St. Louis Blues At Calgary Flames: A Tale Of Two Hockey Teams

Michael WagenknechtContributor IJanuary 26, 2011

ST. LOUIS, MO. - NOVEMBER 5: Jay Bouwmeester #4 of the Calgary Flames and David Backes #42 of the St. Louis Blues wait for the puck to drop to the ice at the Scottrade Center on November 5, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Flames beat the Blues 2-1 in overtime.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

In the final game before the All-Star Break, the St. Louis Blues will travel to Calgary to face the Flames in a must win game for both teams.

A must win for the Blues to keep them in the playoff race and a must win for Calgary to keep their hot streak going.

St. Louis is coming off another lackluster performance in Colorado, in which they blew another lead and couldn’t muster enough offense to come back in the third period. This was the Blues third straight loss and it has resulted in the team falling to 13th in the West.

The Flames, on the other side of the rink, are riding a three game winning streak and have moved up to 12th in the West after being almost completely out of he playoff race a month ago.

With a win tonight, the Flames could pull within two points of a playoff spot.

In order for the Blues to be victorious, they will need a few key players to step it up more so than they already are.

With TJ Oshie’s return, Patrik Berglund’s energy and effort has returned and it has lead to a point streak of six games. In those six games, Berglund has netted three goals and four assists. Against Calgary, Berglund has four goals in seven games, which should lead to an extension of his point streak.

Brad Boyes has also fared well against Calgary in his career, averaging a point per game, including seven goals; Boyes is also on a point streak, three games and had three assists in the game against Colorado.

Calgary’s captain Jarome Iginla has lead the resurgence of the Flames as of late. Iginla leads the team in both goals, 21 and assists, 25. Against the Blues, Iginla has 60 points in just 52 games and seems to always have a key goal or assist in every game against St. Louis.

Goaltender Miikka Kiprussof hasn’t necessarily owned the Blues but he has come pretty darn close to that. With a 15-5-2 record and a 2.15 GAA, Kiprussof is one of the goalies in the league the Blues just hate to see. Kipper is having a down year so far with a 19-18-2 record, but having won two straight has partially regained his form of the last few years.

As of late, the Blues have played very well against Calgary, including no regulation losses last year to the Flames.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams on the year and by the time they meet again at the end of February, both of these teams could still be in the hunt for a playoff spot.

The Blues need to play a full 60 minute game, not only to beat the Flames, but to prove to Blues fans that they can sustain effort through a whole game.

As for Calgary, they just need to play their game and have their solid defense keep the Blues to the outside and not let them crash the net.

Game time is 9:00 Central time.