Seriously, there's only so much one can do with Ducks as material.
The Flames won big last night in Phoenix-and while the score might not have signified that, the impact on the standings and the season was huge. It helped that the Flames actually showed up to this one, as opposed to just "mehing" around the ice for 55 minutes and giving telling Miikka Kiprusoff it was his problem.
Not much has changed for the Ducks since the Flames last saw them about a month ago on the 6th of Febuary. Their top end is still putting up insane underlying numbers and the bottom end still sucks scummy juice. The trade deadline was just as uneventful for the Ducks as it was for the Flames, with two AHL-level trades being the highlight of the day for GM Bob Murray. You may remember Murray saying in January that he would consider moving every player on the roster save Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne-well, times have changed. The Ducks have the most points in the league since Murray said that and now they're back in the race; but in all likelihood a loss in this game sinks the season.
Leland Irving should get the start tonight. There was a lot of bitching when Irving was sent down to Abbotsford upon the expiration of Henrik Karlsson's conditioning stint. Personally, I was fine with it-you can't reasonably let a guy stagnate too long on the bench when he could be getting games at the AHL level. So, Irving went down, got his games, and has now come back up. While that does burn one of the few post-deadline roster moves the Flames are allowed, there are now no limits to roster size so as long as the Flames have the cap space available they can carry as many as they want on the big club. Survivors of the 08-09 collapse know these limits well; luckily for the Flames this time around they've saved a ton of LTIR cap cushion and they'll have plenty of bodies kicking around for the playoff "push" with Lee Stempniak, Chris Butler, Blair Jones and Mikael Backlund still all expected back prior to the end of the season. Unless another apocalypse occurs within the walls of the Saddledome, the Flames should be fine.
Players To Watch
Alex Tanguay-Quite the game for the whole top line last night. Expect Boudreau to get Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan out there against them as often as possible.
Cam Fowler-The super soph is having a great year.
The Flames can move into a playoff spot with some help and a win tonight.