About Me

My Photo
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I'm a Communications student who devotes essentially all of her free time to documenting the ups and downs of life as a die-hard Flames fan. If I can somehow turn this into a semi-successful career I will be over the moon.
Showing posts with label Dustin Boyd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dustin Boyd. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The deadline and the damage done


Darryl Sutter is officially grasping at straws.

Vesa Toskala, Kipper's bestest friend, is a Calgary Flame.
Vesa Toskala and his $4 million salary.
Vesa Toskala and his thirty-two -year-old wonky groin, his 3.66 GAA, and .874 SV% is a Flame.

And it doesn't stop there.

Shortly thereafter, Dustin Boyd, a victim of the great forward surplus in Calgary, was shipped to Nashville for a fourth-round pick, which Sutter will probably end up trading it in some other bone-headed deal, if he's still employed at the draft. But hey, that's probably better than him using it to draft some bum who will probably never play a game in the NHL, right?

And finally, Sutter put the cherry on top of his annual Deadline Day sundae by acquiring thirty-six-year-old Steve Staios from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Aaron Johnson and a third round pick. Staios' cap hit is $2.7 million, and he is signed through next season. On top of that, he is -19 and has all of seven assists in fourty games.

Some people might see this as trading spare parts for spare parts, only older and more expensive ones, which seems like the exact opposite of what a modern-day NHL general manager should be doing.

My ideal deadline day scenario for the Flames would have been this: minimal activity, maybe trading a few forwards for picks and maybe a prospect or two. Asking for Cory Sarich to get shipped out was probably a little excessive. But adding an oft-injured defenceman near the end of his career, a goalie whose departure from Toronto made Leafs fans happier than they've been since the early nineties, and almost seven million dollars in salary was not my idea of a solution.

Curtis McElhinney wasn't cutting it as an NHL back-up, that's no secret, but unless Toskala can regain the form which allowed him to battle for the starting job in San Jose and strike a rich deal with the Leafs, I fail to see his addition as an upgrade, especially with his salary, health issues, and the fact that he's an impending unrestricted free agent.

The Staios deal baffles me entirely. Johnson was a serviceable seventh defenceman who wasn't the most mobile guy in the world, but was both considerably cheaper and younger than Staios. While known for his toughness and presence in the locker room, Staios's age, injury history, price tag, and -19 certainly raise some red flags. Plus all those years he spent with the Oilers. This move was purely a salary dump for Edmonton, and getting Aaron Johnson and a third-round pick in return makes Steve Tambellini look like a genius; no small feat.

While Boyd was likely expendable due to the emergence of Mikael Backlund, I'm very sad to see him go, especially for what essentially feels like a sack of pucks. Maybe Boyd will never emerge into the 20+ goal scoring, second line centre that we all envisioned, but he was one of the few players drafted by Sutter who seemed to have made the jump to the big league with potential for success, and at only twenty-three years old. He presented us with flashes of skill, speed, and toughness, and will certainly be missed.

At the end of the day, the Flames are still left with fifteen forwards, a questionable back-up goaltending situation, no true first-line centre, no picks in the first two rounds of this year's draft, and a world of troubles salary-cap wise with the extensions given to Stajan and Bourque, newcomers Hagman, Staios, and Kotalik all signed through next season, and some key UFAs to re-sign in the off season. All Sutter's really done here is pile onto the heap of problems already plaguing this poorly-run franchise rather than solving them. Huh. I pretty much declare this deadline day a massive failure.

Every move made since the Phaneuf trade has reeked of desperation. Today's are no different.

It's going to be an interesting month and one hell of an eventful summer, especially if the Flames fail to earn that coveted post-season berth.

Up Next: The Flames currently sit in ninth place in the West, and the hunt for the playoffs begins tonight with an eight o'clock tilt against the Wild (Sportsnet West). Neither of the new Flames will be in the lineup, thankfully.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Getzlaf brothers are on a mission

After we all recovered from the Chicago Shit-Kicking, Pt. 2, the Flames departed for a mini two-game road trip in sunny So-Cal, beginning with an afternoon tilt in L.A. on Saturday and closing with a match-up against the Ducks on Monday night.

