If you want to be despondent about last nights game I certainly understand. The negative story lines are more than the positive. Iginla a minus 4 and zero shots, the final score being flattering as the game was out of reach etc...
One thing we can take away is a new legit first line. I have been imploring everyone to shift their paradigm and start thinking that Iginla's line is not the defacto number one line, this started hammering home last night. Morrison wasn't moved to the first line, Iginla and Tanguay were moved to the third. Bourque, Glencross and Jokinen all with size and scoring capability looked incredible last night! The line of Moss, Backlund and Hagman also provided some good scoring chances.
There has also been one x- factor that has been kind of forgotten and that is Kotalik. He has been out for a very long time but upon his return the choices will be slim. Kotalik is not a 4th liner, he has never been known for his checking so on the right side you have to start looking at what moves you can make. The trade talk rumors with Buffalo are interesting because Kotalik played his best hockey for Lindey Ruff. Now I'm not saying Kotalik to Buffalo or anything but the thought is intriguing. Darcy Reiger was a proponent of Kotalik, where he stands now is unclear but taking that contract could mean the Flames have to give something something of value too.
During the game last night another positive came up, a high draft pick. Now do not mistake me, I clearly have no interest in Calgary losing or being a high end draft pick team but certain realities that are being thrust upon us make us look for silver linings. It made me think who would Calgary want and who is out there? Is it ever too soon to start looking? well maybe because things change so much during a season, a guy projected top 10 today could go in the third (see Kabanov) but here's my best attempt. Please keep in mind I am not talking the best prospects I am talking the best for the Flames, prospects turn around faster than the past so i'm focusing on forwards:
1. Sean Couturier: A very fast left wing with great skills and decent size at just over 6 feet. Unless the Flames get the first pick overall this will not be their guy.
2.Ryan Nugent-Hopkins- what?? a kid playing in Red Deer?? A Center? Yeah high high end offensive talent, given the defensemen available in this draft this kid might be available when Calgary picks...like 2nd or whatever...lol
3. Matt Puempel- Rick Nash...is that you?? Okay not quite but still a very good power prospect.
4. Victor Rask- I don't know if we need another Swedish center but if we do it's this guy. Great passing and ice vision, playing in the Elite league this year.
5. Dmitrij Jaškin- A bit off the board here but from what I've read about this kid he could be a mid 1st round steal, the kind of player, "you can't believe made it to 10th overall because now he is the best player in the league", kind of player. Tons of skill and size to boot.
6. Tomas Jurco- There is players who are good one year and as they grow become dominant, that is Jurco. He might be a project but a worthy one.
If you factor in a very good year for defensive prospects these are the forwards the Flames would be aiming for if they keep their current course of 1 win every five games.
P.S. The prospects are an idea thrown at me on twitter last night during the game, you can follow me @bradleybwindsor and the guys who gave me the idea @cflames12 and @thefanblogger Thanks guys.