GDFD No. 69: Do or die

Ryan Lambert
March 15 2010 05:12PM



Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 69th game of the season on March 15, 2010.

This is a make-or-break game for Calgary.

Win and regain eighth place with an eye toward overtaking Nashville for seventh. Lose and slip ever-closer to the scorching-hot Blues for 10th, and who-knows-what after that.

This is the fourth and final meeting between these two teams and Calgary has taken the last two 7-2 on aggregate, which is encouraging. But the thing is that what made the Flames so successful on that little winning streak of theirs was the absence of what cost them the game last night. Calgary played 240 straight minutes, more or less, which was a novel and exciting interesting approach to the sport, at least for this team.

Last night, not so much. The first 20 minutes consisted almost entirely of what makes a person a successful spectator: standing around, watching, not involving yourself in anything. The last two periods of that game were far more successful because the Flames, surely inspired by Staios, played the style that won them four straight games. The hole was too deep, but still, there were positives.

Obviously another good effort tonight would go a long way toward solidifying a playoff spot. So let's try for that then.

 

Who

The Calgary Flames (34-25-9 for 77 points. Ninth in the West, third in the Northwest) and the Detroit Red Wings (32-23-12 for 78 points. Eighth in the West, third in the Central).

When

7:30 p.m. Mountain time and 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should not really understand what they're advertising.

Where

Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta.

Calgary is 17-15-3 at home this year, and just beat Detroit last week. The Red Wings are 14-13-7 on the road, and have won six of their last eight games.

What (to hate about the Red Wings)

Tomas Holmstrom — Goaltender interference machine, hysterically overrated by Detroit fans, just like every other Red Wing that ever came through the organization.

Niklas Kronwall — Wonder which Flame he's going to attempt to cripple tonight.

Chris Osgood — Sucks.

Why

Because Staios will stop this skid before it starts! Enjoy the game and ride Steve Staios to victory in the comments section.

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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 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 05:26PM
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Wait...the Blues are hot now?

It's a cruel world.

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#2 Arik
March 15 2010, 05:45PM
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Baby I'll ride Staios to victory all. Night. Long.

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#3 Jean Lefebvre
March 15 2010, 06:28PM
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I understand the idea about strength of schedule and simulating the remaining season so many times to get projected results, but it still seems odd that a Calgary win tonight would give the Flames one more point and two more wins than the Wings with games played being even and yet Sports Club Stats figures Detroit would still be a 54.1-46.3 favourite to earn a playoff spot compared to the Flames.

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#4 Jean Lefebvre
March 15 2010, 06:30PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Wait...the Blues are hot now?

It's a cruel world.

Still say the Blues should have been a playoff team this season, even with that unexciting goalie tandem. Just not sure whether they fired Andy Murray too soon or too late.

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#5 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 06:52PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

Still say the Blues should have been a playoff team this season, even with that unexciting goalie tandem. Just not sure whether they fired Andy Murray too soon or too late.

I think the Blues are a couple of years away from being a very good team. Problem is, all their main weapons are a few years removed from peak performance, be it the old guys (Tkachuk, Kariya) or the young guys (Oshie, Berglund, Johnson, Perron). Once the kids grow up a bit, the Blues are going be a team to fear.

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#6 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 07:15PM
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So Aaron Johnson is tearing it up for the Oilers - I never considered his loss to be a significant variable in the equation of that deal, but it's still kind of bitterly ironic.

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#7 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 07:37PM
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So it looks like Dawes is starting on a line with Conroy and Moss with Hagman getting the bump. I wonder when Kotalik will get the eventual demotion?

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#8 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 07:44PM
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There's a good first shift for Dawes.

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#9 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 07:55PM
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Kipper with an amazing save to preserve the one goal lead.

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#10 Jean Lefebvre
March 15 2010, 08:03PM
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Maybe it's mostly reputation but no matter what their record is, the Red Wings just always look dangerous.

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#11 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 08:10PM
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The Flames PP is truly putrid.

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#12 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 08:12PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

Maybe it's mostly reputation but no matter what their record is, the Red Wings just always look dangerous.

When you boast guys like Datsyuk, Franzen and Zetterberg, you always are.

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#13 Jean Lefebvre
March 15 2010, 08:13PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

When you boast guys like Datsyuk, Franzen and Zetterberg, you always are.

True enough, but then there's Drew Miller flying around tonight.

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#14 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 08:17PM
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Flames outchanced 5-4 in that period. Calgary had a good opening 10 minutes, but did nothing after that.

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#15 Jean Lefebvre
March 15 2010, 08:34PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Flames outchanced 5-4 in that period. Calgary had a good opening 10 minutes, but did nothing after that.

Hey, Pierre McGuire had the same count as you! That's a good thing, right?

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#16 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 08:43PM
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I think Dawes has looked pretty good tonight.

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#17 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 08:44PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

Hey, Pierre McGuire had the same count as you! That's a good thing, right?

I'm not so sure now.

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#18 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 08:56PM
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Flames are getting a few more chances in this period.

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#19 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 09:05PM
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Yikes. That's a rough way to have the game tied up.

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#20 Jean Lefebvre
March 15 2010, 09:05PM
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Brings up the old story — wouldn't the Flames have rather had a penalty there instead of a penalty shot?

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#21 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 09:07PM
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Chances were even at 6-6 in that period.

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#22 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 09:08PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

Brings up the old story — wouldn't the Flames have rather had a penalty there instead of a penalty shot?

No kidding. Especially in light of the result.

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#23 Jean Lefebvre
March 15 2010, 09:18PM
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TSN panel ready to declare the West's race for No. 8 spot is over based on the Wings' "complete domination" of the second period. Presumably they mean the second period of this game since there are no other games in progress.

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#24 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 09:19PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

TSN panel ready to declare the West's race for No. 8 spot is over based on the Wings' "complete domination" of the second period. Presumably they mean the second period of this game since there are no other games in progress.

I have no idea what they're talking about. The shots were close, the chances were even, the corsi favored CGY. Without a marginal call to Staios in the last 2 minutes, the Wings are still behind in this one.

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#25 Jean Lefebvre
March 15 2010, 09:23PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I have no idea what they're talking about. The shots were close, the chances were even, the corsi favored CGY. Without a marginal call to Staios in the last 2 minutes, the Wings are still behind in this one.

I think it goes back to the earlier remark about the Red Wings inspiring a respect/fear factor based on reputation as much as talent.

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#26 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 09:33PM
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It's absolutely stunning how bad the Flames PP is. I can't seem to get over it.

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#27 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 09:54PM
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Well, another last minute goal. That might be it for the local heroes this year.

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