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Discussion & Debate Thread: Flames and Canucks

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Ugh, this thread has become just a whole bunch of stupid. The Ehrhoff trade really struck a nerve with some of you obviously.

Mitchell was a +30 last season, and he played against the other team's top line night in and night out. But I guess is only relevant when we're talking about Ehrhoff's first minus season of his career. He is widely viewed around the league as one of its premiere shutdown defencemen - get your head out of the sand.

And I can't believe the above poster just said "who cares?" to depth. After your last season? And if anyone wants to argue Giordano, Pardy, Pelech and Stralman are better than Bieksa, O'Brien, Schneider and Lukowich... you're absolutely delusional.

or perhaps its that you can't comprehend that the flames essentially got Bouwmeester for Leopold. Bouwmeester beats Ehrhoff in every concievable dimension.

and look at this: Phaneuf and Ehrhoff are both coming off their worst seasons, and Ehrhoff somehow managed a minus 14 with SAN JOSE.  Phaneuf got a minus 11 with the flames, who took an enourmous step back in defence, while the sharks were not only the best overall team, (in the regular season) but were also one of the top defensive teams.  How does Ehrhoff manage a minus 14 in that situation? he was playing the exact same style as usual from what i could tell (unlike Phaneuf, who Keenan was trying to turn into a defensive defenceman last season for a reason that no one seems to know) and Ehrhoff was playing for the best team yet in his career, and yet had the worst season. huh.

now, all this said, i have always liked Ehrhoff--i always thought he was more deserving of praise than Vlasic--but whether he can fill the role of Ohlund remains to be seen. Also, will Edler and Mitchel be able to hold the fort as well without Ohlund?

The reason Mitchel wasn't on the olympic camp (cool off, he can still make the team--though it isn't likely)  is that they had already selected several players who had similar roles and did them better--observe: Brent Seabrook, Chris Pronger, Francois Beauchemin, etc.

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looking at the salaries for the 'nucklehead's d, i have to say its pretty well managed--assuming they can shed some salary to be under the cap.  Also, what happened to Schneider?  And why does Bieksa have the highest salary of those listed for the canucks?

Anyway, looks like both teams have a fair bit of a bargain on their defensive leaders--Mitchel is worth well over 3.5 mil/yr, and Regehr is a steal at 4.02 mil/yr

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this will be a breakdown of the two teams to see who has the edge in each catagory.  any input is appreciated. Also, if something i say is wrong, correct me (and by this, i mean stats not opinions--though i may adjust opinions based on ilumination on a few stats.  I really would like more insight on the Canucks prospects, for example.)

GOALTENDING:

Luongo and Kiprusoff are both widely considered to be in the upper echelon of the league's elite goaltenders.  Though postseason success has been elusive of late, Kiprusoff has led his team to the stanley cup final once, and then to the post season every year since (five consecutive seasons, four consecutive first round exits) while Luongo has led the canucks to the post season in two out of three seasons with the team, both times making it past the first round.  Both goalies have numerous Vezina Trophy nominations, though Kiprusoff has won the award once. Luongo's regular season stats have been far more consitent than Kiprusoff's, regularly finishing in the top five in sv% and GAA (the only exception being the 07-08 season, where the 'Nucks missed the postseason) While Kiprusoff has seen three seasons in decline (though the last one was an improvement).  The Canucks possess proven backups in Andrew Raycroft and Cory Schneider, while Curtis McElhinney may need to prove he can handle the grind of a full season (though he certainly won't play all that many games).

EDGE: Canucks

Defence:

The Canucks personel include shut-down dmen Willie Mitchel, and Alex Edler, offensive stars Christian Ehrhoff, Kevin Bieksa, and Mattieu Schneider, the mega-howitzer Sami Salo, and depth dmen Aaron Rome, Shane O'Brien, and Brad Lukowich

The Flames boast an impressive array of stars in Dion Phaneuf, Jay Bouwmeester, and Robyn Regehr, the three of them possessing three different styles ranging from flashy offensive gem, to offensively stunted shut-down machine, and everything between (J-Bo).  The lower group consists of defensive minded (and the oldest/most experienced one) Cory Sarich, the stay-at-home Adam Pardy, offensive Mark Giordano, and the more depth oriented Anton Stralman, Matt Pelech, and Staffan Kronwall.

The top three alone of the Flames are enough to put this one in the bag, as anyone who checks out the individual matchups will agree (Regehr vs Mitchel, Phaneuf vs Ehrhoff, Bouwmeester vs Edler)

EDGE: Flames

Offence:

The Canucks go as far as the Sedin twins can carry them.  their deadly cycle game, pinpoint passing and scarily accurate wrist shots can result in prolific goal scoring.  The two not only have chemistry with each other, but also possess a repore with at least one of the team's right wingers (Burrows) and will likely carry this chemistry to fellow Swede Mikael Samuelsson.

