When the Flames returned from their last California excursion, I noted that they'd collected three of four points, and if they got nine points on the six game trip that was in the offing, I'd be OK with it. That was meant to be a bit flip, but eight points in the first five games is right on schedule, isn't it? Good goaltending covers a lot of flaws, of course, but kudos are in order for not folding under pressure, and that third period in San Jose was very well executed. I certainly kvetch about proper process being required for sustainable results as much as anyone, so let it be noted the Sharks, with all their talent, had one scoring chance in the last six minutes Saturday. One. With the Flames down to four D. That ain't applesauce.
Tonight, the Flames complete their imperfect circle of the continent in Los Angeles. They'll face an opposition that has recovered from the last meeting of the clubs with some good play of their own.
As Kent noted in his wrap-up, it still appears that the Flames are searching for someone to fit in with Joker and Iggy. They've tried virtually everyone on the roster, along with a guy who isn't in town anymore, and have mixed results to show for it. I still think that this will remain as-is until the Flames make a deadline move for a winger. Even with all the changes, the big two have gone from struggling to managing at EV as of late, so I suppose that the next step is excellence, right? It appears that Dawes will get another look on that line.
That leaves Bourque-Langkow-Moss intact, and after Saturday's effort, that doesn't seem like a bad idea in the short term. They were good against the Pavelski trio, and I think my suspicion that Moss just needed a bit more time to get healthy has borne out. As for the rest of the roster, the only potential switch, as always, would be McG/Prust.
Robyn Regehr gave everyone a bit of a scare when he didn't finish Saturday's game, but the reports suggest all is well, so the defence won't be adjusted, either. As mentioned up top, the Flames survived with only 4 D down the stretch Saturday, and that was with Jay Bouwmeester struggling a touch, at least by his standards
Kipper? Of course he's starting. That back-heel save on Saturday was ridiculous:
Curtis McElhinney might have to wait for the back to backs at month's end to get another airing.
The Kings lost in the shoot-out to St. Louis Saturday, which is exactly the same result San Jose had in their last game before playing Calgary. Hmmm. They have gone 4-1-1 since the teams last met, including a win over Chicago. Fancy that. Still no Ryan Smyth, and Brown and Kopitar have seen the goals dry up in the last month. That circumstance lasting one more game would be nice, but the two of them combined for 10 shots on Saturday, so they're still getting chances. Jarret Stoll's having a nice year to this point, albeit against the softs at EV, but one place where he and the other Kings are down is on the PK. The Flame PP didn't score on Saturday, but it at least looked like a potential threat, so it might be a spot for a break out.
The Flames' pattern of sketchy second frames held true against San Jose, and it was the same on the last meeting of these two clubs. Not doing that would be nice, but an overall effort from the forwards that matches the work in San Jose will likely suffice. Game time is 8:30 MT, with coverage on Sportsnet West.