Flames At Blues Game Preview: Calgary Flame-Outs

Dilip Vishwanat

After an impressive start to the season, the Calgary Flames are still looking for an identity. Will their young new goaltender be able to give it to them?

Reto Berra has a couple of connections to St. Louis. First, his nickname's Yogi, though I doubt the Finnish goalie's been anywhere near The Hill. Second, he was the prospect sent to Calgary last season in the deal for Jay Bouwmeester. The former 2006 4th rounder impressed in his overtime victory against the Chicago Blackhawks, then didn't have a good outing at all against the Minnesota Wild.

What Berra are we getting tonight? I think a better questions would be what Flames team are we getting tonight? They're coached by former Stanley Cup winner Bob Hartley, so it's not like the brains of the operation doesn't know what he's doing. The team has a point to prove, since everyone universally chose them at the start of the season to be cellar dwellars - and that pissed them off. They've cooled considerably after their hot start, but they're still only one game under .500. The Pacific Division as a whole is outrageously difficult, so being second to last there isn't embarrassing.

Either the Flames are going to be tough or they'll be disorganized. The Blues will have to play a tad more sharply than they did in their 3-2 shootout win over the Canadiens Tuesday night. Turnovers, shoving opposing players into Jaroslav Halak's head, lack of defensive awareness... many things made that game a good bit harder for the Blues than it should have been.

Alexander Steen is still leading the league with 13 goals, and nine of them have come in his last eight games. Eight games ties a career best point streak - let's see if he can make it nine. Why not?

Brian Elliott will be between the pipes for the Blues. He's allowed a whopping one goal in his last two games against the Flames.

The last four times the Blues've had five game homestands, they've won at least four of those five. A win tonight'd be a nice way to get off to a decent start on this one. It'd be helpful if Ryan Reaves snagged a point. The Blues are 11-4-0 when he's on the scoresheet, and the last time they played Calgary he got not just one but two goals.

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