Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 25th game of the season on Nov. 28, 2009.
I remember when I first heard the Flames traded Wayne Primeau. Good times then!
"Who," I asked no one in particular, "would be stupid enough to take on that contract?"
Turns out the answer was the Maple Leafs. Okay cool with me. Get that hump off the books for something like a fifth-round draft pick, right? I’ll take it. But then I saw what the actual return was: once Darryl Sutter added in a second-round pick in 2011, he got back a seventh-round pick the next year, Colin Stuart (who cares?) and Anton Stralman.
Wait, Anton freakin’ Stralman? I called my friend who supports the Maple Leafs (I know, I know) and he was not happy. While Stralman wasn’t, like, great or anything last year, he was generally considered to have a ton of upside, particularly offensively. That sounded good to me. Either he got huge minutes in Abbotsford and was the first call-up or he was a decent third-pairing guy of whom not much would be asked that could chip in on the second power play unit. Either way, solid pickup both now and for the future, especially considering how little he currently made.
He played well enough in training camp, just about what I expected. But he apparently didn’t impress Sutter, who chose Staffan Kronwall over him (hilariously enough) and shipped him to Columbus for a third-round pick, presumably because he didn’t want to lose Stralman on waivers. I was disappointed but figured it wouldn’t matter THAT much since, y’know, what kind of impact would he have had for the Flames when it really boils down to their essentials?
Oh, he has 15 points, which would put him fifth on the Flames and ahead of every defenseman on the roster, especially Kronwall who has three points in six games and is currently in the AHL?
Great. That’s great.
The Calgary Flames (15-6-3 for 33 points. Third in the West, first in the Northwest) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (12-9-3 for 27 points. Ninth in the West, third in the Central).
5 p.m. Mountain time and 7 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should watch out for Optimus Prime in South Africa.
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio.
Calgary is 8-1-3 on the road this year, and have gotten points in the last eight games away from home. The Blue Jackets are 6-2-2 at home, and that includes a win over Calgary earlier this year.
What (to hate about the Jackets)
Ken Hitchcock — You can say a lot of things about him, but you can’t say he’s a bad coach. Despite terrible goaltending (they have a minus-13 goal differential, but I’ll address that in a second), he’s got his team playing just about league average. Why? Look at that power play. It’s at 25.5 percent and is the best in the league. Wow.
Rick Nash — He’s not even the reason why they’re best in the league with a man advantage. Only three of his 14 goals have come on the power play. He’s behind Raffi Torres, Kristian Huselius and Stralman, who have five, four and four, respectively. Jeepers.
Steve Mason — You’ll notice that a lot of these things are about how a player is negatively impacting me as far as fantasy hockey is concerned. Well I’ll just put this out there: If you were like me and dropped a high fourth-round pick on Mason this season, you aren’t feeling too good about that 8-6-3, 3.50/.899.
Because you didn’t get enough last night. Enjoy the game and talk about your love for back-to-backs in the comments section.