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A look at the improvement of the flames from last year to this year.

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Old
07-18-2012, 02:30 AM
  #1
Flamesarmstrong22
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A look at the improvement of the flames from last year to this year.

People on tsn and what not are saying the flames did not get that much better they just signed spare parts blah blah blah. IMO I think this years flames team has the potential to be alot better than last years.

We took a hit in the centre department with losing olli and replacing him with a unproven cervenka. So to start things off

Jokinen>cervenka
Although there is a slight chance cervenka transitions nicely to the NHL and puts up olli like numbers. To be honest slim chance but still a chance.

We also lost Tom kostopulos this offseason and replaced him with jiri hudler. We lose some sandpaper and character in kostopulos but gain a ton more skill and offensive ability that could combine with cervenka to excel Ollie's point production.

Kostopulos<<hudler

We lost Scott Hannan on the back end and replaced him with Dennis wideman. Hannan was a good stop gap for our top 4 last year and is alot better defensively than wideman, but has no offensive upside. Wideman on the other hand has a ton of offensive ability and decent defensively. So that's 1 point for Hannah for being better defensively, 1 point for wideman for being better offensively and than another point to wideman because his defence is better than hannan's offence. Thus wideman has the advantage IMO.

^ have no idea if that paragraph made sense to anyone. Anyways
Hannan<wideman

Sven Bartchi is expected to start this season on the third line where roman horak started last year. We didn't lose horak but I think we can all agree Bartchi being on the starting roster is a lot better than horak. Nothing against horak…

Horak<<Bartchi

Also this season we will have Cammalerri for a complete season which is a much better option than having bourque for a full season. Especially if Cammalerri can keep up his numbers after the trade and MAYBE getting back to his old flames form. Also he has the ability to play C so that is a bonus.

Bourque<Cammalerri

So if you look above the flames, IMO have a much better team to start this season than they had to start last season, especially offense wise, add in the fact that Hartley is a all offense coach we could see a very dynamic scoring team this year. And with atleast decent D and another solid year by kipper I think this team has a real chance to do better than anyone else thinks. Maybe not division title contenders but atleast contending for up to maybe the 5th spot in the conference.

Also worth noting players like butler,Brodie and backlund each have another year of experience under the belt and may be ready for the next step. Plus possible bounce back seasons by Matt stajan who looked good to end the year and Blake comeau who by what featser said, sounds very motivated and determined to have a bounce back year.

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07-18-2012, 08:41 AM
  #2
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I really hope the Flames have a great year so HF boards will explode.

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07-18-2012, 09:27 AM
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To be honest I am a little excited for the team this year not only because I do think we're better but also because we are a more skilled team. I like the more skilled approach that feaster seems to have employed. I do think it will be kinda a toss up though. I'm not really sure if i should expect big things (playoffs really) or an abysmal season. I am going into this season with optimism however and i think the flames are definitely better than they were last year.

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07-18-2012, 09:36 AM
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InfinityIggy
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We are horrible down the middle. Unless Cervenka and Backlund have a coming out party, we are in trouble.

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07-18-2012, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by InfinityIggy View Post
We are horrible down the middle. Unless Cervenka and Backlund have a coming out party, we are in trouble.
This is what concerns me the most. The whole does not equal the sum of its parts. That is, just because we improved in certain positions does not mean we will a better team, especially considering the vacuum at center, players who are traditionally most likely to make those around them better.

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07-18-2012, 09:58 AM
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Stewie Griffin
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I look at it this way - from the start of the 2011/12 season:

In:
Baertschi
Brodie
Cammalleri
Cervenka
Comeau
Hudler
Jones
Wideman

Out:
Hagman
Jokinen
Kostopoulos
Bourque
Hannan
Moss
Horak

The group of incoming players is better than the group of outgoing players, and it's not even close.

Still, we're crap down the middle, unless Cervenka is the real deal, and Backlund finally breaks out.

