The Sports Roundup
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

TSR has Moved!

The Sports Roundup has officially moved!

First, we want to thank you for your loyalty. It's been a lot of fun and it will continue to be a lot of fun, just at a different address.

We made the decision to grow our blog and readership by merging with one of the most talked about and established hockey blogs on the web - The Checking Line.

More specifically with help of bloggers from the other western teams in Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg we have formed "The Checking Line - West", which will focus on blogs on each of those four western based Canadian hockey teams.

We are very excited to be joining forces with TCL! So click the link below and check us out!

Also, for any further Jersey Foul submissions we will be continuing the tradition over at TCL so either send me an email at or Bryan with any Fouls that you see!



Derrick Newman and Bryan Wright

Friday, January 6, 2012

Where do we put the dynamite?

by Bryan Wright

Following every Flames loss, the cries come on twitter, on radio call in shows and in newspaper columns, that it's time to 'blow it up.'  Never have the cries been louder than after last night's 9-0 loss to the Boston Bruins; a humiliating defeat that was the team's fifth in a row and ended a dismal seven game road trip.  My question is, what prey tell, is there to blow up?

In idea behind the 'blow it up' philosophy is that the current assets could be shed for some solid returns that would help the team improve in the future.  The only assets the Flames have right now, are Miikka Kiprusoff and Jarome Iginla.  If the Flames traded Iginla, they'd have a crappy team without any leader, without any heart and without any identity.  If the Flames traded Kiprusoff, they'd be a crappy team without a goalie.  So, the return needs to be a substantial one.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Calgary Flames: Mid Season Report

By Derrick Newman

40 games into the 2011-12 season the Calgary Flames are hovering in 12th place in the Western Conference two points back of the Dallas Stars and nine points back of the Vancouver Canucks for first place in the Northwest division.

Now, the idea of winning the division at the beginning of the season was a pipe dream with the likes of defending Western Conference champion Vancouver being in the mix, and truth be told it’s about as likely to happen as Mission Impossible winning Best Picture at the Oscars.

But, the idea of the Flames making the playoffs has always been a point of contention. Will they or won’t they?

Well, if the playoffs started today, they would be on the outside looking in for the third straight season.

The good news is that the playoffs do not start today and the Flames have just over half a season to make the ascent up the standings into the top eight in the soon to be transformed Western Conference.

The bad news, as of right now, the Flames have played more games than every team they are chasing, including six more than 9th place San Jose and three more than 8th place Dallas – meaning that the Flames most likely sit a little further back than the current standings suggest.

But isn’t this sort of what everyone expected?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One year can change a lot

By Derrick Newman

A year ago Darryl Sutter was canned as the General Manager of the Calgary Flames. The Flames subsequently went on an unbelievable ascent up the Western Conference standings to come only three points shy of a playoff berth.

Fast forward to today. Darryl is now the head coach of the LA Kings and the Flames are a different looking team.

They are substantially younger with the likes of Roman Horak, Blake Comeau, Mikael Backlund, Paul Byron, TJ Brodie, Leland Irving, and Greg Nemisz all getting time with the big club.  This has led to a small dose of optimism in this city...ok, well less pessimism.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

#18 and #19 - St Pete Times Forum and BankAtlantic Center

My mission is to see the Flames play in all 30 NHL arenas, a mission that began in October of 2005 while at a local pub watching the Flames take on the Oilers. With the previous season’s work stoppage, and the season before’s run to the Stanley Cup Finals, Flames tickets had become a very hard item to come by. I was then struck with the idea of combining two of my favourite activities; watching hockey and travelling. You can follow my quest to visit all 30 arenas right here…

December 15, 2011 - Tampa Bay, FL

My first game in the Sunshine State got off to a rough start when there were problems with our flights.  To make a long story short, we flew to Tampa from Calgary, via Vancouver and Ottawa, before touching down at 8:40PM the night of the game.  Yes, puck drop was at 7:30, so this was a bit of a problem.

After running through the terminal Amazing Race-style to the taxi stand, we were lucky enough to get Ray as our cabbie.  After telling him we were in a bit of a hurry, Ray put petal to metal, and made the 12 mile journey from the airport to our hotel in under ten minutes.  It was an impressive bit of driving, and allowed us to make it to the arena in Tampa for the start of the third period.

