The Toronto Maple Leafs will try and halt their eight-game losing streak against the second-worst team in the Western Conference tonight. The Calgary Flames are coming off a 6-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Sunday, but have been moderately successful as of late, winning six of their last 10 games.
The Leafs will need at least five wins in these final six games to make the postseason, so the playoff dream is basically over. Still, rumours of firings continue to swirl around head coach Randy Carlyle and other members in the organization, so the team will be hoping to at least get back in the win column to take some pressure off.
The Flames are simply playing for pride at this point, but it should be an interesting game for a few members of both teams. Flames general manager Brian Burke will want to stick it to his former employer, as will former Flame and current Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf, who hasn’t played very well lately and has also become the whipping boy du jour among fans and the media in Toronto.
The Leafs beat the Flames in their only other meeting earlier this season, as Jonathan Bernier made 41 saves in another game the Leafs were vastly outshot but somehow pulled out a 4-2 win. That game also featured Carter Ashton running Derek Smith from behind into the boards, incurring the wrath of Shane O’Brien and NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, who handed him a two-game suspension.
Bernier will get the start tonight while the Flames will likely counter with Karri Ramo. For the projected lineup and other game notes, give Jeff L.’s preview a read. As always, follow along with the tweeters for the latest:
BEAT THE FLAMES! GO LEAFS GO!