In what has been a truly amazing year the Blackhawks ended their regular season at the United Center in the fashion that they began – winning. The game was really never in doubt from the moment the puck dropped on the Indianhead at center ice.
Like the past couple of games, again the Blackhawks had little to play for except that this group of extraordinary athletes has set a standard for themselves which they have not faltered from all season.
The Hawks jumped on top of the Flames early and often. The score could have been much higher save bounces not going the Hawks way. They completely dominated the Flames in the first period.
The Flames will face a familiar foe tonight when they head into St. Louis to face Jay Bouwmeester and the Blues. It will be the first time the Flames will face-off against Bouwmeester since the Flames traded him to the Blues on April 1st, in exchange for Mark Cundari, goaltender Reto Berra and now their 1st round pick in this June’s draft.
With the season winding to an end, the Flames head into Nashville tonight to face the Preds, looking for a season-high fourth straight win. The Predators on the other hand have struggled down the stretch, going 1-7-2 in their last ten, and currently sit in 14th place in the Western Conference, just two points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche.
The Flames look to extend their winning streak to a season high three games tonight when they host the Minnesota Wild to kick-off their last homestand of the season. The Wild come into Calgary struggling to hold onto a playoff spot, going 3-6-1 in their past ten games. The Wild currently sit 7th in the West with 47 points but are tied with the eight place Detroit Red Wings and sit just two points ahead of the ninth place Dallas Stars.
The Flames and Canucks renew their rivalry tonight in the last of five meetings between the clubs. So far the Canucks have had the Flames number winning three of the first four games, including a 5-2 victory at Rogers Arena on Saturday night.
The Battle of Alberta is re-ignited tonight with the Flames heading up north to meet their provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers. They are connected by the same highway but that is about the only thing these two have in common with each team heading in opposite directions in the standings. The Oilers currently sit in a tie for 10th, one point out of the playoffs, while the Flames sit 14th, just two points ahead of the 30th place Florida Panthers.