Saturday, January 29, 2011


They don't make them like Jarome Iginla anymore.

I bring this up today because the Flames captain recently hit an impressive milestone, a milestone so unique that it is a testament to the athletic talent and conditioning of Jarome Iginla. When Jarome scored his 20th goal on January 21 against the Dallas Stars, it meant that he had scored 20+ goals in the last 12 seasons. This streak is also the longest active in the NHL at the moment. It put Jarome in the elite class with the select few that have accomplished the feat such as Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Maurice Richard, Mark Messier, Steve Yzerman, Gordie Howe, Luc Robitaille, Mats Sundin, and Jeremy Roenick. Prolific scorers such as Mario Lemieux, Pat LaFontaine, Theo Fleury, Mike Modano and Pavel Bure never accomplished such a streak (in fairness, injuries as well as playing for the Canucks (in Bure's case) did hold Bure and #66 back) and power forwards similar to Iginla like Cam Neely and Peter Forsberg came up short as well. There are a few special players playing today...Crosby, Ovechkin, and Stamkos come to mind...that probably will score at that record clip for such a period. But the fact remains that Jarome Iginla is the only player to be consistent in such a manner during that period, a period not necessarily known for its abundance of scoring. From a Flames standpoint though, this statistical consistency confirms (if you didn't already know) that Iginla is the greatest player to ever wear the Flaming C. But such an accolade, being the greatest Flame ever, is not what makes Jarome Iginla legendary. It's the little things beyond the statistics that make him a great professional athlete.

Jarome Iginla is the poster child for what a professional athlete should be. He is talented, hard working, a leader, and a model citizen. In a world where pro athletes care more about taking their talents places and claiming their actions are driven by a (faux) desire to win it all, Jarome Iginla is the opposite. Iginla has always been committed to the Flames franchise and the city of Calgary. He is not one to inflate his ego and understands his role and influence without complaint. He plays in a hockey crazy market, takes everything in stride, and doesn't complain about the pressures associated with it. And as wi pointed out in her post earlier this week, courtesy of an anecdote from the Fan960's Rob Kerr, Jarome happily agreed to replace Olli Jokinen, after the latter refused, to be the dansare on the Dome Jumbotron. Nothing Iginla does comes off as phoney or scripted and he genuinely gives 100% in everything he does. He's loyal and professional. And as Darryl Sutter drove the franchise to the ground in the last year or so with his suspects moves, Iginla never wavered and stayed committed to his team. He said he would be cooperative if the team desired to move him. He is someone I really want to play a round of golf with. Anyways, you get it...

Which brings me to the next point...oh yes...the Stanley Cup and the fact Jarome hasn't been able to hoist it. And whether he does it or not, should not be judgment of Iginla's success as a professional athlete. As a Flames fan, I would want nothing else than to see him win a Stanley Cup as a member of the Calgary Flames. And if he won't be able to win it with the Flames, he should absolutely get a shot to do it with a team that has a serious chance to do so. I find it humorous how all these so called rumors float around out there re Iginla being traded to the Kings or Habs or Red Wings or Thrashers (yes, I heard that one). They seem to just be thrown around because "hey, the Flames suck ass...let's make up some scenario where we rob them of their valuable asset because you know they suck." Trading Jarome Iginla is not just an average transaction to Flames Nation, it is a big deal. And to Flames fans, if the team weren't to yield a significant return in trading matters more whether he is traded to a place where he can accomplish what he couldn't in Calgary and that's win the Cup. It's why it was important for Darryl Sutter to resign or get fired before he ever pulled the trigger on that trade, it's why Jay Feaster dare not trade Iginla while he is "acting" as a general manager, and it is a move (if it happens) that will have a lasting effect on the next Flames' GM's tenure with the team.

I don't know why I posted all of this really...but earlier this week a good friend of mine, whose knowledge about hockey is about on par with the average Floridian, mentioned to me that he had heard about Iginla's 20+ goal streak and he was amazed. I think his exact words were "I knew the guy was good, but that is really impressive." Well, duh. We went on to briefly chat about Iginla and his accomplishments but it really got me thinking about just how special of an athlete the guy is and his importance to the Flames franchise generally. I had become so numb to the shortcomings of the team and spoiled at the fact Iginla has been there game in and game out, that I had forgotten just how amazing his career has been.

