With Sidney Crosby and the Stanley Cup champs in town and the Burrows-smiter Stephane Auger reffing the game, the Calgary Flames are kinda secondary acts at their own party tonight. I guess the fact that Jamie Lundmark has apparently made the big squad indefinitely isn't really big news outside a small circle of fans...
Stuff to watch for:
- Keep an eye on Jordan Staal. He's a guy I can imagine the Flames targeting as a potential trade target sometime in the future. The Penguins have Malkin and Crosby ensconced as the club's #1 and 2 centers and have obvious needs elsewhere on the roster. Staal is just 21 and already a quality player, so he's probably good value at his 4M cap hit. Or will be in the very near future.
- Tyler Kennedy often plays on the Pens third line with Staal. He's to the Pens what Moss is (or was?) to the Flames. He plays wing, but is also a natural center.
- Aside from those mentioned, Pittsburgh's forward depth is questionable at best, especially with Kunitz out of the line-up. Talbot and Fedotenko are tabbed to play with Malkin tonight while Guerin and Dupuis will be on Crosby's wings. Yikes. Of course, when you can roll centers of that quality one after the other, it may not matter as much.
- The match-ups tonight will be interesting. Sutter spent most of the Avs game sending Langkow out for the tough assignments while feeding the lesser lights and offensive zone draws to Iginla. Unfortunately, there's no easy target with Malkin and Crosby playing on separate lines. That said, at least our 4th line should be able to handle their combinations of Godard-Adams-Rupp, right?
- Finally, thanks to everyone who stopped by the last gamethread, Flames and Avs fans alike. If memory serves, that's the busiest regular season game comment section this site has seen since it's exception. Thanks again! If the volume keeps up, we'll start breaking up the gamethreads into more managable posts as well.
Have at it, folks.