GDFD No. 77: Oddly positive

Ryan Lambert
March 31 2010 05:16PM



Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 77th game of the season on March 31, 2010.

At this point Calgary needs to basically win out. So let's have a look at the schedule.

Oh look who Calgary plays tonight. Phoenix. The team with the third-most points in the NHL. So we're off to a good start.

Look, I don't expect Calgary to make the playoffs. I almost don't even want it to happen just so it kind of scares the organization into making some much-needed changes and all that kinda fun stuff. But that doesn't mean the Flames need to lose every game, and certainly this one seems winnable.

"WHAT?" you ask. Fair point by you, but let me explain.

Phoenix has been a very, very good team this season, yes. They clinched a playoff spot, they have 47 wins, all that. But do you know how many road games they've won in regulation this month? Two of eight. Against Carolina and Tampa. Do you know how many of their wins have come in overtime or the shootout this season? A whopping 17! Do you know how many goals they've given up in their last seven games? It's 20. Do you know what their scoring margin in road games is this year? It's minus-7 (compared to plus-10 at home). Do you know what their power play is ranked? It's 28th.

Like I said, winnable.

 

Who

The Calgary Flames (38-29-9 for 85 points. Ninth in the West, third in the Northwest) and the Phoenix Coyotes (47-24-6 for 100 points. Second in the West, second in the Pacific).

When

7:30 p.m. Mountain time and 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should order off-menu fast food.

Where

Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is 19-16-3 at home this year, and are somehow 6-2-0 against Pacific Division opponents in Calgary. The Coyotes are 20-14-4 on the road, but haven't won a road game against a Western Conference playoff team in regulation since Oct. 3, the first day of the season.

What (to hate about the Coyotes)

Matt Lombardi — He's the Coyotes' second-best scorer with 16-34-50. Olli Jokinen's total output in Calgary? It was 19-31-50. Great. That's great.

Lee Stempniak — Since coming to Phoenix he's done pretty alright. He's played 13 games, and has scored 12-3-15. In case you were worried that I'd made a terrible typographical error, I'll spell it out for you: that's twelve goals in thirteen games. For Lee Stempniak.

Radim Vrbata — He sure loves playing in Phoenix. He has played 153 games there and scored 51 goals, or 0.33 per game. In the other 364 games of his career, he has 78, or .21. If he'd played his entire 517-game career in Phoenix and scored at the same rate, he'd have 172 career goals instead of 129, or an extra five goals per season.

Why

Because Staios knows there's still a glimmer of hope! Enjoy the game, and make new friends in the comments section.

686dfac3780611cb7acad6ce5166c6c1
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 Wanye
March 31 2010, 05:41PM
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I remember when Staios used to see glimmers of hope up here. Now hope is gone (bad) but so is Staios (good)

heh heh heh.

HOPE

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#2 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 09:15PM
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OK, hands up anyone who back in September predicted that Jason Blake could potentially play a pivotal role in anything in particular.

No takers either way.

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#3 Wanyes bastard child
March 31 2010, 05:58PM
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The person I feel the most for is TLP, first his team loses to Canada for the gold and now his other team won't make the playoffs.

ZING

*stands in a superman pose*

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#4 alex
March 31 2010, 06:27PM
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analysis this: cgy wins tonight, col losses

cgy beats col on Friday and the flames are TIED for 8th

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#5 Domebeers.com
March 31 2010, 06:30PM
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Dear Hockey Gods,

Please have Reggie destroy Lombardi.

Thanks in advance,

Domebeers.com

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#6 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 07:33PM
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No Charlie Simmer tonight.

I'm oddly disappointed.

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#7 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 07:38PM
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Ducks up 1-0 on Av's late in the 1st.

Flames Starting Lineup:
Bourque-Backlund-Kotalik
Bouwmeester-Staios
Kiprusoff

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#8 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 07:39PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

No Charlie Simmer tonight.

I'm oddly disappointed.

So we're starting off with a positive... that's a good sign.

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#9 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 07:41PM
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Doan on a line with Fiddler and Pyatt? Weird.

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#10 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 07:43PM
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Twitter Alert from Adrian Dater...

Adam Foote giveaway, 2-0 Ducks. Night folks, see you Friday for the game that will tie up the point standings between Colorado and Calgary

:-)

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#11 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 07:48PM
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Mikael Backlund is struggling a lot in the first.

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#12 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 07:53PM
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Kipper sharp yet again.

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#13 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 07:54PM
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Not a good start to the game.

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#14 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 08:02PM
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Flames are getting their asses handed to them at ES so far. Thank God it's still tied.

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#15 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 08:07PM
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Giordano with beauty stretch pass to send Stajan in all alone.

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#16 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 08:08PM
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Chances were 7-3 for PHX in the first.

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#17 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 08:08PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Giordano with beauty stretch pass to send Stajan in all alone.

Man that was incredible.

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#18 Justin A
March 31 2010, 08:10PM
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Shots 11-9 PHX.

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#19 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 08:11PM
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More tweets from Dater...

Avs don't talk to each other on the bench. just stare straight ahead.......... avs can't get a goal on sieve curtis mcilhenny - as low as it gets.

LOLZ, Dater's getting bitter.

