Colorado Avalanche vs. Calgary Flames (10/28/09)

•October 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment


Colorado Avalanche
(9-1-2)

League Standing: 1st
Western Conference Standing: 1st
Northwest Division Standing: 1st

vs


Calgary Flames
(7-2-1)

League Standing: 6th
Western Conference Standing: 4th
Northwest Division Standing: 2nd

Game Time: 7:30pm MST
Location: Pengrowth Saddledome (Calgary, AB)
Coverage: Flames PPV (TV), Fan960 (Radio)

Recent News:

Calgary has rattled off three straight wins, and look to continue their strong play. With three days between games, the Flames cannot use exhaustion as an excuse. In the middle of a long five game, 20 day home stand, Calgary will be striving for all the points that they can muster. Upcoming in November, the Flames play ten of their fourteen games on the road.

Colorado continues it’s surprising start to the season. With back to back games in Edmonton and Calgary, the Avalanche opened their Alberta trip with a 3-0 shutout of the Oilers. With backup goaltender Peter Budaj recently falling victim to H1N1, the Avs recalled Tyler Weiman from their AHL affiliate in Lake Erie. It is yet to be seen when he will earn his first start of the season, however one could imagine it may come quite soon seeing as Craig Anderson has started every Avalanche game so far this season.

Last Season:

The Flames took last season’s series with the Avalanche by a wins count of 4-2. However, Colorado is the team to come out with the most recent victories, having beat the Flames in the final two games of the season series, by scores of 6-2, and 4-3.

Goaltenders:

Calgary- Fans can expect to see Miikka Kiprusoff between the pipes again for the Flames. So far this season Kiprusoff is sporting a 7-1-1 record alongside a 0.903 SV% and 3.10 GAA. His backup, Curtis McElhinney is 0-1-0 in one start, with a 0.862 SV% and 4.00 GAA.

Colorado- Starting goaltender Craig Anderson has proven so far this season that he is capable of handling regular duty. Being the only goalie to see crease time, Anderson has gone 9-1-2, with a 0.940 SV% and a 1.96 GAA. As mentioned, regular bench warmer Peter Budaj is currently out with H1N1, and youngster Tyler Weiman has been recalled to take his place. One wonders if he may soon see some action in relief of the busy Anderson.

Key Players:

Calgary- Starting the season with nine points in ten games, Dion Phaneuf seems to be on the rise back up from the “decline” that he suffered through last season. The star rearguard is an even +/- rating, and also has two powerplay markers to his name, alongside one game winning goal. Apart from this, Phaneuf has stayed out of the box so far this season, accumulating only 4 PIMs, meaning that his average ice time has hovered around 24 minutes per night. That’s a whole lot of Dion.

Following some time off due to injury, David Moss returned to the Flames line up versus the Oilers. With three goals in five games, Moss will be expected to start providing some more secondary scoring with his return.

Colorado- While Matt Duchene was the offseason youth infusion that had many fans excited coming into this season, Ryan O’Reilly is the youth infusion that has fans excited so far this regular season. Not to take anything away from Duchene, the youngster has six points in twelve games, but O’Reilly has been a key cog in the Avs offense so far this season. With ten points in twelve games, the 2009 second-round draft pick has surprised many people so far this season.

With many young players stepping into leadership roles and taking on more responsibility, Marek Svatos was expected to do the same this season. However, in a year full of excitement and surprise in Denver, Svatos has been a disappointment. With only three points in twelve games and a -6 rating, the Avs need more from this Slovakian winger.

Tough Customers:

Calgary- With Brandon Prust out of the lineup last game, Brian McGrattan was the knuckle chucker to be watching. With his tenacious attitude, the former Ottawa tough guy will be patrolling the ice for the Flames tonight.

Colorado- With Cody McLeod currently out of the lineup, David Koci is the go-to rough and tumble character in the Avs lineup.

Special Teams Review:

Calgary- The Flames powerplay has cooled off as of late, but is still operating at a 32.3% efficiency rate. Rene Bourque and Dion Phaneuf lead the team in powerplay markers with two apiece. The Flames penalty kill, following early season struggles, has recovered to 76.2% efficiency. This is still an area in need of improvement for Coach Sutter and the Flames.

