Tuesday, February 27, 2007

a love letter to the st. louis blues

dear slightly depleted blues squad:

thank you, st.louis, for not letting the canucks win today. i know you probably feel a little empty from losing tkachuk and guerin, but i promise you'll really like niemenen --he's really funny and a great interview (that thing about "hospital hockey" is the stuff of legend). he can play hockey a bit, too, in a jarkko ruutu sortof way. also, i'm sure boyes and metropolit will look good in the blue jersey. anyhow, i'm not sure if you won for
my team tonight, or for your future, but i'm sure glad you did.


entering the sutter psyche

clearly there are a helluva lotta things i could be talking about here on trade deadline day. the big deal ? ryan smyth gets dealt for a couple of kobasews (they could be good... but how long does it TAKE to live up to potential ???). the rug-stealer ? todd bertuzzi for a sack of pucks (clearly this trade, in itself, was not a rug stealer --but if you factor in the previous one, it's actually LUONGO for a sack of pucks)...

what i found the most interesting trade of the day was david hale for a sack of pucks. i know sutter is one who covets (read: kiprusoff & lundmark) and when he makes a trade for a guy that nobody's ever even heard of, i always wonder if there's something more to it. cause... um... i'm doubting that jersey was offering this guy up as tradebait around the league...

picture it:

Lou Lamoriello "i'll give you.... david hale & rich matthews for forsberg."
David Polle "uhhhhh......" [click]


Lou Lamoriello "how about david hale for brendan bell ?"
JFJ "he's not old enough"
Lou Lamoriello "i'll throw in jacques caron. he's old."
JFJ "can i call you back after dinner ?"


Darryl Sutter "i'll take brodeur off your hands for a 5th rounder..."
Lou Lamoriello "hmmmmm.... i can't do brodeur. besides, i've already got a 5th rounder !!!"
Darryl Sutter "fine. i'll take that 5th rounder AND david hale for a 3rd rounder ?"
Lou Lamoriello "done."

and that, my friends, is how calgary landed their 10th debatably capable defenseman. after (in some kind of order) hamrlik, phaneuf, regehr, stuart, warrener, giordano, zyuzin, richie regehr & (debatably) brad ference...

bring on the mug.

Monday, February 26, 2007

flames v. dingos: pre-game

this one will be short. but i see it like this.

1. we're at the dome
2. isn't there a "the coyotes can't beat u twice in a row" rule ?
3. regehr and stuart have GOT to be meshing by now
4. dustin boyd ? ;) naaaa... but mossy's back, right ?

that's all i got.
no score prediction.
no outcome prediction.
i just can't find enough wood to knock on.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

a love letter to the dallas stars

dear southstars:

thank you, dallas, for not letting the canucks win today. i feel sortof sorry that they still got a point, but i really appreciate you guys for puttin' forth the big effort and tying the game with less than 30 seconds left, and then winning it in overtime. my team could really learn from your hard work. but even though he set up the tying goal, i still hate mike ribeiro for being a whiny bitch. oh, and thank you for keeping joel lundqvist in the bigs...


flames v. sharks: postgame

okay, so we won. so what ?

as duncan put it: the worst part? The next three are at home, so everyone will once again be fooled into thinking it’s all OK. It isn’t all OK.

we did some good things last night, for sure. there was a nice hard forecheck, most notably by tangs who's speedy feet led directly to two goals. the PK looked halfway decent (forgetting about them getting one in the net). the PP was much less painful to watch (forgetting about the shorthanded tally). there was some emotion (thanks, preems, for taking a couple more stitches on our behalf). we held a lead to the final buzzer (forgetting, of course, about the two goal advantage we squandered in the second)... either way. two points under the "W" ? we'll take 'em...

don't kid yourself into thinking this team is "fixed." regehr still looked like he's skating in wet cement. hamrlik (three points aside) appeared to spend half the night playing for the wrong team, with the number of beautiful passes he delivered onto their sticks. iggy seemed to spend an outrageous amount of time sprawled out on the ice. clearing the zone, last night, meant 'lob it half-assed towards the blueline' or 'pass it haphazardly in any direction you think you see a guy in red.'... and how many penalties can one team take against a very potent powerplay team like the sharks ?? i blame that one on playfair (who, btw, looked fairly snappy in his unoffensive black suit with questionably non-ugly tie)...

