Langkow on Hot Streak; Flames First in Northwest Division

Jeff VanderElzenContributor IJanuary 11, 2009

No doubt about it. Calgary Flames forward Daymond Langkow has been nothing short of spectacular.

In the last five games, Langkow has collected 5 goals and 2 assists for 7 points, which in turn makes him one of the hottest players in the league as of late.  In fact, some (or most) might argue that he has exceeded and excelled in most, if not all categories of the game so far this season.

During the Flames' "hot streak", in which the last thirteen games they have only been served one loss in regulation to the Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary is definitely showing the National Hockey League that they won't go down without a fight. 

Cliché, when you look at the word "fight", the Flames have had their share of the fisticuffs. 

Whether it be Andre Roy defending a downed team mate, or Jarome Iginla trying to settle old scores by dropping the gloves with familiar rivals, the Calgary Flames have not fallen short of being an exciting team to watch during this 2009 campaign.

Some may say that the Northwest Division is in fact one of the toughest divisions in the entire league, but, as Calgary Flames Head Coach Mike Keenan put it earlier this week, "This is a tough league, you need to show up every night and give it your all, regardless of who you're playing." How true it is. 

This season, the league has seen a lot of upsets mixed with huge surprises. 

The Washington Capitals have been steadily holding their division. The Boston Bruins, after a rocky few seasons are just a point behind San Jose for the best record in the NHL; most teams shine brighter than the Dallas Stars, who not only defeated the Sharks in the second round of last year's playoffs to move on to the Western Conference Finals, but surprisingly, have dug themselves a hole that may cost them a playoff spot this year. 

Detroit is looking strong, as usual, but not as most had expected. The Pittsburgh Penguins, however, after a strong Stanley Cup Final appearance last season against the Wings, are looking towards an offseason full of changes and re-evaluations. 

From long to short, the National Hockey League, arguably, is in the midst of change. Which, in turn, brings me back to Daymond Langkow. 

Most critics around the league and the world of professional hockey are focusing on players like Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane and Alex Ovechkin as being the new game-changing faces of the NHL. The young guns, the new talent, the perseverance, etc. 

Sure, there are a lot of new and upcoming faces in the NHL which will no doubt help define the future of the game, but at the same time, the underlined over-exposure of such new talent has caused some veterans to take a back seat in the NHL spotlight. 

Calgary Flames forward Daymond Langkow, brandishing the solid number "22" on the back of his sweater, is by far one of the best players in the league this month. Sure, he's not one of the league's top scorers, but when he does collect points, as of late, it has been when it matters. 

Coming off of a 5-2 Flames victory over the Western Conference's point-leading San Jose Sharks, Langkow collected two goals, his first multi-goal game of the season.

Of course, the league has seen better performances by its top stars, but when an NHL team gets secondary scoring at such a consistent rate, as the Calgary Flames have had lately with players such as Rene Bourque, Todd Bertuzzi, Curtis Glencross, David Moss, and Mike Camallerri, one cannot deny Calgary the sure possibility of a great playoff run come the 2009 NHL post-season.