GDFD No. 67: Dare to dream

Ryan Lambert
March 11 2010 05:30PM



Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 67th game of the season on March 11, 2010.

It may be too much to hope for, but wouldn't it be nice if the Flames could win their fourth in a row? Don't see any reason why they wouldn't.

Since winning 11 in a row — wait what — Ottawa is just 4-4-1 against the Maple Leafs, Flames B.S. (Before Staios), Capitals, Red Wings, Islanders, Rangers, Hurricanes, Maple Leafs (again) and Oilers. Not exactly the toughest competition, but they did beat the Caps.

For one thing, Calgary's offense looks near-competent again, and what a pleasant change of pace that is. A whopping 14 goals in the last three games against teams that are currently second, 10th and 19th in goals allowed per game? Sign me up for that. Plus they're not even playing poorly defensively to make up for the strong offense (not that they're playing especially well but you see my point). Only allowing 28 shots a game against New Jersey, Minnesota and Detroit is solid enough that you're giving yourself an excellent chance to win.

It's almost like this team wants to sneak into the playoffs after all. Couldn't have said that a week ago. 

Who

The Calgary Flames (33-24-9 for 75 points. Eighth! in the West, third in the Northwest) and the Ottawa Senators (37-25-5 for 79 points. Fifth in the East, second in the Northeast).

When

7:30 p.m. Mountain time and 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should be hostile about their celibacy.

Where

Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta.

Calgary is 16-15-3 at home this year, and are 7-1-2 against Eastern Conference teams this year. The Sens are 14-16-1 on the road, but handed the Flames their only regulation loss to a team from the East on Feb. 9, 3-2.

What (to hate about the Senators)

They also don't have Steve Staios — If you had told me that trading for Steve Staios would have GUARANTEED an undefeated record, I would have demanded that Darryl Sutter trade for him years ago. See, this is the reason he might get fired at the end of the year: lack of foresight. The math is real simple: The Stavior + Calgary = Wins. Boom.

Alex Kovalev — I just find him to be bothersome, though that's just personally. I would bet that he's very unlikeable if you are, say, a teammate of his.

Mike Fisher — Remember all that talk about how he should be on Team Canada for the Olympics. You guys are lucky you didn't saddle yourselves with him. He's not very good at all.

Why

Because Staios says so! Enjoy the game and ride Steve Staios to victory in the comments section.

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!
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#1 Jean Lefebvre
March 11 2010, 08:25PM
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Another reminder why the crossbar standard is so stupid on high-stick goal plays. Scorers rarely have the common courtesy to stand right next to the crossbar when they're tipping in pucks.

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#2 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 10:00PM
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Senators players go down easier than a Bangkok whore.

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#3 Pat Steinberg
March 11 2010, 11:35PM
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I'm not saying it means it totally makes sense, it just kinda adds a little background. Because I still agree...if he's not going to play, isn't it worth more to be playing games in the AHL?

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#4 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 06:21PM
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Looks like Detroit is going to beat Minny, so the Flames will have to win to keep pace.

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#5 Jean Lefebvre
March 11 2010, 07:17PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Looks like Detroit is going to beat Minny, so the Flames will have to win to keep pace.

Their playoff hopes were already marginal but losing to both Calgary and Detroit in a five-day span pretty much puts pennies on the Wildmen's eyes.

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#6 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 07:20PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

Their playoff hopes were already marginal but losing to both Calgary and Detroit in a five-day span pretty much puts pennies on the Wildmen's eyes.

Yup, they're done. The first few months where the entire struggled were far too costly.

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#7 Jean Lefebvre
March 11 2010, 07:24PM
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Life's certainties — death, taxes and the early game going into overtime when the Flames play the back half of a TV doubleheader.

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#8 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 07:29PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

Life's certainties — death, taxes and the early game going into overtime when the Flames play the back half of a TV doubleheader.

I'd probably lose faith if I was the fan of a team that couldn't take the Oilers in regulation.

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#9 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 07:34PM
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I think the fact that the Oilers have Jason Strudwick killing penalties in overtime is a perfect summation of their current situation.

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#10 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 07:41PM
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Well...this is ridiculous.

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#11 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 07:47PM
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I can't fathom why the Flames have Backlund up only to scratch him every game. Doesn't make a lick of sense.

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#12 Jean Lefebvre
March 11 2010, 07:53PM
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Must have heard wrong — game is delayed while the Saddledome crew cuts Tanner Glass?

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#13 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 07:55PM
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That's something the Canucks should have done.

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#14 Jean Lefebvre
March 11 2010, 07:58PM
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Along with Tanner Glass, old North Star Steve Payne also deserves a spot on the all-faulty-rink-delay team.

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#15 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 08:00PM
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You win. I can't think of a response to that one.

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#16 Jean Lefebvre
March 11 2010, 08:02PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

You win. I can't think of a response to that one.

Surely somewhere in the Belorussian league there's some defenceman called Sergei Plexiglasskin.

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#17 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 08:03PM
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I can only think of Alexander Bumagin, but that's a different pun string I'd imagine.

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#18 Jean Lefebvre
March 11 2010, 08:09PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I can only think of Alexander Bumagin, but that's a different pun string I'd imagine.

Boy am I glad the game is starting.

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#19 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 08:09PM
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Terrible pinch by Regehr to start the game.

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#20 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 08:10PM
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Wow. The Flames look terrible.

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#21 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 08:16PM
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Well, nice to get a lead when you're playing this poorly.

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#22 Jean Lefebvre
March 11 2010, 08:17PM
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Two points in the wake of recent blogs by FlamesNation staffers ...