The Flames possess proven 30 goalscorers in Jarome Iginla, Olli Jokinen, and Daymond Langkow, and two other players who could possibly break that barrier in Rene Bourque (who would have if not for missing 24 games due to a freak injury. He was 9 goals short.) and David Moss.  Iginla and Jokinen also represent the only 90 point players on either team (though Demitra did come close one year, and Daniel Sedin could possibly do it, if the stars align in just the right way--Perhaps Henrik if he could just score more goals.) Though there is no proven chemistry between Iginla and Jokinen (flames fans take solace in that it was much the same situation with Cammalleri) there is proven tandems elsewhere in the roster--Bourque, Langkow, Moss for instance-- and there were flashes of brilliance from Iginla and Jokinen--especially when combined with Curtis Glencross on the left wing. The only proven 30-goal man in the 'Nucks roster is Daniel Sedin (Demitra has done it too, but not in the last 5 seasons--and he's 34, besides)

EDGE: Flames

Prospects:

Comparing the top forward prospects for each team (Vancouver's Cody Hodgeson and Jordan Schroeder against Calgary's Mikael Backlund and Greg Nemisz) we see far more size on the flames side.  Hodgeson perhaps possesses more of the leadership skills that are in such demand these days (a future captain, perhaps?). Schroeder and Hodgeson both put up proliffic numbers in the WJC, though they played for stacked Canadian and American teams.  Greg Nemisz had a great season with the Windsor Spitfires of the ohl, Scoring 34 goals and 77 points in the regular season, and 20 points in 20 playoff games.  Mikael Backlund put up fantastic numbers with the Kelowna Rockets, scoring 12 goals and 18 assissts in 28 games in the whl, and putting up 13 goals and 10 assissts in 19 post season games, helping the Rockets win the league crown (interestingly, they lost the Memorial cup to Nemisz and the Spitfires) There is more youth on the Vancouver side, and the most nhl ready of these players is probably Hodgeson (this based on hear-say and conjecture).  Still, looking at the stock of defenders the Flames have piled up: Keith Aulie, T.J. Brodie, Keith Seabrook, Brett Palin, John Negrin, Tim Erixon, Brad Cole, and Gord Baldwin, i have to give it to the masters.

EDGE: Flames

THE SCORE: 3-1 for the FLAMES!!

GO FLAMES GO!!

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[quote name='ladii_canucklehead wrote:


hkiitay']this will be a breakdown of the two teams to see who has the
edge
in each catagory.  any input is appreciated. Also, if something i say is wrong, correct me (and by this, i mean
stats
not opinions--though i may adjust opinions based on ilumination on a few stats.  I really would like more insight on the Canucks prospects, for example.)

GOALTENDING:

EDGE: Canucks

Defence:

EDGE: Flames

Offence:

EDGE: Flames

Prospects:

EDGE: Flames

THE SCORE: 3-1 for the FLAMES!!

GO FLAMES GO!!

3-1 for the Flames? More like 3-1 for the Canucks. In the offensive category, it seems like it's close, but I'd give the Canucks the slight edge. In the prospects category, it seems like you don't know much about the Canucks' prospects so let me educate you a bit. Sure, we don't have as many quality defensive prospects as you guys, but the Canucks' offensive prospects have a higher ceiling/potential than your offensive prospects, and I believe Cory Schneider is still part of the organization, so the edge in goaltending prospects go to the Canucks. So overall the edge in prospects goes to the Canucks.

you did notice that i said i wanted STATS not more opinions.  And i did include Schneider in the goalie section (he was one reason for the canucks edge, in fact) the flames get the offence simply because there is the potential of far more goals coming from them, even without Cammalleri. and as for prospects, i would consider making it a draw, if you could prove that the 'Nucks guys have higher "ceilings" Besides, if you mean Hodgson and Schroeder, I already alluded to that.  Give me their stats last year, and i'll put them in (and perhaps consider changes). I had to give the flames the edge in prospects simply because of the sheer magnitude of defensive prospects.

And as for goalies, don't underrestimate Matt Keetley and Leland Irving. 

At best (from a Nucks point of view) its a draw--and thats a stretch.

  

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[quote name='TheAce wrote:


Zirakzigil']I really dont see how you can compare the Flames and Canucks defense.
In a 60 minute game you are going to see Bouwmeester out there for 25-30min a game and Regehr out there for 20-30min a game.
This means that you will have a star defenseman out there for almost the entire game. 
The Canucks do not have a defenseman to match what either one of them brings to the game
. Then you add Phaneuf who has the ability to be a factor on the ice as well. Yes the Canucks have more depth and in the event of injuries have similar skill set players with the ability to step up, but they do not have a defenseman who can go out and set the tone on what is going to happen on the ice, the Flames have 2 and sometimes 3 defensemen that can do that. The Flames top 4 is better then the Canucks top 4. You are going to see the Flames top 4 on the ice for 50+ minutes a game. The bottom 2 defensemen are going to see limited minutes which will pretty much negate the fact that the Canucks have a better bottom 2.

A couple things here..... The gap of 20-30 mins a game for Regehr is a huge gap. Last year he was 3rd on the team with an average of 21 mins a game, the year before was 21:20 and the year before that he was 3rd again with 21:54.  Players like aucoin and Hamrlik were averaging more time in those years. Why would an addition of a better D-man increase his time an extra 9 mins over his career average?

