January 13 2013 02:22PM
If you haven't visited the blog in a while 1) What's wrong with you? 2) That's a very good point. 3) But they finally reached an agreement. 4) you may have noticed we haven't had a FGD posting in a long time, except for this one, but it doesn't count, because the guy who wrote it is a bit of a braying ninny starved for attention.
But that's all about to change, as the i's have been dotted, t's crossed, leers exchanged, trust forever shattered, and the end result is a signed MOU, which is a thing, I guess, but also an NHL schedule! Remember those?
Well they're coming back, which means we can all pour into the Saddledome on select days and not have to remark that the big Flaming C at Center Ice is really just a reminder on what we're missing.
So here's the highlights and lowlights of your Calgary Flames schedule.
Sorry to All You Islander Fans
I know you tuned in and deeply informed Citizens already knew this, but due to a shortened season putting a higher emphasis on the amount of points a team can earn and therefore placing a higher importance on each individual contest, the League has done away with those pesky interconference games. So no, sorry, you won't see the Flames taking on Ville Leino and his juggernaut Buffalo Sabres.
Which is unquestionably sad.
Nevertheless, while an 82 game season is always superior to a piddly 48 alternative, the short season places a higher premium on internal conference competition, so even games against the Blue Jackets (yes, the Blue Jackets) are going to be paramount, which you would hope would raise the level of competition, and also bump the excitement factor a tier or two. So you know what, to hell with the Eastern Conference. We're going to hear enough about the Maple Leafs as it is, not having to actually see them should help ease the irritation (as will them missing the playoffs once again. Ah, tradition)
Plus, you know, those Penguins have one or two decent players skating for them over in Pittsburgh, maybe eluding that matchup might help keep everyone's spirits up a little bit.
Hope You Guys Like Wednesdays
In the days of yore, if you had a ticket stub or two to see your Calgary Flames at yonder Saddledome, there was a good chance the date on that document read either a Tuesday or Thursday. Not exactly a super swell time to spend a few hours into the late evening when you all have to be up early to go get back to the daily grind the next day. You all work super hard, and you deserve better than that.
The NHL agrees. You've earned their respect.
Meaning for the most part, those early to mid and late to mid weekday games are a thing of the past. Compromises have been made, and you're going to be getting a lot of MID WEEK GAMES! There are 8 games on Wednesday home dates, as well as a couple of Monday nigthers (there's also 3 Sunday games, but they're earlier, so don't worry your pretty little head about that). Which isn't ideal, of course, but not all games can be on Fridays and Saturdays, AND HEY, at least those Tuesday games are no longer an issue.
Except for that one that is.
So look, I know, you're a season ticket holder (aren't we all? Except me, you petualnt jerks!), you don't want to show up on a Monday to see the Minnesota Wild AGAIN (April 15th), only to get up the next day and talk about how you saw Pierre-Marc Bouchard dump the puck into the Flames zone 60 times with your co-workers around the water cooler (because people still do that, right?)
Life's tough. Well, if you're in that camp, certainly you must be feeling some malaise about the whole situation, which, oh, I don't know, lead to generous offerings of charity, in the sense that maybe you'd like to gift some of those tickets to like a FlamesNation blogger who probably also has to work in the morning, but is not quite aware just how important a full night of restful sleep is to one's health and well being, and is very much a Flames fan and would love to eat a pocket dog and drink a heroin beer while hobnobbing with the elitest of Flames fans or something and is also me.
You know, hypothetically.
Here are some of the important dates and various tidbits you'll want to remember, or have me remember for you, or something. Or do nothing, what do I care?
Those chumpy little chumpersons, also known as the Edmonton Lottery Commission, or "Oilers", square off against our heroes for the chance to get humiliated four times in 2013. They are as follows:
- Saturday, January 26th, right here at our lovely Scotiabank Saddledome. And if you're not there, it'll be on Hockey Night In Canada, so you can all get your Mark Lee fix.
- A home and home series on the 1st and 3rd of April, at which point the Oilers should be safely eliminated from the playoffs, and if not, one of those two wins for the Flames should just about shut that coffin for good.
- And finally, in a game that will probably clinch Edmonton's 4th straight 1st round pick, the Flames travel to Rexall (because LOL, they're going to be there forever) to rough up the Oilers on April 13th.
As for the Canucks, well, Jarome and the other assorted Flames will meet up with them 5 times, in Vancouver on January 23rd, February 9th, and April 6th, while the creepy ass Swedish twins and their cronies dive into Calgary on March 3rd and April 10th. It should be a riot.
One thing I've always wanted to do, and still haven't, and probably won't this year either, is follow the Flames to California when they go on one of those coastal road trips where they play the Ducks and Kings back to back. So if you want to let me live vicariously through you as you live out my dream, you can do so in early March, at what should be before what is shaping up to be a bitter winter ends.
The Flames, those lucky sons of b's, get to spend four days in SoCal, with a game against the Ducks (AND TEEMU!!!) on March 8th, before entertaining the Stanley Cup Champion Kings on the 9th and 11th. There are always just gobs of Flames fans sitting together at these games and are often louder than the home fans, so I assume a great deal of preparation goes into these outings, but to date, I have no idea who puts them on. If you go, and you experience this, let me know who's responsible, and give me their phone number and stuff.
If you planned on going to the Dome on February 12th to see the Flames play the Coyotes, you might want to excercise some restraint before going out and purchasing tickets, because at that point, it's very possible that the Coyotes will have declared bankruptcy and folded. A sad chapter reaches it's inevitable conclusion.
A Tough Road
So many people, myself included, believe the boys in red are going to have some tough sledding to make it into that final 8th playoff spot (going for it!), and, lamentably, the Flames four game road trip to end the season might be pretty detrimental to the Flames somewhat dim chances.
Imagine, if you will, interviewing for a new job, a great opportunity for you professionally, and you're sitting outside the office in a waiting room, when all the other qualified competition enter the room five minutes before your interview. There's a man in a nicer suit than you, a lady who went to a better university and volunteers more, the boss' cousin, and STEPHEN HAWKING.
That's essentially what the Flames are looking at, as they close out the regular season on the road against the revamped Wild, an always very tough Predators with what should be by that point a very beardy Shea Weber, the very impressive Blues, and the Blackhawks, who I guess are Stephen Hawking.
That. Is. Grim.
But hey, that's why you play the games. Gauranteed, however, that is the Flames are to make their way to the promised land in the planes of Playofftopia, those 4 games are absolutely going to play a hand in it. Should be (hopefully) a lot of fun to watch.
One Final Note
Edmonton sucks. Welcome back hockey.