Olli Jokinen became the “Star of the week” with 10 points in 6 games

And the good news? Todd Bertuzzi and Rene Bourque begin their brief skating practices…

The Flames had 50% success out of two games played last week; nonetheless, there were some accomplishments in place. In the 2-1 low scoring game against the Dallas Stars, Miika Kiprusoff earned his 200th career win and Daymond Langkow became a point shy for his 600 points in the league. On Firday night, both Iginla and Jokinen had multipoint nights while Dustin Boyd continued his point streak (a goal and two assists).

The forthcoming week encompasses a busier schedule for the Flames with two games on home ice and two (back to back games) on the road. Fortunately for viewers, all these four games will be televised on TSN, Sportsnet, and CBC sequentially.

Game 72: Mar 23rd: Flames host the Detroit Red Wings 7:30 pm TSN

The Red Wings (48-15-9) are top in the league with a total of 105 points and a power play percentage that is very strong (26.42%). However, because their penalty killing is quite weak at 77.93%, it can serve as an advantage for the Flames because are attaining success in capitalizing on man advantage. More importantly, the come back s/o win from a 4-0 deficit in Detroit, should also provide them with an added confidence and momentum.

Game 73: Mar 25th: Flames in Pittsburg @ 5:30 pm TSN

Ranking 8th in the league, the Pittsburg Penguins have accumulated a total of 86 points in 73 games. They are currently 39-26-8 with a home record of 21-12-3. Their power play and penalty killing averages 16.77% and 81.70% respectively. In statistical comparison, the Flames power play and penalty killing percentage is marginally higher (19.23% and 83.96%) than their eastern counterparts and they still have two games in hand. These stats undoubtedly favor the Flames, but Evgeni Malkin will be the key target to watch out for.

Game 74: Mar 26th: Flames en route to Columbus at 5:00 pm Sportsnet

The Flames then move on to play against the Columbus Blue Jackets within a span of 24 hours. Like the Flames, the Blue Jackets (37-28-6) have played only 71 games, but unlike the Flames they have accumulated only 80 points compared to the Flames 88 points. Subsequently, they have a home record of 23-11-2 and rank 15th in the league with a power play and penalty killing percentage that averages 12.59% and 81.48% respectively. Of the three encounters between the two teams, the Flames had lost once by a count of 1-3 on November 8th, but defeated their opponents on January 21st (5-4) and February 24th (4-1).

Game 75: Mar 28th: Flames host the Minnesota Wild at 8:00 pm CBC

Back at home on Saturday, the Flames host the Minnesota Wild (33-30-8) who rank 22nd in the league and have accumulated a total of 74 points in 71 games. Their power play averages 19.43% while their penalty killing sits at 86.56%. Fortunately, the Flames have won all the four games played against their division rivals.

Summary: In statistical comparison, the Flames (41-24-6) have a home record of 23-9-4 and a road record of 18-15-2. After scoring a power play and giving up a short-handed goal, their percentage remains fairly consistent at 19.23% and 83.96%. Optimistically though, the discipline exhibited in the last two games has been a significant improvement for the Flames; and this, in itself should relieve them off the tremendous pressure of killing the 5v4 or 5v3.

Subsequently, it should be not be surprising that with the playoffs just coming round the corner, there is an innate potential for all teams to perform skilfully and the Flames are no exception. After losing to the Blues, it will be optimal for the Flames to succeed or attain a point in each of these games to help them rise above their potential and maintain their status in the division – The Vancouver Canucks have come within close proximity (trailing the Flames by just three points) in the NW division. Fortunately, the Phoenix Coyotes defeated them last night.

Peter Maher and Mike Rogers on the Fan 960 will host all these games.

Statistics as of Mar 22nd