The only way in which the Calgary Flames aren’t entering full rebuild mode is verbally, but whatever spin they want to put on it, they done blowed up the building, and have heavy machinery standing by to clear it out before starting over. They traded (insert recognizable NHL names) for (the opposite), and set their sites on a high draft pick this year. Only…
…that. Players who normally wouldn’t get a ton of minutes are getting them, and like a team with many injuries (think Ottawa Senators), the fill-ins are playing as hard as they possibly can and succeeding through sheer will and determination, trying to prove that they deserve the time they’re getting now, as opposed to the time they were getting before.
But there’s a reason they were getting those minutes before: that’s usually what they deserve.
Unfortunately for the Flames who would’ve loved to play terribly down the stretch and draft Nathan MacKinnon or Seth Jones (not impossible given the lottery system, but the lower you finish the better), the season isn’t long enough for them to get to the part where reality rears its ugly head and they start losing. They’ve gained 8 points of the 10 available since I tweeted what you see above (and won the game prior, which inspired that), and have climbed to 12th, one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers (!). Read the rest of this entry »
The Flames are playing the Colorado Avalanche tonight, and according to reports, Jarome Iginla will not be dressing, which makes sense. If you are going to trade a guy – and it seems pretty clear the Flames are – it kinda messes with your plans if he tears a knee or something.
Interestingly enough, one of Boston’s top prospects, Alexander Khokhlachev, is apparently also healthy scratched tonight.
When, and for exactly what, we’ll wait to find out. But from where I sit, seems pretty clear that (some variation of) this will happen at some point. Unless Jay Feaster is sneaky sneaky.
Updates: Read the rest of this entry »
It was reported first by San Jose Sharks beat writer David Pollack, first with a question mark…
Which it absolutely does, but when his spot in the lineup persisted, it didn’t appear that “conditioning” was the reason:
Which led him to remind fans…
Which takes us to where we are today:
Boom. The San Jose Sharks (once) All-Star defenseman Brent Burns is going to play forward tonight for the San Jose Sharks, on a line with Scott Gomez and James Sheppard.
He played forward for the Minnesota Wild (Jacques Lemaire was quite the fan of having him up there, as noted by Pro Hockey Talk), but was eventually moved back, found success, and has been a d-man ever since. Burns is a 6’5″ dude who tilts the scales at 220, for a little context.
I’ve seen this experiment a number of times, so some thoughts:
Desperate times, desperate measures
This is not a move a team makes when things are going well, and for the Sharks “not going well” is a fair description of late. Read the rest of this entry »
With the NHL season set to get underway in just a few hours, every team will enter this shortened season with hopes of making the playoffs.
Las Vegas, who of course gives betters the chance to wager on Stanley Cup odds, recently listed their projected win totals for each team this coming season.
A quick look shows the Rangers, Penguins and Canucks as the top teams, with the Islanders and Blue Jackets destined for poor seasons.
Read the rest of this entry »
Pic by Aaron Lynett/National Post
What in high holy heaven is going on in Toronto?
Today brought word that the Leafs highly acclaimed goalie coach Francois Allaire is leaving the team, and not necessarily on great terms. It’s the Leafiest of Leafs things: team acquires proven talent who performs below expectations while a Leaf.
Though, calling Allaire’s performance “below expectations” isn’t fair, given that anything short of turning James Reimer into a Vezina winner would’ve qualified as that.
He left on his own terms, saying: Read the rest of this entry »
Ideally, you’d like your ab muscles to “look ripped,” not “be ripped.” According to multiple reports, Rene Bourque shredded some abs the wrong way while training during the off-season and had to have surgery today.
Ab tears are brutally painful (up there with broken ribs – every cough is affected), and with the core being such an exceptionally important area of the body for hockey players, this should seriously set him back. The report says he’ll be out 8-to-12 weeks, but “out” doesn’t do justice to core injuries, as the healing is slow, so you find yourself set back quite a ways when you do return.
Bourque is coming off a disappointing season with the Habs after being shipped over in the trade for Mike Cammalleri, tallying five goals and eight assists in 38 games. For a guy who was looking to have a big bounce-back year, this is some pretty disappointing news.
Ah well. At least he’s got that whole lockout thing to buy him some time. Sigghhhh.