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Discussion & Debate Thread: Flames and Canucks

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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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I'm sorry Michael, but those predictions were pretty rosy frammed.  Fortunately for us, I see the same problem with Don.

I don't see Kesler getting 80 points.  Sorry, but I don't.  And Raymond at 65 is a little optimistic.  For some reason, both Sedins getting 100 points seems a little high.  I don't know why, but it does.  In that case though, I'm likely wrong.

And that's a lot of points coming from the d.  If Ehrhoff can get 50, so can Bouwmeester.  I doubt either will.  and why do you think White's career high is 26 points?? clearly you weren't paying attention last year.  Louis23 put it the best.  Hamhuis and Ballard will have reduced roles in the Nucks, so they will have less icetime, and thus, fewer points.  Salo with 25 is okay, as long as he plays enough games to get that many points.  He'll have to play more than 50 this year to get that IMO.  Giordano had 30 points last year, and this is the last year of his contract.  Don't you think he might have a little more incentive this time round?  Even if he only plays all season like he did in the back half of last year, that's 40 points easy.  Easy.  If Ballard can get 40 points on the canucks, Giordano can get at least 35 on the flames, and White can certainly get 40.  That was a highly reasonable estimate, only 2 points more than last year.  Ballard only had 28 last year with an increased role.  That number won't improve by much if at all.  35 tops.

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And I like a challenge tongue.gif

In terms of play last season, Ehrhoff played the best.  Edler was great in the playoffs.  I like Edler, and I think you do have a point that he will continue to progress--I seem to disagree with you a lot lately, Michael_Backlund, because Edler is certainly a top pairing dman.  My vote out of the canucks is also Edler.

Bouwmeester is the only one of those players who could, concievably actually win the award.  Based on last season, that looks like a pipedream.  HOWEVER, it was mostly his OFFENSIVE game which was off.  He held steady for most of the season at a healthy--and, at the time, team leading--plus 10.  I know the credibility of plus minus is flawed, but it wasn't until the aquisition of Staios that he actually got into the minus.  His stat started to decline during the 9game losing streak--but by the end of that, it was still a plus 4, excuse me if I'm mistaken. 

I think Giordano is more likely to garner minor consideration than White, personally.  What it comes down to, is that Giordano is the more complete player.  Giordano, for the record, finished with a whopping plus 17, after spending most of the season in the plus 4 range.  Undoubtedly you remember all the media attention he was getting towards the end of the season.  That was no mistake.  It's a contract year for him, so it's not unreasonable to assume he will progress yet again.  Detriments: he is streaky as a goalscorer.  All that said, Bouwmeester had a weak season, and will want to improve on that.  Expect improvement from him, as well.  So, my vote would be Bouwmeester, as much as I'd like to say Giordano.

in terms of Bouwmeester vs Edler, the mind does lean towards Bouwmeester (likely due to "big name" consideration, and the fact that I'm a flames fan).  But in order to get real consideration, all Bouwmeester has to do is play like he did in Florida, while Edler would require a career season--not unlikely.  Bouwmeester will be helped by having a stronger supporting cast than he had in Florida.  Edler is helped by having the Canucks, a superb offensive team around him.  The Canucks will make the playoffs.  In order for Bouwmeester to win this debate, the Flames have to make the postseason.  Otherwise, it's Edler for sure.

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Well DL, the media helped in blowing it all out of proportion.  They were all making it sound as if he had "Norris Candidate" stamped across his head.  I'll admit, I was as swept up in the excitement as anyone else.

Last season certainly proved your point here though.  He had trouble adjusting to the huge market here in Calgary.  More pressure, more mistakes, more hesitancy, that sort of thing.  So, to reach his true potential, he needs to deal with the pressure, yes?

His main strength is, of course, his tireless, fast skating.  Very good stride, masterful pace.  Unfortunately, his scoring touch disappeared last season.  He was still fine with passing (his assist total shaved off near the end of the season because everyone else on the team's scoring touch disappeared as well). 

IMO however (and my dad's as well), he was playing fine until a specific moment in the season, which I will specify in a moment.  Sure the numbers were never there, but he was playing quite well, and I wasn't disappointed in his acquisition at all--despite his numbers.  But then the Canadian olympic roster was announced.  He wasn't on the team.  Que nosedive.  The quality of his play took a massive plunge at that point.  He stopped skating, he stopped being an effective player in the lineup.  It was around this time that Giordano really came into his own.  Sure, Bouwmeester turned it around again somewhat after a time, but it was too late:  The Flames were out of the playoffs, and he was a minus player yet again.

