Friday, September 21, 2007

Being that this is really our first full season to get a crack at previewing teams, we decided to contact other bloggers to have them tell the stories of their respective team's season.
We will be running a team per day, possibly two teams, possibly six, all through September.
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Nextup we get a word from one of our favorites.
Randy from [ Completely Hammered ]

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Your Calgary Flames!

Well, my Calgary Flames, I'm pretty sure most of the rest of you won't give a shit about them

(At least until June)

Division: Northwest
2006-2007: (43-29-10) 96 points
Playoffs: 8th seed
Finish: I’m not here to talk about the past…

Leaders:
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Jarome Iginla – Alex Tanguay
(39G – 55A – 94P) – (22G - 59A - 81P)

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Dion Phaneuf – Miikka Kiprusoff
(17G - 33A - 50P) – (40-24-9-7, 2.46 GAA, .917 SV%)

Thank you, come again - Roman Hamrlik (Montreal), Brad Stuart (Los Angeles)

Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out - Tony Amonte (Don’t remember/ care), Jeff Friesen (Ditto), Andreas Zyuzin (See Tony Amonte)

Come on in, the water’s fine - Adrian Aucoin (Chicago), Cory Sarich (Tampa Bay), Owen Nolan (Phoenix), Anders Eriksson (Columbus)

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Front Office:

Who you probably know:

Darryl Sutter, General Manager - Started of with the organization as both coach and gm, but then decided that he needed to concentrate on one job. Managed to acquire some key pieces (Kiprusoff, Tanguay, and Huselius) for the team. Known for his love for talking to the media…

Mike Keenan, Head Coach - I’m pretty sure that every fan around the league knows Iron Mike (also known as Douche #4 in the Pensblog list of the biggest douches in NHL history). He was hired by the Flames over the summer to replace Jim Playfair. Won a cup with the Rangers in 1994 and was promptly fired. He is now on his eighth head coaching job in the NHL, which ties him for the NHL record in that department. Iron Mike is also known for using multiple goalie changes over the course of a game. Mike and his wife Nola have three children: Gayla, Grant, and Reed…

Jim Playfair, Associate Coach - Playfair was the head coach of the Flames last year. Despite having a seemingly stacked lineup, he had trouble making in game adjustments and always seemed to find it necessary to have Tony Amonte on the ice for the final minute of every single period. He is much more suited to be back in the assistant coaching spot, as I’m not sure if he has the leadership abilities to run his own household…

Since it is just the coaching staff, I won’t bore you with the details of the other guys…

Players:

Who you probably know:

Jarome Iginla #12 RW - Captain of the Flames is considered one of the elite forwards in the NHL. Also known for being bald…

Alex Tanguay #40 LW - Scored on over 20% of his shots, which makes you really wonder why he doesn’t shoot more…

Kristian Huselius #20 LW - Excellent puck handler seems to have magic hands in the opposing zone. Nickname is ‘Juice’ after his freakishly smallish head (a la Beetlejuice)…

Daymond Langkow #22 C - Hit a career high in points last season, and was second on the Flames forwards in TOI last season (behind Iginla). Could stand to be a little better in the face-off circle…

Craig Conroy #24 C - On his second tour of duty with the Flames after a brief, yet unfruitful, stint in LA (the story of many a failed actor). Was one of the key players in Calgary’s run at the cup in 2004. Nickname is Chatty due to his inability to stop talking… ever… in fact, he’s probably talking right now…

Owen Nolan #11 RW - Former sniper turned reclamation project. Essentially this season’s Jeff Friesen (hoping he can turn back into the player that he used to be, but I’m not really expecting a whole lot)…

Dion Phaneuf #3 D - For those that didn’t get the memo, he is apparently the next ‘Scott Stevens’. Known for his massive open-ice hits and his smoldering stare that makes the opposition weak in the knees (note: this may only apply if the opposition in question is the opposite sex)…

Adrian Aucoin #33 D - I’m sure the Penguins fans know him as one of the better defenders on the Islanders before the lockout, as opposed to the injury-prone, overpaid stiff that ‘played’ for the Blackhawks that last couple of years. The former is the version I’d like to get to know as well…

Robyn Regehr #28 D - Known for his staunch play in his own end, not for putting the puck into the net. Kind of like the opposite of any defender that the Edmonton Oilers picked up over the off-season (had to get at least one greaser dig in here)…

Cory Sarich #6 D - See Robyn Regehr…

Miikka Kiprusoff #34 G - Perhaps one of the best goalies in the league right now. Kipper is known for shaking goals off and quickly getting mentally back into the game. He is currently in contract negotiations to get an extension past next summer. However, he may want to put that on hold until he finds out how many times Keenan is likely to pull him out of net in the middle of a game…

Who you should know:

Matthew Lombardi #18 C - Speedy forward with pretty good hands was very effective as a penalty killer last season. Playfair only gave him limited playing time though, but watch him get more ice time under Keenan this season. And apparently the girls think he’s hot…

Stephane Yelle #7 C - Gave up his number to Owen Nolan for the second time in his NHL career (first time was in Colorado). Nickname is ‘Sandbox’ due to his ability to grind the opposing team’s forwards down…

David Moss #58 RW - Big, young forward was up and down between the big club and the farm all last season. Could be a 20 goal scorer this season if he stays with the big club…

Mark Giordano #5 D - Young, undrafted defenceman spent over half the season with the big club last year, making a pretty good impression on a lot of the fan base. Oh wait, the Flames acquired a bunch of defencemen in the last 8 months, meaning that there is no roster spot for ‘Gio’ to make the team this year. So he signed a contract in Russia instead. How do you say “D’oh” in Russian?

