Well the Flames made it out of San Jose better than expected, as Miikka Kiprusoff made 39 saves in a 2-1 loss for the Flames at HP Pavillion, and now they make their way to Vancouver for the first of a home-and-home series against the Canucks.
Mark Giordano rejoins the team for tonight's game after celebrating the birth of his son, and should provide some relief to young TJ Brodie who played nearly 27 minutes on the Flames' first pairing last night. The 22-year-old continues to impress as he gets exposed to more minutes and tougher competition, which is good news for the Flames in the wake of Jay Bouwmeester's departure and with limited options for younger defencemen on the free agent market this summer.
The team has also called up former third round pick Max Reinhart from the Abbotsford Heat, as Curtis Glencross is listed as a game-time decision after reportedly sustaining a leg injury in last night's contest. Reinhart has seven goals and 21 points in 66 games with the Abbotsford Heat this season. The Heat have struggled mightily after a strong start to the year, and at 11th place in the Western conference, they've played more games than anyone else above them in the standings, so it seems unlikely they'll make the post-season this year.
This is good for the Flames however, with just 12 games remaining in their season, it'll give them a chance to evaluate some of the kids like Reinhart in their system prior to what will presumably be a busy off-season for the organization.
The Canucks have pulled ahead of the Minnesota Wild for the Northwest division lead for the time being, and will look to put more distance between themselves and their rivals tonight. After adding Derek Roy at the trade deadline, Vancouver has even more offensive weapons in their arsenal, which will be tough for the Flames' depleted defence to contend with and hard for their forward unit to compete against, especially if Glencross does indeed sit out. It seems that Mason Raymond could be back in action tonight as well, and Canucks fans are counting down the days until the injured Ryan Kesler finally returns to the lineup.
Anyway, the Flames are 12 points out of the Western conference playoff race, and no sane person expects them to win this one, especially since it looks like Kipper gets the nod again on the second night of back-to-backs after standing on his head in the third period against the Sharks, so you know, playing for pride and all that...yadda yadda yadda.
Canucks lines that I made up because I don't know: