Friday, November 25, 2016

Kid Mitchell Marner Leading the Way

How about the Kid Mitchell Marner playing like a superstar? He is loving life right now, playing well in all aspects of the game. His playmaking skills are sure fitting in nicely with JVR. He has not been playing like a rookie. I am loving his offensive skills. He is fitting in with the Leafs' style.

Mr. Kadri is getting it right now, isn't he? When Nazem plays with a chip on his shoulder, he gets in the players' heads. The significant difference this year is that he is playing smarter. He is not making the stupid penalties and is being a less selfish player. He is a team player and not a 'me' player this season.

Frederik Andersen was struggling early in the season. But of late, he seems to be getting his game back. He is getting his confidence back. He is not giving up the easy rebounds. He is beginning to give the Leafs a chance to win each night

The Leafs are trying to find a stay home dman to help with defensive zone coverage. They are still guilty of giving up too many scoring chances in the offensive zone. Mr. Reilly needs some support. They are putting too much pressure on one man's shoulders.

Flames Report Card

Here Comes the Cavalry

Obviously, the Kris Versteeg injury is serious, as Mark Jankowski has been called up from Stockton. Mark is probably the best player down there right now. He has three goals and nine helpers in thirteen games. The Flames badly need his offense in the lineup. He should put some needed oomph in the offense.

How about Chad Johnson taking over as the number one goalie? He has been outstanding lately, especially in the Blue Jackets game. I know we brought in Moose, but if Chad gives us a better chance to win, well, I am all for it.

Dougie Hamilton has woken up and been arguably the best defenseman in the lineup of late. He has been skating better, and playing smarter. Maybe the rumors lit a fire underneath him. No one wants to get burned.

The power play and penalty kill is awfully frustrating to watch. Too much standing around and not enough skating. They are getting outworked in special teams every night. If the Flames want to make the playoffs, they will have to start winning the special teams wars.

The inconsistency has to stop. We have to start playing to win, not to lose.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Flames Update

So what do we know so far about Dougie? So far, everyone has heard of the Rumor of Dougie. The first bit of information is that the Flames vehemently deny they are shopping Hamilton.

So, what, exactly what are they doing? Some people are saying that they have told teams quietly that they would be willing to listen. The Flames have been sending out feelers to see if there was any interest. Again, the Flames are denying that they even contacted the teams.

Boy, there was a lot of interest. So far, we have learned that Sabres, Pens, Leafs, Panthers, and Islanders have called on the ability of Mr. Hamilton.

We also know there has only been talk so far. Which pretty much tells us that the price is high.

Johnny Gaudreau

Mr. Hockey's injury has not changed anything. The explanation is simple that the Flames are not going to panic. This much we also know; Dougie is not the only dman with a price. The Flames will listen to all offers on all of their dmen. The majority of interest is in Hamilton.

Simply put, the Flames are not going off half-cocked and trading for a forward at a high price. They are doing all of their due diligence

Things have not gone to plan. They have been horrible. In fact, the only consistency has been the awful power play. They have been consistently woeful. Their biggest achievement is having the puck. So right now, the players will be on thin ice. Management won't have too much patience before the ax falleth.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Show me the money!

Reblogged from Flamesjambalaya

So the Flames have played the first 11 games of the season. And what do we know?


Same old, same old. The Flames cannot even get the puck into the offensive zone. No originality in the powerplays. The Flames are making it too easy to defend. The next problem: no one in front of the net, making it too easy for the goalie. Defense is being too fancy, trying to make plays that aren't there. The Flames have to get back to the basics. Get traffic to the net.


Monahan and Gaudreau are clicking. They are like strangers; it's like they are still in preseason mode. They are too comfortable; it's like they got the money and lost the motivation to play. I have heard "split them up" a lot lately. But I say, why split up the other two lines which are playing just fine, thank you? If I was to ask, who is the best line the Flames have right now? Most people would not hesitate: Backlund, Frolic, and Tkachuck. Who is their best Centre? Sam Bennett comes to my mind.

So what is my solution? If Backlund's line is the best line, give them the first line minutes. If Bennett is the best Centre, his line becomes the second line. It may be radical, but I say don't break them up; put them on the third line. Show me the money. Make them earn their minutes.


The biggest epic failure in the offseason, the Flames failed in getting that extra top six forward. The Flames realize they have to get another forward to connect with Monahan and Gaudreau. The only way to address the issue is by trading one of the big three. They deny that they are going that route. I would like to know how they expect to fill it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mr. Matthews leading the way

[The following blog was written on Saturday before the Habs game. So my stats might not be up to date.]

Austin Matthews led the exciting new young guns. His six goals and four assists lead the Leafs in scoring. He has done everything that has been asked of him and more. He is on the main powerplay unit, leading the team with pinpoint passing. His best skill is that he rarely loses his cool; never too up and never too down. No one will ever forget his performance against the Senators, scoring four goals in his first game. 

Matthews has had plenty of support. First, William Nylander. His four goals and five assists for nine points have been impressive. He has an average of a point per game. What I like most about Nylander is his ability to know what Matthews is thinking. He gets where he needs to be. He is a skilled smart forward with speed to burn.

What can I say about Mitchell Marner? I love his determination to outwork his opposing player. He has all the skill and guts to go with it. He might not have the skill of the other two players, but he sure has the heart.

The Leafs might not have the desired record, but let me tell you, they are fun to watch. The defense has been weak coming out, but they are a young crew who will improve. I am not too worried about Anderson; he will snap out of this and be the goalie the Leafs need him to be. So enjoy the ride, this Leaf team will be a force to be reckoned with.