Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I Miss Mike Commodore

I've made no bones about it. I miss Mike Commodore. While Calgary was having its cinderella season, there is no doubt Mike Commodore was the cinderella player. Pressed into regular shift duty when Toni Lydman and Denis Gauthier went down, Commodore formed one half of 'The Dores' defensive duo. While it was Montadore that scored the famous beaver tail slap winner against the Sharks in OT, Commodore became famous for his gigantic red afro. I think though that fans appreciated him even more for his clutch play.

Commodore is back in town playing for the first time since Game 6 of the 2004 Western Conference Finals, and while Flames fans still feel the sting of that defeat, Commodore has surely soothed his somewhat by winning the Stanley Cup exactly one season later. Less than two full season in the NHL, and already a Stanley Cup Final veteran.

Another Calgary cast-off is joining Commodore tonight in a Flames reunion type of way. Cory Stillman was traded away for Craig Conroy, and I remember being furious at the time. Stillman was a proven playmaker, Conroy was some defensive centre. While the trade worked out for Calgary, with Conroy leading the way during the 2004 playoffs, the trade worked out even better for Stillman - eventually.

After languishing on a talented but hapless St. Louis Blues team where he got 2nd line ice time behind Weight and Tkachuck, Stillman was traded to the Lightning for a 2nd round pick (at least Calgary got SOMETHING back...). There he went on to have nearly a point a game season, and he won the cup with Tampa. He was benched for the finals, but his name got on the cup. He was criticized for being soft. Turns out he was hurt. Tampa wasn't willing to give him a multi-year deal, so he signed with the 'Canes, and ended up winning the cup again. But this time, nobody called him soft. Scoring key goals throughout the playoffs, Stillman proved he was a clutch performer.

Come to think of it - I miss Stillman too.

Andrew Ference said tonight's game will be like a benchmark for the team. I think right now the Ducks are the true benchmark, they're playing better than any other team and its showing in the win column. The 'Canes have without a doubt lost some of the mojo from last year, so its not as big a deal as maybe some are making it up to be. It is important though in the sense that the Flames are a team that needs to put forth a consistent effort game to game.
Keep an eye on the Huselius-Kobesew-Lombardi combo - Playfair has challenged them to be more consistent as well.


hockeygirl said...

I think you just miss Commodore's hair.

Kyle said...

How could I not?

hockeygirl said...

You should grow yours out in mourning.