Colorado- The Avs powerplay is firing away respectably at 25.5%. With three powerplay goals, Avs sniper Milan Hejduk leads the team. Colorado’s penalty kill is finding success early in the season, with a 85.2% efficiency.

Injuries:

Calgary- no injuries reported

Colorado- Peter Budaj (H1N1) is questionable for tonight. John-Michael Liles (shoulder), Cody McLeod (eye), Ruslan Salei (back), Darcy Tucker (concussion), and Tom Preissing (knee), are all on the injury reserve.

-m.o.b.


Advertisements

Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames (10/24/09)

•October 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Edmonton Oilers
(6-2-1)

League Standing: 4th
Western Conference Standing: 4th
Northwest Division Standing: 2nd


vs.



Calgary Flames

(6-2-1)
League Standing: 5th
Western Conference Standing: 5th
Northwest Division Standing: 3rd

Game Time: 8:00pm MST
Location: Pengrowth Saddledome (Calgary, AB)
Coverage: CBC (TV), Fan960 (Radio)


Recent News:

With two strong showings in victories over western rivals Vancouver and Columbus, the Calgary Flames have once again found winning ways. With three days between contests, the Flames will hope to use the extra rest against an Oilers team that has been firing on all cylinders. The Flames are currently ranked at or near the top of league statistical categories in both fights and goals for.

The Oilers have rattled off three wins in a row, beating both the Canucks and Blue Jackets, as well as the Minnesota Wild. Perhaps the most notable of those three victories came most recently against the Columbus Blue Jackets. With former Oiler Mathieu Garon starting, the Oilers went down 4-1 before storming back to triumph 6-4. This comeback was helped along on the strength of a five point performance by Dustin Penner. The Oilers will hope the carry over that momentum from Thursday night into tonight’s tilt with the Flames.



Last Meeting:

In the last Battle of Alberta, the Calgary Flames escaped with a 4-3 shootout victory. With Edmonton leading 3-2 late in the third period, Rene Bourque deflected a Jay Bouwmeester point shot to tie the game with only 1.5 seconds left on the clock. This effort (along with his two assists) was enough to earn Bourque the first star nod. Nikolai Khabibulin and Denis Grebeshkov were given the second and third stars, respectively.

Goaltenders:

Calgary- Fans can expect to see Miikka Kiprusoff between the pipes again for the Flames. So far this season Kiprusoff is sporting a 6-1-1 record alongside a 0.902 SV% and 3.23 GAA. His backup, Curtis McElhinney is 0-1-0 in one start, with a 0.862 SV% and 4.00 GAA.

Edmonton- Nikolai Khabibulin is most likely to get the start tonight for the Oilers. 5-2-1 in his first eight games, Khabibulin has a 0.907 SV% and 2.96 GAA. He will be looking to exact revenge on the Flames who are responsible for the only two regulation blemishes in his record. Jeff Deslauriers, is 1-0-0 with a 0.976 SV% paired with a 1.00 GAA.

Key Players:

Calgary- After starting the season slow, Jarome Iginla lit it up on Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Seven points in nine games is uncharacteristically low production for Iginla. Expect him to keep ramping up his play and those numbers to keep increasing. Another reason to watch Iginla is because of the collision that occurred between him and Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray the last time these teams met. Whether or not the Oilers players look for more payback is yet to be seen, but in the Battle of Alberta, nothing is ever forgotten.

After beginning the season near the bottom of Calgary’s +/- rankings, Robyn Regehr has climbed back to respectability in that category. Currently sitting at -1, Ales Hemsky can expect to have Regehr hounding him all night long.

Edmonton- The big man to watch in Edmonton is the big man himself. Dustin Penner currently leads the team with 14 points in nine games, and does not seem to be slowing. With a five point performance against Columbus on Thursday, Penner is hot and fans can expect to see him driving the net hard tonight against Calgary.

One of the Oilers key leaders, Shawn Horcoff has been one of very few disappointments in Oil Country this season. Usually relied on for a solid two-way presence, Horcoff has only provided a goal and an assist, alongside an uncharacteristically low -4 rating.

Tough Customers:

Calgary- Brandon Prust is the leading scrapper for the Flames. He has gone toe-to-toe with Zack Stortini in the past, and don’t be surprised if it happens again tonight.

