With the NHL trade deadline come and gone, the Calgary Flames have a chance to bury a Western Conference opponent tonight on the road, when they take on the St. Louis Blues for the second straight time (6 pm, Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet Radio FAN 960). The Flames eeked out a 1-0 win over this same (sort of) Blues team on Sunday night, and you can expect things to be similarly close this evening.
While the Flames weren’t overly busy yesterday on the NHL’s trade deadline, they did acquire two players fitting into the "depth addition" category. The Blues, however, were one of the busiest teams leading up to deadline day, making their final roster move on Monday afternoon. Calgary enters seventh in the Western Conference and with an opportunity to finish off an opponent with a win on the road.
The Flames will go with the exact same lineup tonight as they have the last number of games, even with the acquisitions of Brett Carson and Freddy Modin yesterday. Kent and Robert both gave their thoughts on the deals yesterday, and my feeling is pretty simple…you can’t love or hate either pickup. They are almost risk free with next to no downside, with Carson a pending RFA and Modin a pending UFA. With bargain basement cap hits, both players are nothing more than depth moves…players with NHL experience you can slot in in an injury situation.
Modin joined the team in St. Louis and took skate with the Flames, and he’ll be a healthy scratch tonight. If and when he does get into the lineup, Modin will wear #19. Carson did not take skate with the Flames and will join the team at some point in Missouri; he’ll don jersey #3 whenever he gets into the lineup. Here are lines and pairings tonight:
Alex Tanguay-Brendan Morrison-Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross-Olli Jokinen-David Moss
Rene Bourque-Matt Stajan-Tim Jackman
Tom Kostopoulos-Mikael Backlund-Niklas Hagman
Robyn Regehr-Jay Bouwmeester
Mark Giordano-Cory Sarich
Anton Babchuk-Steve Staios
I put an update on the site late last night regarding the contract status of Glencross, as it looks like any extension is a little ways away. The update also includes new information on the health of Daymond Langkow, and it’s nothing but positive news regarding the injured centre.
Miikka Kiprusoff makes his 17th straight start in net tonight.
The OpponentAnother hip hop styling for all the haters
The Blues enter action as a slightly different team than they were on Sunday at the ‘Dome. Immediately following their 1-0 loss in Calgary, St. Louis dealt forward Brad Boyes to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a second round pick, immediately creating a hole on their top line. Boyes had been playing with David Backes and Andy McDonald, and while his numbers have been down the past couple seasons, he’s still a top six forward.
St. Louis also dealt forward Brad Winchester to the Anaheim Ducks before Monday’s deadline, getting a 2012 third round pick in return. Winchester was an easy player to deal, as he was playing bottom six minutes and was on an expiring contract. A third round pick is a fairly decent return. But, the deals made in the aftermath of St. Louis’s loss to the Flames on Sunday kind of underlined the fact that this team probably isn’t making the playoffs. That isn’t totally written in stone, but a loss tonight would probably be all she wrote…if you’re a Blues fan, you’d hope for an all out push in this one tonight.
The Blues have made a ton of roster moves to fill the holes in their lineup, because of trades and injury. Vladimir Sobotka will not play tonight after suffering a foot injury on Sunday, which means there are three empty spots on the roster. So, that means three seperate forwards have been called up…Chris Porter, Ryan Reaves and former Flames prospect Adam Cracknell. Here are projected lines and pairings tonight:
Alex Steen-Andy McDonald-Chris Stewart
David Backes-Patrik Berglund-T.J. Oshie
Chris Porter-Matt D’Agostini-B.J. Crombeen
Ryan Reaves-Adam Cracknell-Cam Janssen
Barret Jackman-Roman Polak
Carlo Colaiacovo-Tyson Strachan
Kevin Shattenkirk-Alex Pietrangelo
Once again, it’ll be the giant Ben Bishop in between the Blues pipes tonight. He played well, allowing only one goal in Friday’s loss. He looked very calm and composed during that game, but the Flames also didn’t do a very good job in getting a ton of shots on him, something they might try to correct tonight. Jaroslav Halak has been downgraded to a day-to-day status, but is not yet ready to be activated off IR.
The Flames can win the season series with the Blues tonight, and in the process, basically turn them into a Western Conference spoiler and nothing more. Both remaining games are on the road for Calgary, and they better be ready for a desperate effort from their opponent. Calgary played well enough to win on Sunday, but they’re probably capable of more.
This final picture has no relevance, but in the interest of balance, you can’t have a Mortal Kombat picture without a Street Fighter II picture somewhere as well. Nerds born between 1982 and 1987 will understand this.