I hope you all have taken time today to think about the last time the Flames played the Kings. Make that your happy place. Take a deeeep breath, close your eyes, and remember Jonathan Quick pushing Martinez out of the way en route to the dressing room. Exhale…
That was satisfying wasn’t it?
The Kings visit the dome tonight and are looking to avenge that painful home loss before Christmas. The Flames and Kings are separated by only two points in the Pacific division standings which happen to be the amount of points given to the winner of tonight’s game. How convenient!
See the lineups and game story after the jump!
THE FIGHTIN’ FLAMES
Yikes, that game looked ugly. Loved those Kings sweaters though.There are no changes from the lineup that beat the Oilers on Saturday, so here’s tonight’s roster thanks to our dear friends at Daily Faceoff:
Jonas Hiller starts in goal again for the Flames tonight who is sporting a .917 SV%. Hiller was generally solid against the Oilers but wasn’t really tested in a meaningful way.
The Flames are almost healthy again, only missing Smid, Jooris, and Backlund and all of them are expected back in short order. Smid is currently away from the team to be with his wife after she gave birth to twins and Jooris is pretty much good to go. Due to Smid’s absence, Diaz will draw back in tonight after what I think may have been his most solid game as a Flame. Backlund skated this morning and will apparently be back real soon.
When Backlund returns to the lineup, the Flames will start to have some interesting lineup situations. I would think that despite Joe Colborne’s recent successes in the faceoff circle (60% last game), one of the most logical decisions would be to move him to the wing and put Backlund into his spot. However, the Flames seem dead set on making Colborne a centre so who knows?
Anywho, that is discussion for a different day. Tonight, the Flames play the Kings again after the 12/22/14 Miracle in LA last week.
(BRAG ALERT) I was present at said game in the city of angels and it was, well, amazing. I must report that 1) I would say 500 or so fans left as the game was heading into OT and 2) I know that everyone seems to like banging on the glass, but, uh, Americans really like banging on the glass. It’s kinda Medieval Timesy.
Well, here are those highlights again from that game because I know all of us could watch this on a loop for all of eternity.
Thanks to his single-handed saving of the game in LA and a subsequent two-goal effort against the Oilers (wait, those goals still count as NHL points right?), your friend and mine Johnathan Hockey Esq. was named NHL first star of the week today, the first rookie since Hertl last October. He has six goals in his last three games and has thrust himself into the Calder conversation among Forsberg and Ekblad. Here is a cool video of Gaudreau during the last stretch of games.
Even though Glencross had a goal last game, I would guess that Flames are looking for more out of Curtis Glencross in terms of offense. That being said, Monahan, Glencross, and Jones are being used in a checking role in order to give more comfortable situations to Gaudreau and Co. Even still, Glencross has more to offer in the offensive zone than what he has shown this season.
Anze Kopitar is a great player, it’s a shame he must consume the life-force of children in order to continue to play hockey. Too bad. Here is the Kings roster also courtesy of our pen pals at Daily Faceoff:
The Kings are obviously a very good team and have an unbelievably solid roster. Kinda what you would expect from the defending Stanley Cup champions. Tonight, I am certain the Kings will be a little more focused on a certain diminutive Flames forward and Drew Doughty echoed this sentiment earlier today:
No flying under the radar anymore for Gaudreau. Kings D Drew Doughty: “He’s a good player and we’ve got to pay special attention to him.”
— Aaron Vickers (@AAVickers) December 29, 2014
All I can say is, good luck to you sir. JG is slipperier than Kevin McCallister’s floor and has been dealing with special attention his whole career. That being said, don’t you hurt him you mongrels.
Jonathan Quick starts in net tonight for the Kings. The last time he saw the Flames, he smashed his stick and threw the handle into the crowd. Not his finest moment to be sure.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, BASIL?
“Shut up and kiss me” – Deryk Engelland
This game is an important divisional matchup for the Flames, who have rebounded nicely from an eight-game losing streak with two straight wins. Also, let’s take one more moment to marvel at the Oilers. Wow.
The Flames could make the Pacific even messier with a win tonight, with the possibility of a four-way tie for second in the Pacific (albeit with Vancouver having games at hand). I seem to say this a lot this season, but the Flames cannot dig themselves into a hole against the Kings tonight and rely on lat-game heroics. But what the hell do I know anymore?
Puck drops at 7pm MT on SNET West.