Game No. 3: Guess who’s back, back again

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.

Steve Staios.

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.

 

    • Robert Cleave

      They were OK against the Dys as well. Vigneault matched the Sedins against Mike Weaver and Jason Garrison to good advantage, but the rest of the Panthers were good, including our man Higgins. DeBoer switched him for Booth alongside Weiss part way through the VCR game, and from what Pat mentioned for lines in the pre-game skate, that’s going to hold.

  • I’ll take Meyer in that pool!!! 4 – 2 good guys tonight. Joker gets the game winner, Tangs two helpers and Iggy and Jbo finish them off (Iggy empty netter) Kipper 21 saves. 3 stars Tangs, Joker, Wiess. have a good night

  • Dont listen to ’em TLP. I appreciate your whit and negativity. How they can justify playing Pardy OR Staios over Sarich is absolutely beyond me. I like Pardy but c’mon really? Sarich would have been the best choice to look out for Brodie from day one.

    We better make sure Brodie doesnt pick up too many pointers from Sthuper Steve. After all I dont want the kid learning how to be an utter waste of cap space, be nothing more than a pylon for 3rd/4th liners to casually skate around and really never be anything more than a #5 defensemen. He has leadership though right?!? That leadership got how many of his teams (spending to the cap) to the playoffs in the last 5 years…?

  • Wow, am I sensing a side of sarcasm with that 12 oz. well done fillet of negativity?

    Granted there’s more than a few reasons for concern. I was encouraged by the Kings game. Yes the finish wasn’t there for the first line but the chances were and that’s important. it’s game 3 give them a bit more time.

    I know Staios has been #1 on the flogging list in Calgary but I really think he’s getting a bit of a bad wrap. He just gets paid too much but isn’t terrible. He’s a 7/8 d-man and I think he plays well enough to be that. Like Kotalik, not a bad NHLer but a bad contract.

    I completely understand the frustration/concerns and I’m not saying it’s all rosey but it’s game 3 – they’ve had one terrible game and one decent game. Let’s see what happens and evaluate after some more games.

    • The thing is, as good as Brodie has been playing, you don’t want a 7th dman helping him out as he learns to play consistently at the NHL level. You want at least a good 5th dman beside him to cover for the inevitable mistakes that someone of that age is going to make.