I know that most Flames fans are aware of everything I have just pointed out and understand just how great Jarome is, but I thought it important to point it out nonetheless cause honestly they really don't make them like Jarome Iginla anymore.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

i was wrong, and other tidbits of uselessness

i met a dude last night who works for the org and couldn't say enough about how much he loves olli jokinen. and he's actually met him. presumeably multiple times.... so i guess when i said "nobody" likes the joker (in the previous post) i actually meant "nobody except for this one guy." he went on to tell me that olli had a strangely hilarious sense of humour and was so weird he was awesome. i dunno. it's amazing how much more i like #13 when the team is winning than when they're losing....

in other news, i've long referred to coach sutter as nosferatu ---so much so that when my boss saw this piece by local artist and musician, rodney guitarsplat, she immediately acquired it for me as an xmas gift. the truly amazing part of this scenario is that my boss knows eff all about hockey, or what brent looks like when he's mad (or happy, for that matter). all she knows is that i talk about stupid player/personnel character-related stuff all the time and some of it obviously sinks in (i'm so proud !)... the thing she loves best about the 'chell (i'm starting to like this term, azevedo) is that people used to mis-pronounce her name all the time, but since a young player/captain with the same insanely-spelled surname came into the general consciousness, i'm guessing about 70% of folks now say it correctly....

what else ?

in HUGELY overdue news, john armstrong grew some kickass facial hair in november:

...and since i'm posting random pix, i guess i should hit this one up too... i screengrabbed this one from the team's "mic'd up" piece... impossible to imagine gio laughing harder:

and one final snapshot that i've been meaning to post for eons ---how much fuggin INK does jose theodore have ?!?! full sleeves ?! who'da thunk it....

that's it from me. happy allstar weekend, everyone. i'm not planning to take my computator to nashville with me so it'll be up to duncan, mikeH, and kingjafi to post (or not post, as they see fit) in the meantime.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

tentative proof that NOBODY likes olli jokinen

perhaps based in fiction (or possibly based in reality), rob kerr told a story on the fan960 today about how the insta-favorite internet website with olli jokinen dancing instead became a jumbotron treat showcasing iginla's head....

the story goes that olli didn't want the beauty of a clip to be played for the saddledome faithful (possibly knowing that the song title, "fuldans" translates to "the ugly dance"), and when his teammates started ribbing him about it, he suggested none of them would want to be depicted that way in front of the home crowd either....

iggy jumped on the opportunity and said "sure, why not."

what this tells me is:

1. jokinen might be able to speak swedish, or is best pals with mickis
2. jokinen can't take a joke, which makes his name ironic
3. the rest of the team are internet aware and are jokers (*sorry*)
4. iggy's a good sport, and knows a good thing when he sees it.

rob kerr followed up the story by suggesting that brent sutter wants every player to get their turn following a goal. fuck, i hope whomever's website that is somehow get money out of this....

also ? the song, by swedish "electro pop dance band," fulkultur, is effin' catchy.... and i don't even LIKE duffduff music...

i DO, however, enjoy the swedes.

[as a footnote: dancing foppa here. dancing gio here. this is fun !!!]

Monday, January 24, 2011

everything's coming up milhouse !

i really can't say enough about how enjoyable it has been to watch the flames win these last few weeks (i'm totally ignoring the 6-0 blanking by minny), and how much better it is to watch them beat their most hated rival. i can't describe what a pleasure it is to watch mikael backlund improve with every outing, see jackman's heart and soul on every shift, and detect the team gelling as a group (except for jokinen, who is probably made fun of afterhours for doing stupid stuff, like calling out gio for not yelling that the clock was gonna run out to end a game... and for being funny looking). i guess 2011 is going pretty well, even if we're gonna get another shitty draft pick.

in the end, though, there is nothing better for me than a sport that includes peter forsberg. oh, how i love thee... to see him back on the ice in the 'chell (lol azevedo) would be such a total joy, and not having to travel to sweden to catch him in a game would be even better...

(although, sweden was fun too.)

tonight the flambés take on a formidable opponent in the nashville predators. nobody really respects this southern team, but with one of the best defenders league-wide in shea weber and one of the hottest netminders in pekka rinne, you really have to wonder if they're gonna embarass the home side.... i like to think it's gonna be a grudge match with no solution in regulation, so that when i visit nashville next week for the rematch it'll be lights out superfun.

i like hockey.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

t.k...ohhhhh !!! flames v. nucks postgame

i really don't have much to write today, but when tom kostopolous dropped kevin bieksa last night with a one-punch, i knew i couldn't NOT lead with the t.k.o reference in the title. duh.... this is journalism, kids: if you see an opportunity to throw a solid pun in the headline, you are expected to take it....

