Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Artificial Battle of Alberta...

Be sure to keep an eye on the Flames/Oilers game tonight. According to, this is shaping up to be a true "Battle of Alberta" contest. Let's hope the NHL keeps its nose out of this one. From Battle of Alberta is shaping up to be exactly that on Saturday. One day after the Calgary Flames called up tough guy Eric Godard from the American Hockey League, Edmonton responded by announcing that Zach Stortini would be joining the Oilers.Stortini, 21, has never played an NHL game but has racked up 440 penalty minutes in 108 AHL contests. Godard, meanwhile, has 267 PIMs in 110 career NHL games. He has also logged 942 PIMs in 279 AHL games.Godard and Stortini have tangled already this season, back on November 10, when both players were in the minors, and in a pre-season game on September 21.While it's a stretch to compare it to the yesteryears of the Battle of Alberta, I think we can count on a battle between two tough guys tonight. Don't be surprised if the fans in attendance turn thier heads in shame and cover their children's eyes, much like they did last night when Godard dropped the gloves against George Parros. Be sure to listen to the whole clip as the commentators briefly discuss the benefits of having a tough guy on your team.A little late on this one, but I think this incident speaks volumes about lack of intimidation the Penguins possess. And let me first say that Ryan Malone gets huge props for going after Witt. But without a true heavy, guys will continue to run Sid the Kid at their convenience. Let's hope that Eric Cairns is taking notes. I'm not sure of the chances he'll make it back into a Pens uniform this year, but I am sure that Sidney will be taking more beatings like this should he be sitting out too long.

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