Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 19th game of the season on Nov. 17, 2009.
This is what some people might call a big game. It being the point in the season at which the Flames could overtake the division-leading Colorado Avalanche (and isn’t that still weird to say?) for the top spot in the Northwest.
It’s weird that just two and a half weeks ago, there were a whopping seven points separating these two teams, but I suppose that underscores just how much they’ve been moving in different directions. The Avs started out playing in a way that even white-hot teams would consider way, way too hot, but since November started, they’ve gone just 2-3-1, with one of those wins in a shootout. They went from conceding 29 goals in 14 games (really good!) in October to already allowing 22 in six November games prior to tonight (not so good!). No wonder that 9-2-2 October record has fast become a distant memory that, really, doesn’t even seem real.
Calgary, on the other hand, started October a slightly-less-good-but-still-somewhat-respectable 7-4-1 but has caught fire NOPUNINTENDED in November, going 5-0-1 behind Miikka Kiprusoff allowing seven goals on some ridiculous number of shots that I’m going to guess is right around 160 or 170. The offense has been mediocre at best, but that defense and goaltending? Who am I to argue?
So let’s just see, I guess, whether Colorado, which has 14 goals in seven games this month, can figure out Kipper.
My guess: Of course they can’t.
The Calgary Flames (12-4-2 for 26 points. Tied for third in the West, second in the Northwest) and the Colorado Avalanche (12-5-3 for 27 points. Second in the West, first in the Northwest).
7:30 p.m. Mountain time and 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should watch out for Chewie and Bruce Wayne.
Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta.
Calgary is 6-3-0 at home this year, which is pretty good. The Avs are 6-3-3 on the road, but haven’t won away from Denver in their last three tries.
What (to hate about the Avs)
Their fans — I understand that a lot of fans are somewhat irritating homers. But Avs fans are worse than just about everyone in the NHL because, unlike even Flames and Oilers homers, they never see ANY wrong in their team. To believe them last year would be to find out that their finishing with the second-worst record in the league was some sort of insane fluke. I honestly don’t get it.
Adrian Dater — This writer for the Denver Post is as much of a homer as I am, but he won’t admit it, where I freely do so, and also don’t get paid to be impartial. Also he once threatened to quit Twitter unless he got x number of followers by y date, because he didn’t have enough followers for his liking. He did not meet that number by that date, but did not quit Twitter.
Joe Sacco — Another deluded guy. The Avs started out red hot but haven’t won in three straight, have dropped five of seven, and one of the wins was in the shootout. He says this is not the result of his team "hitting a wall." Really. He actually said that.
Because the Flames could take first in the division. Enjoy the game and take down the Avs in the comments section.