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I think we've had a reasonable amount of games to discern a few things for ourselves about this Flames team and the individual players on it. After a hard fought win last night it was clear where the weak spots were and where the bright spots were. Rinklighter commented he was in the 300's on Vetter's blog and could see the face off domination. I could see a few things from my couch too that maybe would otherwise be missed... after all I can rewind.

First off, Oiler fans, nothing to hang your head about here. That was a great game, this will be a fun season to watch the battle of Alberta, it's already intense! That is good news for us all.

So the Flames... Well... I'll start at the back. Kipper was his usual outstanding self although Khabby was pretty great at the other end too, I just want to focus on Flames here, sorry Oiler fans who read my flames blog religiously.

The D was a split for me. Regehr had a better game highlighted by his usual big hit on Hemsky on the side boards, this is now par for the course during a Calgary/ Edmonton game. Giordano made a few gaffes but overall was pretty strong. Sarich actually looked really good, no idea why he was chosen to sit if not for trade purposes. Staios got exposed a few times again but was not nearly as bad as he was against Florida which was embarrassing for him really. I liked how he gave a Hall a shot after the play, not an intent to injure shot, just a "welcome to Calgary" shot. Bouwmeester and White have both been atrocious. I literally get angry watching White and Bouwmeester continually get beat in battles for the puck. White was hit in the face with a puck that bounced in the net and that about sums up his contribution, simply horrible. Bouwmeester just tries too hard. Someone tell him to play like he earns 4 million instead of 7 million and maybe he'll calm down a bit.

The Flames would do well to sit White for a game or two and let him watch the game from upstairs. T.J. Brodie could draw in and do just as well if not better than White at this point.

On the forwards I won't run through them all because it's a lot of typing and I'm lazy by nature. I can say I've read some comments and really disagree with some. Most importantly Backlund. Someone commented on Vetter's Blog (p.s. after your done here go read it!) about how Backlund was horrible. I was watching the real game though and he was great. He made some passes that didn't seem tough but the were one handed saucer passes to Glencross, notice how good Glencross has been? That's because he's being fed great passes on the fly. Backlund also dominated the face off circle and I lost count after he turned the puck over against the Oilers ten times. He has not been a point guy but he does EVERYTHING else.

Taking Jokinen off the top line was the right move, he is so bad it's hard to watch. Just so bad. He has had scoring chances that guys in a ball hockey league could have converted so far and come away with nothing. Stajan looked really good along with Tanguay and Iggy. Tanguay has so far been very solid and a great signing.

Iginla in my opinion is looking really great, he just hasn't scored a lot. He's toe dragging, making moves, powering past guys...doing what made him successful in the past. Wait for it because he's going to get the jets going soon, he always starts slow.

Meyer is already a crowd favourite and I think he's like Nieminen was. A pesky guy who just irritates the hell out of the opposing team and has some skill to compliment that. I really like how he's played in his role so far.

Hagman was almost invisible last night until the shift prior to scoring, he just motivates himself and becomes dangerous. Sutter's job is to find out how to provoke that motivation.

All in all it was a fun game to watch, so fluke goals, some skill goals, some big hits. If every game was like that and we lost or won by one goal how could you not think this was the best game ever invented?

I did not like the Gilbert hit on Stajan and think it's suspend-able, Stajan didn't even have the puck. In addition Bourque looks to return for the trip to Nashville and Columbus.

