Game 61 Preview: Coyotes vs. Flames; Hope



I know the team itself will take a forget-about-it-and-move-on approach to the game against Edmonton on Tuesday night - and, that's probably the right approach for them - but, for us as fans, well we like to dwell on that because we get to hear about it from our pinhead buddies who actually cheer for that train-wreck of a franchise.

Personally, I don't mind the reminder that this is a borderline lottery team pinning its hopes on the back of a hot netminder; we need a dose of reality every now and then.

But, another key word in the previous statement is 'hope'. Hope remains, despite all of the reasons for it not to.

The Flames are only a single point out of 8th spot behind the LA Kings. With a win tonight, they leapfrog the stagnate Kings back into the coveted final playoff spot. Unfortunately, the play the Phoenix Coyotes who have been playing some incredibly solid hockey of late and just bolstered their lineup yesterday with the acquisition of Antoine Vermette. Say what you want about the trade, the cap hit etc etc, he's an upgrade on their lineup and that's the bottom line for right now. The Coyoots are 8-1-1 in their last 10 and are probably the hottest team in the Western Conference.

Just two weeks ago, these two team played in Glendale and the Flames were lucky to scrape their way out of that one with a point. Coming off of their worst performance of the season and maybe of the past several years, my 'hope' is not focused on the playoff run but rather a simple bounce-back game.

Stay tuned for more information on updated lines for tonight, but this is the hope for now. (UPDATED: sounds like a game-time decision on both Smith and Glencross. Not a big surprise there).

Glencross-Jokinen-Iginla

Tanguay-Cammalleri-Comeau

Kolanos-Horak-Jackman

Kostopolous-Stajan-Bouma

Bouwmeester-Smith

Giordano-Hannan

Brodie-Sarich

Kiprusoff

-Brent Sutter has been keen on Blake Comeau lately, not exactly sure why.

-Does Kolanos move in slow-motion, or is that just me?

-Smith and Glencross suddenly returning wreaks of panic, let's hope they're ready to return and not just take up space on the ice, which we've seen before with players returning from injury (Tanguay, Morrison).

-Teams seem to be catching on more and more about how to beat the Flames. Pressure them in their own zone forcing turnovers. We've seen Dallas and Edmonton execute this to near perfection of late as maybe the word is getting out.

-The Flames can win this game behind a great performance from Miikka Kiprusoff, but looking down the Coyotes lineup, there's a surprising amount of depth now with the addition of Vermette and if they can roll their lines on the road in Calgary, the Flames are going to have a tough time beating this team.

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