Say it with me: This is not a mean nothing game. I have to admit, I love the fact that the battle for the President's Trophy is gonna go right down to the last day of the season Saturday. It certainly has seemed to snap the Canucks out of that funk they were in, as they've rattled off 7 straight wins, and are 8-1-1 in their last 10. And while the Rangers will have their hands full with the Penguins tonight, the Canucks face an old foe in the Calgary Flames. Remember when the Flames were a worthy opponent? Me either. Okay so that's a bit of a stretch, but let's face it this team in Calgary has been bloody awful for some time now, and the fact that they're debating whether or not to blow things up after missing the playoffs three years in a row following some one and done playoff appearances is entertaining to say the least.
It's not that I don't understand the feelings Flames fans must be having. It sucks to see your team be this bad, and the Canucks aren't all that far removed from those dark days known as the Messier Era. The difference is that the Canucks didn't spend as much time as the Flames have trying to convince everyone that not only was everything all flowers and puppies, but they were in fact 'going for it'. Calgary GM Jay Feaster's now famous comments this winter just highlighted the real problem in Cowtown: A franchise that is so set in it's ways and firmly entrenched in denial that they don't know how to be honest with their fans. And it's because of this that the inevitable removal of players like Jarome Iginla and Mikka Kiprusoff to try and get good young players/ high draft picks is going to hurt even more.
The Flames management and ownership have continuously told their fans that there was no need to ship out their stars and start over, despite the team regressing year after year following their unlikely playoff run in 2004. Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather the management of my team be honest and say that there's a problem and outline what they're gonna do to fix it, than constantly tell me everything's just great, when it's apparent to everyone with the most basic of hockey sense that things are in fact not well at all. Bad trades, bad contracts, bad coaches, scouts and systems, bad management. It's all there. Some were shocked when a disgruntled Flames fan threw his jersey onto the ice after another home loss the other day, given the cost of jerseys. I am pretty sure that this fan was thinking more about the money wasted on tickets to watch this team than the price of the jersey.
Byron Bitz is back, bitches! Sadly, it comes at the expense of Zack Kassian, who's out day to day with an injury of some sort. Gotta love playoff misinformation mode, eh? It is nice to see Bitz get another shot, though. The rugged winger looked good since coming back from injury, and is a suitable replacement for Kassian's size. Other than that, it's pretty much the same lineup that defeated the Ducks Tuesday night. Corey Schneider gets the scheduled start, with Roberto Luongo getting the nod for the season ender at home against the Oilers.
KICKASS METAL TUNE OF THE DAY
The playoffs are coming. Time for you to get your frickin' game faces on. The attacks are coming too. Embrace That Hate. Wear the Blue & Green with pride. Rage Absolute.