On Paper… (By Sharon Mack)
On paper…the flames have plenty of experience
Both in offense, and Defense.
On paper…The flames have two of the best offensive
Lines in the NHL.
On paper…The flames have a strong defensive core
And on Paper..one of the best goalies in the NHL.
Strange how.. what’s on paper doesn’t always translate to
What IS in reality.
The reality is so far this season when the flames offense is
on fire, the defense is on vacation, and vise versa, when the
Defense is great, the offense is nowhere to be found.
And though playing better as of late Kipprusoff has had a sub par
Season to date.
The ONLY player this season to show up every
Night, the ONLY player who’s been consistent since getting
His first goal of the season, is non other than Captain
Jarome Iginla. His title of course demands that of him..and
His contract extension with the flames means they expect no
Less from him. Well.. he’s delivered..and then some.
Expectations for the team this season, were higher
I think than what’s been delivered, with new head coach
Mike Keenan holding the reigns. On the same token.. I’m not
Ready to write him off yet either.
Because giving credit where credit is due I will say this..
The flames have played with more heart and determination this
Season in one game, than they could muster up most all of last
Maybe it’s just an off year, I don’t know..but I don’t remember
A time when I last saw a team outwork and out shoot their opponent
On more than one occasion, several actually..and still lose.
If the flames had actually won all those games, Standings in the NW
Division would look much different.
I will also make note of the times the flames have made comebacks
In games..sometimes to win..sometimes to lose..but making the effort
To come back in almost every game they are behind. It was a rare..
If not non existent thing last season. But this season that
Determination to not give up has been present in almost every game.
It goes both ways I guess, because what is the reality doesn’t always
Translate to paper either.
Offensively the Defense has been good, if not better than good.
Dion Phanuef with 6 goals and 19 assists so far.
Adrian Aucoin with 6 goals and 12 assists.
Robin Regehr with 3 goals, 5 assists and so on..
But defensively it’s no secret they’ve struggled.
Puck turn overs in their own end, and inability to clear the
Puck at times has been ever so costly, not to mention allowed
Shots on goal from their opponents.
At the same time though, another vast improvement over last season
Is how well they are able to sustain pressure in an opponents end.
Maybe the stats don’t show it, but allot of good has come with
Mike’s coaching. And I do believe In time, and perhaps with some
Roster changes, those improvements Will translate onto the Stats sheets.
Maybe they’re already starting to show..
Calgary just completed a 6 game road trip, and one for the history
Books no less. Now one of only 3 teams in NHL history to sweep a
6 game road trip.
Don’t get me wrong..the trip was not without it’s mistakes.
And once again our defense seemed to take a vacation in a game
Or two, but the difference this time around was Calgary finding
A way to grind out a win, which usually meant they were scoring
Themselves out of trouble, Iginla and Juice have been on FIRE!!
Of course, it’s not JUST the road trip.. it’s hard to deny they
Must be doing something right to go unbeaten in regulation
In Dec so far. right now they are 7-0-2 for the month.
Their PK this month has been fantastic, and their PP was clicking
On the road trip.
They’ve fought their way back into the playoff race..so the big
Question now is; Can they keep it up?