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.

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Now in his third full season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers, the Wrestling Observer and Tough Talk MMA.
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#101 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 09:19PM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

Everyone still awake/alive/sober?

emery apparently is

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#102 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:20PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

sportsnets mclean said it may have to do with birth complications with mrs kippa

I hope he's wrong.

And speaking of staying sober, as RP mentioned above, did you hear that he thinks Khabibulin is worth a 2nd round pick at the deadline?

I really wish he was working somewhere in the league right now. He'd even make Tambellini look like a genius.

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#103 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:21PM
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Cameraman fell asleep for a moment there.

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#104 clYDE
March 26 2013, 09:21PM
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I think this team can finish 30th no matter what. But, it sure would be nice to have a few more 1st rounders and prospects to build with. BTW Thanks Kipper for helping limit the rebuild despite the fact that you have made about 1 trillion dollars. Couldn't you have kept quiet and refused to report after a trade?

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#105 Vintage Flame
March 26 2013, 09:23PM
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@clYDE

I don't think this team can TRY to be bad enough to beat out Florida for 30th. Flames are 4 pts ahead with 3 games in hand

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#107 jeremywilhelm
March 26 2013, 09:24PM
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This team sucks, but this is truly the most abysmal game of the season.

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#108 schevvy
March 26 2013, 09:24PM
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RexLibris wrote:

In shock.

The Oilers won a game.

Just trying to remember what I'm supposed to feel right now.

Don't get used to it.

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#109 jeremywilhelm
March 26 2013, 09:25PM
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@Ryan Pike

They aren't cursed. Are you watching them play? They are playing like a 26th place team. Just ugly.

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#110 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:25PM
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Backlund, Baertschi and Drouin might make a nice line.

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#111 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 09:25PM
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RexLibris wrote:

I hope he's wrong.

And speaking of staying sober, as RP mentioned above, did you hear that he thinks Khabibulin is worth a 2nd round pick at the deadline?

I really wish he was working somewhere in the league right now. He'd even make Tambellini look like a genius.

think mclean was just tryin to take the heat off kippa for balking at any trade, guess he has a ntc afterall

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#112 Chris Fairfield
March 26 2013, 09:26PM
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I wasn't expecting much for tonight but to lose like this, to be outshot so badly by a team on the backend of a B2B. Back to backs don't matter, facing the backup does not matter, but Chicago is Chicago and the Flames trainwreck continues it's slow path of pain.

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#113 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:26PM
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schevvy wrote:

Don't get used to it.

ha, no worries, I don't expect it to become a habit.

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#114 the forgotten man
March 26 2013, 09:26PM
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Depressed that we still have Cammalleri for 6 million next year...can we trade him to someone for a bag of pucks? He has been a huge disappointment during his re-run with the Flames.

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#116 schevvy
March 26 2013, 09:27PM
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It is over!

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#117 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:28PM
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Any buzz in Calgary about the Flames making a pitch for Dekeyser? All I hear is the local media going on about it to the exclusion of other destinations (save Detroit).

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#119 schevvy
March 26 2013, 09:30PM
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So, when's Iggy getting traded?

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#120 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 09:30PM
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schevvy wrote:

It is over!

its been over for 3 years schevvy its been a slow death just like a being gutshot.

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#121 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:31PM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

No. None. No buzz whatsoever.

Lowetide has a good article up at ON (a few days ago, now) with some other potential college free agents.

I would hope the Flames are trying to recruit one or two of them. This is the best time to start that process. Even if unsuccessful, the effort gets agents and players thinking, and if they are going into a rebuild they could offer ice time.

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#122 John Deere Green
March 26 2013, 09:31PM
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Stay tuned for trades either immediately after the game or first thing tomorrow morning. Source? me Why? cause this team is brutal to watch, cant imagine management is overly thrilled watching it either. If the old horse is slowly dieing a slow death, just shoot the damn thing already and give everyone else the relief of watching it die.

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#123 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:32PM
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schevvy wrote:

So, when's Iggy getting traded?

April Fool's?

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#124 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 09:32PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Any buzz in Calgary about the Flames making a pitch for Dekeyser? All I hear is the local media going on about it to the exclusion of other destinations (save Detroit).

he was on a date with the leafs tonight

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#125 schevvy
March 26 2013, 09:32PM
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@negrilcowboy

Hey at least Preston got fired down in Lethbridge NC! Positives

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#126 schevvy
March 26 2013, 09:33PM
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@RexLibris

They might just leave him in Chicago...

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#127 mattyc
March 26 2013, 09:35PM
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heck of a game - think we'll make the playoffs?

on a serious note: If kipper did actually tell ownership he wouldn't accept a trade, thats pretty weak. I can sympathize with him and his young family, but you're getting paid a boat load of money - it's just part of the deal.

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#128 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:36PM
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@negrilcowboy

Any thoughts on what they should title the Flames rebuild documentary?

