Welcome back, Flames fans!
Today is the day – the Calgary Flames return to the ice to take on the L.A. Kings at 7:30pm MST, at the Saddledome.
Tonight’s line-up may look a little different as Joni Ortio, the 22 year old goaltender from Turku, Finland, will get the start in net tonight. This is the second time that Ortio has been called up by the Flames but it’s the first time he has been able to play for the team. He’s had an impressive run with the Abbotsford Heat, winning 20 of 28 games with an overall save percentage of .926 and a GAA of 2.22. But, Ortio will be up against one of the toughest teams in the league.
Also returning to the ice tonight is Ladislav Smid, who represented his home nation of the Czech Republic in the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. As explained in this article, Smid, Reto Berra, and Brian Burke were all representing their countries and have done a great job at the Olympics. The Flames organization is planning a special video tribute and ceremonial puck drop in honor of all the Canadian Olympians who have represented our nation this year in Russia.
Out of the line-up tonight from the Flames roster are Curtis Glencross, who has missed 22 games so far because of a high ankle sprain, Brian McGrattan, who slammed into the boards during practice on Thursday, and Karri Ramo, who has an upper body injury. There’s more information on the walking wounded on the Flames website.
I’m not sure what to expect out of tonight’s game. Before the break, the Flames had won 6 of their last 8 games and they were on quite a run. Yet, they’ve had some time off and may be unprepared to face the Kings, who won their game last night against the Colorado Avalanche. Regardless of the outcome, I’m sure that it will be an intense game. Don’t miss it!
As much as I enjoyed watching as much of the Olympics as I could, it’s nice to know my favorite NHL will be back tonight. Get your jerseys out, make yourselves comfortable in front of a tv or in your seats at the game, and join us live on twitter for some live-tweeting during tonight’s tilt!