FGD #18: A Capital Visit

Just 24 hours after losing a heart-breaker to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Calgary Flames bring their 5-11-1 record to the Verizon Center when they face the Washington Capitals (11-4-0).

The Flames are trying to get some points on this road trip, after losing each of the first two games of the trip. They still have games against Washington and Chicago left on the trip. The good news is that just like the Flames, the Capitals played last night (in a different city) and are flying back to D.C. for the game. The bad news is that the Capitals have been playing pretty well, and the Flames haven’t.

Puck drop is just after 5pm MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

THE FLAMES

Last night’s lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 3.21.55 PM

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Presumably since Karri Ramo started last night, Joni Ortio starts tonight. Of course, Bob Hartley hadn’t made a decision as of last night, so maybe Ramo goes again. If Ramo does play tonight, in the second half of a back-to-back on the road, its basically the white flag being flown on Ortio’s career here. This is the exact situation you’d want to play your back-up in, and they risk burning Ramo out if he’s trotted out there too often. (He’s been good, mind you, but this is the perfect situation to rest him to keep him fresh for Chicago on Sunday.) Anyway, Ramo’s 3-6-0 with a 3.54 goals against average and .888 save percentage in 9 games. Ortio’s 0-2-0 with a 4.27 goals against and .868 save percentage in 4 appearances.

Presumably we see some line shuffling at some point, and perhaps some line-up changes. The Flames are carrying three extra, healthy bodies right now in the form of Deryk Engelland, Brandon Bollig and Mason Raymond. The Flames could definitely use Raymond’s speed and Engelland’s physical presence tonight, but who knows what ends up happening.

So…yeah.

Special teams continue to destroy the Flames right now. Their power-play has generated eight goals this season. Their penalty kill has allowed 13 goals. They can’t get the “next goal” that they desperately need on their power-play more often than not, and they frequently give up a back-breaking goal on the PK – case in point, last night’s Tampa Bay game-winner by Steven Stamkos.

Like so many parts of Calgary’s game, their special teams need to be better right now.

THE CAPITALS

Last night’s lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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Since Braden Holtby started last night in Philadelphia, presumably Philipp Grubauer starts tonight (though like with Calgary, Holtby could do both games of this back-to-back). Holtby is 9-4-0 with a 2.01 goals against average and .919 save percentage, while Grubauer is 2-0-0 with a 2.43 goals against and a .900 save percentage.

With how Calgary’s been playing in their own end, the Washington Capitals are a dangerous, dangerous opponent. The Flames have to limit their chances, avoid taking penalties, and hope to heck that Alex Ovechkin and his crew are a bit tuckered out from beating Philadelphia last night.

WHEN LAST WE MET

This is the second of two meetings this season between Calgary and Washington. The Capitals took their first meeting this season decisively by a 6-2 score back on October 20.

THE NUMBERS

CALGARY WASHINGTON
Wins 5 11
Power Play 17.4% 23.4%
Penalty Kill 74.0% 84.1%
Score-Adjusted Corsi 46.8% 54.6%
Faceoffs 48.2% 50.5%

ELSEWHERE

If you have TSN2, Boston University (Brandon Hickey) plays Providence College (Mark Jankowski and John Gilmour) at 4pm MT. If you’re in town, the Calgary Hitmen host the Kootenay Ice at 7pm MT. Charlottetown visits Acadie-Bathurst.

And down on the farm, the Stockton Heat try to get back in the win column when they face the San Antonio Rampage beginning at 6:30pm MT.

SUM IT UP

If they weren’t in it already, the Flames have to be in desperation mode tonight – and probably for the remainder of the season, as well. However they need to play to do so, they need wins very, very badly. And perhaps a time machine, so they can go back and win some of the 11 games they’ve already lost.

  • MontanaMan

    And the play was started by Hamilton who grabbed the puck in front, got his feet moving, head up and fed Brodie who set Monahan up for the winner. Good to see Hamilton contributing.

  • cgyokgn

    Who would have thought that they’d win the second of back-to-back games against an elite team. They’ve been very good in 3-on-3 OTs.. they’ve only lost one I think.

        • Tomas Oppolzer

          Dude, just stop. You’re not going to convince us, and we aren’t going to convince you. We aren’t saying we don’t like Monny, we’re just pointing out that Monahan hasn’t been too good on both sides of the puck to start the season. I wouldn’t care if he got a damn hattrick, doesn’t change the fact that his season, to this point, has been lackluster.

  • cgyokgn

    Good to see them get the win.

    As much as our top players have under performed, (Looking at you Giordano) The forward lineup on this game day thread is really solid. I guess they ended up putting Bollig in over Jooris, but the past few games all four lines have been rolling. I think once Hudler and Gio find their rhythm and the defence settles down we’ll see some more wins. Unfortunately it may be too late.

    • Cfan in Vic

      You think I should take time out of my busy hockey schedule to make time for political debates on a hockey site?

      I’m not sure what you have time for, but I’m here for hockey talk. I have plenty of political opinions, but nobody came here to hear them, and I won’t waste their time. In case you didn’t notice, the comment I was replying to ended up being moderated, so I wasn’t alone in thinking it was out of line.

      For the record, I’m 35 years old. I vote. Is it Liberal-bashing that you hope I have time for soon? Strange, given that you’re in US.

      Good luck to you, Old Man.

    • Cfan in Vic

      What a strange interaction.

      First, you don’t state what you are actually referring to, so it’s unclear exactly what angle you are approaching from. It seems as though you’re taking some political stance, but remain completely vague as to what you’re getting at so you’re really not making any point here.

      Second, you don’t know me, or my political stances. Whatever you disagree with here is completely unfounded.

      Third, how are you protecting me, in all your manliness? And from what?

      You could ramble on like a senile old man, or you could engage in a conversation. You may be old, but you certainly don’t act like an adult.

    • Cfan in Vic

      It’s a reference to a popular youtube video. Sorry you didn’t get my reference.

      Here it is:

      To be perfectly clear: I meant that we, as readers at FN, shouldn’t have to wade through a comment section full of political opinions. I’ll also point out that I was replying to someone else, and for some reason, you took exception to it.

      Get it now? Feel free to imagine and invent any of my opinions that you wish. I’m sure you will.

      Please try not to be offensive next time.

  • flamesburn89

    Cfan,

    I will end my participation in our discussion with this last missive. Please do not think my opinion is driven by any personal animosity. I do not like or dislike you as I do not know you.

    I will continue to write, think and say whatever I wish in whatever forum I choose. You are free to find offense and will have to navigate that as a price of living in a free society. Just as I have to navigate what I find offensive.

    Not that you do, but if you believe in such things as safe spaces, micro-aggressions, the sanctity of Maclean’s or the Human Rights Commission. . .well, we will just have to disagree.

    If you, in your mind, should not have to “wade through. . .political opinions”, then I should not have to wade through a “popular you tube video” used to comment on massacres as the bodies lay in the street.

    Continue to admonish me “not to be offensive” all you wish; I will continue to write, think and say whatever I wish.

    Be well.

    • Cfan in Vic

      OK man. Thanks for being civil.

      I have no clue what your talking about in your first 3 paragraphs. I understand the English language, but it has nothing to do with anything I’ve talked about in my posts.

      As for “wading through my youtube video”. It was a small reference at the end of my original comment; and I had already made my point prior. If you think that I was, in any way, trying to discuss massacres on this site, you’re wrong.

      You clearly have heavier things on your mind than hockey, so perhaps you should steer clear of the hockey blogs when you’re feeling that way. Hockey blogs are for hockey.

      Take care man.