Riding a little bit of a win streak, the Jackets face a Calgary team tonight who lost 4-2 in Detroit on Thursday evening, and who will be starting their backup goaltender (Swedish born Henrik Karlsson) for his NHL debut.
While I have no doubt the Flames are tired, a fresh goalie could give their whole team a bit of an energy bump.
The Jackets need to get this game under control early, and force Karlsson to stop, drop, and roll around the ice chasing the puck. Hammer at his net, go for rebounds, force him to deal with bodies in the crease and don't let up the pressure.
It will also be the debut of the re-worked checking line, with Derek Dorsett stepping up to take the place of the injured Ethan Moreau. He'll be asked to keep pace with guys like Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen. That's a pretty serious responsibility for a guy in his position, but I believe that Doors will rise to the challenge.
The Flames are a team that really should be better than they are. Talent like Iginla, Glencross, Bouwmeester, Backlund Jokinen, Kiprusoff, White, and Regehr, among others, really should be a strong team. For whatever reason, though, they haven't been able to turn individual talent into team success.
...Boy, that sounds familiar.
Regardless, it's two points up for grabs this evening, and the Jackets need to make sure they're the ones walking away.
I'll be here for tonight's game thread, or you can check in over at Matchsticks and Gasoline to see what the opposition feels about this game. Hopefully we'll see their thread full of gnashing of teeth and wailing frustration as the Jackets extinguish the Flames, leaving them trapped with the knowledge that they live in a barren wasteland, frigid and festooned with caribou poop.
Who steps out from under the microscope and has a huge game?
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I don't care as long as we get two points!