Kukla's Korner

All Things Flaming C

Four in a Row for Flames, then the Isle.

Xmas 2011 has come and gone. Special wishes go out to the Grammar Police and Hater Nation. It’s hard to remain perfect but somehow you’ve done it! What’s really festive is the Flames 4 game winning streak. Minny, Detroit, Vancouver and Columbus were left in the wake of the indomitable C of Red. As they continue to make the Western Conference as tight as Kenny Rogers’ face, it’s time for the rest of the league to start taking them serious. I guess the New York Islanders didn’t get the memo; that, and the 2004-present winless streak in the Nassau Coliseum took the wind out of their sails for the time being.

The Flames were cruising right along, one teensy little point away from sitting in 8th when the unthinkable occurred. One would have to think that a team coming off of wins over the 2nd, 4th, and 6th seeds in the conference would make the New York Islanders their female dog. John Tavares scored a Kent Nilsson-like beauty in the 3rd that propelled the 15th place Isle to a 3-1 victory. The Flames can only hope that this doesn’t derail their recent successes as they move on to Ottawa, Nashville, Washington, and Boston. A split of the next road games would be sufficient and more points would be a bonus. Considering the streaky nature of your beloved Flaming Horses, perhaps don’t box them in on your Pro-Line tickets any time soon.

Some accolades of their recent play need to be showered upon some D-men. Chris Butler has been extremely solid. T.J. Brodie has overcome his minor career blip early in the season. Derek Smith has been better than expected, figuring that he was supposed to be a depth guy when signed out of the Senators’ organization. Let’s hope his lower body injury (see knee) isn’t serious. Brett Carson is already on the d.l. Perhaps we will see the one-and-only Joe Piskula again soon. While fans have to admire Jay-Bo’s tireless play weathering the opponent’s top charges, it would be beneficial to all if he could find time to show some sort of offensive creativity. His passing has been erratic, play selection misguided, and overall goal scoring Mission-Impossible 4 (Fine product placement!)  It is conceivable that he is so tired and defensively brainwashed that his ingenuity is hindered. We still love you, but need some G-notes or Apples a little more often.

The Flames management team are watching with keen interest as a few of their future stars are playing locally in the World Junior Hockey Championships. Sven Baertschi (Switzerland), Markus Granlund, (Finland), and Bill Arnold (USA) are all competing with the eyes of the world and their future employers upon them. The jury is still out on their successes though Mr. Arnold has a couple points, Maddog Markus G. has an assist and the crown jewel Slick Sven B. has been held pointless. Good luck in all your respective futures, if you wear the Flaming C of course.

As the season marches on, every game and point in the standings is crucial. At 18-16-4 the Calgary Flames are again in a dogfight for a playoff position. Perhaps another mid-season epiphany will propel them into the promised land in April. It’s also nice to see the Albertan stalwarts 7 points up on the beleaguered Edmonton Oilers. We don’t all have to like it, but the numbers don’t lie….

Scooter Sabourin

Have a thirsty New Year. Bud Lite is delicious. (Pengrowth Saddledome patron’s favorite elixir).

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