Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 60th game of the season on Feb. 6, 2010.
I think this is going to be a pretty interesting game between two teams that are fairly evenly matched.
Now that last part might confuse some of you since Calgary was, until recently, a team that was taking perhaps the biggest tumble in team history (given the quality of the squad and all that) and Ottawa just went on an insane run in which it conceded just 13 goals over 11 games. You read both of those numbers right.
But really, it took Ottawa winning a bunch of games in a row and Calgary losing almost as many to get these teams to roughly the same level in the standings. Calgary is, after all this, still only four points back of the current Northeast Division runners-up in the same number of games. And Ottawa has the benefit of, y’know, playing in the Eastern Conference, from which eight of the league’s 10 worst teams hail. Calgary would never have gone on a slide as bad as That One if they were playing Toronto, Carolina and the Islanders for 14 combined games per year.
But there is a mitigating factor when it comes to the Sens: they just got clowned by the Leafs on Saturday to the tune of a five-goal shutout loss. Last thing the Flames need right now is a game against a pissed-off team that is capable of completely shutting the door defensively, can bring it physically and at least has a better offense than the Flames.
Calgary could win by two, it could lose by three. Neither would surprise me.
The Calgary Flames (29-21-9 for 67 points. Seventh in the West, third in the Northwest) and the Ottawa Senators (33-22-4 for 70 points. Fifth in the East, second in the Northeast).
5:30 p.m. Mountain time and 7:30 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should find out how they sound to crazy foreigners.
ScotiaBank Place, Kannata, Ontario.
Calgary is 15-8-6 on the road this year, and have gotten points in four of the last five overall. The Senators are 21-8-3 at home, and just had an 11-game winning streak snapped.
What (to hate about the Sens)
Mike Fisher — Honestly, why does anyone think this guy should have gotten consideration for the Canadian Olympic team? He has 43 points in 57 games. I don’t care how good he is defensively, you have to score more than that if you want to make it to the Olympics. Unless you’re like German or something, in which case 43 points probably gets you a captaincy.
Jarkko Ruutu — Just because Dion’s gone doesn’t mean we don’t still remember the skate-biting incident. Seriously, what was that about?
Jonathan Cheechoo — The Pride of Moose Factory ain’t doing so well these days. Remember when this guy won a Rocket Richard? He scored 56 goals in 2005-06, then 37, then 23, then 12. This year’s total: 5. Yikes.
Because we’re running out of games before the Olympics. Enjoy the game and plan for the next three weeks in the comments section.