Game Preview: Flames vs Phoenix Coyotes

CALGARY FLAMES (5-5-3 13 points) vs. PHOENIX COYOTES (7-6-2 16 points) GAME 14

 

PREVIEW:

The Flames wrap up their mini two game road trip tonight as they head into Phoenix to face the Coyotes for their second game in consecutive nights. The Flames are coming off a gutsy, come from behind victory against the Dallas Stars yesterday, while the Coyotes beat the Columbus Blues Jackets 5-3 on Saturday night.

The Flames goalie carousel continues tonight as Danny Taylor, who was recalled from Abbotsford on Saturday, will make his first career NHL start.

Taylor has put up impressive numbers in Abbotsford (13-10-1, 1.82 GAA, .929 SV%) and deserves a shot as neither Joey MacDonald nor Leland Irving has been able to solidify themselves as the Flames number one while Miikka Kiprusoff continues to rehab his knee injury.

The Flames will once again try to conquer the word consistency after battling back from a 3-1 deficit with three unanswered goals in the third to get the two points, yesterday in Dallas.

Matt Stajan, Roman Horak and Steve Begin all scored their first goals of the season in the comeback and gave the Flames some much needed timely and secondary scoring.

The Coyotes are once again in contention this season but have not had the success as last season which saw them win the Pacific Division.

The story around the Coyotes never seems to be about hockey and more about how long the Coyotes will be in Phoenix for. With the recent news that Greg Jamison’s bid to buy the team falling through, the hour glass on the Coyotes might be running out.

Hockey wise, Dave Tippett continues to keep the Coyotes focused and competitive every night.

Mike Smith is expected to get the start tonight against the Flames.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                        Coyotes:

1- CAMMALLERI-TANGUAY-IGINLA                           1- DOAN-VERMETTE-BOEDKER

2- HUDLER-HORAK-CERVENKA                                2- KORPIKOSKI-HANZAL-SULLIVAN

3- GLENCROSS-STAJAN-STEMPNIAK                       3- MOSS-GORDON-CHIPCHURA

4- COMEAU-BEGIN-JACKMAN                                    4- BISSONNETTE-TORRES-VRBATA

 

1- BOUWMEESTER-GIORDANO                                 1- YANDLE-KLESLA

2- WIDEMAN-BRODIE                                                  2- MICHALEK-EKMAN-LARSSON

3- SARICH-BUTLER                                                     3- RUNDBLAD-SUMMERS

 

1- TAYLOR                                                                    1- SMITH

2- MacDONALD                                                            2- LaBARBERA

 

EXTRA- SMITH, BABCHUK                                         EXTRA- JOHNSON

INJURIES:

Flames: G- Miikka Kiprusoff (Knee- IR), C- Mikael Backlund (Knee- IR), LW- Sven Baertschi (Hip Flexor- IR), C- Paul Byron (Broken Hand- IR)

Coyotes: C- Matthew Lombardi (Upper Body- IR), D- David Schlemko (Shoulder- IR), D- Derek Morris (Upper Body- Day-to-Day)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

A. Tanguay

13

4

8

12

-4

M. Cammalleri

10

4

7

11

E

L. Stempniak

13

5

5

10

4

D. Wideman

13

3

7

10

E

C. Glencross

13

6

3

9

-2

 

Coyotes

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

R. Vrbata

15

4

8

12

-1

M. Hanzal

11

7

3

10

-1

M. Boedker

15

2

7

9

2

K. Yandle

15

1

8

9

2

O. Ekman-Larsson

15

3

5

8

1

 

PP-

Flames: 26.5% (3rd)

Coyotes: 17.5% (18th

PK-

Flames: 72.3% (28th)

Coyotes: 83.8% (10th)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

1. CHICAGO

15

12

0

3

27

2. ANAHEIM

14

11

2

1

23

3. VANCOUVER

14

8

3

3

19

4. ST. LOUIS

15

9

5

1

19

5. NASHVILLE

15

7

3

5

19

6. SAN JOSE

14

7

4

3

17

7. DALLAS

16

8

7

1

17

8. PHOENIX

15

7

6

2

16

 

9. DETROIT

15

7

6

2

16

10. MINNESOTA

15

7

6

2

16

11. EDMONTON

14

6

5

3

15

12. CALGARY

13

5

5

3

13

13. LOS ANGELES

13

5

6

2

12

14. COLORADO

13

5

7

1

11

15. COLUMBUS

15

4

9

2

10

 

MY TAKE:

It was a good team effort for the Flames in their comeback victory over the Stars yesterday and it was good to see guys like Stajan and Begin score their first goals of the season.

I am excited and interested to see what Taylor does in his first NHL start as I was disappointed in seeing the Flames give up on Irving so fast.

The difference between Irving and MacDonald is minimal if anything to me and it continues to confuse me why the Flames never seem to give any of their draft picks a fair chance to prove themselves.

Seeing Irving getting sent down to Abbotsford and Blair Jones being put on waivers, continues to raise questions around Flames management on what their vision for this team really is.

Yesterday’s win was great but what Flames team will show up tonight in Phoenix is the biggest question.

Both victories against the Stars this season have been very positive and have shown that this team just might change but like past seasons, when they take one step forward, they seem to take two steps back.

.500 hockey is not going to get the Flames into the playoffs, let’s just hope the Flames figure that out sooner than later.

 

 

Follow me on Twitter: @NickSymon