Hello hockey fans,
The 2008/9-hockey season finally comes to an end as the Calgary Flames ceremoniously toss the Edmonton Oilers with a 4-1 victory on home ice.
Curtis McElhinney gets his 1st win of the year. Michael Cammelleri scores his 38th and 39th of the season. Crraig Conroy and Jamie Lundmark chip in with a goal each. This outcome would have been unattainable without the hard work of Aucoin, Cammalleri, Conroy, Leopold, Moss, Negrin, Pellech, and Vandermeer. But, this is as far as the good news gets.
Apparently, the culmination of the season wasnâ€™t as ceremonious as it had been hoped, as the only justification it brought with it was an increasing concern for the Calgary Flames players. On the one hand lies the apprehension related to the injury list that seems to be escalating non-stop – Bourque, Giordano, Glencross, Phaneuf, Primeau, Regehr, Roy and Sarich. On the other is the burden on the healthy few that are holding the fort together. Will the physical exhaustion take its toll on the entire team?
The team seems to be in good spirits so far. Albeit the previous two losses against the Canucks and Oilers on Friday night had been unexpected to say the least, but the debacle of how the team has managed to lift the burden shorthanded is inconceivable – the sum total of 15-17 players who made up for the entire Flames team. Yet, despite the current underpinning, the team deserves to be applauded for some of their significant efforts last week.
Ã˜ James Vandermeer, with his first goal as a Flame and tremendous individual effort along with Iginla, Langkow and Moss dethroned the Kings while Cammalleri, Conroy, Leopold, Pelech, and the Captain pitched in with assists.
Ã˜ The team out shot the Canucks by a tally of 47-25 rifling almost 17 shots within the first 10 minutes of the play; and as many as 32 shots against their Albertan counterparts. This in itself should suffice for the collective effort.
Ã˜ Cammalleri with helpers from Jokinen and Pelech scored the lone goal in the 5-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers with only 15 skaters dressed for play on Friday.
Whether the Calgary Flames will be functioning up to par remains unknown, but the prerogative for fans should be the recovery of the injured players and motivation for the healthy skaters. All the die-hard fans need to do now is to sincerely hope for the best for the home team; motivate them to meet the challenges one game at a time as they prepare to battle the Chicago BlackHawks in the first round. By the way, with two consecutive Flames losses, the Vancouver Canucks have gained the NW division title after they defeated the Colorado Avalanche yesterday afternoon.
On an optimistic closing note, lest it be forgotten, the Flames had barely made it to the 2004/05 play offs; and yet they took the series to game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals. Although the two situations are not analogous, if the Flames could do it then, they can repeat the scenario with all the inspiration they can get from their fans. Go fans Go!
â€¦. The quest begins on April 15th.
As fans are all aware, the Calgary Flames will take on the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs. During the regular season, both the Flames and the Chicago Blackhawks accomplished a total of 46 wins; but the latter ranked second in the western conference division and thus have home ice advantage over the Flames. The fact remains that the regular season is now history and the playoffs are a different story.
The seriousness of the games bring with it new strategies and new hopes. Everything changes from the moment the puck drops on the ice. As for the good news – Fans should be pleased by the fact that Rene Bourque returned to practice on Monday and as rumor has it, more healthy bodies are joining-in in time for the playoffs. Following is the schedule for the best of seven series for this week:
Game 1. Flames are in Chicago on Thursday April 16th @ 6:30 pm.
Game 2. Flames in Chicago again on Saturday April 18th @ 7:00 pm
Please note that all the games will be televised courtesy of TSN. Peter Maher and Mike Rogers will host a play-by-play commentary as usual.
Note to the Calgary Flames Hockey Club:
On behalf of all Calgarians and die-hard Calgary Flamesâ€™ fans, I take this opportunity to wish the Calgary Flames players all the best as they combat the BlackHawks.
The best can be achieved with â€œ togethernessâ€
You will all be in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers from the moment you step on ice – and no matter what happens, we are with you, all the way, boys!!
Go Flmaes Go.