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07-18-2012, 10:02 AM
  #7
InfinityIggy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttonwood View Post
This is what concerns me the most. The whole does not equal the sum of its parts. That is, just because we improved in certain positions does not mean we will a better team, especially considering the vacuum at center, players who are traditionally most likely to make those around them better.
Yep. As a whole the roster is improved but our lack of quality centers is very concerning.

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07-18-2012, 10:23 AM
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The Gnome
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Originally Posted by InfinityIggy View Post
Yep. As a whole the roster is improved but our lack of quality centers is very concerning.
That and the fact that nobody outside of Stajan can win a ****ing FO!

I think a lot hinges on Cammy, Cervenka, Stajan, and Backlund. Especially Cammy, if he can produce top end points while playing center on the 1st line, then we are in better shape than it looks on paper.

If Feaster could do anything about our FO situation I would have more optimism. As it stands right now, looking at the roster on paper, I'm not that impressed. You never know though, we could be last year's version of the Sens.

EDIT: I also understand that Feaster still has most of summer to improve this roster.

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07-18-2012, 10:49 AM
  #9
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That and the fact that nobody outside of Stajan can win a ****ing FO!

I think a lot hinges on Cammy, Cervenka, Stajan, and Backlund. Especially Cammy, if he can produce top end points while playing center on the 1st line, then we are in better shape than it looks on paper.

If Feaster could do anything about our FO situation I would have more optimism. As it stands right now, looking at the roster on paper, I'm not that impressed. You never know though, we could be last year's version of the Sens.

EDIT: I also understand that Feaster still has most of summer to improve this roster.
Well thats exactly it. If we didn't have faceoff concerns, having Cammy as a center wouldn't be a big deal. Since we have huge problems on the dot though, it just makes our situation at center even worse.

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07-18-2012, 11:38 AM
  #10
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Ok I understand the center position is lacking, but really we only lost Jokinen and replaced him with Cervanka. We can't get any worse than we were last year down the middle. We barely missed the playoffs. We have improved our skill and mobility and our coaching staff.

I cannot see the problem getting worse as far as centers, so IMO we have improved a lot.
Given we had the worst year for injuries in recent memory, we have improved depth, talent and speed. Maybe Stajan will have a better year, maybe Cervanka will be everything we hope he is. Our questions do involve our center position, but we are no worse than last year. And last year we weren't always an easy team to beat when we lost.

You win a few more shoot outs and your in the playoffs. You score big timely goals, your in the playoffs. I completely agree with Feaster approach this off season.

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07-18-2012, 11:45 AM
  #11
Johnny Hoxville
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I agree with Stewie, our roster is much improved from last season. Yes we have FO issues, but I still think at the end of the day we are a much better team. The only thing is, alot of other teams have got better to, so we'll have to see where the Flames rank in that mix.

I also think people are not giving Horak enough props. This guy could potentially put Backlund out of a job next season. If he was able to put on some muscle this summer, he will definitely be in the mix for a roster spot. I like Horak alot and think he is every bit as skilled as Backlund is.

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07-18-2012, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfinityIggy View Post
We are horrible down the middle. Unless Cervenka and Backlund have a coming out party, we are in trouble.
we were horrible down the middle last year too. Backlund has a sweet contract to motivate him and cervenka could just as easily be a stud as he could be a bust. That said with the new additions our pp will be waaaaaaaaaaay better hudler brings skill and speed wideman is a RH shot plus a full year with cammy. more pp goals will get us more wins.

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07-18-2012, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by AfricanHerbsman View Post
we were horrible down the middle last year too. Backlund has a sweet contract to motivate him and cervenka could just as easily be a stud as he could be a bust. That said with the new additions our pp will be waaaaaaaaaaay better hudler brings skill and speed wideman is a RH shot plus a full year with cammy. more pp goals will get us more wins.
And now we are minus our best center. So, even worse!

It does hinge on how well Cervenka and Backlund do, by all means Cervenka could step in and be a 60 point guy, and Backlund could break out and get 40. Don't hold your breath though.