Filed Under:   Backlund   Stajan   White   Flames  
October 17, 2010 5:37 PM ET | Delete
Agreed on Backlund, one of the flames bloggers (you, newman or Vetter) commented earlier on how he may occasionally cough the puck up but he almost ALWAYS is the one to hustle and fix his own mistake, I saw this 2-3 times last night.
October 17, 2010 5:43 PM ET | Delete
I do however question Iginla looking great. I thought he had moment but overall was lacking in intensity, that could just be me tho!
October 17, 2010 6:19 PM ET | Delete
Sane, agree with Iggyonly, Iggy has only shown moments of his preseason self. 3rd period last night was the ole Jerome. White is tradeable, but give it to the trade deadline.
October 17, 2010 7:04 PM ET | Delete
I disagree with the Jokinen and Jaybow comments. Both had their roles in front of the net - and Jaybow has been great on the second pp as a screen, as was Jokinen. Jaybow needs to be hitting more, and Jokinen plays too aggresive on the rush, and needs to be patient. Too often does he try to split the D and is then forced to make an easy shot
October 17, 2010 7:12 PM ET | Delete
I agree with most of the blog except for Iggy as well...but as you said, he's always been a slow starter. I admittedly didn't notice White one way or the other, other than the face redirect. Jokenin and J.Bo stood out as particularly bad though. Was good to see the top line finally do something - probably no coincidence it happened as soon as Jokenin was removed from it.
October 18, 2010 1:31 PM ET | Delete
With Iggy I have too often seen him shoot from the outside and miss frequently or protect the puck with his back to the play. Both plays are meaningless and usually result in nothing, he seems to be trying to squirt around players, get to the hard areas and make plays. It has been that great working with Jokinen but I think individually he's played well.
October 18, 2010 2:45 PM ET | Delete
Good blog, I just wanted to follow up and say look what happens when Jokinen gets taken off the first line.... a win, points for Igg and Tang, 3 points for Stajan..... Stajan has a huge opportunity here, this is the biggest season of his career.....
October 18, 2010 2:59 PM ET | Delete
I agree BJ!
October 18, 2010 3:02 PM ET | Delete
We gave up Dion for him
October 18, 2010 3:44 PM ET | Delete
We also gave up Dion for White who was terrible. simply terrible.
October 18, 2010 8:29 PM ET | Delete
October 18, 2010 10:13 PM ET | Delete
So, maybe we should sit White. To 'recover'. Or Staios. He's a minus 4, and he's not bringin' much. Brodie's had a break to reflect and just absorb what it's like in the big league. Put him back in. Sarich EARNED at least a few games for his performance.
October 19, 2010 12:30 PM ET | Delete
Brodie was assigned to the Heat today. I agree that Sarich should not be the odd man out though. Staios has looked weak, and White's struggling mightily right now.
October 19, 2010 1:56 PM ET | Delete
What confused me is picking up Mikkelson, Pelech was available for call up...
October 19, 2010 2:59 PM ET | Delete
I'm so confused. [laughs]
October 19, 2010 4:27 PM ET | Delete
I sniff a Sutter panic if we go 0-3 on this road trip. Nothing is adding up combined with Ek's rumours, where there's smoke theres fire somewhere.
October 19, 2010 5:04 PM ET | Delete
I heard Negrin is getting surgery. With kronwall going to euro league they needed to get brodie down there. Mikkelson may be a temp defence here. Once Pelech comes up i'm not sure if he has to clear re-entry or not, may be the reason he's down there.
October 19, 2010 11:17 PM ET | Delete
Mikkelson is more of an offensive dman as opposed to Pelech and Sutter might have seen the need to add one with Brodie being needed in the minors due to injuries (or Kronwall heading to Europe)Solid game by White tonight as well as Sarich. Seems to want to prove why it was a mistake sitting him out the previous few games. My take on the first game of the roadtriphttp://my.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=10405
October 19, 2010 11:20 PM ET | Delete
Also I don't think Pelech has to clear waivers when he is called up, and can play 10 games without having to clear waivers when being sent down. Something like the Lundmark situation a couple of seasons back(or was it last year). When he had initially cleared waivers at the beginning of the season, Sutter called him up without re-entry. Lundmark got picked up though, since he had played more games when up with the flames and had to clear waivers.
October 19, 2010 11:33 PM ET | Delete
Sariach deserves a for his first two games.
October 20, 2010 11:28 AM ET | Delete
Flamesfan- Mikelson is a skating d-man but i'm not sure "offensive" is the best term for him lol. Pelech just can't get a break though it seems. I think we need more mean guys on this team. Flamestr- sarich has been pretty good. I don't know if white had a solid game I would put him equal to Staios right now.
October 20, 2010 8:41 PM ET | Delete
all I know is Luongo gets an F and Kipper gets an A...so far, this is a winnable division as it appears to be the weakest in the West.
October 20, 2010 10:29 PM ET | Delete
So far. We can't score and they can stop them. I'm looking forward to the game vs van in dec...
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