After suffering a defeat at the hands of the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning, the Calgary Flames (4-3-1) are still looking for their first home win of the 2014-15 season. They get a golden opportunity tonight as the winless Carolina Hurricanes (0-3-2) are visiting.
The puck drops on the second game of this current five-game homestand at 7pm MT, with the game available for your listening pleasure on Sportsnet 960 The Fan and for viewing on Sportsnet Flames.
After a disappointing late-game loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, the Flames are looking for more goals. I mean, Karri Ramo was very good yet still didn’t get the Flames the two points because he didn’t get a lot of run support, as they say.
As such, the lines have been shuffled a bit. Lines from morning skate (via Daily Faceoff):
Colborne – Monahan – Hudler
Gaudreau – Backlund – Raymond
Glencross – Stajan – Byron
Bollig – Bouma – Jooris
Giordano – Brodie
Russell – Wideman
Smid – Engelland
Jonas Hiller gets his turn in the rotation. In addition, Colborne moves to the wing from center (and Bouma moves to center from the wing, it seems). The Glencross line should probably get the tough minutes tonight, though against the Hurricanes, I guess that term is relative.
Setoguchi (illness), McGrattan (healthy), Diaz (healthy) and Jones (lower body) sit, though Bob Hartley indicated today after morning skate that Jones will likely return on this homestand. That means somebody has to head to the farm (or the IR) before then.
Because I loved the Whalers I’ve always had a soft spot for the Carolina Hurricanes, especially after they squashed Edmonton’s Stanley Cup dreams in 2006. But they haven’t been great over the recent past, with a few bottom-end finishes and some struggles. They’re winless this year, and have missed both Staals as well as Jeff Skinner. Skinner’s back in their line-up, but it’s still a thin group.
Lines via Daily Faceoff:
Tlusty – Nash – Semin
Skinner – Rask – Lindholm
Terry – McClement – Boychuk
Brown – Sutter – Malone
Sekera – Faulk
Harrison – Gleason
Hainsey – Murphy
Cam Ward gets the start. He may be the most expensive back-up goalie in the NHL. And that defensive group is pretty thin.
SUM IT UP
One team will pop a goose egg tonight: either Calgary gets its first home win or Carolina gets its first win (of any kind). Otherwise, this is a battle between two scrappy teams that don’t have a lot of star players, but do have a lot of pride and will to win.
And neither group is expected to get many Ws this season, so expect this one to be fairly hotly contested.