GDFD No. 56: A whole new era of mediocrity

 

Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 56th game of the season on Feb. 1, 2010.

This is going to be an odd game to watch.

No Dion , for one thing. And that’s going to take some getting used to. (Speaking of Dion, apparently he walked right into the Leafs’ dressing room at practice today and changed the music to what he wanted to hear and Ron Wilson said he liked the "swagger," but I just thought he came off as a bit of a dick. If some new guy at your job did that, you’d throw a stapler at him.)

Then there’s all the new guys. Stajan. Hagman. Mayers (unfortunately). White. Don’t know which one I’m most excited for. Probably White, who I guess doesn’t quite enjoy being viewed as a "replacement" for the former Calder-and-Norris-finalist Phaneuf. Free tip: Don’t wanna be viewed as the replacement for the guy you just replaced? Don’t take his number. Just sayin’.

But that’s not to say I’m not excited about Hagman. He could be like Huselius 2.0, something the Flames need. A guy that averaged a little over 70 points a season while not being completely appalling defensively, I’m fine with that. Hell, even if he’s appalling defensively, I’m fine with that as well. He can punch babies between periods if he scores at a roughly 30-goal-and-70-point pace like Huselius did in his two-plus years in Calgary.

Not to be forgotten: probably the last game for Olli Jokinen in a Flames sweater. Not that he’ll be especially missed, but momentous nonetheless as it marks what is hopefully the end of a frankly bizarre and undesirable era for the Flames. Books are going to be written about the last 11 or so months. Well, probably not. But they could be. "The Year Darryl Sutter Lost His Bloody Mind," is a title I quite like for any speculative tomes on the subject.

And perhaps most important of all, this is a Flames team that didn’t lose its last game. That, too, is going to take some getting used to.

Who

The Calgary Flames (27-20-8 for 62 points. Tied for eighth in the West, third in the Northwest) and the Philadelphia Flyers (27-23-3 for 57 points. Tied for sixth in the East, third in the Atlantic).

When

7:30 p.m. Mountain time and 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should .

Where

Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta.

Calgary is 13-12-3 at home this year, but is 3-1-0 against Eastern Conference opponents there. The Flyers are 11-12-1 at home, and are 1-3-1 in their past five games away from the City of Brotherly Love.

What (to hate about the Flyers)

Chris Pronger — One of the real dirtbags of the NHL right here. Remember that elbow on Deano McAmmond in the Stanley Cup Finals a few years ago? I’m still mad. Remember though, we can’t be too mad at him; he did ruin the Oilers forever, after all.

Scott Hartnell — Yeah he plays big and with an edge and crosses the line a lot. Finger-biting and all that, as you’ll recall. But he also once signed a Penguin fans’ jersey that said "Fartsmell" instead of "Hartnell" as "Your buddy, Scott Fartsmell," which is just about the coolest thing a professional athlete has ever done for a fan that very clearly dislikes him.

Dan Carcillo — Well, normally I would say this, but he was a nice guy when I met him at the Winter Classic and his mustache is awesome so me and Danny Carcillo are coo de la.

(Apparently the Flyers are a team we should love to hate!)

Why

Because you wanna welcome the new guys. Enjoy the game and say goodbye to Pumpkinhead in the comments section.