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YounGuns

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YounGuns last won the day on August 31 2018

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  1. YounGuns

    Goaltending

    As a previous poster had mentioned, this article is a good one: https://calgarysun.com/sports/hockey/nhl/calgary-flames/whats-wrong-with-smith-experts-weigh-in One of the things I would agree with is that he's not letting the puck come to him. He's trying too hard because he's not confident, and he's forcing the play rather than letting the puck come to him. Every player goes through highs and lows in the season, and every player grips the stick a little too hard at times, over-thinking the game instead of just letting their natural skill and confidence take over, the problem is that when it's a skater that goes through that, you have 17 other skaters that can shelter him a bit until he gets his groove back. When it's your goalie that is struggling, he's an island back there, and his errors are magnified because he can't just drift through the game like a skater can. He's always relied on to be the backbone of the team on every single shift...not an awesome place to be when you're dealing with confidence issues. I don't know where to go with Smith. I've tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but at what point do you accept he's not the one to take us into the promised land and just cut ties with him? Even then, what's the solution? Or, another way of looking at it is this: he's currently going through a funk, and despite that funk in our starter goalie, we're still battling not only for playoff positioning but for division crown! Imagine what we'll be like when he gets outta his own head and starts playing like a all-star again. Would you prefer to have Smith really take off in the 2nd half of the season, or the 1st (like last year). I mean, ideally he'd be dialed in consistently all season, but there are few goalies that are that consistent, if any. I don't know what to make of it. Do we ride this out, knowing we finally have enough skill up front to mask his faults until he finds his game? Believing he's still got it in him to be an elite tender when he gets into a rhythm? Or do we say "he's done, he's old, he's not coming back, let's drop him before he kills the season"? Hmmm.....I don't envy BT right now...
  2. YounGuns

    Goaltending

    See I see it much differently. You know he's going to come out and play it. The first few games the players were re-acclimatizing to it for sure, but now they seem to have a good grasp on it. This is Smith's game, let's not turn him into a goalie that he isn't. He likes playing the puck, he says it helps him in the game, and every D men when asked about it say they love it. Sure, they are not going to throw their goalie under the bus even if they didn't like it, but it sure sounds genuine to me. The coaches seem to like it, Gully mentioned numerous times, Peters has mentioned it as a benefit to our group that Smith can play it, our GM loves the fact that Smith can play it, and we saw last night, he can play the puck well. I would say there is consistency with Smith. That's why I mentioned it wasn't my concern with him. What's my concern is last year there wasn't consistency with Rittich, because he would at times try to play the puck, and at times leave it. But Smith? He always just plays it, and plays it well. It certainly will cost us a few goals against over the course of the season (already has cost us one for sure), but it will also reduce wear and tear on the defense, increase speed of transition, and throw a wrench into the gears for any team that leans heavily on their forecheck.
  3. YounGuns

    Goaltending

    Gotta go back to Smith. He played great, and didn't get a shut out, so that bodes well for the next game... I think you throw Rittich in either against the Rangers or Montreal, and then again with Buffalo. That has him playing every 4 games, which is perfect. I don't have any stats to back this up, but I feel like Smith is typically good in the games where he comes back after getting a night off? In which case you might want Rittich to play Montreal, and then get back to Smith for Pittsburgh, Washington and Toronto. Gosh...that'll be a big test for us...
  4. YounGuns

    Goaltending

    I thought Smith had a great game last night. Both teams came out with jump, but we made a couple defensive clearing errors real early and Smith had to be very sharp early. He kept the puck outta the net, and gave our boys a chance to go up 1-0. Can't fault him on either of the goals he let in. That Boston top line is so good, they'll get their looks. Fortunately for us, our top shut down line actually outplayed them at both ends of the ice, and Smith certainly outplayed Rask. I know some people cringe when Smith goes behind the net to play the puck, but I wouldn't want him to stop it. He's really good at playing the puck, the defense is starting to remember how he plays it and are adjusting accordingly, it saves the D from getting wrecked on hits, and allows us to quickly move the puck up ice. Smith seemed even more active with puck handling last night, and I think that's because of the team we were playing. Boston is tenacious on the forecheck, and Smith single handedly deflated that part of their game for most of the night. There was one moment where he held on to the puck longer than I would have liked...but I think it's a awesome part of his game and I love that he has that. My biggest concern with how he plays the puck isn't Smith, but it's the impact it has when Rittich plays. We saw last year that the defense got used to Smith's style, and when Rittich played they weren't sure if he was going to play it or leave it - Rittich himself didn't seem to know what to do at times....he knows his D is used to their goalie playing the puck, but that's not his strong suit - and that cost us a few times.
  5. YounGuns

