Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 15th game of the season on Nov. 7, 2009.
Over the last week or so, you may have noticed that the Flames got into a bit of a kerfuffle over this whole H1N1 vaccine situation. This whole "swine flu" thing has been a hot-button issue across the NHL and the world at large for a while now and so it was only a matter of time before it touched the Flames in one way or another.
But it wasn’t just Petr Budaj, David Krejci and a number of others that have fallen ill with this affliction. Another person you may know who has the swine flu: me. That’s right, I got it from someone at work (I think) on Wednesday or Thursday and I am so wacked out on a slew of several drugs I barely know up from down.. down is the one that’s up, right?
Now I know why the Flames shoved their way to the front of the line to get loaded up full of medicine. This is by far the least pleasant thing that has happened to my body in its 26-year history. If the normal flu were Jarome Iginla, swine flu would be Iginla mid-The Shift. I’ll spare you the gorier (or, more accurately, scatological) details, but I can say for sure that I have never been in this much pain despite having done nothing to earn it. Every time I move even slightly, it feels as if some very tiny people are punching me directly in moving muscle group. I can’t sleep for more than two hours at a time. My body temperature has taken on chameleon-like qualities; a sip of Gatorade means I’m freezing for the next 15 minutes and a spoonful of chicken soup has me sweating immediately. Room-temperature foods have never been so gratifying.
The best part, though, was having the symptoms come on hardcore while at the Bruins/Canadiens game on Thursday. That was a pleasant third period, then overtime, then shootout, then train ride back to the car, then drive back to my friend’s house, then drive back to my house. I only had to pull over three times to vomit. The only positive to come from that is knowing that the large fat older gentleman next to me — who insisted on referring to the injured Milan "Luke-itch" as the Bruins’ best player, continually bitching about how Derek Morris is better for Boston’s defense than Andrew Ference and getting up to buy more beer during play — might now also have swine flu. I should have coughed in his mouth.
There are some of you out there who probably condemned the Flames for their line-jumping, and I thought it was at least tactless. But now I understand it. I could barely conjure the strength and will to leave my bed to go to my desk and write this stupid gameday post, let alone go to the rink, put on equipment, then play hockey against giant men who want to hurt me. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone except that jerk from Thursday night.
The Calgary Flames (9-4-1 for 19 points. Eighth in the West, third in the Northwest) and the New York Rangers (10-6-1 for 21 points. Fourth in the East, second in the Atlantic).
8 p.m. Mountain time and 10 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should go outside and play.
Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta.
Calgary is 5-3-0 at home this year, which is actually worse than its road record, oddly enough. The Rangers are 4-4-1 away from Madison Square Garden, well below their home record of 6-2-0.
What (to hate about the Rangers)
John Tortorella — Because it isn’t enough that he’s a loud, arrogant jerk, he also had to coach the stupid Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup win one time.
Henrik Lundqvist — He’s so good and.. oh what’s that? He’s not playing tonight? Tooooooo bad.
Marian Gaborik — So far, this grand experiment of signing an incredibly-talented-but-oft-injured player to a long-term, big-money contract has worked out. The guy is on 12 goals and nine assists in 15 games. Only three players on the Flames have more points than he does assists, and only two have more points than he does goals. That’s crazy.
Because I’ve been quarantined. Enjoy the game and try not to get sick in the comments section.