Time: 7:00 Eastern
Place: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, AB
TV: BSD, SN1, SNW
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket // 1270 AM
Flames Blog: Matchsticks and Gasoline
No pun intended, but the Calgary Flames are coming in hot to tonight’s matchup. They’ve been playing their best hockey of the year since the All-Star break, winning 8 of their last 10 games. Johnny Gaudreau has been a beast, Jacob Markstrom is stopping all sorts of pucks. They lead the Pacific division and have the second best goal differential in the league.
The Calgary Flames have quietly had a really interesting and weird narratives over the past decade and a half. The Flames tried disastrously to extend their contention window during the Jarome Iginla years, long before the Red Wings made such a thing grotesquely fashionable in the twilight years of Zetterberg’s career. They had a really promising rebuild, but when they were supposed to “arrive,” they sort of faltered. Having watched the whole thing, you would have thought they’d be bona fide contenders for a good handful of years by now, but they just haven’t stuck, with some rumors that they should blow the whole thing up. But it appears now that they are finally, finally the mastodon of a team promised years ago, and the Wings get to take them on just as they’re in the worst slump of the season.
But the Wings should be all hot and bothered for this one. I’ve spilled enough ink over Matt Dumba and don’t want to talk about it here, but there should be plenty of motivation for Detroit to get up for this game. The awful news is that Robby Fabbri tore his other ACL on Thursday and is done for the season. With Vrana only in his third game of the season, I guess it’s one winger in from injury, another out. All the same, I expect Detroit to play big tonight.