The Flames first line has actually been generating chances at a decent rate these past few days. Some of that may be the ebb and flow of the game and natural human variance (I once saw Dustin Boyd dominate a game for the Flames, 7 shots, multiple take-aways and points. It didn’t last), but I think one cause is they weren’t hard matched against the big boys in either Anahim or San Jose.
At this point, we don’t really know if this is Brent Sutter shift in strategy or if it’s being dictated by the other coaches. In Anaheim, it’s clear Boudreau has decided he’s not going to bury the Ducks big line in order to float the rest of the roster. In San Jose, the Sharks got down early and their coach started doing things like moving Marleau up and targeting lesser lights to get the Sharks even.
So maybe Sutter has decided he wants to kick start the Flames anemic offense by giving the big guns the high ground a bit more. Or maybe it’s just a quirk of the schedule. It will be tough to determine tonight since the Coyotes don’t really have a clear cut "top line" of heavy hitters, but is worth watching for nonetheless.