Sometimes we hear the phrase "the grass is greener on the other side." Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t… but right now, a number of former members of the Calgary Flames are playing post-season hockey with another team. I thought it might be interesting to see how they’re doing while Flames fans still lament the season that was.
So, nearing the end of the first round of the postseason, lets take a look. All of these players have donned a Flames uniform in the post-lockout era and are now making some sort of impact with their new team.
Mike Cammalleri, Montreal – In just his second NHL postseason appearance, Cammalleri is proving to be a little more consistent this time around. His first playoff competition was last season, where he was a bit of a letdown in some minds, putting up 3 points in 6 games against the Chicago Blackhawks. His offensive numbers, and his "danger factor" on the ice have been much, much higher in 4 games against Washington. Now with 6 points, Cammalleri leads the team in playoff scoring.
Roman Hamrlik, Montreal – After two seasons with the Flames, Hamrlik joined the Habs to start the 2007-2008 season. He’s making his 8th straight NHL postseason appearance, going back to his time with the New York Islanders. It’s been an up and down series for the former #1 overall pick. Offensively, he’s been pretty good, with 3 assists in 4 games and some pretty high quality opportunities. His pairing with Jaroslav Spacek has done a solid job against Alexander Ovechkin’s line… however, a gaffe late in the second period of game 4 killed the Canadiens.
Andrew Ference, Boston – Ference has remained with the Bruins since being traded along with Chuck Kobasew during the 06/07 season. He’s been fairly steady throughout Boston’s 4 games against Buffalo, averaging about 15 minutes a game with 1 point. His ice-time average gets jacked a little bit after a double overtime thriller in game 4.
Jordan Leopold, Pittsburgh – The Penguins acquired the blueliner from Florida in a deadline day deal, and the reviews have been mostly positive. Many are impressed with his poise and decision-making abilities, however, he’s played just 2 playoff games after sustaining a hit from Ottawa’s Andy Sutton in game 2 of the series. That being said, Jay McKee has stepped in and done a fine job in his absence.
Brian Boucher, Philadelphia – I know many like to forget his time with the Flames. I could also remind you that Phillipe Sauve once also played for Calgary. But what good would that do? Boucher has helped the Flyers to a 3-1 series lead over the higher seeded New Jersey Devils, and has been just fine in between the pipes. By no means are the Flyers up in the series solely because of Boucher, but he’s done his job to this point.
Stephane Yelle, Colorado – He’s still the grizzled playoff warrior. After a short regular season stint with Colorado after being acquired from Carolina, Yelle ha played all four games in their series with San Jose. The 35 year old two-time Cup champ is averaging about 12 minutes of ice time per game, doing the things we came to know during his time wearing the Flaming C. Through four games, Yelle has accumulated 15:35 of shorthanded time while blocking 7 shots. Yeah, that sounds about right.
Dustin Boyd, Nashville – I know some, including our own Kent, were very critical of the Dustin Boyd deal at this years deadline. I wasn’t at first, but the more I read on here and heard on the show, I think it’s a move you can be critical of. After missing Nashville’s first game against Chicago, Boyd has played in the last two averaging about 8:30 per game with no points.
Todd Bertuzzi, Detroit – Ahhhh Big Bert. I’ll say this much, I think he’s surprised and surpassed most everyone’s expectations since arriving in Motown. After putting up 44 points in all 82 regular season games, Bert sits with four points in Detroit’s first four games against Phoenix. I’ve read it a few times that "Bertuzzi is enjoying rebirth in Detroit." Again, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but he’s been a factor so far in the postseason.
Jim Vandermeer, Phoenix – Hasn’t been much of a factor, as he’s yet to see playoff action with the ‘Yotes.
Adrian Aucoin, Phoenix – Has been pretty steady overall, now sitting +2 in the four games against Detroit. He has just the one point, but has seen between 2 and 5 minutes of powerplay time the last three games. In Tuesday’s game four loss, Aucoin attempted six shots getting three on net while racking up 5:18 of ice time on the man advantage. His shot has been a factor the last two games.
Matthew Lombardi, Phoenix – Yep, there’s Lombo, being a pretty damn important piece of the Coyotes playoff success to this point. The offence has been there, with five points in four games, but he’s been just as important taking key faceoffs at both ends of the ice. So far, Lombardi is winning 57.3% of his draws.