We all know what happened the last time the Flames played the Chicago Blackhawks almost two months ago. Now, the living embodiment of the term "weary travelers," the Flames stumble into the United Centre looking to avoid their 10th straight road loss and a would-be franchise record.
The Flames have not visited Chicago since December 18, 2011, a game in which Ray Emery back-stopped the 'Hawks to a 4-2 victory.
Emery, who stole the game for his team in the only other meeting between the two teams this season, could very possibly start for the 'Hawks again tonight after Corey Crawford was in net for Chicago's 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Kings last night.
Chicago is looking to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season, and they're doing so without Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp. But the 'Hawks are still head and shoulders above the Flames, and most other teams in the NHL for that matter.
Let me throw some numbers at you:
In just one more game than the Flames, they have twice as many wins, three and half times fewer regulation losses, and 1.8 times as many points. They score an average of almost .5 more goals per game and allow 1.14 less. The only area the Flames have the Blackhawks beat? The powerplay. Calgary's powerplay has been operating at a 21.9% efficiency rate through 30 games this season, compared to 18.5% for the Blackhawks. So you know, they've got that going for them.
Lines and Pairings;
'Hawks (via Second City):
Go Flames Go.