Hopes of Calgary running away with the division have run dry around these parts. And for probably good reason. While the Flames have been in contention all year and are currently tied with Vancouver with 55 points, the fact of the matter is the Canucks have superior underlying stats across the board, including a goal differential of +37 (as opposed to Calgary's +14). The difference is mostly due to the 23 more goals Vancouver has scored so far, an area where they are superior both at 5on5 (90 versus 79) and 5on4 (35 versus 24).
So tonight represents a truer test of the Flames re-jigged lines, assuming, of course, Sutter goes back to what was working during the 5 game winning streak. Last night, the Flames bench boss reverted to the Iginla/Jokinen pairing we all love to hate so much and I think it's no coincidence that the club got worse in terms of possession and scoring chances as the night went on (that is, after the change). Lots can happen in a hockey game and there's no outcome that is a 100% lock....however, if Brent sends out Jokinen/Iginla as the visiting club in Vancouver, I'm pretty sure the Flames will lose their third in a row. If the first half of the year confirmed anything, it was the fact that Iggy/Sex Panther is a match made in hell.
Let the profanity laced tirades begin!