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Calgary Flames vs Colorado Avalanche game preview: This is still kinda weird

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Iggy, you signed with the wrong western conference team with questionable corsi.

So weird!!
So weird!!
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

It's game two of the Calgary Flames' three-game homestand, and the first time in five games they aren't playing a divisional opponent. Nope, this time it's the Colorado Avalanche, marking their first visit to Calgary this season. Colorado's an interesting team: you have to love their top six (and we're very familiar with a couple of their wingers), but they're a possession trainwreck. They were like that last season, but rode an insane year by Semyon Varlamov to a division championship before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs. They've since come back this season, still with poor numbers, and near the bottom of the league.

Could the 2014-15 Calgary Flames be the 2013-14 Colorado Avalanche? Two teams, both equipped with young talent, performing well for a limited period of time in spite of poor advanced stats. As long as the Flames are smart about it, they won't be.

Last time we saw the Flames, they had a poor possession game, but pulled out a 5-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes regardless. Josh Jooris scored his first career hat trick, while David Jones and Sean Monahan chipped in with the other goals. Meanwhile, Karri Ramo had an excellent game to keep the pressing Coyotes from getting back in the game, stopping 27 of 29 shots in his third straight start and fifth straight win. | RecapFancy stats recapBoxscore | But for real: rookie's first hat trick:

As for the Avs, well, they're in the midst of a win-lose-win-lose pattern as of late. They most recently lost 4-3 to the Canadiens on Dec. 1, but prior to that, they beat the Stars, 5-2. Before that, they lost to the Blackhawks 3-2, and before that, beat the Coyotes 4-3. They'll likely be looking for some stability, as this is Varlamov's first game back since suffering a groin injury back on Nov. 15. Starting goalie or not, hopefully the Flames will be breaking their recent pattern tonight.

For more on Colorado, head over to Mile High Hockey.

Game time: 7:00 p.m. MT

Channel: SN1, TVA2

All-time record: The Flames are 67-55-20-7 against the Avalanche, and have a +21 goal differential on them (490 goals for, 469 against). Uh... how many of those 490 goals do you think Jarome Iginla got...?

Common threads: Well, there's Colorado's backup goalie, Reto Berra, who the Avs gave the Flames a second round pick (Hunter Smith) for for some reason, before signing him to a three-year deal for some reason. Over nine games Berra has a .883 save percentage, which sounds about right.

But there are two other guys: former Flames linemates Alex Tanguay and, well, Jarome Iginla. Tanguay had an injury-riddled season last year, so this is his first time playing against Calgary as a member of the opposition since 2009-2010. Iginla, meanwhile, has played against the Flames all of two times in his career, and has only visited the visitor's dressing room in the Saddledome once, as a member of the Boston Bruins just last season. He has a couple of assists, but never actually scored on the Flames in his career...

And on the Flames side of things, there's David Jones, whom the Flames acquired for Tanguay, pretty much. Over his eight seasons in the league, Jones has only ever played for Colorado and Calgary.

Approaching milestones: After two assists last game, Jiri Hudler is now sitting pretty at 195 on his career. That's pretty close to 200, eh? Also, Ramo's recent stellar play has him starting his 100th NHL game tonight. For someone who looks like he may have been rushed into the NHL before heading to Russia to find his game again, that's awesome. Congrats to our Finnish goalie!

Current records and leaders

Calgary Flames Colorado Avalanche
16-8-2: 34 points 9-11-5: 23 points
Pacific Division: 3rd Central Division: 7th
Western Conference: 5th Western Conference: 12th
Time on ice
Defence: TJ Brodie (25:03 per game)
Forward: Sean Monahan (19:18 per game)
Defence: Erik Johnson (23:35 per game)
Forward: Matt Duchene (19:18 per game)
Points
Goals: Jiri Hudler (11)
Assists: Mark Giordano (20)
Points: Mark Giordano (26)
Goals: Matt Duchene
Alex Tanguay (8)
Assists: Tyson Barrie (16)
Points: Tyson Barrie (19)
Shots
Shots on goal: Sean Monahan (68)
Shooting percentage: Josh Jooris (27.6%)
Shots on goal: Gabriel Landeskog (78)
Shooting percentage: Alex Tanguay (22.2%)
Faceoff Leaders
Sean Monahan (50.2%, 558 taken) Ryan O'Reilly (50.2%, 245 taken)
Grit
Penalty minutes: Brandon Bollig (31)
Hits: Lance Bouma (77)
Blocked shots: Kris Russell (70)
Penalty minutes: Cody McLeod (53)
Hits: Jan Hejda (66)
Blocked shots: Jan Hejda (50)
Corsi/Fenwick (ALL)
Corsi for%: Paul Byron (47.15%, 26 GP)
TJ Brodie (46.63%, 26 GP)
Fenwick for%: Paul Byron (49.75%, 26 GP)
Mark Giordano (58.24%, 26 GP)
Corsi for%: Gabriel Landeskog (50.07%, 25 GP)
Ryan O'Reilly (49.83%, 25 GP)
Fenwick for%: Gabriel Landeskog (49.59%, 25 GP)
Tyson Barrie (49.54%, 25 GP)


Possible starting lineups

Calgary Flames
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Curtis Glencross Sean Monahan David Jones
Johnny Gaudreau Josh Jooris Jiri Hudler
Paul Byron Markus Granlund Michael Ferland
Brandon Bollig Lance Bouma Sven Baertschi
Left Defense Right Defense
Mark Giordano TJ Brodie
Kris Russell Dennis Wideman
Ladislav Smid Deryk Engelland
Goalies
Karri Ramo
Jonas Hiller

Colorado Avalanche
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Alex Tanguay Matt Duchene Ryan O'Reilly
Gabriel Landeskog Nathan MacKinnon Jarome Iginla
Tomas Vincour Max Talbot Danny Briere
Nick Holden Michael Sgarbossa Cody McLeod
Left Defense Right Defense
Jan Hejda Erik Johnson
Nate Guenin Tyson Barrie
Karl Stollery Zach Redmond
Goalies
Semyon Varlamov
Reto Berra