Friday, January 30, 2015

Flames Report Card Continued

Originally blogged at Flames Jambalaya

The Flames Report Card continues today. I would like to give the forwards their grades. The lowest grade I hand out is a C.

Mikael Backlund 

Backlund has been outstanding of late. The only concern I have is his injury list. If he stays healthy, the Flames are a much better team.
Grade: B+

Brandon Bollig

Bollig has not been very effective this season. He has to be smarter. He needs to pinch in with the offense. He has to be better; this has not been money well spent. Grade: C

Lance Bouma 

Lance has done everything that has been asked of him. He is the perfect fourth line bruiser. He knows when to hit and sets the pace. He is a spiritual leader of this team. Grade: B+

Paul Byron

Paul has hands of stone. All I can stay is keep trying, Paul. Sooner or later, you will succeed. At least, I hope you will. Grade: C+

Joe Colborne 

Joe has been showing signs of life lately. He is adding some offensive punch. He continues to improve each game. Grade: B

Johnny Gaudreau 

Guardian is an outstanding, gifted forward who can stick-handle through a match box. The guy has more skill than I can count. He has become the Flames forward most counted-on. Grade: A

Curtis Glencross  

Simply put, Glencross has taken way too many days off. He is still lazy at times, with selfish play. But he has shown signs of brilliance this season, which makes me even more frustrated. Grade: C

Jiri Hudler 

Jiri has been connecting with Johnny Hockey on a regular bases. He has been steady all season. His numbers are on a career high. He has been consistently one of the best all season. Grade: B+

David Jones 

Jones needs to get consistent, but when he plays with a chip on his shoulder he is very effective. He has to play with meanness. Jones must use his size and strength more often. Grade: C+

Josh Jooris

If I would have told you Jooris would have 10 goals this season, you would have laughed at me. The kid has been outstanding with his speed. He has brought his line mates back. Raymon and Colborne are connecting with him right now. Grade: B

Sean Monahan 

Monahan is the best center of the season. Mr. Clutch should be his nickname. When the Flames need a big goal, Sean is the one who delivers the most. Grade: A

Mason Raymond 

Has never recovered since the injury. This is really disappointing, because I know what he is capable of. Lately, he has been showing signs of improvement  with his new line mates. Let’s hope he can back to his pre-injury days. Grade: C+

Matt Stajan

Matt has been steady, but not outstanding lately. He is a steady fourth line center who has been doing his job of late. I expect more of him though, he is our leading draw man, which has to continue. Grade: B 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Flames Report Card

First published on Flames Jambalaya

Since we are not going to have too many games, I thought we should sit back and look like what we have. So today it is report card time. Do the Flames make the grade? 

I will be grading goalies and defense in this blog.


Jonas Hiller

When Jonas has been on his game, there are very few better.  I remember The Game: the performance of the year was against the Hawks. Hiller covered the angles. His rebounding control was extraordinary. Yet his worst performance was against the Panthers. Let’s face facts; he was terrible. Letting in a few bad goals seemed to rattle him. Hiller has to get more consistent. Grade: B

Karri Ramo

Karri has been a solid team player. He has had his times, including a two-game shutout streak. He has been one of the best back-ups in the NHL. If he can continue to give the Flames a chance every time he plays, the Flames will be in the playoff hunt through the season. Of course the Flames have three goalies at this moment. Rumor has it that he will be here for the whole season. Only time will tell. Grade: B


Mark Giordano

Mark has been one of the most outstanding D-men in the League. He kills penalties, he is a great skater, and most of all, he knows his position. He knows his role and what is expected of him. He is a true leader. He is the definition of a leader; he does everything that he expects of his teammates. He is outstanding on and off the ice. Grade: A

TJ Brodie

TJ has been a pleasant surprise. I love his skating ability. He is the perfect partner for Gio. His passing skills would match any defenseman in the League. The only blemish on his record is that at times he pitches in at the wrong time, showing overconfidence. Grade: B+

Deryk Engelland

Deryk has really been struggling this season with his speed. He has to pick it up. He has been caught out of position too many times. But he has has a lot more disciplined than I thought he would be. I just want him to be smarter out there on the blue line. Grade: C

Kris Russell

Kris has been one the best shot-blockers in the League. He does what is expected of him and knows his role. He is a perfect parter for Wideman. He is there most of the time to cover up for Wideman. Grade: B

Dennis Wideman

Dennis is on a career year. He has twelve goals this season. He has been very good, adding to his offensive production. He has been very effective in the offensive zone. I have been very impressed with his defensive zone coverage. He has been better than I thought he would be. His speed still gets him in trouble at times. Grade: B

Ladislav Smid

Smid is a stay-home defencemen. He is very adequate, nothing flashy. You get what is expected of a number five dman. He is a what he is.
Grade: C+

Raphael Diaz 

When the Flames signed Diaz, he was an after-thought. He had a solid preseason, I was not expecting more than a few moments of offense from him. Which is exactly what he has given us. His defensive zone coverage is not great, but he fills a need. Grade: C

Monday, January 19, 2015

Blow it up!

The Leafs would love to move Dion. The problem is, who is going to take that contract? He is still a solid D-man, but he is not a top pairing one. His cap says he is, and there is the problem. He is a solid defender, but seven million dollars for seven years handicaps the Leafs' budget. 

Most of us would love to see the Leafs to make the playoffs. Every Leaf fan demands it year after year.  But let's get our heads out of fantasy land; sooner or later, reality has to sink in. This team has no business being in the playoff hunt.

Why not? Because they do not have the ability to be consistent. I have witnessed the best of times and the worst of times. Sometimes both in the same game.  The Leafs would have to play with a 700 winning percentage for the rest of the season. It is not impossible, but for the Leafs, it would take a miracle. 

As much it pains me to say this, it’s time to blow this team up. The core is not working, whether it is the coaching or the players. It is just not working. The same mistakes happen over and over again. It is not like these vets do not know the game. The Leafs must learn from their mistakes. This core has not done that.  

What really bothers me is the lack of effort in each game. Once they fall behind, there is no fight to get back. You can almost count the game over the team is behind by two goals. Standing still is not an option. There has to be a consequence to their actions, or lack thereof.

There are more options of course than trading Dion. We could trade Phil Kessle or we could trade Bozak. Or Bernier, another member of the core. 

Let me address the issue of Phil the Thrill. Although his cap very high, he at least is playing his worth. There is an argument that the Leafs could get more for their money. I do feel that we could build a team around Phil. I would never trade Bernier. I would never leave the goaltending to Reimer; he is just not a number one goalie.
Please... if there is any common sense in Shanny... please blow this team up.