I'll always call them the Mighty Ducks.
The Flames play the Ducks for the first time this season, and unfortunately for the Flames, the Ducks aren't as awful lately as they were the first 30 games of the season. Although to be fair, the team still stinks.
The Ducks likely had no business being in the playoffs last year, but Jonas Hiller's pre-injury brilliance (about a ~.945 EVSV) propelled them there, along with scoring from the top line. The Ducks are absurdly limited when it comes to talent-their depth is non-existent. The first two lines, though, are adept at moving the puck forward. Despite a "disappointing" season from Corey Perry and the MSM's piling on of Ryan Getzlaf, the top line is still one of the best in hockey. The geezers manning the second line, Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne, still possess the puck extremely well and play solid defensive minutes.
But from there, the depth drops off a cliff. It's gotten so bad that JS Jacques and George Parros both have regular spots in the line-up. The defensive corps has improved a little from last year, but still has a hard time moving the puck forward. The goaltending has taken a step back.
Bruce Boudreau's come into a less then favourable situation, but for right now looks to be doing an OK job. The Capitals were fools to get rid of him.
For the Flames, Mark Giordano looks to make his return tonight, but he's still a game-time decision. Nothing else changes, but Jarome Iginla was named as Calgary's sole All-Star representative earlier today.
Players to Watch
TJ Brodie-Kid's lighting it up out there.
Ryan Getzlaf-Still one of the best players in the game.
There are no "easy" wins, but even with an injury-depleted lineup like the Flames have, this game is ripe for the taking.