Kukla's Korner

All Things Flaming C

Second-Half Hope?

As Jarome single-handedly won the All-Star Game with his 3 pivotal assists, let’s hope this can translate into a strong finish to the 2011-12 season for his cohorts. Calgary’s sole rep for the Shinny 2012 Gala was Mr. Iginla. I had pegged roughly half the squad to be All-Star worthy in the preseason synopsis. My drinking has only become more of a problem. Let us move past that. While some may say that you don’t make entry into the hallowed playoffs in the first few weeks of the season, it certainly can’t hurt to be in the upper tier at the midway point. That being said, your Flames are gonna need some Kent Nilsson-like magic mes amis.

His mates had a few precious days to relax, go home to family, and juggle wives and mistresses without the distraction of practise or games. Many injured players had the luxury of not feeling like they were insignificant. The armchair experts would be free to criticize the Breakaway Contest at the Ottawa Superstar Contest unabated. The world was calm and Hater Nation realized that the year of the Oil is being pushed back and the hype of another Blue-Chimp prospect is once again their sad reality.

A few roster moves of note; The Calgary Tower Henrik Karlsson is back in the fold. Leland Irving goes back to the picturesque fjords of Abbotsford. Roman Horak has been reassigned to Abby, and the Flames have seen enough of Krys Kolanos to sign him to an NHL contract and recall him to Calgary. J-Feast continues his purge (not the weight-loss type) of D-Sutz guys and John Negrin has been traded for his AHL teammate Akim Aliu, who had been on loan from Winnipeg. Brendan Morrison had been dealt to Chicago for AHL All-Star Brian Connelly. The moves continue to come down the pipe with the hope that a winning mix is the end product. With Glen-Face Score-Cross, Derek Smith, and David Moss the only guys out with injuries, hopefully they will return and the team will have the depth to generate 2nd half success. Lee Stemp was tweaked versus Detroit and we are hoping for a diving soccer player-like recovery.

Oh yes, Detroit placed a generous supply of egg on the Flames faces with a 4-1 victory Tuesday night. If only they had some twist of fate that would propel them to 3 solids stanzas. Perhaps a little more creative score clock monitoring will be in order to help the home heroes chances. See: Los Angeles Kings steal victory from Columbus with creative accounting just before the buzzer. It must have been a slow day in sports as Jay Feaster was asked to weigh in on this event, while logical thinking need not interview someone for such scenario. Fortunately anyone with any sports mogul on their Twitter machine was able to see that he realized it wasn’t a Flames game so who gives a truck. (Get it Mom?). It’s always refreshing to get information that states the obvious. Again. And again. And again. And again…and again.

The Flames sit 3 points out of 8th at present. They will need to win most, regulation tie-some, and lose not so many. That’s how it’s done folks, stating the obvious. Right under the radar. With league parity at an all time high, no games are easy. When one looks at February, the only slam dunk appears on the 21st. Perhaps they will put a bunch of “W’s” together and give themselves a swinging chance. An effective powerplay wouldn’t hurt. Maybe the GM will continue to make the team younger, cheaper and potentially better? Every Flames fan loves trade deadline day. We’ll leave the trade scenarios to the people that need to fill air time with nonsense. Jeff Carter for Jay-Bo? That’s pure make believe conjecture. But it gets people talking!

The only thing consistent about the Flames is their inconsistency. Perhaps they can find it like last season’s push and reach the afterlife. Or maybe they will be sellers at the trade deadline. Only time will tell. I have a hunch they’ll be in the hunt and make the frozen 16; and yes, I am a proud endorser of Bud Lite. My beer is always half-full.

Scooter Murzyn


PS-The tribute to Brad McCrimmon on Tuesday was excellent and very classy. Standard operating parameters.

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