Well the Calgary Flames are for the most part playing better hockey lately. A lot of that has to do with the captain Jarome Iginla and his 8 game scoring streak. Jarome has really been moving his feet in the last few weeks which has led to increased chances for himself. It’s a nice thing to see that something has got him motivated to play harder.
Now that some bodies have come back healthy it appears that there is competition now for playing time, and a few players have gotten the message. Olli Jokinen has played his best hockey of the year in the last few games, and Mikael Backlund seems to have found his stride ever since getting benched.
Nik Hagman and Rene Bourque have been snake bitten recently which hasn’t helped with the secondary scoring. Amazing how that works. The captain gets going and the 2nd liners go cold. On the back end Adam Pardy has come back from his injury and is playing fairly well for a guy that’s missed two months. On the other hand I think Cory Sarich is one more dumb play away from sitting beside Steve Staios in the press box.
Matt Stajan has been sat down for the past two games. I’m assuming he would likely draw back in to get a crack at his former team when the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town Thursday night. Matt will really have to pick up his play as the Flames now have a glut of centermen that really are interchangeable on any line.
speaking of the Leafs our good buddy Dion Phaneuf makes his return to the Scotiabank Saddledome as the captain of Canada’s most hated team. Right or wrong the boos will be raining down from the crowd for Dion. I suspect the reasoning for this will not be because he asked to be dealt because he didn’t. But more so for his attitude while he was here, and the fact that he couldn’t bring himself to the next level and be an elite defenseman that everyone had hoped he would turn into. Get yo popcorn ready! This could be fun.
The biggest problem the Flames are now facing with their ‘win one lose one’ play is that while yes they are playing better they just aren’t catching up in the West. If this team doesn’t go on a streak soon where they win five or six in a row they just will not be able to get themselves back into the race as they will have too many teams to jump over in the standings. The seven points they are out doesn’t look too bad but the fact you have to leapfrog six teams to get into the eighth spot makes that an incredibly large number.
If the Flames are in the same position at Christmas they should consider making changes. However this team from a management perspective seems to always disappoint their fan base so why should we expect anything different now?
Have a good one!
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About the Author
Written by Shane Hoopfer
Die hard Flames fan since 1980, and a closet baseball junkie. Also a big Dolphins, and Stampeders fan!