Game Day: Calgary Flames at Chicago Blackhawks
Keep your eyes on Jarome Iginla and Patrick Kane
Calgary Flames (12-14-4) at Chicago Blackhawks (24-4-3)
6:30 p.m., United Center
TV: Sportsnet West
Radio: FAN 960
Keep Your Eye On
Jarome Iginla — This, reportedly, is one of the places that the Flames captain wouldn’t mind landing. (Him and a couple hundred other players.)
* A.Tanguay M.Cammalleri J.Iginla
* C.Glencross M.Stajan L.Stempniak
* J.Hudler M.Backlund R.Cervenka
* T.Jackman S. Begin B.Comeau
* T.J.Brodie J.Bouwmeester
* M.Giordano D.Wideman
* C.Butler C.Sarich
* C Paul Byron (hand)
Keep Your Eye On
Patrick Kane — Dazzling season for dashing 24-year-old right-winger. Hart Trophy candidate. Lifetime against the Flames, 21 points in 20 meetings.
* B.Saad J.Toews D.Carcillo
* J.Hayes D.Bolland P.Kane
* V.Stalberg A.Shaw B.Bickell
* B.Bollig M.Kruger M.Frolik
* D.Keith B.Seabrook
* J.Oduya N.Hjalmarsson
* N.Leddy S.Brookbank
* LW Patrick Sharp (shoulder), RW Marian Hossa (upper body)
5 THINGS TO WATCH
1. ROAD WRECKAGE — The Flames drag their road skid to the United Center. At 0-8-1, they’ve equalled the franchise record set by the 1985-86 version of the club which — starting Dec. 1 with a loss in Edmonton and ending Jan. 14 with a win in Washington — fashioned an identical 0-8-1 losing spell. (By the way: that edition of the Flames went to the Stanley Cup final.) Making Tuesday’s challenge even steeper, the Flames have lost eight straight dates (0-7-1) at the United Center, getting outscored 39-18 in the process. Their last win here was five years ago — March 16, 2008. And don’t ask about the Blackhawks’ home record right now.
2. GETTING DEFENSIVE — The Blackhawks boast the league’s second-most potent attack, averaging 3.27 goals per game. Only the Pittsburgh Penguins are more dangerous. The Flames, while decent offensively (10th overall), are a defensive flop — 29th, with a 3.33 GAA. As a team, the Blackhawks are plus-31, the league’s top mark. The Flames are minus-18, slotting them 25th.
3. REMEMBER: PROTECT THE PUCK — Chicago leads the NHL with 307 takeaways. Calgary is a respectable 11th. The Blackhawks have placed three players in the league’s top seven — four in the top 16 — in the category. Behind NHL star thief Detroit C Pavel Datsyuk (and his 40 takeaways) are C Jonathan Toews (35), RW Marian Hossa (32), RW Patrick Kane (29), RW Michael Frolik (23). Top Calgarian is D Mark Giordano, with 20, good for 39th place. Then again, with 502, the Blackhawks have recorded the fewest hits in the NHL. For what that’s worth.
4. RAISING KANE — Chicago Tribune reporter Chris Kuc recently did a swell story on the relationship between Patrick Kane and his father Pat Sr. In a lot of ways, the old man sounds like the typical hockey dad. “I’ll show up at practice and some people will laugh and say, ‘How come you go to practice?’ “ Dad told Kuc. “The way I look at Patrick, he’s just my kid and I’m just going to watch him practise at the rink.” Father and son talk daily on the phone — and, on game days, before and after the action. “He has seen what I can do throughout my whole career, the plays I can make and the goals I can score,” Kane said of his father. “He’s one guy who feels I have more in the tank, too. We’d just talk about what I could do this season to help the team and improve myself as a player. He always has been probably my No. 1 fan and No. 1 critic, too. When I was a little kid and had four or five goals in a game he would say, ‘You should have had six or seven.’ It’s the same way now. I kind of like that. He always has been a guy who has wanted me to show my skill. I think he likes what he’s seeing these days.”
5. INS, OUTS, WHAT-HAVE-YOUS — According to the folks at Sportsclubstats.com, the Flames have boosted their chances of qualifying for the playoffs to 7.4 per cent. The Blackhawks are listed at 100 per cent . . . With matching minus-11 ratings, Calgary LW Michael Cammalleri and LW Alex Tanguay are tied for 743rd overall. Worst offender is Florida D Brian Campbell at minus-18. League’s best mark? Pittsburgh LW Chris Kunitz’s plus-24.
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