Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Mid Term Grades - Calgary

Well at this point the season is half over so I thought it's a good time to evaluate player performances this season. Grades assessed are partly due to impact, partly due to expectation.

Jarome Iginla - Mr. Everything. He scores, sets em up, hits, fights, kills penalties, and was having a career year points wise.

Miikka Kiprusoff - Is coming back from early season question marks to provide the Flames with a more than fair chance to win every night, regardless of how 'with it' everyone else is.

Matthew Lombardi - The young centreman has given Calgary something they've desperately needed: Speed. Night in and night out he's been one of Calgary's most consistent players.

Roman Hamrlik - The former fan punching bag (I'll take credit for that) has come back this season to be one of Calgary's best defenceman at both ends of the rink. Tied with Langkow for best +/- on the team.

Kristian Huselius - After being benched and criticized (especially by Hockeygirl Huselius has become an offensive force for the Flames. He's been even better since Iginla got hurt.

Daymond Langkow - Daymond is arguably more of a B+ but his slow first 1/4 kept him to a very solid B. He's now skating better, has more of a physical presence, is setting up guys and putting the puck in the net.

Dion Phaneuf - Dion has been very good for the Flames, doing his usual shtick (hitting, scoring,) especially as a second year ice time muncher. But Dion has been very inconsistent at times.

Rhett Warrener - Rhettsky (or Rhettro) is having his best year as a Flame, perhaps the most consistent defenceman on the team. Warrener is never going to blow you away with his offensive skills, but if you want a guy to consistently and quietly do his job, Warrener is your man.

Jamie Mclennan - Hard to get a read on Noodles this year with only 4 games played, but he's stolen 5 out of a possible 8 points. 2W, 1OTL, 1L in regulation. That's all you can ask out of your backup.

Mark Giordano - Giordano is the Flames #7 defenceman, but he plays more like a top 5 guy. He looks better and better as the season goes on, he plays well with the puck, he's speedy. He does need to learn to pick his spots better, but this guy will have a long NHL career.

Alex Tanguay - Calgary's $5 million man has been at times brilliant, and at times unbelievably frustrating. Calgary needs Tanguay to bring his 'A' game every night.

Byron Ritchie - Lord Byron takes his third line shift ice time and makes the most of it every night. Add to that his recent flash and production playing up on the 2nd line, and you have to like what Ritchie brings to this team.

Robyn Regehr - Robyn has been very good in his own zone without the puck, on 1-1s and on the PK. But Regehr's game with the puck has receded this year.

Andrew Ference - Ference is like Warrener, you know what you're going to get every game. He brings it physically (as much as a smaller guy can), he gives you decent outlet passes, and he tends to make good decisions on the point. Can at times overcommit though.

Stephane Yelle - Sandbox was hurt for a lot of the early season but while he's been around he's still a top PK guy.

David Moss - because small samples tend to the extreme, Moss gets a B- for his early Flame efforts. He's got timely goals, including a game winner, and he's just generally created havoc for opponents.

Brandon Prust - for the few games he played for Calgary he did exactly what was expected of him. Forecheck, skate extremely hard and make solid hits.

Eric Goddard - For the three games he played, Goddard was a physical presence and in his one official fight he knocked out heavyweight Derek Boogaard.

Dustin Boyd - He hasn't had a lot of points, but he's often around when goals are being scored. Only gets 4th line ice time but seems to make the most of it.

Marcus Nilson - Nilson hasn't had a terrible season but I think he's taken a step back in terms of his impact to the team.

Tony Amonte - Tony is having another ho-hum season, he's been very mediocre most of the time. He's around chances, he gets chances, but he no longer has any scoring touch at all.

Ritchie Regehr - hard to rate Ritchie the younger at all, but he's been about what you'd expect from a 7-8 defenceman, which is to say, he's not been great.

Chuck Kobesew - Kobesew's time to be an impact player in this league is quickly ticking away. Much less hyped players have overtaken him in terms of impact to this team and they don't get the minutes or linemates.

Jamie Lundmark - His time to be an impact player in the league is basically gone. The only difference is you barely notice his mediocrity due to his 4th line time.

Brad Ference - Sort of like Regehr the Younger, but worse.

Jeff Friesen - Friesen essentially took over Donovan's role, and is not nearly as good. His first goal of the season was timely, but he needs to do it more.

Andrei Zyuzin - Is Calgary's worst defenceman by far. Will not play for this team next year.

Darren McCarty - To be fair to Darren, he is 'hurt.' But his days of being an even moderately useful player are done as far as I can tell.


MetroGnome said...

I completely agree with this assessment. In fact, you've stolen the "Zyuzin won't be a Flame at year's end" thing I was going to use in my post today. Damn you!

Kyle said...


walkinvisible said...

bang on, sir.

i would, however, like to question the lundmark grade ONLY because i believe darryl sutter to have a good eye for talent [ie: the pickpocketing of kiprusoff from the sharks]. sutter had been coveting lundmark for years (he tried to get him from NYR in the chris simon package in 04), so i have to think the kid is playing well below his scouted value. still, it would be hard to give the guy more minutes, since he's a defensive liability and no better offensively... a conundrum, indeed...

oh, and sutter did sign zyuzin. so maybe the dude is human after all...

Kyle said...

When we first aquired Lundy I like it and I was fine with giving him a long leash. He was touted very highly early in his pro career, and he played pretty well for Calgary for the short time he was here last year. Unfortunately his productivity (his biggest asset) has really dropped off, to Friesenesque levels in fact. He puts together the occasional good shift but too often he's not doing anything particularily useful. I'm not giving up on him, but like I said, his clock is ticking.

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