Four hundred and ninety-five.
Some NHLers never see that many games, let alone that many consecutive games. We hope we aren't jinxing anything by writing about this, but Jay Bouwmeester, the Calgary Flames defenceman who logs mega-minutes most nights, played in his 495th consecutive game against Vancouver Saturday, tying the NHL record for consecutive games by a defenceman.
Have to hand it to the entertainment group at the Calgary Flames.
They are always looking for ways to make the in-game experience more fun for the great fans in Calgary.
They are a hard-working group, producing video for the Enmax Energy Board on game days (and for Sportsnet and for this very website).
They are also not afraid to try new things, which is refreshing. There is new music. There are new in-game promotions and giveaways. And there are new in-game videos. The latest is the Iggy Dance, and it is sweeping the 'Dome.
Fredrik Modin is asked where his career is at.
"It's right here in Calgary, right now," said the 36-year-old forward.
Acquired at the trade deadline from Atlanta for a seventh round pick, Modin has been hampered by injuries and becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Hence the question.
Modin, however, was quick to point out that he is happy to be in Calgary fighting for a playoff spot. "My focus right now is to finish this season here in Calgary and make the best of it. Whatever happens after that is not something I am worried about right now."
Just before Christmas the Calgary Flames did some math. As a team, they decided they would divide the rest of the season into three-game segments. The goal? To get four out of six points in each three-game segment.
Since that time, there have been nine segments. In six of those segments, they achieved or exceeded their goal. In nine segments the Flames wanted to collect 36 points. They collected 38.
When they began the three-game segments, the Flames were 14-18-3 and looking very much like a potential lottery pick team. Since then, they have racked up a 17-5-6 record and find themselves in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Western Conference.
Miikka is the man.
The Calgary Flames will ride their No. 1 goalie, Miikka Kiprusoff, for the rest of the season. And why not?
Kiprusoff had a minor blip in his game for about a week in December but he, as much as anybody, has played a big role in the team catapulting itslef out of the basement and into playoff contention in the Western Conference.
Is there a concern about Kiprusoff getting burned out? Perhaps. But it will, essentially, be up to the goalie to decide whether is he is tiring or not.
Milan Lucic, with two, including an empty-net tally, and Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins while Tim Thomas held the fort in the Boston net
The Flames, trailing 2-0, scored on a late power play when Curtis Glencross finished off a pretty passing play to beat Thomas.
However, Lucic iced the game with Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff on the bench in favour of the extra attacker.
The period began, with the visiting Bruins leading 1-0, with a Boston onslaught during the first two minutes. The Flames responded with the fourth line and Mikael Backlund and Niklas Hagman fought off the Bruins defence, worked the cycle nicely and created several scoring chances. Shortly after, Alex Tanguay, sprung on a breakaway with a great stretch pass, was foiled by big Zdeno Chara, who used his six-foot-eight frame and equally long stick and reach, to prevent Tanguay from getting a shot away.
The lone goal has been scored by Milan Lucic, at :59 seconds of the first period in a game featuring some good hitting and good scoring chances on both sides.
The Calgary Flames only need to look at the Western Conference standings to know nothing is guaranteed.
Coming off a 4-0 win over Montreal in the Hertiage Classic Sunday, the Flames now face the Boston Bruins at home tonight (7 pm Sportsnet Flames and The Fan 960.
The Flames sit sixth in the Western Conference with 70 points. There are five teams below them with 68 points.
"We're moving up," said forward Brendan Morrison. "That's all we can ask for. I know it is getting redundant but we can only look after ourselves."
The Flames have done that since Dec. 23 ripping off a 17-4-5 record. With that in mind they are not expecting a "hangover" from the hype and the excitement of the Heritage Classic.
Robyn Regehr couldn't resist.
The Saskatchewan native and longtime CFL Saskatchewan Roughrider football fan just had to take a shot at buddy Henry Burris, the Calgary Stampeder quarterback.
Regehr wore a furry Roughriders hat to practice at McMahon Stadium Saturday as the Flames prepared for the Heritage Classic. And he even wore it in the Stamps dressing room -- a gutsy call considering the rivalry between the Stamps and the Roughriders. It was all in good fun, of course. --> READ MORE