I was reading about the lineup today and I knew it would be grim. Everyone on the team seems to be hurt. But then we got worse news than I could have possibly imagined.
Oh hell. I understand the need to light a fire under Cory Sarich’s ass – to say "Hey stupid, get it together or you’re gonna be one expensive healthy scratch every night." It makes sense.
But Staios? Really? Couldn’t they have signed some junior player to a one-day contract and given him five minutes? Couldn’t they have picked the winner of a backwards skating contest out of the crowd? Couldn’t they have dressed nobody?
This is the kind of thing that invites trouble, especially given that the depth down the middle leaves Calgary with an AHL guy running pivot on the fourth line even with Matt Stajan (thankfully) back in the lineup tonight. And that Staios is paired with TJ Brodie, of all people, is also somewhat troubling. After all, this was a kid most people said played well enough to deserve a spot with the big club, but would probably need some amount of hand holding. And Steve by-god Staios is pulling babysitting duty tonight.
Meanwhile, Olli Jokinen stays firmly rooted on the first line with Iginla and Tanguay, and you can still count the number of points those guys have on a double amputee’s fingers. (Not that they haven’t combined for 22 shots in two games, half of which are Jokinen’s.) They’re doing well enough as far as getting the puck around the net and creating chances, but conversion? Like the rest of the team, not so much.
But the good news is Florida seems to be pretty freakin’ awful. They are a team that absolutely cannot score. Hell, Marty Reasoner has two of their goals this season. And also their best defenseman is Dennis Wideman, last seen being catapulted out of Boston with the 15th overall pick this year in the Bruins’ absurd swindle for Nathan Horton.
This is a game Calgary has the juice to win. It’s fairly imperative to start winning now, I’d argue, since many players are injured. If this team can get on a roll and be bolstered by the returns of the Bourques and Kotaliks, rather than looking hopefully to the calendar and saying "Hope those dudes can come back soon because we are complete garbage right now," then they’ll be in a solid position moving forward.
And by the way, who ya got for the injury pool tonight? Put me down for Regehr. I just have a feeling.