Everything Else

@BookOfFLoob is just one of those things that stuck to our shoe on Twitter. That sort of thing happens in the digital world. Everyone calls him Floob. If you want to make jokes about “Loob,” go right ahead. But he won’t have any idea what you’re talking about. We’re fairly sure he’s afraid of girls. And they of him. 

Last time we saw the Flames on New Year’s Eve, they were just hovering around the last playoff spot, not meeting expectations, and still waiting to take off. A month later, they’re hovering around the last playoff spot, kind of not meeting expectations, and waiting to take off. Why hasn’t it come to a boil in Calgary?
There are several different things, both real and real but exaggerated, that I could blame this on, and that list is too big to write it all out. But I’m going to try:
  • Troy Brouwer. You know the monorail episode of the Simpsons where Homer throws the M off the Monorail sign as an anchor and it sticks into the Lard Lad donut to stop the train? Like it’s anchor designed to slow everything down and halt everyone’s production? Remember that one? Me neither. Troy Brouwer fucking sucks. (See? -ED)
  • Flames fans doing the C of Red chant during the American anthem (if you don’t know, I won’t tell you. There’s no way you come out the other side of that rabbit hole a better person)
  • Dave Cameron’s experimental power play where he attempts to figure out how long you can try something that doesn’t work over and over again until maybe it does work once except it doesn’t and everyone is miserable. Dave Cameron is a capitalist.
  • You. Specifically you, Sam Fels.
  • TJ Brodie’s slow descent into shithood. For a guy that once looked like he was going to crawl his way into top 10 defensemen in the league territory, he’s decided his new plan of action is to Seabrook this entire operation. The prevailing theory now is he once looked amazing due to his pairing with Mark Giordano, and maybe that means Giordano is just a little bit incredible.
  • The death of Scorch. We always knew that was going to have lingering effects. Miss you every day forever, Scorch.
  • Goaltending. I’ll get shit on for this one, but Mike Smith, who indeed has been amazing at times, is flipping that other side of his own coin where his great performances are being met with his garbage ones. The next time he tracks the puck will be the first time. He’s like a bigger, dumber Jonathan Quick and is luckier that more pucks hit him than don’t.
  • I have to think 9/11 is at least a little bit responsible.
 
Do we know if Glengarry Glen Gulutzan falls into the “Moron” category or “Not A Moron” category yet?
 
First of all, he’s Glen Gu Tang Zan, if we’re doing nicknames. Anyway, if you and I are morons, and we most certainly are, than yeah, of course, Glen Gulutzan is a Hall of Fame oaf. There are so many wrinkles that need ironing and he ignores them like women ignoring Sam’s phone calls after the first date (Notice a theme here? -ED).
But that’s not to put the blame on him for what’s been going on lately. There are maybe 4 or 5 coaches in the league that have that profound an effect on the results, and he ain’t one of them. His usage of players is troubling, to put it mildly, but the guy knows how to craft a breakout, so it kinda evens out. The team just KILLS it 5 on 5, it’s when they have to call on the special teams (Hi there, Dave Cameron’s power play) where hockey goes to die.
There are a lot of fans out there who want Gully fired. And to those people I say “Congratulations, here’s Dave Tippett. Try to enjoy another hockey game even once before you die.”
You can’t.
At least there’s Dougie Hamilton, right?
I just defended Glen Gulutzan, but it is borderline criminal to keep Dougie Hamilton off the ice as much as the coaching staff in Calgary seems to delight in doing. I am extremely good about talking about this in a calm, rational way, which is good because it would be really easy to fly off the goddamn handle about how you have an elite goddamn defenseman who can carry a team on his back and make you look like a bunch of Gods, but no, you’d rather give more ice time to Michael fucking Stone, because some shit about how he’s less of a liability defensively, like you’d even fucking know what that means, you clod, why don’t you go fuck yourself if you’re not going to play the guy who gets shit done every time he’s on the ice. It’s the same garbage from last year where it took you half a season that you’ll never get back that he should be getting closer to 30 minutes anight so you don’t need to “rely” on Deryk Engelland, holy FUCK, Deryk Engelland, and why did you go back to that formula this year and why is it taking longer to right the ship? What in the hell is going on out there? Who hurt you Glen? Was it Dougie? Did he call you names? Did he give you a noogie? Did he do something so heinous that you would actually lessen your chances of winning every game by not playing one of the 4 or 5 most important players on your team for way more time than you already do?
It would be pretty bad if I couldn’t keep my cool while talking about it.
The Flames don’t seem to be in a position to just punt on the season given their development curve, so what might they do at the deadline? And are you afraid it’ll be stupid?
Oh, trust me. It will be stupid. But it doesn’t have to be.
Michael Frolik has come back from injury, and he gets back on a line with Mikael Backlund and the beautiful boy Matthew Tkachuk, forming the world’s most perfect trio. They’ve called up their best player from the minors in Andrew Mangiapane, and once they learn to give him some ice time, that will be another bonus. Also Kris Versteeg is coming back sooner than everyone thought, and I know Blackhawks fans have a hard time believing this, but he’s been really effective in Calgary, and they’ve certainly missed him.
The biggest factor is Rasmus Andersson, a defenseman who is WAY too good to still be in the minors, and could theoretically be playing on the second pairing in Calgary right now. The thing that’s holding him back is a traffic jam of veteran defensemen who Rasmus is better than, and ones who could be traded. Michael Stone has trade value, somehow, despite being a Tanooki Mario statue, and could be traded out of town to either recoup some draft picks or get a good prospect from some of the dumber GMs out there. Getting rid of either him or Travis “Whoops This Didn’t Work Out At All” Hamonic would pave the way for Andersson as well, and balance would be restored.
Which is why they’ll probably trade for like Dan Girardi or something, because apparently they’re not mean enough.
Given that the Kings actually suck and the Ducks are weird, the Flames really should still get into the Pacific’s three playoff spots, right?
 