You go on to say that Vancouver doesnt have a D-man that can match either of those players. Atleast a few honest flame fans have admitted that ever since Mitchell started playing against Iginla, he has been shut down pretty nicely. I dont think you can say the same about Regehr with the Sedins. In fact im not sure if there is a team that the Sedins play better against than Calgary. And before you say that there are 2 of them so how can Regehr shut 2 players down, isnt the critizism that the Sedins cant play without each other? So if Regehr was able to shut one of them down, then the other should be useless without him.

Ive admitted before that Bouwmeester is a very good player. I think someone would be foolish to say otherwise, but at the same time I dont think he is a Lidstrom/Chara type player. He averages 40 points a year and is a career minus player. I believe he is better defensively that his stats would say but I wouldnt say he dominant. I think most canuck fans underestimate him whether it be out of bitterness that we never signed him or that he signed with our biggest rival but I think Calgary fans overestimate what he will bring to your team much like when you got Jokinen, Tanguay, Amonte.

oh, you mean like Pavol Demitra, Mats Sundin, and Kyle Wellwood for the Canucks?roll.gif

Besides, Tanguay had a career high 81 points his first year with the flames. The only reason he left is because Keenan had no idea how to use him. And remember, Jokinen hasn't played a whole season yet (and he led the team in points in the postseason, though that isn't saying much).

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[quote name='DL44 wrote:


Codes']Wow.  I'm literally blown away by peoples' inability to acknowledge that the Flames' defensive system was
crap,
which is very apparent if you look at team stats, and individual players' defensive statistics.

With Sutter at the helm, I fully anticipate that the Flames will have better defensive stats than the Canucks right across the board.

I'm blown away (altho not literally like yourself) by people's ability to suppress the poor individual defensive decision and play making last yr and blanket it all in a single swoop by blaming "the system".

The defense down to the individual did not play well last yr... and it's all documented  (every single goal against) right here on this site's GDTs.

The system, the X's and O's a coach teaches, can dictate a certain style of in specific situations.. but hockey is such a dynamic game that its virtually impossible to implement any specific system during the duration of even a whole shift.

It come down battles... one on one... the breakdowns, the pinches, the switches, forgetting the backside, and all other brain farts that we all witnessed and read about can not all be blamed on any system.  Not even Regher was spared.

The addition of Sutter and a new system as well as an all around 2-way stud in JBo.. with Aucoin and Vandermeer replaced by rookies, or youngens....

I think they may be improved... but i by no means am expecting a 180 statistical turnaround with the Flames.

Last yr flames

GAA 23rd

SoGA 16th

SV% 25th

Maybe the SoGA has a chance of creeping into the Top 10..

The Canucks were ranked Top 10 in all those catgories...7th, 10th, 7th.

The Flames PK was ranked an awesome 4th...  they have lost 2 of their top unit in Primeau and Aucoin so it should drop. But we'll see how JBo offsets their loss...

The Flames were a 5th seeded team trying to become at least a 3rd seeded team.

Here's are the statistical changes over one yr for the canucks... they went from missing the playoffs (11th) to division champs in one yr.

G : 23rd - 11th

GA: 7th - 7th

PP: 18th - 17th

PK: 14th - 16th

FO: 24th - 5th

plus/-: 16th - 4th

SoG: 24th - 25th

SoG: 15th - 10th

You can see it's pretty hard to change your stripes in general.  The drastic changes with scoring and faceoffs was due to personnel upgrades upfront...

Gillis made drastic changes - replaced Naslund, Morrison, Linden, Ritchie, Isbister, Cowen (5/6 out of the league right noweek.gif) with Sundin, Demitra, Bernier, Johnson, Wellwood, Hordichuk coming in. 

I don't see drastic changes with the flames that would indicate a new top 10ish ranked D.

On the other hand, with the upgrades in depth on the backend and a deep forward group, i don't see the Canucks drop out of the Top 10 (and that was without Luongo for a quarter of the season)...

Codes, if you still anticipate the flames to sweep the defensive stats across the board after this post.... i would definitely take you up on a bet of some sort.a few things you should know: Primeau didn't play almost the entire season, so his addition/subraction is completely irrelevant.  Second, Aucoin was hardly a top penalty killer.  The flame's d on kills looks like this now: Regehr, Sarich, Bouwmeester, Phaneuf--and Bouwmeester is better than Aucion in every way. (it might be Pardy instead of Phaneuf. sometimes Dion kills penalties, sometimes he doesn't.) besides, two players make little difference on a kill that features some great (and vaguely surprising) personel on forward, including: Bourque, Nystrom, Boyd, Moss, Glencross, and Conroy.

A system does make a difference.  Look at the Wild.  They have an extremely mediocre defense, and yet they are (were) the best defensive team in the league.  Is that because their defensemen are better than the flames'? no! its because they played in a system that preached that placed emphasis on backchecking, forechecking, and safe plays rather than rushing and useless dump-and-chase breakouts.  A system isn't coming up with a fixed strategy and sticking to it, doing everything the same way every time--easily defeated--its preaching importance on certain plays, and having the forwards backcheck.  If the system is "Outwork the other team"--as Keenan's 23rd ranked d was--the result is a bunch of players milling around in their own end chasing the puck carrier and leaving a man open in front.  Also, many of the flames problems can be traced to their troubles getting the puck out of the zone without icing it or giving it up to the keeper.