After being challenged somewhat ambiguously by Brent Sutter after the loss to the Hawks, the Flames' leaders and veterans responded against the Kings. Down 2-1 after giving up two quick goals, Jarome Iginla tied the game and went on to record his ninth career hat-trick while Daymond Langkow scored the game-winner shorthanded en route to a 5-2 victory, a rarity in afternoon road games.

The Flames took on the Ducks tonight at the Honda Centre, a building where they haven't won since January of '04. After failing to register a shot on goal for the first five minutes of the period, the Flames broke out and Curtis Glencross scored on a breakaway to put the guests ahead one-zip.

The lead, however, would be short-lived, as the Ducks would tie the game on a goal by Bobby Ryan, assisted by Jamie Lundmark on a brutal giveaway behind the Flames' net. Lundmark was promptly removed from the first line and replaced with Dustin Boyd. A minute and change later, Anaheim took the lead on a goal by Ryan Getzlaf, who also made his presence felt in this game by cranking a shot off of Cory Sarich's head. It appears that the Getzlaf brothers have a personal vendetta against Calgary sports teams, which is odd considering Ryan was once a member of the Hitmen. Ungrateful ass.

The Flames spent much of the second period shorthanded, burdened with the task of killing off three straight Anaheim powerplays, including a lengthy five-on-three. The Flames were outshot 15-8 in the period and got lucky on a few missed chances by the Ducks, but entered the third period down by just one goal after some solid penalty killing and superb saves by Kiprusoff.

The Flames then took over in the third, outshooting the Ducks 18-7, but would not be rewarded until the final thirty seconds of the game. With Kiprusoff on the bench and the puck in Flames territory, it looked as this game was headed for the "Let This One Slip Away" file. That was until Iginla hustled back to into his own zone to collect the puck, took off down the ice with Jokinen and Glencross, and put a sizzling wrister five-hole on Giguere after receiving a nice cross-ice pass from Jokinen. Tie game with eighteen seconds left in regulation.

Both teams had their chances in overtime but failed to find the back of the net, and Teemu Selanne eventually won the game in the shootout after Dawes, Glencross, and Jokinen were all stopped by Giguere, who made 41 saves against his former team. Typical.

I was curious as to why Brent Sutter didn't use Iginla in the shootout until Ryan Lambert from Two-Line Pass informed me via Twitter that Iggy hasn't scored a shootout goal since 2007 (!) I had no idea it had been so long, but you'd think that Sutter would give him a chance after he played such a good game and scored the game-tying goal?

Three out of four possible points on the road is great, but there are still some irritating habits that keep resurfacing with this team; one of them being the defensive-meltdown-and-surrendering-two-quick-goals act. This one occurred as a result of a particularly horrendous series of giveaways, poor down low coverage, and poor rebound control.

This minute-and-eight-seconds long sequence of crap sucked all the momentum out of an otherwise good period and is a fine example of the mental lapses Brent Sutter has been referring to. You're not always going to be able to bounce back from those, and the Flames are fortunate that they have been able to do just that over the past two games. I still wonder if this team will ever be able to play hockey for a full sixty minutes.

Even though the Flames registered a season-high fourty-three shots on goal, Kiprusoff was still forced to make twenty-nine saves, some of them very difficult, as a result of lax defensive play. Phaneuf and Regehr struggled, in particular against the Ducks' top line, as both were on the ice around the crease for both Anaheim goals, failing to clear rebounds and cover their men. Phaneuf finished the game -1 while Regehr was -2.

While the Flames' penalty kill has improved exponentially since the game against Chicago, killing off all six opposing powerplays in their past two games, the powerplay has yet to follow suit; the man advantage was a futile 0-4 again tonight against the Ducks, and one can't help but wonder if a powerplay goal could have changed the outcome of this game. Brent Sutter and Co. really need to get the PP going, and sooner rather than later.

Notables:

- Olli Jokinen is still not the $5.5 million first-line centre we were promised, but he continues to show signs of improvement. He registered four shots on goal tonight against the Ducks and assisted on both Flames goals. He had a few golden chances around the net, but was unable to make anything of them. He maintained a presence in the offensive zone and his pass to Iginla on the tying goal was especially impressive.