So yes, he isn't a star yet.  A star would have shrugged off that disapointment, or at least kept the moping to the minimum.  I really wish he could have taken it like your Samuelsson did (excuse my spelling).  When Samuelsson learned he was left off the Swedish team, he went on a goalscoring tear which resulted in his best season ever.  The Swedish team failed miserably, though they did redeem themselves somewhat in the world championship, getting bronze with a young team (which, I am proud as a fan to say, included Backlund)

But i digress.  Valid point DL

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^ I'll disagree...

Lidstrom, Keith, Pronger, Markov, Weber, Chara, Neidermeyer up until this yr, Boyle, and easily Doughty going forward ... off the top of my head.

Please post the yr he was a top 5 dman...
sometimes Phaneuf was in there too (see Noris nomination 07/08).  Maybe Green should be on the list because of his two straight Norris nominations (though I would have excluded him as well).  Oh, and Gonchar too.

  

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Overall, it's not a good position to be in with a forward group that was last in league scoring last yr.

Personally i think the flames will be fine and cruise into the playoffs, but it's still not a core i would want to be committed to for next yr considering the unknowns...  The offense should improve... but history shows us that it will not be any drastic swing.  
realistic expectation is more like 30th to 20th...
No argument here.  Although, a lot of that was during the end of the season--the flames were in pretty good shape for a while in every category, if you racall.

But with an offence which improves by ~10 places, and a defence which (hopefully) stays in the top ~5, we're not in bad shape.  The system (I know you hate that word.  Perhaps "coaching style" is better?) is still Defence first to some extent, though Brent Sutter has shown that his teams can score--40 goal scorer Zach Parise for example.  New Jersey was good at both ends.  However, he does have a certain lack of post-season success--though that continued with his departure.

  

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the Canucks get the edge (meaning theirs is uglier).  On top of that, it was used for years, where the Flames' one will be used for one game.  Besides, they're not THAT bad.

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[quote name=DL44]

Streit especially... a very undervalued/underrated player because of where he plays... love that guy.

I just thought I'd create a small digression here to agree with this statement.  Streit is one of the main reasons I had Switzerland pegged as a possible upset in the Olympics--and they almost were, largely due to an average-at-best performance from Brodeur.  And they actually did do it in the World Championship, largely due to a (in my opinion) poorly constructed Canadian team.  The goaltending was atrocious--Chris Mason isn't even considered a bona-fide starter in the nhl, so what business does he have being the undenied #1 on the national team?? Better options were ignored.  Don't even get me started on Brent Johnson, or whatever his name was.

Anyway, Bouwmeester is certainly better in his own end than many of the other dmen--Souray, Streit, Green etc.--who were listed as being ahead of him... but so what? so is Regehr, and you'll never see his name in there.  There are many factors in determining this sort of thing--if that isn't true, then how does Green get a norris nomination??  Sure, in 08/09 he had 30 goals, but that dropped dramatically last season.  Offensive dmen like Streit have value too, and Bouwmeester has never had the plus/minus, nor the stats to warrent his own nomination as a 2way dman.  He hasn't yet, anyway.

  

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By now you know Calgary is #1 of my western teams.

I just don't think as highly of JBo as most. Given a choice of Weber, Suter (2 from 1 team), Doughty & Bouwmeester he'd finish 4th.

He's a lot better then others in our division but league wide he'd be in the 20s @ best.

I don't agree about Suter, but I think just about anyone would agree with Weber and Doughty. 

Suter is only just ahead of players like Letang and Vlasic, and behind Edler in my book.  That might just be me though.

  

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It truly is a great rivalry, and I'm sure we'd all like to welcome you to our message board!

The Canucks and Flames have been so evenly matched as of the last few years (except in the standings, especially last year tongue.gif) And there have been so many great games between the two teams.  Of course, there have been some I'd rather forget as well...

Here's hoping for another great season!! Cheersthumbsup.gif

regarding the ongoing debate on Bouwmeester, there really isn't any way to tell how he will perform until he does... or doesn't...  Anyway, I think I speak for most Flames fans when I express my hope that Jbo throws off the dissapointment of last season, and performs as we all know he's capable.  Then we'll see if he's a top 15 dman in the league or whatever.

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I think Torres has a chance to get more points since he plays on a superior offensive team.  Glencross, though, seems to be able to find goals no matter what role he's in.

Torres' likely linemates include Malholtra, Hansen, and Hodgson.  Glencross could play with anyone as good as Bourque, or as low-production as Jackman.  However, he does seem to be able to find those goals.  Anywhere from 12-16 is a safe bet, while I could see Torres scoring in the 20's.

