The title above refers to two things: the amount of efffort I’m putting into this post on a Saturday morning after a rare Friday night off, and what the Flames should make of the Oilers tonight at Rexall Place. After a solid two game stint in California, Calgary traveled to a much less prime destination yesterday for their fourth meeting with Edmonton tonight (8pm, CBC and Sportsnet 960).
All right, a little more clarity to what’s going on. Brendan Morrison is a gametime decision, so if he’s back in, expect things to shuffle a little bit with Roman Horak exiting the lineup. If he doesn’t, the lines and pairings will be the same from Thursday night, which will look like this:
Mike Cammalleri-Mikael Backlund-Jarome Iginla
Blake Comeau-Olli Jokinen-Tim Jackman
Tom Kostopoulos-Blair Jones-Lee Stempniak
Lance Bouma-Roman Horak-Matt Stajan
Jay Bouwmeester-Chris Butler
Mark Giordano-Scott Hannan
T.J. Brodie-Cory Sarich
As for Alex Tanguay, he’s cleared to play and with the team in Edmonton, but will not go tonight. It’s the coaches decision, so it sounds like they want Tanguay to get a little more conditioning before getting him back in the lineup. Miikka Kiprusoff gets the start in net.
Of course we have to know more about the Oilers. Taylor Hall will finally play a game against the Flames, after missing the previous three games for different reasons. Once he was sick, the other two he was injured; this time, he’s coming off a gruesome looking skate-related injury he suffered on Tuesday in warmup in Columbus. Hall missed Thursday’s loss in St. Louis, but will return tonight.
Taylor Hall-Sam Gagner-Ales Hemsky
Ryan Smyth-Shawn Horcoff-Jordan Eberle
Anton Lander-Eric Belanger-Ryan Jones
Ben Eager-Ryan O’Marra-Magnus Paajarvi
Ladislav Smid-Corey Potter
Andy Sutton-Jeff Petry
Theo Peckham-Colten Teubert
It looks like Nikolai Khabibulin will get the start in net tonight for the Oilers, coming off a pretty solid effort in a 1-0 loss Thursday in St. Louis.
Sum It Up
The Flames don’t lose to the Edmonton Oilers, that’s just how things have gone lately. I’m sure it’ll happen eventually, and with the Oilers getting healthier, they’ll be a tougher test tonight than they would have been a few weeks ago. That said, there’s really no excuse for Calgary to lose tonight.