December 16 2011 11:45AM

In the first part of a special feature to the Nation Network, we are proud to introduce a guest columnist -  WJC Team Canada alumni Brian Sutherby. As a member of the 2002 Silver Medal winning Canadian team, he knows a thing or two about a thing or two. And throughout the 2012 WJC he will be sharing his thoughts on the tournament and memories from his run to the Finals. - WG

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Defending Mikael Backlund

Kent Wilson
December 16 2011 11:09AM


Seems like there's a bit of a groundswell in support of the idea of sitting Mikael Backlund for a few games. Points haven't been coming for the 22-year old center since his return and his rough second period last night probably lends credence to the notion.

I contend Mikael has been mostly excellent since he was re-activated, however.

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Postgame: Some Good, Some Bad

Nation World HQ
December 15 2011 08:38PM

The Calgary Flames had some really poor stretches of hockey Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which played a big part of them trailing 4-2 after two periods of play.  They also had some very good spans of hockey, which was the main reason why they were able to force extra time with a pair of goals in the third period.  In the end, a Steven Stamkos marker 30 seconds into overtime was the difference, with the Lightning prevailing 5-4.

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Flames Scoring Chances - Game 31 versus Tampa Bay Lightning

Kent Wilson
December 15 2011 08:23PM



Final score: 5-4 OTL

Final Summary


Head-to-head ice


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Game 31 - Flames vs. Lightning Live Chat

Kent Wilson
December 15 2011 04:51PM

It's been a much tougher second season for neophyte GM Steve Yzerman. I thought he made a lot of good bets in his first summer in Tampa Bay, but this off-season was mostly spent grappling with Stamkos' contract extension and bleeding away some of the better, middle-tier pieces he had the year before. Bergenheim left, Gagne left and Mike Smith is suddenly a capable starter in the PHX.

Throw in the recent St. Louis injury, Roloson finally playing his age and Lecavalier proving to be grossly overpaid and you have a bit of a mess. The Bolts deph up front is limited and no one on the club is a proven ES performer in terms of possession.

Stamkos is a dangerous sniper and is a guy to look out for on the PP, but he's not a player who can play at both ends with aplomb yet. The Flames have a good chance at vicotry tonight if they can play mostly at ES and keep the kid off the scoreboard.

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