    Goaltending

    Gosh I hope he brings his toes. Smith has the best toes....
  6. The only thing I wonder about that line, is if Bennett would be able to bring the same game playing Center. He's on the wing now. I know we drafted him as a center and wanted him as a center, but is he more effective as a winger?
  7. THAT could be an awesome line! I like the sounds of Tkachuk with Bennett and Neal better than Tkachuk with Johnny and Sean.
  8. I thought Bennett was our best player for a couple games now. Historically he's so frustrating how he was unable to finish, but the skill set is there, and the effort is there. Nice to see him get his first last night, and nice to see the refs unable to find a way to call it back! Not only did he get the monkey off his back, but with his physical play and that huge hit in the 2nd he basically took the team on his back and carried them forward. Everyone seemed more engaged after that. But not only that, he plays with a massive chip on his shoulder...I love that he's not shy to plough into someone 4 feet taller and 50 pounds heavier than him. I also love that he hasn't shown his penchant for taking retarded offensive zone penalties as he used to the last two years. He's awesome, and him, Neal and Dube could be great together. I really like that line actually....they've had some of the best chances for the past few games now.
  9. YounGuns

    Goaltending

    Gotta go back to Smith. He's our guy. We need Rittich to be a capable back-up, and he did everything he needed to in that role last night; he gave us the chance to win. Had Rittich lost though, gosh there'd be 3 more pages on here about how Treliving failed to address our goalie situation. Funny how it's mainly crickets when Rittich plays well and gives us a chance to win....you know, like he did last year while in the back-up role... One thing I find funny is how people hate how fiery Smith is. I personally love it. It's not a sign that he's losing his composure, as some on here seem to think, rather that's just who he is. He's a fiery, passionate guy. It's his personality, not a reflection of his skills as a goalie. We need MORE of that on this team, not less. We're, for the most part, too "nice". I love the fact that Smith gets frustrated and shows it. He's not afraid to call out his defensemen or throw a blocker into the face of an opposing player who is taking liberties on him. It doesn't affect his play....this is how he's always been...it's just who he is. Asking Smith to reign that in would be like asking Rittich to at least look like he gives a damn. Rittich is like Kipper....always cool and collected, no matter what's going on. Smith is like Patrick Roy....a hot head ready to blow a gasket. Guess what fellas, it's just a personality thing and has zero impact on how well they can play their trade. In fact, getting fired up and angry probably makes Smith play better. Being cool and relaxed probably helps Rittich play better. There's no one "personality" that makes a goaltender great. So I for one think its comical when people point to Smith being "fired up" and try and sell that as a sign that he's unravelling and not ready to play. No, no it's not.
  10. YounGuns

    Goaltending

    Also, for whatever reason, Smith is TERRIBLE in games after he posts a shut out, i forge the stats, but Hrudey was talking about it before the game. Peters should have went with the original plan to play Rittich. But then what happens...if the same team came out in front of Rittich as they did in front of Smith for that game, then all of a sudden our back up is thrown to the wolves, he would have almost certainly lost the game as well with how terrible the entire team played, and then he sits for 4 or 5 more games dwelling on how he lost one of his few chances. Smith needs to be better, but also nearly the entire team needs to be better. We had one solid game, and 1 sub-par game, and 2 terrible games so far this season. We need to be better, more consistent, and come to play for a full 60 minutes.
  11. YounGuns

    Goaltending

    Although I'm not trying to say Smith had a great game, the same argument of "what is his role?" and how he needs to do it better can be said of the entire team. What about Monahan in the penalty shot? Isn't it his role to score on those? That would have been super helpful when down 3-1 to get a goal there. Or the inept power play that was just passing around the entire time, isn't it their role to score on the power play? Or the defense in front of Smith, particularly Andersson and Valimaki who both made numerous positional and panicked errors that ended up with the puck in the net, is it not their job to defend properly? Is it not the teams role as a unit to come prepared to play for a full 60 minutes rather than just the final period? (I'm not trying to throw you under the bus here T_D, as you made the same point I'm making so I know you get it too, i'm just reiterating it.) Smith had a bad game, I'll readily admit that, but as some posters have been mentioning he was just one of almost every single player that had a bad team. We lost that game as a team; that loss is no way on Smith. Also, let's not forget the 3 incredible saves he shouldn't have had to make to start the game in the opening 5 minutes. Would Rittich have saved those? Impossible to know, but again the point is that the team just didn't come out ready to play in front of our goalie. Also we know there will be scary moments with how much Smith plays the puck out of his net, that's just going to happen, but remember last year how he was so effective back there doing that? It helps out the defense a ton, gets the puck up the ice quickly, catches teams making slow changes, and it helps Smith get in the game. That's HIS game, he's one of the best tenders in the league at playing the puck, so you don't all of a sudden tell a 36 year old goalie to stop playing his game. Just know that with that style we'll get burned a few times in a season...I think that over the course of the season his ability to play the puck will overall really help this team, but I also know it'll count for a few goals against as well.
  12. YounGuns