This was undoubtably one of Olli's best games of the season. His improved performance as of late may be the result of a little one-on-one practice time with Brent Sutter last Thursday. Also, Matthew Lombardi inadvertently scored in his own net tonight against the Oilers, which isn't much but it makes me feel marginally better about the whole situation.

- Curtis Glencross had three, yes three, breakaway or partial breakaway chances in this game, scoring on one of them in the first period. He was simply fantastic in this game, finishing +2 with four shots on goal.

- Dustin Boyd played very well while filling in for Jamie Lundmark on the first line. His speed, passing ability, and versatility make him an ideal linemate. He finished the game with an even +/- and three shots on goal.

- Moss and Nystrom were both very impressive against the Ducks and have been playing very well lately, especially Moss. Both did an excellent job of winning puck battles along the boards, protecting the puck, and creating chances around the net.

- What more can I possibly say about Jarome Iginla? The guy has scored twelve goals in his last ten games, including a hat-trick and multiple game-winners, and he turned in a fine performance again tonight. He won puck battles, intercepted passes, and controlled the play in the opposing zone for large chunks of time. His effort on the game-tying goal was a thing of beauty.

- Jay Bouwmeester led the team with six shots on goal and he was +2 on the evening, again demonstrating his ability to contribute at both ends of the ice. Congratulations on being awesome, Jay.

- I know I have professed my love for Daymond Langkow in the past, and I'm going to take this opportunity to heap more praise on the gritty veteran centre. I counted at least two sequences in this game where he forced a turnover in the offensive zone and created a scoring chance. He is just so quick-thinking, smart, and effective with his stick and body positioning. Never leave us, Daymond.

Up Next: The Flames return home briefly for a date with the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday before departing for Detroit to begin a six-game road trip Friday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Flames vs. Avs, the power of Blingee

Okay, so in keeping with my promise of more frequent contributions to this here blog, I will compose a brief pre-game post for you, but mostly I just want to show you the Blingees I made last night. If you don't know what Blingees are, visit Kim and Zoe at Puck Huffers, because only they can do them justice. Anywho, inspired by their ability to summon the Penguins out of a slump by creating gaudy, over-the-top, bedazzled images featuring the likeness of a hockey player of choice and some well-placed stamps, I made it my mission to do the same. The Flames are not in a slump per-say, but I figured Blingees can serve multiple purposes, thus I present you with these creations of mine:

Goalz


Blingees are officially the new Paint.

Ok, back to business. The Flames are back at the 'Dome after an outwardly successful three-game road trip where they earned five out of six points. Despite climbing to within one point of the Avalanche, who coincidentally, are their opponents tonight, the Flames were outworked, outshot, and generally outplayed in all but one of those games, and Brent Sutter made his displeasure with his club perfectly clear, as he always does. This is where shit starts to get serious. Yes, it's only November, but the Flames have a chance to grab the division lead with a win tonight over the Avs, who are 0-2-1 in their last three. Points at any time in the season are invaluable, as is a division lead; we all know how quickly those can disappear.

Curtis Glencross returns to the lineup tonight after serving his three-game suspension for his hit to the head of New York's Chris Drury, and was welcomed back with the assignment of first-line duty, as he will suit up alongside Iginla and Jokinen. I have expressed my displeasure with the rotating nature of the left-wing position on the Flames first line before, and believe it is something that has to be earned through hard work and consistency.

Before Glencross was suspended, he had been demoted to a third-line role as the coaching staff had been unsatisfied with his play. In his absence, Moss and Boyd really stepped up, and were some of the team's best forwards in Buffalo and Toronto; the line of Nystrom-Boyd-Moss was effective at five-on-five and on special teams, and will start the game together again tonight. Maybe Glencross will be motivated by the injustice of his three-game exile and pull one of his game-changing stunts that have endeared him to Flames fans.


Glencross-Jokinen-Iginla
Dawes-Langkow-Bourque
Nystrom-Boyd-Moss
Sjostrom-Conroy-Prust

McGrattan is presumably a healthy scratch.

Bouwmeester-Sarich
Regehr-Phaneuf
Giordano-Pardy

Kiprusoff

This game will be a tough test for a Flames squad that seemed intimidated by the opposition's speed and aggressive forecheck in their last two outings. The key to success for them will be to limit turnovers and scoring chances off turnovers, which seems to be Colorado's go-to offensive strategy. Cleaner, quicker exits from the defensive zone are also crucial against a team like the Avs, and as always, the outshooting the opposition usually helps.

