THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH
1. Which goalie to go with? Manny Legace is the Blues' starting goaltender, but former Nashville Predators netminder Chris Mason won three straight decisions before the wheels fell off in a 4-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild Tuesday. Odds are Legace returns to the nets to face the Flames, but Mason is close to earning more of a rotation role.
2. Rebound potential. D Dion Phaneuf didn't get a chance to face F Sean Avery on the ice Tuesday, but he may have been rattled by the agitator's comments from after the morning skate. He was on the ice for all three of the Stars' goals. Phaneuf fired just one shot on Marty Turco. His stick has been quiet for a few games now. He's taken only four shots in four games.
3. Rest on the horizon. G Miikka Kiprusoff is due for a rest, and backup Curtis McElhinney played well in a loss to the Blues at the Scottrade Center last season, but it's hard to suggest the starter will sit against the Blues. Heading into tonight's action, Kiprusoff owns a 10-0-1 record and a 1.97 goals-against average versus the Bluenotes in his last 11 starts.
PLAYERS TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON ...
RW David Moss. The 26-year-old has three goals in his last four games and points in four of the past five while seeing regular time on the powerplay and second line lately. He blasted a season-high eight shots at goaltender Marty Turco in Tuesday's loss to the Dallas Stars at the Saddledome and is going to the net with vigour since an 11-game goal drought ended against the Avalanche last month.
C Keith Tkachuk. Well on his way to becoming a 30-goal scorer for the first time since the lockout, the 36-year-old is pulling his weight. A couple of years ago, that would have been spun into a fat joke, but Tkachuk is taking his training seriously and producing well for a veteran written off after a rough 2005-06 season. He was lined up with David Backes and Brad Boyes in practice yesterday.
IT'S WORTH NOTING ...
The Hockey News blogger Edward Fraser picked Jarome Iginla as his Hart Trophy nominee at the quarter-pole of the NHL season. His reason for tabbing the Flames captain over other candidates like Alex Ovechkin, Roberto Luongo and Evgeni Malkin? "The Flames would be lost without Iginla's perfect mix of leadership, skill and physical play," writes Fraser. "He's also eighth in league scoring, so he edges the others out." Iginla has 12 goals and 29 points in 25 games so far and had a six-game point streak snapped in Tuesday's loss to the Dallas Stars ... Blues rookie C Patrick Berglund leads the team with a plus-9 rating, posting a plus or even rating in all but one game this year. He's also a pretty decent contributor in the point department, with six goals and a dozen points in 18 outings ... Flames prospect T.J. Brodie was named Ontario Hockey League defenceman of the month for November. The 18-year-old scored three times and added 14 assists in nine games with the Saginaw Spirit. Drafted by the Flames 114th overall in the fourth round, Brodie impressed during rookie camp along with Kootenay Ice blueliner John Negrin ... F Brad Boyes scored four goals in four games against the Flames last year. Iginla, LW Kristian Huselius and C Daymond Langkow all had three goals in the season series ... Iginla has the edge on Henrik Zetterberg in all-star voting as the third forward from the Western Conference. D Dion Phaneuf sits second behind Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom, well ahead of challengers Brian Campbell (Chicago Blackhawks) and Brian Rafalski (Red Wings) ... Phaneuf is second in the league with an average of 27:53 minutes of ice per game. Florida Panthers D Jay Bouwmeester leads all players with an average of 28:00 ... Who says special-teams success is the key to victory? The Blues are ranked fourth on the powerplay and sixth in penalty killing, but have just 10 wins in 23 games.