November 9th, 2002
|Into the Den: Flame's assistant coach
Brian Skrudland will be inducted into the Panther's Den tonight. Skrudland
captained Florida's surprise Cinderella team to the 1996 Cup finals.
will be interesting.
a "good" trip
already in the bag, will
the Calgary Flames,
unlike past years, have
the gumption to take it
that one step further
and make it a
most teams a .500 road
trip is the aim, the
acid test separating a
good trip from a
complete failure. Over
the course of a season,
a club that can post a
.500 road record quite
often finds their way
into the playoffs.
will be times this
season where the
opposite is true ... a
road trip starts on the
wrong foot with late
wins needed to salvage
the odyssey. The Flames
had better take
advantage, and put as
many points away as
Florida Panthers may not
be the easy tough that
many have made them out
to be. They sit only one
game below .500 after a
modest 2-1-0-1 run that
saw them go to overtime
on three different
KEYS TO SUCCESS:
- Whip the Weak. The Calgary Flames will need to assert
themselves against the bottom third of the league if they wish to move out of
the bottom third of the league themselves. Too many times in recent seasons, the
Flames have been giant killers against top teams only to fall flat against clubs
with no chance at the playoffs.
- Get that #12 guy going. Early season success is always nice.
Early season success without much help from a player that most of the hockey
world considers to be your only asset is down right fun. This can't continue
- Get on 'em early. The Panthers are a young team with limited
expectations this season, a quick lead could make the night go much more
BY THE NUMBERS:
Has anyone noticed that goon Chris Clark now leads the team in
penalty minutes? With 23 minutes in 14 games Clark is on pace for a paltry 135
minutes. ... The Flames have seen an improvement in their goals for and goals
against position. While they've fallen from 11th in goal scoring in recent
weeks, they've made a firm move up the standings in terms of goal prevention.
The club now sits 14th in goals for at 2.71/game, and 16th in goals against at
2.29. ... Florida sits 16th and 27th respectively. ... The Flames have the 8th
best shooting percentage in the NHL (10.8%). Martin Gelinas and Mattias
Johansson lead the club at 25.0%. Jarome Iginla is way down the list at 6.4%.
... Jordan Leopold and Chuck Kobasew are both tied for 10th in rookie scoring,
along with Florida's Stephen Weiss. Leopold was -6 in his first five NHL games,
but has been an even player since (total of 10 games). ... The Flames are 18th
in the league in average home attendance (in terms of percentage), they sit 15th
if you rank them by total butts in the seats through seven home games this
Calgary: Roman Turek (broken finger) is out. Craig Conroy (badly bruised ankle) and Jamie Wright are questionable.
Florida: The Panthers are without Paul Laus (wrist) and
Branislave Mezei (ankle). Goaltender Roberto Luongo is doubtful with a twisted
WHO TO WATCH:
Calgary: The whole team in the game's first ten minutes.
If the Flames can grab hold of this one, they can really run the table on this
road trip. If they come out flat however they will likely have a tough time of
it. ... Jarome Iginla, the guy simply has to find the back of the net soon. The
Flames have found some great mileage without their star scoring, but that can't
last forever. ... Jamie McLennan. The backup goaltender has already equaled Mike
Vernon's win and points total from last season with over 80% of the schedule to
Florida: Former Flames Val Bure is on a hot streak with four
points in his last four games, including two overtime goals. ... Jani Hurme.
With Roberto Luongo on the sidelines, the former Senator stopper will have to
carry the mail for the Cats. ... The game will feature the Flame's first look at
Jay Bouwmeester. The Alberta product has two assists and is a -2 in 14 games
with the Panthers. He's averaged just over 15 minutes of ice time a game.
"If you're going to throw away points by taking an opponent
lightly, it's a sign of disrespect. It's a sign of disrespect to the opposition
and a sign of disrespect to your teammates and a surefire way to
disaster.".– Flames coach Greg Gilbert on tonight's opposition.
"I saw a lot of frustrated faces. Guys are really upset
about losing and aren't happy. That's a good sign, guys really want to win. We
did get five out of six but we could have had six points. The fact guys aren't
happy about that shows they care because we don't want guys on our team that
accept losing."— Denis Gauthier on the club's reaction to losing the
Ranger game in overtime.
"Mike always takes one guy and makes him his project.
Now, he's got Olli Jokinen, who's playing well and who he's playing the crap out
of. Mike always does that. I was lucky I was the guy in Vancouver. It's a weird
kind of loyalty, but it seems to work."—Dave Scatchard on the coaching
methods of Mike Keenan.
Flames and Panthers
played twice last season
with the Calgary side
capturing three out of
the possible four
points. The two clubs
tied in Miami, while the
Flames eked out a win at
the only meeting between
the two clubs this