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Never Underestimate The Power Of Denial: Canucks & Flames


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Calgary Flames
@ Vancouver Canucks

Wednesday, Jan 5, 2011, 7:00 PM PST
Rogers Arena

Enemy Blogs: Matchsticks & Gasoline, Flames Nation

Enemy Pro: This

Enemy Con: This

Complete Coverage >

The history slut in me remembers three years ago when the Canucks spent most of January losing only to end the first month of 2008 with a franchise-worst eight straight losing streak. Calgary had a 13 point Northwest lead whereas Vancouver wasn't even in the top eight. Then something odd happened: fueled by Alex Burrows and Cutty Sark (allegedly) the Canucks rolled off a pristine 34-5-2 second half to snatch the NW crown away from the Flames in the final two games. Sports be strange like that (see Seahawks, Seattle for more).

Now it's Vancouver sitting on top of the NW, 16 points up on Calgary. The Flames finally reduce their Sutter population by one and run up a four game winning streak (not the stiffest opposition but so be it). Now they have Vancouver and Detroit back to back. The playoffs aren't out of reach yet, but it's close so they're in "win or die" mode that could catch teams by surprise. Their supporting cast is suspect but their top guns - lead by Iginla's strong December - aren't dormant either. Tonight they'll sit Niklas Hagman in favor of Mikael Backlund and their fourth line (Moss / Kostopoulos / Jackman) has tallied 13 points in five games (make of that what you will).

Brent Sutter has broken up their schedule, forcing them to play three to four game "series" against opponents. Playoff style from here on out. Who knows? String some wins together, deny the critics and maybe they pull off the same thing Vancouver did.

These aren't easy points.

However, the streaking Canucks should wallop the Flames if they stick to their trusted equation of speed plus forechecking plus 'get the f'ing puck to Kesler' divided by no penalties equals a happy dance for everyone. The coaching staff has done a phenomenal job this season of keeping the players focused between games; if that remains it'll take an remarkably strong game from Calgary to hang with Vancouver over sixty minutes. Raymond will start with Kesler and Tambo; Hansen returns to the fourth line while Voltron sit outs for the third straight game.

With a win tonight comes one milestone (tying a franchise mark of 14 straight games with a point) and potentially another (the 10,000th goal).

My job consists of basically masking my contempt for the assholes in charge, and, at least once a day, retiring to the men's room so I can jerk off while I fantasize about a life that doesn't so closely resemble Hell.

- American Beauty

I had no idea Brendan Morrison loved that movie so much as to emulate it years later.

Coconuts? GO!