March 06 2009 09:38AM
If one of the side effects of having Locker Room Cancer is two goals a night, I'm willing to hold off on chemo for a while here.
(Sadly that was the only picture I could find of Baby Bunsen Honeydew :( )
Holy tapdancing Jesus, that's how you make a first impression.
Olli Jokinen was MONSTROUS last night, scoring twice in the first period, being on the ice for a third goal and nearly scoring a hat trick himself at several points. His influence on the game was strong and his chemistry with Jarome Iginla and Mike Cammalleri was evident from the outset.
It's pretty crazy that after all the talk we've heard for the last, what?, three years about Jokinen coming to Calgary to center the Iginla line that it finally happened and actually f'n worked. Oh my.
Then of course the other new addition, Jordan Leopold, added his first in a Flames uniform since 2006 just a little while later.
This trade has clearly energized Calgary in a way that few probably though possible. If Anterro Niittymaki hadn't made a number of high-quality saves, the margin of victory for the new-look Flames would have been much, much higher. They were just unstoppable last night.
Olli Jokinen — Obviously. He was awesome. INSTANT chemistry with Iginla. They worked ridiculously well together, especially in transition, and kept the defense deeper than it should have been which directly led to at least Jokinen's second. Looks like this trade DOES make the Flames an instant contender.
Jordan Leopold — He, too, looked very comfortable in a Flames jersey, though he obviously had a bit more practice at it than did Jokinen. It's interesting to note, though, that his defensive partner was Dion Phaneuf, who had not played in the NHL before Leopold headed to Colorado. He scored, yeah, but he also ate up 23-plus minutes and played a lot of shorthanded time. He was also a plus-2.
Dion Phaneuf — Speaking of strong defensive games, the kid's had about four or five of them in a row now. I think it's safe to say it: Dion Phaneuf is back.
Jarome Iginla — Another multi-point game. I think it's his 58th in a row. Sure seems that way. Remember that streak of like 10 games where he was complete crap and a clear detriment to the team each and every time he hopped over the boards? Me neither.
Mike Cammalleri — More goals. I want to go to there.
Craig Conroy — The last couple games he'd been piling up the points between Iginla and Cammalleri, but because of Jokinen's arrival he got dropped back to a line with much less chance of being productive: the one with Curtis Glencross and David Moss. Surely his crazy streak of strong games would end when he was no longer paired with top-line pla.. oh he had a goal and an assist? Awesome. Connie now has 40 points this season. Would you have ever expected that in October?
Darryl Sutter — Not only does it appear as though these trades were, in fact, very good, but it also struck me that Sutter's paying not-a-lot-of-money for some really, really good players. Interesting to note that Conroy and Todd Bertuzzi make a combined $3 million and have a combined 83 points in 121 games. That's quality production at bargain basement prices. Other guys making peanuts relative to what they've brought to the team: Rene Bourque ($1.3m for 21-19-40) and Glencross ($1.2m for 10-23-33). Gotta think the going rate for 156 points from four players is a bit more than $5.5 million. The crazier part is that those four guys average under a minute and a half of power play time a game, and that's bumped up heavily by Big Bert's 4:05/game.
Just about everything else — It's rare that Calgary plays a game that comprehensive, especially on the road. Can you name a better road win this season? Just going off the top of my head, I sure can't.
(This space reserved for another strong performance by Miikka Kiprusoff)
Would've liked to see Kipper get the shutout, I guess.
Once again, nothing at all. This could end up being really, really fun the rest of the way.