The Minnesota Wild’s Nicklas Backstrom, currently hockey’s best goalie, up 3-0 at the end of the first period, was sitting pretty. He had yet to lose in regulation this season. The visibly pissy Flames got physical even though violence is never the answer. Phaneuf drops the gloves and beats up some poor redheaded kid who looked genuinely terrified on TV. Later, Phaneuf jumps out of the penalty box and lays a vicious hip check to Martin Skoula, who wobbles back to the bench like Bambi testing his legs for the first time. Keenan orders Alex Tanguay, of all people, to park his skinny ass in front of Backstrom. Which is sort of like asking your girlfriend to change your oil. Five unanswered Flames goals follow (two by Tanguay) to win it 5-3. You’ve gotta feel for the Wild today. Lemair is going to skate their asses off in practice, which won’t be measured in hours but liters of on-ice puking.
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