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Game 82--Canucks@Flames: One Last Breath

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Vancouver Canucks
@ Calgary Flames

Saturday, Apr 9, 2011, 8:00 PM MST
Scotiabank Saddledome

Flames and Canucks: Sundown at the Saddledome

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Well, here we are--Game #82; the end of another long season for the Flames, concluding early for the second consecutive year. Ultimately, the 2010-11 season was not a successful one for the Flames, but somehow it feels less forgettable than 2009-10, although equally disappointing in its end result.

Maybe it's because there was an extended period of hope where it looked like the Flames could potentially squeeze in to the conference's top eight, or because down the stretch, making the post-season largely was out of their own control, regardless of how many games they won. Maybe it's because this team dragged themselves up from the conference basement and actually made a run at things when it seemed nearly impossible; I'm not sure, but this version of the Flames provided us with an up-and-down, mostly entertaining seven months of hockey, and it's damn shame that this is the last time we'll get to see them play.

Going out against Vancouver--a team poised to make what could potentially be a deep run into the Stanley Cup playoffs--was not kind to the Flames last year, but this season, they get the chance to end things on their own turf, to salute their fans for attending another 41 games at the Saddledome, and possibly more on the road. Miikka Kiprusoff will not play tonight after he tied Mike Vernon's record for career wins in Wednesday's victory over the edmonton-oilers" class="sbn-auto-link">Oilers, as Brent Sutter stated that the goalie was "not 100%," which after another 70+ game season between the Flames' pipes for the 34-year old netminder, is unsurprising. With Henrik Karlsson in net for what could be the last time, Vancouver will counter with Cory Schneider, who, along with his other Canucks teammates, I will look forward to cheering against in the playoffs.

Enjoy the game everyone, and say your goodbyes to the 2010-11 Flames in the comments--preferably in Haiku form. Go Flames.