Making Sense of the Lucic Trade

July 21st, 2019 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The last thing a hockey fan should become is an apologist.

I think some fans tend to lean to the positive, others to the negative, and if I was to relegate myself I would certainly see more rainbows than storm clouds; but then those that know me would say I carry that slant through all things in my life, not just hockey.

For me, the thought on most transactions is the following statement;

“Brad Treliving knows what he’s doing”.

That isn’t a statement of fact, it’s an opinion, but its my basis to look at team building and what the general manager is up to.

The man is known to have his nose into every single discussion, is often referred to as a guy that out works his peers, and is quick to use the word “process” in almost every interview. In my profession, I make many calls a week that will be questioned over and over again for years by others, so to a wildly different degree I can understand having to work out the best course, and finally make a call that you’re willing to live with.

With that as my basis I look at the shocking Lucic/Neal swap on Friday afternoon. – Full Article –

Reactionary Roster Management

April 24th, 2019 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Missing the playoffs isn’t fun.

The NHL season is a long journey, and to have that journey end without a single playoff game seems somewhat like a complete waste of time. Oh sure there are seasons, rebuilding seasons, where the team is up front and honest and intentions and with that fans are happy to support a young, plucky team that exceeds expectations, as infinitesimal as they are.

We saw that with Bob Hartley during the 2013-14 season. With Jarome Iginla gone, and the Flames moving towards youth. Sean Monahan had his first season, the team never gave up and they received standing ovations in losses. Quite the thing, really.

It’s when expectations get ramped up that the questions get more pointed, the answers require more thought, and the course or direction to rectify a huge disappointment is monumental in terms of the off season and the team that will appear in the fall to crank things up again.

What do I make of the complete faceplant we witnessed in the first round against Colorado?

It doesn’t really matter. The important read or view will come from Brad Treliving. – Full Article –

Game Takes: Avalanche 5 Flames 1

April 19th, 2019 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Well hands up, who had Colorado in five?

I know I certainly didn’t.

The Flames were the picture of consistency and cohesion from October 26th through to the end of the regular season. They were quick to respond after big losses, they strung many multiple win streaks together while minimizing their losing streaks and galloping to a 50 win season.

They were every bit full marks on a 1st place finish in the conference.

Then the playoffs start and after game one they can’t move the puck, they can’t defend, they lose composure, and they lose their discipline. It was a collapse.

Tonight the Avalanche scored two in the first, two in the second and another in the third to coast to a 5-1 victory on “Good” Friday in Calgary.

That’s if folks, season over.

– Full Article –

Game Takes: Avs 3 Flames 2 (OT)

April 17th, 2019 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Three teams faced the spooky narrative of going down 3-1 in games tonight, the first two chronologically turned the tide and tied their series at 2-2, the Flames not so much as they drop a 3-2 overtime game in Denver to put themselves 60 or so minutes from an early exit to this year’s playoffs.

The better team won, there’s no point in sugar coating it. The Flames had a 2-0 lead in the third period, went into a shell and then had some calls go against them in the end that resulted in an overtime period. I don’t agree with all the calls for sure, but it’s hard to dispute that from the 35 minute point of the game on, the Avalanche pretty much took over.

The Flames are a fragile group. Their best players are simply far from their best players, and in a series where stars are taking over on the other side that will never be enough.

– Full Article –

Game Takes: Colorado 6 Flames 2

April 15th, 2019 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Well what to say?

The Flames are completely out classed, not only in this game, but in the series itself when you consider the real estate occupied in game one, and most of game two by the Avalanche. They appear to be a 15th seed playing a 1st seed in the first round.

Their best players are their worst players, and with that they appear to be lost.

The season has been built on never out of a game, and that mantra will be tested on the big stage in the “never out of a series” escalation, but a lot of things are going to have to change if the Flames are going to get back in this thing and eventually win the series.

Can they do it? Sure they can. But it’s going to take a complete reset from most of the players in the dressing room, and especially the team’s best players.

– Full Article –

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