November 06 2011 08:39PM
November 06 2011 05:22PM
It's been the best and blurst of times for the Flames so far on their sojourn away from the Done. They put together a fairly solid effort against Detroit in Detroit only to fall flat on their faces the next night against Buffalo. The Red Wings game featured some opportunistic scoring and an uncharacteristcally strong 3rd period while defending a lead in a building that's typically tough to win in. The defeat to the Sabres, in contrast, saw the return of now familiar Flames bugaboos: rotten special teams and excpetionally medicore ES play from the big guns. Only Karlsson's heroics and the Sabres penchant for firing 10-bell chances wide prevented a massacre.
Tonight the Flames face a club they may well be battling for a playoff spot in April. The Avalanche are still a club with a number of glaring weaknesses, but the emergence of Landeskog, Winnik and O'Reilly as a legitmiate ES option behind the likes of Hejduk, Stastny, Duchene and Jones means the Avs aren't nearly the push-overs they were last season. Landeskog may be one of those rare teenagers who can legitimately play in the league already and his addition to the already potent 5on5 duo of Winnik and O'Reilly means Colorado has a unit remisiscent of the Conroy, Moss and Glencross line who beat up other 2nd and 3rd lines for the Flames a couple of years ago.
November 04 2011 08:11PM
November 04 2011 04:50PM
Yesterday was the first time we saw the Flames effectively go toe-to-toe with a well above average team this season.
Today, the quality of the opposition isn't quite up to that standard (despite the hype thet Pegula's overly extravangant spending this summer may have generated) - the Sabres are a mostly middle tier team. For every decent player like Pominville, Roy or Vanek they have, they also boast nothings like Leino, Gaustad and the incresingly underwhleming Brad Boyes taking up major minutes. The dual, pint-zied youngsters of Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis definitely have some skill and can make some plays in the offensive zone, but both are a long ways from being consistent contributors at ES.
On the back-end, Myers and Regehr are being buried as the shut-down pairing. Tonight will be the first time Flames fans get a taste of Reggie's medicine and I'm sure the big man will go out of his way to make Iginla and company's life miserable.
Althought the Sabres aren't the Red Wings or Canucks, the Flames are not a club that can take any opponent for granted. This also being the second night of a B2B, Calgary will have to continue to play the way they did in the third last night to get their second "w" in a row.
November 03 2011 08:06PM