If Jokinen could get a goal or two that would be nice as well. Perhaps the Blingee I made for him will help.

Game time is 7:30 (Sportsnet West)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Game day rant--Flames@Stars


Last time the Flames played Dallas, Sutter iced the line of Nystrom-Jokinen-Iginla and as Kent illustrates here, they were terrible for the most part. In what parallel universe is Nystrom a first-line winger? More to the point, what has he done recently to earn a go-around on the top-line carousel? Is Sutter just doing this out of desperation, curiosity, or does he genuinely believe that this can/will be a good line, competing against Dallas' top unit?

I know he wants to keep the second line together because they are the only ones producing right now, but would it kill him to try one or both of Langkow and/or Bourque on the first line with Iginla? Perhaps playing with the team's leading scorer will enable him to put up a few points and get the ball (or the puck) rolling in the right direction. Eric Nystrom is a good hockey player, but he's not first-line material and likely never will be; which is unfortunate given that the Flames drafted him 10th overall in 2002.

Does this team even have a legitimate first-line left-winger? In comparison to other teams with playoff/Stanley Cup aspirations (San Jose, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington, etc.), I would have to say no. The sheer incompetence of this line in all areas of the game, specifically generating shots on goal and scoring chances and lately, the powerplay, makes me think that that Whitney trade may not be such a bad idea after all. Phil Kessel had 10 shots on goal last night against Tampa...TEN! That's almost half of the Flames' shot total last game against the Wings. I die a little inside every time I see Mike Cammalleri score a goal or set up Gionta/Gomez (i.e. A LOT. Even in those weird stripe-y jailbait uniforms) and long for the days when petite #13 laced 'em up alongside Iggy and Langkow.

Nystrom's unexplained promotion to first-line duty makes even less sense when one considers his play as of late (1 point in his last five games, 0 SOG and -1 vs. Detroit); he has not been especially noticeable and if any young forward in the bottom-six rotation is going to get the job it should be Dustin Boyd (3 points in his last five games). I know LW isn't his natural position, but name someone else more deserving of the position based on his play so far this season. Step right up folks, everyone gets a turn on the wacky, unpredictable Flames first line that will shortly be the laughing stock of the entire NHL! Don't worry if you screw up, you'll get another shot in a few games because we've exhausted all of our other options and don't have the resources to trade for a viable top-six forward!

At least call up Mikael Backlund or something; he has more goals than Jokinen and is quite possibly playing against stronger competition in the American league. I would look into some trade possibilities but frankly, I can't be bothered. Trading Jokinen would imply that a) some other team actually wants him and is willing to give up something in return and b) Darryl Sutter would have to admit he was in the wrong. I don't know which situation is less likely to occur.

OK, rant over. Deep breaths...

Let's focus on the task at hand: getting two points against the Stars IN Dallas, something that has proven to be very difficult for the Flames.

Miikka Kiprusoff (illness) will not start in goal tonight for the Flames; he showed up to the morning skate and was promptly sent back to the team's hotel to get some rest. Karma? Irony? Poetic justice? You decide.

I have already made my thoughts on the H1N1 vaccine debacle clear over at M&G, but I absolutely cannot believe the backlash the Flames organization is experiencing. One man claims to have sold his season tickets and a woman in Airdrie is boycotting the Flames and the NHL, forbidding her children from watching or listening to hockey games and attending Flames games until the organization issues an apology. The vaccine shortage is in no way a direct result of Calgary Flames players, coaches, and their families receiving the vaccine, and I think anger at the players and the organization is misguided and wrought with hypocrisy.

OK, rant over for real this time.

So McElhinney will start for the Flames tonight, and the team in front of him supposedly has a renewed commitment to hard work and a newfound attention to detail. I'll believe it when I see it.

Marty Turco, Jere Lehtinen, and Mike Modano are all healthy and will return to the Stars' lineup tonight.

