December 22 2011 10:05PM
Final Score: 3-2 W
December 22 2011 06:39PM
One of the quirks of the Flames underlying numbers through 34 games so far is that they are an above average possession team at home (55% score tied) and the worst possession team in the NHL on the road (39% score tied). There is always a slight knock to away clubs owing to the home team having last change, but that's a fairly wild swing. Especially with a coach like Sutter who doesn't do anything drastically different with his match-ups across situations.
It would take a more systematic inquiry to determine what the source of the big difference is but my hypothesis is schedule effects - I assume the Flames have seen much softer competition at home than on the road so far. In addition, Calgary has enjoyed a lot of opponents on the second night of a B2B for some reason this year (DET is another one tonight) which can help the ol' outshooting.
Over time, I assume the two ratios will converge somewhere in the middle. As for tonight, they're going to need all the help they can get - DET is still one of the best in the biz and Calgary is missing more than a few regulars from the line-up at this point (Moss, Babchuk, Gio, Tanguay). Unless the Wings are absolutely spent after their clash with the Canucks last night, the Flames are going to have to put forward their very best effort to have any chance at all.
Nation World HQ
December 22 2011 11:52AM
When the Calgary Flames play their next home game after tonight, they'll have the luxury of having 24 of their final 40 games at the Scotiabank Saddledome. As they play their last home game before seven on the road, that thought is probably a long way off, and so it should be. For the final time in 2011, the Flames are at home, and they've got quite the test taking on the Detroit Red Wings (7:30 pm, TSN and Sportsnet 960).
December 21 2011 03:56PM
1. Rumors of the Flames' strength?
A little more than a week after a series of wins against soft opponents prompted many to believe the team was primed for a run, a stretch of games against teams that are actually good has laid bare the teams' real faults.
December 21 2011 12:33PM
(Moscow native Andrey Osadchenko wanted to weigh in on the recent "Ovechkin on Steriods" controversy)
If you read John Steigerwald’s column about Ovechkin’s alleged steroid use and you listened to him argue with Ryan Lambert on the radio show about it and your initial reaction wasn’t ‘Wow!’ you are not an easy person to impress.