Just a few things I wanted to touch upon following the Flames 3-2 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild.
Thing #1: Darryl Sutter and his claim that goals against are the Flames big problem
Yes, the Flames rank 24th in the league in goals against per game. But, if you dig a little deeper you will see that these numbers are quickly skewed due to a couple blow out games. The recent 7-2 loss to the Canucks where the Flames basically gave up following the Canucks 4th goal, coupled with the Caps dismantling of the Flames on Halloween night, also a 7-2 beat down, are the two cases I speak of. Subtract those two bizarre outings and the Flames sit tied for 11th in GA. The Flames problems have never been stopping the puck – take last year as an example where the Flames finished 5th in the league for GA.
The problem in recent years, as we all know, is scoring goals. The Flames finished 29th in the league last year in that category and this year they sit 17th –which for intensive purposes is a relative success. But my problem lies with the fact that Darryl constantly tries to pull the wool over everybody’s eyes by masking the Flames real issues. I hope nobody still believes his BS. Too many years of him lying directly to fans faces. Too many years if him ‘thinking’ he knows what’s right for this team. The jig is up Darryl. The bell tolls for thee.
Thing #2: Is it sad that Henrik Karlsson’s fist pumps are one of the few reasons to get excited this season?
Every time I see Karlsson fist pump after either a win/stop/pokecheck it makes me smile. It speaks to how much he cares which is more than most of the players on this team can say 90% of the time (See: Wednesday’s 7-2 drubbing). He is young (in Flames standards), he is excited to be playing, and he seems to posses some tremendous skill at his position. He is 26 years old, which makes him tied for the 2nd youngest player on the team not including the injured Ryan Stone. Maybe Kipper’s eventual successor? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but it still begs the question: if the Flames do decide to blow up the ship, and they do trade Kipper for some prospects, could Karlsson/Irving/Keetley bear the load for a potential new look Flames team instead of bringing in some mediocre veteran back-up? I don’t think it’s too far from a possibility.
If nothing else the Flames have officially found a reliable back-up for Kiprusoff, playing very solid in three of his four starts. This is one bright spot for the team this year and most likely worth the 6th round pick they gave up to acquire him. It’s just a shame Darryl couldn’t only be in charge of acquiring goaltenders from the Sharks, because he would have that niche market locked up!
Some bright points:
Flames have won three of their last five and have points in four of their last six.
After going 1-3-2 last season against the Wild, the Flames are 2-1 against the Wild-men this season.
The Flames are 3-1 in the shootout this season. Last season they went 3-7.
Bouwmeester played 33:45 tonight. What?
Tanguay has 23 points in 26 games. Signed for $1.7 million. Darryl, you should have stopped there on July 1st.