Friday, October 16, 2009

A woeful tale of swine (the viral and the hockey variety)

What an amazing start to season 3, huh? LOL. Leave it to me to contract the H1N1. Anyways, after 3 weeks off work, I am starting to feel like myself again. Big game for the Canucks against the Flames tonight. A lot of interesting factors leading into this one: two teams going in opposite directions from a week earlier, the Canucks injuries, the massive line juggle by the Flames, and the mind-numbingly stupid scheduling that saw the canucks play 1 game in the middle of an 8 day stretch. Why the massive road trips again? Anyways... Despite the loss of Daniel and Sami Salo, the Canucks pulled out a gritty win against Dallas the other night, and with a well rested team, fired up for a little redemption they could do well against a Calgary team that is suddenly reeling after coming out like gangbusters. Or did they? Outshot in every game but one so far (and in that one the shots were tied) the "best defensive core ever(tm)" has looked anything but. Sure Bouwmeester has put up impressive minutes, and has been pretty much as billed. But if not for their 3rd and 4th lines, this team would be (and likely is) in deep trouble. Kiprusoff continues to rack up the 6's, the latest in that historic collapse against Chicago. Flames fans can try and write that one off all they want; that is a loss that will stay in their minds every time a team starts to mount a comeback.

I am eager to see what Micheal Grabner will do on the top line with Henrik and Alex Burrows tonight. After a lackluster camp, the kid went down to Manitoba and tore it up. He knows this is a golden opportunity, one he won't get too many more of so he will try to make the most of it. The Iginla/ Jokinen experiment is already looking like a bust, and the lines have been shuffled to get them playing with players who have been producing, like Curtis Glencross and Erik Nystrom. Nystrom especially has played well, but is not a top line guy and it's wishful thinking by the Flames that he can continue the pace he has shown so far. Looks like the Flames will be dressing Bryan McGratton into the lineup tonight. Remember McGratton was shooting his mouth off at Canucks players before the season opener. The one he was a healthy scratch in. Here's to you Bryan, getting a dose of the eye-opener Zack Stortini got from Rick Rypien last season. I fully expect a regulation Canucks win tonight, as they get to .500, while the Flames continue to come to terms that believing their own press clippings is bad, and the team that choked the 12 point division lead last season is still there...

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