The last time these two teams faced, the Thrashers handed the Flames one of their most embarrassing losses of the season. Calgary trundled into Atlanta the overwhelming favorites and ended up getting their asses handed to them - the Thrash won 5-2 and the Flames and on top of looking like a bunch of hung over frat kids, the Flames ended up taking a boatload of penalties en route to their humbling.
That stuff happens over the course of an 82 game schedule, so there's no real reason to expect it again (ATL isn't CHI afterall). That said, the Thrashers have improved over last season thanks to more consistent goaltending and some notable contributions from cheaper players (Peverley, Afinogenov).
Stuff to watch for:
- Does Dawes get another spin on the top line? At what point does Sutter try out Brian McGrattan?
- Kovalchuk has been deadly on the PP for years. The Flames have gotten away with a mediocre PK recently thanks to Kipepr standing on his head, but I'd rather they didn't test it too many times tonight.
- Rich Peverley was claimed by ATL off of waivers from NSH last year. Since becoming a Thrasher, Peverley has 23 goals and 61 points in 66 games. That's like finding a Rolex in the garbage. And while his offensive blossoming for the Thrash seems unprecedented, he was, in fact a capable scorer at the AHL level.
Here we go folks...