Game Preview: Flames vs St. Louis Blues

CALGARY FLAMES (19-23-4 42 points) vs. ST. LOUIS BLUES (27-17-2 56 points) GAME 47

 

PREVIEW:

The Flames will face a familiar foe tonight when they head into St. Louis to face Jay Bouwmeester and the Blues. It will be the first time the Flames will face-off against Bouwmeester since the Flames traded him to the Blues on April 1st, in exchange for Mark Cundari, goaltender Reto Berra and now their 1st round pick in this June’s draft.

The Flames play their second last game of the season tonight after seeing their three-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night, falling 4-3 to the Nashville Predators. It was a young line-up for the Flames with Mike Cammalleri, Matt Stajan, Lee Stempniak and Mikael Backlund all getting the night off.

The Flames young guys continued to impress, led by Sven Baertschi, who registered two assists to extend his career-high point streak to six games (2g, 6a).

Tonight’s game will also mark the return of Cundari to St. Louis, making his debut in a building he never got a chance to play in. Cundari was signed as a free agent by the Blues in 2008, and played 173 games with the Blues farm team, Peoria, before being traded to the Flames in the Bouwmeester trade.

Cundari registered another assist on Thursday against the Preds, giving him a goal and two assists in his first two games as a Flame, while averaging over 21 minutes a game.

Bouwmeester has enjoyed his time since joining the Blues. Playing alongside Alex Pietrangelo, Bouwmeester has recorded a goal and five assists in his first 12 games, while the Blues of won nine of those 12 games. More importantly, the Blues clinched a playoff spot on Tuesday night, marking the first time Bouwmeester will play in the playoffs after 762 NHL games.

Bouwmeester played 279 of those games with the Flames, recording 97 points (18g, 79a).

The Blues can still clinch home-ice heading into the playoffs, if they win their final two games.

Joey MacDonald will get the start for the Flames, while the Blues will counter with Brian Elliott

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                       Blues:

1- CAMMALLERI-STAJAN-STEMPNIAK                    1- SCHWARTZ-BACKES-STEEN

2- BAERTSCHI-BACKLUND-HUDLER                       2- McDONALD-SOBOTKA-STEWART

3- BYRON-HORAK-CERVENKA                                3- PERRON-BERGLUND-TARASENKO

4- REINHART-JONES-JACKMAN                               4- CRACKNELL-PORTER-REAVES

 

1- WIDEMAN-GIORDANO                                          1- BOUWMEESTER-PIETRANGELO

2- BRODIE-CUNDARI                                                 2- LEOPOLD-SHATTENKIRK

3- BUTLER-BABCHUK                                                3- RUSSELL-POLAK

 

1- MacDONALD                                                           1- ELLIOTT

2- KIPRUSOFF                                                            2- HALAK

 

EXTRA- HANOWSKI, ALIU, STREET                      EXTRA- MURRAY, JASKIN, COLE, ALLEN

CARSON, McGRATTAN, BANCKS, IRVING

 

INJURIES:

Flames: D- Cory Sarich (Face- Day-to-Day), C- Steve Begin (Hand- Day-to-Day), Dennis Wideman (Broken Finger- Day-to-Day), LW- Curtis Glencross (Knee- Done for the season), LW- Alex Tanguay (Knee- Done for the season), D- Derek Smith (Upper Body- IR)

Blues: D- Barret Jackman (Ankle- Day-to-Day), LW- T.J. Oshie (Foot Surgery- IR), C- Scott Nichol (Lower Body- Out Indefinitely), RW- Jamie Langenbrunner (Hip Surgery- IR)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

M. Cammalleri

42

13

19

32

-14

L. Stempniak

45

9

22

31

3

A. Tanguay

40

11

16

27

-13

C. Glencross

40

15

11

26

-8

J. Hudler

41

10

16

26

-13

 

Blues

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

C. Stewart

46

18

16

34

E

A. Steen

38

7

19

26

4

D. Backes

46

6

20

26

3

D. Perron

46

10

15

25

-1

P. Berglund

46

16

8

24

-3

 

PP-

Flames: 20.5% (8th)

Blues: 19.7% (12th)

PK-

Flames: 81.2% (15th)

Blues: 84.0% (8th)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

1. P- CHICAGO

46

35

6

5

75

2. Y- ANAHEIM

46

29

11

6

64

3. Y- VANCOUVER

46

26

13

7

59

4. X- LOS ANGELES

47

26

16

5

57

5. X- SAN JOSE

47

25

15

7

57

6. X- ST. LOUIS

46

27

17

2

56

7. MINNESOTA

46

25

18

3

53

8. DETROIT

46

22

16

8

52

 

9. COLUMBUS

46

22

17

7

51

10. DALLAS

46

22

20

4

48

11. PHOENIX

46

20

18

8

48

12. CALGARY

46

19

23

4

42

13. EDMONTON

46

17

22

7

41

14. NASHVILLE

46

16

21

9

41

15. COLORADO

46

15

24

7

37

 

MY TAKE:

With the regular season winding down, the next important date on the calendar for Flames fans comes on Monday, when the NHL will hold their annual draft lottery to see who will get the honour of selecting 1st overall in this June’s draft in New Jersey.

With the loss to the Preds on Tuesday, the Flames stayed in 24th place in league standings, but with Carolina, Nashville and Tampa Bay winning the past couple of nights, the Flames sit just two points up on the 28th place Lightning.

Twenty-eighth is the lowest the Flames could fall with the Aves and Panthers having clinched 29th and 30th overall.

Here are the draft odds for Monday’s lottery:

Team 1  25.0%
Team 2  18.8%
Team 3  14.2%
Team 4  10.7%
Team 5  8.1%
Team 6  6.2%
Team 7  4.7%
Team 8  3.6%
Team 9  2.7%
Team 10  2.1%
Team 11  1.5%
Team 12  1.1%
Team 13  0.8%
Team 14  0.5%

Best case scenario, the Flames finish as team 3 and have a 14.2% chance at picking first. Worst case scenario is the Flames win their final two games, with the combination of Philadelphia, Buffalo, and New Jersey and losing their final games, which would move the Flames to team 10, giving them just a 2.1% chance of picking first overall.

It will be interesting to see how the Flames finish. I’m sure they will have good work ethic and the young guys will continue to impress but at this point, wins do nothing for them.

It will be a tough test tonight against the Blues with the Blues still fighting for home-ice, but tomorrow night’s game could be a different story against the Blackhawks, who clinched the President’s trophy last night.

 

 

Follow me on Twitter: @NickSymon