Who says that I can’t post this video tonight? and every night? and sob? WHEN WILL WE BE BACK IN THE PLAYOFFS I HATE THIS.
The Flames host the Habs tonight which means that those going to the game tonight are obligated to be astounded and annoyed by the amount of Canadiens jerseys you see in the crowd. It happens every single time (though it’s not just the Habs that elicit this kind of reaction from people, most original six teams are like this but especially the Leafs and Habs). They will come out of the woodwork for this one, prepare yourself and don’t act surprised.
Both teams are coming off losses where they didn’t exactly bring their best games so it should be a very interesting game tonight at the dome. Lineups and Deryk Engelland highlight reel after the jump!
THE FIGHTIN’ FLAMES
There were a few changes to the lineup from the game against Washington thanks to a new injury. Here are the updated lineups thanks to our bosom buddies at Daily Faceoff:
The Flames got some bad news and some.. well… they got two cases of bad news the way I see it. The first piece of news they received this morning was that Mason Raymond has been placed on IR with a shoulder injury. This is some tough luck for Raymond who has been off to a real nice start so far this season and at times has looked really good with Gaudreau.
The Raymond subtraction is made slightly worse by the fact that this means that David Jones makes his triumphant return to the lineup today after missing the last eight games with a lower body injury. Even though Jones hasn’t exactly lit mups when he’s been in the Flames lineup recently, I do like placing him on a line with Stajan and Glencross as a sort of “B- NHLers” line. Glencross has looked good in flashes but has not exactly found that “I want to be dealt to a contender” scoring touch yet.
All things considered, I am very pleased with this lineup, this is about as good as Flames fans could hope given the players that are currently up with the team.
I think many expected to see Diaz tonight after Engelland had a tough game against the Capitals. It was mentioned on the broadcast during the game against Washington that it is possible that Engelland is trying too hard to “justify” his contract with the Flames and is therefore gripping the stick too tightly or whatever it is that would cause this to happen:
In some ways you almost feel for the guy because what Hrudey said on the broadcast may be true, Engelland may be trying to do too much and that’s what’s leading to these enormous gaffs. The blame has to rest with those who have put him in this position though, knowing what kind of player he has been his whole career and expecting him to improve now that he is on the wrong side of 30 and playing with inferior teammates.
As expected, his possession numbers have been a horror show this year and I wouldn’t expect that to improve any time soon. I understand that Engelland’s perceived value lays outside possession put when he’s gift-wrapping goals like that, it makes it even harder to justify his presence in the lineup (even if Diaz has looked shaky at times as well).
Soak the weirdness of this image in… let it soothe you…
I think we all expected that Wideman would start the season leading all NHL defenders in goals right? Oh wait, you didn’t? Ha! You must be a maroon then. The signs were all there! The generally horrible play following his return from injury last season, the calls for his buyout this summer, heck, even the healthy scratch early on. C’mon people, try to keep up.
Also, in keeping with the goalie tandem that Hartley has established this season, Jonas Hiller gets the start in net tonight for the Flames and will likely have to continue his strong start to the season if the Flames are going to complete the death-valley sweep of the Habs tonight.
Rene Bourque’s Canadiens
Wow, there is like no one left from that team and it feels like that wasn’t so long ago…
Here is Montreal’s lineup tonight thanks to Daily Faceoff:
The Habs have got off to a fantastic start to the season so far, sitting on top of the Atlantic with a record of 7-2-0. However, last night the Oilers beat them soundly so I am guessing they will be in nasty mood heading into tonight’s game.
Also, the Oilers faced Tokarski last night which means that the Flames get Price tonight. Thanks for nothing Edmonton.
What Does it All Mean, Basil?
Pretty soon, Flames fans are going to learn just what this team is going to be like this season and I think almost everyone is hoping for a version of this team whose record is one game above .500. To my mind, the scariest possibility for this season is a continuation of the .500 play that has started this season and a mediocre finish. At times this season, the Flames have won some games they likely shouldn’t have but have managed a start to the season that has surprised virtually everyone. However, I wonder just how good or bad this team really is? It’s so hard to tell right now while the team is riding outrageous (and obviously unsustainable) goaltending. I suppose we will all find out soon enough.
Puck drops at 7pm MT on SNET Flames