Game No. 35: Captain Game Thread

The best news of the day was that the Flames will unveil their new super hero ahead of the Edmonton game.

So remember at the start of the season the NHL, for some ungodly reason, announced that it was partnering with Stan Lee The Guy Who Created Spider-Man to create 30 superheros, or, as the league is calling them, "Guardians." One for each NHL team.

"What," asked the kind of people who ask these things, "did that cost?"

"Why," asked the everyone else, "would they bother?"

But the important thing to keep in mind when it comes to almost any decision made by the National Hockey League is, "Why even ask?" Yup, the Flames have their own Guardian. Don’t read into that too much.

I was remarkably disappointed, however, to find that this superhero already has a name. It is, imaginatively enough, The Flame. That’s true. He could be unveiled ahead of Jan. 7’s game with the Oilers. When he will face off with… The Oiler? God, these are just lazy.

Let’s not dwell on that. Let’s focus on tonight’s game against the Blue Jackets (I wonder what their "Guardian" is called… probably Rick Nash). In order to avoid yet another three-game losing streak — this would be the season’s fifth of those, by the way — they’re going to need Henrik Karlsson, who’s in for the overworked and underappreciated Miikka Kiprusoff, to be Reasonably Good Man. With points earned in his last three games, and never more than two goals allowed in any of them, he’s been that and more.

But the problem, as always, is that the offense simply hasn’t been the League of Somewhat Reliable Scorers for quite some time now. There’s been the odd noisy outburst (five against Toronto, four against Tampa), but they’ve scored two goals or fewer in seven of 10 games this month, and that’s going to win you absolutely nothing. They haven’t lost a game in regulation in which they scored more than three goals since Nov. 13. Of course, that’s only happened six times.

And by the way, as of right this second, the only forward certain to be banished to the Pressbox of Solitude, as both Kotalik and Backlund are taking warmups.

Tonight, I am Low Expectations Man.