Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Calgary Sun,
“You won one game, big (expletive) deal! Do it right!” screamed coach Mike Keenan in the middle of the Calgary Flames practice yesterday….
“It’s not about winning one, it’s about stringing some together,” said centre Craig Conroy.
“I think that was the major point, ‘Who cares you won one, it’s not breaking any records.’ You’re not gonna win two if you have a practice as bad as we had.
“He definitely let it be known it’s unacceptable and be ready for (today). They’re in a similar situation as us so it’s gonna be a tough game.”
from the Calgary Sun,
Hey, many in the media morbidly want to see Keenan in a high-profile tiff with one of his players, especially if it becomes the start of another fall for Iron Mike.
Certainly, Keenan’s words after Saturday night’s disappointing 4-3 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets will add to the pyre.
“Let’s call a spade a spade. We should have better goaltending. Period. If we had, we’d be rewarded with a victory tonight,” said Keenan, who has been remarkably patient with his criticism of Kiprusoff this season.
He has a right to be frustrated and disappointed. Keenan used fact when asked what Kiprusoff must do: “Improve his save percentage dramatically. If you check the statistics, you can find out all about it.”
added 12:03pm, from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
But with roster adjustments not being quite the option they once were in the pre-cap days, Keenan needs to find a way to get the likes of Kristian Huselius (who dangled with the puck last season under Jim Playfair, but looks like a deer in the headlights this season), Adrian Aucoin, Alex Tanguay and Craig Conroy contributing more. Otherwise, the Flames will continue to flounder.
I admire Keenan’s self-constraint with his new team – there have been very few meltdowns thus far - but the Flames have been one of the most disappointing teams of the season and there has been little indication of better days ahead.
from Bill Clement at MSNBC,
Very often the Flames appear confused on defense. On many nights it looks like they are not on the same page. It’s Keenan’s responsibility to make sure Calgary’s defense is organized and has a sound defensive system. But Keenan has never been a system driven coach. He wants emotion, energy, combativeness and competiveness. It’s hard to win in today’s NHL with just those qualities. Teams need a comprehensive defensive system.
From David Carroll at TSN,
Jarome Iginla is set to become the Flames all-time leader in games played on Thursday when he hits the ice against the Anaheim Ducks.
The 30-year-old is one of the NHL’s biggest stars and has an impressive list of awards and accomplishments. Iginla has won “Rocket” Richard Trophies, a Lester B. Person Award and an Art Ross Trophy.
He can score and, when needed, can mix it up but where does he rank on the list of Flames all-time greats?
How do you stack Iginla against players like Joe Nieuwendyk, Al MacInnis, Gary Suter, Theo Fleury, Lanny McDonald, Paul Reinhart and Mike Vernon and others? There’s also a poll available on the TSN front page.
Phaneuf put a big hit on Hudler last night in the 3rd period. Hudler had been agitating Dion most of the night and you just had a feeling Phaneuf was looking for the right opportunity to pay him back.
Watch the video of the hit…
from the Calgary Sun,
Godard was assessed his third instigator penalty Saturday night in Colorado against the Avalanche, but the two-game suspension that’s to come with that infraction was rescinded by the league yesterday—and he was able to play in the team’s 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
“I really thought they would have, so I was happy they did,” Godard said. “I’m not gonna say anything about the refs. I think they did a pretty good job that night. That’s a call in the rule book, so they’ve got to make the call. They reviewed the tape, and there was obviously some other circumstances going on.”
via the Calgary Flames,
Avalanche tough guy Scott Parker went out in the second period to do his thing—stir it up. He got it when he cross-checked Dion Phaneuf in the throat and then jabbed his stick at Phaneuf while he was on the ice.
In comes Eric Godard for the anticipated heavyweight bout, in which Parker gets the upper hand. Problem for Parker is he took a major for the crosscheck so it didn’t help his team in the power play department.
Word out of Denver was that Parker could face further discipline under the intent to injure rule for his crosscheck on Phaneuf.
The Flames also received the news that Godard would be suspended for two games because he received his third instigator penalty of the season.
Coincidentally, all three players were involved in a pushing and shoving session during the warm-up.
from Peter Maher at the Calgary Sun,
The first quarter is meaningful, but generally it’s in the second quarter that determines who’s real and who isn’t. The first quarter of an NHL season is about adrenalin rushes, adjusting, and sometimes the unusual.
History has shown that if teams, positive or negatively, perform the same way in the second set of 20 games, the remainder of the season usually follows that trend, although there have been exceptions.
The Flames were a game under .500 in the opening 20, and as defenceman Anders Eriksson admitted, “We are capable able of being much better than that.”
more and even though this is Flames specific, this could hold true for any team in the NHL…
from the Calgary Herald,
...the Flames GM has transformed a quick, young aggressive team in 2004 into an older club that is both expensive and sluggish. And with just $3 million US left under the salary cap and a farm system lacking impact players, his options for change are severely curtailed in both the short and medium term.
In particular, the evolution of Sutter’s defence begs the question of whether the former coach has being paying attention to the workings of the new NHL.
From George Johnson at ESPN,
Iginla, the unquestioned emotional push behind the Flames, is thriving, while Kiprusoff, arguably the most spectacular goaltender in the game over the past three seasons, is nose-diving.
So the spirit is willing, but the flash has been weak.
As Iginla and Kiprusoff go, so go the Flames. And, right now, Calgary finds itself stuck on a treadmill to mediocrity, a game below .500 and a disquieting 1-5 stretch in what could hardly be described as a November to remember.
They’ve both been making headlines for altogether different reasons.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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