After a few days rest and reflection, the Calgary Flames will play the Colorado Avalanche tonight at the Saddledome. The Avalanche, currently on a 3-game win streak, are seeking to move out of the Northwest Division basement, while the Flames are looking to regain some momentum after losing 5 of their last 7 games.
The Flames will need the help of their All-Star candidates tonight, 2 of whom have continued to score while the Flames have faltered in recent games. They will need Captain Jarome Iginla to continue his offensive production as well as Dion Phaneuf to play a solid game and put some points on the board. The Flames will also need a great game from Miikka Kiprusoff who has been cold lately. Also look for Daymond Langkow to step-up and make a contribution – something he’s had a hard time doing in the last 7 games.
The Flames should have some help from Dustin Boyd and Curtis Glencross who both have 2 points in their last 2 games, as well as from Avs-killer Mike Cammalleri, who has had his best games this season against the Avalanche.
But The Flames will need to put more than one puck behind Avalanche goaltender Peter Budaj – something that only the Edmonton Oilers have been able to do in the last 3 games. Budaj has been hot, registering a shutout against Minnesota and allowing one goal against Vancouver.
The Flames also need to keep the Avalanche from getting 2nd and 3rd chances of their own. This defensive breakdown has been the Flames weak point in the last few games, and will surely either make-or-break the game tonight.
Either way, the next 2 games will be interesting to watch, as divisional rivalries always are. The Flames host the Avalanche tonight, then head to Denver on Thursday to battle them on their home turf.