Game Preview: Flames vs Colorado Avalanche

CALGARY FLAMES (7-7-4 18 points) vs. COLORADO AVALANCHE (7-8-3 17 points) GAME 19

 

PREVIEW:

The Flames head into Colorado tonight to face an Avalanche team that has seen five of their seven wins come on home ice at the Pepsi Center (5-2-1). This will be the second meeting between the clubs this season, with the Aves beating the Flames 6-3 on January 31st at the Dome. It was the Aves third straight victory over the Flames as they will look to make it four tonight.

Just a single point separates the two clubs as the Flames sit 12th in the West with 18 points, while the Aves sit 14th with 17 points. Both clubs will try to rebound after disappointing extra-time loses on Tuesday night.

The Flames were lucky to get a single point on Tuesday against the Wild, losing 2-1 in overtime. The Wild were not great either but the Flames wasted numerous opportunities to take control of the game, including a five minute power-play and a four minute power-play where they managed a whopping 2 shots combined.

Joey MacDonald played his best game in a Flames uniform and if it was not for a couple great saves towards the end, the Flames would not have even came out with a point.

The Avalanche will look to regroup after a 0-1-2 road trip and will look to take advantage of their home ice tonight; as they will head right back on the road for another three game trip following tonight’s matchup against the Flames.

Matt Duchene will be a game-time decision for the Aves after missing Tuesday night’s game against the Sharks. Roman Cervenka will come out of the Flames line-up, as it looks like Akim Aliu is set to return after missing one game due to a sprained knee.

MacDonald will make his fifth straight start for the Flames, while Semyon Varlamov will get the start for the Avalanche.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                        Avalanche:

1- TANGUAY-STAJAN-IGINLA                                    1- McGINN-DUCHENE-PARENTEAU

2- GLENCROSS-CAMMALLERI-STEMPNIAK            2- LANDESKOG-STASTNY-HEDJUK

3- BAERTSCHI-COMEAU-HUDLER                           3- McLEOD-MITCHELL-JONES

4- ALIU-BEGIN-JACKMAN                                          4- BORDELEAU-KOBASEW-OLVER

 

1- BOUWMEESTER-GIORDANO                                1- HEJDA-BARRIE

2- WIDEMAN-BRODIE                                                 2- HUNWICK-O'BYRNE

3- SMITH-BUTLER                                                      3- ZANON-O’BRIEN

 

1- MacDONALD                                                            1- VARLAMOV

2- TAYLOR                                                                   2- GIGUERE

 

EXTRA- SARICH, BABCHUK, CERVENKA                 EXTRA- PALUSHAJ, ELLIOTT

 

INJURIES:

Flames: G- Miikka Kiprusoff (Knee- IR), C- Mikael Backlund (Knee- IR), C- Paul Byron (Broken Hand- IR)

Avalanche: RW- Steve Downie (Knee- IR), D- Ryan Wilson (Leg- IR), D- Erik Johnson (Head- IR)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

A. Tanguay

18

6

10

16

-6

M. Cammalleri

15

5

8

13

-3

J. Iginla

18

3

10

13

-3

L. Stempniak

18

5

7

12

5

C. Glencross

18

7

4

11

-3

 

Avalanche

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

M. Duchene

17

6

11

17

2

P-A. Parenteau

18

8

7

15

2

J. McGinn

18

3

8

11

-5

J. Mitchell

17

6

4

10

9

P. Stastny

18

4

6

10

-8

 

PP-

Flames: 21.2% (9th)

Avalanche: 14.0% (25th)

PK-

Flames: 76.2% (26th)

Avalanche: 78.2% (22nd)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

1. CHICAGO

19

16

0

3

35

2. ANAHEIM

18

14

3

1

29

3. VANCOUVER

19

10

5

4

24

4. NASHVILLE

21

9

7

5

23

5. LOS ANGELES

18

10

6

2

22

6. ST. LOUIS

18

10

6

2

22

7. DALLAS

20

10

8

2

22

8. SAN JOSE

18

9

6

3

21

 

9. PHOENIX

19

9

7

3

21

10. DETROIT

20

9

8

3

21

11. MINNESOTA

18

9

7

2

20

12. CALGARY

18

7

7

4

18

13. EDMONTON

18

7

7

4

18

14. COLORADO

18

7

8

3

17

15. COLUMBUS

20

5

12

3

13

 

MY TAKE:

It was a typical frustrating, boring game between the Flames and Wild on Tuesday night as the Flames blew the chance of coming out of Minny with two points.

The Flames for whatever reason still have not found that killer instinct that is so important to being a successful team.

For them to have two power-plays combining for nine minutes and come out of it with two messily shots, is absolutely inexcusable. Their power-play has been so good for them this season but lately it is starting to look like it was just a hot streak and nothing more.

Dennis Wideman and Jiri Hudler have both cooled off after hot starts as Wideman is scoreless in five games and Hudler is scoreless in three.

Inconsistency was the book on both players when the Flames signed them and they are starting to prove people right.

Not to say they are not still valuable to the Flames, with Wideman still averaging over 25 minutes a game, but the Flames need them to produce offensively on a consistent basis if they have any chance of making the playoffs.

It is a huge game tonight, much like the other 48, but if the Flames lose tonight in Denver, they will be right back where they were before their two-game winning streak and will fall even further in the standings.

 

 

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