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The Neal Debate
#1
So the Flames have a few decisions to make in the coming weeks

Rittich & Smith
Are either of them a #1??
Do you going into play-offs with win-and-your-in strategy??

The defense
Is TJ Brodie going to force Peters hand to change up the pairings??
I am sure they want to get Stone some game action before the play-offs...,
According to Francis, they might call-up Valimaki & carry 10 defenders


And then there is James Neal

The stats nerds who spent most of the season telling us that only Gaudreau was getting more scoring chances than Neal are over the roof with how amazing Auston Czarnik is & will ban Bill Peters to the underworld if he breaks up the current 3rd line formation. 

The reality, Czarnik did have a short hot streak where he scored in 3 consecutive games, but he has gone quiet since and Jankowski was demoted in favour of Derek Ryan in the Domination of the Devils.

The stats nerds insist that Hathaway should be say, claiming he doesn't drive play.  Those goofs need to learn to read all the stats & realize that Hathaway has been one of the top penalty-killers and hitters for the Flames.

Mangiapane is playing with a lot of confidence & looking the best we have seen so far.  It would be a shame to bench him now.

There are some issues with Ryan's game, but he wins face-offs, kills penalties and manages to look surprised when he does score.  The coach likes to use him in every situation imaginable.

There is also the unwritten rule that a guy doesn't lose his spot due to injury.  I expect Neal to rejoin the 3rd line when he is ready to go.  Czarnik will be the most likely to sit and we just need him to be ready to jump in with the same fire he displayed in the last few weeks.
"What's the first thing a lion does after he wakes up?" Badger Bob Johnson
"He licks his balls" Kent Nilsson
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#2
Yeah I see Cordell and Steinberg are both on their soap boxes as to what to do with Neal. I agree that you don't play with the top two lines. A couple times this season I felt that Frolik's time with that line was done. Not any more. They're playing as a cohesive unit going down the stretch and will be a major tool for Peters against the top lines of those very good clubs we're likely to face.

That leaves the 3 and 4th lines to play with. Cordell is a Czarnik fan (I am too) and that 3 line has shown some possession chemistry, but according to his own stats its not extraordinarily superior to when Neal has been on that line. Neal has size and strength that Czarnik can only dream about. Neal is a sniper, Czarnik is not. Neal has been through the wars, Czarnik has not. Neal can play up and down the line-up, Czarnik is really untested playing on the 1 and 2 lines. Playing Neal on the 4th line, could be inspirational or just a straight out crazy idea. The 4 line has dominated of line, they just don't score that much (other than Doc). If Peters rolled the 4 line with Neal against a lesser line would that open the scoring tap? Would we miss Hathaway's energy? Cough, yes.

As far as the D goes I expect we will go with the current pairings for the next 9 games or so. Maybe longer if it goes down to the wire to get first place. If we fall off and cannot over take San Jose, Peters will plug and play in order to rest key players and get valuable game time in for the guys that he may slot in from time to time.
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt
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#3
On one hand I worry about Neal’s speed but I also know him as a player who raises his game when it matters most . 
       I think this playoff season we will learn a lot about what we have going forward in Neal . His season has been a failure no question . We don’t have a lot of experience in the second season so I hope he is in the lineup . He has a lot to prove so the motivation should be there for him. To step his game up .  
        He has to be given the chance . If he can’t contribute positively in the playoff games then yea sit him for more speed . He track record is too good to not give him the chance to redeem himself . 
      As for the goalie I’m done with Smith . He doesn’t get a sniff unless Rittich gets hurt or shits the bed . I’m comfortable with living or dying with big save . I have zero confidence in the other guy . I said it before and I haven’t changed my mind , if Smith plays ahead of him because he has “ experience “ we are done in the first round . 
     At some point we need to look forward , we need to see what we have in net . Smith won’t be resigned anyways and if big Save tanks Tre knows he has to pay someone this summer . Dave has done enough to deserve a chance . 
       Wouldn’t hurt if the D in front of both of them stopped leaving them on their own as well . We are going to need a lot more sacrificing with blocked shots to have a chance anyways .
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#4
Wow Suity!!

You ask a lot fo the D
You expect them to pull of a fancy spin-move-no-look-pass setting up a breakaway and then still be there to dive in front of the shot!!!!
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"What's the first thing a lion does after he wakes up?" Badger Bob Johnson
"He licks his balls" Kent Nilsson
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#5
Trade Brodie to Ottawa in the off season, add Neal for a sweetner cuz that deal won't look to good unless he has a monster playoffa
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#6
...and all we want in return in Brady.
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#7
(2019-03-14, 05:22 PM)Beerisfood Wrote: ...and all we want in return in Brady.

Wait a couple of years, y'all can have him on account of us probably not being able to pay him lol
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#8
Pretty sure Brodie will be moved this summer . Hopefully I’m wrong but if a big priced goalie is needed Sam could also be finished at the end of this season . Either way we have kids ready who are cheaper then Brodie .
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#9
I'm torn on which goaltender to play.

BSD plays left to right, right to left, up and down well. Comes out to cut off angles, has spunk, and plays the puck fairly well (still learning). But he still is a second year man in the NHL. When he's on, he's on. When he gets down on himself (and he does) he shrinks. That's what worries me. Can he take the pressure?

Smitty, because of his size, leaves over the shoulder gaps when he's not positioned correctly. He doesn't go post to post as well and when he's not playing well he doesn't cut off the angles. Those could be because he's picked up bad habits or he's just getting old. But has seen a lot of pucks in his career, a lot of looks from a lot of players, and knows the league's shooters pretty good. He handles the puck very well and that makes our all ready strong D even stronger. The D won't get pounded as much as you typically see in play-off games. And Smitty has a load of fight in him. Will he wilt under the pressure? Maybe. He knows he's had a bad year. Will one soft goal destroy his sometimes fragile confidence? I don't think it does. He gets mad and keeps on pitching.

The question for both is whether the team in front of them will get down because either has let in a softie. Will they be energized by that big save Dave? Deflated by that weak goal?

BSD deserves to start knowing the Vet has got his back. The Vet should know that if BSD falters he's got dis.
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt
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#10
(2019-03-14, 05:14 PM)bicboi Wrote: Trade Brodie to Ottawa in the off season, add Neal for a sweetner cuz that deal won't look to good unless he has a monster playoffa

BIC! You broke Tommy Chabot's toe! What are you people doing down there?
Don't you know he's your best player?
That 9th goal really took the wind out of our sails. - J. Tortorella, Columbus
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#11
(2019-03-14, 05:56 PM)FlameFilosi4 Wrote:
(2019-03-14, 05:14 PM)bicboi Wrote: Trade Brodie to Ottawa in the off season, add Neal for a sweetner cuz that deal won't look to good unless he has a monster playoffa

BIC! You broke Tommy Chabot's toe! What are you people doing down there?
Don't you know he's your best player?

We're going to have him carry the team like Karlsson did for a few years and then trade him when we can't afford him. Treliving will br smart to acquire him for cheap in 2-3 years time
If you need a sign to stay alive tonight, this is it!
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#12
Slow down bicboi

You are now undefeated when Brannstrom dresses for the Sens!
"What's the first thing a lion does after he wakes up?" Badger Bob Johnson
"He licks his balls" Kent Nilsson
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