Game Preview: Flames vs Los Angeles Kings

CALGARY FLAMES (5-6-3 13 points) vs. LOS ANGELES KINGS (6-6-2 14 points) GAME 15

 

PREVIEW:

The Flames kick off a three game homestand tonight as the defending Stanley Cup champions; Los Angeles Kings come to town for the first meeting between the clubs this season. The Flames have underperformed at the Dome thus far with a measly 2-4-2 record. The Kings will conclude their three game road trip after defeating the Oilers 3-1 last night in Edmonton.

The Flames have been their predictable inconsistent selves as they have struggled to get over the .500 mark, winning two games in a row only once (Feb. 5th and 7th in DET and CBJ). The Flames have yet to play a full sixty minutes and their 4-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday was their worst effort of the season.

Things have to start to change if the Flames have any hopes in making the playoffs. Joey MacDonald will get his second start as a Flame after Danny Taylor struggled at certain points in his first NHL career start against the Yotes.

Things in Hollywood have not been much better as the defending champs have struggled out of the gate and currently sit in 12th in the West.

Much like the Flames, the Kings have struggled with consistency.

Offense has once again been an issue for the Kings even with the likes of Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter up front. The Kings currently rank 26th in the league in goals for, averaging just 2.29 goals per game.

The Kings will look for their fourth consecutive victory over the Flames at the Dome as Jonathan Bernier will give Jonathan Quick a night off after starting last night in Edmonton.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                        Kings:

1- CAMMALLERI-TANGUAY-IGINLA                          1- CLIFFORD-KOPITAR-BROWN

2- HUDLER-HORAK-CERVENKA                               2- KING-RICHARDS-CARTER

3- GLENCROSS-STAJAN-STEMPNIAK                     3- PENNER-STOLL-WILLIAMS

4- COMEAU-BEGIN-JACKMAN                                  4- LEWIS-FRASER-NOLAN

 

1- BOUWMEESTER-GIORDANO                               1- DOUGHTY-ELLERBY

2- WIDEMAN-BRODIE                                                2- SCUDERI-VOYNOV

3- SMITH-BUTLER                                                      3- DREWISKE-MUZZIN

 

1- MacDONALD                                                          1- BERNIER

2- TAYLOR                                                                  2- QUICK

 

EXTRA- SARICH, BABCHUK                                     EXTRA- RICHARDSON, GAGNE, CAMPBELL

 

INJURIES:

Flames: G- Miikka Kiprusoff (Knee- IR), C- Mikael Backlund (Knee- IR), LW- Sven Baertschi (Hip Flexor- IR), C- Paul Byron (Broken Hand- IR)

Kings: D- Willie Mitchell (Knee-IR), D- Matt Greene (Back Surgery- IR), D- Alec Martinez (Upper Body- IR)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

A. Tanguay

14

4

8

12

-6

M. Cammalleri

11

4

7

11

-2

L. Stempniak

14

5

5

10

3

D. Wideman

14

3

7

10

-2

C. Glencross

14

6

3

9

-3

 

Kings

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

A. Kopitar

13

4

5

9

-1

M. Richards

14

4

5

9

-6

J. Carter

14

7

1

8

-1

K. Clifford

14

2

5

7

1

D. Doughty

14

0

7

7

-9

 

PP-

Flames: 26.0% (3rd)

Kings: 14.5% (24th)

PK-

Flames: 72.9% (28th)

Kings: 80.6% (19th)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

1. CHICAGO

16

13

0

3

29

2. ANAHEIM

15

12

2

1

25

3. VANCOUVER

15

8

3

4

20

4. NASHVILLE

17

8

4

5

21

5. SAN JOSE

15

8

4

3

19

6. ST. LOUIS

16

9

6

1

19

7. PHOENIX

16

8

6

2

18

8. DALLAS

16

8

7

1

17

 

9. DETROIT

16

7

6

3

17

10. MINNESOTA

15

7

6

2

16

11. EDMONTON

15

6

6

3

15

12. LOS ANGELES

14

6

6

2

14

13. COLORADO

14

6

7

1

13

14. CALGARY

14

5

6

3

13

15. COLUMBUS

16

4

10

2

10

 

MY TAKE:

The way the Flames played in Phoenix on Monday did not surprise me. It has been the same story for the past three seasons and other than moments where it seems like this team is going to turn the page, things go right back to how they were.

The loss of Miikka Kiprusoff is getting worse and worse as each game he misses go by. Leland Irving was not getting the job done in the eyes of the Flames brass but to say Joey MacDonald or Danny Taylor are any better, is a stretch.

Jarome Iginla, Mike Cammalleri and Alex Tanguay have stepped up to carry the load at times but nothing more than that.

It was a boring game to watch Monday night from both teams’ perspectives but to watch the inconsistent type of hockey that the Flames play is getting extremely old.

I expect a much better effort from the Flames tonight against a tired Kings team and would not be surprised if they get the W to once again give everyone a glimmer, it that, of hope.

Moral of the story, I need to start using a thesaurus because the word consistency is getting over used in these game previews.

 

 

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