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Old 02-14-2020, 02:48 PM   #41
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The coach's job, at its core, is to bring ideas and strategies into the locker room to help the players succeed. If the only successful ideas are coming from the locker room... where's the value added?
He even says right in the article it's a two-way street.......the players listen to the coaches, the coaches listen to the players. They're a team. If there's open communication among everyone that is a very, very good thing. I'm glad Ward is willing to listen to ideas from everyone and willing to adapt and give it a shot. It's a good sign for things moving forward.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:02 PM   #42
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This seems pretty dumb.

He scored like 3 goals on that line and basically none assisted by his linemates, and after 20 ish games ward says 'hey do you think this is working' and his linemates say 'no I don't think it's working' so they change it up?

This reads like a puff piece.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:15 PM   #43
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This seems pretty dumb.

He scored like 3 goals on that line and basically none assisted by his linemates, and after 20 ish games ward says 'hey do you think this is working' and his linemates say 'no I don't think it's working' so they change it up?

This reads like a puff piece.
Agreed.

"Righting the ship"

Flames are 4-5-1 in their last 10.

I'm glad they beat San Jose and Anaheim, but a couple of blow out wins against crappy bottom feeders doesn't mean they've righted any ships that I can see.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:06 PM   #44
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Agreed.

"Righting the ship"

Flames are 4-5-1 in their last 10.

I'm glad they beat San Jose and Anaheim, but a couple of blow out wins against crappy bottom feeders doesn't mean they've righted any ships that I can see.
Ya let's chat after the two games against BOS and the afternoon affair v. TBL.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:20 PM   #45
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JG-SM-EL
AM-MB-MT

To me, this is certainly the best arrangement at this moment, but I really think it is a short-term solution that actually prevents the team from evolving into a true contender (which might be to stay from taking one step back before two steps forward). Ie. These lines are good enough to get into the playoffs, but never any further.

I would have really liked to see Derek Ryan with JG/SM instead of Backlund.

The great news is that Tkachuk produces results no matter who his linemates are, but I worry his potential isn't being fully tapped. I'm just ready for Tkachuk and Lindholm to be deployed as the true #1 line, with Johnny and Monny being used somewhat more strategically.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:36 PM   #46
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JG-SM-EL
AM-MB-MT

To me, this is certainly the best arrangement at this moment, but I really think it is a short-term solution that actually prevents the team from evolving into a true contender (which might be to stay from taking one step back before two steps forward). Ie. These lines are good enough to get into the playoffs, but never any further.

I would have really liked to see Derek Ryan with JG/SM instead of Backlund.

The great news is that Tkachuk produces results no matter who his linemates are, but I worry his potential isn't being fully tapped. I'm just ready for Tkachuk and Lindholm to be deployed as the true #1 line, with Johnny and Monny being used somewhat more strategically.
The only problem which I see with Derek Ryan on the wing with JG/SM is he isnít the type of player to go and retrieve a puck on a dump in. Especially with his size and all. Someone like EL is able to do that has he has the ability to use his body a bit more against an opposing dman to get the puck for a cycle off the rush.

I think as a centre Ryan and JG work well together though as Centres generally arenít used to retrieve dump ins as they are usually the last ones to exist a defensive zone for forwards.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:11 PM   #47
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I think Ryan has been a pleasant surprise and done every damn thing he needs to do to win including retrieve pucks on dump ins.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:18 PM   #48
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Agreed.

"Righting the ship"

Flames are 4-5-1 in their last 10.

I'm glad they beat San Jose and Anaheim, but a couple of blow out wins against crappy bottom feeders doesn't mean they've righted any ships that I can see.
Haha -- fair enough. Perhaps the title should have read "Righting the ship?"

I don't think you can argue the Flames have had more jump, more intensity, and more commitment in all three zones starting in Vancouver. Going back to the old line combos certainly played a role, but I think the real cause for optimism is that the coaching staff isn't simply putting it back on the players saying "work harder". There needs to be full commitment, and Ward was smart (?) enough to realize that wasn't going to happen unless other changes were made.

Will it last? Who knows, but as a fan it's certainly better than what we saw just before the all-star break, and the last home stand.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:21 PM   #49
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I think Ryan has been a pleasant surprise and done every damn thing he needs to do to win including retrieve pucks on dump ins.
I am in firm agreement with you regarding Ryan. I definitely was wrong about him when he was signed. He is like a Swiss Army knife. However he still is better suited as a Center than a winger. Sure he can and is willing to retrieve pucks on dump ins but his skills are better utilized elsewhere. Let the Lindholms and previous Ferlands do the dump in corner retrieval for JG and Monny.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:24 PM   #50
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I may be in the minority on this but I generally like the Flames at C.
Monahan and Backlund are good, Ryan is fantastic as a third line C.

Lindholm can play W, and did so at an elite level last year, playing with top linemates. Backlund and Ryan lose something when they are moved to wing.

Trying for a minor upgrade at C by deleting your top line winger was not a good decision in terms of overall asset optimization.

It is the wings that could be better. I love Mangiapane’s effort but if you want to slot him as a top 6 winger, that’s where you need a corresponding upgrade at C. I’m thinking, you know, Crosby.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:37 PM   #51
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Crosby!!
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:42 PM   #52
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Crosby!!
Right.

