Game Preview #2 - St. Louis Blues vs Calgary Flames

Game Preview #2 - Blues vs Flames

TV: SNET-W (HD), FS-MW (HD) (12:00 pm - MST)

Both the Blues and Flames had weak opening night performances. This game will be far more telling than the last one against the Penguins. A win against the Penguins would have been nice but if you live in the realm of "lets keep it real" it would have been a bonus.

The game this afternoon is a true test. The Blues are exactly the level of team the Flames will be battling it out against for the final playoff spots. The Flames dominated the Blues last year, winning all 4 meetings but don't get too heady on that fact. The Blues this season are a improved team and a team on the rise.

Iginla and Kipper turned in their usual slow season starts against the Penguins. Butler and Babchuk, as anticipated, looked uncomfortable in the top 4 D role BUT the good news; Giordano is a friggin beast. The man is roaring out of the gate. The Joker is also ready to play and so is Glencross, Bourque and Stempniak.

Despite the Flames stars sleeping early in the season, the secondary sources look ready to be the forces to burn the Blues and several of them look more than ready to play right away this year. 

Anticipated Game Style

The Flames surprised me against the Penguins in that they were willing to play wide-open with lots of rushes and a pinching D. Expect more of the same against the Blues but with better success. Playing that wide-open game against the Penguins is suicidal but against the Blues it may just work. 

Watch for the Flames secondary offense to step up in this game. Be it the 2nd or 3rd lines.

One on One

Kiprusoff vs Halak

This is not the typical goaltending battle. It is more a case of being a game where the cliche holds that "a goaltender can not win a game for you, but they can lose one". Halak did not have a good game against the Preds and despite Kipper's high shot count I felt he let in weak goals against the Penguins as well.  

The Magic 8-Ball 

The Magic 8-ball is calling the Flames for the win this afternoon.

I am counting on Halak still being shaky. He looked weak throughout the pre-season and he definitely looked weak against the Predators. I am also seeing this young Blues team being intimidated still by a Flames squad that swept them last season. Even if Kipper falters I am expecting a Flames team that will be able to outscore the Blues for the Win this afternoon. 

Anticipated Rosters (subject to change by game time)

St. Louis Blues

Forwards

Andy McDonald

David Backes

Jamie Langenbrunner

T.J. Oshie

Patrik Berglund

Chris Stewart

Alex Steen

Jason Arnott

Matt D'Agostini

Vladimir Sobotka

Scott Nichol

Ryan Reaves

Defence

Carlo Colaiacovo

Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman

Roman Polak

Kevin Shattenkirk

Nikita Nikitin

Starting Goaltender

Jaroslav Halak

Brian Elliott

 

Calgary Flames

Forwards

Alex Tanguay

David Moss

Jarome Iginla

Curtis Glencross

Olli Jokinen

Lee Stempniak

Niklas Hagman

Roman Horak

Rene Bourque

Tom Kostopoulos

Matt Stajan

Tim Jackman

Defence

Mark Giordano

Scott Hannan

Chris Butler

Jay Bouwmeester

Derek Smith

Cory Sarich


Starting Goaltender

Miikka Kiprusoff

Henrik Karlsson

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