The Good Guys: Capped off a successful three game visit to the east coast with a 3-1 win over the Rangers on St Patrick's Day. Semyon Varlamov stole the show in Manhattan, outduelling all-world Rangers keeper Henrik Lundqvist, and kept the Avs in the Western Conference playoff picture. Colorado is currently lodged in the 8th and final spot, tied with Phoenix with 83 standings points, although the Coyotes have a game in hand.
Bunch Of Dicks: There's a good reason I've neglected to do two or three of the Gameday Primers for games against the Flames, and it's the same reason people don't write about their bowel movements. There's never been a greater dichotomy between player I respect and like (Jarome Iginla) and team I don't like. There arent many things in hockey I'd like more than to see Iginla get traded to a team that gives him a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Calgary is about as close to winning a Stanley Cup as my beer league team. Tonight, the Avalanche have a chance to really push the Flames to the very edge of the playoff bubble, and for me, it would be as good as a playoff win, and also, as good as sex.
We Like: Isn't this fun, guys? Remember watching this team at this time last season? Reeling from the aborted Forsberg comeback, trying to process the stunning Stewart/Shattenkirk trade to St. Louis, and watching the team win two games out of what seemed like their final 400. Brian Elliott? Whether this year's version of the Avs ends up making the playoffs or not, this has been a fun season, and lots of the promise we hoped to see is blooming in front of our eyes. Let's enjoy this last two weeks.
We Don't Like: Look, I understand the temptation, I really do. I want it as bad as everybody else does. We only heard mumblings of it early in the season, and I was as guilty as anybody else was. Who knows, maybe eventually it WILL be appropriate, but it sure isn't yet. So I beg you, Avs fans and hockey observers everywhere: please, please, PLEASE stop comparing Gabriel Landeskog to Peter Forsberg. Not only is it premature, it's inaccurate. Love Landeskog already, I'm even willing to replace the "o" in his last name with a little heart. That all said...he's not Peter Forsberg. If anything, I see a potentially more physical Marian Hossa in Landeskog, which isn't Forsberg, but it's nothing to sneeze at either. Comparing Landeskog to Forsberg is unfair to the kid.
Randomly: When I came out on Twitter and declared my undying man crush on Gabriel Landeskog taking shape in the form of the 3rd-grade-girlish "replace the letter with a heart", I wasnt the only one. I was also joined by our friend Jay of the terrific Avs Hockey Podcast, which is a site you should be visiting regularly if you're an Avs fan. Jay and his partner in crime James make the burgundy and blue world go 'round, but you already knew that.
Potential Hero: Semyon Varlamov. Or haven't you been paying attention?
Potential Goat: Jeff Shantz, for old time's sake. Seriously, f Jeff Shantz.
Final Thought: Win tonight and Calgary can take a long hike off a short bridge. Lose tonight, and I may do the same.
Flames 3, Avs 2