So what did we learn in Saturday’s matinee in L.A.?
Well, for starters, there needs to be an audit of the star-selection procedure in Tinseltown. Even if Jarome Iginla took a couple of minor penalties today, it’s hard to believe the Calgary captain was not only overlooked for top-star honours, he didn’t make the cut at all for post-game bows. Those went to Curtis Glencross, Daymond Langkow and Drew Doughty.
Iginla, by the way, is the first NHLer to hit double digits in November goals. He now has 11 tallies this month, which is three more than San Jose’s Dany Heatley, who’ll be in action later Saturday. Zach Parise, Henrik Zetterberg and Henrik Sedin were the players who went into Saturday’s evening play with seven goals apiece.
The second thing we learned is that those who believe the Los Angeles Kings are the next Chicago Blackhawks could very well be right, but the arrival of this up-and-coming franchise may not come until next season. After a 10-4-2 start, the injury-depleted Kings have just one regulation victory in their past eight games and they’ve now allowed more goals than they’ve scored.
Oh, and with the ever-increasing discussion about the 2010 Olympics, how weird is it to think the NHL’s current point-getter has absolutely no chance of being in Vancouver come February? Or perhaps a hard-of-hearing IOC official will allow Anze Kopitar to play for Slovakia?
Despite the Calgary win, it was another tough game for both Olli Jokinen and and Cory Sarich.
Jokinen had an assist and he had two close calls in the goalscoring department, but there are still a lof of moments that make you wonder if the player who was so coveted for years before he finally became a Flame was good from afar but far from good up close.
Sarich, meanwhile, continues to handle pucks as if they were live grenades. He seems to have stretches like this every season, although this one is of alarming duration.
One other thing we learned Saturday is that Jamie Lundmark hasn’t lost his gift for coming up from the minors and prompting a flood of "This guy should be a full-time NHLer" remarks. Unofrtunately, those moments are eventually and almost inevitably followed by play which reminds everyone why Lundmark has spent so much time in the AHL during his career.
Star of the game: Iginla, the Staples Center snub notwithstanding
Fourth star: Mark Giordano had some nice moments jumping up in the play and pushing the puck up the ice.
Turning point: Glencross’ industrious work in the corner and his snappy pass to Langkow for the tide-turning shorthanded goal.
What it means: The Flames keep their road mojo going with a visit to the very unfriendly Pond — zero regulation wins in the last nine Flames regular-season visits — on deck.