The plan. I have heard this term a few times now from the management and coaches of the Flames. The plan was to have Kipper play less and have the back up come in and win a few. I think we now have enough of a look at Karlsson to make an accurate assessment of his play and that is he is not the right guy. The plan only works when things fall into place and sometimes that plan has to go right out of the window, especially when certain players are not holding their own.
Leland Irving has performed at the pro level in the AHL, the team in front of him was not always great, if ever. He played the bulk of the games for a HEAT team that had very little talent on it and still compiled 30 wins, second in the AHL in wins, and a .913 sv%. Irving also totally shut out opposing teams 8 times last year which led the AHL in that category. The AHL is not the NHL and I think most are quick to recognize that fact, yet I can’t help wonder if Irving is more suited for the pros than Karlsson given what we’ve seen.
I get the fact that the Flames may want to have a prospect play more in the minors to get more ice time but at some point they have to allow a kid to come up and play, if the plan was to have the back up play more than it would make sense to have that back up be Irving no? Most people were not aware of this plan and were surprised when Karlsson started twice in the first six games when the start was so critical for this club. It would seem the coaching staff decided that Karlsson would be a better suited goalie to handle the two games so far that he has, well 8 goals against and a .875 sv % later we now have a bit of different feel. Maybe it’s too soon this season to tell, two games is not very much of a sampler to gauge performance off of but I look at the losing record last year and couple it wit what I’ve seen so far and have not come away impressed. Karlsson is a goalie that is just good enough to get a team to overtime and take a chance they may win in OT. His many appearances in overtime show off his competitive nature and stubbornness but they also highlight his inability to steal a game.
Normally a back up is not worth talking about but if the “Plan” is to play the back up more… get the more talented one in.
It is very difficult to find silver linings in the Flames right now, little scoring, porous defence, shaky goaltending and suspect coaching decisions. It feels very much like the club has to make a move to throw a bit of cold water in their faces and wake them up. We hear Bourque’s name because he has value to some extent but as with anything the return dictates the winner. I get the feeling Feaster feels like he hasn’t really won a trade yet and that’s what he’s looking for. There are a legion of fans looking to Feaster to make a move and shake things up a bit as well. The pressure is already on and as time goes by I start to wonder if the Flames might not be in for more radical changes than just players.
Simply put, this season so far has been a horrible showing by the Flames, they have been bad. We cannot sugar coat it. Yes it’s early but as they say in the hallways in the Dome, “Everygame Matters”.