|Calgary Flames vs Colorado Avalanche, 8 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary Alberta|
|TV: RSNW, Alti|
|Radio: Sportsnet 960|
The Flames and Avalanche will lock horns for the 2nd time in the last 9 days tonight at the Saddledome. When these two last met, it was a bizarre affair as Calgary scored 6 goals, 4 of which went in off of Avs players. Since then the Flames have split with the Ducks and Coyotes, while still hanging around in the Western Conference playoff picture. The key to Calgary’s hanging around has been the play of Brian Elliott and Mikael Backlund lately. Backlund has points (5G 3A) in 4 straight and very quietly Brian Elliott has won 4 in a row. Calgary has a lighter schedule coming up and a team like the Avalanche should be ripe for the picking and a good way to add 2 points to their total so far this season.
Why are the Avs ripe for the picking you ask? Well, they are the NHL’s worst squad this season, sporting only 25 points and a 4-13-1 record at home. Colorado closed out 2016 in spectacular fashion going 3-12 in the month of December and were outscored 56-27. Included in that nightmare scenario was a 10-1 drubbing by the Canadiens and three games where they gave up 6 goals, one of those to Calgary.
The other intriguing angle is Jarome Iginla. The Avs and Flames will play one more time this season and it will be in Calgary, but that’s not until March 27th. Short of being traded to the Flames or him being dealt to a team that Calgary could potentially play in the playoffs, is this Iggy’s last visit to the Saddledome? It’s highly unlikely he finishes the season with Colorado, so it begs the question of whether Jarome Iginla will ever set foot on the ice at the Dome again as a player.
Now that you’re all bummed out, here’s how the teams match-up:
|Calgary Flames||Colorado Avalanche|
|4th Pacific||Division||7th Central|
|7th West||Conference||14th West|
|Backlund (11)||Goals||Duchene (13)|
|Gaudreau (25)||Points||MacKinnon (25)|
|Johnson (.920)||Save %||Varlamov (.901)|
|19.5 (12th)||PP %||13.6 (28th)|
|81.2 (18th)||PK %||78.9 (25th)|
|Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)||Record||GAA||Save %|
|Flames: Elliott (E)||7-9-1||3.01||.893|
|Avalanche: Pickard (E)||6-10-1||3.14||.898|
Calgary Flames 4 Arizona Coyotes 2
The Flames last took to the ice on Saturday night and continued to slap around the Arizona Coyotes with a 4-2 win on NYE. The Flames scored 4 first period goals and never looked back, winning their 4th staight game over the the floundering ‘Yotes. Here’s our recap, highlights and stats from the contest.
|Flames Stats vs Coyotes 12/31/16|
Colorado Avalanche 2 Vancouver Canucks 3
The Avs last played on Monday night and the results were, well, predictable. Colorado fell to the surging Canucks 3-2, their 4th straight trip to the L column. Calvin Pickard stopped 21 of 24 shots, but it wasn’t enough as the Canucks got one more and put the Avalanche down for the 24th time this season. Mile High Hockey has the recap and NHL.com has the highlights.
Players to Watch
Calgary Flames: Michael Frolik (F). The struggling Czech forward appears to be coming out of his funk. After leading the Flames in goals scored for a good chunk of the early season, Frolik disappeared for a bit, but he’s turned it on as of last. He’s got 6 points in his last 5 games (1G 5A) and appears to be getting that confidence back. He snagged an assist in Calgary’s last game against Colorado back on December 27th and had a 2 point effort against the Coyotes on New Years Eve.
Colorado Avalanche: Nathan MacKinnon (C). MacKinnon leads the team in points with 25 and he grabbed two of those the last time the Avalanche played the Flames. His 2 assists were part of a 4 point run over 2 games. MacKinnon has played very well away from the Pepsi Center this season. Of his 25 points, 16 have come on the road.