Calgary and Nashville have had a strangely antagonistic relationship for years. While he was a Pred, Tomas Vokoun went out of his way to hate the Flames – my memory may be fooling me, but I swear I remember him skating purposefully into the corner one night to body check a Flames forward (Iginla?).
In addition, the teams have made a habit of engaging in at least one weird blow-out game per season. Last year, the Flames went up on NSH 7-3 on FEb 15…only to see the Predators storm back and make things interesting with 3 straight goals in the third period. Prior to last season, the Flames had surrendered 9 goals to Nashville on two separate occasions. So yeah, don’t expect things get weird this evening.
– Barry Trotz is a coach famous for cobbling together a checking line of relative nobodies and sending them out against the oppositions best in order to free up his own scorers for softer match-ups. I dropped by On the Forecheck earlier today and Dirk Hoag confirmed that's still the case: as such, expect Jarome and Jokinen to face Ward-Legwand-Smithson this evening. That means Langkow et al will probably face Arnott's line.
– It was mentioned in Robert’s pre-game post, but Nashville has an impressive blueline. Weber, Suter and Hamhuis are a solid top 3 and a couple of those guys haven’t even peaked yet. Another guy to watch is Cody Franson – a 6’5″ rookie who was one of the highest scoring defenders in the AHL last year (11 goals, 41 assists). He was chosen 79th overall in 2005, the same year Calgary took Matt Pelech in the first round (sigh).
– On the Flames side, the offense from the back-end has pretty much dried up after a hot start. Giordano hasn’t scored since the first game (although he does tend to hit posts) and Dion Phaneuf has 2 points in his last 12 games. It might just be one of those “dry spots” that can afflict shooters of various stripes, but for the money the org is paying for this defense corps, hopefully the offense returns sooner rather than later.
– David Legwand has one of the most suggestively masculine names in all of sports.
Let's get 'er going…
by Kent Wilson