Road Music: 03/24 at Calgary Flames

If only we could re-direct the Jackman haters towards Calgary ... - Derek Leung

RM: Will the Blues wilt in the heat?

The Flames have been in the "will they or won't they rebuild" limbo for quite some time, never really fully committing to a rebuild. As such, they've been "going for it" ever since, making trades and near-disastrous offer sheets to create the guise of contending for a playoff spot. This situation has created a lot of angst for the fans, as evidenced in this really excellent piece at Matchsticks and Gasoline. There is an eerie familiarity to that.

This is a game that the Blues should win - "Should" being the operative word. This is also a classic trap game scenario; coming off of a solid win, building up confidence, and riding momentum into a match-up with a lesser opponent. This is where the Blues need to remember their recent history. On February 27, 2011, not so long ago, the Blues were shutout for the first time in 111 games by Miikka Kiprusoff. The two teams played again on March 1, and Kipper stoned them again. That season, the Flames swept all 4 games against the Blues.

The Blues cannot afford to fall into that trap again

Ring Of Fire / Social Distortion

The Enemy: The Flames aren't a great team, by no means, but one that can certainly take the game away if you let them. They are on a 3-game losing streak, the last one a 5-1 loss to the Blue Jackets. At the same time, they've recently beat Detroit 5-2 and Nashville 6-3, so they still have some bite. They are led in goal scoring by Curtis Glencross (13-8-21), and there are 3 others who have more overall points than him: leader Alex Tanguay (9-14-23), Lee Stempniak (7-16-23), and Mike Cammalleri (9-13-22). And of course, there is always Jarome Iginla (8-13-21). Of that top 5 in scoring, only Stempniak has a positive +/-.

Their goaltending is led, as always, by Miikka Kiprusoff . He has a 5-7-2 record and a stat line of 3.54 GAA and .866 Save %. The backup is Joey MacDonald, who has only made 8 starts this year. His record is 3-5-1 with a 2.98 GAA and .894 save %.

Interestingly, despite these numbers, the Flames have maintained a winning record at home: 8-5-2 while at the Saddledome.

BREAKING: according to reports, Jarome Iginla has OK'd waiving his no-trade clause to 4 contenders: Boston, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Expect to hear more about this as the trade deadline gets nearer.

Further Reading:

Matchsticks and Gasoline

Flames Nation

Final Verse: Tonight's game starts at a much more hometown-friendly 7:00PM St Louis time. The TV broadcast is on Fox Sports MW, and the radio call is on KMOX 1120 AM. The GDT should drop shortly ahead of the puck. Until then, this is your pregame warmup. Gather here, talk about the crazy weather, trade driving-in-snow stories, recite Iginila's full name (bonus points if you can do it without looking it up), and amuse yourself with this gem from Calgary's past...

Calgary Flames - Red Hot (via SupaDawgX)

LGB!

-CrossCheckRaise

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