February 17 2009 12:46PM
Welcome to the ninth Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 57th game of the season on Feb. 17, 2009.
It just seemed like the Flames were on the road for about six months there, huh? All those late nights (for me here in Boston, anyway) against all those mediocre teams. And the awful, unwatchable play didn't help any.
But fear not, valiant Calgarians, your boys have returned home with five of six points they in no way deserved, extending the division lead to nine big points over the Oilers and tonight's opponent, the Vancouver Canucks.
I know in the past few years it's become rather en vogue to hate the Canucks on a level that isn't too far from the Oiler hate, but I never bought into it, really. Yeah, I hated that 2003-04 Canucks team, sure. Bertuzzi, Naslund, Jovanovski, Morrison, Cooke, Malik, Ruutu, May. Pretty much jerks across the board. But only one of those guys is still with Vancouver, and even the coaches, goaltenders and front office guys are different (and don't we miss Dan Cloutier terribly?).
This new iteration of the Canucks isn't all that hateable, to me at least. I can respect the Sedins for how good they are, if not almost like them. Alain Vigneault would be unlikeable except he's so bad at his job that I can't be bothered to care about him either way. Luongo's just a great goalie.
Maybe the most hateable player on the team is Alex Burrows. And even then, he does an hilarious impression of Marc Crawford, so I can't even line up against him completely.
I miss the old days.
The Calgary Flames (33-18-5 for 71 points). Third in the West, first in the Northwest) and the Vancouver Canucks (27-21-8 for 62 points. Tied for seventh in the West, tied for second in the Northwest)
7:30 p.m. Mountain time and 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should jam to an asian baby crushing Hey Jude.
Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta.
Calgary is 20-7-3 at home this year, but were 1-2-0 in their last homestand against competition that ranged from very good (Chicago, to which the Flames lost) to very bad (Montreal, which the Flames handled easily). Vancouver is 13-10-4 on the road this year, but are 3-1-2 in their last six road games. Of course, they've also played those six over the course of the last month and a half. The Flames are 2-1-1 against the Canucks so far this year.
What (to hate about the Canucks):
Mats Sundin — All we heard all summer long was how great Mats is at this and how wonderful Mats did that! Mats Mats Mats! Good thing he is now the best-paid third-liner in the NHL. God, he's a bald, useless turd. Just like another former Canuck we can think of.
Mattias Ohlund — Remember how a few years ago Vancouver fans acted like Ohlund was as good as Robyn Regehr? Richie Regehr was more like it.
I once dated a Canucks fan — What a bad call that was.
Sami Salo — More like the Finished MacInnis. Am I right, folks?
That 2004 playoff series — Oh, sorry, that's meant to be filed under "What to love about the Canucks."
The 6-0 loss to start the season — I was largely unhappy with how it turned out.
They seem to think "Canuck" is another word for "killer whale" — Sorry, guys, but the word you're looking for is "orca." "Orca" is another word for killer whale.
Mark Rypien — You may have heard that he is related to two good athletes. He is not one himself.
Seems like a good idea. Enjoy the game and feel free actually comment this time in the comments section!