You may have noticed that there have been a few changes at M&G recently - and I'll address them directly. My name is Kevin, and full disclosure: I'm not a "natural" Flames fan. I've been blogging for the Florida Panthers for about two seasons on the SBNation Panthers site, Litter Box Cats. However, I want you all to know that I will cover the Flames with all the vim and vigor I reserved for the Panthers. And as a bonus - you know I don't have any problem writing for a team in perpetual rebuild.
I'd like to thank Hayley for her tireless help in turning over the blog management duties. It's an honor and a privilege to have her stay on in an associate blogger/advisory role. Your writing style is at a level to which I can only aspire at the moment. Arii has been on point for the last few weeks, and we're also lucky to retain the services of Scott. The incomparable Ruhee will also be on board, sharing management responsibilities. But enough about us - let's get to the game thread.
The Flames have lost four in a row, worse, they've only totaled one goal in the process. These things happen in cycles, so don't count on Calgary to be bad on such a biblical level for too long. The "truculent" bunch has proven able to win in the past. Look for the current (probable) top-line of Mikael Backlund, Jiri Hudler, and Michael Cammalleri to put in a top-notch effort. Sean Monahan should continue to build his case for the Rookie of the Year voters, and minutes-eater Dennis Wideman should also have some impact on the bottom line (and second pairing). Karri Ramo gets the start between the pipes. Ramo has a career 0-3 mark against the Avs, with an .893 save percentage.
The Flames will face Jean Sebastian Giguere in net for the Avalanche. He boasts a career 19-13-3 record against Calgary, with a .920 save percentage and a 2.33 GAA.
Tonight's probable starting lineups
Michael Cammalleri - Mikael Backlund - Jiri Hudler
Paul Byron - Sean Monahan - Lee Stempniak
Lance Bouma - Matt Stajan - Brian McGrattan
TJ Galiardi - Joe Colborne - Kevin Westgarth
TJ Brodie - Mark Giordano
Ladislav Smid - Dennis Wideman
Chris Butler - Shane O'Brien
Karri Ramo - Reto Berra
Gabriel Landeskog - Paul Stastny - Ryan O'Reilly
Jamie McGinn - Matt Duchene - Max Talbot
Cody McLeod - John Mitchell - Nathan MacKinnon
Brad Malone - Marc-Andre Cliche - Patrick Bordeleau
Jan Hejda - Erik Johnson
Cory Sarich - Andre Benoit
Nate Guenin - Nick Holden
Semyon Varlamov - Jean-Sebastian Giguere
For a look at how the other half lives, check out Mile High Hockey. In the meantime, keep it glued right here for the thread - and make sure to check back later for the recap by M&G all-star Arii.