Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
The disheartening thing that comes off the Game 2 loss is that the Flames were at home and that they tried hard, and they still didn’t look all that better than they did in Game One or than they did last season.
In many ways, they looked the same, a fact that did not go unnoticed by Flames captain Jarome Iginla.
“There were many good things out there, but we obviously had some breakdowns,” he said. “Again.”
It’s that one-word, “again”, that seems to accurately size up the plight of the Flames in this early going.
from Jean Lefebvre of the Calgary Herald,
While that initial victory has been elusive for the Flames and Avalanche, the reasons for the early struggles are pretty easy to pin down.
Start with the guys between the pipes—Colorado’s Peter Budaj (.795) and Calgary Miikka Kiprusoff (.807) have the worst save percentages among goaltenders who have played at least one full game.
On the special-teams side of things, the Flames’ power play is worst in the league, as is Colorado’s penalty-killing.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
If Bertuzzi were just lumbering and slow, that would be one thing. But it’s clear Bertuzzi has absolutely zero ability to manage his emotions and continues to get his teams in trouble by taking stupid penalties.
His flying elbow at Daniel Sedin’s head Saturday night was easily a suspendable offense and proves Bertuzzi has learned nothing from the Steve Moore incident. Then his hit from behind on Ryan Johnson later in the period almost cost the Calgary Flames the game in regulation time.
more hockey notes…
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald,
If Thursday’s loss was shock, then Saturday’s collapse was disbelief.
The Flames threw every emotional gambit at the Vancouver rematch—including Jarome Iginla’s annual “Fight a Canuck Night”—and still lost. Sure, they salvaged a point, but they had Roberto Luongo on a bad night and couldn’t seal the deal at home.
As Kelly Hrudey astutely noted, the Canucks wrote a primer for the league on how to break down Calgary’s standup defensive style.
So Where to Go Now?
from Flames Insider at the Calgary Herald,
Geez, tough marker. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault appeared reluctant to give the Flames much credit for their one clear decision — Jarome Iginla’s left-hand flooring of Willie Mitchell in the first period.
“They have a great leader obviously in Jarome and he was a man on a mission tonight,” said Vigneault after his team’s 4-3 overtime triumph on Pavol Demitra’s heroics. “But you know Willie was a man on a mission too — he did a great job defensively against him and he stood up toe to toe. If Jarome’s sweater doesn’t rip, I don’t think he wins that one.”
continued for more reaction to the OT win by Calgary and watch the Iginal/Mitchell battle below…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
A comparatively slow team that struggled mightily on special teams last season, the Flames shuffled the deck chairs in the summer, thinking their off-season acquisitions (except for Todd Bertuzzi) made them quicker overall — able to play a more straight-ahead style and compete far better with the rest of the Western Conference powerhouses.
One game does not a season make, but the Flames need improved goaltending from Miikka Kiprusoff, better special teams and more balanced scoring.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
What a train wreck!
Say it out loud: 6-0.
Unlike the knuckleheads that were satisfied with the Leafs entering yet another rebuilding phase as they try to find a way to win their first Cup since 1967, and now have visions of the playoffs dancing in their delusional heads, I consider the opening game of a season to be a snapshot – not an indicator of what is to come for the next seven months. So even though the Flames were smoked by that offensive juggernaut, the Vancouver Canucks, I feel comfortable in suggesting they will still compete for the Western Conference championship this season.
But holy cow, what the heck was that?
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
...Even Flames President Ken King has said that Bertuzzi, having paid his penalty (an indefinite suspension that amounted to 20 NHL games, approximately $500,000 in lost salary, plus assault charges that yielded a year’s probation with community service and no criminal record), deserves a second chance. Despite polls that indicate a split opinion in that regard, King maintains that fans in Calgary are willing to give it to the notorious forward.
Funny, but I can’t help but wonder who speaks for Steve Moore.
Moore can’t say much on his own. The matter, more than four years removed from the terrible event, has still not made its way into court. Because of that, there is a moratorium regarding public comments on the case in Canada.
via the Calgary Flames,
Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today that defenseman Rhett Warrener has been placed on Long Term Injury status.
Warrener missed three games during the preseason due to an injury sustained on September 26th. This injury, combined with extensive damage from previous seasons, has made it impossible for Warrener to start the regular season.
Long Term Injury status is available to players who will be unavailable for at least 10 NHL regular season games and 24 calendar days.
Flames forward Dustin Boyd has been recalled from the Quad City Flames.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
And if the pre-season is any indication of how well Mike Cammalleri, Todd Bertuzzi, Curtis Glencross and Rene Bourque will fit into the lineup, Sutter may just have remedied the club’s biggest ailment last year.
“The biggest two gaps in our team last year was the (inconsistent) performance of some of those skilled players and what we got out of our third and fourth line guys who play nine to 12 minutes,” said Sutter, who has totally reloaded his third and fourth lines to include some scorers. “They were warriors but scored two or three goals. All these guys here can score 10 or 12 goals. It makes a big difference.”
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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