Also, Nucks fans, you might want to remember that your defence last season was almost exactly the same as the one the year you missed the playoffs--and Luongo was there the whole year too

also, you might want to refrain from mentioning Sundin when you are making a point on how the Canucks improved their scoring.

  

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Possession = offense and defense.  the flame's system for the coming season will be based largely on puck possession, and players like Iginla and Jokinen love to shoot, and are both proven playmakers (kinda like the Sedin Twins... except they don't have any proven chemistry) Iggy and Olli did have chemistry, though they hit a cold streak at the same time.  You just had to watch the two of them work the puck around in the opposing zone in one of the few games they both played well, to know this

DL44, you are a Canucks fan, am i right in assuming this? What do you mean "lack of a threatening second line"? Bourque Langkow Moss/Dawes/Lundmark is far more threatening than any of the Canuck's lines (except the first one of course) To top it off, the third line (Boyd Conroy Dawes/Moss) is very underrated IMO

Obviously, i have Glencross on the top line, and as i have said numerous times, his speed opens the ice for the relatively slower Iginla and Jokinen. I see no glaring problems in the flames line up, though this is, of course, on paper.

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Glencross on the first line...

Music to my ears.

the fact you say this means you have never seen him play.  He's a better overall player than Burrows (though I do like Burrows.  He really has more of a clutch than Glencross, doesn't he?)

Glencross= Fastest player in the league. Soft hands. Descent shot. Brilliant passing. Great two way play. Intensity. Heavy checking.

Burrows= Annoying. Draws penalties without taking them. Clutch scoring. Regular goals(consistency). Great two way play. Shot blocking.

All this said, I really do think Glencross is more of a third line player.  But, the Flames don't exactly have a left wing who can play on the top line other than him (maybe Boyd? He'll have to prove it). I really don't like Bourque on the top line for three reasons: one, we need to keep our scoring spread out.  You Canucks have Demitra on the second line, don't you? two, he has proven chemistry with Langkow and Moss (of course, he works well with everyone, doesn't he?) and finally, he is a shooter.  Having three shooters on the top line would be a disaster, and Iginla would probably not get the goals he should trying to fufill the role of playmaker, as he is easily the best passer of the three.

So, unless Boyd can prove he can handle the first line left wing job, Glencross stays.

I'm not even considering Dawes for the top line. I'll believe that when I see it.

  

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I'm not saying it will happen (Glencross on the top line) I'm saying it (maybe) SHOULD happen.  I would bet money that the season starts with Bourque up there.

and yes, that was maybe a bit of a homer statement, saying that Glencross is better overall than Burrows.  Or a big homer statement.  Don't get me wrong, I like Burrows, and I think it was a stroke of genius by Vigneault, putting him on the top line.  It never would have occured to me.

Anyway, keep in mind that the best players shouldn't always play together.  The 80's Oilers had Messier and Anderson on a different line than Gretzky after all.  Not that I'm comparing them to us, of course.  300 goals is a tad beyond our capabilities, and that was a minimum for those guys.  The Penguins try to keep Crosby and Malkin seperate (although they're both centers).

Here's hoping that Boyd (or Dawes) can make the top line, so Glencross can stay on the third line, and (more importantly) Bourque can stay on the second line. 

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Mikael Backlund VS Cody Hodgson

Fundamental skills are in favour of Backlund.  Two-way play is in favour of Hodgson.  Backlund is faster, Hodgson is stronger.  Hodgson possesses leadership (captained a team Canada junior squad that included Tavares and Evander Kane) and led said tournament in scoring with 5 goals and 11 assists in 6 games on a stacked Canadian squad.  Backlund was second on team Sweden with 5 goals and 2 assists, and was considered one of Sweden's top three players.  Hodgson was the CHL player of the year (though Backlund was the WHL/CHL player of the week April 13-19).  Backlund has more potential, but Hodgson is more developed.

Hodgson > Backlund

...

for now.

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I honestly don't see much of a comparison. Hodgson is a far more complete player, is a natural leader, extremely mature beyond his years, extremely cerebral and has dominated any level he has played at.

Not that I am taking anything away from Backlund. He should be a bright part of Calagry's future for years to come. But they are simply different players. It's like comparing Martin Havlat to Mike Richards.

Richards is better than Hackin' Havlat.  tongue.gif

anyway, Backlund VS Hodgson was one of the comparisons DL wanted us to discuss.  My comparison came down to who was more nhl ready, and as much as it bothered me, I had to say Hodgson.

To put the Backlund-Hodgson comparison into better--though extremely inflated--light would be to compare Iginla (in Hodgson's place) to... uh... Patrick Kane (in Backlund's place)

I say this^ because I would never subject two fine young men like Backlund and Hodgson to a comparison with Havlat (hate him)

  

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I was looking over some of the older posts, and something occured to me.

There was a lot of talk that the 'Nucks had more 40 point worthy defencemen than the Flames...

Well, the Flames have more 60 point worthy defenders than the Canucks

Flames: Phaneuf

Canucks: No one (Schneider has come close a few times in the past--with the Red-Wings.  Makes you wonder how many points Phaneuf would get on that team?)

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[quote name='The_Don wrote:


hkiitay']I was looking over some of the older posts, and something occured to me.

There was a lot of talk that the 'Nucks had more 40 point worthy defencemen than the Flames...