bieksa didn't return to the game and it sounds like perhaps his face was too swollen and sore to play on. look, i don't like seeing guys get hurt in games (even guys i detest, at the hands of tKo), and it would honestly be a shame if bieksa had some bones crushed by the bullseye of a blow, but if bryan mccabe can break his jaw and miss only a single shift, then you have to wonder if KB is really cut out to be a pugilist. no, i know he's not labelled the 'team goon', but neither is kosto.... and i'll be the first to say it: it's kindof a blessing that our current heavyweight took (what looks to be) a career-ending duncan macintyre knuckle sandwich, and some actual hockey players have competantly filled his roster spot. i don't think i know a single person who doesn't wish raitis ivanans the very best for a normal, concussion-free life, but i also can't name a soul who wants him to return to the ice to play out the remainder of his two-year contract with calgary....

moving on.

the flames played a nice little game last night and, even though nobody gave them a chance in hell to win on the second night of a back to back with a struggling netminder starting versus the most formidable opponent, they stayed with it til the bitter end. regehr seems to really step up to the major matchups and he was focussed on taking down the competition in a very literal sense. the remainder of the flames D was steady, for the most part, including the babchuk-pardy pairing and cory sarich, who had a refreshingly solid night. brendan morrison was on the wrong side of a couple of godawful giveaways, but is still doubtlessly a preferrable centre to jokinen on the club's top line....

not to say the flames deserved a win in this one. they were outplayed in the first two, by my eye (and kent's scoring chances, and the corsi metrics tell the same tale), and rebounded a bit in the third ----a total surprise based on fatigue (2nd game in 24 hrs). in the last minutes of the shootout, with a contested goal being discussed in the toronto warroom, and the fans on the edges of their seats, i was convinced the final call would go to the home side. why ? because even though it was blatantly obvious to everyone with eyes and a sense of logic that the puck was in luongo's pads, and luongo's pads were well across the goal line, i thought the "conclusive" evidence to overturn the on-ice call would be lacking. thankfully, the hockey gods intervened and the game was won despite luongo's best attempt at deception.

and lastly, when olli jokinen hit the post in his shootout attempt, i realized that he is single handedly bringing to consciousness the existence of this website, so i will add to his title: official nhl tester of post and crossbar integrity, and chief spokesman/mascot. also ? it doesn't hurt that i actually really like this song.


Friday, January 21, 2011

why starting karlsson tonight is a mistake

brent sutter has announced that henrik karlsson will get the start tonight between the posts at against the dallas stars. here's why it's a fucking terrible idea:

1. the coach is setting his starting goalie up to fail. bigtime. if karlsson gets the start tonight, it pretty much assures that miikka will get the nod tomorrow against INARGUABLY the hottest team in the nhl. when you're playing a goaltender with fragile confidence, this can easily amount in total destruction. the dirty nucks will light him up for a half dozen easy.... a smarter coach would let kippy work out his issues against a (slightly) lesser team in the stars.

2. if sutter intends to start karlsson in both games and wait for a truly diminutive opponent to let kipps work out his issues (*cough*nashville*cough*), i think the damage might actually be increased because poor miikka's confidence will be shattered by the middle finger described by the two back-to-back karlsson starts...

3. if sutter is serious about wanting to win games, he need only look at karlsson's record at home to know that he's probably tossing this one in the trash.

all in all, this is a tough choice for the coaching staff. i bet noodles is getting less sleep now than when he got his heart broke....


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

pre-HC blogger meetup: one for the ages

well, we've done a lot of talking and it's time to announce the official pre-heritage classic blogger meet-up. since this one is sounding a little legendary with the prospective guestlist, i thought i'd put it out there early so anyone fence-sitting can start booking accoms... ;)

saturday, february 19th at the cat n' fiddle. why ? well because it used to be a funeral home and it's stumbling distance for your gracious hosts (me & mikeH). time will be determined by consensus, but let's call it 7:30 for now and we can adjust it later.

while the official invitation has yet to go out, i'm expecting "yay"s from azevedo and most likely arik who's apparently gonna make the trek from bos-town (4thlineblog), sarah (cwgap) is comin' from vancouver, hayley (m&g) will make a triumphant but brief return from the nation's capital, flamesnation should be represented by both steinberg and the local blogosphere's pater familias (kent wilson), open ice hits' leanne might show if she's around, guerrillasportsnetwork's rob will get an offer, as will domebeers ---who lamented not showing up to the last one and got an asskicking for it from his bro, friend and commenter d_p_h could hobble there blindfolded (so he'd BETTER show up), 92.9's newsboy missed the last meetup at schanks cause of dinner with the inlaws so he swore he'd hit the next one, AND htp's newest auteur (kingjafi) is debating the journey from florida to boot.

ie: it could be a fun party....

who's in ?


Saturday, January 15, 2011

I go to hit the post.

