The Big Monday Thing - Insert Hilarious Walker Duehr Joke
Also for some reason I thought Jakob Pelletier's name was Zach?
I actually think it’s good that the Flames lost to Chicago. Hear me out.
Connor Bedard. Chances are you’ve heard of this kid. Seems to be pretty good at hockey. I caught wind that he had a pretty decent showing at the boy tournament over the holiday and people are going nuts for him.
Those who are the most enthused over the idea of Connor Bedard are what I like to call bad hockey teams, because if they’re bad enough, they have a solid chance of putting the good player on their bad team and being less bad (see: The Edmonton Oilers). You’re with me so far.
Chicago, now you didn’t hear this from me, but boy oh boy that’s a bad hockey team. Anecdotally, and also statistically, you could safely surmise they are the worst hockey team. They are knee-deep in the Bedard sweepstakes, and really, I don’t think that should be allowed. Not to say that there is an organization in this league that ever deserves to land a shiny, new generational talent, but Chicago more than anyone especially does not. We all know the myriad of reasons why, they’ve been discussed at length by publications you pay to read or whatever, but to sum it up in the way only I can do, those guys suck.
So the Flames, they’re doing their part. Chicago must not be allowed to tank. In fact, they should probably finish in a wild card spot, just to be safe. What are they going to do, win a round? They’re relying on Max Domi, let’s not go crazy.
The Week of: January 2nd-8th
2023? Am I reading this right?
Results From Past Week:
The new year started the same way the previous one ended: kinda neutral. Legitimately. The team went 1-1-1, that is some Mid shit.
The Flames kicked off 2023 by losing to the Winnipeg Jets, which will never feel right to me and I don’t know why, then they throttled the New York Islanders, whom I truly hate and I don’t know why, before wrapping up the week by losing to the Chicago Blackhawks, a loss that I do not understand how.
(But like I said, that one is good)
Flames Overall Record: 19-14-8, 46 pts
Standings: 4th place in the Pacific Division, 8th in the Western Conference. The Calgary Flames are very gradually asserting themselves as a mid-level playoff threat. Catch the fever.
Soundtrack: Cold Blooded Old Times - Smog
The start of a new year makes me wistful for the one that just did its stage left exit.
That’s not really true, I just needed something to say that sounded cool. In reality, I’ve just been listening to a lot of Bill Callahan lately.
Funny Big Bang Theory Clip Of The Week:
Just a reminder that I’m not doing this anymore.
What We Liked:
I’ll be honest, for various reasons I didn’t manage to catch any of the games last week, even though I certainly would have liked to. So I don’t have a lot to go on here, you know, visually or analytically or anything, and as such I’m going to go with this, as while it’s not important or indicative of anything, it just kinda seems cool somehow:
Nikita Zadorov has six goals this year. So does Brett Ritchie. Trevor Lewis has seven, which is the same amount as Blake Coleman and Andrew Mangiapane (that part is definitely not something we like)
For obvious reasons, we don’t expect a lot from players who suck. It’s because they are players who suck. So I don’t know, I always think it’s a little bit cool when they contribute offensively. On its face there’s nothing really bad about that, it’s just a nice little bonus. Like have you ever bought a bottle of Kahlúa, and attached to that bottle is a much smaller, free bottle of Kahlúa? That. We know Darryl Sutter loves his veteran 4th line guys, so it’s not like we’re not going to see them. Trevor Lewis has only missed two games during his entire tenure in Calgary, he’s not going away. What if he scores double digits in goals? I’m just saying, you’ll take that.
What We Would Prefer Not To See:
So the reason why I (mostly) don’t mind everything I just said above is because those are all your bottom of the lineup guys. who play limited minutes a night and are popping in a goal or two while playing more of a checking role. Philosophically, I would love to see every line as one geared toward offense, but the NHL moves slowly, and that’s going to be a while before that dream is realized.
What I don’t like is when those players are elevated in the lineup, either out of necessity or for lunacy-related reasons. Milan Lucic has been on the second line with Elias Lindholm and Jonathan Huberdeau for two weeks or six months or whatever now, and it hasn’t looked awful because of what tibs has taken to calling the “floob principle”:
Lucic has not been hot gas since being slotted on that line, but very little of that is because of him. He’s got two great play drivers flanking him who are swinging him along by his arms, an analogy that works great if you picture Milan Lucic as a comically large toddler and assume his linemates are his parents.
He’s even contributed some counting stats along the way, and that’s great, but when you watch him play, it’s very apparent that he’s in over his gigantic head. Whether it’s feeding a just imprecise enough past to Lindholm off the rush, or an inability to corral a pass from Huberdeau in a prime scoring location, or just never quite being in the exact spot a more skilled offensive player has an innate ability to just be in when needed, it’s the kind of thing that slows a team down over time, and at a pace slow enough you don’t realize it’s killing them.
I do wonder if the coaches and front office have become aware of this. With the recall of Jakob Pelletier from the minors, you’d have to assume the Flames would be looking to splice his offensive gifts in to correct course on the team’s very real scoring woes. You’ll recall when the team brought Matthew Phillips up for his cup of coffee, the goal was to play him in the Top 6 because he’s an offensive player and they want to optimize his gifts. With Pelletier, the plan would surely be the same. Whether that means pushing Mangiapane or Coleman up to the 2nd line and giving Jakob the Backlund Bump, or indeed just hot swapping the call up right onto the Huberdeau line, it does feel more logical than leaving Lucic in a position where he’s going to become more overexposed as time goes on.
Enemy of the Week:
The Flames play two games in a row in St. Louis this week, so jeers to this piece of shit:
I don’t trust any arch I can’t order McNuggets from. The Gateway Arch can make its way off the enemy list by fixing that, but so far they have not responded to any of my letters.
What Comes Next:
As I said, it’s the Blues twice (Tuesday and Thursday), which is about as Midwest as it gets. The Flames play in the Prairies, which is the same thing, so that’s fine. The team ends the week on Saturday against a somehow very good Dallas Stars team, and I am still having nightmares about Jake Oettinger, so I personally might skip that one
Dogged Pursuit of Sponsorship Update Of The Week:
We’re wearing them down. Does anyone want to go through this process on our behalf? Thanks!
The NFL Playoffs are upon us, and I’ll admit, I’ve been out of the loop on football ever since that one time the New York Jets had a chance to go 0-16 and then didn’t (I was a Jets fan, for some reason).
So I’m not too hyped about it, but you can always do one thing to pique my interest in just about anything: involve pro wrestling.
AEW owner Tony Khan is also an executive and nepo baby of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the WWE also gives a championship belt to every Super Bowl winning team. I love football again. Go Jags.
See You Next Week:
Hey…take a you day. You deserve it.