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07-18-2012, 03:01 PM
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A big thing overlooked was how much points we lost in the shootout. I think we could have got in to the playoffs with a bit better of a shoot out record. With hudler now in the fold who is a shootout specialist and cervenka who is very skilled I think we should be a lot better in the shoot out And gain a few extra points in the standings.

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07-18-2012, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Flamesarmstrong22 View Post
A big thing overlooked was how much points we lost in the shootout. I think we could have got in to the playoffs with a bit better of a shoot out record. With hudler now in the fold who is a shootout specialist and cervenka who is very skilled I think we should be a lot better in the shoot out And gain a few extra points in the standings.
Absolutely true, we were awful in the shootout.

Tanguay, Hudler + one of: Squid, Iggy, Backlund

Not bad.

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07-18-2012, 09:37 PM
  #16
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Originally Posted by InfinityIggy View Post
Absolutely true, we were awful in the shootout.

Tanguay, Hudler + one of: Squid, Iggy, Backlund

Not bad.
I'd do this:

1. Tangs
2. Hudler
3. Baertschi/Cervenka/Glenx

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07-19-2012, 12:00 AM
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Calculon
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It's a bit disingenuous to simply to compare the talent levels of newly acquired players versus those that left. The Flames had three major problems following the end of the 11/12 season;

1. Coaching
2. Centre quality/depth
3. Faceoffs.

So far, Feaster's managed to potentially fix one major area of concern, arguably the most important problem in coaching. At the same time, the team's gotten worse in the other two aspects. In terms of quality, the team took a step back in losing Jokinen; Cervenka not only did not play much centre over in the KHL, but of course, he's never played an NHL game in career. Cammalleri has primarily been a winger in the NHL; it's extremely questionable to see how he'll perform as a centre over the course of a full season. Hudler's not a centre.

Centre depth took a hit too what with the team only having two natural centremen on the roster currently in Backlund and Stajan, only one of whom is actually good at faceoffs; another area which has yet to be addressed. With all the bodies, it's hard to find a place for Horak or even Reinhart if he impresses in camp.

All that being said though, coaching in my mind was the single biggest reason why the Flames didn't make the playoffs last season. And since the playoffs are the main goal, an improvement there, where Hartley can compensate for the atrocious depth down the middle by taking advantage of a strong set of wingers and a mobile defense, could make all the difference.

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07-19-2012, 07:51 AM
  #18
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Team looks better. But still not good enough down the middle to compete against the big boys of the league.

Still need a big time center, still need to shed contracts that are making our payroll look inflated, also still have to move d. Too many dmen on one ways.

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07-19-2012, 08:56 AM
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At this point I am praying that the centerman can just tie up the faceoff and let the wingers take the puck it removes the fact that we can't win a faceoff.

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07-19-2012, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nogger View Post
I really hope the Flames have a great year so HF boards will explode.
I'd be amused if Baertschi/Jankowski/Gaudreau becomes the top line in 7 years. Then we can bump all the topics mocking Feaster's pick.

Unlikely, but it'd be fun.

Quote:
1. Coaching
2. Centre quality/depth
3. Faceoffs.
I'd add:
4. Defensive depth.

This team hasn't had more than 1 legitimate top pairing D for a long time (I always thought of Giordano as the ideal #3). The support crew is there, and reasonable 3-6 D have been around for a while, but the #1 D or #2 D spot (dependant on how you view Bouwmeester) has been open for far too long...even when Phaneuf was here at the same time as Bouwmeester.

Maybe Wideman is a #2. I don't know...I never saw him play enough. If he is, then this has been patched up to a "Passable" level. But that's something else that really needs fixing for this team in my mind to make this team competative.

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07-19-2012, 09:31 AM
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Feaster apparently made it loud and clear to Hartley and co., whatever they need to fix the fo's he would get, whether it be a specific coach for that, etc..


Im very excited for the season.. Look at the roster and there is so much more talent, not to mention a whole new coaching system, and an unknown factor in Baertschi and Cervenka..

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07-19-2012, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmurfin View Post
Feaster apparently made it loud and clear to Hartley and co., whatever they need to fix the fo's he would get, whether it be a specific coach for that, etc..