The other guys:

Wayne Primeau #19 LW, Marcus Nilson #26 RW, and Eric Godard #17 RW - A big guy, a fast guy, and a slow-footed fighter with brick hands (I wonder why he doesn’t get more ice time)…

Anders Eriksson #8 D, Rhett Warrener #44 D, David Hale #21 D - A guy I don’t know much about, a guy that gets injured a lot, and a young guy that has never done anything on the ice to make me want to find out more about him…

Brent Krahn #35 G, Curtis McElhinney #31 G - Who you may ask? They will be battling for the backup spot, but I wouldn’t concern yourself with it, as Kipper will probably be playing upwards of 70 games this year…

The young guys:

Dustin Boyd C - Quick skater that is willing to go into the corners (I haven’t seen much of these guys)…

Andrei Taratukhin LW - Leading scorer on the farm last year has a chance at cracking the big clubs lineup this season. Oh wait, he went to Russia as well…

Tim Ramholt D - Uh, he plays defence apparently. No room for him on the big club right now anyway, so don’t worry about remembering his name…

Leland Irving G, Matt Keetley G, Kevin Lalande G - the Flames are stacked in the young goalie department, but I wouldn’t expect to see any of these three young prospects this season, unless there are some significant injuries to the other 3 (knock on wood)…

My thoughts on the season:

After a season which saw them make numerous defensive errors (especially on the road), it looks like the Flames have decided that a separation of offence and defence was needed. Forwards score goals, defencemen and the goaltender stop them. Calgary shored up the blueline with guys that have a history of being able to control the other teams forwards, and they are going to let the forward ranks of the 3rd most potent offence in the Western Conference last season (yes, that is true, which is a complete turnaround from the previous seasons) do their thing in the other end. Seems reasonable enough to me…

I think the Flames will perform much better than Keenan than they did under Playfair last year, especially on the road (where even I probably could have done a better job). I predict a finish atop the Northwest division, 3rd in the Western Conference. Followed by a trip to the finals where they will hopefully not get screwed over by a non-goal call on Martin Gelinas in game 6. Yes, I do realize that he doesn’t play for the Flames anymore, and yes, I will let this go… eventually… honest… but that puck was in…

Oh, and I’m not sure if you all got the press release, but apparently the Calgary Flames are based in both Alberta AND Canada…
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First off, we would just like to say Randy did a solid job on this.
The Flames are going to be an enigma.
You can feel it.
We would not be surprised if they finish in ninth place. But we wouldn't be surprised if they finish in third.
It all depends on a few things.
Number one:
Mike Keenan.
He has been a joke the last few years, but he was once a decent coach. If he can rekindle the magic you never know
Number two:
Scoring.
Iggy needs a side kick, he gets that and the Flames cruise.

With all that said.
We like the Flames a lot.
The Defense and goaltending is as good as it gets.
Another point is the Flames simply do not lose games at home. They were a stunning 30-9-2 at home last year.
Iron Mike gets it done.

Flames smell like a fourth seed.
Could get interesting if Kipper gets hot in the Playoffs.

14 comments:

Steal Thunder said...

You just had to bring up that sorry excuse for a music video, didn't you...

Ugh

Anonymous said...

Agreed that the flames could do a lot better under strong leadership of Keenan, but you have to remember that Iggy has a pretty strong personality himself. If these two clash, Keenan will lose control of that team. Iggy IS the flames, and everyone else on the team knows that he is the real leader, regardless of who is standing behind the bench. Iggy will have to learn to do what Keenan tells him to, even if he doesn't like it, in order for the rest of the team to follow. This season will either be magic or a complete bust.


Go FLAMES!!!

CDUBBS said...

I think i found the link for the game tonight...
http://cbsplayer.streamtheworld.com/index.php?CALLSIGN=WkrkFM

Barrasso35 said...

steal thunder, that video is money.

At 2:46, when Gary Roberts says, "You can take all the tea in China," what he really means is, "You could have taken all the tea in China if I hadn't taken it first.

Also, before Gary Roberts got to China there were two billion people there.

Anonymous said...

Pens will actually be playing Flames this year...but GR will be white-hot and somehow, I suspect Flames will be touched by this.

wallflower said...

Probably the most solid team preview yet. I really enjoyed reading this one.

Good stuff all around.

Master of the Obvious said...

Mike Keenan wasn't fired by the Rangers. He wanted out and was talking to other teams such as the Wings (or the Blues.. I forget which) during the Eastern Conference Finals about a coaching opening.

Anonymous said...

Mike Keenan is one hell of a coach whether we like to admit it or not. Unfortunately for him and the team he has coached, he's one hell of a douchebag

Steal Thunder said...

Yeah, but saying he was fired after winning the cup sounds funnier... ; )

chris said...

best team preview

nice job



go pens

Barrasso35 said...

^^^Agreed... I might have to start reading Completely Hammered on a regular basis.

Always thought the Flames had some of the best uniforms in the NHL (except when they had those bizarre diagonal stripes in the 1990s) and I knew that Calgary was in Alberta, which in turn, is in Canada.

Go Flames.

LET'S GO PENS!

Steal Thunder said...

Crap, that means I'll have to start writing on a regular basis... ; )

Jeffry said...

nice preview.

pensblog fantasy league please

Bradley said...

Fantasy leagues ruin the enjoyment of the real thing.

NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR FANTASY _____ TEAM.

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