Edmonton- Zack Stortini is the muscle roaming the ice for the Oilers. As mentioned above, expect a Prust-Stortini rematch.

Special Teams Review:

Calgary- The Flames powerplay has cooled off as of late, but is still operating at a 28.6% efficiency rate. Rene Bourque and Dion Phaneuf lead the team in powerplay markers with two apiece. The Flames penalty kill, following early season struggles, has recovered to 76.5% efficiency. This is still an area in need of improvement for Brent Sutter’s Flames.

Edmonton- The Oilers powerplay is firing away respectably at 22.9%. Eight different Oilers have made their mark on the powerplay so far this season. Edmonton’s penalty kill is turning away opponents at a slightly better rate than the Flames, with a 80.6% efficiency.

Injuries:

Calgary- David Moss (upper body) is questionable for tonight’s game.

Edmonton- Gilbert Brule (flu), Steve Staios (concussion), and Ryan Stone (leg) are all questionable for tonight’s game. Fernando Pisani (back) and Sheldon Souray (concussion) are out until late October at the earliest, while Marc Pouliot (sports hernia) is out until late December.


Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Calgary Flames (10/20/09)

•October 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment


Columbus Blue Jackets

(5-1-0)
League Standing: 8th
Western Conference Standing: 6th
Central Division Standing: 2nd

vs.


Calgary Flames
(5-2-1)

League Standing: 5th
Western Conference Standing: 4th
Northwest Division Standing: 2nd

Game Time: 7:30pm MST
Location: Pengrowth Saddledome (Calgary, AB)
Coverage: Rogers Sportsnet West (TV), Fan960 (Radio)

Recent News:

With three straight losses to Dallas, Chicago, and Columbus, Head Coach Brent Sutter was prompted to shuffle his lines for the last Calgary Flames matchup against the Vancouver Canucks. With the new lines in place, the Flames once again beat up on Roberto Luongo, and secured a 5-3 victory. The Flames look to build on that win tonight against Columbus. One roster to change to note: Aaron Johnson, recently acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Kyle Greentree, will be inserted into the lineup tonight in place of Adam Pardy. Johnson was previously a member of the Blue Jackets organization from 2003-2007. He will be wearing #44 for the Flames.

Columbus is currently riding a three game win streak, with victories against Phoenix, Calgary and Los Angeles. With the Blue Jackets only set back this season coming against the San Jose Sharks, Columbus has proven that their escapade into last season’s playoffs was not a mere fluke. This team is here to compete, and destroy the competition. With the Blue Jackets last contest occurring on Saturday evening, expect Columbus to come out fresh and strong.

Last Meeting:

The Flames and Blue Jackets previously met on October 13 in Columbus. The Blue Jackets prevailed by a score of 2-1. This game was not nearly as close as the score may suggest. With the shot count reading 33-23 in favour of Columbus, Miikka Kiprusoff held the Flames in the game all night long. Rick Nash was the games first star, with two assists and four shots on goal. Former Flames Anton Stralman and Kristian Huselius were the second and third stars, respectively. Stralman and Huselius potted the only two marks that would find their way past Miikka Kiprusoff on this evening.

Goaltenders:

Calgary- Following three days off, fans can expect to see Miikka Kiprusoff between the pipes again for the Flames. So far this season Kiprusoff is sporting a 5-1-1 record alongside a 0.902 SV% and 3.26 GAA. His backup, Curtis McElhinney is 0-1-0 in one start, with a 0.862 SV% and 4.00 GAA.

Columbus- With two days of rest, Steve Mason is the most likely candidate to be manning the crease for the Blue Jackets. 4-1-0 in his first five games, Mason has a 0.925 SV% and 2.35 GAA. His backup, Mathieu Garon, is 1-0-0 with a 0.977 SV% paired with a 0.77 GAA.

Key Players:

Calgary- As mentioned earlier, defenseman Aaron Johnson will be making his Calgary Flames debut tonight. He will be facing off against his former club. Johnson spent three seasons in Columbus before being acquired by the New York Islanders. The rugged Nova Scotian put up 26 points and 93 PIMs in 116 games with the Blue Jackets from 2003-2007. He will be wearing jersey number 44, and is most likely to be paired with Mark Giordano.

