Thursday, August 14, 2008

NHL Four-cast: Calgary Flames

1 - Why is this team worth watching? Jarome Iginla is one of the most dynamic players in the NHL. He scores, he passes, he hits, he fights and he oozes class. What he did for Trevor Linden at Linden's last home game was one of the most impressive, wonderful gestures I have ever seen in the sport. He is worth the price of admission on his own and getting Dion Phaneuf and Mike Keenan too is just a bonus.

2 - Are they better or worse than last year? Worse. They lost Kristian Huselius, Alex Tanguay and Owen Nolan and replaced them with Mike Cammalleri, Todd Bertuzzi and Rene Bourque. Camms flashed his potential getting hot out of the gates last season but fought injury and inconsistency after that. Bert ... well, he hasn't been the same since he mugged Steve Moore. And Rene Bourque is a depth guy, nothing more. Huselius, while enigmatic, could create offense off the wing, Tanguay was a good soldier who also went through good offensive stretches and even in the twilight of his career Nolan was a solid lower-line power forward.

3 - Who should YOU draft in fantasy? Iggy and Phaneuf are no brainers. Miikka Kiprusoff gets wins but last season his numbers dropped to 2.69, .906 - on par with Ryan Miller, who I said watch out for. I would give Kipper the edge between the two of them but he isn't the top-five or even top-10 pick he once was. Daymond Langkow quietly puts up solid numbers and should be around in the middle rounds. If you find yourself desperate for defense, after two injury-filled, disappointing seasons Adrian Aucoin bounced back last year and should even do better this year. You can pencil him in for 40 points with a solid plus/minus.

4 - Red Mile girls (NSFW), where have you gone? No, really, I want to know!

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