Abbotsford and Team Canada Updates

Kent Wilson
May 10 2010 12:23PM

Canada's players celebrate a goal against Italy during their Ice Hockey World Championships match in Mannheim

 

 Not a lot happening in Flamesland right now, so I figured it's time for a tour around the periphery.

The Abbotsford Heat trail the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-1 in their second round series, with game five going tonight. One of the more interesting narratives of the series has been the emergence of a "kid line" featuring Mitch Wahl, Lance Bouma and Carter Bancks. The trio was instrumental in the Heat's 4-1 win last week. The three rookies combined for five points, including Wahl's first two AHL playoff goals. The team's ranks have swelled with juniors of late, with Bryan Cameron and T.J.Brodie of the Barrie Colts being called up after they bowed out to Greg Nemisz's Windsor Spitfires for the OHL championship. Neither has appeared in a game yet. Gaelan Patterson also made an appearance recently, scoring his first professional goal. 

Mikael Backlund, who will likely play with the Flames next year, has one goal and 9 points through 12 playoff games thus far. His contributions against the Bulldogs have been muted, with just two assists and 8 shots on goal through the first 4 games. One of the persistent criticisms that has dogged Backlund since he was drafted is his inability sustain a high level of play consistently. Although I don't know the context of his recent downturn (changed roles, less power time etc could account for it) this appears to be one of those segments where Backlund just isn't "there". 

On the World Championship front, Rene Bourque is skating on a Canada's top unit with Corey Perry and Steven Stamkos. The trio has been potent in the early going, combining for a bulk of Canada's offense through the exhibition contests and the 5-1 victory over Italy. Mark Giordano is currently skating on the 2nd/3rd pairing, just a year after being a healthy scratch at the same tournament. 

 

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Rob in Toronto
May 10 2010, 01:30PM
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I'm happy for Bourque and Gio to get some well-deserved recognition, even if it isn't specifically NHL-related.

Also, don't forget about the Hitmen. Us Calgary expats will finally have some televised games to watch:

May 15th vs. Moncton Wildcats/St. John Sea Dogs, May 17th vs. Windsor Spitfires, May 19th vs. Brandon Wheat Kings(not to mention the finals).

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#3 Domebeers.com
May 10 2010, 03:49PM
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After playing with Perry and Stamkos, I am just hoping Rene comes back to play for us.

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#4 jess
May 10 2010, 04:23PM
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I witnessed Wahl's goals last week first hand. In fact about 20 feet away for one of them! He's a great player. Hopefully he just gets better and better.

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#5 SmellOfVictory
May 10 2010, 07:16PM
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Domebeers.com wrote:

After playing with Perry and Stamkos, I am just hoping Rene comes back to play for us.

You afraid he's going to sulk on the ice about how he doesn't have shiny young star linemates?

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#6 D C
May 11 2010, 09:27AM
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Abbotsford Heat lost last night.

I guess it was a good run...

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#7 Domebeers.com
May 11 2010, 04:20PM
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@SmellOfVictory

I know I would.

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