Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Young Flames Fired Up

Just weeks before the start of the NHL regular season, rookies vying for a spot on the Calgary Flames roster decided to show the club just exactly why they were ready to make it in the big league.
Unlike some of the Edmonton Oilers youngsters who are participating in the Young Stars rookie camp tournament, the players on the Calgary team remain relatively unknown. But during yesterday's game against the Anaheim Ducks' rookie team, you would have guessed the roster was packed full of seasoned all-stars.
Playing their first game of the tournament, the Flames got off to a great start, dominating the Ducks with a final score of 8-4.
It was an action-packed game from the beginning, with the first half seeing equal effort put in by both teams. The Ducks' Jon Kurtz set the score in the first 5 minutes, burying a fast one right past Flames' goalie Matt Keetley. It wasn't until 15 minutes later that the Flames' Jon Rheault was able to tie up the scoreboard, with an assist from Mikael Backlund.
Bryan Cameron followed up the late goal with another one of his own, but with only a few seconds left in the first period, the Ducks rallied to tie it once again.
The second period was a little more one-sided than the first. Jon Rheault, quickly making a name for himself as a potential NHL Flame, shot an unassisted goal past Ducks goalie Marco Cousineau but seconds later was answered by the Ducks' Devante Smith-Pelly.
With the period half over, Mikael Backlund and Carter Bancks furthered the lead to 5-3 for the Flames.
It was all fire for the Flames in the third, as Rheault managed to pull off a hat trick, the first in the entire tournament, accompanied by goals from Josh Meyers and Keith Seabrook. Sitting comfortably with 8 goals, the Canadian rookies didn't sweat too much when, in the final seconds of the game, the Ducks' Jack Carrick put in a last-ditch effort, sliding the puck past an unexpecting Keetley.
The end result was a scoreboard that read 8-4 in favour of the Flames, and riding high on the win, the team is set to face the likes of much talked-about Edmonton Oilers draft picks Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall.
With limited cap space remaining in Calgary, no doubt the young Flames will put on a show just as impressive, to show Sutter and the gang who really deserves to be skating with the big boys in this upcoming season.

Mikael Backlund was one of the breakout rookies from the Abbotsford Heat who was called up to the Flames several times last season. Backlund reeled in one goal and one assist during last night's game.

Friday, September 3, 2010

QUICKLINES September 1 - September 7

Jordan Staal will miss the first half of the Penguins' training camp due to a foot infection resulting from the laceration he received early in the 2009-2010 postseason playoff round against the Montreal Canadiens. Despite this, the team expects Staal to be fully recovered in time for the upcoming regular season.

Newlywed Mike Comrie has signed a one-year, $500, 000 deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 29-year old left wing center joins a roster that has just recently lost veteran player Bill Guerin, and will be a strong addition to the team, considering that defenceman Jordan Staal is also out for the time being.

Marc Savard's lawyer is threatening legal action against the NHL if the board goes through with the intention of looking into Savard's 7-year deal with the Boston Bruins. Savard's lawyer states that considering that the severe injury he sustained late last season has decreased his value as a player, making Savard a free agent would drastically hurt his playing career. No word has been released as to whether the NHL will continue with the intended examination of the contract.