Tag:Calgary Flames
Posted on: March 24, 2011 3:07 am
Edited on: March 24, 2011 3:46 am
 

Morning Skate: Desjardins sports rare number



Andrew Desjardins' goal was just another tally in a 6-3 San Jose Sharks victory Wednesday that further dimmed the Calgary Flames’ chances of the making the postseason -- at least until the 24-year-old center skated away from the net after his first career goal.

That’s when one of the rarest jersey numbers in hockey history came into full view: No. 69. 

Desjardins is thought to be one of only two players in NHL history to don the number. The other, according to azhockey.com, was enforcer Mel Angelstad, whose hockey career spanned all of two games with the Washington Capitals during the 2003-04 season. 

Desjardins told CBSSports.com after last night’s game that it wasn’t by design -- or at least his design. 

“I came into camp last summer and that’s what I got,” said Desjardins, minutes after his first career point of any kind in the NHL. “As numbers go, that wouldn’t have been my choice.”
Line Changes

Desjardins, however, wasn’t about to complain about the unusual digits. 

His route to the NHL was hardly direct. Desjardins went undrafted out of juniors and played a season in the Central Hockey League for the Laredo Bucks. He caught on with the Sharks’ AHL affiliate, the Worcester Sharks, in 2008-09 and has played there ever since --  minus a five-game stint in the ECHL -- and he usually wears No. 22.

Desjardins made his NHL debut Jan. 3 with the Sharks and was called back up on March 7 -- the same day his former linemate in Worcester, John McCarthy, was sent down. The two players, along with Dan DaSilva, made up Worcester’s “Crazed Rats” line. 

“I’m not exactly sure how that started,” said Desjardins, who grew up in Lively, Ontario. “A coach or somebody said our line was tenacious and chased the puck down like crazy rats. It just kind of stuck. Fans started to call us that and they even made signs and brought them to the games.”

Now, Desjardins just has an odd number, one that he hints he may attempt to change if he sticks with the club.

“You just have to laugh about it,” Desjardins said. “It’s not something I looked at and said, ‘Oh, awesome!’ You just have to take a step back and think that you’re playing in the NHL and not worry what’s on your back. My friends and family haven’t been too bad about it. It’s just something you don’t see every day.”

Wednesday’s was Desjardins' 10th NHL game and it came against a Flames team that entered tied with two others -- the Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars -- for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. He may be new to the NHL, but it didn’t take him long to sense the Flames’ urgency. 

His goal midway through the first period -- where he took a pass at his own blue line, skated up the boards, spit two defenders and beat  Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff over the blocker -- put the Sharks up 2-1.  A goal by Cory Sarich tied the game about four minutes later before the Sharks pulled away. 

“To be able to play in these types have games has been exciting and challenging,” Desjardins said. “(The Flames) didn’t give up and every game has been like that. That’s the way hockey is this time of year. There are a lot of desperate teams.”

The Ducks, who have been one the league’s most exciting teams to watch over the last several days, reached overtime with a tally by Teemu Selanne with seven seconds left before rookie Cam Fowler clinched a 5-4 victory over the Stars in OT. That leaves the Ducks alone in eighth with 87 points, one point ahead of the Stars and two in front of the Flames. 

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS 
Vancouver 2, Detroit 1
Chicago 4, Florida 0
Anaheim 4, Dallas 3 (OT)
San Jose 6, Calgary 3

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 23, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Playoff Watch: Battle for 8th in West on display



WHO CAN CLINCH: No new teams can clinch tonight. 

ALREADY IN: The Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Anaheim Ducks (40-27-5) at Dallas Stars (38-25-9), 8:30 p.m. ET

The Ducks and Stars are part of a three-way tie with the Calgary Flames for eighth place in the Western Conference. (With more wins, Anaheim officially holds that final playoff spot at the moment.) The Ducks have won three in a row and have taken three of the first four meetings between these two clubs. 

The Stars could get Loui Eriksson, out the last two games with a concussion, back tonight, The Dallas Morning News reports. Eriksson will need to be cleared by the team physician under the league’s new concussion guidelines. This is the final game of a seven-game homestand for the Stars, their longest of the season. Ray Emery, who is 2-0 with a .972 save percentage, will likely get the not in net for the Ducks. The Stars will counter with Kari Lehtonen.

