There are days where I just don't want to go into any great detail about what the Flames are doing, and this is one of them. With all the games the team has played in the last six weeks or so, and the style that they've been played in, I think I'm at the point where there is no new angle.
There just isn't much dispute about what's likely to end up separating the Flames from the sort of season we'd all like, and absent some sort of odd occurrence forcing Joker and Iggy to split, I just can't shake the feeling that their continued partnership's conclusion will be along these lines:
For the literalists out there, no, I don't think that the world's going to end. That Mayan calendar stuff's off my radar.
Moving on, I didn't mind the bottom six mix-and-match against the Kings, and reports from yesterday's practice suggest more of the same. Brandon Prust isn't my long term preference to work with Conroy and Glencross, and he likely won't play that many more games in that role, but he didn't hurt the team a bit. His nine minutes were more productive than any thing that McG would offer at this point.
Phaneuf and Regehr had a tough night by eye and the numbers, but I'm at the point with them that I was with Bouwmeester when he played behind 12/21 earlier in the year. That is, they can only be blamed for so much, and then you have to look elsewhere for answers.
Kipper was very good again. I don't know if everyone is at the point where we just automatically expect this sort of stuff night after night, but that point has to be getting pretty close for even the most skeptical, and I'm including myself in that group.
Nashville has scored a pile of goals in the last week. 18 in 3 games to be exact, 17 at EV. It's a nice streak that they're on, although facing Mason, Nittymaki and Deslauriers never hurts a team's chances to run up some numbers. That stipulated, the Preds have pulled themselves out of an early season hole to sit 5th in the conference, and they're even in terms of GF/GA, which is good work for a team that was -16 after 10 games. Nashville will never knock your socks off when you look at the roster, but they're a team that always seems to be able to get by. Good coaching and a generally sound organization will do that. David Poile does a pretty fair job given the restraints he operates under, sort of the anti-Slats, if you will.
Today, the Flame special teams, which are starting to show a bit of life, have to take advantage of a weak link in the Predators' overall game. Nashville has a poor PP that has been particularly off as of late, with 4 goals in the last 12 games. Their PK is 29th, running at 76.5%. The Flames handled the Preds with ease in Nashville, a game that was the signature effort to this point in Calgary's season. If a repeat performance is in the offing, it might well come via the odd-man situations.
Game time is 2 MT on Sportsnet West.