Struggling so far this season for Calgary, is centreman Daymond Langkow. With a -8 rating and only 3 points in 8 games, the Flames expect more out of Langkow. Watch tonight to see if he can get his name on the score sheet.

Columbus- Rick Nash has been dominant this season, and is showing that he can set up, as well as finish a play. With 10 points in 6 games, Nash is the Blue Jackets scoring leader, and has 3 goals alongside 7 assists. He is a reliable force who will see a lot of ice time across from Calgary’s top defenders.

With a -5 rating, defenseman Fedor Tyutin has not been the usual steady force that Columbus fans knew him as last season. Following last season’s 34 points and +1 rating, Tyutin has put up 3 assists this season. With Jan Hejda and Mike Commodore sidelined, the Blue Jackets need more from Tyutin.

Tough Customers:

Calgary- Brian McGrattan is the biggest scrapper on the Calgary Flames roster. However against the Canucks he showed that he can score too. With a Gordie Howe hat trick last game versus Vancouver, look for McGrattan to be buzzing in the Blue Jackets end.

Columbus- Jared Boll is the Blue Jackets local tough guy. Look for him to have to answer the bell in a tango with either McGrattan or Brandon Prust tonight.

Special Teams Review:

Calgary- The Flames powerplay is still rocking at 34.8%. Rene Bourque and Dion Phaneuf lead the team in powerplay markers with two apiece. The Flames penalty kill, following early season struggles, has recovered to 77.8% efficiency. Miikka Kiprusoff has arguably been Calgary’s top penalty killer.

Columbus- The Blue Jackets powerplay sits at a respectable 23.8%. Raffi Torres has been the top ace on the Columbus powerplay, where he has scored all 3 of his goals this season. As for the penalty kill, Columbus has almost completely shut out it’s opponents so far this season. With a 95.8% efficiency, there are not many kills better than the Blue Jackets’.

Injuries:

Calgary- David Moss (upper body) is questionable for tonight’s game.

Columbus- Jan Hejda (knee), Mike Commodore (groin), and Fredrik Modin (knee) all sit on the injured reserve for Columbus.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames (10/16/09)

•October 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Vancouver Canucks
(2-3-0)

League Standing: 23rd
Western Conference Standing: 13th
Northwest Division Standing: 4th

vs


Calgary Flames
(4-2-1)

League Standing: 5th
Western Conference Standing: 4th
Northwest Division Standing: 2nd

Game Time: 7:00pm MST
Location: Pengrowth Saddledome (Calgary, AB)
Coverage: Rogers Sportsnet Pacific, Rogers Sportsnet West (TV), Fan960 (Radio)

Recent News:

The Calgary Flames, following a hot start to the regular season, have found themselves in a rut over the past three games. After a 4-0-0 start, the Flames are 0-2-1 in their last three games. In what could possibly be viewed as the lowest point so far this season for Brent Sutter’s Flames, Calgary choked up a five goal lead against Chicago on Monday night, losing 6-5 in overtime to the Blackhawks. Following a 2-1 loss in Columbus on Tuesday, Coach Sutter was prompted to shake up the lines.

After opening the season in quite the opposite manner of the Flames, the Canucks have finally gotten on a roll. Following three season-opening losses, Vancouver defeated Montreal decisively by a score of 7-1. The Canucks then topped the Dallas Stars 4-3 this past Sunday. Michael Grabner was recently recalled from the Manitoba Moose of the AHL to help take the place of many Canuck regulars who currently find themselves in the sick/injury bay.

Last Meeting:

In the regular season opener for both teams, the Flames triumped 5-3 over the visiting Canucks. Miikka Kiprusoff, Mark Giordano, and Henrik Sedin were named the Three Stars for the evening. Despite outshooting Calgary by a margin of 42-23, the Canucks could not overcome the strong play of Kiprusoff.

Goaltenders:

Calgary- Following two days off, fans can expect to see Miikka Kiprusoff between the pipes again for the Flames. So far this season Kiprusoff is sporting a 4-1-1 record alongside a 0.903 SV% and 3.31 GAA. His backup, Curtis McElhinney is 0-1-0 in one start, with a 0.862 SV% and 4.00 GAA.