Well, the Flames have more 60 point worthy defenders than the Canucks

Flames: Phaneuf

Canucks: No one (Schneider has come close a few times in the past--with the Red-Wings.  Makes you wonder how many points Phaneuf would get on that team?)

How many 70 assist forwards?

Canucks: Henrik

Flames: no one

How many 25 goal, 150 PIM guys?

Canucks: Burrows

Flames: No one

What does this mean? A whole lot of nothing.

of course it means nothing!! that was the point!!!

oh, and just to be irritating:

30 goal scorers:

Canucks: Daniel Sedin, perhaps Alexandre Burrows, MAYBE Pavel Demitra. Maybe.

Flames: Jarome Iginla, Olli Jokinen, perhaps Daymond Langkow, perhaps Rene Bourque, MAYBE David Moss. MAYBE. Maybe.

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Who will play more games this season...

Bourque or Demitra?

Bourque should start out with the quick advantage this season with Demitra on the shelf for 6 weeks... so the initial 3ish weeks of the season.

If he returns on, or around the 22nd of Oct... that would be 9 games missed.

---Weird coincidence actually now that i think about it.... that's the perfect amount of games to give Hodgson before returning him to Jr!

Bourque should follow Demitra to the trainer's room shortly there after. Anyone know if he's healthy yet? has he been skating? What was his late season injury again? It's Demitra's shoulder after fanning on a hit.

Games played since the lockout...

Bourque: 77, 44, 62, 58

Demitra: 58, 71, 68, 69

Demitra has been more healthy over the past 3 seasons.... a fact that astounds me!

Bourque... last i heard he was supposed to be ready for camp... but i haven't heard confirmation.

Anyways...

Who will play more games this season?

hard to say... they're both injury prone, though in Bourque's case it seems to be his high tempo style.  Demitra you can put it down to age.

Interesting how that worked out for you guys, you have the perfect window for a trial run of Hodgson.  Can't wait to see how he does at the nhl level, even if he is a Canuck.

Any time a player misses 24 games to injury (like Bourque did) it's usually a torn ACL or MCL, although in Rene's case, I believe it was a shoulder injury... or was that Glencross... or Bertuzzi? When there's so many injuries around the same time, it's hard to keep them all straight.  Come to think of it, they might all have been shoulder injuries.

Looking at the last three years, I would have to say that Demitra will probably play more games, although this is purely a guess. One never knows.

  

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[quote name='The_Don wrote:


hkiitay wrote:

The_Don wrote:


hkiitay']

I was looking over some of the older posts, and something occured to me.

There was a lot of talk that the 'Nucks had more 40 point worthy defencemen than the Flames...

Well, the Flames have more 60 point worthy defenders than the Canucks

Flames: Phaneuf

Canucks: No one (Schneider has come close a few times in the past--with the Red-Wings.  Makes you wonder how many points Phaneuf would get on that team?)

How many 70 assist forwards?

Canucks: Henrik

Flames: no one

How many 25 goal, 150 PIM guys?

Canucks: Burrows

Flames: No one

What does this mean? A whole lot of nothing.

of course it means nothing!! that was the point!!!

oh, and just to be irritating:

30 goal scorers:

Canucks: Daniel Sedin, perhaps Alexandre Burrows, MAYBE Pavel Demitra. Maybe.

Flames: Jarome Iginla, Olli Jokinen, perhaps Daymond Langkow, perhaps Rene Bourque,
MAYBE
David Moss. MAYBE. Maybe.

Kesler, Samuelsson (maybe, ect..)

Samuelsson, really?

Then I am entitled to say this: Glencross, Boyd, Dawes, and take the perhaps off of Langkow

I conceed that I forgot Kesler's MAYBE though.

OR, maybe we should just go with players who are guaranteed 30 goals.  In which case: Iginla, Jokinen, and Daniel Sedin.

Two defensive teams who have no trouble scoring goals.  This will be an interesting year.

Interesting to note, the Flames have more all time wins against Vancouver than any other team in the league.  Weird.  Interesting but meaningless.

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With this ongoing discussion about how much Sutter's System is going to overhaul the Flames this yr...

I must ask...

Which NHL coach has the better 'System'?

Alain V or Brent S ?

Both are supposed defensive specialists... one is obviously a lot more experienced at the NHL level, the other a lot of success at the World Jrs.

Well... AV with a lot more NHL experience.

Sutter still has potential going into his 3rd season as a coach. This will definitely be a defining yr year for the coach's systeme considering the personnel his brother has given him.

He's coming off 3 disappointing WHL seasons... and 2 decent yrs with the Devils, but with no post-season success...

took a 100+pt division winning team and left them a 100pt division winning team. But he's still got the shine of the Gold medals to keep his mystique fresh.

Sutter has 2 world junior golds, and a memorial cup...

AV, is a 2 time Jack Adams nominee.... one time winner.

Has twice taken a Vancouver team predicted to miss the playoffs preseason to division titles... winning a round each yr.

Let's see if Sutter can finally be the coach that makes the flames actually live up to pre season expectations... a team that i don't think has had an over achieving team since the '04 run (correct me if i'm wrong on that).

You're not wrong.  We have had an Underachieving team for a while now though.