    Goaltending

    To be fair to our GMs, they certainly have tried to improve our goalie situation. MAF "thought" he was being traded to Calgary, only the asking price was reportedly absurd and not worth it, and the trade fell through. You have to remember, at the time the Penguins were giving up on MAF and were quite happy to expose him in the draft. Although he is the ultimate team mate, and he's won cups, he also has had several collapses in both the regular season and post season, so he wasn't a "sure thing". All he did since then was turn in the best season of his already pretty spectacular career, but even he has been a question mark and "gamble" at times. We tried to get Bishop. He went to LA instead, and then signed with Dallas. Which in hindsight might have been the best for us. There were reports he refused to come to Calgary anyways, but by all reports we were trying to get him. Treliving did land one of the best options available in Smith. Sure he's old, but Treliving knew we needed to do something after not being able to come to terms with Pittsburghs asking price for MAF. And those are just the ones we know of. Who knows what other conversations have been had with the various GMs around the league. We'll never know what other "star" goaltender we were close to acquiring, if any. The argument that the team has been gambling is somewhat valid if you're only looking at the results, but star goalies are like star centers or star defensemen...you almost need to draft them and develop them, as they just don't change hands very often and are very hard to come by, so I don't really know what people expect Treliving to do here, other than sell the farm or give away the likes of Tkachuk. Even when we got Kipper - our last solid goaltender - at the time of the trade he was a nobody. We hit the jack pot on him, but it's not like we traded for an all star. We traded for depth pieces, took one of those "gambles" you seem to hate, and we just happened to land a star. Also, it's worth considering that we do have some potential great pieces in Gillies and Parsons that are coming up in the system. Gillies hasn't proven himself in the NHL yet, but he's still a prospect. Parsons is continually rated as one of the best goalie prospects in the league, even after last season's less-than-impressive stats. My point here is that you don't necessarily want to go and sell the farm for a legit number 1 when you could very well have a legit number 1 in the making in your own system already, and all you'd be doing by landing someone else is removing the opportunity for them to showcase their skills in the big league and possibly develop into the player we're trying to find. Until I know what we have in Gillies or Parsons, I can see Treliving being hesitant to bring in someone for the long term, when he hopes they are our long term... I will admit that goaltending is our biggest question mark going into this season, and could sink what might otherwise be a really promising season. But I just don't see what other options Treliving has, or who is available. I am confident that this concern is not lost on Treliving.
  13. East will be fairly weak next season?!? They do have the reining champions. The West couldn't even beat an expansion team to get to the dance. I realize they were actually pretty darn good, but still. Pittsburgh is always a threat; if they make it into the playoffs they always have a chance to win it all with Crosby, Malkin and co, not to mention their goaltender should bounce back this year. Tampa Bay is currently a beast and will continue to be for years to come. Boston will be good...no...they'll be great. Toronto will be great. Even teams like New Jersey and Florida could take big steps forward. Columbus can be elite, and nearly swept the eventual SC champs in the first round. Heck ONE of these years Buffalo has got to take a huge step forward... I don't see the East being weak next season. If anything, I'm glad we're in the west. Of the two, I think we've got it easier out here.
  14. I'm still somewhat weary of splitting up Tkachuk, Backlund and Frolik. Advanced stats showed they were their dominant selves last year in terms of possession and driving play out of our defensive zone, only they were scoring at percentages well below their average (a problem 90% of the team shared last year). Also Frolik isn't flashy, but he's still a very capable and dependable player...I don't think he gets the credit he deserves. He was as important to that lines past success as the other two. I just think you have such a good combination in the 3M line, why break that up? I think you focus on the 3rd line, and finding the best fit on the top line winger, but I wouldn't be rushing to blow up the 3M line completely. Plus, Bennett hasn't shown he's capable of 2nd line C duties at all really. I agree his potential is high, but his play has been nowhere near there. I don't think demoting Backlund in favor of Bennett would be a smart move as Backlund has proven himself year in and out that he's awesome in that 2nd line C role, and Bennett has proven year in and year out that he's still very much a work in progress. Backlund is awesome...again not flashy, but awesome. Bennett is flashy, but not yet awesome, in fact most games he's frustratingly mediocre. I don't think Bennett has proven he deserves to center the 3rd line even, let alone the 2nd. ...that being said, if Bennett were to take a big step forward, then that line would be incredible. What a tough line to play against!
  15. YounGuns

    Goaltending

    Management of goalies? Or just management in general? Because if we're talking about our General Manager, then I'd say there's currently very few teams I'd want to swap GMs with. I think Treliving has done a great job in bringing in important pieces and signing critical pieces to value contracts. This year will be a big one to see if this team can take big steps forward with the team and coaching staff he's assembled. Sure some moves didn't work out (Brouwer), but others have been awesome. Plus our drafting has been pretty good under him, at least it's looking good right now. I'd disagree with you on the management part, in fact I'd say that's one of our areas of great strength. Now, if it's managing goalies...that's more a coaching issue...and yes I would agree with you there.
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