Thursday, Jan 31, 2013, 7:00 PM MST
The Enemy: Mile High Hockey
Things have gone from bad to worse for Sven Baertschi. After the Swiss sensation played just five minutes in Saturday's win over the Oilers, Baertschi left practice early on Tuesday morning with an injury and has been declared week-to-week with a hip flexor injury.
So instead of getting increased playing time with the Abbotsford Heat, Sven is now sitting on the sidelines, which means Steve Begin and Tim Jackman will draw back into the lineup. Perhaps it's time to consider giving Roman Horak another go at things to give the Flames' fourth line some scoring punch.
Anyways, Mikael Backlund re-joins the top six and Chris Butler will be back in the lineup tonight as the Flames take on the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs have lost their past three games and have been shut out twice in those games, scoring just one goal. Apart from their loss to the Sharks, the Avs have out-shot their opponents in their past two games, so goals can't be that far behind.
Unfortunately for the Avs, they're still missing Gabriel Landeskog, who took a nasty hit from Brad Stuart on Saturday and has been out of the lineup ever since. Without Landeskog and Ryan O'Reilly, who is still an RFA, P.A. Parenteau and Matt Duchene have been buoying the team offensively four and five points, respectively.
The Flames had the Avs' number last season, going 4-1-1 against their Rocky Mountain counterparts, especially Miikka Kiprusoff, who is 10-1-1 in his past 12 games against Colorado.
Tonight, however, the Flames will face their old nemesis Jean-Sebastien Giguere in net. Giguere is 16-12-3 with a .920 SV% in his career against his former team.
But if the Flames can sneak at least one puck past him tonight, former Av Alex Tanguay needs just one assist for 500 in his career.
Projected lines and pairings for tonight's game are as follows:
GO FLAMES GO!