Flames On Fire But Who Can Stoke Jokinen

EDMONTON, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Olli Jokinen #21 of the Calgary Flames looks on during the game against the Edmonton Oilers on September 23, 2009 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
Steve McSweenSenior Analyst IOctober 27, 2009

In recent years I have come to expect the worse from Calgary Flames clubs whom have been great in the regular season, only to underachieve in the playoffs.

It has been as disappointing as watching an early 1990's episode of Saturday Night Live then immediately watching one from the late 90's.

In fact the Flames strike an eery resemblance to Brent Sutter's high scoring New Jersey Devils team that was eliminated in the first round of last season's playoffs.

So yes I have become a pessimistic fan, at times looking for a weakness on a club that has started the season with an impressive 7-2-1 record.

No, it isn't notorious slow-starter Jarome Iginla that has me unnerved.

No, it isn't even the inconsistent play of Miikka Kiprusoff.

What has me alarmed is the lackluster performance of the five million dollar man Olli Jokinen, which seems to be overshadowed by Iginla's struggles out of the gate.

At times he has been about as noticeable as David Hasselhoff's singing career.

So what gives?

Is he the big dominating 30 goal centerman that the Flames acquired last March, or did he and Dustin Penner somehow switch bodies like in that Lindsay Lohan movie Freaky Friday ?

Yeah that's right I had a thing for Lindsay Lohan, let's not get sidetracked. I'm a guy what can I say.

If Jokinen can't get a fire ignited under his arse, then the decision to let Mike Cammalleri walk was all for not.

So now what does Darryl Sutter do?

In recent history not too many teams have hoisted the Stanley Cup without a bona-fied number one centerman.

It is highly unlikely any teams would touch a player making five million who is on pace for eight goals.

Maybe Brian Burke would be interested?

It is a long season and it is very possible that Olli Jokinen can turn this thing around, though the feeling in my gut says it's about as likely as Marcy Playground coming out with a number one hit ever again.

One has to wonder just how good this installment of the Calgary Flames could be if Jokinen was rolling.

Until then Flames fans are going to have to just put up with number 21, which at times is as painful as watching Jessica Simpson perform in her fat pants.









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