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Calgary Flames (37-27-11) at San Jose Sharks (42-23-8), 10 p.m. ET

The Flames have played more games than any other club in the NHL (75), so points are even more crucial down the stretch. Calgary left points on the table in both games against California’s other two teams in an OT loss to the Ducks on Sunday and a shootout loss to the Kings on Monday. The Sharks have won two of the first three meetings between these two clubs. Calder Trophy candidate Logan Couture will be in the lineup a game after he took a scary spill into the boards, The Mercury News reports. 

GOLF WATCH: The Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers won't get any new company tonight.   

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 21, 2011 2:22 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2011 2:24 pm
 

Playoff Watch: Hobbled Wings, Pens renew rivalry

WHO CAN CLINCH: No new teams can secure a playoff berth today. 

ALREADY IN: Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Pittsburgh Penguins (41-23-8) at Detroit Red Wings (43-21-8), 7:30 p.m. ET

The combatants in two of the last three Stanley Cup Finals highlight a limited slate of games tonight. 
The Red Wings Wings begin a five-game homestand. (Seven of Detroit's final 10 regular season games are at Joe Louis Arena.) The Wings have an eight-point lead on the Chicago Blackhawks, who Detroit faces three times down the stretch. Forwards Pavel Datsyuk (lower body), Johan Franzen (groin) and Jiri Hudler (upper body) are likely to miss tonight's game, according to Ansar Khan of mlive.com. That could make winning 10 in a row against Eastern Conference opponents a little more difficult. 

The Pens have well-chronicled injury problems of their own with forwards Sidney Crosby (concussion) and Evgeni Malkin (out for season with knee injury), along with defenseman Brooks Orpik (finger) out. Forward Chris Kunitz, out 13 games with a lower-body injury, has been solid in the five games since he returned the lineup. Over the last three games, he has six points (three goals, three assists.) 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Calgary Flames (37-27-10) at Los Angeles (40-26-6), 10:30 p.m. ET

This game is the only other game on the schedule, so it's not quite a tough call. Calgary comes to Staples Center a day after dropping a heart-breaker in Anaheim. The Flames overcame a three-goal deficit and even held a lead late in the third period before Teemu Selanne tied the game and Corey Perry gave the Ducks a 5-4 victory in overtime. The Kings enter the night in sixth place, two points ahead of the Flames. 

GOLF WATCH: The Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers won't get any new company tonight. 
Posted on: March 20, 2011 2:36 pm
 

Playoff Watch: Eighth-place teams faceoff

WHO CAN CLINCH: No new teams can secure a playoff berth today. 

ALREADY IN: Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Nashville Predators (37-25-10) at Buffalo Sabres (35-28-8), 5 p.m. ET

The two eighth-place teams in each conference converge for their one and only meeting of the season. Buffalo won't be dislodged from the top 8, but Nashville could be shuffled out with a loss.

The Sabres are 9-5-2 against the West teams this season and are coming off an 8-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers Saturday. The victory was goalie Ryan Miller's 30th of the season, making him the eight goalie in league history to win 30 or more games in six consecutive seasons. Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne, a candidate for the Vezina Trophy, made 39 saves in 3-1 victory over Detroit on Saturday. 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Flames (37-27-9) at Ducks (39-27-5), 8 p.m. ET

The first two meetings between the Flames and Ducks couldn't have been much closer. The Ducks won both, the first in OT and the second in a shootout. Depending on how the Nashville-Buffalo game turns out, the winner could move into the top 8. Regardless, these are some crucial points. 

GOLF WATCH: A victory or overtime/shootout loss by the Predators eliminates the Colorado Avalanche. Edmonton already eliminated. 
Posted on: March 9, 2011 4:41 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 6:01 pm
 

Playoff Watch: Flames aim for Stars sweep



Calgary Flames (35-24-9) at Dallas Stars (36-23-7)


American Airlines Center, 9 pm ET

SEASON SERIES: Calgary 3-0-0; Dallas 0-2-1

IMPLICATIONS: Three teams -- Dallas, Phoenix and Calgary -- enter tied with 79 points in the tight Western Conference Standings. Either Calgary or Dallas will sit alone in fifth place since Phoenix is idle or, if Chicago loses to Tampa Bay, the winner of this contest would move to fourth. For our playoff tracker, click here

BREAKDOWN: The Flames won the first three meetings by a combined score of 14-8. But Calgary will be without Brendan Morrison, the center who scored the game-winner in a 7-4 win over the Stars on Jan. 21, for the rest of the regular season with a knee injury. (Morrison told reporters Tuesday that he hopes to be back for the playoffs.) Meanwhile, the Stars will get center Brad Richards -- out with concussion-like symptoms since Feb. 13 -- back for tonight’s contest. 