Words cannot describe how foul
this jersey really is.
- Flames/Lightning
15 Dec 2011
This marks the latest I've ever arrived for a game, and yes it's quite shameful, but it was better than not making the trip at all.  But, it also means I can't really comment too much on the game or the arena.  Situated right on the water in downtown Tampa, the arena itself is quite impressive.  It's big, it's nice, and for the most part, full of hockey fans.  I was quite surprised by the crowd, as I was expecting more of a Phoenix-style audience; an arena filled with people who are at the game because it's something to do, not because they love hockey.  Instead, Tampa fans seemed to be quite knowledgeable, they wore Lightning jerseys and made for a good crowd.  There is an exception we saw the biggest jersey foul to date, a Lightning jersey with 'Gretzky' on the back.  Foul!

Our seats were behind the net in the Flames attack end, and we were able to see two goals in the third, as the Flames fought back to tie it up, before surrendering a goal 30 seconds into overtime.  After the game, basking in the warmth of the Florida night, we headed to a nearby pub fittingly named 'Hattrick's', which served ice-cold buckets of beer and heaping plates of nachos.

It was then back to the hotel for a quick sleep before driving to Ft Lauderdale...

St Pete Times Forum Fast Facts

Seats: Section 124; $38, Stubhub
Score: Flames 4, Lightning 5 (OT)
Arena Rating: 7.0
Unique Concession: Giant, Flintstone-style turkey drumstick
Souvenir Stick: Lightning, wooden
Public Transit: unknown
Unique Arena Trait: Lightning machines to mark goals
Swag: None

December 16, 2011 - Sunrise, FL

After a longer than expected drive down Alligator Alley through the Florida Everglades, we arrived at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, FL, plenty of time before puck drop.  The arena itself isn't too bad, but the location is absolutely horrible.  Right on the edge of the Everglades, the BankAtlantic Center sits amongst a sea of strip malls. far away from...everything.  Our hotel was a $50 cab ride away, and public transit simply doesn't exist.  The arena is surrounded by parking lots and there isn't a single bar or restaurant in sight.  It really doesn't create a very fun atmosphere, and makes it difficult to make an evening of going to the game.  It makes me thankful the Dome is where it is, and hopeful a new arena in Calgary is never built near Balzac.

Because of the inconvenience, I wonder what the arena's location does to Panthers crowds.  People think of it as being Miami's team, but the arena is 50 or 60 miles from Miami.  It's even 20 miles from Ft. Lauderdale.  I wonder how much a downtown location, like Tampa's, would do to make Panthers crowds a little stronger.  I suppose they could also play better hockey, as they've missed the playoffs ten years in a row.

Our seats, at the bargain basement price of $20, were in row 9 of the lower bowl, in the Flames attack end, to Theodore's left.  Despite being a relatively new arena, the seats, at least in the lower bowl, are packed so tight I was unable to sit without spreading my legs, lest my knees bang against the seat in front of me.  Perhaps people in Florida are shorter, but I doubt it.  They were just uncomfortable seats.

The concourses at the BankAtlantic Center are pretty standard, carpeted in places, with the same concession options repeated every few sections.  Very disappointing to say the least.  However, the nice thing is, as is the case with many 'non-traditional' markets, there aren't any line ups!  The adage that the Saddledome spills more beer than arena X, has never been more true.  There also aren't any line ups at the bathroom.  The men's room near our section, with only eight urinals, would have a forty minute line up in the Dome; here it was 'free-flow'.  Adding to the lack of lines, was a shelf to place your beer above each urinal.  Brilliant.  This should be standard at every sporting venue.

One of the great things about attending games in a warm climate like Florida, is wearing shorts and flip flops to the game.  However, this makes it a bit chilly during the game.  Fortunately, there are patios everywhere, so you can go outside and warm up during the intermission.  Such an odd concept for a hockey game.

Following the Flames loss in a shootout, we headed to the Dania Beach Fronton, home to Jai Alai, a game that combines gambling, beer and a ball that travels 200MPH.  Unique to Florida, Jai Alai could be one of the most fun things I've ever attended, and we were only there for an hour.  I could see myself traveling to Florida, just to watch more Jai Alai; it was that awesome.

BankAtlantic Center Fast Facts

Seats: Section 115; stubhub $20 
Score: Flames 2, Panthers 3 (SO)
Arena Rating: 6.2
Unique Concession: Cuban sandwiches
Souvenir Stick: Panthers, wooden
Public Transit: None
Unique Arena Trait: Beer shelves above urinals
Swag: Red Panthers towels

The trip was a quick one and saw the Flames only manage two points, but I can now say I've been to Florida, visited two new arenas, and had a lot of fun. Now to figure out where the next road trip will take me!


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