i didn't think they had it in'em.
early in the third period, with the team looking quite lackluster and the jackets defense continually besting the flames' O, i was resigned to the loss. i was mourning for backelhinney ---who had a pretty seriously good first period and (although he let in a bit of a softie) deserved AT LEAST a point from the well-matched game.... i was already making the "back to back" excuse in my head and wondering what else was on the telly.
"i'm gonna have a ten minute nap," said my roommate, "and when i wake up, the game'll be tied and my cab'll be here."
"fat chance," i thought to myself, "this game is soooo OVER."
well, thank goodness i was totally, utterly, and completely WRONG. ;) my reaction to boyder's tally was a relatively calm head-nod with a "well there you go" face, but i actually roused my roomie from his slumber with my outburst following the pocketdawes goal.... he was beyond amused and vowed to make more pre-sleep predictions in the future.... "well, your cab's not here yet," i proclaimed just before the doorbell rang. ;)
though backelhinney has gotten a lot of criticism on blogs and message boards, i think the guy's doing a pretty solid job (and it seems as though don cherry agrees with me). i did a little bit of research on the unfavorable situations the flames threw him into last season, and noted that the results were less than encouraging.... my hypothesis was that if cumac were ever placed in a position to win, he would....
over the summer, goaltending coach david marcoux was replaced by former backup [note: that's one of my favorite links of alltime] and all-around good dude, jamie mclennan, aka: noodles. last season he tagged along with the C's as the "head of goaltender development" (though some joker on tsn put "head of goaltender equipment" on the ticker).... it's still a bit of a mystery to me what exactly is going on in the netminding department of the flames behind closed doors, but something is affecting the play of both kiprusoff and backelhinney ---and the coach seems like the most likely of sources. as for my hypothesis above, in an article on flames.com, noodles refutes the theory, stating "It’s not about placing him in the right situation, it’s about him earning it. Any situation he’s in, he’s got to rise to the challenge... That’s his job. Curtis has definitely given himself a right to play."
while i've been pondering it for weeks now, ron maclean straight up announced last night that "jamie mclennan is the secret to goaltender success in calgary." simply by reviewing the play of both kipps and cumac, one would think this statement is accurate.... kipper has never looked positionally stronger, and seems to be handling the puck far more often and with way more accuracy..... over on the gamethread at m&g (which i thoroughly monopolized last night), commenter dph noted that he'd heard "an interesting interview with Kipper where he said that Noodles knew more about trends of different guys shooting habits then anyone he’d worked with." well, if there's truth in that, then perhaps this past summer, darryl sutter made an epic hiring of heroically understated proportions (akin to the kiprusoff and bourque trades).
plus he's a hilarious interview, an all-around good guy, and has astroboy hair.
wait.... is noodles single ?!