i would like to see more of iggy with lombo. chuck tangs onto that line and let's see what happens...

oh, and ference had a rough game, ending up a team-worst -3... :(

Saturday, February 24, 2007

flames v. sharks: pregame (aka: blood in the water)

so here's my latest take:

the current flames are like the 06 men's canadian olympic hockey team. i realize it's a bit over-the-top to compare an elite hockey country's all-stars to our present roster, but hear me out.

can you recall (haha, how can you not ?) how absolutely AGONIZING it was to know without question that the team was fully capable of gold, when their on-ice play really stunk up the joint ? every pass was pitiful, every save gave up huge rebounds, every check was mediocre, and what shots there were (did we shoot ever ? i forget...) were directed straight at the goalie, not towards any bit of open net. i rememeber fidgeting and pacing, knowing long before the game was over that we didn't have the passion to win it...

at the time, i placed blame solely on two people:
1. pat quinn for not dressing any/all of staal, spezza, and especially dan boyle.
2. pronger for playing with a broken foot.

as it translates to our current cast of red-hot losers, i feel i should place similar blame: on the coaching staff, for not finding the right mix of guys to put on the ice, and on any player not healthy enough to be out there. sure, i realize that it's the "stretch" and there will be guys playing with injuries. but the flames are a deep club. if warrener is nursing a bad hand, play zyuzin AND giordano for a night. hell, if iggy's not 100% let's try giving HIM the game off. sutter would. and there's a bunch of kids on the farm that would play their little hearts out in his stead.

in october when we were sucking, all we needed was a little emotional jumpstart from a guy really fucking trying to make the team: brandon prust, tomi mäki, dustin boyd, eric godard and, (of course) davey moss all brought that spark. so i don't understand why playfair et al. insist on mixing-and-matching current roster guys on lines that are clearly emotionally drained.

*sigh* but no callups for tonight's game. which means sharks bite first and we'll never claw back. fish win 4-1: marleau, michalek, and vlasic with two (in attempt to prove he's worth more than kipps). huselius with the lone marker for the flaming losers. :)

[completely off topic but i had to share: have you heard the new nickname for the sens' goalie: sugar ray emery. amaaaaazing...]

Friday, February 23, 2007

the lightbulb goes on

dustin boyd.
that's the answer.
(for now)


Thursday, February 22, 2007

flames v. dogs: postgame

oh, sorry.
did i say even stevens WE win in OT ?
i meant my team's a bunch of fuckin' HACKS who CAN'T win in OT.

i'm about to cross the line. but seriously ? i wanna have a team to cheer for, come may...

(go wild ?)

flames v. dogs: pregame (aka "the kiss of death")

so madmac went ahead and guaranteed a win tonight in the grand canyon state, which (to me) pretty much dooms any chance for a much-needed road win. but i'm kinda down on my team right now anyways, so i guess i would've predicted a loss either way... i'm starting to think these guys will hit rock bottom before they wake up (with just enough time left to meet nashville in the first round).

okay. i don't think it'll be that bad but i DO wonder what happened to the "little team that could" (ie: the one that played without jarome to an impeccable record). i wonder why we could pull out all the stops and play with heart for sixty minutes when the team wasn't as good or as deep... i wonder why playfair continues to play with line combinations when, i think chemistry is the only thing lacking... all i know is that tuesday night, i changed my ichat header from "party like mccarty" to "well, at least ference won tonight..."

i'm givin' tonight's matchup to the dingos. let's say sjöstrom with a hattrick (i love that former hitman), and huselius lighting the lamp for the good guys (cause he won't give up).

[this negative post is just to counterbalance what happened over at the fiveholers' site. yep. we're even stevens. so we win in OT}

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

flames v. 'lanche pt3: postgame

the "United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment" (UNCAT) came into force in june 1987.

so why is every flames road game so absolutely excruciating ?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

flames v. 'lanche pt3: pre-game

pardon the profanity but, seriously ? who's NOT fuckin' sick of seeing the snow swirling around the A. and those pesky bloggers from the centennial state are probably saying the exact same thing about the flaming C. [though i always thought it would be great if, at the pepsi centre, there were dudes in long white capes that would come running down the stairs after an avs goal. y'know, the way the fire comes bursting out of the boxes in the rafters of the 'dome... but i guess not every team needs a gimmick...].

two big questions tonight that i feel i already have answered:
1. is davey moss playing ? no. he did not accompany the team on the road.
2. can the flames win on the road ? i'm gonna say yes. tonight will be the first of many.

