Despite Saturday's loss, things have been looking up for the Flames for some time now. The team currently sits one point out of a playoff spot in the West heading into tonight's contest, and it's time to start getting excited about one of the biggest games of the year, the Heritage Classic!
The outdoor tilt between the Flames and Habs at McMahon Stadium in Calgary is less than a week away and preparations are well underway. This weekend presents a chance for younger hockey fans to experience what used to be a fairly heated rivalry between two of the NHL's premier teams, especially with the Alumni Game on Saturday. The concept of an outdoor game is special because it affords fans and players alike an opportunity to return to their roots. You can see it on the face of any player who has taken to the ice in any Winter Classic game the last few years; a certain child-like exuberance. It allows a connection to form that is not possible in an arena. Pro or not, everyone who has played the game in Canada and elsewhere around the world most likely learned to love it after endless hours of playing under the lights of the closest outdoor rink or in a flooded backyard. This is the game of hockey in its purest form, and it feels really nice to be a part of that.
Links after the jump.
Injury updates for the Canadiens' Cammalleri, Gill amongst others ahead of the big game [Habs Eyes on the Prize]
Nice weather in Calgary over the weekend delayed ice-making preparations yesterday at McMahon, but it's nothing ice guru Dan Craig can't overcome [Flames]
The Flames are in finally in a position to make the playoffs after five months, now what? [Dome Beers]
Is there a front office future in the NHL for former Flame Hakan Loob? [Hit the Post]
Your Valentines Day news and notes [FlamesNation]
Dan Craig reflects on the last Heritage Classic in Edmonton [Flames]
Thoughts on trading Glencross and more in Elliott Friedman's weekly column [CBC Sports]
It looks like we won't be seeing Peter Forsberg tonight after all, as the forward announced his retirement from the NHL today after a brief comeback [Mile High Hockey]
The Avs were undeniably lucky for the majority of last season, but how have the bounces affected them in 2010-11? [HOTH]
The world's longest hockey game is currently underway in Edmonton in support of Alberta Cancer, check it out here [albertacancer.ca]
Hockey economics for a Monday afternoon [Mc79hockey]