Thursday, January 31, 2008

Guerrilla of the Week: Nolan.

This man played like he was 31 last night scoring his 11th hatrick. Ironically, only an assist short of a Howe hatrick as well.

Owen, please continue kicking ass and taking names. No longer will I consider you shark bait.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Clap your hands say . . . maybe

Sorry for the delays in posts folks. Strangely, there hasn't been a great deal going on in the world of hockey. Ha, kidding! I have been swamped with the fun of work and such.

As such, I will keep it brief. Things of note:

1) The All Star weekend didn't completely stink. Although, it wasn't stellar either. My personal highlights were all of the banter with Iggy and company and Dion winning the break away contest. I mean really, Dion?

2) Gary Bettman announcing the EU start to the NHL next season only to have the NHLPA say, hold up Gary, we're not on board as yet. Honestly, Gary you can't get the NHL running in the US, let's not complicate matters more.

3) Ray Emery, wtf man. You get paid a few million bucks to play hockey. SHOW UP TO PRACTICE ON TIME or get in the wah-mbulance.

4) A whole 48 hours without any Tangs trade rumors Woohoo!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Save Alex Tanguay.

Ok, there is some 'information' floating around that Tangs may be on the move. This is serious shit people. From my favourite guy at TSN, Bobby Mack:

The presence of Montreal Canadiens Assistant General Manager Pierre Gauthier at Wednesday's Flames' game has prompted speculation the Canadiens are looking at Calgary's Alex Tanguay and would be willing to move impending unrestricted free agent Michael Ryder to get it done.

Fuck me sideways, Ryder for Tangs straight up? Gauthier better throw in a bag of pucks too. MetroGnome has a better handle on the statistical reasons to keep Tangs. Me, I will keep it simple. Tangs is a surefire contributor to the team at all times. Yeah, he may not shoot enough but if you notice how he elevates the play of everyone around him in addition to be the best all rounder after Iggy. Losing Tangs will be a bad move by Sutter. More from BobbyM:

Whether that is a deal that Sutter would make remains to be seen, but it does fit the financial profile of what he's trying to accomplish?
Tanguay's cap hit next season is $5.25 million, which would help Sutter sign Phaneuf and/or Huselius, and there would be no obligation to Ryder beyond this season.

Man, if Sutter needs $5 million in cap space he need not look farther than the fucking press box. Seeing as Primeau, Nilson, Warrener have been patrolling the 'room with a view' consistently. This is weird, I would rather see Lombo head to MTL. I love Matty, but I think he's ready to be bigger and better than he will ever get in Cowtown. Tangs, on the other hand, is the ultimate Robin to Iggy's Batman. Apply the Jack Welsh philosophy, jettison the deadweight.

Another rumor: CGY is interested in Mats Sundin. If this proves to be true I will personally crap in a manilla envelop and send it to Sutter. Kaberle maybe. But JFJ isn't that stupid. (Ha, Fletcher is).


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

We're in for a Wild Night

The predictron 2000 is busted and I am not review stats anymore. Every game I look something up for to sound intelligent in my predictions has resulted in a beat down for the Flames.

At any rate, if the Flames of late show up, I predict a slaughter of epic proportion. We've all seen what Marian Gaborik can do. Can he score 11 goals in one game? As well, the Wild's line of Matt Foy, James Sheppard and Todd Fedoruk have been kicking ass and taking names lately. I bet you Keenan floats Goddard, Smith and Yelle against that trio. How does that fit? Like a SIEVE!

Flames roster
news is as follows:
D Adrian Aucoin -- in. GOOD
D Rhett Warrener -- out. GOOD
RW David Moss -- in. GOOD
LW Marcus Nilson -- out. EXPENSIVE
LW Wayne Primeau -- out. EXPENSIVE
LW Eric Nystrom (jaw) -- out. DAMMIT!

I'd like to see Curtis McElhinney start but don't count on it.

Annoyingly the Flames will lose this one. Spectacularly. Like, in the first 14 seconds. Gaborik scores his first of 7 unanswered goals off the face off by manipulating the space time continuum by blasting the puck into a worm hole where it re-enters this dimension on the Flames goal line. Magoo, of course, is officiating and his inane gesticulations knock our starting goaltender, Dion and Regs leaving us with an even worse defensive unit than before. Short shifting remaining muppets and inserting a few forwards into the mix the Wild run a goal scoring train on the poor sap in net. Final score, 12-0 Wild but the silver lining is that Moss proves to be an outstanding defenseman mitigating the potential loss of Dion Phaneuf next season.


