kris chucko, calgary's first round draft pick in 2004 and everyone's favorite quad cities whipping boy, has got to be pissed off by this week's turn of events...
following the selection of dion phaneuf in the first round of the 2003 nhl entry draft, calgary picked up a bunch of players: mostly duds (ramholt, donnally, cunning, and a bunch of guys you've never heard of). the following year, the flames took chucko 24th overall, ahead of robbie schremp, mike green (!), david booth, david krejci, and the kid i used to babysit, logan stephenson.
guys who have cracked the flames' lineup since chucko's selection:
brandon prust (2nd round, 2004)
dustin boyd (3rd round, 2004)
adam pardy (6th round, 2004)
brett sutter (6th round, 2005)
mikael backlund (1st round, 2007).
the insertion of backlund into the fray last night seemed to be more of a series of fortunate events than anything; coming off a WJC silver medal and unsure of where to place him, darryl sutter brought the kid to cowtown. bertuzzi goes out with an injury and POOF ! you've got a rookie centering moss and glencross to start the game.
the best way to describe backlund's play last night ? nervous. after nearly potting his first shot (i'm not sure if i think he should've raised the puck, or if joey macdonald would've had it either way), he went on to totally whiff on a bouncing puck, three feet from a wide open net on a powerplay. the shift prior to the isles first goal was a defensive disaster by the third line --backlund being guilty on two occasions of not being able to clear the puck over the line. i would like to think a couple of extra practices with moss and glencross would have improved his outing, but realistically he looks exactly like he did in pre-season when he showed that he was nowhere near ready for nhl action (yet ever so full of potential)...
if i were chucko, i'd be starting to understand that i'm a career AHLer.