How well has this season been going for the Calgary Flames? Well, it could be better but it could also be worse. The Flames currently sit with a 2-2-1 record, which, in case you're wondering, places them eighth in the Western Conference. They're also two points – or a third-period collapse against Philly – from the top of their division but also two from the Edmonton Oilers and the bottom of the division. Of course, it's still early as evidenced by Minnesota's placement at the top of the Northwest and Calgary's opportunity to leapfrog the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference standings with a win tonight.
Calgary has a 35-31-11-0 record all-time against the Red Wings, including 12-18-8-0 in Detroit.
KEYS TO SUCCESS:
- Continue to play good road hockey. For whatever reason, it seems that the Flames have been able to put together more complete performances on the road this season. Tonight's game will be a big test for the Flames.
- Goaltending… again. Roman Turek stood on his head to give the Flames a big win on Saturday. He's going to have to do it again tonight in order to give Calgary a chance.
- Jordan Leopold. One thing the Flames have missed early on this season is some offensive punch from the point. Judging by the 18 minutes he played last game, Greg Gilbert is quite willing to hand those reigns over to Leopold. If he can play as well as he did near the end of preseason, the Flames are set.
BY THE NUMBERS:
The Flames have only scored the first goal in a game once this season (1-0-0-0) while Detroit has done it three times in their five games (2-1-0-0). The Flames have an 0-2-0-0 record when trailing after one period, but are unbeaten (2-0-1-0) when leading or tied after one. … The Flames have scored nine of their 15 goals this season in the second period, with three each in the first and third. The Flames have also allowed the most in the second, seven out of 15. Detroit has scored most of their goals in the first period (nine out of 19) while also allowing the most in the opening frame (seven out of 14). … The Flames have also taken the most shots (54) in the second, with 37 and 35 in the first and third respectively, and allowed the least amount of shots (41) in the middle frame with 55 and 50 given up in the first and third. … The Red Wings have the best power play in the league, clicking along at 30 pct. The Flames have only allowed one shorthanded goal on the road all season in eight opportunities. … Chris Drury leads the Flames in power play points with five (all assists). Drury and Iginla are both currently on four-game point-scoring streaks.
Calgary: The Flames are healthy going into this game.
Detroit: The Red Wings are also healthy.
WHO TO WATCH:
Calgary: Marc Savard has played very well in his four games this season and hasn't been a defensive liability, sporting a +1 rating, but he also hasn't done much offensively either with only two assists and no goals. Chris Drury has eight points on the season but five have been on the power play. Look for Savard and Drury to finally click tonight, as both have a history of coming up big against the Red Wings.
Detroit: In Yzerman's absence, Brendan Shanahan and Sergei Fedorov have both stepped up their play so far in this early season. Another surprise has been Kris Draper, who has five points in five games so far. Former Flame Curtis Joseph has yet to steal a game for the Red Wings, and after four games has a modest 3.01 GAA and .867 save percentage. He could have a huge game any night now.
"It was more comedic relief for everyone. It's like a burglar who locks himself in the house with no escape." – Flames goaltender Jamie McLennan on the streaker who knocked himself unconscious during the last home game.
"You go out there afraid, that's when you get hurt. Tensing up and not wanting to take any blows ... that's not the way to play the game and it's never been the way I play it."—Flames defenceman Jordan Leopold, answering questions about whether he's a little bit gun shy after his concussion.
FLAMES LAST 10 GAMES vs. RED WINGS