Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 36th game of the season on Dec. 23, 2009.
The St. Louis Blues, I pointed out last time, have the worst offense and one of the worst defenses in the league. Which is, I assume, why they scored four goals in the last game against the Flames, and held Calgary to just two in overtime in the prior meeting.
Let’s face it, the Flames are having a real tough go of things lately. Before every game there’s talk from the coaches and management and players and fans that there needs to be more accountability, greater attention to detail, better play in all three zones. And after every game, everyone sits around going, "Jeez I dunno what happened."
Some games Miikka Kiprusoff stinks. Some games he looks like Patrick Sawchuk-Brodeur Jr. Some games Jarome Iginla is unstoppable. Some games he’s a skittish chihuahua puppy. Some games the entire defense sleepwalks through 60 minutes. Some games they are fierce and mighty as lions. None of those things, somehow, happen at the same time.
The only certainty is that every game is a gong show in some way. Maybe the Flames will put it all together tonight for some sort of Festivus Miracle.
The Calgary Flames (20-11-4 for 44 points. Seventh in the West, second in the Northwest) and the St. Louis Blues (16-14-5 for 37 points. Tied for 11th in the West, fourth in the Central).
7:30 p.m. Mountain time and 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should use complete sentences.
Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta.
Calgary is 9-6-1 at home this year, and has never won a game against a Central Division opponent in franchise history. The Blues are 10-3-3 on the road, and have taken three of four points from the Flames this year.
What (to hate about the Blues)
TJ Oshie — The Oshie is probably my favorite non-Flame. You should only hate him because he doesn’t play for Calgary. Just watch him tonight. He plays like a young Jarome Iginla although his upside obviously isn’t on par with Iginla’s. But you can go ahead and ask Rick Nash how bad of a dude The Oshie is. Kid put Nash on his wallet twice in two games last year and it was awesome.
Eric Brewer — Talk about a guy screwing up the market. Brewer, who you will remember as being that really terrible guy from the Oilers, makes $4.25 million a year. That’s a quarter of a million less than sure-thing Olympian Shea Weber, $230,000 more than borderline Olympian Robyn Regehr and a whole lot more than a bunch of defensemen that are considerably better than him.
That last game against Calgary — You can’t see it right now but I’m making a face that indicates my unhappiness with that game.
Because it’s not quite time for the Feats of Strength. Enjoy the game and get ready to air your grievances in the comments section.