by Marc Ciampa
November 16th, 2002
|Just Score: The Savard'less Flames
will be looking to get back onto the scoresheet and into the win column.
|Also See!: Sayonara
The Calgary Flames (5-6-3-3; 5th Northwest
Division) go up against a suddenly slumping St. Louis Blues squad. The Blues
(10-4-1-0; 1st Central Division) are still among the league’s best
but they’ve lost two of their last three against very beatable
opponents—Columbus, Vancouver, Edmonton—and none of the games have been
Over the past week and a half, the Flames have seen
their standings plummet from second in the division all the way to dead last. In
the past four games the team has managed only two goals and hope that the
trading away of Marc Savard will result in “addition by subtraction”
considering they got no tangible help for the gifted playmaker.
Simply put, the Flames must score. Period. Every game
from here on out that the well continues to run dry will result in questions
with respect to why the team couldn’t make a better effort to harness
Savard’s creative ability instead of driving him out of town. It’s also very
likely that, playing on Atlanta’s top line, Savard will thrive and put up some
All-time the Flames are 32-37-8-2 against the Blues
since moving to Calgary, including a record of 19-16-2-2 at home.
KEYS TO SUCCESS:
mental lapses. The Flames played an almost perfect defensive
game on Thursday
against the Rangers.
gave up a
to Barrasso. With Brathwaite having played last
shelled by the
good bet that Tom
Barrasso will be
getting his second
start for the Blues
likely licking his
chops at the ability
to impress his new
team considering the
It seems simple
enough but the
Flames seem to have
objective of the
game of hockey.
BY THE NUMBERS:
In Calgary’s last ten games,
they’ve posted a .500 record (3-3-2-2). The Blues have one of the worst
penalty killing units in the league, at 77.5%. Surprisingly the Flames are
middle-of-the-pack at 16th in the NHL (83.3%). The Flames’ power
play is absolutely horrible, though. Second worst in the league, at 11.1%. …
The Flames have seen the number of times they’ve been shorthanded skyrocket
over the last week and a half. Calgary is now eighth in the league in opponent
power play opportunities given up, at 84. … Blues goaltender Tom Barrasso is
5-8 lifetime against the Flames.
Calgary: Roman Turek (broken finger) is out
but may back up Jamie McLennan tonight. Bob Boughner (broken thumb) is out.
Jamie Wright (neck) is out. Jarome
Iginla (hip injury) is likely to suit up.
St. Louis: Keith Tkachuk (broken foot), Brent
Johnson (high ankle sprain) and Chris Pronger (wrist) remain out. Goaltenders
Reinhard Divis and Curtis Sanford have recently recovered from their injuries
and were both sent to Worcester of the AHL.
WHO TO WATCH:
Calgary: Once again, the team continues to
have a fragile confidence. They can only hope that Jarome Iginla’s goal last
game will start to open the floodgates for him. Some say 40 goals is an
impossibility for Jarome but if he played the rest of the season at last
year’s pace he would finish with 40 to 45. Pick any one of 13 Flames forwards
and I could tell you they’re overdue for a goal—or even a point. Jordan
Leopold keeps getting better every game despite the team’s struggles.
St. Louis: Cory Stillman is off to his best start as a Blue,
second in team scoring with 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists). Doug Weight has
also seen his season turn around, as he has 20 points to lead the team. Eric
Boguniecki has made some significant strides this season. At the start of the
season, I was watching him practice with his Worcester squad at Winnipeg Arena
before injuries forced his recall to St. Louis. He hasn’t turned back since
and is likely in the NHL to stay, with a team-leading eight goals and +12
"I'm excited to get playing again. I knew it
was going to happen. We had talked and knew it was going to happen, so we were
just waiting quietly and letting Craig (Button) do his job."–
Thrashers forward Marc Savard, explaining his silence towards the media as of
"I can't believe it. When I did it, I thought (I would miss) a
couple of days. It's awful, it's very frustrating. I want to get back on the
ice. I've told people many, many times, a couple more weeks. It seems like I've
said that eight times now."—Blues goaltender Brent
Johnson, who has yet to play a game this season due to an ankle sprain.
LAST 10 GAMES vs. BLUES
Flames visit the Blues later this month, on November 29th.