Scouting the Competition: 15.03.10
A look at the Flames competition over the coming week
Flames vs. Red Wings, Monday, Mar. 15, 7:30 p.m. MST at the Pengrowth Saddledome, TSN & The FAN 960
WHO IS HOT: Pavel Datsyuk has had a very impressive season and shows no signs of slowing down during this stretch drive. He has five points in his last five outings, including a goal against Calgary last week. He's an offensive threat every shift and to be successful against Detroit, opponents have to find a way to keep him as quiet as possible.
WHO IS NOT: Todd Bertuzzi has been hard-pressed to produce offense lately, only notching two points (0 g, 2 a) in his last five games and has just two shots on net in that span. He's gone three straight games without a point. Overall, Bertuzzi has 15 goals and 37 points in 68 games this season.
LEADING SCORERS: Datsyuk leads the team in both points and goals scored. The Russian sniper has 21 tallies and 57 points in 66 games. Henrik Zetterberg trails closely behind him with 19 goals and 57 points in 60 games. Rounding out the top three is Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom with eight goals and 43 points in 68 games.
GOALTENDING: Jimmy Howard has really settled into his role as the Red Wings starting netminder, going 26-15-8 this season with a 2.35 GAA and a .924 save percentage. Backing him up is veteran Chris Osgood who is 7-8-4 this year. Osgood has a 2.97 GAA and a .890 save percentage. Howard is expected to start against the Flames on Monday.
INJURY REPORT: Forward Kirk Maltby is the only Red Wing on the injured reserve.
Flames vs. Avalanche, Wednesday, Mar. 17, 7:00 p.m. MST at the Pepsi Center, TSN & The FAN 960
WHO IS HOT: Paul Stastny has been red-hot since the Olympics, collecting a whooping 12 points in a seven-game point streak. He has eight points in his last five contests and is driving his club in their challenge for the Northwest Division title.
WHO IS NOT: After a great start to the 2009-10 season, rookie Ryan O'Reilly has slowed down offensively. The 19 year-old has just two points in his last five games and has a -2 rating during that span. His last goal came on Feb. 2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. O'Reilly has seven goals and 22 points in 67 games.
LEADING SCORERS: Stastny leads the Avs in scoring with 16 goals and 66 points this season. He's followed by Chris Stewart who has picked up 26 goals and 55 points in 63 games. The third position in the Avs scoring race belongs to youngster Matt Duchene. The high-flying forward has 23 goals and 47 points in his rookie season.
GOALTENDING: Craig Anderson continues to stand tall for Colorado, posting a 35-19-5 record with a 2.45 GAA and a .924 save percentage. Peter Budaj has backed him up this year, going 4-4-1 with a 2.21 GAA and a .925 save percentage.
INJURY REPORT: Forwards Stephane Yelle and Cody McLeod suffered lower body injuries on Sunday and could be questionable for Wednesday's game. The Avs were also without D Ruslan Salei (torso), F Brandon Yip (shoulder) and F David Jones (knee) on Sunday. Yip and Jones have been placed on the injured reserve, joining F David Koci.
Flames vs. Sharks, Friday, Mar. 19, 7:00 p.m. MST at the Pengrowth Saddledome, Sportsnet West & The FAN 960
WHO IS HOT: Joe Pavelski has been pretty dangerous offensively in his last five games. The centerman has six points and 25 shots on net in that time frame. Through 53 games this season, Pavelski has 20 goals and 42 points and if he keeps up his current pace, he'll be setting new career highs in both categories.
WHO IS NOT: As a part of the Sharks most dangerous line, Joe Thorton is relied upon for steady point production but he hasn't looked like his usual self lately. The forward has a mere two points in his last five games and has been almost invisible when he's on the ice. Thorton may be starting to feel like his old self though as he did score a goal in the Sharks 4-2 loss to Anaheim on Sunday.
LEADING SCORERS: It's not likely that anyone will be surprised that Thorton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley lead the Sharks offensively. Thorton is sitting in first in the Sharks scoring race with 18 goals and 80 points in 68 games. Marleau has 41 goals and 72 points in 68 games while Heatley has 36 goals and 72 points in 68 games.
GOALTENDING: Evgeni Nabokov is 37-11-9 this year with a 2.32 GAA and a .926 save percentage. Backing him up is Thomas Greiss, who is 6-4-1 with a 2.51 GAA and a .916 save percentage. Nabokov is expected to get the start in Calgary on Friday.
INJURY REPORT: Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic is the only Shark on their injured reserve.
Flames vs. Wild, Sunday, Mar. 21, 1:00 p.m. MST at the XCel Energy Center, Sportsnet West & The FAN 960
WHO IS HOT: Ever since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens, Guillaume Latendresse has been on fire. The forward has really found his place in the hockey state, racking up 22 goals in his 42 games with the Wild. He has goals in his last two games, including the game winner on Sunday when Minnesota downed St. Louis 4-2.
WHO IS NOT: Martin Havlat was supposed to be an offensive savour for the Wild but has been dry lately. He hasn't scored a goal since Mar. 3, when the Wild defeated the Flames 4-0, and has just five points since returning from the Olympics.
LEADING SCORERS: Mikko Koivu leads the Wild in scoring with 19 goals and 62 points in 68 contests. Winger Andrew Brunette isn't far behind him with 20 goals and 52 points in 68 games. Havlat is third in scoring on the team with 15 goals and 47 points in 62 games.
GOALTENDING: The Wild's number one netminder, Niklas Backstrom, has been on the sidelines since Mar. 9 due to a lower body injury so Josh Harding has been given the chance to show he can carry the load when needed. Harding has won two of his three straight starts and has been looking more and more comfortable every game. Harding is 7-9-0 this season with a 2.83 GAA and a .908 save percentage. Backstrom is 24-19-6 with a 2.65 GAA and a .904 save percentage. If he's well enough by Sunday, Backstrom is expected to be in net for the afternoon matchup with the Flames.
INJURY REPORT: F Owen Nolan missed Sunday's game with a lower body injury and is day-to-day, G Backstrom is out with a lower body injury and is day-to-day, D Brent Burns is day-to-day with a hip ailment and D Shane Hnidy is sidelined with a leg injury. D Clayton Stoner and F Pierre-Marc Bouchard are both on the injured reserve.