Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 66th game of the season on March 9, 2010.
Tonight, the Flames can win their third game in a row.
It might not seem like the loftiest of goals, but it’s all we’ve got. Calgary hasn’t had a three-game win streak since it beat the Oilers (which barely counts as a win at all by the way) on New Years’ Eve, and eventually stretched that streak to five games with a win at Nashville on Jan. 5. The streak was snapped the next night in Minnesota.
But that was a different Flames team, literally. A full 10 members of tonight’s squad weren’t in the lineup that captured its fifth in a row that early January night and most of that squad that was is now either with another organization or back down in the minors (where you belong, Jason Jaffray).
And since then the Flames, who were 25-12-5 after the Nashville game, have gone just 7-12-4 and plummeted from a tie for fifth in the Western Conference to ninth. No one, I think, would confuse the two teams.
But this might just be the start of something. Not something extraordinary or anything like that, but something half-decent. That’d be an improvement.
The Calgary Flames (32-24-9 for 73 points. Ninth in the West, third in the Northwest) and the Detroit Red Wings (31-22-12 for 73 points. Eighth in the West, third in the Central).
5 p.m. Mountain time and 7 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should have an awkward moment.
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan.
Calgary is 16-9-6 on the road this year, and won their only other game at Detroit this season. The Wings are 17-9-5 at home, and 4-1-0 in their last five.
What (to hate about the Red Wings)
They don’t have Steve Staios — Number of points earned per game without Staios: 1.1. Number of points earned per game with Staios: 2.0. The defense rests.
Todd Bertuzzi — With Calgary: 15 goals and 44 points in 66 games. With Detroit: 15 goals and 37 points in 65 games. Clearly the Flames have a far better offense than the Detroit Red Wings.
Valtteri Filppula — He has 7-18-25 in 38 games. Is that all $3 million buys any more? Hell, Olli Jokinen was doing better than that and he sucks.
Because what else are you doing at 5 o’clock? Working? Enjoy the game and ride Steve Staios to victory in the comments section.