FGD: Sweet Home Chicago

Ryan Pike
March 26 2013 01:47PM

The Calgary Flames hit the ice for their 31st game of the 2013 season tonight. They'll try to get the road monkey off their back as they visit the Chicago Blackhawks, and one way or the other, history will be made.

If the Flames win, it'd be their first victory in Chicago since March 16, 2008 (yes, five years) and push the Blackhawks to their first three-game losing skid of the year. If the Flames lose, it'll extend their road winless streak to ten games and bring them a step closer to their franchise record 1973 13-game road winless mark. And a game closer to formal playoff elimination, of course.

The puck drops at 6:30pm on Sportsnet 960 The Fan and Sportsnet West.

THE LINE-UP

The Flames crept to within two games of the lofty perch of .500 hockey on Sunday with a gutsy 3-2 win over St. Louis. Jaroslav Halak was okayish and Miikka Kiprusoff was excellent, and that was the difference.

Expect a very similar line-up in Chicago, with perhaps a tweak on defense. Here are some probable lines.

  • Tanguay-Cammalleri-Iginla
  • Glencross-Stajan-Stempniak
  • Hudler-Backlund-Cervenka
  • Comeau-Begin-Jackman

  • Brodie-Bouwmeester
  • Giordano-Wideman
  • Butler-Sarich

  • Kiprusoff

The Backlund trio was getting the majority of the defensive zone starts against the Blues, showing that the coaching staff has some faith in Backlund (and the Czechs) ability to gain some ground. Either that or they wanted to give the Iginla line as much high ground as they could. Either way, it worked (in the sense that the Flames won the game).

With Chicago hosting Los Angeles on Monday night, Tuesday's game is the tenth time this year that the Flames will play a team that played the night before. In nine previous outings in such a situation, the Flames have gone 6-2-1.

THE OPPOSITION

The Blackhawks were once mighty – and let's not forget that if not for some bad luck, the Flames had them beat back at the beginning of the season – but lately they've had some bad luck. They boast a scary 24-4-3 record, but they've gone 3-4-0 in their last seven outings, including back-to-back losses to Anaheim and Los Angeles.

They played last night (marking the eleventy-billionth time the Flames have seen a tired opponent on the second night of a B2B) and had no formal skate today, with only the injured Sharp and the previously-scratched Carcillo, Hossa and Brookbank skating this morning. That makes me believe that they'll dress a similar line-up as last night's.

  • Saad-Toews-Frolik
  • Hayes-Bolland-Kane
  • Stalberg-Shaw-Bickell
  • Mayers-Kruger-Bollig

  • Keith-Seabrook
  • Hjalmarsson-Oduya
  • Leddy-Rozsival

  • Emery

Michael Frolik was elevated from his typical 3rd/4th line slot and managed two goals and and an assist in the loss to the Kings last night. He is a favorite Flames target of Kent's, so keep an eye on him tonight.

Corey Crawford started last night and gave up five goals, so it should be Ray Emery in net. Crawford has a .933 even-strength save percentage while Emery “lags” behind him with a .927. These numbers are likely going to gradually drift down to Earth a bit, but they're a big source of the Hawks' success this season.

The Blackhawks have good depth – that defensive group looks great – and has a good sprinkling of youth throughout their line-up. That said, they'll be smarting and tired from back-to-back games, so it's up to the Flames to take advantage.

SUM IT UP

The clock is ticking on the Flames playoff hopes (a 6.5% chance, according to Sports Club Stats) and for them to have any chance of success, they need to win games (a) on the road and (b) in buildings where they have struggled and (c) almost all of the games left anyways.

No better place to start than in sweet home Chicago.

FN Viewing Party at TK - Iginla's Final Game?

Next Monday (April 1) FlamesNation will host a Flames Game Viewing Party at the Tilted Kilt. It's April Fool's Day, the Battle of Alberta and potentially Jarome Iginla's last game as a Calgary Flame all rolled into one.

If that's not enough reasons to come out and have a few pops while watching the game, TK is also giving away a Flames jersey during the night and will have their usual "puck contest"going, with free beers as the prizes. On top of all that, they'll have 20oz pints of Canadian and Coors on for $5.50 all night long.

So bring the friends and family next Monday to the Tilted Kilt and help us celebrate another Flames win over the Oilers. And maybe Jarome's last night as a Calgary Flame to boot.

51a8cdc527ce12d222fdc583f3cf4368
Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
Avatar
#1 beloch
March 26 2013, 02:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

@FireOnIce

I say enjoy the few Flames games that are left this season, especially since we'll be watching other teams play come April. Think of how badly you'll be jonesing for pre-season action in August! I'll be cheering for the team to win tonight, but every loss just improves the Flames first-round pick, so it's sort of win/win no matter what happens.