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Calgary RW Jarome Iginla vs. Dallas LW Jamie Benn. Iginla, who became the 10th player to score 30 or more goals for 10 consecutive seasons earlier this week, enters on a four-game goal streak. Benn also enters the same goal streak, the longest of his young career, and has two assists this season against the Flames. 

KEY STAT: 13. The number of goals Mike Ribeiro has scored when the Stars were trailing by a goal or tied. 

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 7, 2011 1:47 am
Edited on: March 7, 2011 1:53 am
 

Morning skate: Don't four-get Pacific Division




The Pacific Division could be very well represented when the playoffs commence next month. 

Four teams would currently get berths if the playoffs started this morning: San Jose Sharks, Phoenix Coyotes, Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings. Had the Anaheim Ducks not dropped a 3-0 decision to the Vancouver Canucks Sunday night, they would have booted the Kings out of the eighth seed. 

No other division has more than three teams in contention at the moment. Here’s a look again at our playoff tracker.

The Pacific has placed four teams in the playoffs twice since the current division system was established before the 1998-99 season. (The Northeast leads the way, placing four teams in on four occasions.) The Pacific has only had fewer than three teams in the playoff mix only three times and two Pacific teams skated with the Stanley Cup --- Dallas (1999) and Anaheim (2007) -- during that span.

How tough would it be for all five to make it in, something that hasn’t happened in the division era?

It would take a freefall by the Calgary Flames (3-2 winners Sunday over the Nashville Predators) or the Chicago Blackhawks -- two of the hottest teams in hockey. The fourth-place ‘Hawks are riding an eight-game winning streak and the fifth-place Flames are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.

Making the chances even more remote is the fact teams typically face only other division opponents in the closing weeks of the season, meaning it’s very difficult to make up ground in the conference standings without darkening a division foe’s chances.

Not that it enters into the equation this time of year. 

DEAL NOT SO SUITE: An opinion page columnist at The Washington Post called for Capitals and Wizards principal owner Ted Leonsis to take back the two luxury boxes at Verizon Center donated to the city by previous ownership. The suites were a gift to city hall after D.C. approved a $50 million upgrade to the arena in 2007 and the boxes that cost as much as $175,000 annually for everybody else are meant for “economic development purposes.” Colbert I. King wrote that it’s unclear whether the two free suites are actually being used in that manner.
So taxpayers don't know whether the luxury suites have been used only to promote the city or whether they have been used to reward campaign contributors and volunteers, to curry favor with special-interest groups, to entertain family members and friends, or for the officials' personal enjoyment.


COYOTES' LOSSES MOUNT: The Chicago investor seeking to take over the Phoenix Coyotes and Jobbing.com Arena told The Arizona Republic this weekend that the team has already lost $40 million this season --- $10 million more than a season ago. The NHL, which has run the team since its previous owner filed for bankruptcy protection two years ago, still expects to sell the team to Matthew Hulsizer without losing money, a price that currently sits at $210 million. 

The Coyotes, who enter action Monday sixth in the Western Conference, have shown signs of life financially, according to team president Mike Nealy.

Despite ownership uncertainty and the NHL tightening the team's front-office budget this season, the Coyotes made gains in ticket sales, ticket revenue and overall revenue per game, according to league statistics dated last month obtained by The Republic.
Nealy said at the end of the season, with lucrative sell-outs and a potential playoff run this spring, he expects losses to drop below last year.


The long-running ownership drama took another turn when ESPN.com reported that the City of Glendale is expected to file a lawsuit today against Goldwater Institute, a watchdog group opposed to a bond sale that would help finance the sale. 

Confused? TSN.ca has created its own Jets Meter.   