Vancouver- With four days of rest, Roberto Luongo is the most likely candidate to be manning the crease for the Canucks. 2-3-0 in his first five games, Luongo has a 0.879 SV% and 3.33 GAA. His backup, Andrew Raycroft, has no decisions and a 0.917 SV% paired with a 1.82 GAA.

Key Players:

Calgary- While Rene Bourque continues to tear along at a surprising pace (9 points in 7 games), Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen will be the players to watch on Friday evening. With only 4 points and 5 points in 7 games respectively, Iginla and Jokinen have been split up by Brent Sutter. It will be interesting to see how each player responds to the “change in scenery”. Iginla will be playing with Craig Conroy and Curtis Glencross, while Olli Jokinen will see ice time with Eric Nystrom and Fredrik Sjostrom.

A player who has yet to have a significant impact for the Flames this season is Cory Sarich. Monday night, the defenseman returned to action for the first time this season after being held out by a foot injury. With two games under his belt, Sarich will be expected to help stabilize the Calgary blueline, which has been suspect at times so far this season.

Vancouver-– With his strong play, Ryan Kesler has helped to propel the Canucks to their past two victories. With 5 points in 5 games so far this season, last year’s Selke Trophy nominee has also shown fans that he produce in the offense end as well. With Kesler scoring on 22% of his shots, expect him to make the most of his chances.

So far this season, Kyle Wellwood has been a disappointment for the Vancouver Canucks. After putting up 27 points last season, and also alongside the departure of Mats Sundin, Wellwood was expected to take on a more important offensive role this season. In 5 games, the diminutive center has zero points. Wellwood has averaged close to 14 minutes on the so far this season, but only has four shots on net.

Tough Customers:

Calgary- With three fighting majors to his name so far this season, Brandon Prust has been a character that no one wants to get involved with. His quick skating and energetic play have caused chaos in opposition ends. The 5’10 forward has yet to back down from any challenger. With the return of Brian McGrattan to the lineup this week, the Flames grit has also received a significant boost.

Vancouver- Darcy Hordichuk is the local policeman for the Canucks. While he has yet to chuck ‘em this season, it doesn’t mean that the feisty veteran still doesn’t have it in him.

Special Teams Review:

Calgary- The Flames powerplay is firing away at 41.2%. Rene Bourque and Dion Phaneuf lead the team in powerplay markers with two apiece. The Flames penalty kill, following early season struggles, has recovered to 81.8% efficiency. Miikka Kiprusoff has arguably been Calgary’s top penalty killer.

Vancouver- The Canucks powerplay sits at a solid 36.8%. Mikael Samuelsson leads the powerplay charge, with two powerplay goals to his name. As for the penalty kill, Vancouver has struggled so far this season in that department. Their penalty kill is bumbling around with a 66.7% efficiency.

Probable Lines:

Calgary-

Iginla-Conroy-Glencross
Dawes-Langkow-Bourque
Sjostrom-Jokinen-Nystrom
McGrattan-Boyd-Prust

Bouwmeester-Sarich
Regehr-Phaneuf
Pardy-Giordano


Injuries:

Calgary-
David Moss (upper body) is questionable for tonight’s matchup

Vancouver- Sami Salo (knee), Daniel Sedin (foot), Mathieu Schneider (shoulder), Pavol Demitra (shoulder), and Jannik Hansen (broken hand) are all on the injured reserve.

Dallas Stars vs. Calgary Flames (10/09/09)

•October 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment


Dallas Stars
(0-0-2)

vs


Calgary Flames
(4-0-0)

Game Time: 7:00pm MST
Location: Pengrowth Saddledome (Calgary, AB)
Coverage: Rogers Sportsnet West (TV), Fan960 (Radio)

Recent News:

The Calgary Flames quick start out of the gate has yet to slow. The Flames pulled out their fourth straight victory of the season in dramatic fashion Thursday evening in Edmonton. With only 1.5 seconds remaining on the clock, Rene Bourque tipped in a Jay Bouwmeester point shot to knot the game at three. Following overtime, Olli Jokinen scored the game winning goal against Nikolai Khabibulin, on an attempt that was first reviewed by video goal judge. The Oilers followed that bit of dramatics up when Ales Hemsky beat Miikka Kiprusoff on his shootout attempt, however failed to beat the post. This gave Calgary the win, and vaulted them to the top of the NHL standings.

