And we’re right back at it, Citizens.
After an, uh, underwhelming performance against the Ducks of Anaheim who still thrive off playing your Calgary Flames since that day in 2004 when then Duck and fledgling wizard Ilya Bryzgalov placed a curse on the Flames decreeing that they would never win in Anaheim again, the team travels about 10 feet southeast to the Staples Center to face off against the Los Angeles Kings.
Ah yes, California. The place where dreams are born, made and crushed. Sunshine, wineries, Hollywood stars, eating disorders, hybrid cars, breast implants and quality hockey teams permeate the lush landscape of the Pacific West Coast, and it’s the back end of a quick road trip for the Flames (and their fathers!), one which we’re unsure of if they want to end.
As Flames fans who are not on the trip and getting to experience the state, we do. We want it to end.
The Roster Of Players Who Are Playing In the Game
pic via Go Les Canadiens
As always, via our homeslices at The Daily Faceoff: (WHICH I AM NOW EDITING BECAUSE BOB HARTLEY HAS GONE TOO FAR)
- Cammalleri – Franchise – Stempniak
SVENByron – Colborne – Hudler
- Bouma – Backlund – D. Jones
- #goblairjones – Reinhart – McFacepuncher
- Russell – Brodie
- Smith –
- Smid – Butler
Hey guys, it’s Karri Ramo! This is Ramo’s first start since, somehow, November 8th. Ramo of course made an appearance in mop up duty yesterday afternoon after the team did something I assumed they had forgotten how to do, which is pull Reto Berra. The decision to throw Ramo to the wolves yesterday was his first action in two weeks, and he did stop 4 shots pretty much right off the hop, so hopefully it was a nice warmup for his start tonight.
I know there’s a lot of injuries right now, but my goodness, that lineup. Hartley does tend to change his lines over the course of the game, as he did yesterday, so there’s a chance these lines don’t stay the way they are, but I suspect they might, because Hartley is also an idiot. He had submitted a lineup last night that had Backlund on the second line with Sven and Hudler, and that was a logical, sane thing to do. It lasted one shift and then the forward version of Chris Breen, Mr. Colborne was back centering that line, so I officially give up trying to figure out what the hell it is that goes through Hartley’s thick skull.
Breen O’Brien as your second line pairing. I don’t even. Good luck Karri.
Just as a reminder, the Los Angeles Kings are a very good hockey team. The good news is Cammi has been pretty good of late,
Sven hasn’t been benched in a while (that was a line I had actually written before today’s game when Sven got scratched. Unreal), and the fourth line looks closer to being a line of actual hockey players more and more each day, so this might not be as bad as it looks, and let’s hope so, because this does not look good.
(Author’s note: just kill me)
And They’ll Never Be Royals
photo via kimpossible
- Brown – Kopitar – Williams
- King – Richards – Carter
- Clifford – Vey – Toffoli
- Carcillo – Stoll – Nolan
- Muzzin – Doughty
- Regehr – Voynov
- Martinez – Mitchell
While they don’t quite have the depth of the squad that conquered Lord Stanley two seasons ago, that’s still a frightening looking hockey squad, one not to be trifled with. Those first two lines, damn homey, that’s some firepower. It kinda tails off after that, and what’s a Darryl Sutter ran hockey team if there isn’t at least one useless goon patrolling the 4th line, but overall, that is a well rounded team. When Jarrett Stoll is your fourth line center…actually we’re used to seeing a quality centerman carrying lesser talent on the fourth line, so this is perhaps not a strong analogy.
The defense looks good too. Reggie ain’t the man he used to be by any stretch, but DREW DOUGHTY MAN! And Ben Scrivens has been excellent since incumbent starter Jonathan Quick succumbed to injury, so it could be tough sledding at the Staples Center tonight.
It can’t be understated how awful Dan Carcillo is though. It’s a good thing he and McGrattan will fight early and their nights will be over.
And In the End
The Flames did sneak a win out against the Kings last meeting, thanks to some timely scoring from TJ Brodie, my favourite human (sorry Batman), so it’s not like it’s an impossible task for the Flames tonight (Karri Ramo was magnificent in that game, just sayin’), but this is a tall order. The Kings are 6-0-4 in their last 10, which, if my math is correct, means zero regulation losses in their last 10. They’re playing some good hockey, if you want to be glib about it.
Every team suffers injuries over he course of a season, but when you don’t have the depth of most other teams, it’s worse. You CAN use it as an excuse. The Flames’ most serviceable players are all watching the game tonight, and it hurts their chances more than most teams.
Again, the Flames still have a chance in this one, but it’s going to have to be with a WAY better effort than we saw against the Ducks, because that was a garbage fire from opening puck drop to final buzzer. Some stronger effort and better coaching would go a long way tonight. And Karri Ramo. Let’s see what he can do, finally.
Puck drop is at 8 bells. You can watch it on the now hilariously lame duck Hockey Night In Canada late broadcast, but you already knew that. See ya then!