Calgary Flames vs. Colorado Avalanche: As the Season Winds Down

Game Preview #80

 

After a great milestone game for Jarome Iginla, who got his 1000th point, against the St. Louis Blues, it's back to business for the Flames, but in the casual Friday sense. 

 

Despite a lot of continual hoopla about the playoff race from the mainstream media, just about everyone is simply waiting for the playoffs to start at this point. The playoff race is still mathematically open for Dallas and Calgary, but both teams are in the realm of the "highly unlikely," unlike the East where it is still is a coin toss for the final spot.

 

The Avalanche have imploded in the last half of this season. Their Cinderalla season last year had a lot of people wondering if they were going to be in the mix again this year, but the clock struck midnight and they have now have joined the Edmonton Oilers in the basement.

 

I expect a Flames win tonight. The highest point total the Flames can get at this point is 95 to finish the season. I expect a new point record to be set for the final team to make the playoffs in the West this year--exceeding 96 points.

 

Time to relax and enjoy the game. I am hoping for a Henrik Karlsson start  but am not betting on it and I am really looking forward to watching more of Daymond Langkow in his return after a full year off. He looked excellent in his first game back against the Blues. 

More game preview after the jump...

The Stat Rack

Flames

Rank

 

Rank

Avalanche

18.6%

9th

PP%

11th  

18.6%

81.0%

19th

PK%

30th

76.3%

2.85

19th

GA

30th

3.53

2.92

7th

GF

14th  

2.74

48.0%

24th

FO%

20th  

50.3%

 

Number Crunch

By the numbers the Flames out-rank the Avalanche in everything but face-offs. The strongest ability of the Avs is their power-play which is almost top-ten in the NHL.  Otherwise, they are the worst penalty killers in the NHL and the worst defensive team, with the highest number of goals against in the league at the moment.

 

Alive in the Last Five

Flames

Jarome Iginla 6G 3A -1 in his last 4GP

Alex Tanguay 1G 4A  +2 in his last 2GP

Mark Giordano 1G 6A -3 in his last 4GP 

Avalanche

Ryan O`Reilly  3G 2A +3 in his last 5GP

Matt Duchene 1G 2A +3 in his last 3GP

Milan Hejduk 1G 4A +3 in his last 4GP

 

Anticipated Roster (subject to change by game time)

The Flames

The Avalanche

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tanguay

Backlund

Iginla

Winnik

Stastny

Jones

Glencross

Jokinen

Bourque

Porter

Duchene

Hejduk

Kostopoulos

Stajan

Jackman

Dupuis

O'Reilly

Stoa

Bouma

Langkow

Nemisz

McLeod

McClement

Yip

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regehr

Bouwmeester

 

O'Byrne

Liles

 

Giordano

Carson

 

Johnson

Hunwick

 

Staios

Sarich

 

Koci

Holos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kiprusoff

Karlsson

 

Budaj

Elliot

 

 

Anticipated Game Style

In the previous five games the Flames have won four, and have looked strong against the Avalanche. They match up well in the Flames' favour and I expect that to continue. The Avs are playing for a draft pick.

The game will likely be a higher scoring affair like previous ones. Past games have shown that offensive flair. The fact that both teams are essentially out will likely lead to a more wide-open type of game and that favors the Flames, who have been the highest scoring team since the All-Star Break. 

 

One on One

 

Daymond Langkow vs Erik Johnson

Langkow surprised me last game. I expected him to be re-introduced to the game slowly. The opening early roster had him listed as a fourth line centre, but he was promoted all the way to the first line quickly and received almost 15 minutes of ice time. He is obviously ready to go and looked great first game against the Blues. He hardly looked like a guy who had not played an NHL game in over a year.

Erik Johnson has been on my watch list ever since he started in the NHL. Hey, aren’t first overall picks on everyone’s watch list? This is his third NHL season, and as a young d-man he has a ways to go to reach first-pairing status, but he is not a draft bust although the patience for him in St. Louis obviously ran out.

 

The Magic 8-Ball

The Magic 8-ball is feeling warm and fuzzy about Langkow and Jarome, and foreseeing more points from the two of them in a one-sided victory as the Flames close out their final road game of the 2010-11 season. 

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