I would like to point out that Sutter has experience with a few of the flames players (Phaneuf in Red Deer,  Boyd, Dawes, etc. in WJC) and will know what roles to use them in.  Vigneault, of course, has experience coaching most of the Canucks line up.  To be fair, a big reason for Vancouver achieving those years was Luongo.  The Flames have been out coached for years now, ever since Darryl Sutter stepped down.  Brent Sutter has proven to be a coach capable of great success (though none yet at the nhl level in the playoffs).  Hopefully, Sutter can bring the kind of coaching the Flames have missed for the past three seasons.

Vigneault has proven himself to be a skilled coach.  Sutter has as well, and this year will be telling, to see if he can excell at the nhl level (especially in the playoffs)

  

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[quote name='cross16 wrote:


The_Don wrote:

cross16 wrote:

DL44 wrote:


cross16']

 

And also dont get me wrong, I actually like AV as a coach and can admit he is a good coach. I think his coaching style is great, and if he had a more open system I think the Canucks would be far more dangerous and he woudl be touted as one of the top 5 coaches in the league.

he's never had the horses to play an open style... you need offensive personnel to play an open system, and we haven't been that lucky.  gets back to the whole ' your players dictate the system implemented'. Remember up until last yr Burrows hadn't shown he was anything but a 3rd liner... Kesler was  a HOPE to play on the 2nd line.

We went into last season like this:

Sedin-Sedin-Demitra

Raymond-Wellwood-Bernier

Burrows-Kesler-Hansen

Hordichuk-Johnson-Rypien

Tough to open it up with such an offensively unproven lineup outside the top line.  3rd line was considered an elite level checking line.... not for scoring.  The lineup screamed play defensive.

This yr, the lineup is deeper and a little more established than last yr... we'll see how AV plays it.
Not really.  New Jersey wasn't that much better of an offensive lineup than the Canucks and they opened it up. I also would't call the New York Rangers better than the Canucks on paper and they opened up their system.

I also heard the same thing from Canucks last year, that AV was going to open up his system. Yet it wasn't until later in the season, and fairly reluctantly, that he silghtly opened it up. About 90% of the time, coaches do not change from their philosphies. And sitting on leads, regardless of his personel, has always been his way of doing things. I would be shocked if that changed. I expect the same as last year. It be a little more agressive until they get a lead and then slowly get more and more passive and defensive as the game goes on.

  

Would you not admit then, that 11th was pretty damn good for a team in scoring that only "slightly" opened it up near the end of the season? Especially when the Rangers finished 28th?
sure. I think Don you should know of all that i'm not one of those people that just assumes that the Canucks and everything about them suck. I give them alot of credit when credit is due. They were a better team than Calgary last year and have been for a few seaons now and I think they are damn close on paper this year after the Erhoff trade. I'm not really critiquing them or AV, i'm just saying what I view his system to be and its just not personally the system I believe the Canucks need to win a championship. I think its more then enough for them to challenge for the division, potentially win it, and get through a round in the playoffs. My point would be more that I think if the Canucks are to be a true cup contender I think they need a system change thats all.

I guess I also shouldn't be using the term "open it up" becuase that doesn't really apply and its too simplistic. What I found last year was the Canucks were an aggressive team, but still very responsible, until the built a lead. Against weaker teams I often saw them keep pressing, but against stronger teams I felt they held back trying to protect the lead. I don't really call that opening up, but I do think that AV made his system more aggressive in the 2nd half of last season than he did in the first half. I also think their offence is better than alot of people are giving them credit for. There like the Flames though. I mean its been 4 seasons now since the Flames struggled to score goals, yet they still have this stigma they are not a goal scoring team. I think the Canucks will always carry that stigma regardless, but I think they will be a top 15ish scoring team again this year.

  

This should be a very interesting season.  We've got two very similar teams at this point (at least on paper), teams that can be defensively responsible, and stay in the middle of the pack offensively.

The thing about the Flames' offence this year is that no one complained about their "lack of goal scoring depth" before they got Cammalleri.  So what if we lost 39 goals there?  We have more than adequate personel to at least be considered dangerous offensively--if not as much as last season.  The 'Nucks have more or less the same situation, except that everyone knows what their group is capable of (a rough estimate anyway)

Really the only glaring problem in the Flames' lineup is the lack of a first line LW.  And the solution to that problem might be somewhere in the lineup already--just like the Canucks found their first line RW (Burrows) last year.

  

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speaking of all this, we may have already found the LW to plug into that top line spot--Backlund.  The Sutters clearly have confidense in him being able to step into that role, as he played the whole game with Iginla and Jokinen, (except for when Dawes or Moss replaced him on the PP) and played admirably--if not spectacularly.

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[quote name='Keys wrote:


hkiitay']speaking of all this, we may have already found the LW to plug into that top line spot--Backlund.  The Sutters clearly have confidense in him being able to step into that role, as he played the whole game with Iginla and Jokinen, (except for when Dawes or Moss replaced him on the PP) and played admirably--if not spectacularly.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to see him fill in the top left wing. However, I think there is still a little bit of that European game left in his style. He is strong on the puck,  and is able to make some quick, clean plays. Unfortunately, he still floats around a little bit too much without the puck, and does not forecheck aggressively enough in our current gameplay style.

