Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 68th game of the season on March 14, 2010.
At this point can we all just agree that whatever changes Darryl Sutter has made have been incredibly helpful to the Flames at least in the short term?
I’m trying not to get too high on this Flames team because it’s not entirely unlike when Don Waddell traded Braydon Coburn and a whole slew of draft picks for a couple weeks of Alex Zhitnik and Keith Tkachuk because a) he’d guaranteed a playoff berth to the fanbase and needed to deliver and b) he wanted to keep his job.
There were some awful, awful personnel decisions made with the Phaneuf, Jokinen, Staios and Toskala trades (i.e. why bring like half these guys on board?), especially considering that three of the most of the players acquired — Staios, Hagman and Kotalik — are signed next year for a total $8.5 million and not especially good.
But at the same time, results are results. The Flames are 4-0 since the deadline and that’s obviously very good. Certainly it created a positive spike in the Flames’ chances to make the playoffs and has the team actually playing well for the first time in what feels like months. No longer do you have to watch entire games through the cracks between your fingers. And it certainly woke up Jarome Iginla, who has four goals and seven points in the last four games. So far there’s very little to dislike about it.
But at what cost next year? Cross that bridge when we come to it, I guess.
The Calgary Flames (34-24-9 for 77 points. Ninth in the West, third in the Northwest) and the Vancouver Canucks (42-23-3 for 87 points. Tied for third in the West, first in the Northwest).
8 p.m. Mountain time and 10 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should find new reasons to love Jeff Bridges.
GM Place, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Calgary is 17-9-6 on the road this year, and are 3-1-0 against Vancouver this year. The Canucks are 24-7-1 at home, and undefeated there since Jan. 11.
What (to hate about the Canucks)
They, too, don’t have Steve Staios — Steve Staios is literally the best player in Calgary Flames history.
Alex Burrows — As irritating as he is given his normal style of play, he is, perhaps, even more irritating because he scores a bunch of goals alongside the Sedins (he’s got 31 right now) and is by extension the mega-deal of the century. You know how much he’s getting paid per season through 2013? A paltry $2 million. Imagine if Sutter could get deals like that.
Mikael Samuelsson — He, like Burrows, is a steal. He’s getting paid $2.5 million this season and has 3o goals, one fewer than Jarome Iginla.
Because Staios commands it! Enjoy the game and ride Steve Staios to victory in the comments section.