The Flames will be one step closer to closing out the 2010-11 season when they hit the ice against the Edmonton Oilers tonight, and with both the Ducks and Blackhawks playing tonight, it could all be over for them in a matter of hours should the Oil prove triumphant.
This game is almost a no-win situation for the Flames. A win could tie them with both Chicago and Anaheim if both teams lose, but they still have games in hand. A loss combined with a Blackhawks and/or Ducks win and it's all over, and a loss combined with a Blackhawks and/or Ducks loss...well, it's still over, I think. Maybe it's because it's the Battle of Alberta, but it's funny how a game that is essentially meaningless can still feel so important.
The Oilers are coming into this one on something of a roll after beating the Canucks twice in a home-and-home mini-series (which is pretty hilarious if you ask me), and would clearly love to be the ones that deliver the knockout punch to the Flames. Eliminating their Southern rivals would likely be the one saving grace of another season spent in the league's basement--other than another top five pick in the draft, of course. It seems unlikely, seeing as the Flames have taken four of five prior meetings from the Edmontonians this season, but stranger things have happened.
The Flames will honour Jarome Iginla for reaching the 1000 point milestone in St. Louis on Friday tonight--a well-deserved tribute to the captain who has had success throughout his career in some less than ideal circumstances--and a nice touch in one of the final games of 2010-11 where he could potentially score his 40th goal of the season. This will also be Daymond Langkow's fist home game since rejoining the team in St. Louis after missing more than a year with a neck injury, and Flames fans will no doubt welcome him back with open arms.
Enjoy the game everyone, and celebrate the beauty of 2010-11's last BOA in the comments. Go Flames.