That is the story of tonight’s game as the Flames head into Columbus to face the Blue Jackets for the first of three meetings this season. Both teams are looking up at everyone in the West as they sit in 14th (Columbus) and 15th (Calgary) in the conference.
Things do not get any easier for the Flames as they welcome their toughest test of the season to the Dome, the Chicago Blackhawks. The two teams are on the opposite end of the spectrum in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks have yet to lose in regulation and are tied for 1st with 14 points, while the Flames have got off to a terrible start and sit in the West’s basement.
Heading into Vancouver to face the Canucks, the Flames and the Canucks share one main goal, get their first win of the season. Both teams have got off to sluggish starts as they are winless in their first two games. While the Flames have battled inconsistency, the Canucks have been surrounded by their never ending goalie conundrum between Corey Schneider and Roberto Luongo. One team will get on track tonight, while the other will be digging a deeper hole.
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.
Two struggling teams meet at the Dome tonight as the Flames and Montreal Canadiens finish off their season series in their second meeting. The Flames took the first game, in Montreal, 4-1 as Miikka Kiprusoff became the all-time franchise leader in goaltender wins, surpassing Mike Vernon. The Flames come into tonight’s match-up after another heart breaking loss to the Dallas Stars, 3-2 in a SO on Sunday afternoon. The Canadiens on the other hand only have pride to play for at this point as they will look to play spoilers the rest of the way, sitting in 15th place in the Eastern Conference.
Every game is important for the Flames at this point but tonight’s contest against the Stars is pretty much their season. This will be the second of four meetings between the clubs with the Stars taking the first meeting on Feb. 16th 3-2 in overtime. That meeting sent the two teams on two separate paths. Before that February meeting, the Flames held a 3 point lead over the Stars but with a 2-3-3 stretch, the Flames now find themselves 4 points back of the Stars for the 8th and final playoff spot. The Stars have been red hot since then going 6-1-2 and are current on a six game point streak (5-0-1). Make note this game is a 4 pm start.
The Flames and Blues head into the dome tonight for a game probably not many fans have had their mind on all day. Both the Flames and Blues decided to stay pat, as neither one made a single trade today. Regardless there is a game to be played and more importantly two points on the line. The Blues have been one of the surprises this season, not the fact that they are in the playoff race but more of the fact that the Blues are competing with the Red Wings for the Central Division crown as they sit just two points back. The Flames on the other hand are trying to just prove that they are a playoff team as they are currently on a 3 game skid and sit 3 points back of the 8th place Dallas Stars.
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.
The second half for the Flames kicks-off tonight and it doesn’t start easy as they host the Detroit Red Wings, who are 1st place in the Western Conference and lead the league with 67 points. Tonight’s match-up will be the 4th and final one between the teams as the Flames have won 2 of 3 thus far.