Avatar
#2 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 08:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

iggy with his first for the hawks

Avatar
#3 Scary Gary
March 26 2013, 06:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
Chris Fairfield wrote:

On a side note, Jussi Jokinen (C) on waivers, any interest?

Why not? He's only 30 next week, a center, can win a few faceoffs and is a lower cap option than Stajan, with more talent.

Avatar
#4 Bean-counting cowboy
March 26 2013, 06:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Why would Carolina wave him? Seems in past years I would always see his name popping up on the scoresheet. Flames need centre depth. Problem is it puts us at 50 contracts at a time we are trying to make deals. McDonald waiver wire pick up not looking so good now.

Avatar
#5 Robert Johnson
March 26 2013, 07:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
Vintage Flame wrote:

Good people of Flames Nation.

I have available 2 tix to the game tomorrow against the Av's.

Tix are in sec 205 and row 20 I believe. They are usually $120 for the pair, but are going for an even $100.

Let me know if anyone is interested.

Pay me $100 and I'll take them off your hands.

Avatar
#7 Cowtown 1989
March 26 2013, 09:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

This game is boring. Mr. T is currently out scoring the Flames. What are we waiting for as far as trades go? Jay, start the ball rolling by sending Iggy to Vancouver for Shango and Lando from the Budweiser commercial.

Avatar
#8 danglesnipecelly
March 26 2013, 09:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
Vintage Flame wrote:

I get why Kipper doesn't want to go given that his wife just had a baby and he's not going to move them for 19 games left in the season... But it's still a piss off.

I get the human element and can respect that but isn't he contractually obligated? What does the NHLPA say about that kind of stuff? What's the point in a NTC clause anyway?!?! How many players have moved young families over the years?!

BAH Humbug, I like Kipper, this just sucks. If you're not part of the solution then... retire now.

Avatar
#9 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Listening to Ralph Krueger tonight. Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins as a line combine for all three Oiler goals. His comment: "It was just a gut feeling". Really? Putting together your three best players on a line? Wow, what instincts.

Avatar
#10 the-wolf
March 26 2013, 01:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

"(marking the eleventy-billionth time the Flames have seen a tired opponent on the second night of a B2B)"

...and I was just about to ask how many times that's happened this season....

Avatar
#11 Kent Wilson
March 26 2013, 01:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@the-wolf

It has to be 11 or 12 times now.

Avatar
#12 FireOnIce
March 26 2013, 02:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I am going to watch, if only because it may be Iginla's "last game ever" as Flame (how many times will we be saying that?). I have no expectations for this team.

Who shows up? The team that goes up 4-0, then holds on to barely win? The team that goes down 3-0 and comes back, just to fall short 5-3 in the final period? Frankly, I couldn't give one sh*t. Let them fail. Take the picks. Firesale.

There is no hope for this incarnation of the team. "You have to know when to hold them, you have to know when to fold 'em".

Avatar
#13 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 02:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Oilers at the Blues and the Flames against the Hawks.

As much as I would love to sit and watch the Oilers get their lunch (and teeth) handed to them by the Blues, I think I may try to settle in a spend some time watching Iginla and company.

Good luck tonight. The Flames actually match up well against the Hawks' style of play. Who knows, maybe Iginla scores a hat trick and Stan Bowman ups his trade offer.

Avatar
#14 everton fc
March 26 2013, 02:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

So do the Flames leave Iggy in Chitown this evening?

Avatar
#15 Vintage Flame
March 26 2013, 03:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Good people of Flames Nation.

I have available 2 tix to the game tomorrow against the Av's.

Tix are in sec 205 and row 20 I believe. They are usually $120 for the pair, but are going for an even $100.

Let me know if anyone is interested.

Avatar
#16 Colin S
March 26 2013, 03:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Also worth nothing that Emery is undefeated this year at 11-0-0.

Avatar
#17 Avalain
March 26 2013, 03:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

It has to be 11 or 12 times now.

This will be the 11th time this season that the Flames are playing someone on the 2nd game of a back-to-back.

Interestingly enough, this is also the last time this season (unless I missed one somewhere, but I don't think I did). So, yeah, April is going to be brutal for the Flames this year. In a way we're kind of lucky that we aren't in the playoff hunt right now, because I kind of expect them to slide from this point on. They have 18 games to play in exactly a month. Their only 2 day break is March 30 and 31. Everything else is either one day apart or a back-to-back (they have 4 btb's left) and always against fresh opponents.

Edit: With that in mind, who wants to bet that any kind of losing streak in April will bring about talk of how hard the loss of Iggy has been to the team?

