Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 61st game of the season on Feb. 11, 2010.
New goaltender for Dallas, that’s the important bit of news.
While newly-minted Star Kari Lehtonen probably isn’t going to play tonight (that honor instead will go to Marty Turco), this is the kind of shakeup that tends to inspire teams, as Calgary fans know very well by now. And that’s the last thing the Flames need tonight.
The confidence of this Calgary team has seemed to be hanging on by a thread for quite a while. Score a goal, good. Give one up, disaster. Any bit of adversity this team has faced in the past several weeks have resulted in complete meltdowns, and a motivated opponent (see also: Ottawa) isn’t the kind of thing that Calgary has dealt with particularly well.
The reason they’re starting Turco and not Lehtonen, by the way, is that they would love to be able to move him for obvious reasons – the first being that he stinks and the second being that he costs a lot of money. And for the same reasons, he would like to do very well tonight. He could get traded to, y’know, a good team and maybe even shake off the loser stink with which he has swathed himself over the last few seasons.
And beyond that, trades energize an entire team. So there’s your "motivation." Calgary’s going to have to fight very hard to win points from a team that has taken four of six points from it already this season.
The Calgary Flames (29-22-9 for 67 points. Eighth in the West, third in the Northwest) and the Dallas Stars (26-21-12 for 66 points. Eleventh in the West, fifth in the Pacific).
7:30 p.m. Mountain time and 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should prepare to get their ass handed to them by the US Speed Skating team and Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA.
Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta.
Calgary is 14-13-3 at home this year, and are shockingly 2-1-0 in their last three home games. The Stars are 8-15-7 on the road, but one of those eight wins came at the Saddledome, 5-2.
What (to hate about the Stars)
Marc Crawford — Just because, really. Except maybe not because this Twitter account broke the news of the Kari Lehtonen trade about 10 hours before it happened. And while the name of the account’s user has been changed to "John Doe" it was briefly "Dylan Crawford." Marc has a son named Dylan. There’s been a bit of speculation if we’re talking about the same person.
Fabian Brunnstrom — Hey remember when this kid was supposed to be like the next big thing outta Sweden and he had like 17 goals last year? Yeah not so much now. His goal total this year: two in 36 games. That’s a helluva sophomore slump.
Not Trevor Daley — The glass broke in Chicago last night and some little kid got bonked in the head with a particularly big piece. What’d Daley do? Skated over and gave the kid his stick. Class personified.
Because the Olympics start like tomorrow or something. Enjoy the game and prep for the break in the comments section.