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Category: Calgary-Flames

Luongo Was In That Zone

from Flames Insider,

Yes, the Flames deserved far better. No question, Calgary should’ve walked out of GM Place on Tuesday with the Northwest Division pennant tucked safely in their back pocket.

But, chill. All is not lost. Quite the contrary.

Roberto Luongo was sensational. Give the man his due. But give the vanquished theirs, too. That was the finest game Mike Keenan’s backtracking battalion has played since trashing the Flyers 5-1 in Philly on March 5.

And for those Sea of Red zealots in full angst mode, bemoaning the criminal unjustness of the Vancouver netminder’s scene-stealing performance - take a deep breath and a small cup of perspective. How many times has Miikka Kiprusoff left other teams cursing in exactly the same way over the years? Hey, it can happen to YOU, too, you know.

In point of fact, outside of that absolutely impotent (now 0-for-37) powerplay, there wasn’t much to quibble about.

continued and watch video highlights of the game below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Luongo Needs To Improve His Play

from Bruce Dowbiggin at the Calgary Herald,

To the consternation of Vancouver management and fans, their best player simply hasn’t stepped up as advertised. Luongo’s erratic play largely escaped criticism while the Canucks’ forwards and defenceman were red-hot in their 20-5-1 streak. The whiffs and bobbles were written off to rust from the extended six-week stay Luongo spent on the injury list. Give ‘im time, they said.

Well, time has passed, but with the club slumping to three straight losses as they head into tonight’s showdown with Calgary at GM Place, followers of the Canucks are coming to the uncomfortable conclusion that Vancouver may have to win in spite of their highly paid goalie. Holy Stan Smyl, could it happen at a worse time for fans of the Orcas? (Or a better time for Flames’ fans?)

Radio talk shows in this city are buzzing with complaints about their one-time hero. Luongo is being roasted for not committing to the Canucks past the end of his contract in 2010 and getting too big for his hockey britches for taking the captaincy. A loss against the Flames and he’ll likely be pilloried for starting the subprime mortgage mess.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo

The Future Of The Flames Coaching Position

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Even though it’s Darryl Sutter who will ultimately decide if Iron Mike gets to start the final season of his three-year deal, Brent’s future could very well play a large part in the equation.

Despite being in the second year of a long-term deal with the New Jersey Devils, Brent has hinted all year long his days with the Eastern Conference club may be numbered….

All that can be remedied if the following were to unfold:

Sutter is the odds-on favourite to be named head coach of Canada’s Olympic team at the conclusion of the NHL playoffs. After all, the second-year Devils coach has a perfect record with Canada at the World Juniors and he’s already one of the premier coaches in today’s game.

Sutter could then resign and move back to Alberta, where he could work closely with Hockey Canada officials while living at home and scouting players coming through Western Canada.

Once the Olympics are complete, the door would be open for him to replace Keenan as the Flames next coach, bringing the number of Sutter brothers employed by the club to four. Darryl’s son is a club farmhand.

With knowledge of Brent’s imminent return to Alberta and desire to coach close to home, Darryl would be hesitant to fire Keenan prematurely and hire another coach to bridge the short gap until Brent is available.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter, mike+keenan

Evening Line

“People don’t understand you’re dealing with desperate teams, no one’s going to go away with a fight. That’s just the way the league’s set up. It’s an 82-game marathon. You get to stop the marathon after 82 games and then you get into the [playoff] starting blocks to run a 100-yard dash.

“That’s your reward.”

-Flames coach Mike Keenan.  More on Calgary from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail (Monday edition).

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+keenan

Flames Look At Bigger ‘Goals’

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

No champagne was uncorked.

No high fives. No celebrations.

The Calgary Flames clinched a playoff spot with last night’s 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars, but to say the jubilation was subdued would be an understatement….

Considering how much disappointment has surrounded the team lately thanks to the blown double-digit lead on the Vancouver Canucks in the standings and a horrible March performance, you’d think they would enjoy having something to celebrate.

“Oh, we’re pleased about it,” said Flames head coach Mike Keenan. “Going into the game, it wasn’t our focus. Our focus was to continue to get better.

“We have bigger goals ahead of us. With five games remaining, it’s still within our grasp—we’ll continue to work at it—the division title, and we’ll see how it all unfolds.”

more

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Are Flames Better In The Underdog Role?

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

A school of thought exists among Calgary Flames fans this team is better off being an underdog.

After seeing how poorly the Flames handled being a favourite the last five weeks, there may be some validity to the theory this squad fares better when needing to defy the odds and silence the critics as opposed to being a front-runner.

At least, it is something for the faithful to hang on to.

We’re going to find out over the next nine days whether it’s plausible or just wishful thinking. Because right now, they’re being written off as also-rans in many NHL corners.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Iginla Needs To Be Better

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

So, now that the Flames have succumbed to Vancouver, let’s watch this Jokinen fellow. He’s had his honeymoon, and now some hard times.

School is in on the big Finn. Let’s see if he is there to help lead the Flames out of this skid, or if Jokinen is willing to settle for the mediocrity that has thus far enveloped his National Hockey League career.

It seems impossible to think that a group of Top 6 forwards including Iginla, Jokinen, Langkow, Mike Cammalleri, Todd Bertuzzi and the speedy Curtis Glencross would go through as prolonged an offensive slump as the Flames are in.

The pieces are here. So why does the puzzle look so patchy?...

At times like these the leaders have to lead. That means you, Jarome.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Keenan Defends Phaneuf

via Vicki Hall of Flames Insider,

“I think he’s had a year of growth,” Keenan said. “Again, he’s 23 years old. People forget that. He’s learning. He’s learning more about his game. He’s learning more about the defensive aspect of his game. He’s learning more about the offensive aspect of his game.”

In 76 games, Phaneuf has 11 goals and 45 points with a plus-minus rating of minus-13.

“He will have fluctuations for a while yet, because of his age and his inexperience,” Keenan said, of the former Norris Trophy nominee. “He’s had some very strong games. For example, I told him he was a force in the Pittsburgh game. He was probably the best player on the ice. Because (Sidney) Crosby and (Evgeni) Malkin were non-decript. They didn’t want anything to do with them. They certainly knew he was on the ice. They were looking for him. And he was a force in our game against Minnesota, and he was very much a part of the game last night.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dion+phaneuf, mike+keenan

Flames Choking Again

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Sitting 13 points behind the Flames just two months ago, the Canucks enter tonight’s game in Minnesota just one point behind the NHL’s Northwest Division leaders with a game in hand.

More importantly, their schedule is far more favourable than a six-game Flames finish which includes four road tilts and three back-to-back affairs. The Flames have won just six of 22 back-to-back outings this year.

Last night, the Flames continued their freefall with a 2-1 loss to an injury-riddled San Sharks club which included more no-name products than Superstore.

And the noose tightens.

The undeniable truth is the Flames are gagging down the stretch—again.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Can’t Agree More

via Vicki Hall of Flames Insider,

With the playoffs fast approaching, can we please make a sincere request to a small, miniscule, fraction of the fanbase at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

Shut up. Please. For five minutes, please put a sock in it.

Case in point: Calgary Flames vs. San Jose Sharks on Monday night. Heather Liscano launches into the Star Spangled Banner. And some idiot starts yelling, “Nabokov, you suck!” “Thornton, you suck!”

Very original.

Look, fans pay their money, so they have the right to hurl insults at the players, coaches and officials. That’s the way it works.

But can we please show some respect to both national anthems? As Canadians, we want American fans to act civilized during O Canada. Should we not repay the favour?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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