January 11 2010 04:17PM
Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 46th game of the season on Jan. 11, 2010.
So Colorado again. Fourth time this season.
The first three, you'll recall, have ended 3-2. The problem, then, is this: Craig Anderson and the Colorado defense are not easy to beat. The Flames have put 89 shots on goal in the three games in which they've faced Anderson this year, and he has stopped all but six of them. That's a save percentage of .966 and a goals-against average of 2.00001 (he's been pulled for an extra attacker for a total of six seconds, so I guess it'd be fair to round down).
These numbers are, obviously, considerably better than his career single-season bests, and by a wide margin. In fact, Anderson has been far better than average in his entire career against the Flames (which, granted, consists of just two other games and one other start). And that's troubling.
If the Flames want to hold on to this division lead for longer than a few days this time around, then they need to start making quick work of teams like the Avalanche, ones that they cannot solve and which are only slightly better than league average in terms of offense and defense. The statistics dictate that the Flames shouldn't be able to outgun the Avs (Calgary's offense being sub-average) but they are far better at clamping down on teams (Colorado's defense being sub-average).
Except stupid Craig Anderson keeps stealing games. And the Flames can't continue to let that happen.
The Calgary Flames (26-14-5 for 57 points. Tied for third in the West, first in the Northwest) and the Colorado Avalanche (25-15-6 for 56 points. Tied for fifth in the West, tied for second in the Northwest).
8 p.m. Mountain time and 10 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should not mess around with Burger King.
Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta.
Calgary is 12-8-2 at home this year, but haven't beaten Colorado in three tries this year. The Avs are 14-9-4 on the road but recently lost to Carolina and that's just terrible.
What (to hate about the Avalanche)
The audacity — Can you believe they retired Ray Bourque's number? Can you honestly believe that? It's the most embarrassing thing of which I am currently aware.
Youth — Have a look at the Avs' leading scorers. 1) Paul Stastny. 2) Wojtek Wolski. 3) Milan Hejduk. 4) Matt Duchene. 5) Chris Stewart. 6) Kyle Quincey. 7) Ryan O'Reilly. 8) David Jones. 9) TJ Galliardi. 10) JM Liles. The oldest guy in that group is Hejduk at 33. Liles is next at 29. And the rest are all 25 and under.
Craig Anderson — He is still playing better than he really has any right to.
Because you left your laser pointer at home. Enjoy the game and get right to bed after in the comments section.