GDFD No. 60: In which you learn all about the American Civil War

Ryan Lambert
February 24 2009 04:01PM

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Welcome to the 12th Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 60th game of the season on Feb. 24, 2009.

A lot of people I know are clueless as to why the Blue Jackets, perhaps the most ridiculously-named team in all of sports, rock their silly, silly name.

As a person who minored in American History in college, I will tell you: Ohio was one of the craziest states when it came to fighting for the Union in the American Civil War.

Fact 1: Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Sherman (the guy that instituted a scorched earth policy in his campaign that marched from Georgia's border with Tennessee to the Atlantic Ocean and then up to Virginia through the Carolinas, burning everything usable, military or otherwise, they ran across. So badass.) are from Ohio. So, too, was General George Custer, but it's best for Ohio's sake to leave that name out of it.

Fact 2: Abraham Lincoln requested that the state raise 10 battalions (or whatever), and Ohio more than doubled that number. Because they're bad dudes, and not afraid of a bunch of hick rebels from South Carolina.

Fact 3: Ohio was home to several large forts near its border that housed Union soldiers and provided easy access to the detestable secessionists.

Fact 4: Many, many Union uniforms were manufactured in and around Columbus. And the Union army, of course, wore blue.

These facts are also why Columbus has that cool cannon in its arena.

That's all I know about Columbus' involvement in the Civil War though. Go read a book about it or something.

Who:

The Calgary Flames (34-18-6 for 74 points. Tied for third in the West, first in the Northwest) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (30-24-6 for 66 points. Sixth in the West, third in the Central)

When:

7 p.m. Mountain time and 9 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones really need to see this ridiculous Juninho free kick from earlier today against Barcelona.

Where:

Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta.

Calgary is 20-7-4 at home this year, but lost its only home game in the last two weeks to Vancouver last Thursday. Columbus, meanwhile, is below .500 on the road, going 11-14-4, but have won their last two games away from Columbus. The Flames have yet to defeat the Beejes in regulation this year, winning 5-4 in a shootout just over a month ago and losing 4-1 in early November.

What (to hate about the Blue Jackets):

(Here's the thing: there is actually very little to hate about Columbus. Seriously, they're a fun team to watch with a lot of good players with great personalities. I actually don't even dislike the Blue Jackets. With that said, we'll continue.)

Ken Hitchcock's fat neck/several chins — Agh!  2007nhlheadshotsmfwjg6e35ynlThey're good — Mike Commodore? Good. Rick Nash? Good. Steve Mason? Gooooooood.

Kristian Huselius — Is he still lazy? I bet he's still lazy.

They screwed my no-drop money pool — No-drop means I can't drop anyone. I'm stuck with the 14 guys I drafted at the beginning of the year. RJ Umberger has only 33 points despite having 20 goals already since he has NO ONE TO PASS TO! And they keep calling up Nikita Filatov for like two days before sending him back down. Just long enough to score FOUR GOALS IN EIGHT GAMES! God! He was supposed to be my sleeper 13th-round rookie! These front office guys are KILLING MEEEEEE.

They've never made the playoffs — Only NHL team to never do it, either. Losers.

They are surprisingly good against the Flames in Calgary — They've taken points in their last two games in Calgary and are .500 there since the start of last season. Booooo.

Why?

Because you don't want any more history lessons. Enjoy the game and let me know if you want to know about the second Battle of Bull Run in the comments section!

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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#1 Chris
February 24 2009, 10:08PM
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Wow. TLP. Nice win over Columbus. Flames fans are either ignorent of this site, apathetic, or (most likley) afraid to cross swords with Oiler fans by way of researched commentary.

Lanny? Where are you fella? Say something funny...

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#2 Anonymous
February 24 2009, 10:12PM
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Most fans post on CalgaryPuck.com. I only know of this site through FiveHoleFanatics anyway.

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#3 Kent
February 24 2009, 10:20PM
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Flames fans just don't read blogs to the same extent Oilers fans do. Why remains a mystery.

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#4 ngthagg
February 24 2009, 10:27PM
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I think a bunch of the regulars were at the game tonight.

