(Yet another) big one

Jean Lefebvre
April 04 2010 01:08PM

Here we go with yet another Biggest Game of the Season So Far for the Flames.

Not exactly a hand-picked opponent for Calgary, obviously, even if the Blackhawks have been pretty so-so lately. But perhaps facing the team they've beaten 11 times in 13 tries over the past two seasons will perk the Chicagoans right up.

It's almost like a double-header for the Flames today as the Avs, the other eighth-place chasers, face another Western Conference tough cookie — San Jose — this evening.

Antti Niemi, presumably with the blessing of Uncle Niemi, gets the nod in nets for the 'Hawks. Vesa Toskala is on bench gate duty for the Flames.

TLP would say something like "Ride the Steve Staios Train to Victory" or something but let's content ourselves with "Enjoy the Pete and Chaz Show on Sportsnet."

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Lefebvre is in that awkward stage of hockey following -- old enough to fondly remember the Cleveland Barons and too set in his ways to accept charity points and games where there's a winner but apparently no loser. As a long-time ink-stained wretch, he's also a firm believer in the old Bobby Knight quote about journalists: "All of us learn to write in second grade, but most of us go on to better things."
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#1 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 01:15PM
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Thanks for filling in Jean. I didn't know TLP wasn't going to be posting today.

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#3 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 01:18PM
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Better than nothing!

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#5 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 01:26PM
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Despite the score, a decent start to the game by the Flames.

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#7 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 01:28PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

And speaking of nothing ...

Tough start for the "No. 1" line again.

Yeah, although they now have generated more scoring chances tonight than they did the previous game (2).

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#10 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 01:30PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

Niklas Hagman seems to have a bit of Jacques Clouseau in him.

I bet you 10% of the readership will actually recognize that reference.

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#12 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 01:35PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

How about if we had said Jacques Cloutier instead?

haha, probably not much help.

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#16 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 01:51PM
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Well, a decent period in terms of effort at ES, if not by the results.

Chicago's PP always looks world class against the Flames.

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#17 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 01:56PM
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Chances in that one were 7-5 CHI, but they got a good 3 or 4 out of their PP. I think almost all of the Flames were at 5on5

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#18 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 02:09PM
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Not much happening in the 2nd yet.

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#19 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 02:15PM
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Flames are going to have to start pressing for some offense here. Playing in the neutral zone isn't going to cut it.

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#21 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 02:21PM
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Well, prior to tonight the Flames were actually playing pretty poorly but getting the results anyways. EDIT - now I see what you're saying and I obviously agree.

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#22 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 02:26PM
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Wow, straight off the pipe.

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#23 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 02:29PM
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A good PK and chance afterwards, but no dice.

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#24 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 02:33PM
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That is a laser beam by Kane.

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#25 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 02:33PM
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You can probably put this puppy to bed. Flames have to hope the Avs lose tonight.

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#26 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 02:34PM
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Holy crap what a goal by White!

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#28 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 02:40PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

The man has some skill, no question. I can't quite make up my mind whether he'll be back or not (the Flames will likely have the inclination, but will they find enough loose change in the couch cushions?)

It's a good question. Prior to the Staios acquisition, there was no question...but now? And how awful would it be to lose White because of Steve Staios?

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#29 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 02:40PM
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Chances were 5-5 in that period.

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#31 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 02:46PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

Sorry for the confusion. I know some commentators use "mirror image" to mean "exactly the same" but I've always believed it meant "the same but in reverse."

And that totally makes sense.

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#32 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 02:49PM
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I wonder, if the Flames decide that White is too expensive to retain will they court RFA offersheets for him? I think at about 3.5M you can get a nice package of picks.

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#35 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 02:55PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

Or perhaps they'll trade his rights prior to July 1? That seems to be more in vogue than offer sheets nowadays given the potential for making enemies of fellow GMs.

True. It's hard to trigger offersheets in this environment. That said, the return for a pending RFA isn't going to be as nearly as attractive.

Sigh. Not a great situation.

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#36 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 03:08PM
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Odd to see Jarome knocked down the depth chart. Although not entirely inappropriate.

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#38 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 03:13PM
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haha, yeah I saw that. Cruickshank is interesting because he doesn't seem to worry about pumping the clubs tires.

Of course, if the Flames did indeed lose Jarome, they'd at least have another 7M in cap space to spend on his replacement(s).

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#40 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 03:17PM
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Great set-up by Backlund for Kotalik. Too bad he fanned.

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#41 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 03:23PM
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Well, that's too bad. Flames were carrying the play all period.

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#42 Kent Wilson
April 04 2010, 03:28PM
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Flames win the chance count 8-3 in that period.

Ahhh well.

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#44 jeremywilhelm
April 04 2010, 05:09PM
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Iggy looks lost out there boys. I think he is probably coming to the realization that he needs to change how he views the game to be successful and it is tearing him up mentally.

But on the other hand, WTF Backlund, welcome to the nhl and your first 4(5?) game point streak.

That must be the longest by any flame this season.

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