A Case of the Mondays: Crushing Blow

You had to know the luck would turn around at some point, but it would have been nice if the streak of good fortune lasted a few more games. After a three game winning streak earned on the back of spectacular performances by Kiprusoff and fortuitous bounces and swings in momentum, the Flames matched the Hawks and outplayed them for stretches in the third period, but couldn't beat Antti Niemi, while Chicago's quick strike offence put the game out of reach about half way through. Coupled with an Avs victory in which they continued their recent good play, outshooting the Sharks 40-22, yesterday's loss delivered what could prove to be a crushing blow to the Flames' playoff hopes, as they will have to defeat two good teams in San Jose and Vancouver and get past the Wild, whom they've struggled with all season. It's been a funny season, in almost every sense of the word, especially the past week, and now it looks like it could be nearly over once again, with seven of eight playoff spots in the West locked up. On that note, let's see what the internet has to offer us on this fine Monday morning after the jump. 

Alex Burrows supposedly "drew" the penalty that led to Vancouver's game winning powerplay goal in OT against the Wild last night by lifting the stick of a Wild player into his own face and proceeding to act like a victim of a high stick [Michael Russo]. This just in: He may be clever, but Burrows is still a spineless, cheating scumbag 

"Yeah, too much [pressure]," said Conroy. "You got to give the guy a break. He's got enough on his plate. Maybe we just need to back off. Everyone always expects Jarome to be the saviour. But, you know, it's a team -- a team game. I'm sick of everyone on him all the time. He's doing his best out there." 

"I just want him to be able to go play three games and enjoy himself and . . . not worry about the other stuff."

That was Craig Conroy after yesterday's game, another disappointing showing for the Captain offensively, who has just four points, all assists, in his last thirteen games. [Flames Insider

Theo Fleury encountered a major setback in his fight to help victims of sexual abuse upon learning that Graham James was issued a pardon in 2007 yesterday, ensuring that his "background may not show up in a criminal record check." [Calgary HeraldPuck Daddy]. Fleury had this to say on his Facebook page:

I'm shocked and mystified that GJ was pardoned. Obviously nobody was proud of the decision or it wouldn't have been a secret. I thought we had an open justice system. It's just more proof our society has a lot to learn about protecting the victims. We are working hard behind the scenes to find better ways to educate the educators, which is the primary mission of the Theo Fleury Foundation as it moves forward.

Mc79hockey has an interesting take on the issue and how it relates to the Privacy Act here.

Blueshirt Banter takes on the eternal question: Who is the NHL's most underrated player? Because we already know who's the most overrated...

Playoff Death Watch update...it's not looking good for the Flames, but what else is new. Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars were eliminated from post season contention last night and the St. Louis Blues' season will be over if they find themselves on the losing end of a game against the Blue Jackets tonight. 

Ryan Lambert contends that the continuation of Jarome Iginla's decline this season will be a big part of the blame if the Flames miss the playoffs, which isn't necessarily the way it should be, but it's hard to argue with. [Puck Daddy

JW looks ahead to this week in Flamesland in his Flames Notebook [Hockey or Die] and a look at the final week's competition [Flames

Miikka Kiprusoff is your Flames MVP, but you already knew that. [Calgary Herald

The Hitmen rolled to a 4-0 win after a slow start against Medicine Hat to take a 2-0 lead in their second-round playoff series yesterday [Calgary Herald]. 

PPP looks at Dion Phaneuf and the "Big Body Presence." 

Canada's roster for the U-18 tournament has been announced, and competition begins on April 13th [TSN]. The women claimed gold with an overtime comeback victory over the Americans yesterday [CBC]

Who comes out on top in the West? The top half of the Western Conference is a crapshoot for all the wrong reasons these days [Ray FerraroPierre LeBrun

Defending Big D tackles a bizarre rumour which has emerged involving a potential bid for ownership of the Stars involving Gretzky, Hull, and Modano, amidst speculation that the latter is pondering retirement.

Lastly, what would Monday be without another fine video from Bloge Salming to entertain us? Check out his latest creation here, where he replaces Don Cherry's Saturday night rant with one of an angry and very loud Leafs fan with his own YouTube channel

Happy Monday everyone, enjoy your left over chocolate and turkey (Ham? Other miscellaneous Easter feast remnants?) and discuss points of interest in the comments.

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