6-4 calgary. giggles with a pair, one for the new kid preems, juice with a couple and i'll give one to freezy. 'lanche respond with goals from burnaby joe, brunette, hejduk and svatos (to show he's tasty tradebait).

and, what, nobody laughed at sundin meets firemarshallbill ???

Monday, February 19, 2007

seperated at birth

here's a couple i've been thinking about for awhile, and i don't feel like writing about vancouver taking over the division lead and looking unstoppable, trades or trade rumours... so here you go:

henrik lundqvist (NYR) & jc chasez (n*sync)

mark giordano (CGY) & mr. bean

richard zednik (MTL) & daniel craig (007)
[this one's a stretch, i know...]

lundqvist & jc again...

fire marshall bill & mats sundin (TOR)... yeahhhhh.....

and then there's the ones that i absolutely ADORE that were published in the hockey news:

mike commodore (CAR) and ronald mcdonald

that's all the amusement i can muster for you guys on a monday night. thanks to tanzir for the fire marshall bill/sundin idear. see ya'z tomorrow for a gameday rundown... :)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

flames v. 'lanche pt2: pre-game

i started writing just now about all my superstitions, and how i'll use them to help the flames win tonight, but then i realized that the flames need to help the flames win. EVERYONE needs to play ALL sixty hockey minutes. they need to play as tough as their "arguably best in the league" defense should. they need to score like a college quarterback in cancun [i wish i could take credit for that one, but i stole it fair and square from JV]

the flames can win tonight by using simple maths: score more goals you let in.

(but a little hint for playfair: put godard in... because i think the stat is "unbeaten" with that guy wearing the flaming C)

Flames 5-2: iggy, tanguay, conroy, phaneuf, langkow/brunette, hejduk.

Friday, February 16, 2007

i hate being wrong

i was WAY off on that game. i guessed low-scoring & it was a blowout. i said friesen would pot one & he was kept entirely off the scoresheet. i said we'd win and... well, we certainly didn't do that... i've got nothing else to say on the subject (except that it seems whenever i go out drinkin', the flames lose and there's a huge trade...).

additionally, i was wrong about forsberg going to vancouver. on the bright side (if you can call it that) at the beginning of the year, i called nashville to win the cup (though i can probably only count on george stroumboulopoulos to bear witness to that call, as he accompanied me to the 'dome when the preds made the flames look like a junior team, back in october). odds are on that i might get that one right, i guess, unfortunately...

in other news, i was reading an article on NHL.com about the 2007 class of rookies and was quite pleased to see our boy giordano in the top 20. i wish i screen captured it before i sent in my complaint to the author, but it has since been ameded to reflect the notes i sent in:

what maths are you using to calculate mark giordano being "scratched in 13 of Calgary's past 20 games" ?? i'm fairly certain that the only game he's missed, going back into 2006, was the january 13th tilt against edmonton. this guy has clearly stolen the #6 spot from a failed 1.4 million dollar darryl sutter experiment, in andrei zyuzin, to become a bit more than "semi-regular."

As you pointed out, my math was a little fuzzy in regards to Giordano's playing time. I incorrectly refernced his game-by-game stats and thought the beginning of the season was the current part of the season if that makes sense. I have changed it now.

see ? i love being right... :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

flames v. 'lanche pt1: pre-game (aka the scheduling debacle)

i guess this is as good a time as any to talk about the ridiculousness that is the NHL schedule.

a lot of people bitch about the fact that there are teams we don't get to see for three years (the "crosby/ovechkin factor"). a lot of people bitch about meeting intra-divisional rivals 8 times each per year. here are my beefs, specifically:

1. season ticket holders end up with passes to attend 41 games in a season. almost HALF of those games are against the same four teams. this, quite simply, sucks.

