FGD #26: Home Ice Advantage – The Flames Host The Bruins


USATSI_8386944
(Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports)

After a thrilling shootout victory on Tuesday night, the Calgary Flames (9-14-2) flirt with hitting double-digits in wins this season tonight when they host the Boston Bruins.

It’s a game full of storylines! Dougie Hamilton plays his old team! The Flames try to maintain their home-ice momentum! Johnny Gaudreau trying to stick-handle around (or between the legs of) Zdeno Chara!

The puck drops at 7pm MT on Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

THE FLAMES

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

Johnny GaudreauSean MonahanDavid Jones
Sam BennettMarkus GranlundJiri Hudler
 Brandon BolligMikael BacklundMichael Frolik
Micheal FerlandMatt StajanJoe Colborne

Mark GiordanoT.J. Brodie
Kris Russell 

Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Wideman 

Ladislav Smid

Karri Ramo will start for the Flames for the Nth time this season and the 14th time in the last 15 games. It’s a bit curious, considering he wasn’t that great against Dallas, but they won and I suppose Bob Hartley doesn’t wanna change anything up after a win and Ramo has been on a pretty decent run lately. He’s 7-8-1 on the season with a 3.01 goals against average and .898 save percentage. The extra Flames bodies are projected to be Deryk Engelland, Mason Raymond and Josh Jooris.

Once again, the key for the Flames will be taking advantage of their special teams; basically, don’t take too many penalties against Boston and pounce on as many man-advantages than the Bruins hand them. The Flames still aren’t an amazing possession team, though they’re better than they have been, so they’ll have to take what they can get.

UPDATE:

Well that’s probably not a good sign. Reports from skates the last couple days had many people missing due to “maintenance.”

THE BRUINS

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronFrank Vatrano
Matt BeleskeyDavid KrejciLoui Eriksson
Brian FerlinRyan SpoonerJimmy Hayes
Zac RinaldoJoonas KemppainenBrett Connolly 

Zdeno CharaZach Trotman 

Dennis SeidenbergColin Miller
Torey KrugAdam McQuaid 

Tuukka Rask is expected to start for the Bruins. He’s 8-7-2 with a 2.87 goals against average and .902 save percentage. The Bruins are missing a lot of key bodies right now: Chris Kelly, David Pastrnak, Kevan Miller and almost-Flame Alexander Khokhlachev.

The Bruins have struggled at times this season, partially due to some goaltending and defensive struggles (and injuries), but they have gotten a nice boost from the young players in their organization – notably former NCAA forward Frank Vatrano. Combined with the names the Bruins have in the upper-end of their roster, they’re not a team that can ever really be written off, even if they do have some holes.

But man, looking at that defense, they probably wish they had a guy like Dougie Hamilton on their roster right now.

UPDATE:

Gustavsson’s been more consistent than Rask this season, but is not typically considered a better goalie.

THE NUMBERS

CALGARY BOSTON
Wins 9 13
Power Play 12.8% 31.4%
Penalty Kill 71.6% 76.7%
Score-Adjusted Corsi 46.9% 50.1%
Faceoffs 47.7% 49.7%

WHEN LAST WE MET

Last season, Calgary and Boston faced off in a pair of really close, really entertaining games. The Flames won both of them by identical 4-3 scores, once in overtime and once in a shootout. David Schlemko was immortalized as a Flames hero for his shootout goal in the latter game.

All-time, though, the Flames haven’t been great against the boys from Beantown, posting a 35-56-10-0 record. Of the active NHL franchises, Boston’s the one that the Flames have fared the worst against. (For the curious, the team that the Flames have historically dominated the most is New Jersey.)

HOME ICE HERO

Celebrate the referee, volunteer, time-keeper, organizer or other great person who keeps the
game going and asks for nothing in return. Nominate your Home Ice Hero
and they could win a prize worth $5,000. Nominate your hero by clicking this link!

SUM IT UP

The Flames snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on Tuesday night, putting together an excellent third period (on top of a pretty good second) and beat a really good Dallas Stars club. They probably don’t want to be in the same situation again – down 3-0 at home against a good team – but they probably also feel like they have some momentum on their side.

If so, it’s time to take advantage of it.

      • mk

        I’m with you on this one – Hamilton has turned a lot of things around recently. He’s not perfect and was pretty bad in the 3rd, but that’s a real small section of time to look at, at the exclusion of all others.

      • The GREAT Walter White

        Best Flame? Take your blinders off man. He wasn’t a flaming pile of hot trash in those games I think you meant…still looking at the overall body of work this year there is no evidence whatsoever to support your claim that he has been anything resembling the best anything…other than being soft, out of position and poor defensivey. Two good games out of 25 is the reality.

        With that being said, thank god Hudler saved the day

      • Rock

        He tried hard to lose the game for us even in over time the only thing he did right was give the puck to a hockey player that won’t give it up. How can you even defend that game by Hamilton the worst

          • Rock

            Flames all the way. You ever wonder why the Bruins have the number one power play this year and last year they didn’t even make the playoffs. I guess the Bruins made some good trades. They traded away players that couldn’t play good defence. Hamilton was lucky Hudler who is a true flame bailed him out on this give away.

        • ChinookArchYYC

          Hamilton is an excellent player now, at 22 years old. Is he perfect? Nobody’s perfect. Most of his critcs have been silenced or converted, because his play has earned him that. By the way, he also earned your scorn ealy on this season. He was not good, but aside from an infrequent mistake that young guys make from time to time, he’s been very good. It’s time to find another goat.

