Game No. 20: Not those Rangers

Ryan Lambert
November 22 2010 03:55PM



What will happen when neither team wants to win?

This season has been a very odd one for both the Flames and Rangers insofar as they're both performing below somewhat meager expectations.

I doubt anyone expected either of these teams to set the world on fire, and indeed, both seemed like borderline playoff teams, as they were last year. And while the Rangers, technically, are in the playoffs right now at 11-9-1, it's unlikely that anyone would contend they're anything better than just-over-mediocre. The Flames have the same story, obviously, except the record leaves more to be desired than even the Rangers' one game above .500. But in looking at the stats for these two teams, it's kind of interesting how close they are.

New York and Calgary are shockingly similar teams, with the same goal output per game and special teams units that are pretty much in the same ballpark. Hell, they're even both below 50 percent at the dot, as the Rangers have won just 44.3 percent of their draws. Fun fact: that is terrible. Only Carolina at 39.9 percent(!!!) is worse.

But what's most interesting about the Rangers is that they'll start Marty Biron tonight instead of the struggling Henrik Lundqvist. Okay, so a team starting its backup against a sub-.500 club from another conference is not interesting or in any way out of the ordinary under normal circumstances. But in this case, it's odd because the former has actually been the better goalie this season by far. Lundqvist has given up three goals or more in nine of his 15 starts this year, and you would've thought that, given the fact that the Flames aren't very good, and are playing the second half of a back-to-back that's taken them into three different time zones, you might give the struggling No.1 starter that's supposed to be one of the best goaltenders in the world a crack at getting his confidence and rhythm back. But then I'm not John Tortorella, so what do I know?

Another curious goaltending decision: Kiprusoff goes tonight for Calgary after playing 62 minutes last night and giving up five goals. This is good stuff from Brent Sutter and isn't likely to backfire at all. And as an added bonus, the Marian Gaborik eats the Flames' defense for lunch.

It's too bad Olli Jokinen isn't playing tonight (still suspended). He's very accustomed to costing the Rangers games.

 

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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#1 cgalatis
November 22 2010, 04:23PM
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I just hope tonight isn't the last game Moss plays at Center with the impending return of Jokinen on Wednesday. I know it will be just hoping Sutter does the right thing.

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#2 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 05:09PM
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cgalatis wrote:

I just hope tonight isn't the last game Moss plays at Center with the impending return of Jokinen on Wednesday. I know it will be just hoping Sutter does the right thing.

Yeah, no. Moss will be back on wing as soon as Joker returns. I wish it wasn't so.

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#3 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 05:09PM
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Regehr out. Staios in. Booooo.

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#4 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 05:12PM
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Ridiculous call.

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#5 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 05:18PM
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I can't believe Iginla's line just got worked by Boyle and Prust.

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#6 Robert Cleave
November 22 2010, 05:20PM
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Did the Flames think that it was a 7:40 ET start? They've hardly been out of their end the first 6 minutes.

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#7 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 05:21PM
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First five minutes is a shit show. I know it's a B2B but come on boys.

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#8 Pat Steinberg
November 22 2010, 05:23PM
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Interesting to see Meyer in for Conroy. That's a scary hit though, good to see 44 get up right away.

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#9 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 05:27PM
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Is Sarich playing injured? Because he's gawd awful out there recently.

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#10 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 05:29PM
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Just a horrid opening period by the Flames here. Brent Sutter's head is going to explode.

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#11 jbeach403
November 22 2010, 05:37PM
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Backlunds dad is there- "Sure, Ill come see you play. Call me when you're somewhere worth going."

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#12 Pat Steinberg
November 22 2010, 05:41PM
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This is not the start they wanted...luckily, they might be given the benefit of taking 20 minutes to get into the game.

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#13 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 05:44PM
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Pat Steinberg wrote:

This is not the start they wanted...luckily, they might be given the benefit of taking 20 minutes to get into the game.

Yeah. Escaping this one tied is a huge boon.

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#14 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 05:47PM
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Chance count was 8-2 in that one. CGY's 2 chances? Last 40 seconds of the period. Meaning they got none at ES.

Yeesh.

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#15 Robert Cleave
November 22 2010, 05:50PM
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Corsi.

CGY -6. EV shots 7-6 NYR. Terrible start, but they aren't losing, which is about all the good I can say about that period.

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#16 Pat Steinberg
November 22 2010, 05:54PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

Corsi.

CGY -6. EV shots 7-6 NYR. Terrible start, but they aren't losing, which is about all the good I can say about that period.

It's about the best possible news though...could have been a whole lot worse.

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#17 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 06:06PM
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How does a professional hockey team change like that?

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#18 Robert Cleave
November 22 2010, 06:06PM
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Own goal by Mikkelson, but that was a two on zero. Terrible change.

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#19 jbeach403
November 22 2010, 06:06PM
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nice goal by mickelson there... ohnowait

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#20 Robert Cleave
November 22 2010, 06:11PM
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Gotta love those three on ones where two of the three are D men. Nice work by JB and Iggy.

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#21 jbeach403
November 22 2010, 06:12PM
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wow that appeared to be compitence by steve staios, thats something i could (but probably wont) get used to.

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#22 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 06:12PM
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The Flames 4th chance of the night goes in. Phew.

