Item: Keenan declares: ERIKSSON WILL PLAY!!!!!
I really can't describe how bizarre it is that we've come to this, that the guy who Phaneufed his way to the Flames losing Game 7 last year against the Sharks has been declared the solution to our back-end injury woes. (I also can't describe how bizarre it is that I now refer to three-fuckups-in-a-game-that-lead-to-goals-against as "Phaneufing", but that's beside the point.)
I must, before my blogmate does so, refer back to the legendary CSI: Eriksson entry of last year. A sample:
to sum up anders eriksson's game 7:
2 penalty minutes (= SJ goal)
2 blocked shots (i chalk this up to luck more than anything)
and all this in a STUNNING 9:26 TOI. think about it. that's INCREDIBLY brutal....
Yes, yes it is. And something tells me that a year in the AHL against lesser competition isn't somehow going to make things better. This leaves us with a likely Game 1 blueline compliment of:
You also know, you just do, that Eriksson will immediately jump over Pardy on the depth chart here. You might ask: Would you rather have Pelech? Answer: Yes. Shelter him, play him five minutes, whatever. Just don't put Eriksson in the lineup because, if you do, he gets 20 minutes.
I'll have more to say tomorrow about what I foresee for this series, and it isn't pretty. Which apparently puts me in some bizarre minority in the Eastern time-zone, as the "experts" at Sports Illustrated (thanks for the e-mail, SI PR guy!) and FIVE OF THE SIX Sportsnet dudes have selected the Flames as their choice in this series.
Big SI reason is BIG BODY PRESENCE down the middle against those puny little bodies like Kane and Toews. (Guess whose prediction? Series colourman Pierre McGuire!)
On Sportsnet's preview show last night, the only guy to go for Chicago was R.J. Broadhead, who picked them in seven. Everyone else had Calgary, most of them in six games — Mike Brophy, Bill Watters, Nick Kypreos, Darren Millard and Doug MacLean.
Look, here's the thing: I hope like hell that they're right and I'm wrong. But seriously, they can't have even looked at one statistic from this season, or watched the Flames play even once for real in the past month to have made this decision. These are old hockey guys "trusting their gut" after looking at a lineup card. Their stated reasoning, other than "big bodies":
• Jokinen will be on a mission
• Iginla is the best leader in the game
• Surely Phaneuf is going to come through
• Chicago is an inexperienced playoff team
• Cammalleri and Iginla are a higher-points-scoring 1-2 than Toews and Kane
Of course, Havlat had more points than either Toews or Kane. And Chicago's goaltender has a Stanley Cup ring. And Phaneuf, even when healthy, has had his worst NHL season and regressed throughout the year. And not even Iginla can get through to Todd Bertuzzi. Or Olli Jokinen, apparently.
But hey, just venting! More reasoned analysis tomorrow.
Finally, a note: Got a text from WI earlier today before the Herald stuck it up on their blog that Curtis Glencross is skating and looking good. Wasn't around a computer at the time to get it up, but important to point out that a) WI was at practice, and is a trooper, and b) She scooped the Herald with me, at the very least.
Although she didn't tell me that GlenX was planning to "get 'er done."