January 03 2012 04:44PM
The Flames stumbled their way through the easy portion of the road trip so now they face the unfavorable task of picking up points against much tougher competition in order to stay in the thick of the WC playoff race.
That starts tonight with the Caps. It's been a rocky road for WAS so far and it looks like Alex Ovechkin has gone from a freakish force of nature to *just* a very good player. Despite their hiccups, the Capitals remain a formidable foe - they are currently 4th in the league in terms of possession (score-tied) behind only DET, STL and CHI (Flames are 19th). Their goaltending has been relatively mediocre and some big guns are suffering through poor SH%, but their first half record shouldn't be taken as proof that their window has closed.
If I was to pick a team to have a big second half of the season, the Caps are near the top of the list. Calgary will need to be drastically better than they have been in their previous stops recently to have any sort of chance.
January 03 2012 12:46PM
For the sixth time in the last eight years Canada will face off against the Russians in the medal round of the World Junior Championship. Canada is 15-11-2 vs. Russia/USSR going back to 1982 (the first year for the Canadian National Junior Team) but the only thing that matters right now avenging a 5-3 loss to the Ruskies from one year ago.
The Russians squeaked into this one with a 2-1 OT win over the Czech’s while Canada won Group B, and had the quarterfinal bye. Game time is 8:30 pm EST / 6:30 MST
Nation World HQ
January 03 2012 11:00AM
Depending on how you look at it, the Calgary Flames are either 2-2-1 or 1-2-1 on their season-long, World Junior road string. The former record includes the win over Vancouver before Christmas while the latter reflects the actual roadtrip portion of the stretch. Nonetheless, Calgary needs wins over Washington and Boston to guarantee finishing above .500 looking at either a record, a tall task that starts tonight in DC (5 pm, Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet 960).
January 03 2012 10:09AM
We close out the holiday season with an extended visit from Nation writer and all around swell chap Jonathan Willis.
Lowetide also adds his own thoughts to the mix on where the Oilers may be headed and we make a short stop in Winnipeg to see how the fans are enjoying the suddenly red hot Jets.
This is Nation Radio.
January 02 2012 03:27PM
Feaster has been at the helm of the Calgary Flames for just over a year. And while some superficially significant moves have been made over that period (specifically, the trades involving Robyn Regehr and Daymond Langkow) the organizational path and mantra hasn't changed much despite the switch in management. Calgary continues to market long beloved heroes like Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff while battling to remain in the playoff picture in the Western Conference.