Every time the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames play some Leafs fan pipes up about how the Leafs “won” the Phaneuf trade. Every time I read this I laugh as it seems that Leafs Nation has not come to fully appreciate the defensive liability that is their Captain… the honourable Dion Phaneuf.
Phaneuf was only minus one in their 5-1 loss to the Flames tonight, but he was instrumental in two of the goals that the Flames scored, which, incidentally enough, is one more than the total number of goals the Leafs scored tonight. Dion was on the ice for the Flames first goal, and didn’t do much to stop Olli Jokinen from feeding the puck to Alex Tanguay in the slot. He was also out of position on the play that allowed Paul Byron to go in on the breakaway, get hauled down, take the penalty shot and score to put the Flames up 3-1.
As any sane Flames fan, who watched the team from 2006 onwards, will tell you that getting rid of Dion is enough to consider any trade a win. Heck, I would have been happy to trade Dion for a bag of pucks and a couple rolls of hockey tape. Not only did we take $6M off our payroll, we got rid of a player that is consistently out of position, is a detriment to the dressing room and is the furthest thing I’d ever think of when I think of “captain” in the NHL.
Can you tell I don’t like the man?
Enough about my Dion prejudice. Besides the fact that Dion sucks, the Flames absolutely dismantled the Maple Leafs tonight. Calgary’s top line was on fire and tallied a total of 8 points on the 3 goals they scored. Olli Jokinen, Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla all scored for the Flames, and Blake Comeay and Byron added a goal apiece in Calgary’s 5-goal outburst.
As always, Miikka Kiprusoff played awesome and gave his team a chance to win. He stopped 41 of 42 shots and ended up with a 0.976 save percentage.
Tyler Bozak had the lone goal for the Leafs, who have now lost 7 straight games against the Flames, dating back to Dec 27, 2002.
It was a fun game to watch, and in case you missed it, here are the highlights: