That video tribute to Jarome Iginla is brilliant. If you’ve got half an hour to kill, this is a million times better than that episode of the Big Bang Theory you were planning to watch, so do yourself a favour and peep this instead, Citizens. Big ups to Anthony Cook, who is quite a terrific media distributor for Flames fans wanting Flames goodness, for compiling this tome.
It, literally, figuratively, and metaphorically, is TIME. Tonight is the night. This game has been marked down on the calendar of every Flames fan since they released the schedule and assuming any Flames fan still uses an actual calendar and not the much, much better Google version on their phone.
Your Calgary Flames sit 6th in the Pacific Division, ahead of only the woefully hilarious Edmonton Oilers, and do not look poised to be fighting for a playoff spot. The foe tonight: The Boston Bruins, a ferocious pack of Bear-Man hockey players with aspirations of Stanley, an Eastern Conference anxiety that presents itself but twice this season. Optically, this game could not be more meaningless. But for Flames fans, this is a game that we all know we’ll never forget, no matter what happens. Why is this, of all games, such a big deal?
Because the King is back, baby. Big Daddy Jarome is chillin’ in the Dome!
The Iginla-less Flames
(Get it? Because an Iginla-less Flames means Ben Hanowski. UGH. Pic courtesy of 5of7)
Before we press on, I want to talk about that tribute video again: is it me, or did Jarome pot just A TON of goals against the San Jose Sharks? No wonder the Los Angeles Kings were one of the teams on his list he’d be cool to get traded to, he’d score 30 goals against the Sharks per season.
Anyway, here’s how the less than overwhelming lineup stacks up courtesy, as always, from our pals over at Daily Faceoff. (These are, of course, subject to change, and probably will given how early in the day it is)
- Cammalleri – Stajan – Stempniak
- Bouma – Backlund – D. Jones
- Baertschi – Colborne – Hudler
- B. Jones – Byron – McGrattan
- Butler – Giordano
- Russell – Brodie
- Smid – O’Brien
Hey, maybe I should actually focus on the current Flames a little bit, yes? Roger the Million Dollar Man reported yesterday that T.J. Galiardi, should he be needed, could be good to go tonight against the Bruins. As of press time (let’s pretend an FGD is press time), he hadn’t been inserted into the lineup yet, but man, if he was, this team looks one step closer to a real NHL lineup.
Of course, if that means taking Blair Jones out of the lineup, who has been spectacular since being recalled, then Hartley is doing it wrong, which he is prone to do. Paul Byron seems most likely to be the odd man out seeing as he only gets 4 minutes a game anyway and is mostly just mediocre, and because we all know that even though it should be Brian McGrattan riding pine in this one, it’s never Brian McGrattan riding pine, because it’s 2013 and somehow we still believe enforcers police the game. Also Byron is a center, and Galiardi is a winger, but that’s fixable (hello Lance Bouma), so let’s make that happen.
Curtis Glencross and Svean Monahan also skated yesterday, but neither are TOO close to returning yet, but are at least a little bit close. The forward lines are so close to being NHL calibre guys. So close.
Giordano once again gets Butler duty, which cannot be fun.
Reto Berra, you know what, I thought he was really good against the Oilers (which, aren’t we all?), and I’m fine with him starting tonight based on that, but boy, he had better bring the goods today, because the Boston Bruins sure as Schuster ain’t the Edmonton Oilers.
You guys know how much I hate Reto Berra. I’m saying a lot of nice things here and I’m afraid.
Jarome Iginla, of the Boston Iginlas
Daily Faceoff has you covered on this one as well, but who gives even the teensiest of shits about the rest of the Bruins lineup? It’s Jarome Iginla man!
Damn it fine, here’s their lineup:
- Lucic – Krejci – IGINLA
- Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
- Soderberg – Spooner – Fraser
- Paille – Campbell – Caron
- Chara – Hamilton
- Seidenberg – Krug
- Bartkowski – Miller
DO YOU FEEL BETTER NOW LOOKING AT THAT?
Okay, well, looking at the Bruins with a broader brush, they are a pretty great team, but they are in the spotlight right now for all the wrong reasons. Everyone by now knows what happened with Shawn Thornton and Brooks Orpik, and while we’re still waiting for word on how many games Thornton is going to get, it’s safe to say the world is talking about the Bruins for the wrong reasons.
Presumably, they’d like to change that, so I’d be pretty nervous about the Bruins playing like the Bruins. There’s a lot of firepower on that team, from Patrice Bergeron, to David Krejci, to yeah, Jarome Iginla. Damn it why does that guy have to be so cool?
Zdeno Chara is a minotaur. I don’t think too many guys will be dangling around him, and the rest of the defense is doing a pretty good job of keeping pretty good goalie Tuukka Rask, now the world’s most inappropriately voweled goaltender since Kipper retired, from seeing too much rubber, and he’s looking good for them as a result.
As I was watching that video at the top again, it dawned on me that it could have been possible for Iginla and Marc Savard to be playing on the same line this year, but cruel fate and a Matt Cooke blindside prevented that dream. Those two, albeit briefly, were magic on a line together in younger days.
2004 was a fun year, wasn’t it?
Players to Watch
Chris Breen, maybe, and probably Paul Byr….ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Look man, I’m a Flames fan above all else in this world, like I really have nothing else, and I hope beyond hope that the Flames win this game…but I can’t think about anything more than Iggy in this one. It’s why I’m going to the game. It’s why I paid $60 for a seat that’s basically touching Jupiter in the Saddledome nosebleeds. So maybe for one night it’s not important how out of place David Jones looks. We can bitch about that on Thursday, because nobody cares about the Carolina Hurricanes.
Obligatory posting of Iggy’s Full Name
It’s Jarome (not Jerome!!!) Arthur-Leigh AdekunleTig Junior Elvis Iginla. He’s so cool he gets an Elvis buried in his name, man.
And In The End
There should be a pretty nice little ceremony for Jarome before this game begins, and I think he’ll get a pretty splendid reaction from the crowd. Like I said, I’ll be at the game, and anyone sitting near me that isn’t showing due respect will be getting flicked on the knuckle by me when you’re not looking. But it should be pretty nice. Emotions might get the better of us to the point that our tears flood the first 8 rows of the Saddledome again.
Beyond all that, let’s just hope for a good game, because there’s not much on the line. I’m trying to start doing thiss thing where I take a player who at any point in franchise history has suited up for both teams in the game and naming the game in their honour (last game against the Oilers was the Brathwaite Cup, as an example). Today’s game, under other circumstances, would have been dubbed the Reggie Lemelin Invitational, but obviously this is different. This is, without question, the Iginla bowl (with an assist to former Providence Bruin Lane McDermid, who gets less credit in this one because he’s not playing and is also useless)
Oh, and you know what, Go Flames! A win is still a win, am I right?
The Iginla Bowl takes place at 7:30, but you already knew that. You’ve been ready for this since last March when Iginla played his last game in Flames silks. See you there! Here now, once again, is the Iggy Dance.