Sunday, September 26, 2010

Has Kotalik already changed your mind?

After 3 preseason games where are we at?

It is no secret that majority of Flames fans are eager to see how this team gets under the cap. Most feel it will either be Staios or Kotalik’s demotion or both that will bring this club to where it needs to be. But has Kotalik already done enough to change some Flames fans minds? It sure sounds like it! I have read comments from Flames fans saying they now want him on the team and some even saying; “how can you send Kotalik down now?” He has played 2 pre-season games… Yes he has scored 2 goals, 2 assists and the shootout winner but let us be honest, the game against Vancouver in my opinion he was lucky to have even gotten that goal because he played a poor game! Ask Tortorella, Kotalik had some good games last year but that didn’t cover up the rest of his issues and I guess I still feel the same way! I believe Kotalik will be on this team come opening day but it is not because he will have changed his mind but because injuries will allow Sutter to keep him up and see what he can do. Brent was quoted saying that the team believes in Kotalik but if Stajan and Langkow were healthy I do not believe he would be talking up Kotalik. It is all about confidence and if he is going to be on your team in meaningful games come the season, you better make sure you do everything you can to make Kotalik feel welcome and hopefully have him play with some determination.

How about TJ Brodie? This kid has impressed everyone! What he lacks in size he makes up in positioning/skating and the calmness and collectiveness from this guy is outstanding. But I still do not believe he makes the team but he is making a serious case to be the 1A call up d-man. His two goals last night were great but finishing the game a -1 is still a concern to me. Can Brodie continue this and perhaps beat out Pelech, Pardy and Staios for the 7 d-man spot? I think if he plays great and the Flames management and coaching staff want him on the team it will have to be for the 6th spot; having him as a 7th defence man is not the route I would take as I feel playing every day in the AHL would do better for his confidence and growth!

Injuries are starting to hit us and as much as the Flames keep saying Hagman is just having maintenance, I am starting to believe there is an injury or a serious illness. Stajan, Langkow and Stone continue to be out and no real date to return is set for either of the three. Injuries are changing everything but the strong play of Brodie, Sutter and Backlund still leave plenty of competition in this camp. In the end, for me, not much has changed with my thoughts to the opening day roster except that Conroy will make the team. Still a long ways to go before the season and I am sure lots will change.

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Flames Jambalaya is in no way, shape or form associated with the Calgary Flames Hockey Club or the AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat. This is a fans blog for fans. We just happen to love the Flames, so we write about it.