Sunday, October 07, 2007

New Season, Same Result

So we're two games into the Calgary Flames 2007-2008 season and I feel like I've seen it all before. Don't get me wrong; last night's game vs the Canucks was wildly entertaining, and there were in fact some positives.

Cory Sarich's play was much improved. Sarich looked lost against the Philadelphia Flyers (especially on the PK where he positioned himself below the goal line to stop a player who was above the goal line.) Against the Canucks Sarich made a simple but nice play for the Flames first goal, was physical and just overall made better decisions. He finished the game with a goal, +1 and was second only to Dion Phaneuf in ice time.

Robyn Regehr inexplicably played only about 20 minutes to Dion's 28 minutes. Dion played awesome and after the game remarked to the Fan 960 that (referring to the penalty he took in OT) it was 'a bad time to take a penalty.' In my opinion the problem may have been that Phaneuf played about 4 minutes in OT - he could have been a bit fatigued.

Aucoin was off and on and a seatmate remarked that Aucoin was 'like a box of chocolates.' Fill in the rest yourself but I think an astute comment.

The penalty kill still doesn't look good. This is a problem that has plagued the team for the better part of a season - the Flames play a passive collapsing box that refuses to assign coverage to the slot. So not only are points constantly able to push towards the net, rebounds are in general unrecoverable and passes through the slot are unimpeded.

The most distressing issue that continues to plague the Flames (besides the rookie glass ceiling which MG has been appropriately vocal about) is that we are continuing to find ways to lose. Calgary looked awful initially against Philadelphia but eventually pulled it together..until a Zyuzinesque play happened and the Flames found a way to lose again. The Flames looked great initially against the Canucks - the Flames dominated physically, carried the play and even grabbed the league. A lackadaisacal 2nd period put the Flames behind the gun again and after clawing their way back into the game in the third, and then tapdancing over the Canucks in OT, they made one mistake and instantly fell apart.

The Flames were one faceoff win/ice away from bringing the Canucks to OT. But they once again found a way to lose.

I will say though, it's been (and is going to be) entertaining.

7 comments:

MetroGnome said...

PK is still ridiculous. It's unreal how much time and space opposing defensemen get at the point.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking the PK will get better once Kipper gets into form. Will it be good enough, don't know.
I'm also thinking the forwards need to amp it up soon. Except for Langkow, he seems like he's ready to do some damage.
Just my 2 cents.

walkinvisible said...

Aucoin was 'like a box of chocolates.' Fill in the rest yourself but I think an astute comment.
oh, gawd, that's brilliant.... ;)

the Flames play a passive collapsing box that refuses to assign coverage to the slot.
if i remember correctly, the 03 flames (ie: the last successful version) had a very active and aggressive PK, which is pretty much the polar opposite to what we have now. aside from the one man aggressive forecheck (read: lombardi). once we get behind our own blueline, it's ├╝ber passive....

MetroGnome said...

...had a very active and aggressive PK, which is pretty much the polar opposite to what we have now.

That's true. And just about every successful PK I see employs that strategy. Of course I think the Oilers suck and always hope for their continued failure, but I do envy their PK. They block lots of shots and are always harassing the puck carrier.

fever4flames said...

i really feel like the worse team won in all the flames games so far. i think things are starting to click and keenan is getting the boys under control and things will gell nicely tonite in a 4-2 victory for the flames.

meanwhile, coilers will get creamed. i didnt think it would be possible for them to be WORSE than the 2006 season, but somehow there you go.

therealdeal said...

Thanks for posting here f4f, I think we all needed a laugh given the laughable effort we've seen from the Flames.

Anonymous said...

Lombardi! Got a good feeling about him this season. Think the Worlds did something for this guy.