Last night couldn't have painted a clearer picture for anyone still clinging to the notion that Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regehr and Dion Phaneuf were slighted by Team Canada. In other news from yesterday Ron MacLean showed a brilliant example that if when being interrogated, if you simply change the subject repeatedly, interrupt the interviewer and speak extremely fast so that on first listen no one has a clue about that the hell you're saying, you can get out of it alive. Credible? That's another matter. We will look at that plus signs that the Burrows/Auger incident is actually a lot deeper than anyone thought, and a look back at a ton of action from last night, after the jump...
Just how bad were the Calgary Flames last night? Let's let their fans tell the story: "If Iginla doesn't score Im going to destroy my retro Iginla jersey" "Two things: #1. The best part of following games now are the multitude of 'fail' pix posted on the board., and #2. How chill-laxed I am now accepting the mediocrity of our team. I sleep awesome now with zero expectations." "Hell, I'd even give Dany Ryder a shot on the top line once he posts bail..." "Look out Oliers! we want a piece of the turtle derby for a decent draft choice ... falling like a friggin stone" "The Flames deserve to be beat down like this. Practically nobody is trying. If they want to give up and quit playing they'll miss the playoffs and if that's the case the whole core, aside from Kiprusoff, should be moved along somewhere else. What a bunch of babies. Makes me sick. Where's the sense of pride? What a joke" "I like how phaneuf thinks he can stop the puck from going in standing behind the net. " "i hope they lose 9-0 maybe just maybe it will wake them up " "Don't jump the gun on Sutter, this is not a Sutter game, the players are not playing the system. I have no idea what is going on, did Butter say, fine guys, forget the system, do what you want because that is what it looks like to me is going on..."
I like the last one because it shows in spite of incredible odds, the delusion still remains for some. I am being careful not to gloat, being the firm believer in karma that I am. Merely pointing out that many of the things they accuse Canucks fans of being they too are guilty of. Was it just an off night? Or has the Flames 2nd half slide begun so early that it might drag them right out of the post-season? One thing is for sure, there's something wrong in Calgary that a bag skate and earful from the coach isn't gonna fix. The Big 3? Minus 8 combined, in addition to Iginla going pointless again.
MacLean shucks... he jives... he completely misses the point!
And the crowd goes wild. People thought Ron MacLean was brave to step into the lion's den yesterday and go on Vancouver radio to address his 11 minute hit piece on Alex Burrows Saturday. After listening to the interview, I came away feeling angrier than I did when I saw the piece in the first place. Does Ron MacLean actually believe that what the situation really needed was a look into whether players can snap when they are under intense scrutiny by the league was the issue at all??? The only person talking about this was him. Big shock here, as looking at past interviews with MacLean he often veers way off course with no warning, using the sudden direction change to try and catch his interviewees off guard. He spent the entire time on air Dave Pratt and Don Taylor trying to convince them and the listeners that the piece had nothing to do with Burrows. Yet if the piece was just a tutorial on "conflict management", why not feature others from around the league considered problem children by the NHL? MacLean's venture into the realm of tabloid journalism is shameful, and his appearance on the team 1040 yesterday did nothing but show him to be evasive and delusional. Nucks and Pucks has more on the story this morning, go check out his piece if you haven't already. One last bit however, looks like the Canucks have not given up the fight on this, as they've sent tape to the league further outlining Auger's horrific officiating skills, in a November game against the Oilers where Burrows was sent to the box twice on phantom calls. More on this as it develops.
Around The League
The Flames weren't the only brual Alberta road show last night, as the Avs moved ahead in the NW division race, spanking the Oilers 6-0. It's kind of funny, but I wonder how many hockey pundits predicted the Oilers would be as good as the Avs have been, and vice versa? It gets painful to watch that team play sometimes. And it will again, after we beat them of course haha. A couple great comeback stories last night, as Rick DiPietro continues to impress in his return to the Islanders, notching a 4-0 shutout win over Marty Brodeur and the Devils. In Boston meanwhile, Daniel Alfredsson had a natural hat trick in a 5-1 win over the Bruins. Alfredsson has 4 goals and 2 assists in 2 games since returning from a shoulder injury. Alot of hype about Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres right now. In another season where the West/East differences are being highlited, the Sabres are bucking the trend, just an SO loss to the Avs away from a clean sweep against Western teams so far, continuing that trend with a 7-2 thumping of the Coyotes. This game looks as big as the Saturday match up against the Blackhawks as it draws near. After not getting the Luongo/Fleury battle last week, Luongo/Miller is looking pretty damn good to me.
I don't often give the Leafs props ('cuz they're the Leafs), but good on 'em for battling back to take out the red hot Preds last night. A late goal from Phil Kessel sealed it, after they allowed the Predators back into the game, once holding a 3-0 lead over Nashville. We here on the West Coast appreciate the help. Another win for Alex Auld last night as the rumblings that the Marty Turco era in Dallas is coming to a close. Not sure if they will try and ask him to waive his NTC before the deadline, with them miraculously still in the playoff hunt (hat tip to Gary Bettman and his failure rewards program), they'd be nuts to let Turco go before any type of a playoff run. Then again, Turco isn't the same goalie he was a couple years ago. Either way, it will be interesting to see how this one develops.