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Flames in Denver Game Day Preview: The Playoff Chinook is heating up

The Flames take on the Avalanche in hopes of adding another two points and more leverage over surging teams in the playoff race.

Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Hopefully you're all in a good mood. I know I am after seeing Jiri Hudler and his two sons Johnny and Sean combine for nine points last night. The family as mentioned last night have 30 points in the last six games. Remember when ol' Bob wouldn't play them together? Now we've got a bonafide top line, Mikael Backlund is healthy and awesome; and TJ Brodie is feeding those sick passes despite having a case of Engellanditius. With the 6-3 win last night, the Flames are now in SECOND PLACE in the Pacific division.

Post Game Recap from last nightStats RecapBoxscore | Highlights:

Meanwhile, our counterparts in Denver are last in the Central division and 12th in the conference. Their season hasn't been anything more than a real setback juxtaposed to last season's regular season success. On Thursday night they beat the Devils at home in a 2-1 shootout. Prior to that they had a three game winning streak snapped on Tuesday by the Kings.

What matters in this game? Winning, but more importantly: a complete victory. No funny business with scrums after whistles, no dumb penalties, and certainly an emphasis on controlling play. Check out our pals Mile High Hockey. They seem alright, I guess.

Game Time: 8:00 PM MST

Channel: CBC and TVA2

All-Time Record: The Flames are 68-55-20-7 against the Avalanche all-time. Now to take another two points away from them.

Common Threads: Our former leader, hero, and demi-god Jarome Iginla is having a quiet but great season in Colorado. We miss you. Come back to us. Bob Hartley used to coach Colorado back the day. He won a cup there with a hockey hall of fame studded roster. Alex Tanguay is still there and he's playing with his best friend in the whole world (Iggy).

David Jones played 272 games for the Avalanche scoring 126 points including a stellar season when he netted 27 goals. Now he's a Flame and still made of glass.  Historical common thread: Theo Fleury was dealt on February 28th 1999 to the Avalanche for the late Wade Belak, Rene Corbet, a 2000 2nd round pick, and future considerations (Robyn Regehr).

Approaching Milestones: Hudler is now nine GP away from 600 while Mason Raymond will play game 500 tonight. Kris Russell is two games away from 500 too. David Jones is ten goals from 100 in his career and TJ Brodie now needs three more points for 100 in his career.

Avalanche forward Daniel Briere is five points from 700 which is awesome too because Daniel Briere is a pretty alright dude.

Scoreboard Watching:

It's Hockey Night in Canada so we've got a handful of games to pay attention to as the playoff race continues.

  • In the afternoon, Chicago takes on San Jose so we're hoping Chicago wins, right?
  • Winnipeg is in Tampa Bay so it's one of those times when you're allowed to cheer for Tampa.
  • Toronto is in Vancouver hoping to lose win lose win, I think? Maybe Toronto can help us out by not being an entity of tens of men who are human disasters.
  • Minnesota, those American Canadians are in St. Louis. Hopefully Vladimir Tarasenko can score a billion goals and ensure the Wild lose.
  • Finally the late game as Nashville heads to Los Angeles in search of making it big in Hollywood. Keep an eye on Filip Forsberg as he's cooled off a bit. The rookie scoring race will be an interesting story over the next few weeks.

Current Records and Leaders

Calgary Flames Colorado Avalanche
Record: 38-25-5: 81 points Record: 31-26-11: 73 points
Pacific Division: 2nd THIRD CONFERENCE: 7th
Western Conference: 5th Western Conference: 12th
Goal Differential: +25 Goal Differential: -10
Time on ice
Defence: TJ Brodie (25:08 per game)
Forward: Sean Monahan (19:23 per game)
Defence: Erik Johnson (24:25 per game)
Forward: Ryan O'Reilly (19:36 per game)
Goals: Sean Monahan (27)
Assists: Mark Giordano (37)
Points: Jiri Hudler (60)

Goals: Jarome Iginla (22)
Assists:Tyson Barrie (41)
Points: Jarome Iginla (47)
Gabriel Landeskog

Shots on goal: Mark Giordano (157)
Shooting percentage: Jiri Hudler (19.2%)
Shots on goal: Nathan MacKinnon (192)
Shooting percentage: Alex Tanguay (20.5%)
Faceoff Leaders
Sean Monahan (50.4%, 1499 taken) Ryan O'Reilly (53.0%, 1066 taken)
Penalty minutes: Brandon Bollig (61)
Hits: Lance Bouma (224)
Blocked shots: Kris Russell (233)
Penalty minutes: Cody McLeod (174)
Hits: Cody McLeoud (212)
Blocked shots: Nate Guenin (114)
ES Corsi/Fenwick (minimum 1/2 team's games played)
Corsi for%: Mark Giordano (49.75%, 61 GP)
Jiri Hudler (47.73%, 65 GP)
Fenwick for%: Josh Jooris (49.88%, 50 GP)
Mark Giordano (50.10%, 61 GP)
Corsi for%: Nathan MacKinnon (49.46%, 64 GP)
Gabriel Landeskog (49.21%, 68 GP)
Fenwick for%: Nathan MacKinnon (49.86%, 64 GP)
Gabriel Landeskog (49.52%, 68 GP)

Possible starting lineups - SUBJECT TO 50 CHANGES BEFORE PUCK DROP

Calgary Flames
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Jiri Hudler
Lance Bouma Mikael Backlund David Jones
Mason Raymond
Josh Jooris Joe Colborne
Brandon Bollig Matt Stajan Michael Ferland
Left Defense Right Defense
Kris Russell
Dennis Wideman
TJ Brodie
Deryk Engelland
David Schlemko
Raphael Diaz
Karri Ramo
Jonas Hiller

Colorado Av'n Lunch
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Gabriel Landskog Ryan O'Reilly Cody McLeod...?
Alex Tanguay
Marc-Andrew Cliche
Dennis Everberg
Freddie Hamilton John Mitchell
Danny Briere
Left Defense Right Defense
Nate Guenin Tyson Barrie
Jan Hejda Zach Redmond
Bad Brad Stuart Nick Holden on for dear life
Semyon Varlamov, trash king
Reto Backup