The Flames will be challenged in the last three games of their seven-game road swing as they face off against the New Jersey Devils, Detroit Red Wings and the suddenly surging Toronto Maple Leafs.
Calgary vs. New Jersey, Tuesday, Mar. 10, 5:00 p.m. at the Prudential Center, Flames PPV & The FAN 960
The Flames head into the week with a big challenge: the second best team in the East, the New Jersey Devils. With 87 points, they sit well above of the rest of the Atlantic Division.
The Devils are coming an embarrassing 7-3 loss to the lowly New York Islanders. Kevin Weekes bailed out Martin Brodeur in the third period after the veteran netminder allowed six goals in the first two frames. It?s Brodeur?s first loss since returning from injury on Feb. 26.
Brodeur has faced the Flames 13 times in his 16-year career. His record against Calgary sits at 6-4-3 with a 1.97 GAA and .915 save percentage.
Zach Parise is having a career season and leads the club with 38 goals and 78 points. He has eight points in his last five outings but put up a -1 rating in the loss to the Islanders. He?s only played one game against Calgary in his career and went pointless in the game.
Several Flames have had success against the Devils in their careers. Jarome Iginla has amassed five goals and 11 points in 13 games and Craig Conroy has six points in 16 games. Injured players Daymond Langkow and Todd Bertuzzi will be missed against New Jersey as they?ve combined for 29 points in 47 games. Bertuzzi has the edge between two, tallying 15 points in 21 career games.
New Flame Olli Jokinen has eight goals and 14 points in 34 career games.
The last time the Flames were in the garden state was on Dec. 7, 2005 where they walked out with a 4-1 win. Calgary was won three of their last five games in New Jersey.
Calgary vs. Detroit, Thursday, Mar. 12, 5:00 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena, Rogers Sportsnet West & The FAN 960
Detroit comes into the week on an 8-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Henrik Zetterberg and Aaron Downey were the only two Red Wings able to muster an offense against a surging Blue Jackets squad.
Goaltending has been an issue for the former Stanley Cup Champions. Ty Conklin, originally thought to be a backup to Chris Osgood, has taken over the main duties for the team. His GAA sits at 2.39 and his save percentage is .914.
Osgood was in net for seven of the goals scored by the Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
The Red Wings haven't lost yet in the four-game season series, winning the first two games. They?ve picked up wins both on the road and at home when facing Calgary. Their last meeting was in Detroit on Dec. 10 when the Flames were able to pick up a point in the 4-3 overtime loss.
Pavel Datsyuk leads the Wings in points against the Flames this season with three. He?s netted a goal and two helpers in the two contests. Johan Franzen trails him with three assists.
Datsyuk also leads Detroit in scoring with 25 goals and 78 points on the year. He's been on a bit of downward slide as of late, only tallying three points, all assists, in his last five games.
David Moss has been force against Detroit. He leads the Flames in points against the Red Wings with three points, a goal and two assists. He's followed by Dion Phaneuf and Craig Conroy, both of whom have two points in the season series.
The two teams will meet once more in Calgary on Mar. 23 to finish off the series.
Calgary vs. Toronto, Saturday, Mar. 14, 5:00 p.m. at the Air Canada Center, CBC?s Hockey Night In Canada & The FAN 960
No one can accuse the Toronto Maple Leafs of throwing in the towel. While it's highly unlikely the team will make the postseason, new general Brian Burke has made sure everyone knows that he and head coach Ron Wilson expect this team to put in 110 per cent every night.
They've picked up points in eight of their last ten and strung together a four-game winning streak to close out the month of February.
Unfortunately for the Leafs, they lost defensemen Mike Van Ryn and Jonas Frogren to lower body injuries in the team?s 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. The team was left with only four defensemen after the two went down and is likely to call upon prospect such as Jamie Sifers and Anton Stralman to fill the void on the blueline.
|Van Ryn |
The loss marked the end of a nine-game points streak for the team.
Veteran winger Jason Blake leads the Leafs in scoring with 22 goals and 51 points. He hasn't scored a goal in eight games but has recorded four assists in his last five games.
Martin Gerber will most likely get the call in goal for the Leafs. With starting 'tender Vesa Toskala down for the rest of the season due to injury, Gerber has become Toronto's new number one goalie. He was immediately put to work after being picked up off waivers by the Leafs and has split the two games he's played in. His save percentage is a decent .903 and his GAA is 2.76.
The Air Canada Center hasn't been friendly to the Flames. They've only won once in their last fives visits. Their last visit was on Oct. 14, 2006 where they fell 5-4 in overtime.
The two teams met in Calgary on Nov. 11 and the Flames were able to come out with the 4-3 win. Dustin Boyd scored the game winner, one of his two goals in the contest. Jarome Iginla, Mark Giordano and Phaneuf also had two points in the game.
Matt Stajan scored a goal and had an assist in the Leafs loss.
This Week's Key Numbers
Miikka Kiprusoff is nine wins away from tying Martin Brodeur's record of 48 wins in the regular season.
Mike Cammalleri needs one more goal to set a new career high in scoring.
Jarome Iginla is riding into the week on a eight-game point streak.