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Will the Flames Melt the Avalanche?

Game Preview #59

Flames vs. Avalanche--8PM MST on Sportsnet West

The Avalanche have been falling down the mountain lately with a 1-9-0 record over the last 10 games compared to the Flames' spiffy 7-1-2 record. The story of this game has to be the quick exit of Peter Forsberg. The feeling that this young Avs team was in need of some additional veteran experience was clear. Even if Forsberg was not the same player he once was on ice, I was thinking he would play a role in the dressing room.

I’m surprised that he came back and exited again so quickly, but it is good news for Flames fans. I’m not sure Forsberg would have done much on the ice, but he would have been a factor in the dressing room with the Avs' younger players.

Last year I was surprised with the Avs performance. This year they are presenting themselves as the team I thought they would be. Young and full of potential, but not a playoff team. The Flames are in a must win situation in every game for the rest of the season. 

The other shocker, if it holds up, is that I have a pre-game roster that lists rookie Lance Bouma on the first line with Iginla and BMo. Not sure if that will hold up at game time but it's certainly something to watch for Flames fans. 

The Stat Rack

Flames

Rank

 

Rank

Avalanche

16.4%

22nd  

PP%

11th  

19.0%

81.5%

16th

PK%

27th

78.0%

2.88

19th

GA

30th

3.32

2.78

13th

GF

7th

2.98

48.4%

25th

FO%

21st  

49.6%

28.1

3rd

SA/G

20th  

31.2

30.4

17th

SF/G

18th

30.1

 

Number Crunch

The Avalanche are the worst in the NHL in goals allowed, and Craig Anderson has yet to find the form he had last year. He was a big part of the Avs success story last season and this year he looks average at best. By the numbers, the edge should go to the Flames if they can keep themselves out of the penalty box. The Avs do have the 11th ranked powerplay, which is quite respectable. 

 

Alive in the Last Five

Flames

Robyn Regehr – 1G 5A -1 in the last 5GP

Brendan Morrison – 0G 6A +1 in the last 5GP

Olli Jokinen – 2G 4A +1  in the last 5GP

Curtis Glencross – 4G 2A even in the last 5GP

Jarome Iginla – 1G 6A +1 in the last 5 GP

Avalanche

Kevin Porter was good in their last game with 1G, 1A but no Av player meets my usual cut off of a point per game. 

 

Anticipated Roster (subject to change by game time)

The Flames

The Avalanche

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bouma

Morrison

Iginla

Stewart

Duchene

Hejduk

Glencross

Jokinen

Moss

Jones

Stastny

Porter

Bourque

Stajan

Jackman

Yip

O'Reilly

Winnik

Hagman

Backlund

Kostopoulos

Mcleod

Dupuis

Koci

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regehr

Bouwmeester

 

O'Byrne

Wilson

 

Giordano

Sarich

 

Shattenkirk

Liles

 

Staios

Babchuk

 

Gaunce

Hunwick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kiprusoff

Karlsson

 

Anderson

Budaj

 

 

Anticipated Game Style

This one will be all about discipline for the Flames and the ability to stay out of the box. The powerplay is the primary weapon of the Avs and they have shown to me over the last two seasons that this is a young team willing to go down.

The Flames will need to show extra discipline to lock up this game.

One on One

Paul Stastny vs Mark Giordano

 

Gio has been a rock for the Flames all year and Paul Stastny is a second line center whom every team should be wary of. That is my one on one to watch.

 

The Magic 8-Ball

Two teams that appear to be going in the opposite directions.  The game is in Denver though and the home ice advantage is with the Avalanche.

In a battle between Snow and Fire only one will end up all wet.