Game Preview: Flames vs Colorado Avalanche

CALGARY FLAMES (13-20-4 30 points) vs. COLORADO AVALANCHE (12-21-5 29 points) GAME 38

 

PREVIEW:

Seth Jones, Nathan McKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, and Aleksander Barkov are the names that headline tonight’s matchup between the Flames and the Colorado Avalanche.

The Flames and Aves sit 29th and 30th overall respectively in the NHL standings, and the battle to have the best odds for the first overall pick in Junes draft has begun.

With just one point separating the two clubs, there is not much difference between the Flames and Aves. The Flames are 2-7-1 in their last ten, while the Aves are 2-8-0. Both teams are also looking to end streaks. The Flames hope to end their franchise-record 13-game road losing streak and will look to extent the Aves home losing streak to a season-high five games.

Some of the Flames future will be on display tonight with Sven Baertschi, Max Reinhart and Roman Horak all in the line-up. Baertschi was recalled yesterday and will play his first game in a Flames uniform since being assigned to Abbotsford on March 9th. All three should see significant playing time tonight and for the remainder of the season with the Flames finally focused on getting younger moving forward.

This is the fourth and final meeting between the basement dwellers, and the Aves will look to win the season-series after winning two of the first three games.

Joey MacDonald will get the start for the Flames after Miikka Kiprusoff started two games in a row on the weekend. The Avalanche will counter with Semyon Varlamov.  

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                        Avalanche:

1- GLENCROSS-REINHART-CAMMALLERI              1- LANDESKOG-DUCHENE-PARENTEAU

2- TANGUAY-BACKLUND-CERVENKA                      2- MALONE-O’REILLY-McGINN

3- BAERTSCHI-STAJAN-STEMPNIAK                       3- McLEOD-MITCHELL-JONES

4- JACKMAN-HORAK-BEGIN                                     4- BORDELEAU-OLVER-VAN DER GULIK

 

1- WIDEMAN-GIORDANO                                          1- JOHNSON-HUNWICK

2- BRODIE-BUTLER                                                   2- BARRIE-ZANON

3- SARICH-CARSON                                                  3- O’BRIEN-HEJDA

 

1- MacDONALD                                                          1- VARLAMOV

2- KIPRUSOFF                                                            2- GIGUERE

 

EXTRA- BABCHUK                                                     EXTRA- PALUSHAJ, ELLIOTT

 

INJURIES:

Flames: LW- Jiri Hudler (Upper Body- Day-to-Day), RW- Brian McGrattan (Upper Body- Day-to-Day), D- Derek Smith (Upper Body- IR), C- Paul Byron (Broken Hand- IR)

Avalanche: RW- Chuck Kobasew (Torso- Day-to-Day), RW- Milan Hedjuk (Shoulder- IR), C- Paul Stastny (Foot- Day-to-Day), D- Ryan Wilson (Ankle- IR), RW- Steve Downie (Knee Surgery- IR)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

M. Cammalleri

34

11

15

26

-15

A. Tanguay

37

10

16

26

-14

L. Stempniak

37

7

18

25

1

C. Glencross

34

14

9

23

-9

M. Stajan

37

5

18

23

5

 

Avalanche

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

PA. Parenteau

38

15

22

37

-9

M. Duchene

37

15

21

36

-10

P. Stastny

31

8

11

19

-11

J. Mitchell

37

9

8

17

8

J. McGinn

37

7

10

17

-14

 

PP-

Flames: 20.8% (10th)

Avalanche: 14.3% (25th)

PK-

Flames: 78.4% (24th)

Avalanche: 79.4% (23rd)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

1. X- CHICAGO

38

29

5

4

62

2. ANAHEIM

39

26

8

5

57

3. VANCOUVER

38

21

11

6

48

4. LOS ANGELES

39

22

13

4

48

5. SAN JOSE

38

20

11

7

47

6. MINNESOTA

38

22

14

2

46

7. ST. LOUIS

37

21

14

2

44

8. DETROIT

39

19

15

5

43

 

9. PHOENIX

38

17

15

6

40

10. DALLAS

38

18

17

3

39

11. EDMONTON

38

16

15

7

39

12. COLUMBUS

39

16

16

7

39

13. NASHVILLE

40

15

17

8

38

14. CALGARY

37

13

20

4

30

15. COLORADO

38

12

21

5

29

 

MY TAKE:

The ‘future’ is tonight’s storyline and the only reason to watch this game.

It is no secret that the Avalanche are in a desperate need for a franchise defensemen and would like nothing more than drafting first overall and selecting Portland Winterhawks defensemen, Seth Jones.

The Flames on the other hand, seem to be happy with just the chance of having a top three pick. The Flames have holes at pretty much every position, and have never drafted higher than 6th overall.

The biggest question between the Flames and Aves, is which team will show more pride down the final stretch of the season and stay out of 30th place?

My money is on the Flames. Things in Colorado seem to be a disaster with questions surrounding their front office and behind the bench.

Saying that, I think the Aves could pull a quick turnaround, much like the Montreal Canadiens have done this season, if they too get the proper hockey people making the proper decisions (Joe Sakic?).

With a young core of Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Eric Johnson and Semyon Varlamov, there is too much young talent on this team, for them not to start moving in the right direction sooner than later.

I’m happy to see Baertschi back up with the Flames, and along with Reinhart and Horak, I hope Bob Hartley and the rest of the Flames coaching staff hold true to their word, and give these guys lots of playing time.

 

 

 

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