Crosby can play with pretty much any scrub on his wing, and it’s still a top line

Monahan or Backlund can’t do the same
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:47 PM   #53
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That's pretty harsh. A, he's a good guy - his charity stuff proves that. B, the beer stuff was pretty real - the team was in a slump, he broke the ice to talk with them and they had a bit of a turnaround. He didn't brag, that's just what happened. The stick toss was an act, I'll give that. The 1st round exit was not good, but that year the Ducks were darned good. Getzlaf was PPG, Gibson was prime Gibson (not the shell we saw last night), and they had maybe the best top 4 D in the league. They went three rounds.
He also coaches for the oilers
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:21 PM   #54
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This seems pretty dumb.

He scored like 3 goals on that line and basically none assisted by his linemates, and after 20 ish games ward says 'hey do you think this is working' and his linemates say 'no I don't think it's working' so they change it up?

This reads like a puff piece.
Yup, I had broken down those stats that Backlund goals were not assisted by his linemates, and only 30% of his linemates goals in that time period had his name beside it, but it was pretty clear with the eye test that SM and JG wanted nothing to do with Backlund as a viable option to pass to, after the first week of games.

That's probably the "hard conversation" quoted in the artifle: JG and SM basically probably told Ward that they think he is basically an anchor on that line because he's not getting in the tough and rough spots that he needs to be to convert the chances they create, or something along those lines.

The fact that the first line wasn't clicking was clear with an eye test, and stats overwhelmingly showing how those three forwards were not a match...but instead of team full of coaches observing, and a group of basic and or advanced stats guys, it has to take two of the players to alert the coach to that, 2 months later?

Something is fishy here, either the coaches are completely unaware of how they too line is working together, or they told JG and SM to deal with it weeks ago, and now Ward is given delayed praise to SM and JG for being right back then, and this change was made a few weeks too late.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:50 PM   #55
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Somebody should give Ward a login for CP
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:50 PM   #56
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The only problem which I see with Derek Ryan on the wing with JG/SM is he isnít the type of player to go and retrieve a puck on a dump in. Especially with his size and all. Someone like EL is able to do that has he has the ability to use his body a bit more against an opposing dman to get the puck for a cycle off the rush.

I think as a centre Ryan and JG work well together though as Centres generally arenít used to retrieve dump ins as they are usually the last ones to exist a defensive zone for forwards.
This is fair, there is no doubt Lindholm is superior; my mindset was Backlund vs. Ryan in that role...despite his slightly smaller stature, I think Ryan would have been better suited. I do think Lindholm is currently at his most effective at RW, but I think a short-cut to contention for this team would be him blossoming the same way at C...it should be easier to fill top 6 wing slots than C spots..

I suppose my hot-take is that I think Tkachuk is already a better and more versatile playmaker than Gaudreau...I'd like to see him with the better finisher down the middle.

Mangi-Monny-Tkachuk
Gaudreau-Backlund-Lindholm

The counter-attack threat of Johnny flying the zone might be more effective at destabilizing offences when the other 2 forwards are elite-defensively. It's a bit counter-intuitive, but I'd be interested to see it.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:19 PM   #57
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I sit on the fence over this story.



I think it is really great that the coach is receptive to players and listening to their input, and putting some thought on how the players can be better utilized.


On the flip-side, I also kind of see a coach with not much in the way of answers. I have been clamouring for Backlund to be returned to centre for quite a while now, and the first game where he was, Ward decided to move Ryan to that 1st line RW spot.


The way I hope Ward runs this team:


1) Figure out what every players' strengths and weaknesses are.
2) Slot them into the line-up according to point 1 to help them be as successful as possible
3) Design and implement a system that takes into account the overall make-up of the team
4) Have ready-made adjustments that the players have been exposed to in practice in anticipation of other teams' possible responses - set plays, a more defensive shell at times, quicker transition, more neutral-zone trapping, quick-ups depending on who is on the ice, etc.


Like I said, I think it is a really positive step for Ward to have a sit-down with players and hear them out and actually take time to consider and even implement some suggestions. I just think there were some obvious issues that many on here have been questioning that took forever to remediate. Did he not see them for himself and had simply run out of answers? Or is he a more receptive coach that is open to suggestions and willing to work with the players which should be applauded? I really don't know.


Either way, I am glad that he has done so instead of stubbornly sticking to what he thinks SHOULD work but wasn't. There are a lot of coaches that just won't change things up, or even bother to know their players (I am looking at you Brent Sutter - like when he had no clue that Kotalik had one of the hardest shots in the NHL and always worked the point on the PP in the past).


Let's see what happens in the next stretch. Hope it works out.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:44 PM   #58
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He also coaches for the oilers
Thatís no good, and shows lack of judgement, of course.
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:04 AM   #59
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Makes me wonder - where would the 2019-20 Flames be at this point if Bill Peters was still the coach? I'd say worse off. 6th place. GWard has issues, but he's slightly making things happen so far.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:50 AM   #60
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The sense I was getting was that the players had checked out. It's encouraging that they went to the coaching staff. Shows they care. I still think the team needs a new coach.
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