Good afternoon, Sundayers! It's that time again (for the first time in a few weeks as I had a tragic extreme sports injury or something where I lost the use of my hands and fingers and eyes and rational thought that prevented me from making it be that time again. I'm sure at least none of you noticed the lack of this column, and I appreciate your concern during this difficult time)
So unfortunately, I've spent the better part of the week in Montreal, and getting access to Flames games is a bit limited, so I have less to work with in determining who the Flame of the week is (like less than usual, which is already pretty much nothing, for I'm a simpleton without much analytical ability. As an example, most days when I leave the house, I think "Yeah I look pretty good". Society disagrees)
So I had to think outside the box a little bit, but i think you'll agree with my choice this go around. To get outside the box, this week's player is......inside the box of a Big Mac combo meal!
Healthy. Nutritious. A Taste Sensation, it's everything a pro athlete needs to give him that edge over the competition, who presumably are being idiots and slamming back Whoppers or JBC's or something. Putrid!
If anyone out there has stumbled upon this ancient secret to success, it's Flames forward Olli Jokinen, who used the energy storing capabilities of this magical mystery meal to explode for a goal, two hits, and four shots in a spirited win over the Chicago Blackhawks, who were in no way still reeling from being Sam Gagner'd by the bastard ginger stepchild of the league the night before. The secret sauce of the Big Mac meal aided Olli in cranking off a shot so powerful it left the net as fast as it hit it and no one knew it was in except for Jokinen, on account of the tasty burger's sense sharpening skills allowing Joker to see better than anyone else where the puck went.
Hey, if it comes recommended by Wayne Gretzky, and let's face it, it is, then maybe there's something to it. It's an absolute fact, as verified by me, that Gretzky scarfed down a Big Mac before every game over his entire career, and he had, probably, a few goals in his career. Plus he super sized his combo before every adventure with Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson as a member of the Pro Stars, so it's very astute for Olli to take heed of such a sage lesson from The Great One.
Okay, so maybe it was easy to pick two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun as the player of the week, one because it's so prolific, but two, the Flames in the games before the win over the Hawks were more or less invisible in the only other game against Detroit this week. I thought Cammalleri played decently, and he earned his goal, but even that was a stretch. The Flames looked like a team who was sitting in tenth place, and the Detroit Red Wings looked like The Detroit Red Wings. The bounce back against Chicago was really nice to see, because they could've mailed it in with all the peripherals (I still really can't believe the beatdown the Oilers put on the Hawks was causing some Flames fans to suggest that it meant the Hawks were going to do a complete 180 overnight and absolutely ham sandwich the Flames. But then, most times the pessimism of Flames fans always baffles me. A story for another day, I suppose)
So here's to a new week. A fresh start with more games, and noticeable players doing important things leading up to the trade deadline. Holy damn I love trade deadline. In the meantime, join me in celebrating the contributions of the Big Mac burger from McDonalds. Considering it's now 45 years old, you can't help but be impressed with it's effort of late. And that's why it earns this week's Al "Wool" Coates Coat. An illustrious title for an illustrious meal.
This Week In Young Gun:
February 1st, 2001: 16,134 stunned Flames fans watched in stunned semi silence as the Flames skated to a 5-3 victory over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks at the newly minted Pengrowth Saddledome. The win was not the shocking development in this game, as the Blackhawks that year were staffed by an equal number of rubes to the Flames version of misfits and ne'erdowells. The fact that some guy whose last name was Herperger (and definitely not a Big Mac Hamburger) should testify to this. Herperger sounds like a sexually transmitted disease, doesn't it? the Hawks also dressed Blair Atcheynum, which sounds like the antidote TO Herperger. It's no wonder they lost, they had no team identity.
No, the confusion was more centered around the fans trying to figure out just what the hell a Pengrowth was, anyway. To this day, no one really knows, because there is no such thing as an Oil and Gas sector in this town.
Coupling the surprise was Bill Lindsay scoring his first goal of the season for the Flaming C, leading many to question the commonly held belief that Bill Lindsay played for the Flames, and also that he was apparently alive and well, despite conflicting reports from people who had simply not noticed him ever being around and filed the appropriate reports.
Also, Mike Vernon picked up the win in the game, which believe me, in 2000-01 was kind of a big deal. Way ta go Mikey! (Thumbs up!)