Copied and modified from my recent post on Flames nation. Time to re-look at where we are and results over the past year, or are we just going to pull out of it? Personally, I'm still ticked that the team doesn't ice its best team on a nightly basis, but I guess I don't have the experience to know what that is? Any advanced hockey minds on here want to explain it to me?
Though my memory is getting a bit suspect, I still recall fondly watching that Flames team, just a few years back that inspired the nation and played intense, inspirational hockey. No opponent’s lead was ever safe from the "Comeback Kids" and if we got the lead in the third period, watch out, it was OVER! Set the NHL standard for maintaining leads in the third with a near-flawless record. The team played full 60 minute games and our youngest guns, like Gaudreau, Monahan, Bennett and Ferland rampaged like stallions in the wild, hitting, scoring and skating like the wind. Overall we were fast, we were skilled and darn, that was the most exciting hockey seen around these parts in decades as the team attacked relentlessly. We even made the playoffs, supposedly against all odds since rebuilding teams aren't supposed to do that (guess Toronto never got that message either) and crushed one of our mortal foes before bowing out to a far stronger foe, but with respect.
But, “experts” said it was unsustainable. The numbers said so. Number-crunching wizards in baseball became mainstream, and eager acolytes pushed the narrative into hockey and Corsi and “possession” became all the rage. Sabremetrics remolded the baseball world and broke the 86 year old Babe Ruth curse and brought the World Series Pennant back to Boston, while top Corsi teams ruled the roost in the NHL… well, until they didn’t, like the recent back-to-back Penguins' Cups.
Today, our Corsi is way up, we’ve finally broken the Duck Pond curse after beating those Anaheim beasts with a third of their line-up injured. Yeah! Several of our stars are sputtering or derailed, we can’t play a 60 minute game, we can’t keep a lead, we aren’t inspirational, but hey, its great watching a 46 year old legend (it is)! We signed so many veteran leaders to show the way, while relegating the speedy, inspired and hungry kids to the minors or just dropping them because, you know, smarter minds know what they are doing? In spite of the lackadaisical play in pre-season and continuing on, the horrific turn-overs preceding making the team and getting those starter's spots, the poor effort and the inconsistencies, both the team and the vets will come around… you know, they’re studs. Didn’t they do it, just a few years ago? And how about them penalties? Sure the refs have cracked down, but have we got one of the dumbest teams out there, that can't seem to adapt, or is it something else? We’re all hoping things are better, and hey, we got off to a much better start, 4-4 and I think 1 point better than last’s year’s unmitigated disaster with all the excuses in the world built in to explain why. Yeah? Well, at least we now have a pretty hot goalie who’s fun to watch (he is) and can move the puck like nobody's business.
Meanwhile we wait. We try and figure how this is supposed to be better than what memory recalls, but somehow, those pictures are fading. Was it all just a dream?