GDFD No. 41: Havin' a time

Ryan Lambert
January 02 2010 11:38AM



Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 41st game of the season on Jan. 2, 2010.

Calgary's riding high right now. Three game win streak!

Okay, two of those were against the Oilers, which.. well, y'know. But hey, three wins, right? Up over 50 points and Calgary's only like the 10th team to do that this year. So yes, great success lately.

And now here come the Maple Leafs, oft-mocked as disastrously bad and comically mismanaged, but I picked them to make the playoffs in the East this year, so here goes my defense of Toronto.

They're a very good team with very bad goaltending. Look at the stats: five players with 10 or more goals, nine players with 20 or more points, fourth in the league in even-strength goals, first in the league in shots per game, 11th in shots against. And they're 27th in the NHL because.... wait for it...... Vesa Toskala, who has played TWENTY game this year, has a 3.72 goals-against average and a save percentage of .869. Eight sixty-nine.

Calgary can very easily win tonight. As long as the Leafs start that guy.

Who

The Calgary Flames (23-12-5 for 51 points. Tied for fifth in the West, second in the Northwest) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (14-18-9 for 37 points. Fourteenth in the East, fifth in the Northeast).

When

5 p.m. Mountain time and 7 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should have the last decade summed up for them.

Where

Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta.

Calgary is 11-7-2 on the road this year, and is 5-0-1 against Eastern-Conference opponents this season. The Leafs are 7-8-5 at home, and, I swear to God, just lost to the Oilers.

What (to hate about the Leafs)

Tomas Kaberle He is the only defenseman in the NHL that leads his team in scoring despite having just three goals. That means he has 32 assists. And that's a lot.

Jason Blake — He's not a very likable person. And that's not me saying that, that's the rest of his teammates. Phil Kessel, for example, reportedly can't stand him.

Brian Burke — Okay this one's just for me (as you, being Canadian, will not care), but come on, Ryan Callahan on the US Olympic team? Over TJ freaking Oshie? Jack Johnson over Ron Hainsey? What goes on in that office?

Why

Because it's nice and early. Enjoy the game and let's have a good time 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 Oil Fan
January 02 2010, 04:16PM
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TJ OSHIE. He only has 7 goals and you think he should be on any olympic team? Come on buddy. Like Really!!!!!

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#2 Smitty
January 02 2010, 06:23PM
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Can we add Bob Cole to the list of what to hate about the Leafs? Good Lord, it's painful listening to him.

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#4 Arik
January 03 2010, 08:32AM
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Hey- you're not the only American here TLP! Hell- not even the only one from Boston.

Anyways, I kinda like Callahan. He hits, he blocks shots, and he puts the puck in the net often enough that he's not just Eric Nystrom of the Rangers.

But I am outraged by Drury's inclusion. OUTRAGED. Also, I'd prefer to see Ryan Whitney on over both JJ and Hainsey.

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#5 RossCreekNation
January 03 2010, 10:28PM
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@Arik

I TOTALLY thought Mike Modano would be included. If a token American vet from the previous regime of Star players was to be taken, Modano seems a better fit than Drury. Mike was always a favorite of mine (not thee favorite). Perhaps it was all those games against the Oilers (lol). Mike should've been there in the Stevie Y '06 Canada role IMO.

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