The Calgary Flames horrid season comes to an end as they take on the Minnesota Wild in Minnesota. The Flames currently have the fifth worst record in the league, but they can pass the Winnipeg Jets in the standings with a victory. It behooves them not to do so. If they lose tonight and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Chicago Blackhawks (lol), they can fall into 26th place.
- Flames loss in regulation and Blue Jackets win (Jets irrelevant)
- Flames loss and Blue Jackets loss (Jets irrelevant)
Flames loss in overtime or shootout and Blue Jackets win (Jets irrelevant)
- Flames win and Jets win (Blue Jackets irrelevant)
- Flames win and Jets loss (Blue Jackets irrelevant)
It may not seem like much of a difference, but with Jim Benning being a dumb human being and apparently wanting to take a defenseman at number three it makes all the difference in the world. The Flames would be very lucky if they found themselves sitting there at number four and Jesse Puljujarvi was still sitting there. Conversely, if they jump up to 24th they wouldn't be sitting nearly as pretty.
Niklas Backstrom will get the ceremonial start in Minnesota tonight. He's only had three games this season and he's hardly been stellar, so the Flames are already starting out with a handicap. This could very well be the last start of his career.
Devan Dubnyk will be squaring off against Backstrom, but will not play the entire game. Darcy Kuemper will relieve him at some point and the Wild are just trying to keep him fresh. Bold strategy Cotton...
On defense, Patrick Sieloff and Oliver Kylington are going to make their professional debuts today. In both were second round picks with Sieloff getting selected in 2012 and Kylington just last year. To have a defenseman move up the ranks to the NHL that quickly after being taken in the second round should have fans elated. Sieloff on the other hand has been a bit slower to develop.
Local boy Turner Elson will also debut today. Elson went undrafted out of Red Deer and probably isn't a guy that the Flames are looking to for the future, but he gets his shining moment in the sun. Realistically Flames fans have seen Brandon Bollig, Mason Raymond, and Markus Granlund dress for a combined total of 113 games this season so Elson will be a welcome addition - he certainly can't be any worse than that mess which was part of the reason the team fell so flat this year.