February 01 2013 01:44PM
Once more, there is all kinds of hockey going on. Junior and European teams jockey for playoff spots, while professional teams are still just trying to find their legs.
The Flames get back into the saddle on Saturday night, when they face the Chicago Blackhawks. The team will be trying to get back into the win column after Thursday's disappointing result. Chicago has yet to lose in regulation.
The Abbotsford Heat visit the Lake Erie Monster (Colorado's farm team) on Friday and the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit's farm team) on Saturday. Meanwhile, on the farm team's farm team, the Utah Grizzlies visit the Ontario Reign on Friday and Saturday. Utah is the third-worst team in the ECHL.
The Edmonton Oil Kings (home of Laurent Brossoit) hosts Swift Current (and Coda Gordon) on Friday and then visits Medicine Hat on Saturday. The Saskatoon Blades (and Michael Ferland) host the Calgary Hitmen on Friday and then Swift Current on Saturday.
Tyler Wotherspoon's Portland Winterhawks visit Seattle on Friday and then host Spokane on Saturday. Brett Kulak's Vancouver Giants have a home-and-home with Kelowna on Friday and Saturday. Turner Elson's Red Deer Rebels visit Lethbridge on Friday.
Windsor (and Patrick Sieloff) have a home-and-home with Guelph on Friday and Sunday. Ryan Culkin's Quebec Remparts host Drummondville on Friday ad Blainville-Boisbriand on Saturday.
Boston College and Providence College each play once this week. Gaudreau, Arnold and their team play Vermont on Friday. Jankowski, Gillies and their team play Maine on Friday. Boston College also begins the Beanpot in Boston on Monday night against those stuffed shirts from Harvard.
The Wisconsin Badgers (captained by John Ramage) play North Dakota on Friday and Saturday. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (and Nick Larson) face Ohio State on Friday and Saturday. Finally, Matt DeBlouw's Michigan State Spartans play a home-and-home with Michigan on Friday and Saturday, with the Saturday game being played in Joe Louis Arena.
Avangard Omsk (and Karri Ramo) is off this weekend. They lost on last Friday evening against Barys.
Avangard has two games remaining in the regular season, against SKA on February 15 and Dynamo Moscow on February 17. They've clinched the top playoff spot in the East and will face the eighth place team in the first round.
Markus Granlund, Joni Ortio and HIFK Helsinki plays the Espoo Blues on Saturday, then the entire league is off for a ten day break.