Tuesday, April 25, 2006

 

Flames Game Day

I'm nervous! What a strange feeling... kind of like my first quart of Johnnie Walker.

The Flames need to get home-ice advantage back. The 4 GA and multiple odd-man rushes against from Game 2 was an anomaly that's not likely to reoccur. But, for that to matter, they need to win one on the road here. A victory tonight would put the Ducks in the unhappy position of absolutely needing to win Game 4, and you never know how a team will respond in that situation.

I haven't yet heard what Sutter is doing with the lineup tonight. Game 2 saw Mike Leclerc, C.F.H. and Craig Macdonald inserted in the place of Lundmark and Simon. Leclerc had a dodgy start but was actually pretty terrific for the rest of the game. (The letters behind his name, btw, stand for Can't Find the Handle -- I'll need to add that to the Glossary). Craig Macdonald was fast, but didn't offer much else.

Considering that two of Calgary's five best scoring chances in Game 1 were excellent passes by Simon, I think he has to draw back in there. I doubt Lundmark gets back in tonight unless it's in the place of Lombardi, which I would find unfortunate -- I think Flames Cup-winning scenarios involve Lombardi at the top of his game, so Sutter needs to give him a chance to find it.

The absolute last thing I'm concerned about is that the Flames have only won 1 of their last 13 in Anaheim. Anything before last season is ancient history. In the past two seasons, then, they're 1-3. Two of the losses were Game 82 of the respective seasons, when Calgary's playoff seeding was locked-in. Past that, we have a 5-1 Flames win in January '04, and a 4-1 loss in October of this year: it was a 2-1 game with 3 minutes left in regulation, and the Ducks scored a pair of late PP goals to seal the deal. Pond bugaboo? Not so much.

Matt's Key to the Game: can the Flames continue to shut down Selanne and McDonald without the ability to set the line matchups? Matt's Prediction: almost. One goal from those guys, none from the rest of the team. And two from the good guys, to put the big pressure onto Anaheim going into Game 4. Go Flames.

Comments:

"Anything before last season is history."

Wow, talk about a selective comment, is this the same Matt who YESTERDAY made the joke about the Oilers taking years to reach 16 playoff wins?

unbelievable, and unacceptable.

You can't have it both ways Matt, if the Oilers history counts, then so does the Flamers.

Go oil
 


Lemme guess: until yesterday, your handle was "K-ROCKstud"?

I've had some strong feedback over the past few months -- persuasive, mocking, angry, the whole gamut -- but I don't think I've ever been informed that something I posted on my own website was "unacceptable". A first!
 


The difference between employing a franchise's recent history to trash talk versus analyzing the relation of regular season success to play-off success is a substantial one.

They are are pretty much two unrelated topics, albeit both having something to do with the general concept "history".
 


Considering the roster turnover in the NHL this season and the coaching changes made in the last two seasons, a teams history, like the Flames history in Anaheim, has never been more irrelevant. You see this kind of “streaks” end with the change in regimes all the time. Look at John Cooper and his inability to beat Michigan when he was the head coach of Ohio State. Now that John Tressle has taken over the Buckeyes they have Big Blues number.

Flames overcome the curse of the pond and take back home ice advantage with a 3-1 win.

Go Flames
 

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