The lines/pairings:

Nystrom-Jokinen-Iginla

Dawes-Langkow-Bourque

Glencross-Boyd-Moss

Sjostrom-Conroy-McGrattan

Regehr-Phaneuf

Bouwmeester-Sarich

Giordano-Pardy

* Brandon Prust is scratched with an apparent upper-body injury

The Flames desperately need two points tonight. They have four games in hand on Vancouver, but are now three points back after the Canucks won a fight-filled match vs. the Rangers, complete with some hilarious sound bytes. The Flames also have three games in hand on the Avs, who have lost two straight but play the Coyotes tonight.

I'm not overly optimistic that the Flames will come away with the victory, but if I see signs of improvement from the first line and/or that this team has learnt something from their past two losses and subsequent "tough" practices, I will consider it a small accomplishment.

Game time: 6:30 PM (TSN)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Swine flu: the NHL's answer to biological warfare


It was confirmed yesterday that
Oilers defenceman Ladislav Smid had the H1N1 virus after over half of the Oilers roster experienced varying degrees of the flu. The sports world is not immune to the H1N1 pandemic--in fact the conditions in most dressing rooms and arenas present an optimal breeding ground for the Swine Flu--and so far two other NHL players are currently sitting out with the virus and others claim to have had it as well.

The most worrying part of this news is that Smid did not miss a game while infected, which means he could have easily spread the Swine to other members of his team and (gasp) the opposition. Here's where my conspiracy theory kicks in--the Oilers played their last three games against Northwest division opponents, including the Flames, Canucks, and Avalanche, where Smid wasn't the only player with flu-like symptoms in the Oilers lineup. Could Swine Flu be the NHL's answer to biological warfare?

In all seriousness, this virus kills. The NHL should take it more seriously and encourage players to get vaccinated and stay away from practice/games and off-ice activities with their teammates if they are feeling under the weather. The league is taking the right steps in ensuring that players don't share water bottles or towels and having team trainers properly sanitize dressing rooms and equipment, but the players are also responsible for their own well being and, to a lesser extent, that of their teammates and other players around the league.

Flames forward Dustin Boyd missed practice Monday morning with the flu and has since been held out of further practices and will not be playing tonight as a precaution. I know that realistically, the Oilers could not have told half their roster to stay home and consume copious amounts of chicken noodle soup, but all players experiencing flu-like symptoms should be tested for the H1N1 virus and held out of the lineup until the results are confirmed; the organization should have handled the situation more carefully. Being a slightly obsessive-compulsive hypochondriac myself, I received the H1N1 vaccine today and am not experiencing any adverse effects apart from a sore arm; I encourage everyone else, especially athletes, to do the same.

In other news...

Roberto Luongo is injured and out indefinitely with...(drumroll please)...a hairline fracture in his rib. He is expected to miss about a week. Anticlimactic, isn't it? Whatever makes you feel better about allowing five goals in front of Stevie Y and Team Canada management, Bobby Lu.

I don't have Centre Ice or the NHL Network, so the games I get to choose from tonight (aside from the Flames/Avs game, which I ordered on PPV. It's my first PPV experience and I'm curious as to what all the fuss is about. Will report findings later) are Leafs vs. Stars and Sens vs. Panthers. You spoil me, TSN. Why the hell would I want to watch sub-par, Ontario-based teams play mediocre, Southern-U.S. based teams? You do know there are NHL franchises located outside of Ontario, right? The Coyotes haven't been relocated quite yet.

Adam Pardy draws back into the lineup tonight for the Flames in place of Aaron Johnson. What took so long?

IF the Flames get bodies to the net, shoot the puck, and play with disciplined physicality, they could edge Anderson and the Avs. If they don't, well, I just wasted fourteen dollars of my parent's money and this could be a very long night. We all saw how the Avs created offence off of turnovers and clogged up the neutral zone worse than fat clogs up Kyle Wellwood's arteries last night against the Oilers; Sutter and Co. undoubtably took note of that. The Flames will have to make sure they protect the puck well and not focus on gaining entry into the offensive zone solely by carrying it in; sometimes a good dump-in followed by a solid forecheck works wonders. There's probably a joke there but I can't be bothered to think about it.

May the best team win, but preferably the Flames.

