Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

December Hasn’t Been Friendly to the Flames

Posted 28 Dec 2009 — by admin
Category Calgary Flames, Commentary, Road, Win

I’ve taken a bit of flack from my friends for not updating my blog for 3 weeks, but really, if I could have chosen a better 3 weeks to take a mini-break from the Flames (because I was sooo busy!) this would have been it. Since my last post 3 weeks ago, the Flames have gone 3-4-2 and dropped from first in the NW (2nd in the West) to 6th in the West and only 1 point ahead of Vancouver in the race for 2nd in the NW (is this really a race?!!).

The Calgary Flames have had a dismal December, going 4-6-2 after dominating their opponents during the month of November. They weren’t able to score when they needed to and they gave points away to teams that they should have beaten. Sure, they beat the league-leading, San Jose Sharks 2-1 on December 5th, but that was the last good game they played. It’s no secret that the Flames have December issues, and they need to either get over them, or get onto January.

The Flames have 2 more games before we put up the 2010 calender, and they really need 2 wins. They play the LA Kings on Wednesday and follow it up with the annual New Year’s Eve Battle of Alberta vs. the Oilers on Dec 31. Both games are at home, which would normally be good news to Flames fans, however, the Saddledome has been a curse for the Flames this year. The Flames need to find a way to win at home after going 9-7-2 at the ‘Dome so far this season (their road record is 12-5-3).
Flames Oilers Hockey
Tonight was a good start for the Flames, but the majority of us fans don’t seem convinced that it’s anything to get riled up about. Calgary played a decent game and beat Edmonton 4-1, buoyed by Rene Bourque’s 3 goals. They seemed to get back to “Sutter basics” in the win, playing like we expect them to and frustrating the Oilers for the majority of the game. They handed the Oilers their 7th loss in a row (yes, I’m smiling as I write these words) and moved back into the win column for the first time since December 17. But we’re still skeptical. December isn’t over and we’ve still got 2 games left.

Miikka Kiprusoff rebounded from the 4-goal, first period debaucle against the Canucks last night with a solid performance in net for the Flames. He stopped 34 of 35 shots in the win, including at 5 ‘great’ saves. Kipper has been one of the few Flames players to have any consistency throughout December. The rest of the team has gone cold, and there has been little to get them back into the groove.

The Calgary Flames are now at a point where they need to make a move. Their consistency issues are still a problem and they need to find a solution soon. If Iggy et al aren’t going to score on a consistent basis, the secondary scorers need to recognize when it’s time to step up and start putting pucks in the net. It seems that Kipper is set for another Vezina run this season, but the rest of the team needs to do their part now. This kind of December play won’t be tolerated very long in Calgary.

CBC Going Downhill: Marc Crawford is the Devil

Posted 12 Oct 2008 — by admin
Category Bertuzzi, CBC, Commentary, Marc Crawford

As I watched the first 2 games of the season, I couldn’t help noticing how the CBC has slipped in their Hockey coverage. Not only were there the obvious technical problems (clock freezing on the screen, then disappearing all together, poor sound levels, dead air… the list goes on…), but there was a distinct lack of good commentary from the commentators they have chosen.

Kelly Hrudey was his usual self, trying to show how knowledgeable he is about hockey, while playing with his video replay machine like it’s his newest girlfriend. Mike Milbury was his typical, contradicting personality and did everything he could to keep up his reputation of showing that – other than beating someone with their own shoe – he knows little about the game of hockey.

Then there’s the newest member of the CBC team… the pro-Canucks, anti-Bertuzzi Marc Crawford. He doesn’t seem capable of doing Calgary vs. Vancouver play-by-play without tooting the Canucks horn while slagging the Flames as often as he can. I wonder why that is?!!

On Saturday nightwhen the Flames were leading 3-1 midway through the 2nd period, Crawford’s comments took aim at their shortcomings while highlighting the great play of the Canucks. Where the Canucks had a “young player who needs to make those types of plays if he’s looking to get more powerplay minutes,” the Flames either showed “extremely poor execution and a lack of puck awareness” or “were being dominated by a much younger and faster Canucks team.” Crawford’s one-way commentary really has no place on CBC… but I suppose they don’t have much choice as all their good commentators keep getting poached by TSN.

Todd Bertuzzi was called for boarding with 1:26 remaining in the 3rd period in Saturday’s game in what many viewers deemed a weak call by the ref. Instead of choosing words like “that was definitely a questionable call”, or ” Todd should know better than to go in strong like that,” he chose to say (after Bertuzzi was shown protesting to the ref), “Bertuzzi never did like the calls against him.”

I have to say that I’m happy I have the NHL Center Ice package, TSN and Sportsnet so that I can watch as many Flames games away from CBC as I can. For the last 3 seasons, The CBC’s sports directors have been cutting and skimping and hiring all the wrong people to run Canada’s cultural icon Hockey Night in Canada. On top of it all, they’ve gone and lost the HNIC theme song and replaced it with a Scottish Bagpipers jig. That song will take a really long time until I associate it with hockey when I hear it.

Clagary Flames Reputation on the Line

Posted 19 Apr 2008 — by admin
Category Commentary, Consistency, Playoffs, Reputation

So it’s come down to this… The reputation of the Calgary Flames as a playoff contender is now on the line.
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The Calgary Flames had a golden opportunity to go up 3-1 in the series and all they had to do was play solid for the last 6 minutes of game 4. They already had the 2-1 lead, and they were playing well enough to get a win against a lacklustre San Jose Sharks team. But they did what they’ve done all year and lost their consistency. They let San Jose score 2 goals in the last 5 minutes to come from behind and win the game.

Now a 3-1 series lead, with home ice advantage, became a 2-2 series tie with 2 of the final 3 games in San Jose. The big first round upset was looking a bit more difficult for the Flames.

The Flames best player in Game 4 let his teammates have it. Though we may not know who it was directed at, Robyn Regehr singled out into several of his teammates for their lack of effort and lack of consistency. Flames Captain Jarome Iginla also went head to head with Assistant Coach Rich Preston during a video session.

Whatever mental changes the team went through, they seemed to work to a certain extent, but unfortunately they weren’t enough to prevent a loss in game 5. Though the Flames played significantly better, and actually got more shots on net than the Sharks for the first time in the series, they still could not put a complete game together.

Game 6 (and 7… if neccessary) will determine the Calgary Flames playoff reputation going forward. If they are able to win 2 in a row, their reputation will still be up in the air… depending on how they perform after that.

If the Calgary Flames lose either one of their next 2 games, they will do a lot to solidify an already forming reputation as first round choke artists.

Hockey fans and media analysts are no longer calling the Flames playoff favourites like they were after the 2004 Stanley Cup run. That stopped after their 2006 first round exit vs. Anaheim in a series the Flames lead 3-2 but could not finish.

In 2007, the Flames exited the playoffs 6 games into the first round against Detroit in a series that was painful to watch. It was also a series that helped to solidify my loathing of the Detroit Red Wings and their fans.

Now we’re in 2008, and facing elimination in round 1 for the 3rd year in a row. The same thing is happening this season as in the past 2 seasons: INCONSISTENCY.

The Calgary Flames have a remarkably talented team, but unfortunately, a championship team is not just made up of Iginla, Kipper, Phaneuf, Regehr, Langkow and Nolan. The Flames will never succeed until they see consistent offensive production from Huselius, Tanguay, Conroy, and all the ’supporting’ players that seem to come out of the shadows every few games to put points on the board.