LINE CHANGES: Marian Gaborik, out the last two weeks with a concussion, returned to the lineup for the Rangers’ 7-0 rout of the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. In 14 minutes, 28 seconds of ice time, he had four shots and two penalty minutes.  . . . Jarome Iginla became the 10th NHL player to reach 30 goals in 10 consecutive season as he netted a second-period tally in the Calgary Flames’ victory over the Nashville Predators on Sunday.  . . . . For a complete look at Sunday’s action, click here

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 6, 2011 1:46 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2011 2:04 pm
 

Playoff watch: Flames eye season sweep of Preds



Nashville Predators (33-23-9) at Calgary Flames (34-24-9) 

Scotiabank Saddledome, 8 pm ET

SEASON SERIES: Nashville 0-1-2; Calgary 3-0-0

IMPLICATIONS: The Predators' first victory – combined with an Anaheim Ducks loss – over the Flames would move them into the eighth and final playoff slot in the west. (Both Anaheim and Calgary start the night even in points, 77, and games played, 65, but the Ducks have the edge in wins.) The resurgent Flames could move up to fifth in the West with a victory. Here's a look at our playoff tracker

BREAKDOWN: The first three games of the season series have been close with one going to OT and another won via a shootout. But Nashville is coming off one it's most impressive victories of the season, a 3-0 decision over league-leading Vancouver.  Predators rookie Blake Geoffrion, the first NHL player from Tennessee who was recalled Feb. 26, has scored in back-to-back games. Youngsters like Geoffrion will be key down the stretch as Steve Sullivan (groin), Francis Bouillon (concussion) and Marcel Goc (shoulder) have gone down with injuries in recent weeks. Flames captain Jarome Iginla (above), who already reached the 25-goal mark for the 12th consecutive season, has scored at least three points in each of Calgary's last two games. Flames forward Alex Tanguay enters on a seven-game points streak. 

PLAYER vs. PLAYER:  Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff  vs. Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne. This is expected to be Kiprusoff's 20th consecutive start and and he enters with a 13-2-3 record over his last 19 starts.  Rinne has entered the Vezina --- maybe even the Hart --- conversation. The Preds which are the fourth-lowest scoring team (2.45 goals per game) in the league are mostly in the playoff hunt because of Rinne, who is second amongst NHL goalies with 10 or more games in goals against (2.08) and save percentage (.929). The two played no bigger role in the season series than in their first meeting on Oct. 19 when they were prefect through regulation. 

KEY STAT: 491. That's Calgary defenseman Jay Bouwmeester consecutive game streak, the longest in the NHL. It began exactly seven years ago today.

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 3, 2011 1:42 am
Edited on: March 3, 2011 2:08 am
 

Morning skate: Flames lose game, maybe Morrison



The Calgary Flames may have lost more than a crucial couple points when they fell to the Chicago Blackhawks, 6-4, at the United Center on Wednesday. 

First-line center Brendan Morrison skated gingerly off the ice in the third period and did not return. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen reports that Flames coach Brent Sutter didn’t specify or how bad it might be. 

The victory by the Blackhawks -- their season-best sixth in a row -- moved the defendding Stanley Cup champs to fourth in the West.

Nine of the 10 teams in action Wednesday have at least a fathomable  shot at the postseason and the only one that didn't (the New York Islanders) played the role of spoilers. Here’s our playoff race tracker

GILLIES WASTES NO TIME: In his first game back from a nine-game suspension, New York Islanders forward Trevor Gillies went a little more than a period before he repeated the offense. Gillies blindsided Minnesota Wild winger Cal Clutterbuck, whose head hit the glass after the collision. (Clutterbuck had just hit Islanders rookie Justin DiBenedetto, which drew a penalty as well.) Gillies was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct. Clutterbuck got back up and was in the lineup as the Wild fell, 4-1. Chris Botta of The New York Time’s Slap Shot blog gives a full rundown with video

PARISE ON THE MEND: New Jersey Devils winger Zach Parise was cleared to skate on Wednesday, three months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. “He can begin skating lightly immediately,” Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said in a story on the team’s website. Parise has been out 51 games since hurting his knee Oct. 30. Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger reports that Parise would need a minimum of two more weeks of rehab before he can practice with the team, although there’s still a decent chance he could return by the end of the season. New Jersey edged the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-1, to keep the Devils’ slim playoffs hopes alive. 

LINE CHAGES: The Toronto Maple Leafs unlikely run for a playoff spot continued with a 3-2 OT victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mikhail Grabovski scored 42 seconds into the extra frame as the Leafs moved to within two points of the Carolina Hurricanes, who tenuously hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.  .  . . Bobby Ryan’s goal via penalty shot in overtime hoisted the Anaheim Ducks to a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Ryan was hauled down by Detroit defenseman Ruslan Salei just as he reached the net, resulting in the ref pointing to center ice. Here a link to the video
Photo: Getty Images
 
 
 
 
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