The Big Monday Thing: Go Birds
Ladies and gentlemen, this substack is for the birds!
Big Monday… Tibs??? Sometimes it happens. Who’s to say it can’t.
The Week of: January 23rd-29th
Results From Past Week:
2-1-0, which is fine. A 0.667 points percentage for the rest of the season will get them to 99 points and lock down a playoff spot. Let’s not look at that one loss just yet.
Flames Overall Record: 24-17-9, 57 points
Standings: 5th place in the Pacific Division, 9th in the Western Conference. The bad news is that they’re out of a playoff spot. The good news is that a manageable six points separates them and first place in the Pacific. Barring some sort of miracle from the Blues, the West is a battle between ten teams for the eight playoff spots, and it’s going to get loopy in the Pacific. We already have the L.A. Kings rocking a negative goal differential despite being in the top three for the majority of the season. Buckle up folks.
Soundtrack: GoldenEye 007 soundtrack - Frigate Theme
GoldenEye 007 is back in the news due to it being rereleased on the Nintendo Switch and Xbox whatever. And guess what folks, it still hits.
Speaking of hits, how about this soundtrack? Sitting somewhere between industrial and synthwave, it’s 25ish bangers that get the blood flowing and have you gripping your weird controller with three handles. Many people have again being going nuts about the pause menu music, and no disagreement here, but it’s maybe the 16th or 17th best song in the game. (ed. note: even the composer of the pause music thinks it’s bizarre just how extreme the hype for it is)
You only think it’s the best one because it’s the only song that you can clearly hear, the others are competing with the sound of fifteen people shooting all at once.
Is this section supposed to have some sort of tie-in to the Calgary Flames? Well here’s two:
The late 90s are BACK folks. I am sitting in my room with my Blasty and Pedestal jerseys, playing Goldeneye, and later I will be watching the X-Files. It’s time to drink Mello Yello, put the weird purple ketchup all over my hot dogs, barely be interested in the Flames, and think about going to one of those dine-in buffet Pizza Huts with the red roofs.
Sometimes when you’re watching the Flames, you just want to say “frigate” (frig-it)
What We Liked:
Jakob Pelletier: he’s here, baby! We missed last week since everyone is so busy (everyone at Scorchstack is on the executive board of different companies that compete against each other), which thankfully spared us from getting bogged down in Postgameconferencegate discourse.
“What’s postgameconferencegate?” you might ask, already having blissfully forgotten that Darryl Sutter gave a snippy response and read the scoresheet of the Tampa Bay-Calgary game rather than give an answer to the question “what did you think of Jakob Pelletier’s first game?” Instead of interpreting it for what it was (an attempt, certainly a rude one, to highlight how silly it was to talk in-depth about a player who played six minutes), we got the worst faith interpretations possible, ranging from Darryl Sutter’s outright refusing to acknowledge young players to — and I did see this, I’m not kidding — Sutter having a personal feud with Pelletier and his ego getting hurt because he didn’t look shitty in six minutes of hockey. It was the maddest I’ve seen this fanbase after a pretty decisive win against one of hockey’s dominant forces. When Flames fans are unironically agreeing with Eric Francis, they are truly in a bad place.
Thankfully, this is an issue of the past now (or until the next time he gets even a hint of slight under-appreciation), as Pelletier has worked his way into the top six alongside Nazem Kadri and Jonathan Huberdeau. That rocks, because he is still at four NHL games played and hasn’t even registered a point yet. I reckon he’s played about 30 minutes in the NHL and still got the coach’s vote of confidence, and he barely got the Backlund bump most rookies get. Either Pelletier really impressed the surly old farmer in that one game, or Backlund is working his magic faster than usual. The results aren’t there yet, and it would be insanely foolish to declare that Pelletier is now/will be a top-six forward, but if this line gets cookin’ it solves a lot of problems.
As an added bonus? Milan Lucic on the fourth line. Pelletier looks like a cigarette boat compares to Lucic’s junk barge speed.
What We Would Prefer Not To See:
Well, the Flames lost 5-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks, who stink on every single level, and that scoreline is a pretty accurate reflection of the game.
Hey, sometimes that happens. A really shitty team can get the best of you for some weird reason, the Flames got dummied twice by last year’s Montreal Canadiens. It’s one out of 82 games and it won’t be the sole reason why the Flames miss the playoffs.
What’s concerning is the long-term picture, as the Flames keep dropping these easy games. This is a problem for a team that apparently has the league’s easiest schedule, something I’m certain I’ve heard since game 10 of the season and is beginning to suspiciously sound like “well they still have to play the Sens nine times” from the COVID season.
Here’s how the remaining 32 games break down:
Anaheim, Vegas x3
Rangers, Red Wings, Sens, Kings, Coyotes, Wild, Stars, Sharks, Canucks x2
Buffalo, Philly, Colorado, Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Nashville, Winnipeg x1
That breaks down to 19 games against teams lower then the Flames in the standings, three against teams within one point, and ten against teams higher than them in the standings. If the cutoff is 95 points, the Flames have to win 19 of those games. With a normal team, that’s a cakewalk as you have 19 easy games lined up with some opportunities to steal points in your more difficult games. With these Flames? Razor-thin margins.
I can’t statistically prove it, but I believe there’s a Flamesian tendency to constantly play exactly to their opponent’s level, and it’s existed for many years. Beating Tampa 6-3? Makes sense. Struggling to get to OT against Columbus? Also makes sense. Losing to a team actively trying to lose as many games as possible, and then turning it around on a back-to-back and making the division leaders look stupid in their own building? That’s the Flames baby.
So they can either buck that trend, hope two other teams have stunning collapses, or be the worst, most on-brand versions of themselves. Which way will it go? Hopefully not in the direction that makes this space sound more depressed.
Enemy of the Week:
Since we missed last week, we’ll give you two enemies this week:
The Kansas City Chiefs. As a famously pro-Birds newsletter, we have to wish evil upon Patrick Mahomes and hope that his bum ankle doesn’t heal within the next two weeks. I don’t know what to tell you, there is no hockey happening (I am an NHL All-Star game denier)
Pierre Pollivere. But not for the reason you think. It’s because, despite his anti-WEF posturing, he is actually a WEF Trojan Horse!
Floob said it best in the Scorchstack group chat: Theo has no god. Any ally can become an enemy depending on what articles show up on his facebook feed.
Also Theo you have to do the .@ if you want people to see this informative video.
What Comes Next:
Nothing. Nothing happens. We get to sit on our asses for a few more days.
In 1915, a brown bear killed seven Japanese villagers before eventually being killed itself. That is all I will tell you, you have to read the Wikipedia article for the rest of this truly bonkers story.
See You Next Week:
Maybe? Literally nothing to talk about.