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#23 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 06:21PM
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Flames actually look like an NHL team in this period...aside from that line change.

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#24 Pat Steinberg
November 22 2010, 06:27PM
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Oh Miikka.

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#25 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 06:30PM
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Pat Steinberg wrote:

Oh Miikka.

I'll give him that one. Under the arm can be a bitch to stop.

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#26 Robert Cleave
November 22 2010, 06:34PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I'll give him that one. Under the arm can be a bitch to stop.

Bourque got a piece of that, too. The puck was knuckling before it ever got to Kipper. Glencross' dumb-assery was as much to blame as anything for that goal.

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#27 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 06:36PM
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Well, this one has settled into a total yawn fest since the second NYR goal.

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#28 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 06:37PM
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Meyer is a gamer, but he has some of the worst hands I've ever seen.

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#29 Sherw88d
November 22 2010, 06:40PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Meyer is a gamer, but he has some of the worst hands I've ever seen.

Remember...Bourque started the season with the worst hands I had seen in a while...look out!

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#30 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 06:41PM
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Chances were 5-5 in that one. So...better, but hardly blowing the doors off.

Sarich is just a throbbing laibility out there right now. He's getting walked around at least once or twice a game now and that's one top of his usual grace with the puck.

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#31 Sherw88d
November 22 2010, 06:41PM
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Sherw88d wrote:

Remember...Bourque started the season with the worst hands I had seen in a while...look out!

Started his *first season with the Flames* with the worst hands I had seen in a while

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#32 Pat Steinberg
November 22 2010, 06:41PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

Bourque got a piece of that, too. The puck was knuckling before it ever got to Kipper. Glencross' dumb-assery was as much to blame as anything for that goal.

Look, I'm watching at Schanks and it's very hard to see!

It looked like a nice shot though.

The Glencross penalty was stupid though.

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#33 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 06:42PM
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Sherw88d wrote:

Remember...Bourque started the season with the worst hands I had seen in a while...look out!

Yeah...I'll, uh, not hold my breath for that conversion to happen.

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#34 Sherw88d
November 22 2010, 06:44PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Yeah...I'll, uh, not hold my breath for that conversion to happen.

Fair enough...but just sayin...heheh

Boobardias blows so much hope up the viewer's ass. Like Dubinsky was going to get 2 minutes for hugging....

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#35 Robert Cleave
November 22 2010, 06:44PM
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Corsi.

CGY +1, so +7 in the period. EV shots 17-13 CGY, 11-6 in the second. Pretty decent period with a couple of lousy bounces.

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#36 Robert Cleave
November 22 2010, 06:47PM
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Pat Steinberg wrote:

Look, I'm watching at Schanks and it's very hard to see!

It looked like a nice shot though.

The Glencross penalty was stupid though.

You're working, so I presume that you're just far away from the screen, as opposed to beer goggles, right?

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#37 Justin Azevedo
November 22 2010, 06:53PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

You're working, so I presume that you're just far away from the screen, as opposed to beer goggles, right?

I wouldn't be so sure. I know a producer at a local radio station who's had a couple while pushing the buttons... :)

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#38 Pat Steinberg
November 22 2010, 06:55PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

I wouldn't be so sure. I know a producer at a local radio station who's had a couple while pushing the buttons... :)

I only wish I could do that. I'm barely coherent on the air whilst sober.

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#39 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 07:04PM
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Nice shift by Moss/Glencross versus Gabbers there.

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#40 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 07:07PM
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Lots of action in this period, but it's almost all on the periphery. Or, when the teams are getting the puck in the scoring area, shots are being blocked or the trigger isn't being pulled.

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#41 jbeach403
November 22 2010, 07:15PM
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ok, they clearly need to define blindside hit to the head because in my books, if a blindside hit to the head is a penalty, that was a penalty.

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#42 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 07:16PM
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Staal will be getting a call tomorrow for that hit. Maybe. I think.

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#43 Sherw88d
November 22 2010, 07:16PM
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Yah, that's great. now the other teams will benefit from a Staal suspension, but we don't get the 5 minute major...or even an effin power play. That is complete garbage.

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#44 jbeach403
November 22 2010, 07:18PM
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also, boogard is completely useless and nothing but a detriment to the game

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#45 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 07:24PM
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Well, Flames are pressing here but nothing is going in. Hopefully they can cash in the last few minutes here.

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#46 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 07:33PM
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Well that sucks. Had chances to tie and maybe win this one because the Rangers shelled hard. That said, the game also could have been lost in the first given the way the team played.

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#47 Robert Cleave
November 22 2010, 07:33PM
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Corsi.

CGY +11, EV shots 30-21 CGY. Calgary had some chances, but not many clean looks.

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#48 Kent Wilson
November 22 2010, 07:36PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

Corsi.

CGY +11, EV shots 30-21 CGY. Calgary had some chances, but not many clean looks.

Good eye. tons of periphery stuff at the end. I had the Flames last chance at around the 4 minute mark, despite the fact they were pressing for entire last 5 minutes.

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#49 Domebeers.com
November 22 2010, 07:43PM
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who was on the ice when stajan got hit?

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#50 Sherw88d
November 22 2010, 07:49PM
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We were one good change away from pushing that game to OT. We were 2 finished Iginla Power moves away from winning.

Bad bounces, we deserved a better fate.

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