FGD: So, There's a Game too?

Pat Steinberg
November 17 2010 01:32PM

Phoenix Coyotes' Vernon Fiddler (38) scores against Calgary Flames' goalie Miikka Kiprusoff (C), as Jay Bouwmeester watches, in the third period of their NHL game in Glendale, Arizona November 12, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

So...with all this talk of Jarome Iginla and the Los Angeles Kings and Brayden Schenn and a total tear down...it may be easy to forget there's a hockey game to play.  Hey, some may like to pretend there isn't a game, with some of the results as of late...but tonight, it's the Flames back at home as they take on the Phoenix Coyotes (7:30 pm, Sportsnet West and The FAN 960).

Let's face it...it's as close to a must-win game in November you can get.  The Flames have lost six of seven games, and they've lost in a variety of different ways.  In fact, they lost a frustrating-as-hell game against this same Coyotes team on Friday night in the desert.  Who knows what happens tonight.  Who knows.

The Lineup

For the most part, things look the same as they did Saturday against San Jose, with another swap of Mikkelson for Staios being the only tweak.  As for lines, they look the same as they did to finish the game against the Sharks, with Matt Stajan reunited (yay) with Iginla and Alex Tanguay.

Alex Tanguay-Matt Stajan-Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross-Olli Jokinen-Rene Bourque
Niklas Hagman-Mikael Backlund-David Moss
Brendan Morrison-Craig Conroy-Tim Jackman

Robyn Regehr-Ian White
Cory Sarich-Mark Giordano
Jay Bouwmeester-Steve Staios

Miikka Kiprusoff

Kipper makes his seventh consecutive start, with results being very mixed.  In fact, probably not mixed...the Flames have lost five of those six games he's been in.  He's had some good spans, especially the first period of the game against San Jose, but also had some not so great spans.

The Opponent

The Coyotes enter action tonight sitting 7-5-5, currently riding a season high three game win streak.  One of those wins game in the form of a 5-4 victory over Calgary on Friday night, a game where the 'Yotes probably should have won 5-2.  Lines and pairings are very similar to a few days ago:

Wojtek Wolski-Eric Belanger-Lee Stempniak
Ray Whitney-Martin Hanzal-Radim Vrbata
Scottie Upshall-Vernon Fiddler-Lauri Korpikoski
Taylor Pyatt-Kyle Turris-Petr Prucha/Paul Bissonnette

Keith Yandle-Derek Morris
Ed Jovanovski-Adrian Aucoin
Sami Lepisto-Nolan Yonkman

Ilya Bryzgalov

Maybe the Flames can find a way to exploit that vaunted third pairing.  Maybe.  Remember ol Fiddler and his three goal night against Calgary...THAT was followed by a three goal night from Ray Whitney in their next win.  It looks like the team might be heading in the right direction.

The Story

The Flames need a win, let's face it...if this team falls any further below the .500 mark, they're going to make a change.  Is it going to be a major, Iginla-like move?  Who knows.  But this team won 17 games in the first two months of last season and STILL MISSED THE PLAYOFFS.  They're well behind that pace, and there are two ways to look at it.  The positive way would be to say they're getting their long losing skid out of the way early.  The negative way would be to say the Flames are losing now and aren't good enought to play .600 hockey for the rest of the season.  Who knows...but at least start with a win tonight.

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Pat Steinberg can be heard daily on the Fan960 in Calgary at can be read at the FAN 960. Born and raised in Calgary, Steinberg considers himself a huge fan of all sports including the CFL, MMA and 13 round bare knuckle boxing matches. Follow Steinberg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Fan960Steinberg.
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#1 Domebeers.com
November 17 2010, 01:44PM
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Threadjack, on:

If anybody wants to help with the scoring chance project, Kent would be glad for your help.

I was going to write a speech on the matter but my neighbour just died and now I have a new dog (like literally, at about 1 pm). So help Kent out, will you? The more people we have doing the scoring chance project the better. If enough of you help out we can use it as an actual stat!

When Kent starts his own version of STATS Inc and the Elias Sports Bureau, don't you want to be in on the ground floor?

So help out. The Nation Needs You!

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#3 Kent Wilson
November 17 2010, 01:52PM
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Domebeers.com wrote:

Threadjack, on:

If anybody wants to help with the scoring chance project, Kent would be glad for your help.

I was going to write a speech on the matter but my neighbour just died and now I have a new dog (like literally, at about 1 pm). So help Kent out, will you? The more people we have doing the scoring chance project the better. If enough of you help out we can use it as an actual stat!

When Kent starts his own version of STATS Inc and the Elias Sports Bureau, don't you want to be in on the ground floor?

So help out. The Nation Needs You!

So that means you're volunteering...right?

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#4 B
November 17 2010, 02:21PM
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...White and Sutter to Carolina for Babchuk and Kostopolus.

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