PS: GET VACCINATED. THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT SPYING ON YOU BY IMPLANTING TRACEABLE MICROCHIPS INTO YOUR ARM FAT.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Boyd flu-stricken, Cammy's Freudian slip, naked Oilers, and more


After another fine outing the other night against the Oilers,
Dustin Boyd missed practice today with the flu. Multiple Oilers have been fighting the flu bug for over a week now, and some were even playing with the virus Saturday night (I'm looking at you, Tom Gilbert. Thanks for transmitting your Oiler cooties to poor Dustin here.) We all know that a flu virus can have devastating effects on an NHL roster, and the Flames will need to be in top form when they face the upstart young Avs Wednesday night. So I am wishing Boyder a speedy recovery--lots of rest and chicken noodle soup, and if Dion and Kipper try to convince you to go to Cowboys with them just say no, OK? Even if Dion calls you a pussy.

I was scoping out SB Nation site The Copper and Blue this afternoon out of curiosity, and I have to say, not from the perspective of a Flames fan but from that of someone who appreciates good quality writing, that Matchsticks and Gasoline is far superior.

Mike Cammalleri was interviewed on Sportscentre today about his four-point game Saturday against the Rangers and the team's success as of late, and told reporters: "you start to really kinda produce and have se...success, sorry, offensively." He then laughed nervously as the interview cut to what I believe was Canadiens correspondent John Lu narrating some Habs highlights. Freudian Slip, Cammy?

I think it's sort of an unwritten rule of female hockey fandom not to lust after the opposition, especially when said opposition is your favourite team's most hated rival, but several members of the Edmonton Oilers are making that awfully hard with these pictures from ESPN Magazine's 'The Body' Issue:
Andrew Cogliano is clearly the most conservative of the bunch. Drop the towel, Andy!

Just an everyday trip to the penalty box. Sheldon Souray looks like he wants you to join him for ten minutes of misconduct...

Alright, I'll stop.

(Images courtesy of Hot Oil and Hit The Post)

Scott Cruickshank from the Flames Insider believes re-signing current leading scorer Rene Bourque could cost anywhere from $2.8 to $4.5 million. Surely the Brothers Sutter could convince the Lac La Biche native to accept a hometown/province discount? Alberta boys gotta stick together, right?

The headshot/knee-shot/respect debate was re-ignited today after a plethora of players sustained injuries from questionable hits over the weekend, which Ryan Lambert sums up nicely over at Puck Daddy. Tuomo Ruutu was suspended three games for his hit from behind on Darcy Tucker, LA's Rob Scuderi was fined for his low hit that sent Columbus' Jason Chimera flying through the air head-over-skates, and Steve Ott has yet to be disciplined for his involvement in two separate knee-related incidents. The most important thing for Colin Campbell and the NHL is consistency in the discipline of these players (see: The Colin Campbell Wheel of Justice).

Mike Richards' hit on David Booth was cringe-worthy but legal, and deserved an interference penalty at the most. It was very similar to Phaneuf's hit on Kyle Okposo in the pre-season; neither player was punished by the league, and rightfully so. Neither player has a history of "dirty" play. Same goes for Rob Scuderi.

When it comes to the Ruutu hit, the situation gets murky. Ruutu is a repeat offender (what is it about the last name "Ruutu" that makes you a disrespectful, gutless hockey player?), and some would argue the suspension should have been longer than three games. Steve Ott is in the same boat; whatever the league decides to do regarding his punishment at his hearing tomorrow is crucial to their reputation and credibility in the eyes of fans, the media, and other professional sports leagues.

Congratulations to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who finally earned their first victory of the 2009-10 NHL season with a 6-3 decision over the struggling Ducks. Niklas Hagman completed the hat-trick while Tomas Kaberle scored a career-high five points as the Leafs scored five powerplay goals on eleven opportunities against GM Brian Burke's former team. In Interesting Leafs History Tidbits, the Blue and White lost ten straight games in 1967, coincidently the last time they won the Stanley Cup. Plan the parade people, these guys are fo realz.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday's hockey happenings


Between work and studying for mid-terms, I've barely left the house this weekend and I thought a Sunday night without a single NHL game on the schedule would give me ample opportunity to get all caught up on past few days' happenings.