Isn’t it great that the Kings suck again?
I can’t believe Vegas is going to be the thing that probably somehow ruins this for everyone.

 

Game #52 Preview

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

We don’t know what it is Mike Pfeil does. He claims he works at Hockey-graphs.com but we’re pretty sure that’s a front. We do know he lives in Edmonton, we’re sure we don’t know why, and we’re more sure he doesn’t know why either. Anyway, he’s a Flames guy, further proving just how lost he is as a human. But he found the time to answer our questions, which doesn’t say much for him either. 

It’s been a disappointing first half for the Flames. What has been the problem(s)?
Luck, the lack of stolen vaccines from the provincial government, and some roster/usage issues. Hitting post, after post, after post is exhausting; Mike Smith letting in some weirdo goals (that he’s known for) can be tiresome; a lackluster power play at times; a penalty kill that cratered (and made my PK project difficult); and some awful roster management have been factors. All that said I put more stock on the lack of stolen vaccines being provided.
 
Did moving to Calgary give Travis Hamonic brain worms?
Are we so sure he didn’t get them while he was in Long Island? I’m pretty sure most drinking water in New York state is contaminated given the cretins that exist out there. He’s also from Manitoba originally and that place has lots of mosquitoes so maybe they laid mosquitoes in his brain, too.
He’s getting better though and I think “adjustment” period of playing with a guy like TJ Brodie has been hard. Brodie loves to skate and jump up in the rush while Hamonic prefers more conservative means to being involved. Part of the improvements have come from Gulutzan’s deployment of the pairing (more on-the-fly usage versus actual zone starts) which has helped immensely. Plus you know hockey terms like poise, confidence, composure, tenacity, pugnacity, all the nacities, and his shaft is firm.
 
Jaromir Jagr, seven points in 19 games. One goal. Can you believe signing someone closer to 50 than 40 hasn’t worked out for the Flames?
Injuries, no training camp, and playing along side Hawk alumni member Troy Brouwer will do a number on your counting stats. Still, I’m worried that a gust will break his hip and we’ll have to send him to the nursing home up north. From a fan perspective – whatever is left of that in me – I want him to succeed, but the cold number-loving analyst has made me question whether or not it’s best to play him every night he is available.
Every time we watch the Flames the broadcast mentions how much they miss Kris Versteeg. That can’t really be true, can it?
It’s tricky because on one hand I love the dude, but it’s a bit of a media-driven narrative. From a locker room/glue guy/intangibles angle yeah he’s missed. The tangible aspect he brings was from a power play perspect; Dave Cameron and Gulutzan used him on the first unit as a zone entry guy and half-wall option in the 1-3-1. He’s nowhere close to where he was last season or even during his prime but he has value even if he’s fast approaching Martin “Pelvic Mesh Imploding” Havlat territory.
 
Why is Matthew Tkachuk such a shithead? Typical rich kid stuff? Or did Dad teach him “well?”
He’s the equivalent of the Dreaded Laramie from the Clickhole quiz “Which One Of My Garbage Sons Are You?” He’s out on the ice yelling “Saab demolition” at every opposing player and spray-painting ISIS on their cars. There’s definitely that reputation established, but every team  wants someone like him. Tkachuk is really fantastic blend of shit heel antics and legitimate hockey skill — anyone who tells you he’s a passenger on the 3M line is a cop. If he keeps it up and his point production continues to improve he could be a top-end winger in this league.

 

 

Game #38 Preview

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

We’ve got the whole crew from FlamesNation.ca, or at least a good chunk of it. Old friend Kent Wilson (@Kent_Wilson), Ari Y (@thirtyfourseven), and Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike).

It’s not that there were huge expectations for the Flames this year, but a lot of people thought they could sneak a playoff spot in the Pacific. It’s been a bit of a wonky first month, what’s been the problem?

Wilson: The stars have been ice cold, the special teams horrendous and they have are taking the 2nd most penalties in the league so far. It’s amazing they’ve won a game. 

Ari: Inexplicable defence pairings, a horrifically anemic powerplay (thanks Dave Cameron. They can’t even enter the zone), still somehow trying to adjust to a new coach apparently, and a really rough start to the season in part thanks to guys like Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan missing the entire preseason (and Monahan may still be dealing with lingering back issues). The Flames only started to look respectable in their first game against Chicago, but the turnaround remains uncertain at this point in time.

Pike: Their four best players (Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Mark Giordano & T.J. Brodie) haven’t been even close to their usual levels and, at times, have actually gotten in the way of the Flames capturing points.