Saturday, January 14, 2006


Flames Game Night

The question was posed to Jacques Lemaire, and for 15 seconds the speechless Wild coach reacted by putting his head down, rubbing his chin and squinting his eyes like he was trying to untangle the world's trickiest trigonometry application.

"That's a good question," Lemaire said, shaking his head.

The question was posed to several around the Wild locker room after Friday's hourlong practice, and the query triggered almost identical head-scratching reactions from players.

How the heck is it possible that the Northwest Division-leading Calgary Flames, winners of three in a row over the Wild heading into tonight's game at Xcel Energy Center, have 11 more points (55 compared with 44)?

After all, the Wild has scored six more goals (122 to 116) than the Flames. The Wild has given up six fewer (107 to 113).

The Wild has the 11th-best power play, seven spots higher. The Wild has the top-ranked penalty kill, 18 spots higher. Manny Fernandez and Dwayne Roloson have a 2.39 goals-against average, .07 better than Miikka Kiprusoff and seldom-used Philippe Sauve.

Leading scorers Brian Rolston of Minnesota and Jarome Iginla of Calgary have 18 goals apiece, but Rolston has nine more points.

On paper, the Wild is better.

In reality, the Wild is not.

That's Michael Russo in the hometown Star Tribune, in advance of the Wild hosting the Flames tonight (6PM, no TV). It's the 4th meeting of the year, and the home team has won all three. Minny won the season opener 6-3, with Calgary winning the next two 3-0 and 3-2 (the latter on a sweet, sweet 3rd period comeback).

Hamrlik is still out, so Richie Regehr will draw in again. By 8:00, the Flames should be putting the finishing touches on a 2-goal win. That's the entree; then for dessert we have the Oilers trying haplessly to stop the Senators on HNIC.

A win tonight sends the Flames back to Calgary for two home games in pretty good position. It'll happen. Go Flames.


I think you missed another great 4-2 Flames home win in there somewhere.

Otherwise, it looks like you've got it pretty much right.

Go Flames!!

Go Senators!!

I stand corrected! Flames are 3-1 head to head v. the Wild; I forgot about the Dec. 29th comeback win.

Man, another win by Colorado, Detroit, and Dallas. I thought these teams were all supposed to fall apart with the new CBA.

The strength of our division is really starting to irritate me.

Even the one bad(?) team is good. Go regular time!

I know this is off topic, but Grapes just called "Jose" Theodore, "Jose" - as in Cuervo. He is a funny, funny, guy.

No kidding! It looked like Colorado was going to fall away there, and suddenly they've won seven straight. Same with Vancouver: Calgary punked them a couple of times, they lost to St. Louis etc, but now they've won 4 of 5.

And Dallas simply looks like an excellent team, with solid goaltending to boot.

The Wild have played much better than their record indicates, that's for sure. The reason? Boogey.

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