The Flames won in a shootout with the interesting combination of Juice, Dion, and Iggy. Juice scored, no surprise there. What was surprising was Dion. He fucking nailed Backstrom with a slapper into the chest. The best part was how he keeled over. I definitely think he was winded when Iggy scored on him.


This adorable canine is here to distract you from the stench of the Flames recent effort in Nashville. All I can say is wow. The post season is a distant hope if this is the product the Flames intend to bring to the table against a series of opponents that are essentially cannon fodder in the war for Lord Stanley's cup.

Yes, that was a run on sentence. Much like my rage for the Keenan doctrine runs on like the Energizer Bunny. As MG predicted, the kid line got molested, slaughtered and generally crushed by the Preds top offensive unit. In a battle between the boy scouts and the Delta force who do you think would win? Leanne eerily predicted the exact score but didn't specify the team (all the making of a superstitious event). The only good thing about the Flames, and it will be short lived, is McElhinney, who looked like he belonged in a NHL net. Kipper wasn't bad last night, our D was terrifyingly ineffective.

Things we know:
1) Puppies are cute
2) The Flames defense is bad
3) The Flames scoring is bad
4) The roster situation is bad
5) . . .

ugh. Puppies.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Battle of Alberta: Game Review

If you were an Oilers fan, last evening would have caused riotous celebration. Keep it real Oil Country, you're not winning the Stanley Cup. Were you a Flames fan, likely your nose is still ringing from the odoriferous stench of their efforts. Stankfest 08.

I won't jump into the strenuous numerical analysis. The man with the plan will handle that. Leanne and Dave will certainly find the silver lining. Me, I'm surly.

Hemsky. That goal was gorgeous. Much to my chagrin. The ease with which he undressed Regs and molested Kipper should earn him a place on every sex-offender list in Canada. I mean every dangerous Sex offender list! (I intend this as a weird compliment) At any rate, the number one defensive strategy to be used against Hemsky? Do not piss him off or get him emotionally involved in the game. When you leave him alone he doesn't embarrass you. As much.

Cogs. Poor kid. I want him to score again. He's got skills!

Kipper. Someone send that guy a holiday. I think a decent backup is now mission number 1 or 2 for Sutter. Yes we need some secondary offense but we cannot expect 5 years of 03/04 Kipper. It's inhuman. He's tired, beat and could use a break I bet. Maybe the Cujo rumors are a good thing.

MacT. Keep hamming it up in the post game interviews funny guy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Guerilla Tatics: Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment

The MLSE consortium has been living up the 'Entertainment' billing of their moniker this week. All sorts of 'Entertaining' things have been coming to light, canceled team photos, speculation on JFJr, Speculation on Paul Maurice, trade talks for Jason Blake, Tucker hamming it up with Roenick last night at the red line blah blah blah. While it does provide cannon fodder for the sports pundits last time I checked the MLSE group was in the business of hockey. Maybe perhaps in the business of winning hockey games even.

There has been a great deal of speculation as to why the Leafs have been under performing. I can sum it up: The Toronto Maple Leafs FUCKING SUCK. I'm sorry, there is no point sugar coating it and I refuse to give a roster like that any sort of a break. Arguably they have all the pieces to be a Stanley Cup contender yet they languish in the sub basement of the NHL. For the love of god, LA beat them. Convincingly.

I don't really cheer for the Leafs but one of Canada's most storied franchises deserves better. Much better. While I don't expect anyone to really care my thoughts on fixing the team are simple:

1) Fire John Ferguson Jr. He's not a bad dude but with respect to hockey he clearly is not getting good advice or possessing an inkling about hockey management.

2) Trade Mats Sunding while he's worth something. The Leafs need a complete new look, starting from the top down. Get some young bodies in there.

3) Shake up the Board. This organization is stale. People are expressing undue influence over matters of hockey management where they shouldn't be.

4) Paul Maurice should go as well. Personally, this part makes me sad because I believe Paul is the kind of coach that would make TO great but you can't rid the institution of it's endemic disease unless everyone goes. Hate to say it.

