FGD Round 1, Game 6: Second Chances

After failing to close out the series on the road on Thursday, the Calgary Flames have a second chance to close out their first round series with the Vancouver Canucks tonight. This time, it’s a home date at the Saddledome, where the Flames have played much, much better than they have on the road.

The key to victory for the Flames? Desperation and execution. They were sloppy in Game 5 in Vancouver and blew their chance to close out the series, and thus are back home looking to cash in on their second chance. But they really need to play the physical brand of hockey that brought them this far, and execute the game-plan that has made the Sedins an after-thought in games in Calgary.

The Flames are sixty minutes of effective hockey away from their first trip to the second round since 2004. It would be truly frustrating for all involved if they couldn’t close this series out, particularly because while they have been quite good at home, they haven’t been all that good at Rogers Arena, and a return trip there probably isn’t in their best interests.

The puck drops after 7pm MT on CBC and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

THE FLAMES

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

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No significant changes are expect for the locals. Jonas Hiller makes his sixth start of the series, with Karri Ramo dressing as his understudy. Your healthy regulars on the sidelines are Drew Shore, Markus Granlund and Corey Potter. Injured Flames include Lance Bouma, Mark Giordano, Ladislav Smid, Raphael Diaz and Paul Byron.

The crowd will be on Calgary’s side. Last change at home means that the match-ups will be on Calgary’s side. And history in this series has taught us that home ice really matters, and because of various factors, both teams have played well in their own barn.

If David Jones, Michael Ferland and Matt Stajan can be as effective as they were in Games 3 and 4, and perhaps the Sam Bennett, Mikael Backlund and Joe Colborne line can create some offense, then the Flames can win this game. We know that they’ll get good goaltending from Hiller.

The rest is up to them.

THE CANUCKS

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

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No changes are expected from the line-up that beat Calgary and forced a Game 6 in Vancouver on Thursday. So we’ll see Ryan Miller in net. Ryan Stanton, Linden Vey and Brandon McMillan are the healthy scratches, and Alex Burrows and Zack Kassian are injured.

The Canucks have done a good job doing whatever they can to negate Calgary’s top line this series. But in the games in Calgary, Bo Horvat’s line has been the most consistently dangerous. Somehow, they have to get the Sedins some breathing room, or the series will end tonight.

THE NUMBERS

Calgary Vancouver
Wins 3 2
Power Play 26.7% 14.3%
Penalty 85.7% 73.3%
Corsi 44.8% 55.2%
Corsi Close 42.2% 57.8%
Faceoffs 50.2% 49.8%
PDO 101.4 98.6

SUM IT UP

The Flames are a confident bunch who feel they let a big opportunity slip from their fingers on Thursday in Vancouver. They are bound and determined not to let it happen again, particularly on home ice.

The Canucks are one loss away from their season ending tonight. They are desperate for a win.

It should be an excellent sixty minutes (or more) of ice hockey.

  • Johnnydapunk

    As a longtime Oil fan (put the pitchforks away please) just wanted to congratulate you on the Flames on winning the series. It was like 80s hockey with the score and was just good hockey to watch, though I don’t envy your hearts as those comebacks must take a toll :-p

    I can admit that my Finnish roots were also pleased to see Rämö get in there and it’s cool to see an actual 1a goalie tandem that seems to work.

    Nice work and hope to see more of the same against the Ducks!

  • RKD

    Flames fan here, I just wanted to say thanks to all the oiler and other fans for their well wishes. But I don’t get it I have never nor will ever cheer for the Nuckleheads or the Coilers. Hay thanks anyways.

    • Johnnydapunk

      I dont think its about cheering for the other team, but being cool in seeing another team’s success that you have some “connection” with. I grew up on the Battle of Alberta when it was Semenko v Hunter, Fuhr v Vernon and McDonald v Gretzky which were proper battles. As the Oil have been terrible the last years, the bitterness has died down for me (could also be that I moved to Europe for a while ) and what’s left for me is respect. I also think you need rivalries to make each other better and without them, you are missing that thing that can give you that kick in the *ss to get better and stronger.

      I won’t lie, I don’t think I will ever wear a piece of Flames apparel, nor scream “C” when the National Anthem is sung, and I will never like the strangely steep seats in the Saddledome, but I will respect the Flames fans and team for being a part of my Oiler history, and If they do well when they aren’t playing the Oil, I will not be unhappy. I don’t think the Oilers would have done as well when parades were an expectation and not an exception without the hated and violent rivalry of the Flames.

      I hope that all makes sense.

  • Big Ell

    Awesome morning for us on the other side of the Pacific. What more can be said about Gaudreau? So damn exciting and back checks! Man, it feels so good. I was never a Stajan fan but after all he has gone through to get the series winner is so well deserved.

  • RKD

    Amazing, what a phenomenal game. I was really worried after the Flames were down 3-0 but they fought back like they have all season long. Six players had 3 points or more. The top line showed up and Stajan had a whale of a game.