Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames
7:00pm, TSN locally
Enemy Perspective: Defending Big D
Things are starting to get interesting now that the Canucks are 3 points back of Calgary for the NW Division lead. The Flames have been so far out in front for so long that the feeling of somone in the rear view mirror must be a little foreign. Both clubs have 13 games remaining in the season, with Vancouver the undeniably hotter team at the moment. Looks like this thing might just come down to the wire.
Potential first round preview this evening with Dallas, although the Stars might look very different come the middle of April: by that time they might actually have some of their starters back in the line-up. Despite being injury plagued and generally poor so far this season, Dallas won the first two meetings between these two clubs, both by 3-1 scores. Calgary has had trouble beating Dallas for years for some reason, and I guess the roles haven't changed even though they've swapped places in the standings.
– Jim Vandermeer will likely play instead of Adam Pardy this evening. If so, one wonders if it's the right move – Pardy seems to be the better player to my eye, although he's more prone to the odd Eriksson type give-away.
– Word is, Keenan is going to stick with the trios he used last game, meaning more of Curtis Glencross on the first unit with Iginla and Jokinen. It'll be interesting to see how Keenan manages the match-ups now that the Flames are back home.
– The first game back after a long road trip is almost inevitably a let down (Flames caught Philly on their first game back, for example), so don't expect a vast improvement over the last couple of games.
– I'll be watching the PK closely tonight to see if my impressions from the last 4 weeks or so (lots of uninhibited point shots/tips getting through) holds up. Right now, I think the PK may be one of the team's primary weaknesses (ironically, given it's in the top 5 in the league).
by Kent Wilson