The return of Dion Phaneuf was fairly anti-climatic, as he was booed mildly throughout the game, but to be honest he was highly ineffective for most of the Leafs 5-2 loss to the Flames. The thing which surprised me was the fact that Leafs head coach Ron Wilson seemingly was trying to keep Dion Phaneuf away from the Flames top line as much as being the road coach he could.
It was a reminder to me as to why Dion was traded in the first place. The fact of the matter is Dion is a very good #3 defenseman. Something the Leafs seem to have plenty of just like the Flames have plenty of second line centers. I still feel the return for Dion was not enough but watching him play up close really took the sting away of the trade and I feel better about it again.
As for the Flames they have finally won two in a row for the first time since late October. When you hear that fact it’s actually shocking that Calgary is actually as close to the playoffs as they are. Olli Jokinen led the charge for the Flames with a goal and two assists. Matt Stajan should have had three goals in that game but ended up with one assist. At least it was a beautiful feed to Alex Tanguay. Nik Hagman also added a goal and two assists. The whole line of Jokinen-Hagman-Bourque had a fantastic game.
It is now crucial for the Flames to keep this roll going. Their next three games are back to back games against the Minnesota Wild, followed by a game in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. They could really put themselves in much better position if they can take advantage of what truly is a soft spot in the schedule.
I have to admit I knew the Toronto Maple Leafs were a bad team but I had no idea they were that bad! Outside of Mikael Grabovski , Nikolai Kulemin, and Kris Versteeg, the Leafs looked slow and disinterested, and also somehow made the Flames look like Stanley Cup contenders. I know it has been said before but I can not believe Brian Burke traded two first round picks for Phil Kessel. Kessel looks to me like a softer version of Rene Bourque. 30-40 goals with no heart is not worth Tyler Seguin and whatever top 5 pick the Bruins get this year.
Next up for the Flames is a home game Saturday night against the Wild.
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!