February 14 2012 10:21PM
The Calgary Flames have scored 14 goals on Valentine's Day over the last two seasons, including five in a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. On top of their success on Cupid's day, Calgary is also 6-0-2 since the calendar turned to the second month, moving them just a point back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are catching some bounces, riding a red hot goaltender, and most importantly, getting points.
February 14 2012 09:47PM
Final Score: 5-1 W
February 14 2012 06:30PM
The center of the universe shifts the gravity of it's focus to Calgary tonight. The Flames will hobble to the battlements and try valiantly to fend off the advances of an enemy that is at least as equally as desperate for a playoff birth, but not nearly as undermined by injury.
Under Burke, the Leafs have taken that first, big step out of the league's basement to join the rest of the madding crowd in the squishy center. They have some nice pieces going forward and are probably one or two guys away from making some real noise in the east.
"Just a guy or two" has been the Flames eternal lament since their unlikely finals appearance back in '04, however - moving from terrible to decent is one thing, but joining the league's aristocracy is something else altogether. It will be interesting to see if Toronto can finally shed the last decade of earnest mediocirty and ineptitude and finally justify the unwavering support of their vast, ardent fanbase.
Time will tell.
Nation World HQ
February 14 2012 11:28AM
They call Toronto the Big Smoke for whatever reason, and the Maple Leafs will blow through Calgary tonight for their second of two meetings this season with the Calgary Flames (7 pm, Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960). It's not like Toronto is on fire however, entering action tonight with losses in their last three games while the Flames look to continue a five game point streak.
February 14 2012 08:37AM
... Good question. While Saturday’s win against the Canucks was huge for the team in that it got them to within a deuce of the eighth and final playoff seed, the Flames paid a pretty hefty price in doing so. Regardless of how you see Mikael Backlund’s role on this team - an offensive disappointment on a ticking clock, or a key defensive component in need of some time and patience - his injury during the Vancouver game means nothing but trouble for a team that isn’t getting any favours and by no means is taking the easy route to the post-season.