The Flames actually wore this abomination on their uniforms once.

Remember a few years ago when the Calgary looked like they were going to become a big rival of the Blackhawks? The Hawks faced the Mike Kennan-led Flames in their first playoff series since 2002 in the opening round of the 2008-2009 postseason. The series (which the Hawks won 4-2) started with Marty Havlat scoring just 12 seconds into overtime in Game 1 and ended with the Hawks knocking out the Flames 4-1 in Calgary in Game 6.  The Hawks went on to lose in the Western Conference final that year to Detoilet but won the Stanley Cup the following season.  They have appeared in 7 playoff series since defeating the Flames. Calgary has not been to the postseason since – their last postseason goal was scored by criminal Todd Bertuzzi. Sucks to be them.

Yup, it’s been all downhill for the Flames since that point and things aren’t getting any better. Jarome Iginla continues to be one of the best hockey players of all-time, yet is still inexplicably surrounded by dogshit. One of the great mysteries of all time will be why the Flames never got this man a true center to play with.  The Flames are 6-7-1 coming into the game tonight and are coming off a 3-0 loss to a surprisingly good Minnesota Wild team. Nothing about this Flames team is special (except Iginla), their PK is right in the middle of the pack and their PP only converts on 15% of its chances (a number the Hawks pathetically envy). The Flames hold the distinction of having the worst FO% in the league (46%) and won just 35% of their draws against the Wild on Tuesday night. One bright spot for Calgary tonight will be their 2007 1st round pick Mikael Backlund appearing in his 1st game of the season after missing time with a broken pinky finger. Apparently, Backlund will center a line with  Iginla on it – lucky him!

Calgary has their share of shitheads like Olli Jokinen and former Blackhawk Rene Bourque that will drive all of us crazy.  I hate those two bastards and you should too. They also employ a few bums like Tim Jackman and Tom Kostopoulos…so obviously the Blackhawks will need to dress John Scott.

One would imagine the Hawks will see Miikka Kiprusoff in goal for the Flames tonight. I say this because Kipper seems to play almost every damn game the Flames have. Since the 2005-2006 season, he has not played less than 70 games and played 76 in both the 07-08 and 08-09 campaigns which is simply astounding. Kipper is a good goaltender, but the Hawks know him well and have handled him before.

Right now for the Blackhawks, they can’t win even when they win. The 6-3 beating of the Blue Jackets did nothing to assuage the doubts many people have about this team. The win was anything but convincing (despite what a certain beat reporter may think) and the Hawks will need a much better performance tonight to achieve last nights result. I don’t mean to be totally negative, Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews looked fantastic together and the PP jumped all the way up to 28th in the NHL!  Still, that win was against one of the worst hockey teams in recent memory and we shouldn’t look to take a whole lot of meaning out of that game.

It looks like Ray Emery gets the call tonight but we aren’t sure yet. I will update when we know. The Flames will look to play a physical game and get the Hawks rattled. Staying out of the box and letting the Flames work themselves into a tizzy usually works with these guys. If the Hawks can hold off on the extracurricular activity tonight, the Flames will take bad penalties and Steve Montador will be waiting to make them pay.

Two more home games before the hellish circus trip. The schedule leading up to the trip was the time of year everyone was saying the Blackhawks needed to bundle away points. So far they have done just that. Still, lets play it safe!  Anything less than 3 out of 4 points this weekend will be disappointing.

A special thanks to all of our readers who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces. May God bless you all. Happy Veterans Day.

Go Hawks.

UPDATE:

As we suspected, Emery is in net tonight for the Blackhawks. He was less than impressive in the Tampa Bay game so we should all hope he bounces back. Also, Dave Bolland will not dress tonight. John Scott will be in the Hawk lineup again due to his “long reach” and because he “looks for direct plays”….whatever the hell that means.