FGD #38: Mile High Milestones

The Calgary Flames head to the Mile High City of Denver tonight for a meeting with the Colorado Avalanche. They’ve slipped just under the .500 market by virtue of a pair of home losses, and now the Flames will try to shed their “team everyone gets milestones against” label when they face Jarome Iginla, who’s sitting at 599 career goals.

After a pair of losses to Pacific Division teams, the Flames would love to kick off 2016 with a win, and would probably love to keep the old gunslinger (Iginla) off the scoresheet for a night – sentimentality aside. And if the Flames get a point, it’ll be their 3600th standings point in franchise history.

The puck drops just after 8pm MT on CBC and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

THE FLAMES

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

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Presumably Karri Ramo will get the start for the 27th time in Calgary’s last 30 games. He’s 13-12-1 with a 2.70 goals against average and a .907 save percentage. He’s been a league-average goalie for the Flames for awhile. It sounds like Bob Hartley is inserting Josh Jooris (for Brandon Bollig) and Ladislav Smid (for Deryk Engelland) into tonight’s line-up.

Both the Ducks and the Kings were able to key in on Johnny Gaudreau and turn Calgary’s most dangerous weapon into a non-factor. That has to change for the Flames to have a shot at winning tonight. Also, the Flames need to keep winning the special teams battles, particularly when it comes to generating shots and chances on the power-play.

More importantly, I’m very curious if the Flames coaching staff can actually adapt in-game; they had good third periods against Anaheim and Los Angeles, but that was after the game was already out of hand and their opponents seemed to stop caring all that much.

THE AVALANCHE

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

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Semyon Varlamov likely starts for the home side. He’s 12-9-3 with a 2.63 goals against average and a .914 save percentage. He’s being backed up by noted former Flames netminder Reto Berra, who’s been decent for Colorado this season.

The big story tonight will be Iginla chasing 600 goals. Granted, this isn’t the same Iginla that led teams in scoring, but he’s very good at picking his spots and making opponents pay. He had two goals (including an empty-netter) and three points in Colorado’s win over Calgary in November. With him chasing a milestone, expect him to be buzzing around the net even more than he usually does.

THE NUMBERS

CALGARY COLORADO
Wins 17 18
Power Play 12.2% 20.6%
Penalty Kill 73.9% 79.7%
Score-Adjusted Corsi 46.6% 44.4%
Faceoffs 47.8% 48.9%

WHEN LAST WE MET

The Flames lost 6-3 to the Avalanche in Denver back in November.

All-time, the Flames are 69-57-20-7 against the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise.

SUM IT UP

The Flames would like nothing more in their first game of 2016 than for a big win to put them back at the .500 mark. And if that win involves keeping their franchise’s all-time leading scorer from hitting an all-time milestone, I’m sure they’d be fine with that, too.

  • cberg

    To everyone who kept saying oh what, you blame Bollig for the loss? No..this is exactly the point. He takes his whole line out of the game and their ice time gets slashed because with him they are not much more than a Liability. Best line of the game with Jooris

    I know Bob will think he’s so smart for this and putting Jooris back in but the real thought is..look what you ha e missed out on the last how long keeping Jooris on the bench and playing Bollig. Bout time Bob..hope you learned something

    • cberg

      Why with such idiotic and unwarranted comments? You can’t do any better? It must be some sort of herd mentality where you can say any sort of ridiculous comment since you know many others have the same biases and will mindlessly jump on board no matter what. It’s a shame.

      I guess you haven’t noticed that outside the last two games where many on the team got rag-dolled, Bollig hadn’t played in about a month. Jooris hasn’t been sitting so they can play Bollig. And I highly doubt BH has anything to learn from your drivel, even if he was listening.

      Jooris has come in and is playing well. Great for him, hopefully he can keep it up. We need a lot of guys to step up and I’m glad to see it when they do.

  • MontanaMan

    Good to see the Flames playing better but before we start making too many comparisons to the past two games, the Flames are playing the Avs tonight and not the Ducks or Kings. Apples and oranges.

    • piscera.infada

      I get what you’re saying, but the Aves have been one of the hotter teams in the league of late going 9-3-3 in their last 15.

      If the Flames come out in the third and continue playing how they’ve played thus far, I’ll be a very happy fan.

  • flames2015

    Don’t forget we also lost against the Avs last game 6-3. Bet the boys haven’t forgotten it. Can’t take any team lightly. Great to see some seconary scoring and guys who have been playing well get rewarded. Bennett and Ferlund next!

  • flames2015

    Earlier in the year when Jooris was in the line up, did we ever throw him on the first line? Can’t remember , but watching Colborne on the first line is painful. He’s too slow and is always behind the play. He had a chance with the team getting into position and again, leaves the puck or makes a bad pass at the blue line and a chance goes the other way. He’s gotten pickpocketed quite a fews too, I’d like to see Jooris’s speed on that top line at some point.

  • flames2015

    Lesson: Bollig and Engelland should never play again. Ever. I wonder if mgmt has the humility to buy out engelland. Or sit him forever.

    When was the last time we coasted home for a win? I honestly can’t remember. Feels good!

    Cheers to 2016

    • MontanaMan

      I’m not a cheerleader for Engelland but he needs to be replaced with an upgrade and Smid isn’t that player. I’d be more inclined to call up a farm hand to replace them both but if I have to choose between the two, I’ll take Engelland.

      • cgyokgn

        Totally agree Smid is not the answer. But at least the coaches treat Smid like the guy he is. A body to give the real D a rest. I feel like with Engelland they try to pretend he is part of the program instead of just a warm body to take up some minutes.

        Ideally I want neither, and soon. Harmonic please.

        • Byron Bader

          Great idea, but at what cost?i think the flames would like Hamonic too. Nobody seems to like the asking price, otherwise the deal would have been done by now