Game No. 25: A kinder, gentler Northwest

Ryan Lambert
December 01 2010 05:43PM



Finally a game people can get up for.

This is more like it, right?

It's a game against an opponent Flames fans can actually care about. Sure it's nice seeing them play the league's stars like Ilya Kovalchuk and Mike Richards and Chris Pronger and Marian Gaborik and Sidney Crosby and... someone from the Wild recently. But nothing's better than a good old fashioned rivalry game.

Full disclosure: I no longer hate the Canucks as I once did. They're just not the same bunch of borderline criminals (Bertuzzi, Jovanovski) and crybabies (Naslund) and punks (Cooke, Ruutu) they were in the middle of the decade and, particularly, in the 2003-04 season.

You might not like Ryan Kesler very much, and for good reason, but as an American I am contractually obligated to like anyone that almost toppled Canada on their home ice in the Olympics. The only guy on the team I even vaguely dislike is Alex Burrows, and even then, his impression of Marc Crawford makes it awful difficult to line up against him. God help me, I even like the Sedin twins. A lot.

But the Canucks? The most annoying thing about them these days is their fans, who are awful goddamn smug for supporting a team that has never in its history been very good. And the current campaign is no different.

This year they really should have been one of the best teams in the West, if not the whole NHL, and yet here they are, thoroughly mediocre, one point above a non-playoff spot and bunched in with several teams, like Columbus, St. Louis and Anaheim, that you would deem pretty unimpressive. Nonetheless, they're a point out of the division lead because the Northwest is just about the worst division in the league.

The Flames are pretty bad right now, sure, but no one thought they'd be good either. A win here tonight against a team they pretty well dislike would put them just three points back of Vancouver and four back of Colorado for best in the Northwest, if you can believe that. But that's what happens when No.1 in the division is the lowest point total by a leader league-wide.

Hell, of the five teams in the Northwest, only Colorado would even make the playoffs in the East right now, and they'd be the No. 8 seed.

The point I'm trying to make, I guess, is that games like this are important for the Flames. When every team in the division stinks — and this year, do they ever! — every time out is a helluva chance to win a home ice spot.

686dfac3780611cb7acad6ce5166c6c1
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!
Avatar
#1 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 07:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

God hlp me I like Kesler too. And I don't have the excuse of being American.

Avatar
#2 mikeH
December 01 2010, 07:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

"Kent, this is God. How exactly would you like me to help you with the fact you like Kesler? I could cause an earthquake that leave the City of Vancouver piled up in False Creek, but don't you think that's overkill? If you're just feeling guilty, that describes pretty much my entire following."

Avatar
#3 Justin Azevedo
December 01 2010, 07:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

God hlp me I like Kesler too. And I don't have the excuse of being American.

That's OK. I hate him more then enough for the both of us.

Avatar
#4 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 07:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
mikeH wrote:

"Kent, this is God. How exactly would you like me to help you with the fact you like Kesler? I could cause an earthquake that leave the City of Vancouver piled up in False Creek, but don't you think that's overkill? If you're just feeling guilty, that describes pretty much my entire following."

Dear God - could you perhaps erase the Staios trade from the books? I know it's not related, but...

Avatar
#5 Yankee Canuck
December 01 2010, 07:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kent Wilson

Welcome to our side Kent. All excuses are accepted.

Avatar
#6 mikeH
December 01 2010, 07:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

"Kent, its God again. You should know that I can't erase the Staios trade, that falls under the "Free Will" exemption. When I first decided to roll the dice with this humanity experiment, I gave everyone the ability to f*#k up royally. Some people (read: Darryl Sutter) seem to like to beat me over the head with that mistake...err... decision"

Avatar
#7 dotfras
December 01 2010, 07:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Mikkelson FAIL.

Avatar
#8 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 07:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Damn. Lucky goal for Raymond.

Avatar
#9 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 07:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Backlund's line is getting killed by Kesler.

Avatar
#10 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 07:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Uh-oh. Not a good feeling about this one.

Avatar
#11 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 07:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Boy that's an expert tip by Jackman. Nicely done.

Avatar
#12 mikeH
December 01 2010, 08:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

There you go Kent, Kesler just snowed Kipper. Dick move, non?

Avatar
#13 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 08:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Well, that could have been ugly but the Flames caught up as the period wore on. Bourque et al faced the Sedins and were fine, which is good.

Backlund et al got killed though.

Chances were 6-6.

Avatar
#14 Robert Cleave
December 01 2010, 08:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Corsi.

CGY -4, EV shots 12-9 VAN. That could have been a lot worse. Sutter has to get Backlund's line away from Kesler.

Avatar
#15 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 08:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Robert Cleave wrote:

Corsi.

CGY -4, EV shots 12-9 VAN. That could have been a lot worse. Sutter has to get Backlund's line away from Kesler.

Who would you go with? Iginla et al?

Ahh the match-up dance. How we're destined to continue it indefinitely.

Avatar
#16 hal a pena
December 01 2010, 08:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

the finn-back line is looking vulnerable. kesler is feasting on backs. where is rene?

Avatar
#17 Robert Cleave
December 01 2010, 08:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Who would you go with? Iginla et al?

Ahh the match-up dance. How we're destined to continue it indefinitely.

Yes, and Mikkelson and Babchuk have to be out against Malhotra's line and nothing more. This is a game where Butter needs to be on the ball, big time. Those first few shifts might end up costing them the game.

Avatar
#18 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 08:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
hal a pena wrote:

the finn-back line is looking vulnerable. kesler is feasting on backs. where is rene?

I actually thought Rene was decent in that first. He did some good work down low.

