Do you remember the last game against the Chicago Blackhawks on November 3rd? …No? Okay, let me refresh your memory…
It was the first meeting of these two teams this season – the big dog and the underdog. The Hawks put a lot of pressure on the Flames net in the first period, but the Flames kept up the pace which resulted in a lot of back and forth play. It was scoreless after one.
Galiardi had the opportunity at a penalty shot in the second period, but shot it wide and didn’t capitalize. Soon after, Kane scored and the Blackhawks took the lead. Cammalleri answered back about a minute later with a tip-in and the period ended in a tie.
The beginning of the third period started with another Calgary goal by Glencross (right now, he’s still out of the line-up because of a knee injury), which put the Flames up by one goal. In true Flames fashion, they took a ridiculous penalty late in the third period and the game was forced into overtime with a goal by Hossa.
OT ended with a slapshot by Russell that landed in the back of the Hawks net. Calgary won with a final score of 3-2. Reto Berra kept the Flames alive with a stellar start in his very first game for the Flames and he ended that game with a .944 save percentage.
Dare I say that it was Calgary’s best game so far this season…?
Fast forward to today and I think you’d agree that Chicago will be looking to redeem themselves after that last meeting. Reto Berra will get his seventh consecutive start in net and there’s no certainty whether or not Galiardi will be in the line-up because of the back spasms that he was dealing with on Monday. Chris Breen has been called up from the Heat and added to the Flames roster tonight. Personally, I’m glad that Breen is back because Calgary will need as much intimidation and muscle as possible to hold off the always-powerful Chicago Blackhawks.
With a record of 17-4-4 so far this season, the Blackhawks are going to be a tough competitor during this tilt. If the Flames want to win this one, their defense really needs to step up and play to the best of their abilities while their offence will have to take every shot on net that is handed to them.
Seemingly small mistakes by Calgary can result in Chicago goals. One goal by the opposition can make a huge difference if there’s only five minutes left in the third period and they force overtime – or worse, they win.
Berra will really have to be on his game tonight as well. He’s done generally well in net for the Flames this season, but he has his moments of weaknesses as well. I hope tonight is a strong night for him because he will be up against the defending Stanley Cup Champions. And the Blackhawks always bring a lot to the table.