Kristian, oh your time has come (Plus: New feature!)

A couple of weeks ago, when the Flames still sucked, people started agitating about the then-slump of MetroGnome’s boy Kristian Huselius. Mike Keenan, who has often been blamed of “running Huselius out” of Florida when Juice was sent to Calgary a a couple of years ago, said something to the effect of, “He’s always been that way, and I can’t tell him what he’s doing right or wrong. Something just clicks on or off.”

Well, the click is on again, and it’s spectacular. When Huselius is on, he stickhandles — and carries the puck — as well as anyone in the league. He was absolutely dazzling last night as the Flames beat St. Louis 5-3, and was as full-value for his five points as he could be. And he was great when he wasn’t scoring, too — great decision-making, great play with his teammates. He makes Iginla and Langkow better, because he’s a puck-carrier in a way those two aren’t. If this road-trip hasn’t proven this line should stay together permanently, I don’t know what would.

On Dion Phaneuf: He’s still a horribly positioned penalty killer, is clearly tired at the end of games, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why he’s still playing with “Andrei” Eriksson. But all the points on this trip aside, his two or three rushes last night and the fight with Tkachuk showed again why he’s so valuable. You have to have players on a team, especially on the back-end, that make teams think that anything could happen at any time. Phaneuf does that as well as anyone in the league. So, drop his minutes to 20-22, pair him with Rhett Warrener when he comes back, and sign him before he reaches 60 points on the season and he becomes unaffordable. If Duhatschek thinks he’s worth 15 years/$100 million on the open market, he probably is.

Finally, I’m going to start trying to be more responsive to my readers, a group I know intimately through the use of my blog stats and its helpful list of search-engine terms used to find Flames Blog. The terms aren’t always posed in the form of a question, but being an individual who can occasionally put two and two together to make, uh … anyway, I think I can tell what people are wondering.

(And, really, this is the question that comes up most often, by far)

Q: Do Dion Phaneuf and Miikka Kiprusoff smoke?
A: I don’t know. But last year, a photograph of unknown origins took the online Flames fan community by storm after it was anonymously posted. So, since the question you’re really asking is, “can I see the picture,” here’s a link. Enjoy.


~ by duncan on December 17, 2007.

6 Responses to “Kristian, oh your time has come (Plus: New feature!)”

  1. Ahhh…Huselius. I was busy defending him on messageboards during his slump. It’s going to SUCK to lose him to Free Agency, especially with guys like Warrener, Aucoin, Eriksson and Primeau on the books instead.

    I also don’t understand Phaneuf/Eriksson pairing, outside of “well…the other two pairings work out so well.” It’s very clearly a chaos duo that’s going to do more harm than good if Iginla and co. aren’t outscoring the opposition.

    I can’t believe Im typing this, but… I actually look forward to Warrener coming back from injury.

  2. I’ve been asking for some time why Eriksson plays like 25 minutes a night – the only real answer I can come up with is that Keenan has that little faith in the rest of his defenders, which is saying a lot.

    Juice is the man. I’m on the side of trading Tanguay and keeping Huselius.

  3. i thought kristian’s time had come a few years back, in a hotel room with tallinder and lilja ? no ?

    [“way to bring it down, WI,” you say,”welcome home.”]

  4. Warrener coming back: Check.
    Trading Tanguay and keeping Huselius: Can’t believe I’m saying this, but: Check.
    Happy to see WI trashing things up again: Check.

  5. Maybe the idea that Dion is tired at the end of games means that he is a smoker?

    Although I’d be willing to bet that he is nothing more than a social smoker, as seems to tend to happen with pro athletes for some reason… maybe a lot of puck bunnies smoke?

  6. […] needs to come Earlier this year, one of my few posts of 2007-08 led off with a yarn about how Kristian Huselius was as streaky a player as there is. At the time, he was on. Now — and for the past month — he’s off. And it hurts like a […]

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