the standing room only section, and the hockey was outstanding. fyi: södertälje is olli jökinen's home club***.

[note: apparently this is not true. jökinen just played there during the lockout]

globen: capacity 14000: home of djurgårdens

modo v. djurgårdens

smack dab in the centre of stockholm, the globe is easily the coolest arena i've ever been in (though the saddledome does have it's own unique charm). the interior is all red and it's HUGE inside. djurgårdens is mats sundin's home club.


ultimately, my point is that i think you can extrapolate the level of hockey from the size of the arena the teams are playing in. to say per jonsson was playing in DIV1 last year and was promoted to the eliteserien (which, for the record, is how it appears) is to say that the kid made HUGE strides in 07/08. mikael backlund will likely lead his allsvenskan team next season, if/when he gets sent back to sweden.

again, we must remember that the allsvenskan is not a feeder system to the eliteserien the way the AHL is to the NHL. the two leagues are more comparable to the english soccer system, where there is relegation between the premiereship and the championship leagues.

capiche ?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

in dreams....

i had a nightmare last night that was no doubt partly influenced by the fact that i've seen sportscentre news anchor sean mccormick twice on queen street in the past week (once with his wife, tsn anchor jennifer hedger).

an excerpt from my dream:

....turning to hockey now, the calgary flames sign anther former canuck and free agent goaltender dan cloutier...

let's just say i woke up with a start and in a cold sweat....


Thursday, August 14, 2008

giving thanks

i've spent a lot of time this summer prognosticating about the future of the calgary flames:

- will we be able to get rid of warrener and eriksson this season ?
- will kipper revert to Kipps v.1 that we loved so dearly ?
- will lombardi get real linemates, and succeed accordingly ?
- will any of the baby flames get promoted to the bigs ?
- will the fans boo-tuzzi ?

.....and etc.

well, having spent the last few days back in toronto, i must admit it's nice to at least be confident that my team isn't gonna entirely stink up the joint this year. sure there will be wins and there will be losses [the number of each largely dependent on the answers to questions such as those listed above], but sutter has at MINIMUM put together a .500 squad for 08/09. here in the big smoke, things look pretty grim, and the fans are certainly aware of it. the leafs are gonna suck for years...

Friday, August 1, 2008

the rumour mill: vol.2

according to the new york fashion news, sean avery is currently dating the ex wife of calvin klein, kelly: 23 years his senior.

dig it.