Avatar
#18 ned
March 26 2013, 04:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Wayne Fleming RIP

Avatar
#19 Shredder
March 26 2013, 05:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

If Feaster pulls a trade mid game, which he's done before, and it happens to be that Iggy is traded to the Blackhawks, is it possible for Iggy to play one period for the Flames and then the other 2 for the Blackhawks?

It would be a historic moment in the NHL, although somewhat hilarious. I know there's no chance in hell either GM would do it, but is it possible at all?

Avatar
#21 Jonathan Happy
March 26 2013, 05:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I was listening to the Fan 960 on my home today and Steinberg just reported that Kiprusoff has spoken to Flames management and told them he won't report to another team if he gets traded cause he just had a newborn.

Avatar
#22 Kent Wilson
March 26 2013, 05:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Jonathan Happy

That's too bad, although Kipper's value is probably the lowest it has ever been right now anyways.

I am really leaning towards Kipper throwing the towel in altogether next season rather than play out his final year. If he's refusing what are essentially obligations of his job for family reasons, he's probably not all that motivated to stick it out for $1.5M. He can no doubt retire back to Finland and make that much doing other stuff anyways.

Avatar
#23 Avalain
March 26 2013, 05:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Jonathan Happy

As I'm expecting my 2nd kid here in a couple months, I can definitely respect that he would want to be around with a new baby in the house.

Avatar
#24 Chris Fairfield
March 26 2013, 06:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

On a side note, Jussi Jokinen (C) on waivers, any interest?

Avatar
#25 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 06:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Jonathan Happy wrote:

I was listening to the Fan 960 on my home today and Steinberg just reported that Kiprusoff has spoken to Flames management and told them he won't report to another team if he gets traded cause he just had a newborn.

alot cheaper than a divorce, can't blame him at all family first or you won't have family long.

Avatar
#26 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 06:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Chris Fairfield wrote:

On a side note, Jussi Jokinen (C) on waivers, any interest?

sure, at least artley could use him in shootouts

Avatar
#27 T&A4Flames
March 26 2013, 06:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Scary Gary wrote:

Why not? He's only 30 next week, a center, can win a few faceoffs and is a lower cap option than Stajan, with more talent.

I would expect we'll have opened up a contact or 2 by the weekend anyway. If it's a fire sale, we're going to need players.

Avatar
#29 T&A4Flames
March 26 2013, 06:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
negrilcowboy wrote:

sure, at least artley could use him in shootouts

Haha, "artley" I see what you did there.

Avatar
#30 Scary Gary
March 26 2013, 06:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Bean-counting cowboy wrote:

Why would Carolina wave him? Seems in past years I would always see his name popping up on the scoresheet. Flames need centre depth. Problem is it puts us at 50 contracts at a time we are trying to make deals. McDonald waiver wire pick up not looking so good now.

Haha oh yes 50 contracts...four goalies, what a year.

Avatar
#32 Vintage Flame
March 26 2013, 06:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

So Kipper dropped the first Chelsea Dagger of the night on the Flames eh?

Avatar
#33 Victoria Flames Fan
March 26 2013, 06:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

NHL.com reporting that Kipper will not report to another team if he is traded. Any substantiation?

Avatar
#34 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 07:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
T&A4Flames wrote:

Haha, "artley" I see what you did there.

lol and uberdeau skates for panthers

Avatar
#36 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 07:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Scary Gary wrote:

Haha oh yes 50 contracts...four goalies, what a year.

macgratton

Avatar
#37 Vintage Flame
March 26 2013, 07:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Great start

Avatar
#39 Kent Wilson
March 26 2013, 07:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

First mention of feet moving just one minute into the game.

Avatar
#40 Vintage Flame
March 26 2013, 07:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Horrible goal Kipper

Avatar
#41 Kent Wilson
March 26 2013, 07:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

That's a rough goal on Kipper.

Avatar
#43 Kent Wilson
March 26 2013, 07:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Flames seem to think that icing the puck is actually the point of this game.

Avatar
#44 Vintage Flame
March 26 2013, 07:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

What are the chances so far Kent?

Avatar
#45 Kent Wilson
March 26 2013, 07:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Chances are 6-1 Hawks already. And their goal wasn't one of their chances.

Avatar
#46 clYDE
March 26 2013, 07:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I wonder if the Kipper not willing to go is a sign of things to come?

Avatar
#47 Vintage Flame
March 26 2013, 07:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

A turkey shoot and they still can't convert

Avatar
#48 Kent Wilson
March 26 2013, 07:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Vintage Flame

Flames only got one chance in that sequence...the Cammalleri shot.

Avatar
#49 Vintage Flame
March 26 2013, 07:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kent Wilson

That's what I figured actually.

Avatar
#50 Kent Wilson
March 26 2013, 07:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Chances end up 8-3 for CHI in the first.

Comments are closed for this article.