2. is it any wonder that nashville will win the president's trophy when they get to play columbus, chicago & st. louis each EIGHT FREAKIN' TIMES !!?? sure, they won't win 'em all, but in any given division on any given year, if there are more than two "mediocre" teams, the stronger teams will win the trophies. whereas in a "tight" division (like the NW), arguably better teams won't make the playoffs... this makes me angry...

BUT i guess it's expensive to travel your team, and i guess extra-divisional (if you will) tilts draw lesser crowds... but c'moooon NHL brass... let's get this thing changed... [someone, but i forget who, said re: the crosby ovechkin factor, "the nhl finally has a truly marketable product, but refuses to sell it to half the league." geniuuuussss]

which brings us to this: the flames get to play the avalanche THREE TIMES this week. and while it would seem like a gift for our newly-revitalized team to play the basement-dwellers in a home-and-home-and-home series, the avalanche have been coming up huge against tougher opponents. budaj shut out the ducks a few nights ago, with the help of a frighteningly solid back 6. these games will be hard fought, low-scoring, and won in the corners. both teams will come away with points and injuries... i'll give round 1 to the flames: 2-1 (friesen, tanguay/brunette).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

flames v. thrashers: post-postgame (aka: the forsberg rumour)

so, as predicted, the flames beat the thrashers 4-1. i didn't call all the scorers (well, i called langkow & iginla) but i feel fairly good about my pre-game report. being right is fun...

in all the talk of forsberg leaving philly, it wasn't till today that i heard any talk of him going to vancouver --though i've been calling that exact move for months. foppa played with naslund in his early days; a couple of ol' boys from örnsköldsvik making good in the big league. and forget that the sedin twins also played for modo (the swedish league team helmed by forsberg's dad, kent). i've watched this team play... and what i've been saying for ages: i'd be surprised if he DOESN'T end up on the west coast, it's just a matter of what they're willing to sacrifice for the legend. this, of course, upsets me greatly as a flames fan. and as much as i love forsberg, i can only pray for injury...

but trust me...

naslund and forsberg have a huuuge history...

and he's got a history with the canucks...

and a history with awesome wallpaper... (i LOVE this pic)

[i've been hoarding those pix for YEARS...]

pre-game: thrashers v. flames

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 ?]

Monday, February 12, 2007

let's lighten the mood, shall we ?

i'm sure everyone's seen it, but i was amused by this:

i saw another myNHL promo on sportsnet tonight --it's got a bunch of the allstar 'youngstars' causing havoc in a hotel... it's pretty funny. ovechkin, crosby, phaneuf. can't find it online. if anyone's got a link i'd love to check it out again...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

bloodbath in the motor city: flames v. wings postgame

i predicted a loss, yes. i predicted a heartless outing, sure. but i really didn't expect a massacre at the hands of a bunch of swedes in detroit rock city [it was a FREE-FOR-ALL, lang, where WERE you ??].

i truly believe that the uninspired outing was directly caused by the loss of ference. rob kerr must have agreed, saying between periods, "if you're sulking for a lost comrade, get into a different business." and while on paper that makes perfect sense, the world just doesn't work that way. and i think that ultimately it's this intangibillity that makes it a bad trade. how can brad stuart show up and not feel like the enemy ???

i commented over on kyle's page that one of the only things i like about the greasers is that kevin lowe has kept the core group together. i honestly believe this kind of camaraderie is what builds the heart and soul of a team, and i think there's a good argument that ference, along with iggy, regehr, warrener, kipper (and maybe more recently noodles) had that kind of fellowship. there is endless evidence of it on youtube, when you look for flames PPV segments... and i think iggy will suffer the most...

and the worst part is that we all know sutter's not done, and it's worrysome to think who else will fall under the guillotine... i don't think any of the current 3rd/4th liners have any market value, but we do have a wealth of young goalies... ?

pre-game: flames v. wings

i feel like i've been posting for days, so i'll keep this one short.

i really don't know how the flames can possibly win this game.
maybe it's my attitude that's the problem, but i optimistically called for flames wins in the last two games and was sorely mistaken (though i DID predict close tilt last night, and that if we went to shootout we'd lose... but i guess that doesn't make me a genius). the loss of andrew ference will surely have an immediate effect on the team psychologically, though i'm not sure how it will show itself on the ice. ference was a positive, energetic voice in the locker room, and was very close with a couple of the guys (including our captain)... i'm guessing team morale is low. but chuck in a couple of new guys (no pun intended) and maybe there will be some kind of spark...?

