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Game 30 Preview: Flames at Predato

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Calgary Flames
@ Nashville Predators

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011, 5:00 PM PST
Bridgestone Arena

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Tonight the Calgary Flames lace up in Nashville against the Predato. Who are the Predato? A team that is playing without two players tonight.

According to Dirk Hoag of On the Forecheck, the Predato will be suiting up with 21 players tonight, having assigned Jonathan Blum to the AHL last night and Blake Geoffrion today. While this is a strange move for a team struggling for eighth place as much as Calgary, the Predato apparently decided that the development of the players is better served in Milwaukee.

How does the roster look for the Flames?

With Bourque likely out with the flu, Captain Nemo back in Abbotsford, Horakucles back from Abbotsford (bring Carson along for the ride), here's what the lineups will be.

Glencross- Jokinen- Iginla
Tanguay- Horak- Morrison
Comeau- Backlund- Stempniak
Kostopoulos- Stajan- Jackman

Bouwmeester- Butler
Smith- Hannan
Brodie- Carson

Yup, that's Derek Smith on the second pairing. Good lord is the rear guard terrible without Giordano.

As I mentioned, this is a team Calgary is directly competing with. They're about as good as Calgary is right now- which is to say, mediocre through and through. They have a terrific top pairing and goalie, but the forwards are as bland as Calgary's defense and goaltending, and there's really not much of a first line to speak of. Amazing that all this has been accomplished with the lowest payroll in the league.

Miscellaneous Observations

  • A lot of words are being spilled about Darryl Sutter possibly stepping behind the bench for Lombardi again, but the real Flames-but-not-Flames story of the week, at least to me, is that of Pat Hickey being a horrible person. If you haven't followed the story at all, Pro Hockey Talk has a good rundown, however the long and short of it is that Pat Hickey accused Theo Fleury of being an enabler for Graham James. Just terrible.
  • In the Dallas Eakins- Gary Roberts battle, I have to throw my hat in with Dallas Eakins. Why? With Niklas Hagman gone, I have nobody to make JR Ewing jokes about anymore.
  • I <3 Craig Smith (Wisconsin Badgers fan right here)

In any case, Go Flames Go.