They went to Toronto. They won in Toronto.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is KingJafi and I am the newest contributor to the htp universe. I just recently separated my shoulder snowboarding and it was during my pain induced stupor that I came to the realization that walkinvisible is a female. Don't ask me just happened. All the talk about the ladies cut jerseys, Gio, and male Swedish hockey players never rang a bell in my mind. In any case, that brain fart has brought me here and I am ready to contribute.

A little about myself...I'm originally from Switzerland (French part) and live in the hockey hotbed of Orlando, Florida where trying to catch a hockey game in a sports bar is like finding someone in Tokyo that speaks English (I've never been but I've heard that it's rare). But I do a pretty good job following the Flames here in FL (the NHL Center Ice package (well worth the investment) and the PocketTunes app for the iPod Touch (or iPhone for those of you who choose not to use a BlackBerry) pretty much make it like I live in Calgary but without the snow and the CAD, something like that). I have two Brussels Griffons named Harvey and Kippy. My wireless network is called the Olympic Saddledome. I once counted 37 Flaming Cs in my tiny law school apartment in Boston (a city where I could catch a hockey game in a sports bar, outside of baseball season that is). I travel to random places like Buffalo to see the Flames (and have a puck for every arena I go to). And I hoard all sorts of kitschy Flames memorabilia and merchandise primarily because prior to eBay and the internet it was impossible to get my hands on anything Calgary Flames (except when my parents went to Montreal or my relatives from Montreal came to visit...and they'd usually bring me Habs stuff in turn explaining why I have a soft spot for Le Canadien and when the Flames didn't resign Cammy I was glad he signed with MTL). But you get the picture. Oh yeah, I also miss the Montreal Expos (that has nothing to do with anything quite frankly...I just wanted you all to know that).

So, I'm honored to become a member of the Flames blogging community and considering the way things are going at the Saddledome these days, with Stanley Cup runs and quality hockey not necessarily a hot button item to discuss in the near future, I look forward to giving you my 2 American cents about everything else that makes Flames hockey great. A bientot mes chers amis!

Friday, January 14, 2011

gio jersey #2

don't worry, jarome. i'm prepping myself for the beer showers and the appearance on puckdaddy's jersey fouls.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

fresh iggy scotiabank action.... FINALLY !!

y'know how we always watch the flames play on tv, and there's always the same hugely annoying commercials ? telus ads play so often that we used to do a count on them in the gamethreads at M&G. then there's that one with the dude riding the girly bike with the handlebar streamers who gets hit by a car ("lalala LA lalala".... i can't tell you what it's for but it drives me nutso). and as much as we all adore jarome iginla, the scotiabank commercial where he tries to open a bank account for the free tin is getting old a year and a half later. plus (and NOBODY talks about this): what kid these days wants a fucking TIN ?! you want a kid to open a savings account ? two words: wii and ipod.

but i digress.

the iggy scotiabank spot was shot in september 2009, the week before training camp opened. well, i guess scotiabank DIDN'T spend all their money on saddledome sponsorship this season, and decided maybe it was time to film another spot. i have it on good authority that iggy's giving the bank two hours of his time on the current roadtrip for a commercial shoot in montreal. hmmmmm..... let's count that game as a loss, then, shall we ?

on the flipside, a win should come in ottawa, and not just because they're terrible or because the only gm who proved more insane than daz still somehow helms that squad. a win should come in ottawa because matty stajan got hisself a hairscut:

i am a firm believer in the follicle theory, and i think the photo above shows proof positive that the flames are in line for a big W on friday.

where are u guys watchin the game tomorrow ?


Saturday, January 8, 2011

flames v. tom rowe's team: can't wait !!!!!!

before looking ahead, let's just glance in the rearview for a moment, shall we ?

first off, bummer about the kostopoulos hit on stuart ----for a couple of reasons:

1. i don't like seeing headshots, no matter who is giving or receiving them. awful.
2. i can't deny that the replay of last night's hit looks vindictive and purposeful.
3. the greek/the jackman were really lighting it up and that's over for a week or so.
4. it's way harder to detest brad stuart when he's bleeding.

the other interesting gamenote from last night is that the flames looked a HELLUVA lot better without kotalik in the lineup. like, stunningly better. i don't know if you can wholely point the turnaround to #26's absence, but..... wow. the team looked interested in being there, and invested in working together. too bad kippy didn't get the "let's show up tonight" memo, or the flames would've gotten that second point.

someone on twitter yesterday wrote "the flames have one bad period and lose, while the wings have one bad period and win." such is the state of affairs in the nhl these days. calgary actually shows up to play and can't effin' BUY a win ----no help, of course, that jokinen is still the league's official tester of crossbar and post structural integrity. what used to be a joke is now facepalm city... *ugh.

