Game Preview: Flames vs St. Louis Blues

CALGARY FLAMES (11-14-4 26 points) vs. ST. LOUIS BLUES (17-11-2 36 points) GAME 30

 

PREVIEW:

The Flames return home from their three-game road trip, which saw their winless streak away from the Dome reach nine games (0-8-1). The Flames welcome the St. Louis Blues to town, and will look to continue their success at home, trying to extend their winning streak to seven games. The St. Louis Blues will finish off back-to-back games after defeating the Oilers 3-0 last night in Edmonton.

Things hit a new low for the Flames on Friday night, finishing their road trip with a 5-1 loss to the surging Columbus Blue Jackets. With the loss, the Flames sit at a season low, three games under .500 and 7 points out of the last playoff spot in the West.

With the trade deadline a little over a week away, the Flames have some difficult decisions to make some that could change the face of the franchise.

Rumors continue to heat up surrounding captain Jarome Iginla and this could be the last week Iginla puts on the red, yellow, and black jersey.

The Blues have had an up and down season but thanks to rookie goalie, Jake Allen (8-2-0, 2.26 GAA, .915 SV%), the Blues have started to get on track, sitting 5th in the West.

Allen might also have the save of the year, which the Flames and Flames fans will remember, on TJ Brodie, the last time the two teams met on February 15th in a 5-2 Blues victory.

Allen will once again get the start in the second of three meetings between the clubs, while Miikka Kiprusoff will get the start for the Flames.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                        Blues:

1- TANGUAY-CAMMALLERI -COMEAU                      1- STEWART-BACKES-STEEN

2- HUDLER-BACKLUND-IGINLA                                 2- McDONALD-BERGLUND-OSHIE

3- GLENCROSS-STAJAN-STEMPNIAK                      3- PERRON-SOBOTKA-TARASENKO

4- JACKMAN-BEGIN-McGRATTAN                             4- SCHWARTZ-NICHOL-PORTER

 

1- BOUWMEESTER-BRODIE                                     1- PIETRANGELO-JACKMAN

2- WIDEMAN-GIORDANO                                           2- RUSSELL-POLAK

3- SARICH-BUTLER                                                    3- REDDEN-SHATTENKIRK

 

1- KIRPUSOFF                                                            1- ALLEN

2- MacDONALD                                                           2- HALAK

 

EXTRA- SMITH, CERVENKA, BABCHUK                 EXTRA- REAVES, COLE, ELLIOT

 

INJURIES:

Flames: C- Paul Byron (Broken Hand- IR)

Blues: RW- Jamie Langenbrunner (Hip Surgery- IR)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

A. Tanguay

29

9

14

23

-12

L. Stempniak

29

7

16

23

8

M. Cammalleri

26

9

13

22

-12

C. Glencross

27

13

8

21

-2

J. Iginla

29

8

13

21

-7

 

Blues

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

C. Stewart

30

15

14

29

4

D. Perron

30

9

12

21

-1

A. Steen

22

6

15

21

4

P. Berglund

30

14

5

19

E

D. Backes

30

3

16

19

E

 

PP-

Flames: 21.6% (8th)

Blues: 23.5% (4th)

PK-

Flames: 78.0% (23rd)

Blues: 81.9% (13th)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

1. CHICAGO

30

24

3

3

51

2. ANAHEIM

30

22

4

4

48

3. MINNESOTA

30

18

10

2

38

4. VANCOUVER

31

16

9

6

38

5. ST. LOUIS

30

17

11

2

36

6. LOS ANGELES

31

17

12

2

36

7. DETROIT

31

15

11

5

35

8. DALLAS

31

15

13

3

33

 

9. SAN JOSE

30

13

11

6

32

10. NASHVILLE

32

13

13

6

32

11. COLUMBUS

32

13

13

6

32

12. PHOENIX

31

13

14

4

30

13. EDMONTON

30

11

12

7

29

14. CALGARY

29

11

14

4

26

15. COLORADO

30

11

15

4

26

 

MY TAKE:

Reports suggest that Iginla has given the Flames a list of four teams that he would be willing to be moved to. The list includes Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and the Boston Bruins.

Whether Iginla will actually be traded is tough to determine.

He clearly wants to win and as the losses pile up here in Calgary, it obviously is not going to be in a Flames uniform.

I have felt the writing has been on the wall for Iginla to be traded since last season but with the lack of proper management in the Flames front office, they have continued to turn a blind eye to the direction this team is really heading.

The Flames have not been in the playoffs for three consecutive seasons and for the Flames brass to have let it get to this point is inexcusable.

No one on this team should be untradeable. Players like Curtis Glencross, Sven Baertschi and TJ Brodie would have to take an unbelievable return to be moved but other than that, I do not see any other player on the Flames roster that should not be traded for the right price.

It is a huge week for the Flames franchise, bigger than this game or any game before the trade deadline.

Let’s hope Flames management makes the right decision for once.

 

 

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