3-0 wings. zetterberg and a couple from robert lang.
(sorry boys)

flames v. slugs: post-postgame (aka: the staal report)

Since I realized FAR too late that I could feasibly ATTEND the game in buffalo, I settled for what I do a few times a week and listened to Peter Maher call the game online. Being that it was hockey night in Canada, I decided to multi-task and also watch the pens/leafs game with the sound off. I must say that, although it’s always a pleasure to listen to my team throw away a lead and lose a painful non-effort in shootout [rob kerr made a good point that the flames should play 3 forwards and 1 defenseman in OT cause lord knows when it goes to shootout we’re boned]. Either way, listening to the game sucked, but I quite enjoyed watching my boy jordy score a his first hattrick…

Here’s the story. About a year ago, I worked on a job with Jordan Staal [i wrote a really short post about it, back in the day, called make 'em wait, which i still think is pinch-his-cheeks cute]. It was a commercial for GM –one of the Olympic spots. The spot had various GM vehicles coming down an assembly line, tended to by a factory worker. Then an athlete comes down the line (kinda dumb, but hey --i don't write 'em). Jordan represented the future of hockey, obviously, but we also shot bobsledders and a downhill skier. We were filming at the GM plant in oshawa, and for weeks I had to liaise with Jordan, his agent & the Petes in order to nail down schedules that included shooting, traveling & a wardrobe fitting. When he showed up at the plant, I met him at the gate, heckled the safety video with him, and walked him in to set. I chatted with him a bit throughout the day –floored at how smart, mature and unflappable (yet witty and genuine) he was. At 18, I found him much more together than the four “frat-boy” twenty-somethings that came out representing the canadian bobsled team (but don’t get me wrong, those guys were also really good dudes). The director, known to be a bit of a screamer, tore a strip off jordy for not standing perfectly still (as instructed) on camera. I didn’t see it go down, but Jordan told me about it when he was sent back to holding for a break. He brushed it off like a pro, stating “whatever... I get yelled at all the time.” Later, I found out that while he was on the conveyor belt, (perfectly still), he saw that his stick was about to knock over a lamp. Instead of breaking equipment, he moved ever so slightly to avoid collision. The director threw a fit. The first assistant director explained that nobody on the crew (even the lighting techs) saw the potential disaster, calling jordan a “smart, observant kid" who clearly knew, without looking, exactly where the blade of his stick was...

a skill that jordy proved tonight.

flames v. slugs: postgame

i had a really nice long post about the flames inability (lately) to hold a lead, and how i wore the jersey all day but now it's 5-2 and also how jordan staal scored a mad hattrick (and how i really like the guy)...

but then sutter went and traded my boy ference, and our boy chucky... and now i really have nothing to say. my dad loved chuck. and i loved ference... and now there's an emptiness in my heart. for real. this one hurts more than any other before it... congratulations, boston. you've done well...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

game day preview: flames v. slugs

i was living in the UK when the flames unveiled the black flaming C in september '03, and i spent a lot of money on per-hour internet use trying to see the new jersey. verdict: HOT. i can't tell you where i was in september '06 when the sabres revealed their new logo, but i remember coming very quickly to the verdict: UGLY. like the leafs are called "the buds", and the canadiens are called "the habs", i've taken it upon myself to dub the sabres "the slugs" forevermore...

but the new look, somehow, made the slugs better. faster. tougher. with a magical ability to both put the puck in the net and keep it out at the same time... initially, the loss of stalwart jp dumont went unnoticed, as the slugs opened the season without a loss in regulation in their first 12 games [i count five shootout wins, though...]. they've been less than superhuman of late, however, going 6-4 in their last ten, with six of those games being one-goal differentials. bottom line: these guys know how to win the tight ones.

which is kindof bad news for the boys in red...

the GOOD news is that i'll be wearing my jersey today and, as i mentioned in the last post, it's 5-1. also in our favour: the flames tend to show up for the teams that are tougher [the "killer instinct"]. and, with any luck, warrener will be back on the ice, so zyuzin --sense of humour and all--- can have a rest in the pressbox tonight.

it'll be a close one. i'll give the edge to miikka, though. 3-2 flames (iggy with 2, lombardi/vanek, briere). not sure if i truly believe we'll take it, with the road record and all... of course, if it goes to shootout we all know we're sunk... [and i can't believe i didn't have the foresight to figure out a way to trek down the QEW to attend this game...]

