Let me start by saying Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays to you all. I had a great Christmas and spent time visiting relatives all over Ontario, and stuffing my face. The best gift aside from the time with everyone? Box seats, center ice, for the Calgary versus Ottawa game! Now that my friends is a Merry Christmas. Lots to talk about but before we get into it I hope everyone has a great New Years. I will be spending it with family and I hope you do too.
The World Juniors are officially under way and so far Canada has been kicking ass and taking names! We now sit at the top of Pool B with 2 wins and a convincing 13 GF and 1 GA. You can expect this pace to continue as Canada plays Denmark next and well.... I think it's safe to say we can expect to see Canada in the finals.
Concussions, Concussions? Concussions!
The Concussions continue this year and have picked up to an alarming pace. Shea Webber is the most recent victim, (thought to be the NHL's number one stud) is now out with a Concussion that he recieved in a hit from Mark Fistric. It looks to mee like there is going to be some serious work on this issue next year in the R.D.O Camp. I predict the equipment will be the next thing they modifiy (mainly those shoulder pads) and maybe even look into extending the rinks. The shoulder pads are kind of like armour, so now we just need to make it so they aren't being used to injure but rather proctect the players. Another possibility I have heard discussed is the re-implementation of the two line pass rule back into the NHL. This would slow things down but lessen injuries. What do you think could work?
Week in Review
That's right boys and girls, we are now sitting with 4 wins in a row! This is a glorious stretch for the Flames who have had little luck this year with winning streaks. With the NY Islanders, Ottawa Senators and Predators next on our to-play list, we have a very reasonable chance to go 6/7 or even 7/7 in this stretch. Being only a few points away from a playoff position, another 3 wins seems to be just what the doctor ordered.
Calgary Burns the Wings!
With injuries and suspensions taking place on the Calgary lineup we saw the combination of Nemisz, Horak and Byron playing to help round out the roster. While given a minimal amount of ice time, the line showed some good detemination throughout the game. While you would think the story of the night would be Iginla being 3 goals shy of 500, it ended up being Glencross who was left in the limelight. He scored two goals, giving him the lead for goals on the team at the time. Curtis looked like a man on a mission and finished the night at +1. Another highlight of the game was the pass Morrison made to Comeau which resulted in his 400th career assist. Despite late pressure by the Wings in the third period, the Flames held on for an important win.
Calgary played what I thought was their most convincing game in recent memory! Not only did they win against Vancouver but they managed this win on the second of two back-to-back games. After a shakey start, Irving showed us that he is ready to come in and help lighten the load for Kipper. Bourque was back after sitting for a two-game suspension and slid in on the second line since Alex Tanguay was out with an unknown upper body injury.
In this game I am just glad we managed to squeek out a win. The first period was slow and uneventful. In the second, the flames made the mistake of taking penalties, which led to scoring chances that put us down a goal. And finally in the third period, the flames decided to play some hockey, in which Iginla scored and then finally again in the shootout. Aside from the win, the take home message here was the flames 1st
line finally working well togeather again, putting up the only goals of the game. Iginla and the Joker both continue their point streaks and Iginla is now tied for first in scoring for the team.
A quick update on the injury list: Alex Tanguay out with an upper body injury, David Moss appears to have had a setback with his foot and required surgery on it, Babchuck is not back in the lineup but is skating again and expected to return soon, Giordano is doing some light skating but will not be ready for while, and Karlsson is expected to be back this week skating but with a leg brace to make sure he doesn't reinjure himself.
Gameday Blog Calgary vs Islanders
Tonights game should be a good tilt, as both sides have a lot to prove tonight. The Islanders are sitting last in the east and are looking to stop the bleeding tonight if they can. In the last 10 games the islanders have only managed to win 3. Calgary on the other had is now looking to extend their 4 game winning streak and hopefully go into the new year still winning. This will be the first game that Calgarys Tim Jackman and Blake Comeau get a chance to play against their former team with the Flames. This game is just as important as any, but you can't help but wonder if winning 5 straight could give the Flames the confidence they need to go on a January rampage. They will sure need it when they play the Bruins in the new year!
The Lines should look like this tonight
Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - Jarome Iginla
Rene Bourque - Mikael Backlund - Lee Stempniak
Blake Comeau - Roman Horak - Paul Byron
Tom Kostopoulos - Brendan Morrison - Tim Jackman
Jay Bouwmeester - Chris Butler
Derek Smith - Scott Hannan
T.J. Brodie - Cory Sarich
1 - Kipper
2 - Irving
So where does all this leave us? The Captain is looking great and continues his streak with 498 career goals (2 away from 500) The coach gave the go ahead and Iginla finished off the shoot out and brought home the win the other night. Now if he is looking great and just under his career 500, why are the Capitals-Iginla rumors surfacing again? Are they going to try and blow it up? And if they do, why wait till we're back with a point or tied for a playoff spot?
I guess we will see soon.