after kipper let in the second goal last night, five minutes into the game and about thirty seconds after the first wild goal, i sent a text to duncan regarding the totally grim outlook on the game. i figured perhaps two blogmates could wallow in the awfulness of it all, but duncan was quite impressively not watching...
"which rookie d-man did they start ?" he inquired.
"both," i replied.
"WHAT ?? WHY ??"
i got on the phone and called the poor, unaware soul and told him the bad news: that the reason for the negrin/pelech callup was because regehr AND aucoin (and sarich... and gio for that matter) were all out with injury. that the reason for the boyd/peters demotion was to provide some cap space to the incoming blueliners. that darryl sutter's mismanagement of the salary cap was forcing the calgary flames to enter minnesota's Xcel center with ten forwards...
the prospect was ugly, at best. the result was quite possibly the first game in the nhl salary cap era that was lost not by the players or the coaches, but by the team's general manager. i actually laughed (in one of those "it's so effin' depressing, all i can do is laugh" ways) when sportsnet showed the lineup:
bertuzzi - jokinen - iginla
cammalleri - langkow - lundmark
glencross - conroy - moss
[helluva fourth line, dontchya think ??????]
what REALLY irks me in this situation is that with the massively depleted blueline, sutter still chose to demote one of his best defensive forwards. anybody could have surmised before puck drop last night that the flames would play a lot of hockey in their own end, would presumeably take a handful of defensive penalties (hooking/holding) and would enormously benefit from having their best PK types available (glencross, conroy, nystrom, BOYD, PETERS).
a more sensible option, in my humble opinion, would have been to demote TODD BERTUZZI; a guy with some offensive skills but who is of absolutely no benefit to a defensively maimed hockey club. i also presume that a todd bertuzzi demotion would have (monetarily) allowed for both boyd AND peters to play last night, and might have even provided enough cap space to bring up dvdg. i'm not certain on this but his cap hit, in comparison to boyd's and peters', seems to indicate that possibility.
unfortunately, the sutter/keenan mentality is that todd does a good job.
it's inexplicably frustrating.
and all i can do is shake my head and repeat, like duncan did last night on the phone, "...oh BOY..."