Oilers have Oil Change, the Senators tried Senate Reform (awful title and even worse production).

Rekindle? ReIgnite?

Whoops, sorry, meant to send that to schevvy. negrilcowboy, any suggestions?

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#129 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 09:37PM
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schevvy wrote:

Hey at least Preston got fired down in Lethbridge NC! Positives

whens the parade, that sutterite should never been hired to begin with, whos the front runner schev

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#130 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:37PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

he was on a date with the leafs tonight

Must've been a blind setup.

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#131 schevvy
March 26 2013, 09:39PM
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@RexLibris

Igniting the Flames. That's my suggestion

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#132 schevvy
March 26 2013, 09:40PM
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@negrilcowboy

They want a new coach by July, haven't began interview process. Maybe Guy Boucher? Haha

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#133 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 09:40PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Any thoughts on what they should title the Flames rebuild documentary?

Oilers have Oil Change, the Senators tried Senate Reform (awful title and even worse production).

Rekindle? ReIgnite?

Whoops, sorry, meant to send that to schevvy. negrilcowboy, any suggestions?

preparation H cause when the burning is this uncomfortable only one remedy works when dealing with this group of a%%holes.

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#134 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:40PM
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schevvy wrote:

Igniting the Flames. That's my suggestion

For a show, or a fan revolt?

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#135 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:41PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

preparation H cause when the burning is this uncomfortable only one remedy works when dealing with this group of a%%holes.

You, sir, have just won the internet. Please log in to receive your prize.

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#136 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 09:42PM
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schevvy wrote:

They want a new coach by July, haven't began interview process. Maybe Guy Boucher? Haha

you tellin me the twins aren't campaigning yet

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#137 schevvy
March 26 2013, 09:43PM
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RexLibris wrote:

For a show, or a fan revolt?

Depends. Is the show set in Vancouver?

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#138 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:44PM
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schevvy wrote:

Depends. Is the show set in Vancouver?

I'd love to see a Stanley Cup Final between the Canadiens and Canucks. Win or lose, guaranteed bonfire night on both coasts.

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#139 schevvy
March 26 2013, 09:44PM
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@negrilcowboy

I bet they will, but I think there may be some burned bridges between Rich and the Canes. I thought he was gonna get it when Preston got hired.

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#140 the forgotten man
March 26 2013, 09:44PM
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mattyc wrote:

heck of a game - think we'll make the playoffs?

on a serious note: If kipper did actually tell ownership he wouldn't accept a trade, thats pretty weak. I can sympathize with him and his young family, but you're getting paid a boat load of money - it's just part of the deal.

Yeah if Kipper rumour is true that is weak tea...guys get sent of to war, get transferred or in today's economy get laid off...young baby or not. It is not like he can't afford a nanny unlike most of us working stiffs. Actually the more I think about it, the more pissed off I get. If I were Feaster I would trade him to the Islanders for bag of pucks...so what if he doesn't report - he would be one less obstacle to a top 3 draft choice. More importantly, it might send a message that the Flames Golf &CC days are officially over...no more entitlement, complacency and the "inmates running the asylum" attitude that pervades the Saddledome under our so called leaders like Iginla and Kipper et al.

This Kipper thing is just a small microcosm that beautifully illustrates the deep rot in this organization...Napalm the whole thing and rebuild from the ashes.

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#141 schevvy
March 26 2013, 09:45PM
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@RexLibris

Actually I got a better idea for a show. Keeping your feet moving, directed by Charlie Simmer.

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#142 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 09:47PM
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schevvy wrote:

They want a new coach by July, haven't began interview process. Maybe Guy Boucher? Haha

any chance mike dyck gets rehired schevvy, seein he got screwed over and was their last effective coach

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#143 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:47PM
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FYI, the Oil Kings absolutely pasted the Ice again, 7-1. Brossoit with 24 saves.

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#144 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 09:49PM
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schevvy wrote:

Actually I got a better idea for a show. Keeping your feet moving, directed by Charlie Simmer.

SOME KINDA REBUILD

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#145 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:49PM
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schevvy wrote:

Actually I got a better idea for a show. Keeping your feet moving, directed by Charlie Simmer.

Brought to you by the Hair Club for Men.

I like it.

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#146 schevvy
March 26 2013, 09:51PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

any chance mike dyck gets rehired schevvy, seein he got screwed over and was their last effective coach

I doubt it. Too bad, cause he was good.

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#147 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:52PM
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@schevvy

Lindy Ruff?

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#148 negrilcowboy
March 26 2013, 09:55PM
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whats the over/under on "you know paddy' with roberts call tonight?

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#149 RexLibris
March 26 2013, 09:56PM
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Talk to you guys later. I hope the Columbus game has a better effort.

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#150 schevvy
March 26 2013, 09:56PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Lindy Ruff?

I'd love for the Canes to hit him. Too bad he'd never come here, even though he was an old Lethbridge Bronco. He'll get an NHL gig.

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