Saturday, January 12, 2008

Round up

Chiming in...



I didn't really post during the Christmas break, as I was watching too much hockey. But there are a number of things on my mind, including stuff that has happened recently, that I wanted to at least mention...

Canada wins the Spengler Cup!

This year's version of the Spengler Cup had a somewhat special significance for Calgary Flames fans, as both Mark Giordano and Andrei Taratukhin were playing, albeit for different teams. Team Canada beat Taratukhin's Ufa Salavat Yulaev squad in the final 2-1. The official Spengler Cup site is a bit of a pain to get through, but from what I could discern from the scoresheets (which weren't complete, especially for Ufa's 6-1 win), both Flames prospects (?) got 2 assists in five games. From the lineup sheets I was also able to figure out that Giordano was in the first pairing for Team Canada and Taratukhin was playing on the third line. Which actually makes sense when you look back at how Andrei wasn't really putting points up on the board when I found his stats a couple of months ago. I may have to look up their respective Russian league stats again in the next month or so...

Curtis Joseph shines on the international stage!

Another story to come out of the Spengler was the play of Curtis Joseph, who everyone knows was looking to use it as a showcase for a potential NHL job. The Russian squad in particular was a very good test for Joseph, especially given the abundance of NHL talent on the squad. Which leads to current stories in the mainstream media about Cujo's interest in playing for the Calgary Flames or San Jose Sharks...

I think that at this point in his career, Joseph is more interested in finally getting that evasive Stanley Cup ring (finally winning international gold being good and all, but really...), than he is in finding a starter's job. When you are already this far into the NHL regular season, the only teams that are really looking for a new starting goalie (if there are any), are probably either so far out of the playoff race that they'd be better off just trying out some young talent between the pipes, or they are looking for somebody to take over for an injured netminder. So I'm not of the mindset that he wants to be a starter...

That he wants to go to a legitimate competitor leaves me to believe that he is willing to accept a backup role where he will get limited starts (especially since the two keepers that he's interested in backing both play the very large majority of games in a season). He would obviously just be a rental and would only be around for half the season, probably at an affordable price...

In my opinion, I think the Flames could really benefit from this, as Curtis McElhinney obviously isn't ready for the big leagues yet (and isn't going to get any better warming a bench spot). Plus, the way the Miikka Kiprusoff is playing right now, I think he could benefit from a little healthy competition from a player that is obviously of NHL calibre (which Curtis is not). I love having the Kippper in net, but I can't help but think that he's a little off right now and could use some help. And I don't think having an AHL goalie backing me up would provide me the motivation to take a couple of games off to fix myself...

Canada wins gold at the World Juniors... again!

Congratulations to the Canadian junior team for winning gold again! There were no Flames prospects on the Canadian squad, but we did get to see an impressive performance from last June's Flames first rounder Michael Backlund for the Swedish team. You could tell that Darryl Sutter was extremely impressed with the youngster's performance...

Team Ontario wins the under-17 tournament!

While I realize that a bunch of young kids that aren't even eligible to be drafted until 2009 is of little interest to most of you, the Ontario team beat the American squad in the final game to win gold. This game did hold some interest for me though, as there was a young kid from Haliburton named Michael Duchene playing for team Ontario, and playing quite well. My hometown isn't exactly known as a hockey factory, as we have only had 3 players get drafted to the big leagues (Ron Stackhouse, Bernie Nicholls, and a kid I know that was taken by the Ducks in the 7th round a few years ago), so this is big news back home. Not to mention that we have another kid that is draft eligible this off-season and expected to go in the first round (Cody Hodgson), that I once helped babysit. Hodgson will be playing in the upcoming prospects game. Both Duchene and Hodgson play for the Brampton Battalion in the OHL...

Flames play as of late less than stellar...

Despite not posting for an extended stretch, I did manage to catch pretty much every Calgary game in the last two weeks. I think teams have really been noticing the tendency for our defencemen to pinch in a lot (I noticed it a number of times last night, and I'm sure every other team has noticed it as well). I think you can probably attribute at least one out of every eight goals against the Flames have come from guys being left alone behind a defenceman, which could explain the team's tendency to give up shorties. That and things like Mike Sillinger's breakaway goal last night as well. The defence has been missing coverages like crazy lately...

I've also decided that I should probably stop my habit of calling out opposing teams' players, as it seems to bite us in the ass all the time. Damn you Trent Hunter!

2 comments:

Elrad said...

Actually, according to my sophisticated analyse, Tharatukin had 4 assist while Gio only had one

The Dark Ranger said...

The picture reminds me of our annual extended family gathering. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

tdr