San Jose is again having a regular season all teams wish they could have, leadin the conference, and the league. Calgary is seventh in the league and fourth in the Western Conference. They have played 22 games and won 13 of those games, with Jarome Iginla stepping up to show he is worthy of the Captain's crown.
Surprisingly, some of the lesser known players have also shown their skills and talent. Players like Curtis Glencross, Rene Bourque, NIgel Dawes, Erik Nystrom, Jay Bouwmeester and David Moss have also had impressive seasons this far. Of course, Iginla is leading the "pack" with 12 goals in 10 games in November. So he should ad leader of the team, but the thing that has shown itself to be prevalent this year is the teamwork, the comaraderie and the desire to win, as a team. The Sutter brothers showed that kind of drive and desire in their playing careers and they are demonstrating the same desire in their administrative positions.
So can the Flames make it to the Stanley Cup? Certainly, a berth in the playoffs seems definite, at this point in the season. Unfortunately, we've seen all too often how a team can come apart, or dismantle if you will, right aroung the time it is to play for "all the money. Last year, I predicted in December that the San Jose Sharks would make it all the way to the Stanley Cup. I got shot down by fans who were outraged that I would make such a prediction so early in the season. I won't make that claim for the Flames. I've learned my lesson, especially after the way the Sharks did exactly that, came apart in the playoffs.
But really, at this point in the season, what are our predictions? San Jose is leading the League with 16 wins in 25 games, but Pittsburgh also has 16 wins, in 24 games. Pittsburgh has struggled a little lately, losing a couple of "sure wins" to much lesser teams. Chicago has only played 22 games, and has 15 wins, so they are also right up at the top of the leader board. Washington, Colorado and New Jersey are also ahead of the Flames, who are then follwed by Dallas and another surprise, (although not to Becky) the Los Angeles Kings. Really, it is way too early to make predictions for any team.
By the end of January we should have a better idea of who will be in the playoffs, who will be the truly dominant players and teams. For now, I'm happy to see the Flames playing like the team I first became a fan of. If Jarome Iginla can continue to play they way he has the last month, and inspire the rest of the team to do the same, the sky's the limit.
I'm curious though. The NFL and the NBA are still on, with championship games a ways off. I know we have a few hockey fans on the site, and most of you are pretty opinionated. So, is it too early for predictions? Or do you have some? Will the Sharks go further this year than last year? Will the Hurricanes finish in the bottom of the league, where they currently reside, kept company by the dismal Toronto Maple Leafs, or will they suddenly have an incredible turnaround and start winning? Will Pittsburgh continue to flounder, or do we
What do YOU think?