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.
Lines via Daily Faceoff:
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.
Lines via Daily Faceoff:
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.
|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
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.
- 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.