The Flames improved their record over Northwest division opponents to 4-0 Friday night with a 5-3 victory over the Canucks. They went about it in a convincing way for the first forty minutes, carrying a 5-0 lead into the third period. The Canucks got on the board at 6:55 of the final frame, and the hosts did a pretty good job at maintaining their composure until the final three minutes of the game. With Bouwmeester in the box for hooking and Boyd serving a too many men penalty, the Canucks capitalized and scored two quick goals. The Flames managed to hold off the surge and hold on for the victory as Alex Burrows quelled his team's momentum with a late goaltender interference penalty which ate up the remainder of the period.

I really liked what I saw from this team until the third period. They came out with a lot of energy, played physical, and showed flashes of good defensive positioning. The Boyd-Prust-McGrattan line put on quite a show, making me feel sufficiently foolish for questioning Brent Sutter's methods. McGrattan completed the Gordie Howe hat-trick while Boyd scored a goal and an assist and Prust chipped in with two helpers. Boyd is really starting to heat up after a slow start resulting from a concussion he sustained during pre-season. I didn't even know that until yesterday, poor Boyder. He had multiple chances during the game against Vancouver and had a great game all around, finishing the evening +1 in eight minutes of ice time.

The Iginla-Conroy-Glencross line didn't exactly pan out the way the Coach was hoping, and if I'm not mistaken it wasn't long before Jokinen was moved back onto the top unit in a desperate bid to ignite the captain. Iginla had five shots on goal and wasn't TERRIBLE, but wasn't especially noticeable either as he cracked the 20 minute mark in ice time. Glencross was great, scoring a beauty of a shorthanded goal and finishing the evening +2, while Jokinen...well, he finished with two shots on goal and not much else. The lack of production from our top forwards is disconcerting, and while the performances of Bourque, Boyd, Glencross, and the likes is encouraging, the levels of offence they are providing are probably not sustainable. Jokinen and Iginla have to be better.

On the defensive side of things, Robyn Regehr was much improved Friday night, and finished +3 while Phaneuf finished +2; perhaps this pairing is finally beginning to work? Bouwmeester and Sarich were steady, while Giordano and Pardy stuggled slightly. The shots ended up 29-24 for Vancouver, which still isn't great, especially considering the Flames led for the majority of the game, but is an improvement. The Flames' faceoff performance was sort of a mixed bag; at even strength they were 39%, while they finished 67% on the powerplay and 56% shorthanded for a total of 47%.

The Flames devoted their entire practice to special teams Sunday morning, after their 16th ranked penalty kill allowed two goals on five Vancouver powerplays. I am not yet sure whether or not to be concerned about this. What concerns me more is this team's tendency to allow multiple goals in short periods of time with such alarming frequency. I don't ever recall this happening so often as it has so far this season, and I don't understand it whatsoever. What are we paying our high-priced defence and goaltender for if not to shut down the opposing team's forwards and limit scoring chances? This habit absolutely has to stop.

In other news...
Here's something funny:
There's your game winner. Take that, Chicago.

Chuck Kobasew was traded to the Minnesota Wild today for Craig Weller, a second round pick in 2011, and the rights to prospect Alexander Fallstrom. That seems like a lot to give up in exchange for a twenty-goal guy like Kobasew, as much as I love him. Minnesota must have been desperate for a top-six forward. Looks like we'll be seeing a lot more of each other this season, Chuckie.

In Oilers news/salacious gossip, Sheldon Souray's ex-wife Angelica Bridges, who appeared on the popular 90s show "Baywatch", has apparently accused him of "tricking" her into a divorce and withholding the details of the fat $27 million deal he signed with the Oilers in the summer of 2007 from her. She has also accused him of abuse in the past and is fighting for custody of their two young daughters, currently residing with Souray, who has yet to speak on the matter. To top it all off, TMZ has got hold of the story. Yikes. What is it with Edmonton Oilers' defencemen and their gossip-worthy tendencies? Oilers management really knows how to pick 'em.

Up Next: The Flames host the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, looking to avenge a loss in Columbus last week. The Flames have a light schedule during this five game home-stand, as they don't play again till Saturday after Tuesday's match, and are then off until the following Wednesday. Symptoms of Flames Withdrawal are beginning to set in already.

Search This Blog

Loading...