FGD #63: Welcome to Wherever You Are (5pm MT, SN West)

The Brier road trip has not been nice to the Calgary Flames. So far, they’ve lost two games and their captain. Their seven-game trek continues tonight in Philadelphia when they visit the Flyers.

The Flames weren’t very good against the Rangers, but they were better against a bad Devils team and a pretty good Islanders team. Hopefully that upward trend continues, because there are points on the table here against a Flyers team that has struggled with inconsistency this season. Giordano or no Giordano, they still have a (small) chance of making the playoffs.

Puck drop is at 5pm MT and the game’s on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

THE FLAMES

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

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Karri Ramo makes his 22nd start of the season – and fourth straight on this road trip. He’s 10-7-1 with a 2.43 goals against average and .915 save percentage. He’s been red-hot on this trip, giving up just three goals over the three games.

Based on line rushes this morning, sounds like your healthy scratches are David Schlemko (who traveled all day yesterday to get to Philly) and Brandon Bollig. Matt Stajan remains back in Calgary and Markus Granlund was returned to the farm. That means Drew Shore makes his return and immediately becomes waiver eligible after the game, so expect him to stick around.

Four lines of size and speed up-front, while the defense remains a work in progress. I imagine coach Bob Hartley will see which pairings get into trouble tonight before figuring out where Schlemko slots in for next game. Also, expect Johnny Gaudreau – who grew up across the river from Philadelphia – to be jacked up for this game; he was a Flyers fan when he was younger and has a ton of family in the area.

THE FLYERS

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

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Steve Mason starts for the Flyers. He’s 12-13-7 with a 2.25 goals against average and .926 save percentage. Mason’s been pretty good for a not-great team this season, and I shudder to think how he’d do on a better team.

The Flyers are an odd mix of players that are going to be good and players that used to be good. That odd mix probably explains their mixed results this season. When the young players can carry the mail, the team succeeds. When they can’t, it flounders. Giroux and Voracek are both dangerous players, though, and with them on different lines it’ll be interesting to see how the Flames counter them match-up wise.

THE NUMBERS

Calgary Philadelphia
Wins 33 27
Power Play 17.7% (19th) 23.3% (3rd)
Penalty Kill 80.4% (20th) 76.3% (28th)
Corsi 44.8% (28th) 49.5% (21st)
Corsi Close 45.9% (27th) 49.0% (20th)
Faceoffs 47.9% (25th) 51.4% (9th)
PDO 100.9 (9th) 99.9 (20th)

THE DRIVE TO 95

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The Flames need 25 points in the remaining 20 games to hit 95 points. The gist of their situation is they need to get more points than San Jose and Los Angeles do between now and the bitter end. We’ll see what happens, but without Giordano, their odds are appreciably worse.

Elsewhere tonight:

  • In a meeting of two of hockey’s hottest teams, Ottawa faces Minnesota!
  • Dallas desperately tries to stay in the mix when they face the Islanders.
  • Los Angeles faces the Edmonton Oilers up north.
  • San Jose visits Vancouver in a game that hopefully finishes in regulation.

SUM IT UP

The post-Giordano section of this season continues tonight for the Flames. They went 5-11-2 without him last season. They’ll need to win more games than they did then if they have any hope of making the playoffs.

  • RKD

    Flames shouldn’t even be in this game.

    I expect a lot of games like this down the stretch, if Ramo continues playing like this.

    Lambert is not going to be happy with this one.

  • Burnward

    Fortunate win…Flames did not work hard and were outplayed. A good example of a big team getting physical with the small Flames…let’s take the 2 points and get out of Dodge….

  • MonsterPod

    Wow. What a game. Some one-liners.

    Engelland stepped up and had some nice plays tonight.

    Amazing how Ramo can ride the bench for months and then come out like this.

    Brodie is a beauty. Thank you BT for locking him up.

    Flames on the ropes in the third, but a great OT.

    What a resilient win. Way to go find a way Flames.

    My buddy is a Van fan and has been talking about how great Horvat has been. All I can think is… Monny is a Stud!

    GFG!!

  • everton fc

    Winners find ways to win. Wild are still 2-2 w/the Sens.

    The kids looked good tonight from what all have reported. Shore got a lot of ice time. Gaudreau needs a goal to get on track again. How did Potter look?

    Ramo is the man. Sign him and move Hiller. Ramo/Ortio. Gillies on the farm. If Ortio fully recovers.

  • FeyWest

    If we can learn to play with a a 2-0 lead going into the 3rd we’ll be golden! Philly got chewed out in 2nd int. and flames let off the gas too much and let flyers build some momentum, although enough of the crash the net bs that was irritating me a lot. 2 – 2 so far on this stretch, get back home with at minimum 4-3 and slug through guys, this is great experience and Mony is kinda good eh?

  • cgyokgn

    Good thing the Flames got the two points tonight because everyone else they are competing with won or are in the process of winning (Minny 3 – 2 over Sens in a shootout), Sharks up 4 – 2 on Nucks at the end of two and Kings up 5 – 2 over Oil late in the 3rd). Flames, Sharks and Kings will still all be tied, with the Flames having the tie-breaker.

  • cgyokgn

    Shore was 71% on face-offs; everyone else was well below 50%. Apparently he is here for the duration… they must have seen something in him to think he could help the Flames because he can’t be sent back down without clearing waivers. For those of you who watched the game (I was only able to listen to part of it), how do you think he played?

    • cgyokgn

      Thought Shore was ok, fairly strong on boards a couple of times. Liked all the kids, but still trying to work out the chemistry on all but the Backlund line.

      D played pretty strong throughout, including Engellnd. The main trouble was Philly’s big guys in front of the net and on the boards. As well we were definitely playing more safe than attacking. The Flames pretty much dominated the first than Philly came on ie Score Effects and a much-shortened bench which caused some issues in the third.

      Overall a very good game. They did well!

  • From what I saw, Shore played well. Seemed to be in the right position a lot, one really good takeaway on Voracek. Not a whole lot going on in the Offensive zone, but there was a nice zone entry, deke and pass to Poirier that was impressive. A flyer got his stick in as Poirier was shooting and it went out of play. Overall a pretty good game from my perspective.