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Tuesday Morning Coffee- And so it begins, or: Who cares about the Flames.

Great article by nucksandpucks the other day about hating the Flames, if you didn't see it I recommend you have a gander at it.  I don't have anything to add to that really.  I should be gloating and taunting their fans, as they have done to us.  But I am not.  No friends, I think we all need to walk away from that rotting corpse of a team and look forward.  Why?  Well for one reason, the fans of the Detroit Red Wings are.  And they say they want us.  Bad.  To the point of non-sensical, Montreal Canadiens style shit talking.For a team that didn't look like they were going to make it, they talk a big game.  Are the Wings really something to be feared, or are they more like Clint Eastwood's "Walt Kowalski" from Gran Torino.  Old.  Confused.  Convinced of their superiority even though their best days are behind them.  And spewing out offensive bullshit.  You really wanna take your precious little rookie over Luongo?  I have a message to Red Wings fans...

Pray you don't get us.  For your fans sake, pray you don't .  This team, and it's legion of fans are sick of this kind of bullshit.  The thing that sucks is it comes from hands down, one of the best blogs out there.  One that I respect a great deal.  And I don't like it, but to them I find I must tell them to get bent.  I'm well aware of the struggles this team has gone through this year.  I am also aware good teams don't make excuses, and for a team that has become a champion through it's depth, especially in it's system, the injuries are just a smoke screen.  Yes they have some talented players.  Yes they have the ability to push teams.  But to hear them talk, you'd swear they walked all over us this year.  Far from it.  In fact the only game that wasn't close was a 6-3 stomping in front of their home fans.   You might remember that game as the one Howard got pulled in.

Your little rookie is playing well right now.  I woiuld remind you of the danger of placing rookie goalies on pedestals.  It almost always comes back to bite you on the ass.  The fact is, the Detroit Red Wings have been playing playoff hockey for a while now.  Eventually, they will start losing games, as the wheels fall off.  Your time is done old man.  It's kind of sad to see all the spitting and swearing and false bravado.  Not the way a former champion should be remembered.  But that's just what you are.  A former champion.  Past tense.  30 regulation wins and you talk this much?  Karma, bitches.  It's real.  Ask the Flames.

So go on.  Run your mouths.  With that creampuff of a schedule you have left, I am sure you'll likely finish 5th and face Phoenix.  Don't forget to take the Oilers and Blue Jackets seriously.  Be a shame if something bad were to happen and you dropped to 7th, and say... got your asses handed to you by Chicago.  Keep talking.  You're due for the karma you're inviting.

So apparently we have a game tonight?  A chance to send a message to Phoenix and the rest of the West.  This team is for real.  It looks like we could have Mikael Samuelsson back, which is a good thing.  And a rested Roberto Luongo will be eager to get the team back on track.  There are some bemoaning Alain Vigneault's decision to put Andrew Alberts back in the lineup tonight.  I think this move is good actually.  Let us not forget that Shane O'Brien's lackluster play earned him a spot in the pressbox this year.  This motivation could work for Alberts as well, who would be the first to admit he hasn't played as well as he is capable of since becoming a Canuck. 

Shane O'Brien wasn't just late for practice.  He showed the kind of mental disinterest and lack of commitment to his teammates that has hurt this team before.  The playoffs are almost here, and I as a fan want to know these guys are focused and ready to win.  Showing up at the rink 5 minutes before ice time (if that's really what happened) simply won't cut it.  I predict Alberts has a strong game tonight.  The Coyotes need to be taken down a 'Peg, it starts at GM Place at 7pm.

How about a hand for the Manitoba Moose, who went into Abbotsford last night and handed the Heat a 5-2 loss.  Especially encouraging was the play of newcomers Jordan Schroeder and Aaron Volpatti.  Schroeder, along with Mario Bliznak and Guillaume Desbiens had a goal and an assist, with Desbiens notching the Gordie Howe hat trick.  Volpatti made an impact in his professional debut, scoring a goal along with a spirited tilt near the end of the first period.  The two teams meet again tonight, a regulation win by the Moose will vault them past the Heat in the AHL's North Division.