1) Mayers scores a goal

2) Carl Gunnarsson was plus-1 tonight

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#23 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 08:20PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

Two points in the wake of recent blogs by FlamesNation staffers ...

1) Mayers scores a goal

2) Carl Gunnarsson was plus-1 tonight

haha. Take that critics!

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#24 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 08:24PM
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Flames have gotten very lucky to start this game. Hopefully they can take advantage.

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#25 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 08:27PM
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The Iginla line has had a thoroughly underwhelming period.

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#26 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 08:37PM
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Well, I waited a long time for this period to start, but I'd be just as glad to see it end. Neither club looks like it wants to be there so far.

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#27 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 08:49PM
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well, hopefully the boys got that out of their system. It's incredible they escaped that one with a lead.

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#28 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 09:04PM
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Ugh. Flames have to wake up at some point if they want to keep the lead. The start to the 2nd is just as uninspired.

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#29 Jean Lefebvre
March 11 2010, 09:09PM
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Weird game. These inter-conference meetings sometimes have that indescribable blah factor to them.

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#30 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 09:13PM
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Nystrom to the dressing room after the block?

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#31 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 09:20PM
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It's amazing the team that outplayed the Detroit Red Wings so drastically in their own building the other night can come out and look like this.

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#32 RossCreekNation
March 11 2010, 09:33PM
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Caught bits and pieces of the game thus far as we went out for my Dad's birthday. Luckily when we stopped at my sisters for cake, I got my paws on the remote.

I don't even recall much of the 1st period, and thanks to some of Kent's tweets I see that perhaps I'm not the only one...

One shot on net through the first hlaf of the period. For both teams. And there's been 2 PP's.

This game is as sloppy and passionless as a pre-season tilt.

Haha. I see why I 'missed' the 1st.

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#33 RossCreekNation
March 11 2010, 09:34PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Nystrom to the dressing room after the block?

Is Nystrom done or did he return?

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#34 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 09:38PM
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Well, at least the PK's been good...right?

Chances were 6-5 for OTT in that period.

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#35 Jean Lefebvre
March 11 2010, 09:40PM
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Can't wait for a seven-game Stanley Cup final between these clubs.

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#36 RossCreekNation
March 11 2010, 09:58PM
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I really haven't noticed Kotalik as much as I thought I would since joining the Flames. I figured I'd notice him in a bad way. I haven't really noticed much of him in either a good or bad way.

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#37 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 09:58PM
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Shudder.

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#38 RossCreekNation
March 11 2010, 10:04PM
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I've always liked the Ruutu's (sans Christian), but if I had to play against Jarkko, niether of us would finish the game. If he was an Oiler, I just may commit a murder...

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#39 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 10:06PM
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Steve Staios on the PP...really?

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#40 RossCreekNation
March 11 2010, 10:08PM
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Peter Regin... or Pat Riggin? That was terrible!

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#41 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 10:09PM
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Scoring chances are 6-0 for the Sens this period. Flames in full-on "hang on for dear life" mode.

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#42 Pat Steinberg
March 11 2010, 10:09PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I can't fathom why the Flames have Backlund up only to scratch him every game. Doesn't make a lick of sense.

I had it explained to me today, it makes a litle more sense. Once the deadline passes, you get just 4 recalls. Once you use those up, you can only make emergency recalls, which are apparently tough to get. So, the Flames don't want to send him down, call him in a week and waste a recall.

So, I guess sort of makes sense.

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#43 RossCreekNation
March 11 2010, 10:12PM
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Looks like Higgins cracked the seal with the empty netter the other night, lol.

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#44 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 10:13PM
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haha, wow. The Flames first and only scoring chance in the period finds the back of the net.

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#45 RossCreekNation
March 11 2010, 10:14PM
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Pat Steinberg wrote:

I had it explained to me today, it makes a litle more sense. Once the deadline passes, you get just 4 recalls. Once you use those up, you can only make emergency recalls, which are apparently tough to get. So, the Flames don't want to send him down, call him in a week and waste a recall.

So, I guess sort of makes sense.

Well... that is a sensible reason. BUT, you know what looks even less sensible now, after hearing that? Ready Kent? On 3. 1... 2... 3... the Dustin Boyd trade!

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#46 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 10:15PM
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Pat Steinberg wrote:

I had it explained to me today, it makes a litle more sense. Once the deadline passes, you get just 4 recalls. Once you use those up, you can only make emergency recalls, which are apparently tough to get. So, the Flames don't want to send him down, call him in a week and waste a recall.

So, I guess sort of makes sense.

I...guess? Still think it would be better for him to be playing in Abbotsford rather than watching in Calgary.

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#47 RossCreekNation
March 11 2010, 10:19PM
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@Pat Steinberg

If they wanted to keep the extra body around, yet don't want to play Backlund regularly, then the most sensible thing to do would've been to let Backlund keep playing/developing in the 'A' and let Boyd stick around as an extra body, no?

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#48 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 10:31PM
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Looks like we're going to escape with this one.

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#49 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 10:34PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

If they wanted to keep the extra body around, yet don't want to play Backlund regularly, then the most sensible thing to do would've been to let Backlund keep playing/developing in the 'A' and let Boyd stick around as an extra body, no?

Beyond the Boyd trade, I don't understand why the Flames consider 4 recalls precious with 19 games remaining in the season when they have 2 extra NHL forwards on the sidelines already.

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#50 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 10:36PM
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Chances ended up 8-4 in favor of OTT in that period.

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