I suppose it’s too much to ask for this to be a forfeit, eh?
If the Canucks were really smart, they’d roll a fairly weak defensive group and give some kid from UBC a start tonight.
Let the Flames, fresh off a 7-4 win over Dallas, hang around long enough to entertain thoughts that they can compete in the West after all. Hell, maybe even kick ’em a loser point. Maybe they start trying to trade FOR players for the stretch run with the dim hope of making the playoffs shimmering, tantalizing, on the horizon. Let them believe, and in doing so, continue to make themselves a Western Conference nonfactor for years to come.
Instead: full complement of players, Luongo in net. Bad news for a Calgary team that just played in an 11-goal gong show then traveled to B.C. for a game with what’s probably the best team in the league. And, oh yeah, starts Kiprusoff.
But at least Brent’s back to playing mind games with the forwards, though the cavalcade of suspects in The Case of the Deserved Healthy Scratch has dwindled in recent days. Wouldn’t be shocking to see this renewed mystery surrounding his line-setting starts taking its toll against the team’s psyche again. When no one’s sure why they’re sitting, no one plays mistake-free hockey, which is what’s needed in the West, and especially against teams like the Vancouver freakin’ Canucks.
Honestly, you can pretty well expect this one to get ugly on the double. No matter how well Calgary has played as a group in recent games — and the answer, apart from that dreadful Minnesota game, is a disappointing "really fairly well," in fact — they’re in no way equipped to handle the Canucks, and haven’t been all year. Getting outscored 10-3 in two games is sufficient evidence of that, I should think.
Realistically, what could you want tonight? Hope no one gets hurt, hope the score doesn’t get outta hand. Anything more than that and you’re probably asking too much.
It woulda been nice if the Canucks could’ve helped us out though, and at least given the Flames a chance.