Flames @ Stars Gamethread

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Calgary Flames @ Dallas Stars

6:30pm, PPV locally

Enemy Perspective: Defending Big D

Im a little bashful to admit it, but I've just about had my fill of the regular season. Once upon a time it was all a Flames fan had to enjoy, so I would cling to each game until #82 with all the fervent attention of a virgin at a strip club.

But years of making - and losing in - the first round has me anxious to move on and, I guess, somewhat dismissive of the largely inconsequential last few days here.

Not that the Flames don't have something to play for still. Currently fifth in the conference thanks to a CHI win last night, the Flames are still within striking distance of 3rd overall and home ice advantage in at least one series. That's not nothing I suppose, but...the last month of mediocrity from this team has really ground down my will to care overly where they settle in the final standings (aside from sliding to, say, 8th). Every team looks like a potential threat to Calgary all of sudden, so no probable first round opponent seems more attractive than the other to me right now.

Dallas tonight, and the Stars are pretty much done for. They're injured and playing out the stretch in front of an aging goalie coming off the worst year of his career. Home, away, whatever...this is a club the Flames should beat. Of course, with the offense and PP apparently trapped in purgatory, it's tough to predict a win. I think the big guns will start hitting their targets eventually, but it's impossible to say when exactly. 

Notes:

- Keenan practiced with Bert-Jokinen-Iginla this morning. I could go into a long, protracted diatribe as to why I think the "Super Line" is a bad idea, replete with basic and underlying stats and qualitative observations...but, I'll spare the regular readers of this space my recursive rant. Let's just say: I don't see this trio doing well, especially not on the road.

- Cory Sarich is hobbled after blocking a shot with his ankle last game. Insert Pardy into the bottom pairing, naturally. Vandermeer was also hurt last game, but is apparently in the line-up tonight.

- I am currently in the finals in Mirtle's Blogger invitational pool. Im battling for the crown this week and my opponent has Turco as one of his goalies. You can probably guess what that portends for this evening (I apologize for the curse in advance). 

- With my decrying Keenan's forward trios, I might as well include my own ideals:

Cammalleri-Conroy-Iginla

Lundmark-Langkow-Bertuzzi

Glencross-Jokinen-Moss

Pluggers

This gives Jarome strong ES linemates, shelters Bert with Langkow and gives Jokinen the kind of linemates and competition that will help him excel. Moss and Glencross are great at driving the puck the right way and keeping possession in the offensive zone. We've all seen that Jokinen is fairly potent in the good end of the ice, as long as he gets the puck in the right positions. It also means he won't be playing against the big boys, which is something Jokinen has never once excelled at in his career.

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