The Flames have won a season-high four straight games. Tonight, they'll be looking to extend that streak to five.
It all started when they began their current five-game home stand. First was the Phoenix Coyotes, whom the Flames defeated 3-2 in regulation with goals from Sean Monahan, Lance Bouma, and Matt Stajan.
Next up were the Nashville Predators, a team the Flames came from behind in order to pull out a 5-4 victory in the shootout. Mark Giordano, David Jones, and Mikael Backlund were the wonderful goal scorers, with Monahan scoring the shootout winner.
After that it was on to the Chicago Blackhawks who, no offence to the previous two teams, are a much tougher test. Except they, too, fell to the now-mighty Flames, suffering a 5-4 overtime loss at the hands of Backlund, Bouma, Stajan, and the great TJ Brodie with the overtime winner.
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The magnificent, Going-To-Win-The-Cup-Now Flames got goals from Lee Stempniak, Gio, Mony Mony, and finally Jiri Hudler, who potted the team's first empty netter in game #54, but we're not here to talk about how embarrassing that is. We're here to talk about how great the Flames are, and how they're totally going to kick the Minnesota Wild's butts en route to being undefeated the rest of the season.
Wait, the Flames are wearing their ugly thirds tonight that they have yet to win a single game in? Okay cancel everything, chalk this one up as a loss, forfeit the rest of the season, don't even bother.
After flaking out on last game due to "not having enough practices" or something, Mike Cammalleri is expected to be back in the lineup tonight, maybe. This means TJ Galiardi will probably be scratched, because he's Hartley's default healthy scratch for some reason, because god forbid the Flames healthy scratch one (OR BOTH) of their two goons ever.
Cammalleri is also on the trade block, maybe (and if he isn't he should be). The Kings might want him. So might the Sharks. I'm personally holding out hope that he goes to Edmonton for their first rounder, because dream big or go home. No matter what, if he's ready to come back into game action, then that's good news for the Flames.
There are seven games left until the trade deadline! And just two home games, including this one, so this might be your last chance to see Cammy in Flames silks in person. Same deal for Stempniak who, like Cammalleri, is a UFA after this season. And maybe even Chris Butler and D. Jones AND THE GOONS, because dreaming is fun.
Also, Mark Giordano currently has the NHL's longest point streak at eight games, which is also a career high for him, so he should keep that going. Curtis Glencross is skating again, and should be back after the Olympic break. And Mikael Backlund remains the greatest, but you already knew that. He tied his career high in points (25) last game.
Zach Parise was named Team USA's captain yesterday, which is good for him I guess, if you want to captain a bunch of losers (because Team USA are going to be losers, you see). His bestest buddy and also Wild teammate Ryan Suter was named an alternate.
The Wild lost their last game, a 5-4 defeat by the Colorado Avalanche. Darcy Kuemper was pulled after giving up 16 goals on 20 shots. Captain America had a four point night though, with two goals and two assists, so the Flames might want to watch out for him if they can. Mikael Granlund, older brother to Greatest Granlund Markus, had a goal and two assists, so he could be a threat too, maybe.
Jason Pominville leads the Wild in goals with 22, and points with 39. He had a goal and an assist in that loss to the Avs, and will probably be on a line with Parise and Inferior Granlund.
Jared Spurgeon, who has been out with a broken foot, may return for the Wild tonight. If he does, Keith Ballard would likely be the scratch.
For more (and probably significantly better) information on the Wild, check out Hockey Wilderness.
The Wild currently lead the season series 1-0, stemming from when they defeated the Flames 5-1 back on November 5, 2013. Sven Baertschi was a healthy scratch for that game, so the whole mess was definitely Hartley's fault.
The Flames have 47 points with a 20-27-7 record (54 games played, on pace for 71 points), good for sixth in the Pacific division. They do not occupy a playoff spot, despite having the current longest win streak in the league, which seems odd, because that would indicate the Flames are winners, and everyone else are losers. Surely this wrong will be righted soon.
The Wild have 64 points with a 29-21-6 record (56 games played, on pace for 94 points), good for fourth in the Central division. They currently have the first wildcard spot in the Western conference, one point above the Vancouver Canucks, which hahahahahahaha.
Puck drop is at 8 PM MST on Hockey Night in Canada. Watch it or get out.
P.S. Fun fact
Robyn Regehr plays his 1000th game this afternoon at 2 PM MST. The dude spent 11 years as a Flame, and was an alternate captain for seven of those years. Go cheer for him, because he's earned it.