Game Preview: Flames vs Los Angeles Kings

CALGARY FLAMES (9-10-4 22 points) vs. LOS ANGELES KINGS (13-8-2 28 points) GAME 24

 

PREVIEW:

The Flames head back to the Staples Center tonight to conclude their back-to-back and season series against the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings have had the Flames number this season, routing them 6-2 on Saturday night and 3-1 on February 20th in Calgary, and will go for season sweep tonight.

The Flames continue to float down a river going nowhere. After playing some of their best hockey of the season and getting back to the .500 mark, they once again showed their true colors, and after losing to the Ducks Friday and the Kings on Saturday, find themselves dead last in the Western Conference.

Curtis Glencross looks to be out once again with an upper body injury and Joey MacDonald will get the start.

The Kings have started to find their groove after a rough start. They are 8-2 in their last ten and have won 10 of their last 13 outings, outscoring their opposition 46-28.

Jonathan Quick,who started Saturday night, will once again get the start tonight.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                        Kings:

1- HUDLER-CERVENKA-IGINLA                                1- BROWN-KOPITAR-WILLIAMS

2- TANGUAY-BACKLUND-CAMMALLERI                   2- PENNER-RICHARDS-CARTER

3- COMEAU-STAJAN-STEMPNIAK                            3- KING-STOLL-LEWIS

4- JACKMAN-BEGIN-McGRATTAN                            4- CLIFFORD-FRASER-NOLAN

 

1- BOUWMEESTER-GIORDANO                               1- DOUGHTY-MUZZIN

2- WIDEMAN-BUTLER                                                2- VOYNOV-SCUDERI

3- SARICH-BRODIE                                                    3- MARTINEZ-ELLERBY

 

1- MacDONALD                                                           1- BERNIER

2- KIPRUSOFF                                                            2- QUICK

 

EXTRA- SMITH, BABCHUK                                        EXTRA- RICHARDSON, TOFFOLI, DREWISKE

 

INJURIES:

Flames: LW- Curtis Glencross (Upper Body- Day-to-Day), C- Paul Byron (Broken Hand- IR)

Kings: D- Willie Mitchell (Knee Surgery- IR), D- Matt Greene (Back Surgery- IR)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

J. Iginla

23

7

12

19

-3

A. Tanguay

23

7

11

18

-8

M. Cammalleri

20

9

8

17

-6

L. Stempniak

23

6

10

16

3

J. Hudler

20

4

12

16

-1

 

Kings

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

A. Kopitar

22

8

14

22

10

J. Carter

23

17

2

19

-1

M. Richards

23

6

11

17

-7

S. Voynov

23

4

12

16

11

J. Williams

23

3

12

15

12

 

PP-

Flames: 20.2% (9th)

Kings: 17.2% (15th)

PK-

Flames: 78.7% (24th)

Kings: 81.3% (15th)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

1. CHICAGO

26

21

2

3

45

2. ANAHEIM

24

18

3

3

39

3. MINNESOTA

24

13

9

2

28

4. DETROIT

26

12

9

5

29

5. LOS ANGELES

23

13

8

2

28

6. VANCOUVER

24

11

7

6

28

7. SAN JOSE

24

11

7

6

28

8. ST. LOUIS

25

13

10

2

28

 

9. PHOENIX

25

12

10

3

27

10. DALLAS

24

12

10

2

26

11. NASHVILLE

25

10

9

6

26

12. COLORADO

24

10

10

4

24

13. COLUMBUS

26

10

12

4

24

14. EDMONTON

25

9

11

5

23

15. CALGARY

23

9

10

4

22

 

MY TAKE:

“A huge stepping stone for the Flames was finally being able to get over the .500 mark. It was clearly dragging on them mentally and now that they have conquered it, I think it will help them be more relaxed while continuing their strong play.

Saying that, this Flames team has had good stretches in the past and thrown it away by losing two or three in a row, putting them back to where they were before their winning streak.”

That was part of ‘my take’ in my Friday’s game preview versus the Ducks and boy did the Flames ever prove the latter of that statement.

It has got to a point where writing for this team has become more than just a routine in the sense of writing game previews, etc. it has now become routine on what to write about and the arguments behind it.

Things have to change around the Flames organization and it cannot be any more obvious than it is now.

I understand the Flames reasoning behind sending Sven Baertschi down to Abbotsford, he needs ice time, but it is time to start thinking about the future and stop this beating of a dead horse. Nothing is going to change; the Flames are not a playoff team. The Flames have to get younger and the faster they move in that direction and get Baertschi back up, playing quality NHL minutes in their top six, the better the transition to the new Calgary Flames will be.

7 of the Flames’ 10 loses have been by three goals or more, and even with games in hand on teams ahead of them, it does not mean anything when you do not/cannot win or make up any ground.

I wrote that the writing on the wall was evident last season in my article ‘Where Do I Begin?’, and that is time for Jarome Iginla to move on and more importantly for the Flames to change the direction they are heading, which is nowhere.

Nothing about tonight’s game will change this, not even a W. For Jay Feaster and company to continue down the path they are on would be as stupid as their Ryan O’Reilly dodged bullet.

Is the Flames management smart enough to realize this?

I’m not sure, my trust in them has been diminished these last couple of seasons.

Once again, it is time for Jay Feaster’s famous ‘intellectual honesty’ to pop its ugly head out.

There is no doubt that management is in a tough situation, especially surrounding the Iginla situation, but Feaster has failed to use his ‘intellectual honesty’ and for me, that is a huge issue.

I think it is more than just players and coaches, drastic changes need to be made at every level, let’s just hope it happens sooner than later.

That’s what I’m cheering for.

 

 

Follow me on Twitter: @NickSymon