Hello Flames Fans, look at your number one center, It's Jokinen. Sadly it's not Savard, but if he recaptures his past form he could be almost as good. Look down, you stepped in something, that's gross. Back up, you're in Edmonton and now you know why there's something on your shoe. Look down, back up, where are you? You're in the Dome looking at Savard playing with Iginla thinking of what your number one center could look like. What's in your hand? Back at me. I have it, it's your favorite beer and two tickets to that game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Anything is possible when your #1 center doesn't suck.
So in case you're too cheap to buy your own copy of the hockey news or sports forecaster for your pool I thought I'd update you a little on where the Flames stand fantasy wise for the upcoming season. There's some interesting things going on here.
After reviewing their projections for some of the players I wanted to see where the goals for projected at, they don't project every player so I took some conservative guesses at what some guys would get, especially the defence. The goals for is roughly around 245, that would have been 6th in the league last year. If you subtract a guy like Kotalik you get 228 and you're more like 12th or 13th in the league. If the Flames can keep up last year's Goals against and manage to achieve even 14th in the league for scoring then a playoff birth isn't a far away thought. Now this is predicated on the Hockey News, not always correct of course, but as a guideline it is promising.
Some of the Flames broke down as follows:
Iginla- 75 pts in 82 games 35 goals 40 assists.- I think the point total is pretty bang on but I'm not sure about the goal total, I think Iginla will experience a little bit less goals and a few more assists. Other forecasts have him around a point per game but my expectations aren't that high anymore.
Jokinen- 57 pts in 82 games 27 goals and 30 assists- Wow... 30 goals, I personally don't think so but again I feel that the points are going to come, maybe 25 goals and few more assists, either way look for a bit better year than he had last year.
Tanguay- 52 pts in 78 games 16 goals and 36 assists- I tend to disagree with this one a bit, when Tanguay is looked on as a goal scorer he doesn't produce and passing is his game, he's on a line with two snipers, both of which I would imagine getting 25 goals. Tanguay will be involved in a good portion of them. I think his goal projection is good but his assists should be higher for a forecast, this forecast is a safe bet but I am betting he gets closer to 65 points this year, mostly assists.
Bourque- 53 points in 70 games 25 goals and 28 assists- As with all things Calgary this will depend on his line mates, Bourque could get 35 goals is Backlund is setting him up and get a few more assists if he has a go to the net type winger with him. I think Bourque will have less attention with there being a more consistent #1 line now so I would expect he may get back to, and exceed, last year at around 60 points.
Backlund- Forecasted at 35 points in 73 games 11 goals 24 assists. We have no real bar to judge him by but with Langkow being out to start the season, I think Backlund has the potential to do much better than this. a 50 point season is not out of reach should Backlund get the powerplay time and line mates that would help him succeed. His defensive play is really good so there should be no coach/player conflicts.
If you want any other thoughts on guys I'd be glad to throw them your way.
Interesting to note that Karlsson is not forecasted, if I had to guess he'll get 15 starts and win 6. This is the NHL not the Swedish Elite league, it'll be a rough start for him.