Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
“I hate losing — that’s never going to change,” Burke told the Calgary Sun on Friday, ending nearly a month of silence.
“It’s not acceptable. We’re not getting the job done, and players know it’s not acceptable. The way it manifests itself is I don’t sleep. So I haven’t slept much.”
“But,” added Burke, the Flames president of hockey operations, “I’ve been through this before.”...
“The coaching staff isn’t going anywhere — I think they’re doing a fine job,” said Burke, sticking to his Dec. 12 promise made the day he fired GM Jay Feaster.
“We’re still having trouble scoring goals and keeping them out of our net. And we’re small. But there are two building blocks I see — that the work ethic matches or exceeds opponents’ and that we stay in the system.
“We’re doing both things. We can’t get to the next level without doing those two things first.”
from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,
Remember back at the start of the season, when the Calgary Flames were a plucky team that scrapped for every puck despite being overpowered in all aspects of the game? Yeah, Flames fans probably don’t, either.
If Calgarians have a case of collective amnesia, it’s likely because they’ve been so horrified by watching their team on home ice. Everybody knew it was going to be a long year for the Flames, but Southern Alberta’s boys have now dropped seven straight at home, scoring a woeful four goals during that stretch. Even at the height of the Dead Puck Era, 0.57 goals per game won’t get you many victories. Taking it a step further, Thursday night’s 5-2 drubbing at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets means Calgary hasn’t posted a regulation win in its own barn since Dec. 4, when the stores were just starting to strike up the Christmas carols.
from Aaron Vickers at NHL.com,
Giordano was carrying the puck up the boards near center ice when Bortuzzo stepped up and delivered a crushing blow to the Flames captain. Giordano took several minutes to get back to his feet as a scrum ensued. Bortuzzo was assessed a match penalty on the play.
"It's right there," Crosby said. "I'm not sure if he catches his shoulder or head. I've seen [Bortuzzo] step up a lot like that. The way he hits, it looks bad. He's a good guy. He gets low when he hits.
"I didn't see if there was exactly contact to the head or not. We saw a quick replay. It's hard to tell. Obviously the officials are well aware to try to get those hits out of the game, but that's a tough one to tell when it's that quick and two guys are coming that quickly together."
more on the game and watch the hit below...
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
... ever since Christmas, the Flames, with a nod to NFL coach Dennis Green, “are what we thought they were.”
It’s no knock on the current cast of characters caught in the state of flux the Flames will likely find themselves over the next two or three years. There’s just not enough talent in there to mount a serious threat unless a perfect storm of exemplary effort, execution and fortuitous bounces combine to shock an opponent.
It’s only happened 15 times the first 44 games, and you can bet the farm it’ll happen plenty less over the balance of the schedule, as Brian Burke — or whoever is running this ship — starts piecing off assets of any value for young prospects and/or draft picks.
Gone before March 5 are bound to be a bevy of pending unrestricted free agents sent packing, such as Michael Cammalleri, Matt Stajan, Lee Stempniak and Chris Butler — and maybe even Dennis Wideman if the Flames can find someone who will take his costly contract off their hands.
The aforementioned five are a combined minus-83, and every day they remain Flames, their stock takes another hit on the open market.
Tough to figure out exactly who the kids on the club are expected to learn from at times like these when a malaise has set in for players, coaches and the poor fans who are so disheartened they don’t even boo this beleaguered bunch anymore.
from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,
They’ve lost four straight, all on home ice, three by shutout, and are colder’n a mother-in-law’s kiss in front of the goal.
And yet taken as a 41-game block, so far, halfway through the long-anticipated, now-sobering “rebuild” season, the Calgary Flames, given everyone’s subterranean expectations, could actually be considered something of a mildly pleasant surprise.
Nothing to pop a bottle of vintage Moet Chandon over certainly. Or enough to make anyone actually buy into that noisy PR rhetoric about “fast-tracking” the competitive progression.
But hey, could be worse. Could be Edmonton.
As the second half of the season opens Monday night at the Pepsi Center against Patrick Roy’s prodigious, precocious Colorado Avalanche, though, these against-all-odds Flames appear to have reached an exceedingly dangerous time within a uniquely delicate moment:
CALGARY, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have acquired right winger Kevin Westgarth from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Greg Nemisz.
Westgarth, a Princeton graduate, is in his fifth NHL season and has played in 12 games for the Hurricanes this year. He has played 133 career games with Los Angeles and Carolina accumulating three goals and six assists for nine points and 202 penalty minutes.a
No update on Andrew Alberts who has not returned to the game.
Backes received two for kneeing for this hit on Matt Stajan. Should it have been more?
The Flames have yet to update toe condition of Stajan.
“I heard they were talking about it on TSN. My first reaction, I thought my daughter was cute — she’s funny. But if my hair is a subject, it’s a slow news day. And second, the fact I now know it aggravates people, I’m probably not going to get it cut.”
-Brian Burke, Calgary Flames President of Hockey Operations, on his hair. Read more from Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald on the GM job process for the Flames.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Feaster had been under the gun at different times during his tenure with the Flames, most notably back in January when, after the lockout had been settled, he signed a restricted free agent, Ryan O'Reilly to an offer sheet, unaware that he had played a handful of games in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League after the lockout ended. Luckily for the Flames, the Colorado Avalanche, the team that owned O'Reilly's NHL rights, matched the offer. Otherwise, Calgary would have been forced to put O'Reilly on waivers, lost him to an NHL team and would have forfeited their No. 1 pick in the 2013 entry draft, which they'd used to select Sean Monahan....
Burke said that his primary directive when joining the Flames was to assess the organization and he had spent the first 60 days of his tenure doing that. And while Feaster made some moves that he approved of, Burke thought that in order to achieve the team's long-term goals - to win a Stanley Cup - changes in the front office were needed.
"We needed to make a change to get to the next level, which is why we took the steps that we did," he said. "Jay's a friend. It's not fun to fire a friend ...This is all about having a parade. It seems very distant on a day like today ... but that's what this is about."
Burke said he wanted a team with more size and "truculence - there, I said it" and that was one area in which he and Feaster didn't see eye to eye. He thought the Flames were too small, which may not bode well for the future of Michael Cammalleri with the team, an unrestricted free agent after this season.
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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