Sunday, December 5, 2010

State of the Union

Hoooo boy, that is a long way down for the Calgary Flames.

Allow me to put things as such: The Edmonton Oilers have declared that they are a rebuilding club. They have asked for their fanbase to have patience while they blew up the team, decided to build through the draft, etc. In the interests of full disclosure, the Oilers made the decision to announce to their fans that things just weren't working out.

The Calgary Flames have gone on the record, time and time again, saying that they believe that they are
1. a playoff team
2. expecting to compete for the Stanley Cup.

The Edmonton Oilers are in 14th place. The Calgary Flames are in 15th place. And nobody seems to see anything wrong with this.

Even though the Flames are in dead last place in the entire Western Conference, there is a way to spin things. Calgary is only five points out of the 8th playoff spot. Accounting for the teams ahead of them winning some games as well, Calgary is only one four or five game winning streak from clawing their way back into the playoff scene. Certainly that isn't impossible.

Also, if you've been watching these games, the Flames haven't looked too too bad on that many nights in a row. I feel like there have been some games that simply got away from the team, as well as what is the worst road trip of all time, ever, that really didn't help out the situation. Even so, they came out with some points against teams they probably didn't deserve to beat.

Calgary plays tonight, in Chicago, and a win would be fantastic obviously. Tuesday there is a home game against Tampa Bay, then they hit the road for back-to-back road games in LA and Anaheim (watch this entire video). Four games in a week, three on the road. If Calgary beats the Ducks and another team (hopefully one of LA or Chicago) and loses the other two games (TB and LA/CHI)...things don't get much better, but at least they'll be floating, more or less.

The week of the 12th is pretty much make or break, in that case. Home games against Columbus, Toronto, and Minnesota all need to be won in order to have a chance in hell of staying alive this season.


 Do not blow up this team.

When I watch Flames games, I do not feel the same sense of helplessness I do when I watch other rebuilding clubs such as the Oilers. Yes I am aware the Oilers have won four in a row and that I am probably going to end up having to buy Dan Moser a Taylor Hall jersey. Seriously, the Flames are not that bad. They still have the best goaltender in the league. Their defense is pretty damn good until you get to the Fab 4 of Staios/Sarich/Mikkelson/Babchuk. And the offensive players aren't complete shit either. Hagman is starting to get it together, Iggy doesn't look completely lost, hell even Backlund is skating really well. Alex Tanguay could not record a point the rest of the season and he would already be worth his contract. 

And doesn't your mouth salivate at the prospect of watching a line of Jokinen/Kotalk/Kostopolous?
(I hadn't made a joke in a while).

To blow up this team would be a mess. Who is going to be in charge? Jay Feaster? The guy who decided to give Lecavalier $10 million a season? Please. If ownership decides to blow this thing up, there needs to be a definite plan in place. Don't roll out naked, bring an uzi.

This team should be good enough to win games. Quite frankly, I still feel like there is a 40% chance that the Flames can still make the playoffs. And I would rather take a 40% chance every year of making the playoffs than take the risk of toiling away at the bottom of the league for years. Everybody talks about how Chicago drafted Kane 1st overall in 2007 then won a cup in 2010. Do people just forget that Chicago was atrocious for years before that? I don't have the patience to put up with that BS in Calgary. 

Here are some Henrik Karlsson .gifs to take your mind off what is happening on the ice (courtesy of Lorne Tucker's kid):

Some kinda backup.

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