      • Rock

        He tried hard to lose the game for us even in over time the only thing he did right was give the puck to a hockey player that won’t give it up. How can you even defend that game by Hamilton the worst

      • Rock

        He tried hard to lose the game for us even in over time the only thing he did right was give the puck to a hockey player that won’t give it up. How can you even defend that game by Hamilton the worst

  • Burnward

    Dougie Hamilton better thank the little vampie for saving his a$$.

    Unreal comeback by the cardiac kids…with one second left in the game.

    We’re going to OT

  • RKD

    Since the 2nd period of the Dallas game, this team looks like the team of last season. They are playing with more energy in the last 5 periods then they have played with all season!!

    • Captain Ron

      Hardly, Brodie made the big defensive play in his end to create the odd man rush. All Hamilton had to do was not mess it up and feed the wide open Gaudreau.

      That goal was all Brodie and Gaudreau and thank Christ Johnny Clutch buried that one!!!

  • Captain Ron

    I could care less if our corsi was 5%. We won and what a game!!! And that why they are paid to play the sport.

    Unbelievable game, great entertainment value, as fans that’s why we watch this sport and love this game!!!

    The “find a way” Flames keep the W’s rolling.

    Awesome

  • Rock

    Dougie had a horse shoe tonight.

    If Hudler doesn’t score with one second left to get the game to OT he looks like the goat AGAIN.

    Not playing anywhere near the level a $5.75M a year Dman is paid to play at…see Duncan Keith and Oliver Ekman-Larsen for examples of performing up to par for a contract of that value.

    Thank god the boys once again found a way to pull out the victory, Johnny once again clutch in OT. Great finish to a great game.

    • Willi P

      Perhaps Hamilton did but Flames still won.

      I would take TJ Brodie over Keith or OEL any day. So composed and so much more upside for less money. TJ makes offensive players look stupid when they try and take the puck from him. And, I dont think he has hit his ceiling yet.

      • TRAIN#97

        Typical . Brodie is a good dman but not only do you say he is better than Keith and OEL now you say he still has a higher ceiling? You think he Is Bobby Orr?

        • ChinookArchYYC

          It’s the cap era and player value and age are critical considerations.

          Brodie is 25 is contracted till 2020 and earns $4.65M.

          Keith is 32 is contracted till 2023 and earns $5.6M .

          OEL has is in the same age group, and has a similar contract length and value, but frankly I prefer Brodie”s defensive game.

          As for Brodie’s ceiling who knows, but at 32 it’s probalby safe to say Keith is at his peak now.

          • TRAIN#97

            Very good points,but OEL is a stud at both ends of the rink he is bigger and plays more physical. He is a franchise player . I don’t think you would classify Brodie as a ” franchise player ” even though he is the best d man in Calgary.
            The difference over the term of the contract = about one million a year . Not enough to swing favor in Brodie’s direction.

          • Tomas Oppolzer

            Brodie is absolutely a franchise defenseman. His numbers this point in his career are BETTER than Duncan Keiths at the same point. You don’t need to be super physical to be a franchise player. Brodie throws hits when he needs to, but he lets his smooth skating do the talking for him mostly. I understand you’re a Oilers fan, but come on.

        • Willi P

          Perhaps English is your second language, re-read the post, try and comprehend. I never said anything about “better”.

          ChinookArch made the point for me (probably better than I would have) to why I would take Brodie over the other two.

      • Burnward

        Actually was agreeing with your post until you busted out the 66% CFO garbage, gross.

        Unnecessary and posting it after the fact had zero impact on what we all watched with our own eyes while the game was actually being played. A stat sheet isn’t required “after the game” if you actually have a clue what to watch for while viewing the game. If you need to look at numbers and have numbers tell you whether a player had a positive impact or not on the game that’s very telling

  • Burnward

    Should have know better to put our faith in a 22 year old grown man that still asks to be referred to as “Dougie”

    Hudler, Gaudreau and Brodie are the reason we put two more points up in the standings tonight. Honourable mentions to Gio and Ramo as well, who had a direct positive impact on the outcome of the game.

    Well done boys, that’s 6 in a row at home now! That’s impressive in any league or sport.

      • Burnward

        Moved away from home/family/parents to play major junior at age 16, grew up very young and have been on my own since 16, you grow up fast when you have no choice. So to answer your question, yes.

        • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

          Wow, which NHL team did you grow up and play for? Dougie also played Major Junior as a 16 year old (admittedly in his home town) I assume you had billets who fed and looked out for you?
          Name a defenseman who played for the Flames at 19, as Dougie did for the Bruins, (who had won the Cup the year before). Heck name me a 22 year old D-man who played for the Flames who never made a mistake as he grew into the league.
          Dougie is fine, and will be great moving forward.

          Ps. Not every pinch works, just ask Brodie, Giordano, Orr and Bourque. Or whoever played on your major Junior team that moved up while you were so busy being grown up.

    • supra steve

      And what if your father was “Doug” or “Douglas”, and thus you were always called “Dougie”?

      Also, if Dougie is bad, why is “Johnny” OK?

      Bobby Orr, Bobby Smith? Is Robert or Bob more dignified/grown-up?

      Billy Smith? Gordie Howe?

      Is the fact that these guys play a kids game relevant?

      Sorry, didn’t mean to make you think.

  • Burnward

    So many Dougie haters tonight, you can jump off the Flames wagon anytime. He’s been excellent for us for a while now, with only Brodie really playing better than him in a long stretch of games. I wonder if the Dougie haters failed to see Wideman blow a tire almost 10 times this game. Pretty tough to guard the entire Flames end because your partner is a complete joke of a skater for a professional hockey player.

    • Cool Story, Brodie!!!

      Same people who are hatin on dougie now were hatin on Brodie in his first couple of years. Give the kid some time he’s gonna be an absolute beast for us. So proud to be a flames fan tonight, what an amazing game