The Leafs, much to my chagrin, are a team steeped in history. They deserve better, so I hope the MLSE group steps up and sorts this out.

Here's the Proof:

On paper the Leaf roster is not terrible. The performance of these players is. Period. 9 dudes registering on the good side of the plus minus? ew. You gotta score to win.

Defense. Or a lack there of. 3rd in the league for shots against, on average 3.24 GA per game also 3rd worst in the league. The D-corp needs to have it's ass kicked big time. Give Toskala and Raycroft a frigging chance guys. Lie down in front of the puck at least. *

TSN was discussing this yesterday. Shocking. They were suggesting much the same, clean house. However, they suggested 3 GMs to take over and get this: Andy Murray topped the list. Course, he's unavailable but the next three will BLOW your mind: Brian Burke, Kevin Lowe, Darryl Sutter. Sutter I get. Burke and Lowe? Really?

* Hey, a spade is a spade, the Flames are not great shakes this season either.

Friday, January 11, 2008

NYI vs Flames: Predict-o-tron 2000 says: Flames Win

Dipietro is a fire extinguisher. A bold .933 save average against the Flames in their one visit. Granted these are two different teams but Ricky is a formidable foe between the pipes and if the goal dispensing machine runs out of Iggy Juice the flames are basically screwed.

So what to expect tonight:
If the Flames big lines got Keenan's 'message' from the Coyotes rout, expect a skating determined effort in the first. Of course, there will be several golden opportunities that pass us by as Conroy and Nolan can't convert. I do feel that this evening could be Nystrom's night. I hope I am right, that guy deserves something. Kipper will be in fine form as well, so the energy will be good with end to end play but we will be scoreless headed into the third.

Then, in the third, things will go sideways. Rhett Warrener will bobble the puck a la Hall Gill in Anaheim springing Comrie to a breakaway against Miikka. Kipper will make the initial save but the rebound will end up on the stick of Guerin and end up in the net, thanks for nothing Hale. The Flames will rally in the final minute to tie it courtesy of Nystrom, Boyd, and Regs (in some fashion).

Of course, it will go to a shootout where the Flames will . . . .WIN courtesy of Kipper and Lombardi. 2-1 SO victory for the Boys in Red.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Flames vs Coyotes Pregame.

Ok people. I did the unthinkable today. In forming my game prediction I looked up a statistic. Don't worry, I'm ok. The stat in question was Bryzgalov's performance against the Flames. Poor guy is 0-3. This actually came as a shock to me because in my mind I thought he was a fire extinguisher in the style of Turco when it came to the Flames. Apparently not.

At any rate. While blasphemous, I predict we will not win this game. The Coyotes are hot and will show poise and discipline when it comes to shutting down the Flames top line. The only line that really scores. It's been mentioned by the crew that we're somewhat top heavy and have virtually no secondary scoring. Coupled with the simple fact that Kipper stole a game recently and the rest of the wins have been courtesy of a Karome Higgelius pair that is bound to have an off night. You can't be that good all the time.

Course, I hope I'm wrong and the Flames continue to dominate. GO FLAMES.

*In Game Update*

It's 2-0 Coyotes. The thing I feared most has come true, on the Flames PP the coyotes were successful at keep Juice isolated on the boards unable to dangle. BAM! It's now 3-0 Coyotes. The Flames could come back but at this point the momentum is gone.

Friday, January 4, 2008

No, it's like this: 11-1-4 in the last 16

Lately, the Flames have collectively pulled it together. A big part of this has been the resurgence of the Juice and the continual monstrous play of Iggy. Recently dubbed, 'Karome Higgelius' this pair molested King Henrik, and took advantage of Nabby. Not too shabby at all.

At times I wrestle with the vulgarity of my content. Typically I tend to swear like a sailor. Expletives spice up the old vernacular. However, I accept that it can be offensive at times and I apologize. In advance. I just want to say this: I'M RIGHT AGAIN MOTHERFUCKERS! You may want to highlight that gap.

