It's mind boggling.
One third of the way in to the season, who expected the Flames to be in a regular playoff spot? Are they the real deal, or will they regress? Is Burke's hair for real?
I have no clue about the answers. All I know is there's not much hotter than the Flames right now. Not this. This. Or whatever the fuck this is. Though this is definitely hotter.
Burke hired Brad Treliving just before the off-season started, brother of awful pizza restaurant magnate, Jim Treliving, however the player acquisitions this summer have that distinct Brian Burke feel. Burke loves poaching talent from his ex-teams, and, noting The Leafs couldn't afford to keep Mason Raymond, Burke snapped him up in free agency. Raymond has unfortunately been injured, but still racked up 7 points in the 10 games he had played so far this season. It's reported he might be back for tonight's game, which means he'll probably get a hat trick or something.
And then there's big Joe Colborne. Burke always had a lot of confidence in him, and, getting top 6 minutes in Calgary, he delivered last season with 28 points in 80 games. Essentially he was David Clarkson at a fraction of the price. Colborne has also been hit with a bad injury this season, and probably won't be back tonight.
But not all of Burke's pick ups have worked out. As one would expect, it's the face-punching fourth liner addition that is the biggest fail. The Flames signed truculent Stanley Cup winner Brandon Bollig in the off-season to a three year deal at $1.25M AVV. Bollig now has 2 assists in 25 games. Why didn't the Leafs send Orr to the Flames for a low round pick?
Bernier is in net tonight. Brandon Kozun is back, but it is still unclear if he will end up playing.
THE LOCAL BOY: Mike Giordano, no less than the Flames captain. He's PPG so far this season. So we should expect a threee point night, right?
THE EX-LEAF: They have three, but, as mentioned above, Colborne is out with an injury. This leaves Stajan and Raymond. Raymond is still unconfirmed for the game, with a lingering injury, so Stajan it is. It's no secret his game imploded after being traded to Calgary. Is there a better example of a player being traded at peak value in recent Leafs history? Last season it looked like he finally hit his stride with the Flames, but, now, well in to this season, that appears to have been just a dead cat bounce. Out with an injury for a month, he's picked up only one goal and two assists in twelve games. Will the Leafs be the slumpbusters?
THE LOCAL SCENE: Head on over to Matchsticks and Gasoline if you want to see what they think of us of if you want to visit a ghost town.
WHAT AM I DRINKING TONIGHT? Fireball whisky! No wait. That's too obvious. And I hate cinnamon.
Oh I know what to have!
Now I just need to find a case of cough syrup.
Tonight's game is broadcast at 7:30EST on TSN4.
Will the Flames scorch the Leafs, or will by-law officers point out burning Leafs is illegal? My column: http://t.co/Qu17UtWwsA— Stove Simmons (@simmonsstove) December 9, 2014
Anyone have a spare scientifically improbable and plot convenient freezing device?