The Calgary Flames were given the gift of a great holiday schedule – they finish their remaining four games of the month at home. Two of them come this week against Anaheim and Ottawa.
Last week was kind to Flames as they picked up points in all three games. They won both road games in St. Louis and Minnesota before falling to the red-hot Chicago Blackhawks at home.
The overtime loss to the Blackhawks showcased just what former Chicago product Rene
Bourque is capable of. The forward scored the first Flames goal and was instrumental on David Moss
’s tally. The Lac La Biche native has seven points this month including five in his last five games. After the loss, Bouque said the Flames need to be able to finish off games in the final frame more frequently.
"Both teams played well. Both goalies played well when they had to. We had a lot a chances to finish - I myself had a few chances - in the third, but we didn't finish. It's definitely tough to lose like that on the first shift of overtime."Jarome Iginla
had an excellent week as well. The captain picked up his 800th career point during the game against Chicago, assisting on Bourque’s goal, and had a four-point outing during Tuesday’s 6-3 victory over the Blues.
"He had a great game," Flames coach Mike Keenan said after Tuesday’s game. "He had a leadership game and you expect that from your best players.”
This week, Calgary will play the Anaheim Ducks and the Ottawa Senators. Both teams are in the midst of Western Canadian road swings.Calgary vs. Anaheim, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 7:00 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome, Sportsnet West & The FAN 960
After a big 3-2 shootout win in Edmonton, the Anaheim Ducks are looking for more success on their five game road trip. They’ve looked sharp as of late and they appear to have shaken off all the rust after their 1-5-0 start to their season.
A big part of the Ducks success has been Ryan Getzlaf. The former Calgary Hitman leads his team in scoring with 37 points. His offensive output, 13 goals and 24 helpers, is critical for the team’s success both at home and on the road. Getzlaf and Dion Phaneuf ‘s on-ice rivalry has been a treat to watch since they both drafted in 2003. They’ve been rivals since their WHL days so expect to see some spirited play between the two.
Goaltending in Tuesday’s game is a toss-up. While Jean-Sebastien Giguere has an 11-2-2 record against the Flames, Jonas Hiller was stellar against Edmonton. The Swiss goaltender stopped 51 of 53 shots in the win. His GAA is sitting at 2.07 and his save percentage is .936.
The last time the Flames met with the Ducks was Nov. 2 in California where they fell 3-2. Former Duck Todd Bertuzzi scored his last goal before a 20 game drought and Iginla assisted on both Flame goals.
Getzlaf had a goal and an assist during the game and was awarded the first star of the game.
The Flames will face off against the Ducks two more times this season. The final two games of the four game season series take place in February.Calgary vs. Ottawa, Saturday, Dec. 27, 8:00 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome, CBC & The FAN 960
The Ottawa Senators are rare guests in the Saddledome, a place that hasn’t been kind to them in recent years. The last time the Sens visited Western Canada was Dec. 10, 2005, which resulted in a 2-1 OT win for the Flames. Prior to that, Ottawa made the trip to Calgary on Feb. 21, 2004 and were defeated by the Flames 4-2.
The Sens have had an up-and-down December. They’re coming off a 5-4 OT win over Dallas but were thumped 5-1 by the New Jersey Devils last Friday. They currently have four wins on the month.
A major reason for the flip-flop play has been the Big Three: Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley. They’re the top three in scoring on the team, with Heatley leading the way with 29 points, and if they’re not on their game, the results have been dismal. Secondary scoring has been almost non-existent for the club.
Filip Kuba has been the team’s only other source of consistent offense. The defenseman has 22 points on the season with a single goal and 21 assists.
Former Flame Shean Donovan is tied for fourth in goals with four. The winger has been slump as of late though. His last point came on Dec. 3 in the form of a goal.
Goaltending has been an issue for Ottawa for the past few seasons. Duties are split between Martin Gerber and Alex Auld. Whoever is hot at the moment is one in net and at the moment, both goalies have split the month of December. Auld has a 2.34 GAA, placing him 9th in the league, and a .918 save percentage. He has picked up points in three of his last five games. Gerber has two wins in his last five, a 2.69 GAA and a .908 save percentage.
Phaneuf has left a heavy-hitting impression on the Senators. In October of 2006, the Flames were playing in Ottawa when Phaneuf leveled Denis Hamel. The clean hit became an instant classic on highlight reels and has been viewed over 300,000 times on YouTube.This Week’s Key NumbersJarome Iginla
’s four-point night last Tuesday came exactly one year after a four-point night against the Blues last season. The captain has had 13 four point games in his career. The Flames are 10-1 this season when he has more than one point in a game.Curtis Glencross
has missed three straight games due to a leg injury sustained in the shootout against the Panthers on Dec. 12. It isn’t clear if he’ll play this week.
Jamie Lundmark, was called up from the Quad City Flames in Glencross’s absence, played in three games for the team. He recorded two assists in two straight games and had a +2 rating. He was re-assigned to Quad City on Saturday.
Todd Bertuzzi scored his first goal in 20 games on Wednesday against the Wild. Bertuzzi has 23 points this season.