Hey the Flames have a chance to win again.
What must it be like, winning two hockey games in a row? It’s gone on so long I can’t even remember any more. Pop quiz: do you know the last time Calgary was actually able to cobble together back-to-back Ws?
Answer: October 22-26, when they beat Columbus on the road, then San Jose and Edmonton at home. At the time, they’d won five of their last six. And that was the last little while where anyone thought that the Flames would be a half-decent hockey team this year.
They paid dearly for their hubris in winning three straight, oh yes. They lost their next four, and seven of their next eight. That was the end of the season. Tuesday, October 26. Just nine games in. It was a good 11 percent of the season though, yessir.
But now that Calgary has safely and securely lost last night’s tilt with the Kings, they have a very good chance to win tonight, not only because they are in no danger whatsoever of winning two in a row, but also because they’re playing a team that’s almost as bad as them: the Teemu Selanne-less Ducks. And even that might’ve been a problem for a while since everyone on the planet assumed Rene Bourque would be sitting a game or three over that spear of Drew Doughty. But that never came to fruition, oddly enough. But the idea of the very Bourqueful Flames taking on an undermanned Ducks team? I can almost get behind that.
Okay, they gotta look out for the usual Perry/Getzlaf/Ryan set, and those guys are all very good, but can you even think of any Ducks forwards besides them and Teemu? There’s 36-year-old Saku Koivu and… I dunno, 58-year-old Jason Blake. Not exactly terrifying up front, or indeed, at the back. Their D is anchored by the terrifying pairing of Luby Visnovsky and Toni Lydman. Luby and Lydy isn’t exactly the most assertive pairing at either end of the ice, especially when the latter is supposed to be your shutdown guy. Toni Lydman. Honestly! No wonder their D is 28th in the league. But Cam Fowler just turned 19 so that’s all going great, right?
Worse, they won’t even have Curtis McElhinney wearing the crimson mask in the crease to scare anyone away from the goalmouth.
You can put me down as feeling cautiously optimistic about this one. Very, very cautiously.