FGD #35: The Panic Button (8pm MT; CBC)

The Calgary Flames (17-15-2) have lost 7 games in a row. Their opponents tonight, the Vancouver Canucks (), have lost 5 games in a row.

A streak will end tonight.

I really hope it’s Calgary’s streak, because I am sick of writing the same “The Flames played well but something went bad and they lost!” game story. You can try and dress it up, but fundamentally we’re experiencing the exact opposite of October and November, and it’s just more fun to analyze wins than it is to dissect a string of very similar losses.

Is it time for us to crack each others’ heads open and feast on the goo inside? We’re not sure. We hope not. But with a loss against a reeling Vancouver Canucks team that is having a similarly tough go of it, it may be time to hit the proverbial panic button.

(For a view from the other side, visit our chums over at Canucks Army)

THE FLAMES

They’ve lost seven in a row. Likely we’ll see some line-up changes, but they’re not skating today. Keep an eye on Daily Faceoff, who have last night’s lines (seen below) and will have updated rosters as the day goes forward.

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The Flames were alright last night at home, but now they’re (a) tired, (b) dejected and (c) playing a Vancouver Canucks team that has had a lot of success against them at Rogers Arena AND will be desperate to get back in the win column. As for the Flames – they’re just desperate to get some points on the board and turn this streak around before it hits Oilers territory.

I’d expect Karri Ramo to start, but that’s just me guessing based upon back-to-back games.

THE CANUCKS

Vancouver has lost six straight and have arguably been worse than the Flames during that stretch. Here’s lines from their last game via Daily Faceoff.

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I would expect Ryan Miller to start, but that’s a guess.

These teams last met in the season opener in Calgary, but this is their first meeting in Vancouver this season. On-paper, the Canucks are the superior team. However, the Flames have surprised them before.

SUM IT UP

Via Hockeyfights.com

Nobody wants to enter the Christmas Break on a losing streak, but it’s likely one of these teams will. Calgary has lost seven straight. Vancouver has lost five. This is the opposite of a clash of titans. This is two desperate teams clashing for points that they both really, really need.

I expect a tight-checking game, filled with two nervous groups desperately trying not to mess things up for themselves.

Care to see what those Canucks fans are saying about tonight, click here.