After another fine outing the other night against the Oilers, Dustin Boyd missed practice today with the flu. Multiple Oilers have been fighting the flu bug for over a week now, and some were even playing with the virus Saturday night (I'm looking at you, Tom Gilbert. Thanks for transmitting your Oiler cooties to poor Dustin here.) We all know that a flu virus can have devastating effects on an NHL roster, and the Flames will need to be in top form when they face the upstart young Avs Wednesday night. So I am wishing Boyder a speedy recovery--lots of rest and chicken noodle soup, and if Dion and Kipper try to convince you to go to Cowboys with them just say no, OK? Even if Dion calls you a pussy.
I was scoping out SB Nation site The Copper and Blue this afternoon out of curiosity, and I have to say, not from the perspective of a Flames fan but from that of someone who appreciates good quality writing, that Matchsticks and Gasoline is far superior.
Mike Cammalleri was interviewed on Sportscentre today about his four-point game Saturday against the Rangers and the team's success as of late, and told reporters: "you start to really kinda produce and have se...success, sorry, offensively." He then laughed nervously as the interview cut to what I believe was Canadiens correspondent John Lu narrating some Habs highlights. Freudian Slip, Cammy?
I think it's sort of an unwritten rule of female hockey fandom not to lust after the opposition, especially when said opposition is your favourite team's most hated rival, but several members of the Edmonton Oilers are making that awfully hard with these pictures from ESPN Magazine's 'The Body' Issue:
Andrew Cogliano is clearly the most conservative of the bunch. Drop the towel, Andy!
Just an everyday trip to the penalty box. Sheldon Souray looks like he wants you to join him for ten minutes of misconduct...
Alright, I'll stop.
Scott Cruickshank from the Flames Insider believes re-signing current leading scorer Rene Bourque could cost anywhere from $2.8 to $4.5 million. Surely the Brothers Sutter could convince the Lac La Biche native to accept a hometown/province discount? Alberta boys gotta stick together, right?
The headshot/knee-shot/respect debate was re-ignited today after a plethora of players sustained injuries from questionable hits over the weekend, which Ryan Lambert sums up nicely over at Puck Daddy. Tuomo Ruutu was suspended three games for his hit from behind on Darcy Tucker, LA's Rob Scuderi was fined for his low hit that sent Columbus' Jason Chimera flying through the air head-over-skates, and Steve Ott has yet to be disciplined for his involvement in two separate knee-related incidents. The most important thing for Colin Campbell and the NHL is consistency in the discipline of these players (see: The Colin Campbell Wheel of Justice).
Mike Richards' hit on David Booth was cringe-worthy but legal, and deserved an interference penalty at the most. It was very similar to Phaneuf's hit on Kyle Okposo in the pre-season; neither player was punished by the league, and rightfully so. Neither player has a history of "dirty" play. Same goes for Rob Scuderi.
When it comes to the Ruutu hit, the situation gets murky. Ruutu is a repeat offender (what is it about the last name "Ruutu" that makes you a disrespectful, gutless hockey player?), and some would argue the suspension should have been longer than three games. Steve Ott is in the same boat; whatever the league decides to do regarding his punishment at his hearing tomorrow is crucial to their reputation and credibility in the eyes of fans, the media, and other professional sports leagues.
Congratulations to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who finally earned their first victory of the 2009-10 NHL season with a 6-3 decision over the struggling Ducks. Niklas Hagman completed the hat-trick while Tomas Kaberle scored a career-high five points as the Leafs scored five powerplay goals on eleven opportunities against GM Brian Burke's former team. In Interesting Leafs History Tidbits, the Blue and White lost ten straight games in 1967, coincidently the last time they won the Stanley Cup. Plan the parade people, these guys are fo realz.