Everything Else

Mike Pfeil is a stats-y guy at Hockeygraphs.com. He’s also a weirdo. So he’s our type of guy. Follow him @MikeFAIL. These were the questions we put to Floob on Saturday, and now Mike gets his chance. 

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?
The power play for starters, something that has approached near-catastrophically disappointing levels. On one hand, you still Dave Cameron, who hasn’t been encased in concrete and tossed in the Bow River. On the other hand you have Glen “Glenny G” Gulutzan being seemingly cognizant to the folly in front of him yet not solving. There’s enough talent at forward to not play Troy Brouwer on PP yet he does it again.
Also there’s the part where they’re chokers. Some would say that’s “mental fragility” and “they don’t know how to hold a lead.” I say they’re the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.
Do we know if Glengarry Glen Gulutzan falls into the “Moron” category or “Not A Moron” category yet?
He’s a slightly-slightly-above average coach at 5v5. Most coaches and the impacting of coaching is indiscernible from others. If you look at their 5v5 systems (last year, specifically) it was an easy observation to say “Yeah, he’s definitely better than Bob Hartley.”  This year it’s weird and I think part of it comes from fan expectations, often bordering on unrealistic; some systemic changes that have hurt them, specifically in relation to how they struggle at shot suppression relative to last year; and some bets on players that haven’t worked like Michael Stone, Travis Hamonic, Brouwer (continued usage), Sam Bennett, and sub-optimal depth.
At least there’s Dougie Hamilton, right?
I fucking love that man. Well, minus the chud-ass Barstool shit he said a few weeks ago. Shout out to everyone who hates that fuck heap website. Play him at 5v4 more than any other defenseman and maybe things will improve. Seriously.
 
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?
Going after Mike Hoffman or an actual top six RW scoring threat would be nice. Rick Nash would be neat on retained salary providing his acquisition cost isn’t absurd, but it’s doubtful. Maybe you can fleece Ken Holland, who might be struggling to realize what year it is and pry out a Tomas Tatar or Gustav Nyqvist for cheaper than expected? All that said I’m as afraid as others, but I’m emotionally checked out… providing they don’t acquire Zack Smith. Don’t do it.
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?
Yes, undoubtedly, providing they don’t continue shitting the bed. They’re going to shit the bed aren’t they, Sam?

 

Game #53 Preview

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

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

If you’re around a Flames fan and you mention the words, “Troy Brouwer,” you’d better have a spittoon handy. This is reason #123 to not have a Flames fan in your house, or be in their presence really. And you should probably always have a spittoon with them around. Or at least a plastic cup.

To be fair, putting up 16 goals in the past two seasons when he’d been around a 20-goal scorer for the previous seven seasons straight is probably infuriating. The thing about Brouwer is that he’s kind of been hated wherever he’s been.

Hawks fans didn’t like him because he was perceived to not play to his size. Even though he had 22 goals for a Cup team and scored twice in Game 1 of the ’10 Final, which just happened to be the Hawks first win in that round in 39 years. Caps fans didn’t care for him as he didn’t bring championship glow with him, as if it was his fault that Bruce Boudreau, Adam Oates, and Dale Hunter lacked oxygen to the brain. Blues fans hated him for not being T.J. Oshie, even though he scored the only goal they’ll remember for years against the Hawks (even if it took him three attempts at an empty net, in perhaps the most Troy Brouwer moment ever).

Until now, Brouwer was a perfectly fine 2nd or 3rd line winger. He just flashed at being more just enough to frustrate you. This was a guy who earned his role on a line with Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp on a Cup-winner. But he couldn’t stay there. He’s now 32, and players his size don’t tend to age well. Especially ones that weren’t all that quick to begin with.

But that won’t stop Flames fans from bitching about his contract, and you know how we feel about bitching about contracts. Brouwer certainly didn’t force the Flames to hand him that deal. Yes, Brouwer has been terrible. He has some of the worst relative marks on the team. And he’s got two years to go on his deal. He’s an excellent buyout candidate, that is if the Flames hadn’t used all their slots already (and Lance Bouma is one).

But he should have more esteem around here. If Scott Podsednik and Geoff Blum have hallowed names in this town…

 

Game #52 Preview

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built