by Marc Ciampa
November 16th, 2002

AP Photo

Just Score: The Savard'less Flames will be looking to get back onto the scoresheet and into the win column.
Also See!: Sayonara Savy


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 close.

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 solid numbers.

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.


  • Avoid mental lapses. The Flames played an almost perfect defensive game on Thursday against the Rangers. Unfortunately, they gave up a shorthanded goal
  • Get to Barrasso. With Brathwaite having played last night—and having gotten subsequently shelled by the Oilers—it’s a good bet that Tom Barrasso will be getting his second start for the Blues tonight. He’s likely licking his chops at the ability to impress his new team considering the Flames’ goal-scoring woes.
  • SCORE! It seems simple enough but the Flames seem to have forgotten the objective of the game of hockey.


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.


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 rating.


"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 late. 

"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.




The Flames visit the Blues later this month, on November 29th.

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