Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 42nd game of the season on Jan. 5, 2010.
Calgary will probably win this game tonight.
It almost always does against Nashville, right? At least in Nashville.
The Flames have taken their last three games at the Sommet Center and, all things considered, in relatively easy fashion. The one meeting in Music City earlier this season saw the Flames rampage to a 5-nil win. Last year, the Preds jumped out to a three-goal lead just eight minutes into the game before the Flames staged an incredible five-goal comeback on the back of a Jarome Iginla hat trick. And the only close game was a 3-2 win last season that saw Todd Bertuzzi score the deciding goal with 24 seconds to play.
But still, in the last three games, that’s 13-5 on aggregate, and that’s fairly dominant.
Which is, I expect, why the Flames will lose tonight, as they did in Calgary the last time these teams met.
The Calgary Flames (24-12-5 for 53 points. Tied for fifth in the West, second in the Northwest) and the Nashville Predators (25-14-3 for 53 points. Tied for fifth in the West, second in the Central).
6 p.m. Mountain time and 8 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should watch the World Juniors final, because that’s what I’ll be doing.
Sommet Center, Nashville, Tennessee.
Calgary is 12-7-2 on the road this year, and are actually playing well lately, which is a welcome change. The Preds are 13-7-1 at home and have won three straight, but to the Blue Jackets, Blues and Ducks. No big shakes.
What (to hate about the Preds)
David Legwand — Yes, he has spent every game of his career in Nashville and I suppose there’s something to be said for that. But I secretly suspect that this is to save face for his having been the No. 2 overall pick in 1998 and really not a very good one. Then again, that whole draft looks pretty damn terrible, so I don’t know.
Patric Hornqvist — He has 13 goals this year. Number of Calgary Flames with that many goals: two. Number of Calgary Flames that were taken in a higher draft spot than Hornqvist: four (Bourque, Giordano and Jaffray were undrafted; Kronwall went 270th). Hornqvist was the very last pick of his draft, No. 230 overall.
Barry Trotz — He gets teams to win, he does it with no money. Imagine if Calgary had a guy like that.
Because you didn’t want to see the US roll over your stupid country anyway. Enjoy the game and collect your tears to mail to me in the comments section.