Calgary Flames (36-18-6) Vs. Minnesota Wild (30-24-5)
7:00pm, SNET West locally
Enemy perspective: Hockey Wilderness
This is the 4th meeting of the Flames and Wild this year, with Calgary having won the prior three games. Perhaps the good news from a Wild perspective is they've all been one goal contests and Jarome Iginla - historically a Wild killer - hasn't been a factor in any of them (0-0-0, -2, 5 shots), which follows the "not playing well against stronger opponents" thing he's got going this year.
Minny is currently third in the NW, but they actually have the 2nd best GD (+15) behind only the Flames (+17). And, as is their custom, Minnesota has allowed the fewest goals against in the entire league (137). Their obvious deficiency is a lack of goal scoring, exacerbated by the distinct lack of Gaborik in their line-up. Of course, placing the offensive hopes and dreams of the entire team on his tissue paper groin was an obvious mis-calculation by Risebrough this past summer, one he's paying for in spades now that Gaborik's injury has rendered him both useless to the team and as a trade asset. I suppose Marian may still be dealt at he deadline, but I doubt the Wild will be able to demand anything of value for him given the uncertainty surrounding his health. Rough.
- Flames called up David Van Der Gulik yesterday, meaning Langkow is likely still out with a bruised hand. Gone for the duration are Rene Bourque (ankle), Mark Giordano (shoulder), Andre Roy (concussion) and Wayne Primeau (foot). Congratulations, Jamie Lundmark, you might actually remain in the NHL. Here's me wildly speculating about tonight's resultant lines:
Cammalleri - Conroy - Iginla
Lundmark - Lombrdi - Bertuzzi
Glencross - Boyd - Moss
Nystrom - Prust - VDG
The only stable trio is likely to be the Iginla line. I fully expect guys like Lombardi and Boyd to bounce around the line-up all night.
- With Owen Nolan out with a broken toe, Mikko Koivu is Minnesota's lone offensive threat (with apologies to PM Bouchard).
- The eminently hate-able Cal Clutterbuck was the guy who buggered Giordano's shoulder during the last meeting. It'll be interesting to see if he's a target for some "extra attention" this evening.
- Here's the prior games CORSI numbers. Koivu et al outplayed Iginla's line but ended up -2. Unlucky...or lucky if you're a Flames fan I guess. Things might be different this evening now that Keenan has the last change, however: Im sure he'll try to get Iginla out against some weaker foes.