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How've you been doing? I haven't been around for the hockey chats in a long time.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I am back to writing about the Flames here at Bleacher Report, and am now serving as their Featured Columnist at NHL.com. I should be publishing new stuff every week, so if you're still following the team feel free to drop by and spawn some hockey-talk!
Take it easy,
Hey there Will,
How've you been, it seems like it's been a long time. I just wanted to let you know that I am now also publishing articles for The Hockey Writers (www.thehockeywriters.com) in their hockey history section. I'll still be looking at the Flames here and there, and feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or comments.
Hey-ya William, how's it going?
Here's a quick Flames update, as the team played their first preseason game tonight:
Flames Preseason Game #1: FLA (3) @ CAL(2).
After a scoreless first period, the Panthers took a one goal lead early in the second when LW David Booth scored. Calgary would respond with an impressively offensive 25 minutes of play, going ahead 2-1 on goals from Dustin Boyd and Jarome Iginla.
At 10:14 of the 3rd, Florida tied it up on an Rostislav Olesz, and Jay Bowmeester locked the win with a marker five minutes before the buzzer. The Flames showed bursts of offensive and defensive flair, but the plays which reslted in goals were slipshod, such as scrambles for pucks behind their net. Despite this, Curtis McElhinney looked solidly positioned most of the night. Both sides allowed penalties, but only Calgary was able to convert with the man advantage.
Molson 3 Stars:
* 1st-CAL #41 Dustin Boyd (1G-1A)
** 2nd-FLA #4 Jay Bowmeester (1G, GW)
*** 3rd-CAL #45 Jaimie Lundmark (1A)
Shots: CAL - 26, FLA - 25
Newcomers John Negrin and Mikael Backlund looked relatively comfortable. Started off slow and sloppy, but evolved into a fairly intense "meaningless" game.
Last year's opener was a 3-0 loss to Florida...at least there's some improvement! Tomorrow they play in Phoenix, and they'll have another crack at the Panthers again in Florida this week.
Feel free to contact M if you have any questions or comments for the Flames page. Also, check the Flames page and M's archive regularly for more Calgary Flames and NHL Northwest updates. Take care and enjoy the season.
Hey there William,
I took a few days off from normal hockey reporting to post some editorials, but it'll be back to normal this week. Thanks for the reads, comments, picks, and patience!
Thanks for the picks William. Much appreciated. I posted the prospects article (Part One)... hope you enjoy!
Wow! Thanks William. That's really cool! I appreciate it.
Did you have a good trip? Gone long? Does the reverse-reverse swirling of water make you dizzy now that you are back North, North?
I had to reset my computer and haven't been able to publish for the past two weeks, but I have been able to post notes and email, most other things. It's just getting back some of the newer programs and apps. In the meantime, I went to the Flames Prospect Development Camp, and I am hoping to write a full article about it. I gave some info to Josh Lewis, so I've copied it here for you!
By the way, I started writing you an email with some prospect tidbits, but I only had time to write about three lines before saving and leaving for an appointment. Just as a taster before I write out more, Mikael Backlund is the guy to watch out of this year's prospect camp. Drafted last year by Calgary in the first round (24th overall), the Swede has beautifully graceful speed and nice hands. The practices didn't give much of an inkling as to his physical presence, and he'd be likely to need it on the Flames squad. Darryl Sutter has stated emphatically that if he makes the squad it will be to play regularly, not just a few games here and there. Otherwise he'll go back to Europe to play, though he is property of a WHL team (Everett maybe?). It may sound harsh, but it's actually a great compliment to Backlund from Sutter.
Dan Ryder has returned. Kyle Greentree looks great... the eldest player on the prospect team, but he looks like he's close to putting it all together for a stab at the big game. Dustin Boyd was on the prospect roster despite playing 41 NHL games with Calgary last season... I assume this is due to his two-way contract status, and the fact that others would have been called up before him last year had there not been injuries to other players.
As for goalies, it is pretty clear that Keetley and Lalande are the favourites right now, while Leland Irving and James Spratt are still in development in comparison. All looked pretty darn good though, and will benefit from David Marcoux and Jamie McLennan, still on suspension but helping with development for the Flames.
McElhinney is still part of the team, but he is currently assigned to the squad as back up I believe (unless something has changed). In any case, his status is that much higher than the others right now, and will be taking the lion's share at the early training camps when Miikka isn't there. I assume the others will have to be there as well.
John Negrin, by the way, looked really good. You'll have to excuse the lack of specifics right now: I took notes, but am just going off the top of my head right now, which isn't all that clear at the moment.
In the three days I attended, Nemisz didn't necessarily stand out, but when I watched him specifically he looked good. Mitch Wahl was similar. Kris Chucko stood out as he practised tipping the puck from the edge of the crease. Compared to a few others I watched attempt it, he practised it for a longer period of time and was much more consistent. Important to note there was no goalie in net, just a man at the point taking shots.
Anyway, I'm glad you are back and hope you had a great time in NZ. Talk to you soon!
Thanks for th add.
Okay, so stay tuned tonight (later) I will be reporting the two back-to-back games in one. The report I lost had a lot of detail, but realistically it as relatively safe for forty minutes. If you want more specific details of the Oilers game after tonghts article I can send you some notes.
Just so you know, I did write a 1500 word report on the game tonight. Then, just as I was a few bits away from finishing, my word processor decided to be a bastard, and of course I hadn't sved it! I will give it another go but it might be a while... sorry