After the first couple games!
Well the Flames have concluded their first home and first away game of the season going 1-1-0. Both games were completely different compared to each other. Clearly the Calgary Flames did not match the energy of the Oilers at Rexall place and the result was not pretty, losing 4-0 to a young inexperienced but fast and crafty team and it did not sit well with the fans as Sutter’s head was being chopped already! The Second game against the Kings was a much better result winning 3-1 with a solid overall defensive game. The power play continues to not produce and the Flames have made their recent practices all about the special teams’ play. Good thing at least the penalty kill has shown up as a result or else our record could be 0-2-0. Kiprusoff looks great! And unlike other years he is playing at his top level from the start of the season. Now only if we could say the same about Iginla and the rest of the top line…
Although we won the game against the Kings on Sunday evening, we did lose 2 players to injury; Rene Bourque (concussion) and Pardy (Shoulder) also we lost Kronwall from the Heat as he returns to Sweden to play there and be with his family. With the Bourque injury it will probably result in either Cunning or Rheault being recalled from Abbotsford until either Bourque or Stajan (who appears to be getting closer) returns. Now with Pardy, it will most likely mean Sarich checks in finally! I believe sitting Sarich over Pardy was not a good decision from the get go but unlike most, I do believe Sarich has/had a lingering leg injury that he was/is still trying to shake off. Flames do not play until Thursday against the Panthers so a call up could come Tuesday morning! Overall the play of Conroy, Brodie and Meyer has impressed me. I really wanted to focus on those 3 players as they were on the bubble for most of the pre-season but I defiantly can see why they made the team. Conroy in his one game looked hungry and played as a younger kid not as a 39 year old man. Same with Morisson I think he has shown why he got a contract and what he could provide. Pardy and Jokinen to me looked weak and sloppy both games. For Pardy, it resulted in an injury.
I also wanted to touch on a few rumours that have surfaced/suggested. Souray, Cogliano for Glencross and Sarich was a wild one that came about. I liked the rumour; I thought if it was not for the cap issues I would make that move. That trade would have helped our power play and would have added a little bit of youth and speed! With guys like Sutter and Meyer stepping up, a guy like Glencross would have been expendable in that role. Realistically this trade made little sense from a financial side and if this rumour was ever true I imagine that is what killed it. Also some are suggesting that the Flames should talk with Owen Nolan to fill the void that will be left by Bourque’s injury. I like Nolan and I like what he can bring and I bet he feels he has some unfinished business with the Flames, so I would do it. But with his age it would bring back the OLD MEN jokes around the league.
At last, I hope we can make the Saddledome a tough place to play for visiting teams. Last night was a good start. The power play has struggled but once it gets going, combined with our penalty kill we can become a force to be reckoned with. I believe in this team and a top 5 play-off spot (call me crazy) is reachable for this club!