Friday, February 08, 2008

The 5 things the Flames need to win the Cup!

I will preface this by saying if they get three of these, they have a great chance. They get four, odds on favourite, all five and you can hand them the Cup. Of course, this is true for many team sin the parity striken NHL. Anyway, here we go:

1) Better PP - I don't know if there is a worse team on the 5 on 3 than the Flames. I can't remember the last time that they scored on the 5 on 3. Not sure what the problem is, even on 5 on 4 for that matter. They have Aucoin and Phaneuf on the point, then your choice of Langkow or Conroy at C, Iginla or Nolan at RW and Huselius or Tanguay on LW. WTF? This team should light it up on the PP. Nope, they suck.

2) Better PK - Same deal here, on paper, they have a solid if not top defensive core, yet they rarel play like that. They have spped up front with Lombardi, Moss or Boyd. They have veteran defensive guys like Yelle, Primeau and Nilson. They have others who have played well on the PK in their career like Warrener, Nolan and Conroy, yet the only PK'er that has been good consistantly this year is Tanguay, in a position that he would rather not have.

3) A #1 centre - This is not a knock on Langkow as he is probably in the top 15, if not at least the top 20 as a #1 C, but he is better at, and likely better suited at, #2 centre. In fact, he would be the best #2 centre in the league, IMO. So, get Sundin, get Jokinen, get Hossa and make Iginla or Hossa play centre.

4) Better 1st periods - I am not a mathmatician anymore, I was good at it in University, but I have drank those brain cells away but being -12 or -13 in the season thus far amounts to many 1st periods down or tied against an opponent. Yes the Flames are a pretty good comeback team, dman near .500 when trailing after the 1st (which is amazing) but it happes far too often. This will not work in the playoffs when goals are harder to come by, the penalties are fewer and the play tightens up.

5) Kipper starts winning the odd game himself - You used to be able to count on Miikka winning a game or 4 a month. If Kipper were to steal a game a series or even 3 games on a run, I would take Calgary's chances to win very seriously.

This team is good to very good, but too streaky to really get anywhere. They need more consistency. I really believe that getting one front line C can fix 3 to 4 of these problems. The Flames have a small window here before their top guys get too old, or the cap goes down and they end up in financial hell, to win and satisfy the rabid Calgary fans and the expectations that seem to follow this sometimes great, sometimes well below mediocore team.

No comments: