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Scouting the Flames

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames start off the week with a rare visitor, the Montreal Canadiens, before heading out on a three-game road swing. The road trip will be a big test for the team. If they can work out the kinks, they’ll be able to close in on Detroit and San Jose in the standings.


The road hasn’t been kind to the Flames. They lost four straight last week and two of those losses came on the road against Colorado and Dallas. The Dallas loss triggered a closed door meeting with General Manager Darryl Sutter in which the teams discussed what needs to be improved.

"It’s definitely an issue because we haven’t been picked up points on the road," said Adrian Aucoin last week. "The one thing we can carry over a little more is to play with a little more edge, a little more cockiness on the road. The confidence is there, we don’t doubt ourselves, but we have to be a little more in-your-face and aggressive."

Craig Conroy pointed to special teams as an area that needed work. "The penalty kill hasn’t been good enough and if we can turn that around, the power play has been good and we’ll get this thing back on track."

Calgary vs. Montreal, Monday, Feb. 9, 7:00 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome, Sportsnet West & The FAN 960
HabsThe Montreal Canadiens head into Calgary in the middle of a slide. They’ve dropped two straight and have been outscored 8-4 in those games. They’re currently sitting at the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference with 64 points.

The last time the Habs paid a visit to Calgary was on Jan. 19, 2006 and lost 3-2. The Flames have been to Montreal twice since then with the Habs winning both contests 5-4 and 4-1 respectively.

Andrei Markov leads the Canadiens with 41 points. The Russian leads all defensemen in the NHL with 34 assists.

Robert Lang has been a major offensive producer for his club, but has been in a bit of a scoring slump lately. He’s only scored two goals in his last nine, but leads the team in goals with 18, and is second in points with 39.

Former Flame Alex Tanguay will not be in the lineup. He’s on the IR with a shoulder injury and isn’t expected back until mid-February.

Calgary vs. Anaheim, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 8:00 p.m. at the Honda Center, Sportsnet West & The FAN 960
The Anaheim Ducks have a four-day break between games against the Flames. They played in Calgary on Saturday, picking up a 2-1 matinee win, and then headed home to prepare for another match against the Northwest Division leaders.

The Ducks are sixth in the Western Conference and are expecting round two to be a tough battle. They’re trying to gain as much ground as they can right now so that they can breathe a bit easier come at the end of regular season. Former Calgary Hitman Ryan Getzlaf is the Ducks leading points-getter with 62. He has four points in his last five games, but didn’t register any on Saturday.

Goaltending duties have been split between J-S Giguere and Jonas Hiller. Giguere has 13 wins on the season, and Hiller has 14. Jiggy stopped 26 of 27 shots on Saturday and looked sharp.

Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry scored for the Ducks in Saturday’s win.

Calgary vs. Los Angeles, Thursday, Feb. 12, 8:30 p.m. at the Staples Center, Sportsnet West & The FAN 960
The Kings are having a great month so far. They’ve won all three games in February and have climbed to the 11th spot in the conference with only three points out of a playoff position.

The Kings young offence has been firing on all cylinders. Anze Kopitar leads with 42 points, and Alexander Frolov leads with 21 goals. Captain Dustin Brown has 20 goals and 21 assists so far.

Goaltending has been a problem in Hollywood for several years, but it looks like L.A. is finding solid play in both Erik Ersberg and Jonathan Quick. Their GAA is .901 and .920 respectively. Ersberg has eight wins under his belt and Quick has ten.

The Flames have won the last two contests against the Kings. The first win came on Nov. 1 when Calgary edged L.A. 3-2. Eric Nystrom, Adrian Aucoin and Daymond Langkow all contributed goals. The second victory came on Nov. 26 when the Flames thumped the Kings 6-2. Rene Bourque had two goals and former King Mike Cammalleri scored on his old team.

The two teams will meet once more after this.

Calgary vs. Phoenix, Saturday, Feb. 14, 8:00 p.m. at the Arena, CBC & The FAN 960
The Coyotes aren’t feeling so top dog right now. They’ve dropped six straight and their chances of making the playoffs are looking slim. In their six losses, they’ve been outscored 25-10.

Captain Shane Doan leads his club with 21 goals and 50 points so far, but hasn’t been producing lately. He has only three goals in his last ten contests.

Olli Jokinen hasn’t been an offensive threat to the degree many thought he would. The former Florida Panther has 17 goals and 17 assists this season. His career high in goals was 39 in the 2006-07 season.

Ilya Bryzgalov has been steady in net for Phoenix. His GAA is 2.89 and his save percentage is .908. He has 18 wins and 21 losses this season.

Jarome Iginla leads the Flames in points against the Coyotes. He has five points in three games.

The Coyotes have won two of the three games they’ve played against the Flames this season.

This Week’s Key Numbers
Eric Nystrom celebrates his 26th birthday on Valentines Day. The left winger was a Flames first round draft choice, 10th overall, in 2002. This is his first full season with the club. He played 46 games with the Flames prior to this season. Mike Keenan needs two wins to surpass Pat Quinn for fourth on the all-time wins list. Calgary is now 13 points behind Detroit and 15 points behind San Jose in the Western Conference standings.
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