Monday, September 21, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: I'm Back!

I'm back! Well, I never really left, but I'm not the only one saying "I'm back" these days.

Last time I blogged (which, I know, was like 10 days ago...sorry?) I was talking about Theo Fleury and his chances of playing professional hockey in the world's best league this season.

The day after I posted that blog, the Calgary Flames invited Fleury to training camp (which I sorta guessed would happen) and since then he's made his preseason debut, scored a shootout winner and found mesh in regulation for his first NHL goal in god knows how long.

Fleury's first game in over six years saw him log about 10:30 of ice time before taking it upon himself to snipe the game-winning goal in the extra, extra frame (or the shootout as some people call it), faking a shot before deking the pants off of Kevin Poulin. And the crowd went WILD.

After the game, a confident-sounding Fleury told the Associated Press "I don't miss those chances ever. Not in the big moments. Never have, never will." Good for him.

On Sunday night, Fleury notched both his first preseason point and then his first preseason goal in a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers. A nice feed from Curtis Glencross sent Fleury in on a mini-breakaway - he made no mistake, sliding a backhander home past a struggling Tomas Vokoun (who gave up four goals on 16 shots on Friday against the Oilers).

Fleury notched another assist, his third point, in Monday night's 5-4 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, but didn't get to try and go two-for-two in the shootout, which is a shame!

I know it's just preseason, but Fleury looks waaaaaay better than I was expecting him to look at this point. Could he prove us all wrong by coming back and actually contributing in a meaningful way this season?

When Dwayne Roloson was playing here, I remember hearing him point out that his body wasn't as beat up as other goalies his age, because he shared time as a starter for most of his career. Well, by that same token, Fleury's body probably isn't as worn down as another 41-year-old pro hockey player's might be - he hasn't put his body through the grind of an NHL season in about six years.

Maybe he DOES have something left in the tank.

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