Points wise, Glencross's assissts depend on who he plays with.  Torres will be playing with around 15 goals from Malholtra, and about the same from Hodgson/Hansen, whoever gets the spot.  The Sedin twins will help his production as well, as he'll probably get time with them.  Glencross... it's hard to say.  25-30 if he plays with Bourque (and he's healthy).  Backlund could get anywhere between 10-15--my projection for him is 11--and Moss... anywhere from 6-17 is a safe bet.  In other words, there's no telling.  Kotalik is another possibility--anywhere from 8-24.

I think Torres gets the edge for now, since there's no telling what the Flames' lineup is going to look like to start the year.

Interesting side note, Glencross and Malholtra posted eerily similar numbers last season:

Glencross: 15-18-33, +11

Malholtra: 14-19-33, +17

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[quote name='DL44 wrote:


hkiitay']Interesting side note, Glencross and Malholtra posted eerily similar numbers last season:

Glencross: 15-18-33, +11

Malholtra: 14-19-33, +17

ohhh... nice... if had had noticed that, i would gone with that comparison... but i assume Malhotra played in more gms?

Edit... just 4 more gms for Malhotra.
almost the identical ice time as well across the the board - ES, SH, PP.

-Players used in essentially the exact same way.
-Only significant difference is position and salary.
-Both speedy utility guys. Same age, but Manny with more experience.

Who's do ya have pegged for the better yr?
I would guess Glencross to be the better bang for your buck player because of the salary difference for sure... 
Manny brings the best faceoff percentage in the league to a PK in desperate need of help... will be a Huge difference maker.
but points wise - hmmm... it should be close.

lol i didn't notice the nearly identical icetimes--nice catch DL

the points thing is just as interesting as it was with Torres.  Malholtra plays for the more powerful team, but Glencross... he's just so good at finding points.  Glencross potentially has a chance to play a bigger role in his team's scoring--I have suggested a line of Glencross - Backlund - Bourque to start the season if Langkow's still out--an if he does (and stays healthy) he could get around 40 points.  I doubt he will get a career season, though with Bourque on the wing and a wildcard like Backlund, you never know.  Glencross is also likley to see 4th line minutes, but Conroy is the center there, and the two have shown some chemistry.  If not Conroy, it's Brett Sutter--limited offence--or Ryan Stone--injury risk, low scoring touch--or John Armstrong--that'd be really cool IMO they'd play well together.  Glencross will almost certainly break 12 goals and 30 points if he stays relatively healthy, but beyond that... anyone's guess.

Malholtra should see more scoring oppurtunities with Vancouver than he did with San Jose--San Jose's bottom 6 possessed less scoring potential than Vancouver's does at present, and with speedy Jannik Hansen on the wing (or the reliable Cody Hodgson if he doesn't start in Manitoba) there should be more open ice for Manny.  Torres opens space as well, because he is a scoring threat and is difficult to contain when he's on.  Malholtra will likely see slightly more sheltered minutes in Vancouver than he did in SJ--he was their only real defensive center, where the Canucks have Ryan Kesler.  I believe we'll see more of the same from Manny--around 15 goals and 35 points.

Malholtra will certainly be a boon in every way the Canucks need him to be--ie. defensive play and penalty killing, defensive zone faceoffs and the like--basically he's your John Madden.

Glencross will fulfill much the same role for the Flames.  It'll be more of the same from him, mostly bottom 6 minutes, but filling in in the top 6 when needed, forechecking, killing penalties, and chipping in some goals.

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[quote name='Flyerfan52 wrote:


bigchief wrote:

Kipper14']I am prepping myself for a season of the Nucks just being far superior then the Flames. It's going to be tough watching the Nucks be a top 5 team in the league all year while
we will most likely suffer from the same inconsistency problem we have for the past 4 or so years.

Canucks should finish 1st or 2nd in the West while Calgary will be battling for playoffs.

One thing that's interesting.....if we do make playoffs, chances are it will be in the 7-8 spots, with the Nucks having a good shot at finishing 1-2 in the West
there could be a 1st series Flames/Nucks matchup
if we make it.

Way to stand up for your team Kipper
eyes.gif
. Let me guess, you're just being realistic not pessimistic? Don't respond, I don't want to know.

As far as the playoff match-up goes, the thought had occurred to me and I don't know about you but it got my adrenalin pumping! Calgary and Van meeting in the first round has the potential for an epic battle.

So we take them out in the 1st round rather then them surviving to lose in the 2nd.

*BTW, NHL site says Luongo has given up the "C". *I hope they give it to Kesler.  I always thought he'd make a great captain

  

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I know this is a little off topic, but during the young stars game last night, Loubardias mentioned something about Hodgson being "unavailable"

Do you Canucks fans know anything about this?? is it the back problems again?

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As much as I dislike the Canucks, I hate to see a promising young guy like Hodgson suffering from back problems.

my sentiments exactly.  It's a shame, really.

  

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For me, I don't think it was necessarily that he was a bad Captain (he WAS named captain after all, in spite of the rule against it) Just that having that much pressure--Being the undisputed starting goaltender for a contending team, AND being the Captain of that contending team--is horrendous.  It didn't show up in the regular season in his first one or two seasons as captain so much, but it definitely popped up in the playoffs when the Nucks ran into a team that wasn't so obviously inferrior to theirs (Chicago).

Anyway, I'll be interested to see if this translates into a more dominant Luongo.  I don't see any reason why it shouldn't, as seems to be the general consensus here.

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depends on the cash really.

I think Morrisson is definitely the SAFER retread.  You know what you're getting from him these days--bottom 6, D first forward.  He does have some offensive upside still though, and he's far from a liability filling in on the top 6 (due to injuries or some such)

Tanguay will at least start in the top 6.  There is some flexibility on where he can play, and there isn't any real reason to expect that he won't bounce back somewhat.  Here's the rub: how can the Flames possibly re-sign him at the start of next year?  Over the cap now, with him at 1.7, and even a bounce back to 07/08 (~50 points) would warrent a Jokinen-like salary (3.0 cap hit) and Joker is still under contract for next season.  So... yeah.

As to who's the better retread... they have such different roles, it's very hard to say.

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Are there any notable camp invites for the Flames this yr?

Peter Schaefer and Morrison this yr...
Last yr i believe Lukowich, Petrovicky, Pettinger and Dave Scatchard were a few.

all that comes to mind here would be Jon Rheault and Giffen Nyren.  And Cam Lannigan--all "Prospects".  I personally hope Nyren is signed, think he could be a great addition.  Also Rheault, though I'm not sure if he will play in the nhl at any point or not... he could, but it's basically now (or very soon) or never for him at this point (24 years old).

EDIT: not that Nyren's a sure thing of course tongue.gif

  

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An objective source, Hockey's Future ranks Vancouver 8th on the organizational depth chart, and Calgary 27th. That site may not be all that accurate, but it's hard to make up 19 spots, let alone say Calgary's pool is better than Vancouver's.

Let's just do a top-10 versus top-10 analysis—yes you could argue that that leaves out notables like Bouma, but for every Bouma Calgary has, Vancouver has a Rai, for every Seabrook, an Oberg, for every Leach, a Polasek. The fact is if you're not top-10 in terms of a team's prospects, there's little chance of saying who is better than who.

1. Mikael Backlund

2. Tim Erixon

3. Mitch Wahl

4. TJ Brodie

5. Greg Nemisz

6. Ryan Howse

7 Matt Pelech

8. Bryan Cameron

9. John Negrin

10. Leland Irving

Versus

1. Cody Hodgson

2. Cory Schneider

3. Jordan Schroeder

4. Anton Rodin

5. Kevin Connauton

6. Chris Tanev

7. Sergei Shirokov

8. Bill Sweatt

9. Peter Andersson

10. Patrick McNally

I'd subjectively rank them as such in terms of NHL impact potential (obviously there's going to be a lot of disagreement, but at least do some basic research on the Vancouver guys):

1. Hodgson

2. Backlund

3. Schneider

4. Schroeder

5. Erixon

6. Wahl

7. Rodin

8. Connauton

9. Brodie

10. Nemisz

11. Howse

12. Tanev

13. Pelech

14. Shirokov

15. Sweatt

16. Cameron

17. Negrin

18. Andersson

19. Irving

20. McNally

your top 20 ranking system there hardly denotes a spread of 19 positions.  And the Flames still have the depth.  As Cross and others have said many MANY times, the Canucks have the high-end talent (Schroeder, Hodgson, Schneider etc.) but the Flames have superior depth.  BTW, I'd rank a lot of people (including several more Canucks) ahead of Shirokov at this point (but I'll constrain myself to Negrin for now) since he's now 24 years old, and barely made an impact at the ahl level--none at all in the playoffs.  Before you compare some ahl stats (Backlund's for example) consider that Abbotsford was an almost completely defensive team, and as a whole they didn't score many goals, compared to Manitoba, which was somewhat further to the offensive side.  Negrin could make the jump this year--not likely considering all the dmen we have (Pelech included), and could be a very good shut-down dman with a little offensive ability within one or two years from now.