Avatar
#19 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 08:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

On the bright side, the Jackman line killed things. Here's hoping the Canucks never discover a way to improve their 4th line, which is almost always terrible.

Avatar
#20 hal a pena
December 01 2010, 08:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

wow kipper is making a statement for flames mvp.

Avatar
#21 GermanFlame
December 01 2010, 08:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Robert Cleave wrote:

Yes, and Mikkelson and Babchuk have to be out against Malhotra's line and nothing more. This is a game where Butter needs to be on the ball, big time. Those first few shifts might end up costing them the game.

Yeah I dont fully remember, But it was a combination of Mikkleson/sarich (Or Mikkleson/Babchuk I forget) But the Sedins came on and it was frightening. We got home ice, hope that doesnt happen again.

And although the two goals against, and the first one being weak, I have liked Kipper's play thus far.

Avatar
#22 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 08:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Lord the PP is abysmal. I wish I knew how many times I've said that over the last few seasons.

Avatar
#23 GermanFlame
December 01 2010, 08:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Figured the Canucks PP would strike eventually, Gotta stop taking penalties.

Avatar
#24 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 08:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Not much you can do about that one.

Avatar
#25 hal a pena
December 01 2010, 08:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

can the flames decline the powerplay.

Avatar
#26 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 08:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Well, there's pay back for the Raymond fluke goal.

Avatar
#27 Yankee Canuck
December 01 2010, 08:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kent Wilson

I love that goal. The flukes are fun.

Avatar
#28 dph
December 01 2010, 08:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@hal a pena

I think if you take a penalty about 2 seconds after the start of the PP (rather than 4 secs left in the PP) it's the same as declining it

Avatar
#29 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 09:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Nothing can ever be easy, can it CGY.

That said, ballard was hamming things up a bit there.

Avatar
#30 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 09:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Well, at least they got through the major without any damage done.

Avatar
#31 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 09:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Hard to get a read in that period with the Flames spending so much time in the box. Overall chances favored the Canucks, 10-5.

Avatar
#32 Robert Cleave
December 01 2010, 09:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Corsi.

CGY +5, +9 in the period. EV shots 14-13 CGY, 5-1 in the period. If the Flame PP is ever going to get out of the toilet, this would be a good time.

Avatar
#33 Sherw88d
December 01 2010, 09:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

God hlp me I like Kesler too. And I don't have the excuse of being American.

There is something wrong with you.

Avatar
#34 Sherw88d
December 01 2010, 09:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

There is something seriously wrong with the officiating in this league.

From Nash crosschecking Gio for NO penalty, to Glencross getting a 5 minute major for defending himself for Ballard's retaliation.

I almost put my foot through the TV when they didn't call that stick in Morrison's feet.

Avatar
#35 GermanFlame
December 01 2010, 09:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Oh Boy, Mikkelson and Babchuk on the point in the powerplay. You know your in trouble when... Pardy hurry up and heal!

Avatar
#36 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 09:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Robert Cleave wrote:

Corsi.

CGY +5, +9 in the period. EV shots 14-13 CGY, 5-1 in the period. If the Flame PP is ever going to get out of the toilet, this would be a good time.

Prophetic Bob.

Avatar
#37 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 09:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

And that's what happens when Babchuk and Mikkelson are on the ice with the Sedin twins. Just lost.

Avatar
#38 Robert Cleave
December 01 2010, 09:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Prophetic Bob.

Yes. And completely friggin' sad, too.

Avatar
#39 hal a pena
December 01 2010, 09:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

badchuck and mikkelsson on the pp? flames better hope gio is back soon.

Avatar
#40 GermanFlame
December 01 2010, 09:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

5 D on the PP, Sutter making a statement about how bad the PP is tonight, Game is over anyway so I'm quite alright with that.

Avatar
#41 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 09:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Five defenders on the ice for the PP. Sutter spitting right in the players face for the terrible PP performance.

Avatar
#42 hal a pena
December 01 2010, 09:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

wow sutter must be livid 5 d on the pp. that or he has lost his mind. team speed of the canucks is amazing.

Avatar
#43 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 09:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
hal a pena wrote:

wow sutter must be livid 5 d on the pp. that or he has lost his mind. team speed of the canucks is amazing.

He knows the game is over so he's just sending a message to the PP crew.

Avatar
#44 hal a pena
December 01 2010, 09:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

its not the wisest way to make a statement, embarassing the players publicly. should have saved it for the room, behind closed doors. could lose the team. these arent 18 yr olds.

Avatar
#45 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 09:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Well...this one has been a stinker.

Avatar
#46 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 09:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
hal a pena wrote:

its not the wisest way to make a statement, embarassing the players publicly. should have saved it for the room, behind closed doors. could lose the team. these arent 18 yr olds.

Looked like a wits end kind of move.

Might be some fall-out after this one.

Avatar
#47 hal a pena
December 01 2010, 10:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

jbo and robin must be a big minus by now. regeher looked very pedestrian tonight.

Avatar
#48 Kent Wilson
December 01 2010, 10:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
hal a pena wrote:

jbo and robin must be a big minus by now. regeher looked very pedestrian tonight.

The whole team did minus maybe Jackman and Moss. Just an ass-kicking. The special teams sucking and constant penalties didn't help.

Avatar
#49 hal a pena
December 01 2010, 10:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

i cant see anything good coming from sutters move of putting 5 d on the pp as a public face slapping. may have just lost the team. can be intepretted as throwing them under the bus.that might work on kids but i cant see nhlers accepting it.even more interesting i the timing and at home.

Avatar
#50 hal a pena
December 01 2010, 10:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

this thumping coupled with an oiler win tonight must be making the collar a little tighter for darryl

Comments are closed for this article.