Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Feed the Fire

Hey, it's another reason for sacamano to laugh at Sports Illustrated! Baseball writer Stephen Cannella has picked the Flames to win the Cup, and the Oilers to be the "Western Conference Disappointing Team".

Those reasonable statements aside, I will concede some of my co-author's SI skepticism, since I don't think this graf makes much sense:
Jarome Iginla was the league's most unstoppable force in the old NHL. That should stay the same; the thought of Iginla on the rush, with nary a hooked stick or jersey grab or bear hug to impede him, probably kept a few defensemen up at night during training camp.

None of us know exactly how things will play out with the new "enforcement" regime, but it's safe to say that, in relative terms, Jarome Iginla will not be the biggest beneficiary. He became a dominant player precisely because the hooked sticks, jersey grabs, and bear hugs impeded him less than other talented players with less strength and stability. If it's a total rugby game out there, Iginla remains the best player on the ice, where (say) Teemu Selanne disappears. If you can't touch anyone, then Iginla is still a great player, but some of his comparative advantage is gone.

Being strong and tough will never be a negative in the NHL, but the rules can be enforced to make it less critical. Let's see how it goes.


If you can keep citing SI as a respectable (or even semi-respectable) hockey source, then I'm going to start bringing back Eric Francis quotes as representative of Flames fans.

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