I only caught the second half of the game myself, but I liked what I saw. I was glad to see the aggressive forecheck tonight. It's the most entertaining way to hold on to a lead. I really liked what I saw of Nystrom. He definitely looks likes he's taken a step forward, and looks ready to take a huge leap. I'd like to see what he can do with a bit more icetime.

And I'm thrilled, of course, with Montreal and Nashville tonight. Double-digit lead over Vancouver, and a legitimate hold on 3rd in the conference. I can sleep soundly as a Flames fan tonight.

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#5 walkinvisible
February 24 2009, 10:54PM
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Kent wrote:

Flames fans just don’t read blogs to the same extent Oilers fans do. Why remains a mystery.

less to complain about ?

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#6 maimster
February 24 2009, 11:19PM
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Too busy watching the game to comment on blogs during...well, that's only partially true, I watched it on tape delay (no chance of finding out the score here if I don't go on-line) and just finished. Considering Jackets are near the top of the fluff in the West (defined as everything below Chicago), that was the most complete game Flames have played in a while. A little frustrating for a while in the first and early second (especially with Juice reminding Flame fans why they liked him occasionally), but overall fun to watch. Gives hope that they can survive the injuries and come out the other side with at least a comfortable level of depth.

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#7 TLP
February 25 2009, 12:22AM
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Chris wrote:

(most likley) afraid to cross swords with Oiler fans by way of researched commentary.

more likely still is the idea that they're afraid oiler fans will want to engage of the kind of "sword crossing" to which edmonton fans are accustomed.

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#8 Wanye Gretz
February 25 2009, 08:45AM
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TLP wrote:

Chris wrote: (most likley) afraid to cross swords with Oiler fans by way of researched commentary. more likely still is the idea that they’re afraid oiler fans will want to engage of the kind of “sword crossing” to which edmonton fans are accustomed.

Why whatever do you mean? *zips up fly and nods at fellow Edmontonian*

That free kick goal was sick TLP.

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#9 Kent
February 25 2009, 08:59AM
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That was a decent game, although the Flames were outchanced 3-1 in the first half I'd say. However, they managed to hold on, pop a couple, and then take over from there.

Iginla has looked like Iginla for two straight games now. Can he make it THREE??

PS - Huselius was the best Blue Jacket last night I thought.

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#10 maimster
February 25 2009, 10:26AM
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On a separate topic, there is another new stats-based hockey analysis site available, brought to us by the folks from Baseball Prospectus and Basketball Prospectus...not surprisingly called Puck Prospectus (www.puckprospectus.com). Just started yesterday, will be interesting to see what they have to add to the discussion.

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#11 Brent G.
February 25 2009, 10:35AM
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@ Kent: It shouldnt be surprising Uselius was the best player. The first time after facing his old club he wants to show them what they miss out on by not resigning him. Im sure many will be upset by the performance, although I dont think its cool to boo the guy (are we edmonton?), but the more educated will remember how painful it was to watch the guy play whenever the game had any minor importance. He was terrible in two playoffs for this club, terrible down the stretch, could not be depended on for really anything. I wish him good will in Columbus in getting them to the playoffs to go silent again, but really thank Sutter for recognizing this guys glooming weakness and replacing him with players known for clutch.

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#12 Kent
February 25 2009, 12:07PM
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Huselius had the second most points on the team during his tenure here - behind only Jarome Iginla. He was never a minus player. He was also the best PP player in terms of efficiency. He had 6 points in 7 games during the first round series against the Ducks his first year as well. Two of his best months as a Calgary Flame were Jaunary under Playfair and December under Keenan. In the former case, the Flames were without Jarome Iginla for a month and the team went something like 9-3-2 with Huselius leading the team in points. In the second case, Huselius and Iginla combined to form a deadly duo that ripped the SE division a new corn-shoot during a 6 game road trip - a trip that could have well sunk the club if it had gone the other way.

I understand why some people don't take to Huselius - he has a style of play that is galling to guys raised to think you have to crash-and-bang all the time in order to be effective. But the claim that he was ineffective during his time in Calgary is a myth. Huselius was one the reasons the Flames made the post-season at all last year.

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