there was a lot of talk about optimism before the detroit game (aka: the motorcity massacre), though i never really bought into it. i knew the emotional impact that losing ference had on me, and not only have i never met the guy, but i'm certainly not his friend and former teammate. after seeing the beating the flyers laid down on a hasek-less wings team last night, i realize that the worst team in the league did what the flames couldn't do the night before: take advantage.
i have far higher hopes for tonight's game. i think the mental and physical distance between the 'dome and the bus outside the arena in buffalo is enough that the boys can focus on the task at hand: a capable atlanta team with some recent troubles with their firepower. in their losses to the 'nucks & greasers, it seems that hartley was constantly shuffling lines in attempt to beat the tougher western conference defenses. if calgary can grind out a good, old fashioned darryl sutter style game, the flames will win. without a doubt.
there is really no reason that either the loss of ference/kobasew, or the loss in detroit should have an effect on the game tonight. with the perspective that being back home can bring, these guys should be as focussed as ever on layin' the smack down on the worst jerseys in the league... flames victorious: 4-1 [iggy, phaneuf, lombardi, langkow/koslov].
[as a footnote, i can't stop thinking about something that some dude named duncan commented over on hockeygirl's site. re: the ference contract extention & subsequent trade, he said, "Andy did a deal in good faith, and Darryl shipped him off. So will Iggy think twice about sticking around, or taking a hometown discount?" i'm afraid i find this to be a horrifyingly good point. unless the team goes deep into the playoffs (thereby making sutter look like a genius), iggy may very well have some leftover angst towards him when it comes time to re-sign next year... thoughts ?]