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#20 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 08:13PM
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corsi was -11 in that period for the Flames. ES shots were 9-3 for PHX. On home ice, against a team that played last night.

Yuck.

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#21 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 08:15PM
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@RC - Dater's always been bitter.

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#22 Pat Steinberg
March 31 2010, 08:23PM
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That shift with Wolski's line out there was one of the most impressive things I've ever seen. 3 or 4 huge Kiprusoff saves in that span.

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#23 Justin Azevedo
March 31 2010, 08:25PM
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Ah, this is much better.

Avs just scored, 2-1 Ducks.

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#24 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 08:29PM
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@ Pat - yeah that was pure domination. Wolski seems to love to play the Flames

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#25 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 08:32PM
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What was Conroy doing there?

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#26 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 08:35PM
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Not sure. He had a good shift going up until then.

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#27 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 08:36PM
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Ducks up 3-1 after 2; Av's gave up goal in final minute of first 2 periods.

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#28 Justin Azevedo
March 31 2010, 08:37PM
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Lucky that wasn't too many men.

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#29 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 08:37PM
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Moss has looked pretty good tonight actually.

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#30 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 08:51PM
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YAAAAAAAA-HOOOOOOOOO!!!

Ian White banks it in off of Rene Bourque.

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#31 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 08:51PM
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Nice play by White. Lucky to have it go in off of Bourque though.

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#32 Justin Azevedo
March 31 2010, 08:53PM
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@Kent Wilson

Lucky, yes.

Not that I care.

I like Goals!

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#33 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 08:58PM
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Has Stajan been given a seat on the bench?

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#34 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 08:59PM
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Selanne scores, Jason Blake has 4th assist of night; Ducks 4, Av's 1 5 min. into 3rd.

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#35 Justin Azevedo
March 31 2010, 09:00PM
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@Kent Wilson

Maybe feeling the effects from the hit earlier?

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#36 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 09:03PM
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@ Justin - could be. He's played pretty poorly though, so it might just be pragmatic.

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#37 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 09:03PM
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Unfreakingbelievable! Damn near gave up a goal with seconds left in period.

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#38 Pat Steinberg
March 31 2010, 09:05PM
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@Kent I agree on Stajan, hasn't been good the last 7 games or so, save one good night.

Better final 8 minutes of the second period, can they carry it through into the third?

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#39 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 09:05PM
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Chances were 5-4 in favor of the Coyotes. Kinda surprised by that, actually. Still, better than the first!

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#40 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 09:07PM
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Pat Steinberg wrote:

@Kent I agree on Stajan, hasn't been good the last 7 games or so, save one good night.

Better final 8 minutes of the second period, can they carry it through into the third?

Hopefully (aside from the dreadful last 30 seconds).

Stajan has been really marginal the last little while, but has been particularly bad tonight. Not sure if he was hurt after Hanzal nailed him or not, but his play sure is making me nervous about that contract he signed.

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#41 Jean Lefebvre
March 31 2010, 09:10PM
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Could this be a devastating scenario? Flames come to life just enough to give their fans hope again, only to set up another crushing disappointment?

In any event, you can't help but think of all those 3-2 losses to Colorado earlier in the season when the Flames outplayed but couldn't outscore the Avs.

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#42 Jean Lefebvre
March 31 2010, 09:12PM
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OK, hands up anyone who back in September predicted that Jason Blake could potentially play a pivotal role in the Flames' playoff hopes.

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#43 Jean Lefebvre
March 31 2010, 09:16PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

OK, hands up anyone who back in September predicted that Jason Blake could potentially play a pivotal role in anything in particular.

No takers either way.

No question, Blake has been the best ex-Leaf for the Flames tonight, with Ian White a distant second.

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#44 Jean Lefebvre
March 31 2010, 09:18PM
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Jason Blake with 1G and 4A, Ducks lead Avs 5-2 with 5:00 to play.

Hey Kent, are the percentages catching up to Colorado or what?

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#45 Pat Steinberg
March 31 2010, 09:19PM
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Stajan had 6:58 of ice time in the first, 5:58 in the second. Overall has more ice time than Iginla and every other forward not named Bourque. Odd.

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#46 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 09:21PM
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Pat Steinberg wrote:

Stajan had 6:58 of ice time in the first, 5:58 in the second. Overall has more ice time than Iginla and every other forward not named Bourque. Odd.

Huh. I didn't notice that dude at all. Shows you how the eyes can lie.

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#47 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 09:22PM
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Jean Lefebvre wrote:

Jason Blake with 1G and 4A, Ducks lead Avs 5-2 with 5:00 to play.

Hey Kent, are the percentages catching up to Colorado or what?

haha, that's the discussion over at M&G as well. Funnily enough, I have a bet with an Avs blogger that the team won't make 95 points this year (made back when they were leading the division). It'd be hilarious if the wheels fell off now.

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#48 Jean Lefebvre
March 31 2010, 09:26PM
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It seems like the Flames' 4th line is getting owned tonight.

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#49 RossCreekNation
March 31 2010, 09:26PM
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Kotalik! http://ow.ly/1tpth

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#50 Kent Wilson
March 31 2010, 09:27PM
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haha, wow. PHX gets 4 straight scoring chances but get nothing. Flames turn it back up the ice and score.

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