Those fans of the Flames who were worried about them blowing their chance at drafting in the top three by beating the Colorado Avalanche tonight should be looking forward to tonight's game. The Flames have lost 5-2 to the Vancouver Canucks last Saturday in a game where they actually out-played the bad guys for the most part, and now they meet again at the Saddledome when a quarter of the Flames' roster is composed of AHL call-ups and Blair Jones.
The kids had themselves a fine game in Colorado to be sure, Sven Baertschi had multiple scoring chances and was effective all over the ice while Roman Horak had two assists and Max Reinhart was useful on special teams and at even strength. But the competition has to be taken into consideration, and I suspect Hartley might manage their minutes a little more carefully tonight against the Canucks, although with Jiri Hudler and Matt Stajan out of the lineup he doesn't have much choice in the matter of their circumstances.
Vancouver's team looks different from the last time we saw them as well. Ryan Kesler has finally returned to the lineup after missing almost two months with a foot injury, while former Flame Christ Higgins is out with a knee injury and defenceman Chris Tanev sitting out with an ankle issue.
The Flames' record at home has been tarnished recently with losses to the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Edmonton Oilers, but if their goaltending can hold up they might be able to keep this one out of blowout territory.
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