Why am I so excited? Well, I predicted the rangers win. I figured the sharks would drag us into overtime but more importantly some key players have returned to their winning ways. (Yeah, I didn't post it but as Roenick would say, kiss my ass -KIDDING) Namely, the Juice and, to a certain extent, Conroy. Huselius is making a very strong case that he wants to stay in Calgary when his contract expires. Given the way he and Iggy ran a train on poor Henrik, we can conclusively say the dude has regular season skills despite being streaky. Come playoffs he suffers 'Loch Ness Monster' syndrome and you hear about him constantly but never really see him on the ice. I think this could be his year provided the Flames make the playoffs.

Oh the consternation, what's a GM to do when you have a good chunk of your roster heading into UFA/RFA territory? The gang have been discussing and speculating (MG has some lucid thoughts
while WI has a different perspective). I'm still not sure of my stance as yet. You see, I rely on a completely different style of analysis, I use the force. Right now, as Yoda would say, difficult to predict, the future is. I do, however, sense a disturbance in the force at the thought of losing the Juice or Phaneuf. (Man, we are so gonna get K-Lowned* or Burke'd** by some outrageous offer sheet at the end of the season).

Other things I would like to share: Iggy should be the league MVP. Stop thinking that it will be R.Loungo. Goalies backtsop a team but rarely can they provide leadership, the most integral part of being an MVP. This is why we have a special award for the best goalie. I get offended that goalies are eligible for MVP status. Lou is saving Van from having a stank-tackular season but he can't win the games for them. Sadly, in the Bettman scripted NHL, the MVP will likely be a guy who's name rhymes with 'Cindy Frosby'.

* K-Lowend (pro kay-loaned): The act of using the CBA and offer sheets in a hostile manner to acquire players of dubious skill for outrageous money from a team that beat you in a recent Stanley Cup final.

** Burke'd not to be confused with the popular chess defense strategy, this tactic requires you to release a player in light of a cap busting offer sheet to a team with minimal talent but whine about it in as many press conferences as possible. The usage of hyperbole and strongly worded statements to incite a team rivalry is also key.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Thoughts on the Winter Classic

As a concept, I really enjoyed the Winter Classic. Some elements of it that I could do without:

1. The incessant hunt for some story rife with controversy. CBC had their band of muppets scouring the stadium hunting for some nugget of smut that would entertain viewers. Honestly? I don't give a fuck if the towels won't slide down the bench. Players didn't request new laundry between periods!? Say it ain't so. The only 'controversy' was the whole switching ends and whining about the long change. And even that was moot. The NHL is not the NFL nor the MLB. There is no Terrel Owens, there is no Jessica Simpson curse and perhaps we should be grateful.

2. The constant commentary on the deteriorating weather conditions. People, these are hockey players. In case you haven't noticed they haul ass on a nightly basis on a sheet of ice. Ice is cold. I think we can logically conclude that these dudes can handle some cold weather and snow. For a hockey player (especially one of Canadian descent or origins in an Original 6 City) deteriorating conditions means the snow is blowing so hard you can't see your hand in front of your face AND a Yeti is chasing your ass.

3. Zamboni Status updates. Never in my life have I seen such focus on the Zamboni. An essential part of any hockey game but I'm not sure I need CBC coverage on the location and running condition of the two zambonis. I appreciate the effort though.

4. Lastly, I would appreciate if Gary Bettman would script these games a bit more . . . unpredictably. I wish I had posted my prediction for the game because of course it was going to overtime and of course the game winner was going to be scored by Crosby. Gary you're doing it all wrong. . .

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Top 10 List for 2007 (and day 1 of 2008)

It's that time of year, everyone and their dog posts a top 10 list of something. Typically, I like to post my top ten list of other people's top 10 lists the ever ironic TOP 10 of the TOP 10s but this year I am straying from tradition. Instead of mocking the evil horde of lemmings I find myself joining them. Color me aghast. Lest I leave you in anticipation, please read on.

10. Sidney Crosby did not make my top 10 list. Don't get me wrong, he's got star power but the fact that the NHL is all Sid all the time upsets me. There are many worthy players in the NHL that deserve more exposure.

9. Todd Fedoruk excelled at hitting his face against other players fists. All kidding aside, I do hope Todd is OK but I think he should lay off on the brawling, it doesn't appear to be working for him.

8. The use of eyeblack at the Winter Classic. It's not football but I appreciate the effort. To be honest, I challenge any footballer to lace up some skates and play some hockey. Better take your vitamin H bitches, vitamin HARDCORE!

