GAME DAY: at Calgary
Jackets looking for second road win of the season
WATCH: FOX Sports Ohio (HD) | LISTEN: 97.1 The Fan & BlueJackets.com
|Though they do not share identical records or places in the standings, the universes of the Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames are parallel. Both clubs have struggled with consistency in the first quarter of the NHL season, have had trouble scoring goals and want more production from their best players.
It has been a little more than a week since these two teams last got together, and the Flames came away from Nationwide Arena wearing one of their most disappointing losses of the season. After earning a decisive victory over the top team in Western Conference – the Chicago Blackhawks – Calgary came out flat in Columbus and didn’t have any answers in a 4-1 loss to the Blue Jackets. That loss led Flames coach Brent Sutter to tell the media he would no longer ask players to do things, instead he was going to demand it.
Calgary dropped the next two games of that road trip (at St. Louis and at Detroit) and scored three goals in those games, but rebounded to beat the other top team the West: the Minnesota Wild. In that game, the Flames got goals from the players paid to score them, with Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay and Lee Stempniak chipping in on the scoresheet for a 5-2 win. Tuesday night at the Saddledome, the Flames put together one of their strongest defensive efforts to beat Nashville by a 1-0 final.
Henrik Karlsson made two starts in goal against the Blue Jackets last season, splitting a pair of decisions at Nationwide Arena. Sutter elected to play him in last week’s loss, but that seems unlikely with Miikka Kiprusoff picking up victories in his last two starts and looking like the Kipper of old.
The Blue Jackets will face a team tonight that wants to get on track in its building, and the Saddledome has not been kind to Columbus over the years. Calgary will be without top defenseman Mark Giordano, who suffered a lower-body injury early in the game against the Predators. Giordano scored the only goal for the Flames in their last game with the Blue Jackets.
Looking to boost their depth at forward, Flames GM Jay Feaster claimed Blake Comeau off waivers from the New York Islanders last week. Comeau, who had not registered a point yet this season with the Islanders, is scoreless in three games as a Flame.