Just got back from watching the Flames drop their home opener at Micky‘s place, so I thought I’d chime in with a few thoughts:
1) What an awful opening few minutes. We were about to switch to games (Ticket To Ride, baby!) and baseball for a bit after watching them give up a couple of goals on turnovers and penalties.
2) I liked a lot of what I saw after that, though the Flames didn’t seem to get in sync until late in the second and third period. Good transition game, fantastic power play (I love all the players in motion), and the defensemen weren’t afraid to jump into the play. But they weren’t dumb about it, either- didn’t give up a lot of bad breaks after the opening few minutes. Though the Flames had problems with turnovers throughout the game.
3) Adrian Aucoin could be in Keenan’s doghouse real quick. He had an awful game. Got a nice shot, though (and boy, did he just smoke Briere near the end of the third). The rest of the notable Flames’ newcomers were pretty nondescript-
Sarich, Eriksson, and Nolan just stayed out of the way. Nolan had a
shot at tying it late in the third, but couldn’t get the rebound.
4) The Flyers played well- didn’t give up a lot of good even strength chances. Really collapsed around the net anytime the puck got deep, preventing a lot of good scoring chances, and used their size to their advantage. After a terrible season last year, they could be on the playoff fringes this year with a little luck.
5) Daniel Briere is a monster. You need to know where he is on the ice at all times. Still wouldn’t give him an 8 year deal, though.
6) The new uniforms are pretty meh across the board. The black piping on the front of the Flames’ uni is a bad idea, and the Alberta flag is inexplicable. Edmonton should be mad about that because it’s ugly with the uniform we’ve got, not because of the whole “We’re from Alberta too!” angle. Though at least the orange piping on the front of theirs is worse. In any case, they’re not better.
It will definitely take some time for this team to come together, but I’m more optimistic than I was initially, even after they lost tonight. They showed a lot of good things, even if they were quite rough around the edges. The true test will be at midseason, or if they hit a real rough patch later on, to see if Keenan stays the course with what could be a very good team.
I had other stuff, but whatever. I’m done.