Thursday, February 8, 2007

super-duper-stitious (BJs post-game)

i don't have much to say tonight but i'm trying to get used to this pre-game/post-game blogging thing.

i missed most of the game cause i forgot it wasn't in calgary [and was trying to make my freakin' page look decent]. the first thing peter maher said as the game came up was "and columbus ties the game at 1." being a slave to my superstitions, i considered shutting it off... but i wasn't quick enough, and the badguys scored yet again, 47 seconds later. did i mention freddy modin scored the winner ? i don't know much, but i know modin is your enemy (unless he plays for your team)...

fear not, flames fans. i WILL wear my jersey on saturday when the flames take on the slugs. and my jersey's sportin' a 5-1 record. so all will be well in flamesville. it has to be.

gameday preview: flames v. bluejackets

here's the thing i know about the bluejackets. they've got freddy modin.

okay the truth is i know very little about what's happening in the hockey hotbed of columbus. i spend a lot of time in toronto and since all the news is buds, buds, buds, it's admittedly hard to figure out what the "other" westcoast teams are doing. and, really ? who wants to read up on that team in the basement of the central division ??? a quick glance of their roster shows me they should have about two lines of crazy firepower --but they haven't been scoring to potential. i also see that there's a lot of young guys, which presumeably means speed and alot of giveaways.

looks like norrena will play. so, here's my query: how does a guy miss only 3 games with a groin injury ?

sitting at .500 in their last ten, i'd say those sailors will be out for blood. if the flames put forth an effort like they did v. the hawks, we're gonna get smoked. if they actually show up to play, i think the flames'll take it 3-2. (tangs/juice/friesen, modin/carter).

do it for noodles, boys.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

let's pretend last night never happened...

i've decided not to write about last night's game. it's not the loss that's painful, it's the way they went about losing... sometimes (and i'm not really sure what prompts it) my team is a bunch of hacks.

instead i thought i would just post some pics.

our boy showin' that he's talented in more than one sport.

our boy trying hard to grow sideburns

the bottom line is that i think it's pretty cool that andrew ference decided to join the myspace revolution. his page gives the fans a forum not only to share their thoughts with him directly, but also for him to share a bit of himself with the fans. and i think that's pretty decent.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

raise the roof (woot! woot!)

cup-era flames fans willl use any excuse to re-live the glory days.

what's this ? mike vernon was BORN in calgary ? he manned the nets the year we won the prize ? he played big for a little guy ? it's been SEVENTEEN YEARS since we last retired a jersey ? he stonewalled stan smyl AND petri skriko in a game 7 ?? hellz ya. well, we might as well make a huge banner and lift it up near the big fire-spitters. i'm not saying he doesn't deserve it, i'm just saying he was never my favorite...

in 2007, håkan loob remains the ONLY swede to EVER score 50 goals in the NHL [although last year, alfredsson claimed he'd be the first to reach that marker, cause he's a pompous fool]. our boy huselius is on pace for about 37 this year, and is leading all of his scandinavian countrymen --including sundin, zetterberg and the man they call foppa. and while they've named a trophy after loob in the swedish elite league, a prize akin to the art ross, he'll clearly never see his name in the rafters at the saddledome.

but since we're honouring our cup winners (okay, well, this is a few years, and players, premature) here's an oldy but a goody. mike vernon may have been proud tonight. but he's got to be pleased as punch about having this to look back on, as well...

the present day flames are currently battling a very fast, young blackhawks team (i watched these guys play the wild at the Xcel energy centre back in december, and trust me, they look better on the ice than their record might suggest). by the sounds of it, the home team that ground out a win by playing 60 minutes of hockey v. the 'nucks on saturday decided not to turn up tonight. instead, we're left with that uninspired bunch we've seen so many times this year.

get well soon, rhettro.