@ Winnipeg Jets
Monday, Nov 18, 2013, 6:00 PM MST
The Opposition: Arctic Ice Hockey
TV: Sportsnet West
Radio: The Fan 960
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In most cases, I would say that blowing a 2-0 lead and surrendering four unanswered goals including an empty-net own goal in what would amount to a team's sixth consecutive loss would be pretty close to rock bottom, but in the case of this season's Flames, I'm not so sure.
As our friends over at Arctic Ice Hockey point out, the Flames are currently boasting the worst goaltending numbers on the league, which should come as no surprise to anyone who watched Saturday's game.
Even Jets goalie Al Montoya, a 35-year-old career backup with only 68 games of NHL experience, has a better ES SV% than any of the Flames three goalies this season.
Reto Berra, who for some reason is slated to start again tonight despite getting pulled in Thursday's loss and allowing three goals in about six minutes on Saturday, will not have it any easier tonight against the Jets, who have won six of their past eight games. I don't imagine the 26-year-old rookie is feeling too confident in his NHL game right now (and for good reason), and maybe Hartley and Co. think that if they push him to play through it he'll come out looking better on the other side, but when you have another goalie who is just as good if not better than him waiting in the wings, why not give him a shot? Why should the goalie playing badly be the one who continues to get starts? That's not the way works on teams with no clear-cut number one, and I don't think the Flames should be any exception.
Former Flames Olli Jokinen and Adam Pardy will be glad to be playing on the other side of things tonight, even when the latter had his helmet stolen and a beer poured on his head ten days ago in Chicago.
Here are the projected lines and pairings for tonight's game: