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Game Preview: Flames vs Anaheim Ducks

Each and every game continues to get more and more important for the Flames as they head into Anaheim to face the Ducks tonight. This is the second of four meetings between the clubs, with the Flames winning the first game 1-0 in overtime. It’s easy to say tonight is a must win for the club but tonight is a MUST WIN. The Ducks have been playing much better hockey of late but any team that is lower in the standings, the Flames have to beat in order to give them any sort of chance erasing the 4 point gap between them and 8th place. Saying that tonight’s task won’t be easy as the Flames haven’t won in Anaheim in nearly 8 years. They have lost 13 straight games at the Honda Center with their last victory coming on January 19, 2004.

One, Two, Three, Triple Deke - Ducks 4 Isles 2

The Ducks top line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Bobby Ryan had a coming out party Friday Night.

Unfortunately, it was at the New York Islanders expense.

Bobby Ryan had two goals and Ryan Getzlaf scored the go-ahead goal, his first in over a month, as the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Islanders 4-2.

Ryan started the scoring at 14:18 of the second period only seconds after their first power play of the game ended. Matt Martin answered back under two minutes later tapping home a rebound to tie the game at one. It was his fifth goal of the season, tying his career high.

DiPietro; Salt In An Open Wound

(Photo Credit: xjowell/Flickr)

It was reported yesterday that Rick DiPietro was being sent home for medical evaluations before the road trip even began as he had sustained yet another injury to add to the many setbacks of his career. Mike Mottau was also returned to Long Island with an upper-body injury. However, the story surrounding DiPietro is that this guy hadn't been playing; he was already on the Injured Reserve.

You have to wonder how a guy like Rick finds a way to injure himself while he is already...well...injured. He wasn't playing in games, although he had been skating on the ice. And according to Art Staple of Newsday, DiPietro wasn't even close to dressing as a back-up for any of the games on this road trip that saw them play Carolina last night, Anaheim on Friday and Phoenix on Saturday.

Hawks Host Grounded Ducks

The Chicago Blackhawks get set to square off for the third time this season against their distant neighbors from the west coast when they host the Anaheim Ducks tonight at the United Center.

The last meeting between the Blackhawks and the Ducks saw Hawks' captain Jonathan Toews carry his team to a rallying 6-5 win with his 5 point effort. Anaheim will look to avoid the same fate tonight and stay on the winning path after a 4-1 victory over Phoenix.

Overall, however, the coaching change in Anaheim has yielded inconsequential results.

The Anaheim Ducks possess a lowly 9-16-5 overall record, good for 2nd to last in the Western Conference. Ryan Getzlaf hasn'...

Drawing The Line: Isles Will Move To "Conference D" Next Season

(Photo Credit: cornholeo2552/Flickr)

It wasn't news to anyone that the NHL would be setting up a new realignment plan for the 2012-2013 season. Plenty of speculation went into this idea as to how it would effect the current Eastern and Western Conferences. The Winnipeg Jets, although presently in the East, seemed to be a team that would make much more sense in the West. Rumors began to run that the Detroit Red Wings would move to the Eastern Conference, or even quite possibly the Nashville Predators.

The bigger question, and one that still looms over the hearts of many fans out in the desert, is whether or not the Phoenix Coyotes will still be in any Conference next year. They are currently in what seems to be the final year of their lease agreement after almost being relocated this past summer. There's still a good possibility that they might be relocated in the near future as well, but all of that remains in limbo as the 2012 season moves forward.

However, the NHL and it's Board of Governors could not wait to see what happens in Phoenix and passed a very dramatic change to the current alignment. The Eastern and Western Conferences will ultimately be removed next year; the standard two conferences that consist of 15 teams will become four conferences with either seven or eight teams in each one.

The Ghosts of Bryzgalov's Past

Ilya Bryzgalov is not in the best place right now. Matt Brigidi examines the situation in his preview of tonight's Flyers-Coyotes game.

Vets Fuel Comeback Win

In their first game on a short west coast swing, the Philadelphia Flyers looked awful. They turned the puck over. They blew defensive coverage in front of their net. Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov looked like he was 'lost in the woods' yet again.

Somehow, some way, the Flyers came back and defeated the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 in overtime.

In The Rear View: The Sharks' First Month in Review

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It was almost exactly a month ago when the Sharks kicked off their 2011-12 season with an opening night win against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Shark Tank. San Jose dominated that game by a score of 6-3, which doesn't really do it justice, considering just how much better the Sharks actually were. This was the first time fans and coaches alike had a chance to see just what this new, and hopefully improved, Sharks team would look like, and it looked good.

 

But then there were the dark times. A three game stretch where the Sharks played Anaheim, St. Louis, and Anahe...

The Year so Far

The Vancouver Canucks have only played 11 games this year so far and fans are already giving the team a bunch of flack. Are the 'Nucks still the "team to beat" this year? How much longer will fans put up with the mediocre hockey they have been seeing? Is Roberto Luongo on his way out of Van City this year? Will Vancouver be a legit playoff contender? Brian Raiger breaks down these questions with his own twist on things.

With 11 games in the book, the boys in blue and green have only managed to rack up 11 points. As of now, the Canucks sit in 4th place in the Northwest Division, 10th in the Western Conference, and 19th in the whole NHL.

We all know they are bette...

It's Time To Step It Up

The Sharks are too talented of a team to play the way they did in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. After laying a huge egg against the Ducks, losing 1-0, the Sharks headed back home to play the Blues. Hoping for a better effort, the Sharks came out fairly flat, but did carry a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period. Unfortunately, they gave up 3 goals (one empty netter) in the final period (deja-vu?) and lost 4-2. It isn't like this team to play two games and not pull out at least one point, and this kind of play cannot continue. The western conference, and the Pacific Division even more so, is too competitive to only win one game out of three.  The worst part of these losses is that ...