Welcome all to the 29th game of the Calgary Flames season. A game in which the Flames have (another) chance to start a winning streak. A game with which to make progress to a thoroughly mediocre season by nearing .500. A game in which not to be an embarrassment to fans.
But expecting any of this is giving into temptation. And dangitall, I'm not gonna do that.
The Flames have been playing better lately. They're still not (nor will they likely be anytime soon) an elite team, but they're also not the abomination on ice we saw for a few weeks back there. Jarome Iginla is scoring again, and Rene Bourque has temporarily stopped making horrible decisions every chance he gets.
Basically, it's hardly the travesty we frequently make the Flames out to be. That being said, I'm terrified for the Flames and tonight's game.
The Los Angeles Kings haven't been terrific lately. At least, not everywhere. Their offense has been faltering, but their defense is just friggin' terrific. They're fourth in the league in goals against, averaging 2.4 a game and fifth in PK% at 86.6. Given that scoring goals is our problem already- this could be terrible news. But wait! There's more! They've won their last two games, against the Florida Panthers and the Detroit Red Wings, scoring three goals in each contest. Moreover, Alexei Ponikarovsky returns and could make the King's scoring more dangerous. This is a team with playoff aspirations, and they're coming back from a rough stretch.
Lines and Pairings
Alex Tanguay- Matt Stajan- Iginla
Niklas Hagman- Olli Jokinen- Ales Kotalik
Curtis Glencross- Mikael Backlund- Bourque
Tom Kostopoulos- Brendan Morrison- Tim Jackman
Robyn Regehr- Jay Bouwmeester
Mark Giordano- Cory Sarich
Anton Babchuk- Adam Pardy
Enjoy the game everyone- and enjoy the countdown to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (because we all know either the Islanders, Oilers, or Bruins will be drafting Sean Couturier and Adam Larsson.)