March 25 2010 04:37PM
Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 74th game of the season on March 25, 2010.
These next two games are pretty important.
Calgary fans may have looked at the schedule and said, "Oh, an east-coast road trip with two weeks to go in the season? What the hell?" and I don't blame them. But the way things have shaken out these next three games, played in four days (in a bizarrely laid-out geographical plan that has them start in New York, head north to Boston for a matinee two days later, then go down south to play Washington the next day), are going to be fairly important.
This game tonight, as well as the date with the Bruins on Saturday afternoon, are almost gifts. Calgary's been struggling, or at least foundering back and forth between solid-but-unspectacular and only-semi-competent, and a pair of dates with the Islanders, one of the worst teams in the East over the last 10 games and indeed all season, and the so-so, Savardless Bruins, could be just what the doctor ordered.
This SHOULD be four easy points. Start with two tonight and go from there.
The Calgary Flames (37-27-9 for 83 points. Ninth in the West, third in the Northwest) and the New York Islanders (29-34-10 for 68 points. Fourteenth in the East, fifth in the Atlantic).
5 p.m. Mountain time and 7 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should show up NASA.
Nassau Colisseum, Uniondale, New York.
Calgary is 18-11-6 on the road this year, and is 3-1-2 in road games against Eastern Conference opponents. The Isles are 19-13-3 at home, which is a better home winning percentage than Calgary's.
What (to hate about the Islanders)
Mark Streit — One of the most underrated defensemen in the league right here, even after he anchored the Swiss far deeper into the Olympic tournament than they should be. Case in point: in his two seasons with the Islanders, he's a plus-4.
John Tavares — He hasn't been as good as the Isles' management would probably have liked, but I guess you take 21-22-43 from a 19-year-old kid with no one on his line. He turned Matt Moulson into a 26-goal scorer!
Frans Nielsen — I just read something somewhere about how good he is.
Because Staios is all we need to get by! Enjoy the game and ride Steve Staios to victory in the comments section.