Heading into one of the better weeks in sports as the NHL regular season winds down and playoff spots are finalized, I thought I would give some thoughts on the season and things I look forward to heading into the playoffs.
One of the most distinctive voices in all of hockey belongs to CSN-Philly color analyst Bill Clement. His “Clementisms” such as “twine seeking missile” are favorite sayings among anyone who listens to him call a game.
Recently however, Clement is making headlines for another reason; he recently released a book titled “EveryDay Leadership” about his personal views on leadership and how it can help people be more successful.
The two fading teams in the West face-off tonight as the Flames host the Colorado Avalanche in their sixth and final meeting of the season. Once both in the heat of the battle for the 8th and final playoff spot, both teams have lost their games in recent stretches are now running out of chances to make up any ground. The Flames after another lackluster performance on Wednesday against the Kings have gone 1-3-3 in their last seven, while the Aves, who also only have 3 games remaining, have gone 0-3-1 in their last four games. This will be the sixth and final meeting between the clubs as Colorado has just one win against the Flames this year, coming in their last meeting, a 2-1 OT victory on Mar. 20th.
The Flames finally snapped their five game losing streak on Monday with a huge 5-4 victory over the Dallas Stars to once again give them a breath in their chase for the 8th and final playoff spot. Tonight, like their remaining five games, becomes the game of the year as the Los Angeles Kings come to town as just one point separates the two teams. This is the fourth and final meeting between the clubs with the Flames winning two of the first three match-ups. It’s a must win game for both clubs as with a win tonight, the Flames will find themselves tied for that elusive 8th position with the Phoenix Coyotes, while the Kings can jump ahead of the Yotes with a victory of their own.
Pride is about the only thing on the line for the Flames at this point as they wrap up their home-and-home against the Stars tonight at the Scotia bank Saddledome. This will be the fourth and final meeting between the squads with the Stars looking for a season sweep of the Flames after defeating them 4-1 on Saturday afternoon in Dallas. The loss all but squashed the Flames playoff hopes as they now sit three points back of the three-way tie for 8th spot between the Kings, Sharks and Avalanche.
Motivation to write this preview for today’s afternoon clash between the Flames and Dallas Stars is pretty low to say the least. The disappointment of Thursdays loss to the Minnesota Wild along with the Flames current four game losing skid, where the team has lost to the bottom three teams in the West, still lingers inside of me and many Flames fans. With 6 games remaining and still only two points out of a playoff spot, the Flames still have a chance. This afternoon’s matinee kicks-off a crucial home and home series between the Flames and Stars as both teams are fighting tooth and nail to make the playoffs. The Stars have won both match-ups against the Flames this season as both games were 3-2 and both needed extra time (OT on Feb. 16th, SO on Mar. 4th).