"Whoa Whoa Whoa... Whoa....Whoa... This is not my batman mug."- Peter Griffin (family Guy) interrupting a conversation about something completely different.
I thought about that quote when I hear the conversations going on right now about the Flames. Everyone is talking about how great they are doing and how much they score... They did have a couple of good games on the weekend, no doubt, but as always lets look forward not back. I'm thinking and worried about something more profound right now. Chemistry.
Moss is skating today with the normal guys. Kotalik can't be far behind. Where do these guys slot in given the chemistry that is starting to form now? It's a serious concern due to the fact all four lines are actually looking good. Who do you replace with one of those guys? Let's say the top line is the top line of Iginla Stajan and Tanguay (whether they are the top line anymore is up for debate, see below), and the second line of Bourque Jokinen and Hagman is solid so far. You can then start replacing pieces on the third line and fourth line for these guys. Backlund has been excellent defensively but offensively he struggles right now however no one thinks he'll develop more in the AHL. Meyer is on a 2 way contract and is easy to send down but has been so gritty and meshing so well with Conroy that it would be tough to take. Jackman could be sit for a Moss or Kotalik and that might even work well with Glencross and Backlund. Morrison has been playing fairly well, do you replace him with a natural right winger in Kotalik? If so do you sit Conroy for him?
This is a very interesting little dilemma, the Flames have too many guys. Simply put they have too many cooks in the kitchen so do they start replacing pieces after those pieces started working finally??
Jarome Iginla is the captain so you'd assume his line is the best line. The "top line". However watching Bourque emerge as a top flight 30-40 goal guy and seeing Iginla struggle to stay there you could argue that the line of Hagman, Jokinen and Bourque is actually the top line. We've seen what Bourque can do and it's no mistake, he has serious power in his shot coupled with accuracy. It's Hagman playing with Jokinen that has been a pleasant surprise, he's only had 2 points in 3 games since being on that line but he's the guy creating that space. Hagman and Bourque can score, that is a fact but it's the opportunities and screens that Jokinen provides right now that are helping the situation.
Whatever you label them it's a pleasant surprise to see all lines scoring finally. It's something we as fans have wanted to see and if the last couple games are any indication the future should not be as gloomy as we thought.
On a separate note it was nice to see Mikkelson play a solid game, with Staios on the bench the Flames had a pretty solid 3 pairs and it showed.