Game Preview: Flames vs Colorado Avalanche

CALGARY FLAMES (1-2-1 3 points) vs. COLORADO AVALANCHE (2-4-0 4 points) GAME 5

 

PREVIEW:

After a four day break, the Flames get back at it tonight as the Colorado Avalanche come to down for the first of five meetings between the two clubs this season. The Flames are coming off a huge victory on Saturday against the Oilers, while Colorado played last night in Vancouver, falling 3-0.

Even with the win on Saturday, the Flames sit 15th in the west but having played only four games, the Flames have games in hand on everyone except the Dallas Stars.

Saturday was the Flames best sixty minute effort beating the Oilers 4-3, while outshooting them 35-20. The Flames were once again led by Lee Stempniak, who has been on fire to start the season, with a goal and two assists. Jay Bouwmeester played one of his best games as a Flame, collecting a goal and an assist.

After Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka returned to the line-up on Saturday, the Flames had some bad luck as Sven Baertschi injured his hip flexor and will be out week-to-week. Baertschi suffered the injury after falling awkwardly in practice early this week.

The Avalanche will finish off a four-game road trip tonight and will be happy to get back home to Denver. The Aves have lost their first three games of the trip, while being outscored 11-1 in the process.

The Aves currently sit 14th in the West, sitting one point ahead of the Flames but have played two more games. It was a good start to the season for the Aves, scoring nine goals in their first three games but injuries to Steve Downie (out for the year with a ACL tear) and captain Gabriel Landeskog (Out indefinitely with a head/neck injury), Colorado’s offense has dried up.

The Aves will also try to avoid losing their first five road games to start a season for the first time since 1991-92 when they were the Quebec Nordiques.

Miikka Kiprusoff will get the start for the Flames, while after starting all six games; Semyon Varlamov will give way to J-S Giguere for his first start of the season.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                        Avalanche:

1- GLENCROSS-TANGUAY-IGINLA                            1- McGINN-DUCHENE-PARENTEAU

2- CAMMALLERI-BACKLUND-STEMPNIAK                2- MITCHELL-STASTNY-JONES

3- CERVENKA-STAJAN-HUDLER                               3- KOBASEW-SGARBOSSA-HEJDUK

4- COMEAU-JONES-JACKMAN                                  4- McLEOD-OLVER-BORDELEAU

 

1- BOUWMEESTER-GIORDANO                                1- JOHNSON-WILSON

2- WIDEMAN-BRODIE                                                 2- HEJDA-O'BRYNE

3- SARICH-BUTLER                                                    3- ZANON-BARRIE

 

1- KIPRUSOFF                                                            1- GIGUERE

2- IRVING                                                                     2- VARLAMOV

 

Extra- SMITH, BEGIN                                                   EXTRA- HUNWICK, O'BRIEN                                      

 

INJURIES:

Flames: D- Anton Babchuk (Shoulder- IR), LW- Sven Baertschi (Hip Flexor- Week-to-Week)

Avalanche: LW- Gabriel Landeskog (Head- Out Indefinitely), RW- Steve Downie (Knee-IR), C- Ryan O’Reilly (RFA)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

C. Glencross

4

3

2

5

-2

L. Stempniak

4

3

2

5

2

A. Tanguay

4

2

2

4

-2

M. Backlund

4

2

1

3

-1

J. Bouwmeester

4

1

2

3

-2

 

Avalanche

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

M. Duchene

6

2

3

5

4

P-A. Parenteau

6

3

1

4

5

M. Hejduk

6

0

3

3

3

J. Mitchell

6

2

0

2

2

R. Wilson

6

0

2

2

3

 

PP-

Flames: 29.4% (6th)

Avalanche: 5.3% (29th)

PK-

Flames: 68.8% (28th)

Avalanche: 72.2% (25th)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

1. CHICAGO

7

6

0

1

13

2. SAN JOSE

6

6

0

0

12

3. MINNESOTA

7

4

2

1

9

4. ST. LOUIS

6

5

1

0

10

5. EDMONTON

6

4

2

0

8

6. VANCOUVER

7

3

2

2

8

7. ANAHEIM

5

3

1

1

7

8. DETROIT

6

3

2

1

7

 

9. LOS ANGELES

5

2

2

1

5

10. NASHVILLE

6

1

2

3

5

11. PHOENIX

7

2

4

1

5

12. DALLAS

4

2

4

1

5

13. COLUMBUS

7

2

4

1

5

14. COLORADO

6

2

4

0

4

15. CALGARY

4

1

2

1

3

 

MY TAKE:

It was an entertaining game on Saturday night, which is a little unusual to say when referring to the Flames. They played a high tempo game, that seemed to get everyone involved and most importantly played very close to a full sixty minutes.

As mentioned, I thought Bouwmeester played one of his best, if not his best, game as a Flame so hopefully that continues. Bob Hartley has definitely implemented a more offensive system for the Flames to play and the biggest benefactor of it could be Bouwmeester.

Jarome Iginla played his best game of the year and I feel it is only a matter of time before he scores his first goal of the season.

I liked what I saw from Hudler, while my judgment on Cervenka is still to be determined.

The Flames have a great opportunity tonight to beat up on the Aves who have had a miserable start to the season on the road. With Landeskog and Downie out, the Aves offense has been almost invisible and seeing the back-up goalie should mean a Flames victory tonight.

At the same time the Flames cannot look past the Aves but if they played the way they did against the Oilers, I feel very confident that the Flames will get their second win of the season and more importantly get out of the west basement.

 

 

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