The playoffs are in full swing and the Flames are rocking the Islanders after game one!! What's that? It's the pre-season? You would never know it if you were at the game last night, the crowd was on another level of excitement after hearing that Theo Fluery was playing in addition to J-Bo, Backlund, Jokinen, Dawes and several other players we want to see. The only let down was that Tavares played the night before in Edmonton and did not make an appearance, you can ask Kyle Okposo if that was a wise decision. On another note this was the best game of hockey i've seen in a long long while, tons of fights (flames lost everyone FYI) Goals (8 of them) and a shootout where Theo is the game winner...pretty much a perfect game of hockey.
So the part you may actually like to read...The player reviews:
Theo- Listen... he hasn't played in 6 six years, you could see it, was very nervous and overly defensive, not wanting to make a mistake. Had a couple chances, one he shot into Biron's belly and another excellent set up he one timed wide. His shoot out goal though brought you back, he lifted the puck ever so slightly on his blade in the shoot position which the goalie bit on and quickly turned it to his back hand for a really nice goal. The place went nuts... I mean crazy.
Iginla- Very average to sub par night for the captain but did make a very tricky toe drag play in overtime that made the crowd cheer. Hit the post once. Now the second most popular flame.
Jokinen- Just unstoppable, might have had a hat trick if his last goal wasn't a second late after the overtime closed out. He will be an ogre this year.
Dion-...speaking of Ogres, he played well defensively and got the puck to the night all night, on the night the best flames d man. Oh and he checked Okposo back to New York. (On a side note Okposo was out so long I had time to go to the washroom and get a beer, it was pretty sobering and I heard he is okay which is great to hear).
J-Bo- Not his finest night, you can really see why he was so highly touted but he was -2 or -3 on the night and was also undressed pretty bad on one goal.
Dawes- Right there with Jokenin as the best forward of the night, I didn't realize how small he was though, Langkow/Dawes/Fleury was a really tiny line! I thought I was watching Canadiens camp or something.
Backlund- At one point was behind the net with two defenders hemming him in, he walked through them like he was strolling the Grand Canyon, he was bigger than last year and will be given a serious look this year I think. But just a serious look.
Giordano- Next to Dion he was the best D, made several great plays all night and was sound defensively. I'm a fan.
Moss- Made a few plays out of nothing, looks hungry this year.
Kipper- hmmm is atrocious strong enough? I'm not sure. I think if I strapped on the pads that's what I would look like. 3 goals on 10 shots is deplorable against the farm team of the Islanders.
Some Guys you neither took notice of because they were playing good or bad, among these I'd put Aulie, Van Der Gulik, Sutter. Some lesser lights and long shots played really well namely Stuart, Jaffray, and the winning goalie Shantz who was perfect in the shoot out.