Somebody poked the bear

- February 3rd, 2012

Good news or bad news?

It’s hard to tell the impact a 8-4 loss to the Edmonton Oilers the night before will have on the Chicago Blackhawks when they face the Flames Friday at the Saddledome.

First instinct would be that game will fire up a Blackhawks team which has now lost four straight games (0-3-1) will have some extra jump.

At least that’s what the Flames are thinking.

“In this industry, you live the game from day to day,” said Flames coach Brent Sutter. “I’m sure Joel (Quenneville) is going to have his troops moved on quickly and getting ready for this game. We’ve been in that situation when you have many goals scored against you, and you have to move past it quickly.

“They’ll be ready to play tonight. They’ll be hungry.”

However, Alberta has been a tough go for the Blackhawks this season. Chicago has lost all three games in Wild Rose Country by a combined score of 22-8.

“They’re going to come out stronger tonight,” said Flames centre Mikael Backlund. “You don’t want to lose twice in a row two times.”

As for the lineups, it was an optional skate for the Flames Friday, but with a twist.

The five players on the first powerplay unit — Jarome Iginla, Olli Jokinen, Alex Tanguay, Michael Cammalleri and Mark Giordano — went out for 15 minutes prior to the regular session and worked for a spell before leaving the ice.

So, we’ll figure the Flames lineup will be as Thursday’s practice.

Tanguay-Jokinen-Iginla

Cammalleri-Kolanos-Jones

Bouma-Backlund-Comeau

Kostopoulos-Stajan-Jackman

Defence

Butler-Bouwmeester

Giordano-Hannan

Brodie-Sarich

Kiprusoff in goal.

As for the Blackhawks, they didn’t have a morning skate having played the night before, but Andrew Brunette left early in the Edmonton game, so watch for Michael Frolik to draw into the lineup.

It’s probably a good bet Ray Emery — whose career marks against the Flames are 4-1-1 with a 1.33 goals-against average, .946 save percentage and one shutout — to be in goal.

Categories: Hockey

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