Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Here's one I can agree with, the Flames repeating as Northwest champs and ending up with the third seed.
If the Oilers can cobble a defence together out of Chewing Gum (Jan Hejda) and Twine (Marc Andre Bergeron) then they can make up that eight points that separated the Albertans last year but I think the Flames should have enough to defend their division crown, likely with another 100 point season too.
They had to give up Leopold to get Tanguay but of course the Flames' strength is on the blueline and in Tanguay they have added a guy who has been a consistent producer in the NHL. Some may wonder if he is a product of the talent that he played with on the Avs but Iggy isn't chopped liver.
Other departures - Shean Donovan, Chris Simon, Mike Leclerc. Yawn.
The big question for the Flames is the same as always - can they give Kiprusoff enough run support? Amonte showed last season that reports of his demise were not exaggerrated. Huselius added some offence but more is needed. Jeff Friesen? Not likely. After plenty of goals in the late 90s he has only scored more then 20 once in the last five seasons and with the exception of last year he played 79 or more games in each of those.
Nope. It has to come from two guys - Chuck Kobesew and Matthew Lombardi. If these guys can create offence and consistently then this team suddenly becomes very very dangerous. If they cannot then Tanguay will help and they will win the division but their season will end in a loss in the first or second round. One line teams don't win championships.
They come close.
Horseshoes and hand grenades though, right?
Posted by Black Dog at 12:17 PM