Game Preview: Flames vs Detroit Red Wings

CALGARY FLAMES (23-21-6 52 points) vs. DETROIT RED WINGS (33-16-1 67 points) GAME #51

 

PREVIEW:

The second half for the Flames kicks-off tonight and it doesn’t start easy as they host the Detroit Red Wings, who are 1st place in the Western Conference and lead the league with 67 points. Tonight’s match-up will be the 4th and final one between the teams as the Flames have won 2 of 3 thus far.

Continuing the Flames game preview trend, once again and not surprisingly the hot topic coming into tonight’s game is the Flames lack of scoring. The Flames have been held to two or fewer goals in five of their last six games and sit 26th in league scoring averaging 2.36 goals per game. Coach Brent Sutter switched up the lines heading into tonight, putting Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla back together for the first time since Tanguay returned from injury and moving Mike Cammalleri to the second line alongside Olli Jokinen. Iginla has tallied only 1 goal in his last six contests so it is crucial he and Tanguay find that chemistry that has made them so successful in the past. It is also time for Cammalleri to take his game to the next level, as many expected he would when he was re-acquired from Montreal. Cammalleri has been average at best in my eyes since his return as he has only 1 goal for his lone point in 5 games with the Flames.

The Red Wings are one again among the league’s elite. The Wings have been unbelievable at the Joe Louis this season reeling off a franchise record 17 straight wins. The road on the other hand has been average at best as the Wings sit a game below .500 (13-14-0) and are coming off a terrible 7-2 loss in Montreal before the All-Star break. The Wings have a lot of firepower led by Pavel Datsyuk, who was the 1st overall pick in Thursday’s All-Star fantasy draft. Datsyuk is simply dynamic at both ends of the ice and should be matched up against Iginla and Tanguay.

As mentioned the Flames have won 2 of 3 match-ups against the Wings this season and have done a remarkable job shutting down the Wings top scorers. In the three games, the Flames have held the Wings’ top 4 scorers (Datsyuk, Franzen, Filppula and Hudler) to a combined 3 goals. That success will have to continue tonight if the Flames want to win for the 3rd time against the Wings. Even with the playoff implications, this one gives me a bad feeling for the Flames. I watched majority of the Wings game against the Canadiens and it was ugly to say the least. First of all, ugly games like that are rare for the Wings; even rarer is for them to do it two games in a row. Not to say the Flames could dominate the Wings tonight but usually the Wings play some of their best games after a bad loss.

Miikka Kiprusoff will once again get the start for the Flames, while Jimmy Howard will start between the pipes for the Red Wings. The Flames currently sit 3 points out of 8th place and with 32 games remaining, every games becomes more important. It is playoff time, starting tonight for the Flames.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                        Wings:

1-TANGUAY-BACKLUND-IGINLA                                 1-FRANZEN-DATSYUK-BERTUZZI

2-CAMMALLERI-JOKINEN-COMEAU                           2-FILPPULA-ZETTERBERG-HUDLER

3-BOUMA-JONES-STEMPNIAK                                    3-MILLER-HELM-CLEARY

4-KOSTOPOULOS-STAJAN-JACKMAN                        4-EMMERTON-ABDELKADER-HOLMSTROM

 

1-BOUWMEESTER-BUTLER                                        1-LIDSTROM-WHITE

2-GIORDANO-HANNAN                                                2-KRONWALL-STUART

3-BRODIE-SARICH                                                       3-ERICSSON-COMMODORE

 

1-KIPRUSOFF                                                               1-HOWARD

2-IRVING                                                                        2-CONKLIN

 

EXTRA- BABCHUK                                                         EXTRA- KINDL, MURSAK

 

INJURIES:

Flames: LW- Curtis Glencross (Knee- IR), C- David Moss (Lower Body-IR), D- Derek Smith (Ankle-IR), G- Henrik Karlsson (Knee-IR)

Wings: RW- Patrick Eaves (Jaw- IR)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

GOALS

ASSISTS

POINTS

+/-

J. Iginla

50

18

21

39

-6

O. Jokinen

50

12

26

38

-1

C. Glencross

45

18

15

33

-4

L. Stempniak

50

12

12

24

-1

M. Cammalleri

43

10

13

23

-10

 

Wings

PLAYER

GP

GOALS

ASSISTS

POINTS

+/-

P. Datsyuk

49

14

39

53

20

J. Franzen

50

19

22

41

25

V. Filppula

49

15

24

39

12

H. Zetterberg

50

9

26

35

2

J. Hudler

49

15

17

32

3

 

PP-

Flames: 17.4% (18th)

Wings: 18.5% (12th)

PK-

Flames: 83.0% (13th)

Wings: 81.2% (22nd)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

WINS

LOSSES

OTL

POINTS

1. DETROIT

50

33

16

1

67

2. VANCOUVER

49

30

15

4

64

3. SAN JOSE

47

27

14

6

60

4. ST. LOUIS

49

29

13

7

65

5. NASHVILLE

50

30

16

4

64

6. CHICAGO

50

29

15

6

64

7. L.A

50

24

16

10

58

8. MINNESOTA

49

24

18

7

55

 

9. COLORADO

51

26

23

2

54

10. DALLAS

48

25

21

2

52

11. CALGARY

50

23

21

6

52

12. PHOENIX

50

22

20

8

52

13. ANAHEIM

48

18

23

7

43

14.EDMONTON

49

18

26

5

41

15. COLUMBUS

49

13

30

6

32

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Last ten games: Flames- 5-4-1, Wings- 8-2-0
  • The late Brad McCrimmon will be honored at tonight’s game in a pre-game ceremony and video tribute. The Flames will wear #4 McCrimmon jerseys in warm-up which will later be auctioned off to benefit “Love4Lokomotiv” in addition to commemorative decals on their helmets.
  • Miikka Kiprusoff will tie Mike Vernon’s all-time franchise games played for a goaltender in tonight’s start with 526.
  • Kiprusoff is also 2 wins away from 300.
  • Jay Feaster was busy during the All-Star break making two trades. First he traded veteran Brendan Morrison to Chicago for 25 year old defensemen Brian Connelly and then trading defensemen John Negrin to the Winnipeg Jets for forward Akim Aliu.
  • Aliu had been on loan with Abbotsford before the trade, scoring 4 goals and adding an assist in 13 games. The Flames obviously liked what they saw and Negrin became expendable after the acquisition of Connelly.
  • The Flames are 8-2 in their last ten games at the Dome.
  • Jarome Iginla, the Flames lone All-Star, tallied a goal and two assists for Team Chara at Sunday’s game in Ottawa.
  • The Wings are lights out at home this season with an unbelievable 20-2-1 record.
  • Jimmy Howard has given up at least 3 goals in his last four starts against the Flames.
  • The Wings are fifth in league scoring, averaging 3.1 goals per game.
  • Tomas Holmstrom comes into tonight’s game having played 995 career games. He is set to become the 271st player and 6th Red Wing to reach the 1,000 career games milestone.
  • Since 1997-98, the Red Wings have the most victories in the NHL with 774.

 

GAME DAY QUOTE:

"We have a lot of home games coming up. We're pretty comfortable and confident at home. We've just got to find a way to get two points. Every game is like a playoff game for us right now." – Olli Jokinen

Comments

NickSymon's picture

Also of note: The Flames have the exact same record at 50 games as they did last year (23-21-6)