7. Scott Niedermayer's return to the Ducks. Only to be derailed by the CBA! Who knew, Scott is not a CBA scholar!

6. Calgary Blogosphere Meetup. This was kickass because there are other people that blog about hockey and most of them are a million times better than me. Check my side bar for links, spread the love.

5. Bob McKenzie. What can be said about this man that hasn't already been said? Said by himself at that. The Glenn Beck of the sporting world Bob likes to blast us with cliches, hyperbole, and topical information. Dude is loud too, try listening to his podcast. What John Madden is to football, BobbyMack is to hockey. Move over Drew Remenda, I have a new sports pundit to hate on.

4. The night Iron Mike Keenan's random line generator broke and Dion Phaneuf ended up on the right wing. Anyone who's been paying attention to the Flames has noticed two curious things about Iron Mike. First, he chews ice chips as though they were the minced pieces of ex-nhler's who's souls he's crushed in the past. Secondly, he likes to change up the lines. A great deal. I am convinced that Keenan believes changing the lines is like entering the numbers into that computer on LOST; if he doesn't do it the world will end in a fuzzy purple explosion. Frankly, it's annoying and I think MetroGnome should open a betting house just on what madness Keenan will unleash with his line choices.

3. Patrick Kane and Jonathon Toews. Like Batman and Robin, this dynamic duo is all about kicking ass and taking names. Personally, I call them Sam and Max and they are directly responsible for the resurgence of the Chicago Blackhawks.

2. Eric Nystrom. At this point in the season he's my favourite Flame. Don't get me wrong, I dig all the gang but you have to show love to guys like Nystrom. He's plays hard, he's feisty, he fights, he's solid at all ends of the rink. He reminds me of Yelle. Earlier in the week I coined him Sandbox II but perhaps this needs to be reconsidered, Sandbox Jr, El Sandbox, or perhaps Sandcastle. (I'm personally digging Sandbox Jr.) Nystrom will proudly continue the Stephan Yelle tradition of being a gritty and determined hockey player.

1. The New Years Eve Hockey game. My better half secured tickets of an epic nature. I have never almost been hit by a puck before. Trust me it's a life altering experience. After shaking off the panic of nearly being killed there's a mad scramble to claim that piece of rubber. Of course my wife made absurdly good company but the rest of that section needs to liven up. Personally, I believe the nosebleeds crowd should move down to ice level and rock the fuck out.

AskGSN: Superbowl or the Winter Classic?

Ok, there has been a great deal of debate here at GSN headquarters today. While sitting down and enjoying the winter classic the question arose, would you go to the superbowl or the winter classic?



Ok, there is so much hockey going on. I am currently watching the Winter Classic and last night, courtesy of my better half, I witnessed the end of the Canuck Curse. Yes folks from 6 rows up I watched Nolan beat Lou. LEGEN-(I hope you're not lactose intolerant because the rest of this sentence contains...) DAIRY! Lou's Vezina contention is under fire after Mark Smith and Owen Nolan scored on him. But I digress, many things to cover . . . .

Recently the Flames faced the Ducks. I have little love for the Ducks but they have a decent roster and should be respected. I figured after Parros scored this games was destined for the dumpster. I mean, Parros isn't renowned for his goal scoring prowess as much as his Super Villain mustache so I can sorta understand why David Hale left him alone but good lord, Parros didn't make into the NHL on his good looks alone. Any dude who has his own website should be respected. Presented with an empty net I think even I could score. Granted the Flames pulled it together and won, decisively. Amen, we might go above .500 at home at some point this season.

The Canuck Curse.
Since the start of the season the Vancouver Canucks have had the Flames number. The Sedins have possessed some 'instant panty dissolver' when it comes to Kipper given the ease with which they undress him in their efforts to score. (how many cliches can I fit in one sentence?) All the while, we Flames fans have been eager for the end of the Sedin Sister (assisted by the Manitoba Moose) molestation . As luck would have it, New Years Eve provided some much needed respite in the curse department: CGY defeated VAN, the Flames won at home, the Flames won with me and my wife in attendance, the flames won while I was wearing my jersey. Hockey Girl has provided many thoughts on curses and rituals. Perhaps good things are in store for the Flames in the new year?