Dallas’ start to the season has not been as successful as the Flames. Following two games, the Stars have two overtime/shootout losses to their credit. After battling back and forth with the Oilers on Tuesday evening, the Stars gave up a lead in the third period, and fell to the Oilers in the shootout. Brenden Morrow and James Neal have been bright spots for the team thus far. Both have put up three points to tie for the team lead in scoring.

Last Season:

Last season, the Flames and Stars split their season series with each team earning two victories. Dallas outscored the Flames 8-6 over the four game season series. Marty Turco was the winning netminder for Dallas in both their triumphs, while Miikka Kiprusoff also earned both of Calgary’s victories.

Key Players:

Calgary-

With Calgary’s hot start, Rene Bourque has continued to play like a man possessed. Bourque currently has six points to his name in Calgary’s first four games; good enough to lead the Flames in scoring. Watch for Bourque on the powerplay, penalty kill, and late in the game. Also, did I forget to mention during 5-on-5 play? It seems as though Brent Sutter is not afraid to utilize Bourque’s two-way talent. This has worked out so far for both Sutter and the rest of the Calgary Flames, as Bourque has thrived early on.

In an usual circumstance, Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr is off to rough start defensively this season. The sturdy and normally reliable defenseman has been less than reliable in Calgary’s opening four games. Currently sitting with -6 rating, Regehr is stuck at the bottom of the +/- column for the Flames. If Calgary’s success is to continue through the season, Regehr will need to pick up his play in the defensive end.

Dallas-

Be on the look out for Stars sniper, James Neal. The second year winger currently leads Dallas with three goals in two games, and has looked sharp. Neal is looking to improve upon an impressive rookie compaign in which he scored 24 goals for the Stars.

One winger who has yet to make noise for Dallas is Loui Eriksson. Eriksson was recently signed to a six-year contract extension worth $25.6 million after leading the Stars in goals last season with 36. So far this season, the only stats that Eriksson has registered are a -1 rating, 2 PIMs, and one shot on goal. The Stars expect more than this from Eriksson, so look for him to be sending a few pucks in Miikka Kiprusoff’s direction.

Special Teams Review:

Calgary- The Flames powerplay, although it went 0/4 against the Oilers, still sits at a strong 45.4% so far this season. Rene Bourque, Mark Giordano, David Moss, Dion Phaneuf, and Jarome Iginla have all scored one powerplay goal each. The penalty kill continues to hang out at 75%.

Dallas-– The Stars powerplay is rolling along at a more than respectable 25% rate so far in 2009-10. James Neal, Stephane Robidas, and Brenden Morrow have each notched one powerplay tally respectively. As for the penalty kill, Dallas shares a similar struggle as Calgary, with their penalty kill only running at 62.5%.

Injuries:

Calgary- Cory Sarich (bruised foot) and Brian McGrattan (shoulder) are day-to-day.

Dallas- Jere Lehtinen (hip/groin) is questionable for tonight’s game. Mike Modano (ribs) is doubtful for tonight as well. Warren Peters (face), the former Calgary Flame, is on the injury reserve and expected to be out of the lineup until at least mid-October

Top Ten Tunes (10/06/09)

•October 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Times are busy! Between my own hockey games, firing up articles on Calgary Flames home dates, and keeping up with school, midterms, job responsibilities, I haven’t found myself with an abundance of time lately. Here is my latest top ten. Enjoy!
  1. Red Hot Chili Peppers- If You Want Me To Stay
  2. Foxboro Hot Tubs- The Pedestrian
  3. Matthew Good- In Love With A Bad Idea
  4. Limp Bizkit- Boiler
  5. Jack Johnson- Drink The Water
  6. Incubus- Drive
  7. Innerpartysystem- This Empty Love
  8. Hilltop Hoods- Tomorrow Will Do
  9. Metallica- Sweet Amber
  10. The Ponys- Double Vision

-m.o.b.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Calgary Flames (10/06/09)

