FGD: Joni Love Hartley

joniloveshartley

Just go ahead and let that image sink into your slowly mushed out brainholes.

Do you guys remember the Calgary Flames?!?!?! I know, I know, I tried too, but it’s February 27th and the Olympics are over and we have to get through this together.

The good news is, your Flames are back in action tonight against the Los Angeles Kings (of Los Angeles), and that means taking a 2-0 advantage in this season’s series up against a team that was as cold as the temperature in Calgary before the Olympic break and a team that is sure to be as cold as the temperature in Calgary on Sunday when we were all obviously outside waiting to get into the bars at 4:30 in the morning like the good hockey lovin’ Canadian drunks we all are.

So strap in, Citizens. The road to the June Entry Draft resumes today, and all the Kings horses and all the Kings men….suck.

The Flamiest Flames Who Ever Flamed

Torch

As always, Flames lineups provided by our good friends at Daily Faceoff, Canada’s #1 trusted provider of Faces Off. (Unfortunately, in this case, they’ve gotten it wrong. More on that in a second)

  • Galiardi – Backlund – Hudler
  • Cammalleri – Monahan – Colborne
  • Bouma – Stajan – Jones
  • Byron – Granlund – Westgarth
  • Giordano – Brodie
  • Russell – Butler
  • Smid – Wideman
  • Berra

Hey, remember when we didn’t have to worry about Kevin Westgarth slowing down a couple of fast, young forwards with promise?

This is what a roster looks like when your team is bad/injured. Lee Stempniak, who has not been traded yet despite what some people hilariously thought they had broken on Sunday on the twitter machine when his name no longer appeared on the roster, is not active due to personal reasons (SPECULATE TO YOUR HEART’S DESIRE), while Curtis Glencross continues to work out the kinks in his ankle and Brian McGrattan remains injured with acute shitty hockey player.

Poor Kris Russell is saddled with Chris Butler on the second pairing and by the end of this game may be considering reneging on his sexy new contract if this keeps up.

The part of this where Daily Faceoff got it wrong was in goal. It’s been widely reported (and actually confirmed by the Flames) that Joni Ortio is getting the start in goal tonight, making his long awaited and hotly anticipated NHL debut (so is Markus Granlund, but there’s no retro TV show that I parodied his name into, so whatever*). Ortio has been lights out and Abbotsford this year, and Reto Berra is still ailing from an injury in Sochi that makes it impossible for him to glove a puck, so Ortio gets the nod, and that should be pretty great.

*I still love you Markus Granlund and am excited to see you play

Los Reyes de Los Ángeles

Daily Faceoff, y’all.

  • Toffoli – Kopitar – Williams
  • Pearson – Richards – Carter
  • King – Stoll – Brown
  • Nolan – Vey – Lewis
  • Muzzin – Doughty
  • Regehr – Voynov
  • Mitchell – Greene
  • Quick
Hey, there’s a lot of pretty bad hockey players on the Kings! Things are starting to make sense now.

Los Angeles, of course, has six players returning from Sochi, two of which did the only thing that matters, neither of them being Dustin Brown. I don’t have a lot to say about the Kings, but I CAN tell you Robyn Regehr scored a goal last night, so it’s either that bad or that good in LA right now. Probably a sign of the apocalypse.

Playoff Implications

The NHL Entry Draft will take place on June 27th-28th, 2014, in Philadelphia, PA.

Players To Watch

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Derr, Granlund and Ortio. We’ve seen all these other old and busted players. I guess specifically Ortio, because I imagine Westgarth is going to coat his line in his usual brand of suck and Granlund’s line will see scant minutes and do nothing of note outside of taking a few offsides waiting for Kevin to get into the play with his big, dumb, lumbering body, so really, the focal point is on Ortio and how he reacts to some questionable defending against some pretty good gold medal winning shooters (also Dustin Brown).

And hey, give Mike Cammalleri a watch too. It might be one of the last few tines we see him in a Flames jersey until whatever team acquires him in the offseason trades him back to Calgary midgame next January. Either way, Cammy, it’s been a treat, and we love you, and may your toothless grin forever resonate around the great game of hockey.

Dotting The I’s

This is obviously the Flames first game back after the break, but also the first in a string of 10 games over 17 nights, which is a lot of hockey and fast. The Flames season is essentially over despite whoever tells you the team is still gunning for the playoffs (which people in large print publications not mentioned here ARE saying), so it’s just jockeying for position now in reference to lottery picks and all that junk that I don’t care about.

My prediction for the rest of the year is that the Flames legitimately spoil one good hockey team’s quest for a playoff spot, and there’s a very good chance it could be the LA Kings. Mostly because my other bolder but far more hilarious if it comes true prediction is that the Flames end up finishing higher than the Kings in the standings. A win tonight goes a long way to making me look like a genius, so, uh, Go Flames Go.