looking forward, the flames have the superskills competition tomorrow and i only bring it up because of something interesting mark giordano said on the fan960 between periods last night. he said he was looking forward to seeing how hard babchuk's slapper is, but he also said he thought that adam pardy might give glenX some competition in fastest skater.... ? hm. i never realized A-pardz was that fleet-footed... ;)

next game up for the flambés is in raleigh, where they'll take on one of my favorite EC teams in the carolina hurricanes. sure, i'm a fan of eric staal and cam ward, i like what jim rutherford did last trade deadline (firesale on vets to competetive teams for draft picks and prospects), and i'm curious to see what ian white is up to, but the REAL reason i heart the 'canes is cause paul maurice and tom rowe are two of the raddest dudes on the face of the planet, hands down.

without going into detail, when i was introduced to tom rowe last year i thought i heard "john." "john, was it ?" i asked "no, tom. john's my middle name, though," he grinned, trying to not make me feel like an idiot.... i might've had a couple of pints by that point, so i decided it was cool to call him TJ. :) killer, right ? he didn't seem to mind much, infact inquired and subsequently addressed me by my real-life nickname with good humour, and we had a pretty excellent and lengthy conversation about hockey; the NHL, AHL, trades, players, skills, and (of course) gio, whom he coached in lowell. it was the first time i'd held court with real hockey people and i'm confident i held my own. it was a coup, being a girl and all... ;)

[ps: i'm a girl. i thought it was obvious with all the talk of wanting a ladies cut retro jersey and being pretty much in love with forsberg and wallin, but apparently some people *coughkingjaficough* thought i was just a weird little dude... but i digress... ;) ]

suffice it to say i hope that my team kills carolina on tuesday, but if they lose at least they're losing to a nice bunch of coaches.... it WOULD, however, be slick if gio could repeat the feat of dumping pitkanen into the bench (see below), to prove his physical prowess to his former coach and my bestie-for-an-hour, TJ. i bet eric staal will mind his pretty face a little better.... ;)

i'll be mostly watching to see if TJ has his troops target the sarich side of the ice, since that's the only real note i left him with last year. ;)

Monday, January 3, 2011

flames v. isles: what to drink ?

many a gamethread over at M&G has had the bloggers and commenters in deep discussion over the evening's booze of choice.

here's mine for gametime tonight :

fyi: it started out insanely bitter, but mellowed to fairly pleasant. :)

why i heart goad (even though he's my nemesis)

vancouver resident, die-hard canucks fan, and hitthepost BFF, goad, posted the following screengrab on his facebook today (much to my chagrin). one of his buddies commented in jest, "plan the parade." ;)

aaaand if that weren't enough to put a grin on the ol' mug, goad replied,

"Oh the route is already worked out. It starts in Hell that will have just frozen over, goes past your place, and ends in my wildest dreams. Same route as every year."

i love you, man.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

flames merch: UNO !!

i've decided to start a series on ridiculous flames merchandise, and i'm beginning with the age-old kids' game uno. really. REALLY. i mean, i guess the nhl retail thinktank just needs to come up with random items to stamp team logos onto in the name of profits, so why not this ?! everybody loves crazy eights, and i'm sure we could easily develop a drinking game for the name-brand mattel product with the same rules... and if you put players on the cards, it's that much better..... right ?


except WHAT PLAYERS ??!?

if you look closely, that's back row l-r: marcus nilson, rhett warrener, dion phaneuf, matthew lombardi and front row l-r: roman hamrlik, david hale, & jeff friesen. © 2007. i wonder if there's an updated one with gio in it... ;) other players in the deck include langkow, huselius, tanguay 1.0, kipps, regehr, and conroy. in a smirky fun twist, it's reggie who appears on the "miss a turn" card (presumeably cause he's gonna make you sit your ass down).

and of course, you can't play uno without the all-important wild card, and who else would grace the flames version than our beloved iggy with vintage iggy playoff scruff and scoreface (and all neatly contained in a flames chevron-era away jersey box) ??

who wants to play ?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

new year's eve fun times

really good times with mikeH and my buddy B watching the flames beat the avs last night. as every new years, it was nice to see the crew in sec 201 and we gussied up in our fancy hats and drank some domebeers.

this guy was new to new years at the 'dome, and obviously new to domebeers: straws are for slurpees... nice frosted tips though, pal.

my single serving friend was a pretty funny dude with eagle eyes, and somehow spotted this across the rink:

i wonder if he had waffles.... he looks incredibly bored, i gotta say.