PreGame PostUp: Flames @ Ducks

Posted: 03/20/2011 by bc in Uncategorized

The Stakes: This is one of the truly critical must win games for our Ducks. Tied in points with 83 our guys have 2 GIH over the Flames. A regulation time win leaves the Flames with a theoretical chance of catching our Ducks. This game is an opportunity to drive a spike into Flames playoff coffin. A loss by the Flames combined with a Chicago win over Phoenix and a Nashville victory in Buffalo would effectively make it a nine team for the eight playoff spots.The Skinny: This is 3rd of 4 games with the Ducks winning the previous two by one goal each. These teams tend to play close checking games and that should continue with a playoff spot on the line. No real statistical advantage by either team except our Ducks PP is 21.2 vs. the Flames 18.6% efficiency.  I wonder why they don’t call it the success rate? Since our Ducks PP is cold of late this statistical advantage may not be a factor. Then there’s Mikka Kiprusoff who’s made a career of showing great goaltending can set great offenses to talking  to themselves out there.

Injuries: Flames are a little banged up with David Moss (ankle) and defenseman Adam Pardy (shoulder) out indefinitely. Fredrik Modin is day-to-day with a wonky back. Former Duck Brendan Morrison (knee) and enforcer Raitis Ivanans (head) are also out. As you already know no doubt, Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller is out due to vertigo. No word yet on from where the When Girls Love Hockey blogger Jenelyn Russo is cheering from home. Suz Broughton is pretty much up in the air today as she’s flying back from the Disney/bloggers conference in Florida.

The Match-Ups: Don’t be surprised to see Beauchemin/Sbisa on the ice against Jerome Iginla. The pair has been earning increased responsibility and RC is likely to prefer the more physical pair against power forward Iggy. On the other side look for Robin Regher to go over the boards whenever The Twins step out onto the ice.

What to Watch: With Morrison and Moss out the Flames are especially thin down the middle. Mikail Backlund is making the most of his opportunity with 3 pts in 3 games. Still, despite some rookie mistakes by McMillan of late, our Ducks should own the real estate from slot to slot.

Prediction: RT win by the Ducks. Our guys take advantage of the opportunity to all but eliminate Calgary thus showing our Ducks belong in the playoffs.

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