Hopefully, it will not be a big problem for him as it was for Huselius. If the coaching staff can work it into his head to play the aggressive game, he should fit in with our top line quite well.

yeah, true that.  On the plus side, if the line does end up going along, there will be no problems with speed (Iginla being the slowest of the three, and he's no speedbump)  Even if Backlund doesn't develop his forecheck enough by the start of the year, that is more than made up by the hard, high-energy play of Iginla and Jokinen.  Since he's just a young guy, it likely won't be as big a problem for him as it was for Huselius.  there is room for reform in his game, as well as improvement, and IMO, Mikael Backlund has shown that he wants to fit into the system.

  

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[quote name='Dusty_Foot_Philosopher wrote:


iggygiggy']Canucks are going to miss the playoffs.

What we're counting on is any potential drops in Kesler or Burrows' point totals being hopefully replaced with better seasons from any of the Raymond-Wellwood-Bernier line - who all relatively underachieved last year. Plus Samuelsson and Shirokov being improvements over Pyatt and Sundin. I see our offence as about the same as it was last year. It was far from the reason we lost in the playoffs last year, so personally I'm not concerned.

I think our greatest improvement is on defence. I loved Ohlund, but he seemed generally out of place on the team last year, which is why many fans saw his departure coming for a long time. Our main problem in the Chicago series was breaking out from our own zone. Often, Chicago's young and fast forwards would pin us there with their forecheck, especially guys like Ohlund. The Canucks were a puck possession team at their best in 2009. A player like Christian Ehrhoff seems like he was created in a factory, in the way he fits Vancouver's problem. Improvements from Edler and Bieksa will only further this, as well as the addition of Mathieu Schneider.

Finally, I think we will be a better special teams squad this season. Last year our special teams held us back, both being below-average on an above-average team. Look at the roster players Gillis acquired: Ehrhoff, Schneider and Samuelsson. All excellent on the PP. Might not seem like a big deal until you see Salo, Edler, Schneider, Ehrhoff, Samuelsson or Bieksa blasting at your goalie. Depth, it's great.I'm sorry iggygiggy, but I laughed my @$$ off when I saw that.  Dusty, You're right that the Nuck's offence will likely be the same/better than last year.  Shirokov and Samuelsson are definitely improvements over Pyatt and Sundin, no matter what order they're listed in.  The Canucks defence is quite deep, fairly well rounded.  You're pretty well set for the year, even considering 1 or 2 long term injuries.  Vancouver is one of the top 5 deepest teams in the league.

But then, so are the Flames (or at least, close to it) and we expect a far more structured style to our team than the last few years.  The teams are roughly comparable, and both will certainly make the playoffs, with a position no lower than a generously extrapolated 6th (personally, I don't think either team will finish lower than 5th).

  

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That's a fair assesment DL, but Boyd wasn't entirely invisible...I sure noticed him when he put a perfect one timer at an open net about 5 feet high and it turned into a rush back the other way. Or that other time when he missed the net by about 10 feet. But that was it.

You're right about Dawes too, didn't really notice him on the second unit, that line looked to be all Bourque and Langkow.

And I couldn't agrre more about Moss, totally out of place on the top line. Not only that but as a natural RW he had a hell of a time playing the other side. Which is weird because his stats sheet says he shoots left, so playing on the left wing shouldn't be that hard of an adjustment. He's making/accepting passes on his forehand after all. I could understand if he shot right, switching to left wing feels unnatural as all of a sudden everything's on your backhand and it feels like you're always facing the boards coming up the ice. At any rate, he didn't have a good game, but neither did any part of the top line for that matter. I thought Iginla was Calgary's worst player. Thanks for coming out Cap'n.

Which Kesler embellishments are you talking about? I don't recall seeing any by him. I did notice Samuelsson take a slash on the leg near the benches, the way he fell and looked at the ref it looked like a big dive...

Judging from your logo, I'm guessing you're a flames' fan, so you must have seen Moss play at some point.  Moss shoots right, pay no attention to how he's listed.

And you're wrong, Dawes had a great game, Langkow was the one on that line who was invisible.

And Iginla wasn't the Flames' worst player.  Kronwall was.  Iginla was second.

And as for Boyd, it was more like 10 cm, not 10 feet.  He was good, if not spectacular.

  

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Canucks are such an amazing team....

My opinions were slandered left right and center by a so called flames fan who is really a canuck fan....

As I said this Canuck team is nothing but a team that can compete for the bottom 2 spots for the playoffs and they won't make it. The Canucks aren't built to be a good sustained team through this season. Their top line with the Sedins you shut them down and your work is done. Burrows and Kesler's years last year was a one hit wonder their definitely going to tail off this season, you can't except these guys to front your team scoring. As for Luongo as I said he's the wild card, he can be really good or really bad and as of late the guy has been horrible. The LONG road trip is going to kill the Canucks it would kill any team. But hey omgzzz tsn and sportsnet said canuckz are suppose to be #1 and stanley cup champs, haha that's laughable. Nice try but the Canucks are no where near stanley cup material.

If the Flames had started 0-2, we would all be making excuses for them.  Besides, Colorado, St Louis, Phoenix, and Nashville are all undefeated.  Detroit, Carolina, New Jersey, and Anahiem are all winless.  huh.  Guess the standings will be the same all year then, right?