•October 6, 2009 • 1 Comment

Montreal Canadiens
(2-0-0)

Calgary Flames
(2-0-0)

Game Time: 7:00pm MST
Location: Pengrowth Saddledome (Calgary, AB)
Coverage: RDS; Rogers Sportsnet West (TV), Fan960 (Radio)

Recent News:

Calgary has opened their regular season quick out of the gate. With two wins in their first two games against division rivals, the Flames couldn’t have asked for a better start. While they got away with murder on Saturday night against the Oilers with a 4-3 victory thanks to Nikolai Khabibulin’s bumbling wandering, the Flames still looked strong. The Flames special teams have been a key factor in their first two victories, with the powerplay cruising along at a 66.7% clip. The penalty kill has also gotten the job done and currently stands at 75%.

Montreal has also started their regular season with two wins in two games, albeit in much more dramatic fashion than the Flames. Thus far, the Canadiens have squeaked out two overtime victories against their rival Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Buffalo Sabres. A huge blow that the team recently experienced was the loss of all-star defenseman Andrei Markov. Markov was injured in the Canadiens first game. He is expected to be out for 4-6 months with lacerated tendons. To fill Markov’s spot, the Canadiens recently recalled young Yannick Weber from Hamilton of the American Hockey League.

Apart from this being the two teams’ first meeting of the year, this will be their 100th all-time meeting.

Last Season:

Last season Montreal and Calgary split their season series, with each team getting one win apiece. Montreal was victorious in December 2008 with a 4-1 victory, while the Flames triumphed 6-2 in February 2009.

Key Players:

Calgary- The man to watch right now is Miikka Kiprusoff. So far this season he has squashed his history of slow starts. Apart from two wins, Kiprusoff is also currently sporting a 0.921 save percentage. He has been peppered so far this season, already having faced 76 shots over those first two victories. If the Flames are to continue this early season success, Kiprusoff will have to continue his stellar play.

On the offensive side of the things, the player to watch for Calgary is Rene Bourque. Last season, he managed to rack up 40 points on the strength of 21 goals, in only 58 games. Bourque has continued his strong play with the start of this season. Notching a goal and three points in his first two games, Bourque is the Flames current scoring leader. He has once again shown a strong two-way game, and has also been seeing ice-time during all different points in the game.

Montreal- In similar fashion to Calgary, the Canadiens can attribute much of their early season success to the play of their netminder. After finishing last season with only 23 wins, and a 0.905 save percentage, Carey Price is proving his doubters wrong so far in 2009-10. In two victories, Price is rocking an impressive 0.951 save percentage alongside a 1.89 goals against average. With 81 shots faced so far, Price has been a busy man, but has been up to the task.

Mike Cammalleri will be the Canadiens skater to keep an eye on tonight. After putting up an impressive 39 goals with the Flames last season, Cammalleri headed out east and has been a strong presence on Montreal’s top unit. This will be his first game against his former team. Travis Moen will also be a player worth watching. Usually known for his grit over his scoring touch, Moen is currently leading the Canadiens with two goals in two games. While also employing his reckless physical game, Moen has been a force to be reckoned with so far this season. Expect to see him buzzing in the Flames end and causing nothing but havoc and chaos for the Flames defenders.

Injuries:

..

Calgary- Cory Sarich (bruised foot) and Brian McGrattan (shoulder) are day-to-day.

Montreal- Andrei Markov (lacerated tendons), Ryan O’Byrne (knee), Kyle Chipchura (shoulder), Olivier Fortier (shoulder), Alex Henry (fractured hand) are all on injured reserve. Glen Metropolit is questionable for tonite’s game (sore ribs).

Probable Lines:

Calgary-

Moss – Jokinen – Iginla
Dawes – Langkow – Bourque
Glencross – Conroy – Boyd
Sjostrom – Nystrom – Prust

Bouwmeester – Regehr
Phaneuf – Giordano
Pardy – Sarich

Kiprusoff
McElhinney

Montreal-

Gomez – Cammalleri – Gionta
Pacioretty – Plekanec – A. Kostitsyn
Latendresse – Lapierre – Moen
Stewart – Chipchura – Laraque

Hamrlik – Spacek
Gill – Mara
Gorges – Weber

Price
Halak