Im very excited for the season.. Look at the roster and there is so much more talent, not to mention a whole new coaching system, and an unknown factor in Baertschi and Cervenka..
This is what I've been preaching and I think was one of Sutter's major flaws. I heard Sutter talking about FO's once, and he said the wingers need to do a better job to help out their centre's. While he had a point, that isn't addressing winning the actual draw. I think placing a much larger emphasis on practicing draws will do wonders in the FO department.

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07-21-2012, 01:07 PM
  #23
GototheFlamestotheGo
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The team is dreadful down the middle with our top center being Cammy, who is simply not a center.

We may be more skilled but are also smaller. That coupled with the fact that we are destined to be dead last in faceoffs again is only going to put far more pressure on our D and Kipper as other teams are going to be spending a lot of time in our zone and we won't even be able to muscle them off the puck.

I really do sound like a track on repeat but faceoffs is the key issue with this team. Feaster is trying to build a team that stresses puck possession and skill. How on earth can you play a puck possession style if you never possess the puck?! Until that problem is fixed, this team will continue to fool itself. Sad but true.

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07-21-2012, 01:46 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GototheFlamestotheGo View Post
The team is dreadful down the middle with our top center being Cammy, who is simply not a center.

We may be more skilled but are also smaller. That coupled with the fact that we are destined to be dead last in faceoffs again is only going to put far more pressure on our D and Kipper as other teams are going to be spending a lot of time in our zone and we won't even be able to muscle them off the puck.

I really do sound like a track on repeat but faceoffs is the key issue with this team. Feaster is trying to build a team that stresses puck possession and skill. How on earth can you play a puck possession style if you never possess the puck?! Until that problem is fixed, this team will continue to fool itself. Sad but true.
Co-sign.

It also destroys our special teams. If we can't win those PP + PK face-offs, we are in big trouble.

I am cautiously optimistic mainly because of Baertschi, Hudler and Cervenka. Other than that, I'm scared.

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07-21-2012, 02:46 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GototheFlamestotheGo View Post
The team is dreadful down the middle with our top center being Cammy, who is simply not a center.

We may be more skilled but are also smaller. That coupled with the fact that we are destined to be dead last in faceoffs again is only going to put far more pressure on our D and Kipper as other teams are going to be spending a lot of time in our zone and we won't even be able to muscle them off the puck.

I really do sound like a track on repeat but faceoffs is the key issue with this team. Feaster is trying to build a team that stresses puck possession and skill. How on earth can you play a puck possession style if you never possess the puck?! Until that problem is fixed, this team will continue to fool itself. Sad but true.
I actually think our center position has improved (I know call me crazy). I suspect our centers will be
Cammy
Cervenka
Backlund
Stajan

last season we had
Jokinen
Stajan
Backlund
Jones

but we also used Moss as a center. Cammy showed more chemistry with Tangs and Iggy than Jokinen and put up 16 points in 18 games as a center for a pace of 73 which is much better than Jokinen put up. At 5v5 Cammy was 44% at faceoffs while Jokinen was 47% but this was Cammy's first real time playing center since he made the nhl. I don't think it is impossible for Cammy to improve his faceoffs by 4 or 5 % this offseason making him better than Jokinen. So I say optimistically that Cammy>Jokinen.

Last year we refused to use Stajan because Sutter didn't like him I doubt that Hartley has any personal bias against any player yet meaning that we could see Stajan taking 1000+ faceoffs this year and use him as a specialist which would be a huge improvement over using Jokinen in these situation so I say that is also a win.

We won't know if we will do well at faceoffs until we see Cervenka if Cervenka is a top 6 centerman than it is a HUGE improvement as last year we had 2 players that I felt could play in the top 6 being Jokinen and Stajan but if Cervenka is a top 6 centerman we would have 3 and we could see Backlund take a step to become a #2 centerman as well.

Are we deep with proven talent HELL NO but there is reason to be optimistic about the centers we do have.

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