Pick Of The Day: Calgary Flames vs. New York Islanders

TavaresThe puck drops for real on the 2013-14 NHL season on Oct. 1 when the Montreal Canadiens host the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It’s still far too early to start making predictions about which teams will contend this year and which teams will be on the outside looking in when the Stanley Cup playoffs start next April. But one wrinkle to keep in mind is the minor geographic realignment that’s occurred with the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets shifting from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference and the Winnipeg Jets, who were formerly based in Atlanta, shifting from the Eastern Conference to the Western Conference.

The realignment will result in a degree of inequality as in the East 16 teams will vie for the eight available playoff spots while in the West only 14 teams will contend for eight playoff spots. But for the three teams that are switching conferences the shift will be a godsend as it will enable them to significantly reduce the amount of travel and changing of time zones that they do during the long 82 game NHL season.

Following the devastating flooding that Calgary endured in June, which saw the lower level of the Saddledome swamped, there was speculation that the Flames might have to play some of their regular season home games in Saskatoon. But it seems that the facility has been repaired and the Flames will be able to open at home on Oct. 6 as scheduled. They are, however, playing some pre-season games in Saskatchewan. And tonight they’re in town to play the New York Islanders at Brandt Centre at 7 p.m.

Being a pre-season game, it’s difficult to know what the line-ups for the two squads will look like tonight. But based on last year’s performance during the strike/lock-out shortened 48 game season, the Islanders would appear to be the superior team. They qualified for the playoffs in the East, after all, while the Flames finished out of the running in the West. Led by captain John Tavares (pictured), the Islanders would seem to be on the rise, while the Flames are struggling and recently hired former Maple Leaf GM Brian Burke as president of hockey operations in the hope of turning the franchise around.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your puny human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

2 thoughts on “Pick Of The Day: Calgary Flames vs. New York Islanders”

  1. Ahhh…Calgary, depend on favours from Saskatchewan? I don;t recall ever hearing this and even if it was at one point floated, Calgary would have never let itself be at the mercy of Saskatoon. This is the city where flood victims rented rooms at the Fairmont rather than be billeted with fellow citizens.

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