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Calgary Flames vs St. Louis Blues game preview: St. Patrick's Day? More like St. Mikael's Day. Happy birthday Mikael Backlund we love you so much

The Flames played the Blues in their third game of the season, and then they never saw them again. Until tonight.

This... might be a common sight tonight.
This... might be a common sight tonight.
Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Did anyone else forget the St. Louis Blues existed? It's been so long since we've seen them, or had to think about them at all, what with them being a clear top three team in the Central Division. The Calgary Flames aren't competing against them for anything. ... Except two points tonight, it would seem. The last time the Flames faced the Blues, Brian McGrattan was in the lineup! And he played a whole nine minutes! The Flames lost 4-1. What a world. Curtis Glencross got the lone Flames goal. That's probably not going to happen tonight. Mostly because it's impossible.

The Flames are coming off of a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, mired by an inability to capitalize on their own shot attempts - of which they had more, for once! - unlike former Flame Alex Tanguay, who successfully burned his old team. ... Or buried them under an avalanche? I don't know what the appropriate terminology for this should be. Mikael Backlund, Lance Bouma, and David Jones combined for six points against them, but it wasn't enough. | RecapStatsBoxscore | Karri Ramo probably didn't deserve the loss, either:

And the Blues? Who I seriously did totally forget actually exist? They, uh... they're mostly alternating wins and losses, their most recent being a 3-0 victory over the Dallas Stars. (Before that, they were totally useless, losing 3-1 to the Minnesota Wild. THANKS, BLUES.)

I was just looking at their stats page and I'm throwing out every single thing I was going to mention in favour of this:

Chris Butler has more goals (three) than Jay Bouwmeester (two) this season. He also has eight points to Bouwmeester's 10. In 28 fewer games played.

What the fuck.

While I'm busy trying to wrap my mind around that, feel free to head over to St. Louis Game Time to actually learn something. Although you aren't going to learn anything better than that.

Game time: 7:00 p.m. MT

Channel: SNW

All-time record: It's close, but the good guys are the heroes: 78-72-14-4 wins it for the Flames. With a goal differential of +7. Wow, that's really close.

Common threads: Mikael Backlund and Patrik Berglund grew up and played in Sweden together! So that's a nice story. Berglund's apparent fall from grace aside, that is. Also, did we mention it's Mikael Backlund's birthday? Let's all drink to that. And for no other reason. He is the most important person here.

Jay Bouwmeester was once a Flame. He... never really did anything of note, did he? Oh well. St. Louis native Chris Butler once was, too. That... was a time, wasn't it? Olli Jokinen used to be a Flame, too! He's injured now. Or just recovering from injury. Either or. I'm not his doctor, I don't know.

Kris Russell used to play for the Blues! It was his last team before joining the Flames. He did well for them, but he also wasn't playing 20+ minutes a night, so...

Approaching milestones: Speaking of Kris, tonight is his 500th NHL game! Good for him, and a nice opponent for him to play it against, too. Meanwhile, Dennis Wideman is five games from 700, and Jiri Hudler is eight away from 600. Rafa Diaz is eight away from 200 himself.

David Jones finally got another notch in his goal belt, so now he only needs nine more to reach 100. That's... probably not going to happen this season, is it?

Something that probably will happen this season: TJ Brodie is three points away from 100. Yay!!

On the other side of things, Brian Elliott's next shutout will be his 30th, so... let's really not have that, because the Flames need wins.

Tonight is Paul Stastny's 600th game. He's two points away from 500. The 600th game thing is unavoidable, but the 500 points thing? Let's not have that happen, either. Or Carl Gunnarsson being two points away from 100. None of that. Thanks.

Scoreboard watching: Three games are of interest for us tonight:

Current records and leaders

Calgary Flames St. Louis Blues
Record: 38-26-4: 81 points Record: 44-20-5: 93 points
Pacific Division: 3rd Central Division: 1st
Western Conference: 7th Western Conference: 2nd
Goal Differential: +24 Goal Differential: +44
Time on ice
Defence: Mark Giordano (25:10 per game)
Forward: Sean Monahan (19:27 per game)
Defence: Alex Pietrangelo (25:23 per game)
Forward: Alexander Steen (20:16 per game)
Goals: Sean Monahan (27)
Assists: Mark Giordano (37)
Points: Jiri Hudler (60)
Goals: Vladimir Tarasenko (34)
Assists: Alexander Steen (37)
Points: Vladimir Tarasenko (67)
Shots on goal: Sean Monahan (159)
Shooting percentage: Jiri Hudler (19.2%)
Shots on goal: Vladimir Tarasenko (237)
Shooting percentage: Jaden Schwartz (15.2%)
Faceoff Leaders
Sean Monahan (50.4%, 1524 taken) Paul Stastny (58.2%, 958 taken)
Penalty minutes: Brandon Bollig (61)
Hits: Lance Bouma (227)
Blocked shots: Kris Russell (237)
Penalty minutes: Ryan Reaves (109)
Hits: Ryan Reaves (235)
Blocked shots: Alex Pietrangelo (147)
ES Corsi/Fenwick (minimum 1/2 team's games played)
Corsi for%: Mark Giordano (48.4%, 61 GP)
Josh Jooris (46.8%, 51 GP) 
Fenwick for%: Josh Jooris (49.4%, 51 GP)
Mark Giordano (48.6%, 61 GP)
Corsi for%: Dmitrij Jaskin (57.5%, 42 GP)
Patrik Berglund (56.0%, 64 GP)
Fenwick for%: Dmitrij Jaskin (58.8%, 42 GP)
Patrik Berglund (56.5%, 64 GP)

Possible starting lineups

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 Defence Right Defence
Kris Russell Dennis Wideman
TJ Brodie Deryk Engelland
David Schlemko Rafa Diaz
Jonas Hiller
Karri Ramo

St. Louis Blues
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Chris Porter David Backes TJ Oshie
Jaden Schwartz Jori Lehtera Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexander Steen Paul Stastny Dmitrij Jaskin
Patrik Berglund Steve Ott Ryan Reaves
Left Defence Right Defence
Carl Gunnarsson Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeester Zbynek Michaleki
Barret Jackman Robert Bortuzzo
Brian Elliott
Jake Allen

Considering how it took Bob Hartley, like, more than half a season to figure out the Flames' top line, I'm pretty sure we're going to be stuck with the Brodie-Engelland pairing until Mark Giordano makes his miraculous recovery, so pretty much for the rest of the season, in the face of all logic.

Also is Emile Poirier, like, alive? At all? What are we doing here exactly?