I am of the opinion that if prospect systems are to be rated, the Canucks would rank ahead of the Flames--but only by a handfull of spots.  Flames somewhere between 15th and 17th, and the Canucks in the 15th to 12th range.  Vancouver does NOT rank in the top ten, as Hockey's Future suggests.

  

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The two Flames posters above me, and obviously I as well. It's a fun topic, especially in the off-season. Prospects are fun! And, ugh, you completely misused the down-syndrome analogy. The prospects I listed above all have some NHL potential, and have real talent; and I'm sure Flames fans would say the same about their 10-20 group; it's not a prettiest pig competition.

And as a whole, it's a lot more fun than your pre-ordained mini-competitions involving abstract concepts of your choosing applied to the teams. Really... your Tanguay versus Morrison attempt a few pages back was laughable trolling... one was brought in to be a first line player and the other most likely a fourth line player. This one's the same... it's unquestionable that the Canucks have been better in the homegrown talent department over the last five years... that's why the teams now sit as they are. A great example would be Boyd versus Raymond, and how Boyd was completely bumbled and Raymond has developed into a second-liner.
You say Alex Edler, I say Mark Giordano.

You say Sedin twins, I say Jarome Iginla and Robyn Regehr.

You say Ryan Kesler... I got nothing there tongue.gif

and Matt Pelech.  Definitely should beat Staios, I think even a Nucks fan would agree to that, no?

Anyway, the Canucks do win, but it's much closer than you were saying.

And DL, take it easy.  Prospects are a fun topic.  I like to hear other people's opinions on prospects, and what they see in the player.

For example: Bryan Cameron.  I see good hands, a great shot and release, and positively dreadfull skating ability.

  

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Edler is often mentioned in the same list as the likes of Ryan Suter, Kris Letang, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.  I consider him to be better than all three.  And yes, I do include Suter in that.

1. reason: Edler has put up comprable (admitedly not favourable) stats, while not playing with an elite player (Weber) as Suter does.

One thing that Suter does have, which keeps Edler from being pushed ahead of him, is consistency, as Cross says.  Edler doesn't have consistency, Suter does.

But Edler certainly has more talent than Suter, and if he is able to find a consistent game, there will be no denying that he is the better player.

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I know the hope is that Luongo can get back to what he did 2 seasons ago but im wondering how realistic it is or why this year will be different?

I dont think i believe the " he was getting hard pressure from being the captain" because professionals should be able to adapt within a few months. It doesnt take a full year. It may be the regular pressure of being a goalie itself because unlike Florida he is in a big-time hockey market. Vancouver's penalty kill was set up to rely on Roberto's goaltending. Even now, my guess would be that Ballard and Hamhuis will be the main pairing on the pk, and Edler will be on the 2nd unit ( even if he is on the 1st pk unit, I dont think it will be set up around him) . Luongo also played his best hockey when he was not the Captain, and though he isn't this year, that doesn't really change much.

So what is change this year that the expectations are to finish in the top ten in GAA, sv%, and wins? 


@TheAce isn't it interesting how almost the same paragraph can be aplied to two different players on two different teams?

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good win by the sens!  liked to see rypien get his lunch fed to him course after course.

oh and of course now when i check the TSN leader board i DO NOT have to see a sedin sisters donut smile ugly face because ovie passed him -and thats that way its going to stay.

HE HE.  My thoughts exactly.  Get too much of that already living out in Nuckland.

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On another note I really have to laugh at the Nuck fans, They have a thread dedicated solely to bash anything Flames. Current page count 427. And they are already jumping on their team for 2 losses! Hang on, its going to be a rough ride!

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It's going to be hard to tell as I believe this is currently one of the premiere rivalries in the league. I think the Bouwmeester addition is quite good for the flames, not only do they add a top d-man but I believe his presence will improve the other players who's performance has been below par for their potential ie; Phanuef. Should be good although I am thinking that Vancouver will stomp on Calgary during the opener as I will be shocked if we do not have a slow start... although every year I think is the year we stop having terrible starts to the season.

FYI

Flames All-time Win % - 0.522 (Ranked 7th among current NHL teams)

Canucks All-time Win % - 0.452 (Ranked 25th among current NHL teams)

Canucks All-time Win % Vs. Calgary Flames - 0.415

Only Teams With Worse All-time Win % Than Vancouver - Phoenix, Florida, Tampa Bay, Columbus, Atlanta - LOL

Amount Of Games In A Row Canucks Must Win To Equal Flames Win % - 425

Canucks From 1970-71 Thru To 1990-91 = 19 Out Of 21 Losing Seasons, Including 15 Straight ( a little smack talk )

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