You can't tell anything this early.

  

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[quote name='The_Don wrote:


Kristian_Huselius wrote:

The_Don']I guess he is not for everybody. If you want the same ol' boring "Crosby scores, that is his 21st of the year, and the Penguins win 3 to 2" than good for you.

Onrait and O'Toole are a bit more inventive than that, and they change it up.

Yeah, they aren't bad. They worst ones are the SNET guys other than Don. Lang, Portuando, and Ivanka Osmak are just terrible.All the Flames' broadcasters are good though.

Rogers SNet: Peter Loubardias (I miss Roger Millions though); TSN: Chris Cuthbert; CBC: Marc Lee (wait... that doen't sound right...).  I really dislike a lot of the eastern guys, like the sabres guy has a really annoying voice.  And then there's the "Hey hey whadya say..." guy.  Bob Cole's okay, but he can never say European names correctly.  Has he ever pronounced Kabrle right?  I once heard him say it three different ways on one shift:  Kabrelay, Karbrulay, and Kayberlee. Come to think of it, it may have only been two, but whatever.

does Jim Hughson still do Canucks CBC??

  

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The division is the Canucks' to lose.  I think that's pretty universal.

Vancouver's only real questions come on the D IMO.  I don't think Hamhuis and Ballard are both top 2 defenders.  And neither will clear the front of the net for Luongo. However, they are more durable than most of the rest of Vancouver's defence, and Hamhuis can move the puck.  Injuries are the question elsewhere, and whether Alberts appears or not is a burning question.  If he does, it could be trouble.  Luongo is next, and his play is important--mostly in the playoffs, since they'll make the postseason whether he's an allstar or not.  Virtual guarantee that the Nucks will make the playoffs, and almost certain they will win the division.

Whether the Flames are the contention for the division or not is entirely up to the "experiment" ie. Tanguay - Jokinen - Iginla.  All three have said publicly that they want to improve, and all three have had success in the past--especially Iginla.  I think Tanguay will certainly bounce back from last year, and he may even return to his previous form--though it's not likely.  I guess it depends largely on how Iggy's season goes.  Hopefully he wont' only have one good month like last year.  Jokinen... it's anyone's guess what happens there, although there isn't as much pressure on him as there was, because of the lower salary.  I'm willing to bet on an improvement, but the question is by how much?  There's no way to know.  I guess Tanguay would have a lot to do with how that happens.

Stajan comes up next on my list.  How will he do?? If he continues with his consistent ~55 point production, we'll be fine.  That's a lot of points coming from the second line center.  And Bourque could certainly get 50-60 again, so there's a reasonable chance both will repeat.  All Hagman has to do is bury chances and complete passes, and we have a pretty deadly second line, no??

The third line is next.  Can Moss bounce back??  More important in my mind is how does Backlund cope?? Will he find his scoring touch in time for the season's start?? In my opinion, if he does, then we're in pretty good shape, since he's a natural playmaker and playing with two very good third liners.  Backlund's 1 goal last season is a cause for concern, but only just.  He was getting chances, and he was making things happen. if he can put some of those chances in the net--and if his linemates (particularly Moss) can do the same, then the third line's in good shape.

A milder, but no less important question lies in the D.  Can Bouwmeester play like we all know he can?? Probably, though it's probably too much to hope for him to get back to 15 goals IMO.  His points will mostly be assissts, though hopefully he does get back to the 10 goal range.  Can White and Giordano repeat (assuming White is re-signed, of course)?  Will Staios disapear?  Can Pelech handle the big leagues?  Can Regehr bounce back??  It's all possible, but there's likely a NO somewhere... I don't know where I want it to be though...

A lot of questions have to be answered before the Flames can be called "Contenders" again (the quotes are very important).  For the Canucks, they're shaping up to be near the top of the conference once more.

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[quote name='The_Don wrote:


hkiitay']The division is the Canucks' to lose.  I think that's pretty universal.

Vancouver's only real questions come on the D IMO.  I don't think Hamhuis and Ballard are both top 2 defenders.  And neither will clear the front of the net for Luongo. However, they are more durable than most of the rest of Vancouver's defence, and Hamhuis can move the puck.  Injuries are the question elsewhere, and whether Alberts appears or not is a burning question.  If he does, it could be trouble.  Luongo is next, and his play is important--mostly in the playoffs, since they'll make the postseason whether he's an allstar or not.  Virtual guarantee that the Nucks will make the playoffs, and almost certain they will win the division.

Good points, but you aren't quite as aware of the Canucks defenceman as you may think. Ballard is the better puck-mover, not Hamhuis. And while he is not huge at 5'11, he is extremely solid at 210 and should have no problem handling bigger forwards in front. Hamhuis is  isn't nearly as physical as Ballard, but it the steadier, better positional defender. Alberts will not make or break the defence, either. If he plays, he will be the 6th man. He won't eve play big minutes, and we should have enough healthy depth so that he will never have to.

are you certain of that??  Ask any flames fan about Staios some time.

Thanks for showing me the light on those dmensmile.gif

I'm more familiar with Ballard than Hamhuis.  I thought Hamhuis was the puck mover, as you well know.

  

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