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Calgary Flames vs. Colorado Avalanche game preview: Jarome, Alex, please let us have this one

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We need it more than you do.

Remember Alex Tanguay? He's good.
Remember Alex Tanguay? He's good.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

You know what's messing me up? The past two seasons, we haven't gotten to watch the Calgary Flames in the playoffs, so it was a time to pick another team to bandwagon. And what with Jarome Iginla's presence on good teams, I had a team to cheer for. Well, more like a single player, but it was more than I'd gotten before. And now Iggy's poised to miss the playoffs and the Flames might just make them.

It's weird.

And sad how Iggy seems to be doing his best to prevent that from happening. Or, based on their last game, Alex Tanguay: he who had two critical points as the Colorado Avalanche buried the Flames 3-2, a very much undesired outcome in a game the Flames very much needed to have. It was better the first time they met this season, when the Flames defeated the Avs 4-3 thanks to a Sean Monahan overtime winner. That was way better.

(Although Tanguay scored in that game, too. ALEX. CUT IT OUT.)

At the very least, no regulation losses, please. Overtime win? That's fine. Overtime loss? That's not ideal, but not the worst possibility, like last game. Even with the top line's efforts, all it took was a couple of poor giveaways and a hot goaltender on the other end, as the Columbus Blue Jackets stole a point from the Flames, winning 3-2 in overtime. A point the Flames needed much, much more. | RecapStatsBoxscore | Seriously? Rene Bourque?:

And the Avs? Well, surprise: Jarome Iginla is their best offensive player. Who could've seen that coming? Our guy is at 24 goals on the season, 11 games to go, 30 goals is definitely still possible. He's 37! What a guy. Totally rooting for him. Not necessarily tonight, but you know, he's gotta get there. You're the best, Iggy.

... There are players on the Avalanche that aren't Jarome Iginla? Or Alex Tanguay? Are we sure about this...?

Uh, well then. Okay. The Avs have collected points in their last four games straight: three clean wins over the New Jersey Devils, us, and Arizona Coyotes, and an overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Their last regulation loss came against the Los Angeles Kings. Thanks for nothing.

For more on the Jarome Iginla-centric opposition, check out Mile High Hockey.

Game time: 7:00 p.m. MT

Channel: SNW

All-time record: Losing to the Avs recently definitely didn't help, but at least the Flames can maintain some dignity with the superior all-time record: 68-56-20-7, and a +21 goal differential. You know what would be nice? Sixty-nine wins.

Common threads: Well, there is this one guy.

Also that guy.

And... that other guy. And we have that guy... Wow, there's a lot going on here. Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, (hilariously) Reto Berra. And David Jones on Calgary's end.

One time a guy named Ryan O'Reilly creepily harassed me online and claimed he fell in love with me and I think he wanted me to be his internet girlfriend or something else bizarre and uncomfortable. Not the Avalanche Ryan O'Reilly, I'm like, 99.99% sure. But a Ryan O'Reilly. Common name. I'm just sharing this to break things up a bit, I guess. Personal common thread. (Also, Ryan O'Reily was my favourite character on Oz! So many Ryan O'Reil(l)ys...)

Approaching milestones: The milestone game countdowns continue: Dennis Wideman is two away from 700, Jiri Hudler is five from 600, Rafa Diaz is five from 200, and now Lance Bouma joins the list: nine away from 200!

Karri Ramo: now eight wins from 50! And since he seems to be the starter now, well, he might just get there this season. Actually, that'd be really, really helpful if he did. Playoffs, and what not.

David Jones is still nine goals away from 100. Dennis Wideman is 10 goals away from 100. Who gets there first?

TJ Brodie is two points from 100. Come on Teej let's go!

On the other side of things, Danny Briere is four points away from 700. Let's not even go there. Tyson Barrie is three from 100. Let's not go there, either.

Scoreboard watching: There are a few games to keep an eye on throughout the night:

  • Los Angeles Kings at New Jersey Devils: Hey Cammy. Remember us? What do you say about helping out your old pals? We could really use it against the team right on our heels.
  • Minnesota Wild at Toronto Maple Leafs: ... Yeah there's no hope here. Move along.
  • San Jose Sharks at Ottawa Senators: Pretty sure it's safe to say the Sharks are done, though.
  • Winnipeg Jets at Edmonton Oilers: We've reached the point of the season where cheering for the Oilers to win is more hilarious than conflicting, so go on, our poor, incompetent northern brethren!

Current records and leaders

Calgary Flames Colorado Avalanche
Record: 39-27-6: 84 points Record: 33-26-12: 78 points
Pacific Division: 3rd Central Division: 6th
Western Conference: 8th Western Conference: 10th
Goal Differential: +22 Goal Differential: -7
Time on ice
Defence: Mark Giordano (25:10 per game)
Forward: Sean Monahan (19:30 per game)
Defence: Erik Johnson (24:25 per game)
Forward: Ryan O'Reilly (19:39 per game)
Points
Goals: Sean Monahan (29)
Assists: Jiri Hudler (38)
Points: Jiri Hudler (64)
Goals: Jarome Iginla (24)
Assists: Tyson Barrie (35)
Points: Jarome Iginla (50)
Shots
Shots on goal: Sean Monahan (168)
Shooting percentage: Jiri Hudler (18.8%)
Shots on goal: Nathan MacKinnon (192)
Shooting percentage: Alex Tanguay (20.4%)
Faceoff Leaders
Sean Monahan (49.9%, 1596 taken) Ryan O'Reilly (53.1%, 1120 taken)
Grit
Penalty minutes: Brandon Bollig (68)
Hits: Lance Bouma (241)
Blocked shots: Kris Russell (246)
Penalty minutes: Cody McLeod (174)
Hits: Cody McLeod (227)
Blocked shots: Nate Guenin (138)
ES Corsi/Fenwick (minimum 1/2 team's games played)
Corsi for%: Mark Giordano (48.4%, 61 GP)
TJ Brodie (46.8%, 72 GP) 
Fenwick for%: Josh Jooris (49.2%, 52 GP)
Mark Giordano (48.6%, 61 GP)
Corsi for%: Nathan MacKinnon (49.0%, 64 GP)
Gabriel Landeskog (48.2%, 71 GP)
Fenwick for%: Nathan MacKinnon (49.6%, 64 GP)
Gabriel Landeskog (48.6%, 71 GP)


Possible starting lineups

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

Colorado Avalanche
Left Wing Center Right Wing
John Mitchell Matt Duchene Jarome Iginla
Gabriel Landeskog Ryan O'Reilly Alex Tanguay
Cody McLeod Marc-Andre Cliche Dennis Everberg
Jordan Caron Freddie Hamilton Danny Briere
Left Defence Right Defence
Nate Guenin Tyson Barrie
Jan Hejda Zach Redmond
Brad Stuart Nick Holden
Goalies
Semyon Varlamov
Reto Berra

Michael Ferland, who has mostly been playing under 10 minutes a game, takes a seat as Josh Jooris is ready to return to the lineup. It looks like the Bouma - Backlund - Jones line might be getting broken up. Hopefully this doesn't mean Markus Granlund's line will be on the shutdown, because he'll definitely get killed out there. Backlund and Jooris tend to be pretty decent possession players though, so them shutting things down could be interesting; even if partnered with Joe Colborne, who is, typically, not that great.

Without Ferland there, Brandon Bollig looks more out of place than ever.

Pretty rude of the Avs to not start Reto Berra against his former team, if you ask me. Come on! Do us a favour! ... Him! ... Us? Us.