After a win on Tuesday and a practice day on Wednesday, the Calgary Flames are back in action tonight at the ‘Dome. Once again, they’re entertaining a non-conference opponent as they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to town. In a game where the teams playing have one win combined this season, expect to see a lot of desperation and a fair amount of scrambley play (as a result of that desperation).
As was the case on Tuesday, you can catch all of the action on Sportsnet Flames beginning at 7 p.m. MT (with Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey at the helm) or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias).
Lines via Daily Faceoff:
Brian Elliott gets back in the Flames net after getting two games off. Elliott got lit up against Edmonton, but bear in mind the Flames’ defensive zone play resembled a series of chickens trying to avoid a cleaver. But the Flames have been better over the last couple games with Chad Johnson in net, so it’ll be interesting to see how Elliott responds after a couple nights off.
The focus for the Flames at practice on Wednesday? Puck management, something that the Flames struggled with in Tuesday’s game and prompted a bit of an outburst from head coach Glen Gulutzan.
Gulutzan ripping the Flames right now about their entries. “You’re doing the same f#$%-ing thing in games.”
— Kristen Odland (@Kristen_Odland) October 19, 2016
Say what you will about the club’s on-ice results thus far, but you can’t say that Gulutzan isn’t reacting quickly. The lines are shuffled a bit tonight, but retain the third period tandems that helped them win Tuesday’s game against Buffalo.
The good news? Ahead of a trio of tough games against St. Louis, Chicago and St. Louis, they can get to the .500 mark. They have a tough week ahead and it would be ideal for them to head into them with a sense of momentum.
Lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Cam Ward lost in Edmonton, so presumably the Flames see Eddie Lack in net. He started against Vancouver, gave up four goals and lost in overtime in his single appearance of the season to date.
Jakub Nakladal makes his illustrious return to the Saddledome as a member of the Hurricanes…but sits in the press box, as Klaus Dahlbeck rotates back into the lineup on the back end. Carolina was not particularly good in a 3-2 loss to Edmonton on Tuesday, and they remain one of four teams that haven’t won a game yet. The Hurricanes have a decent roster full of young talent and some interesting filler bodies, but they simply haven’t been able to get out of their own way and take charge of a game yet.
The Flames and Hurricanes are two teams with the unique trait of having relocated from their original homes. Carolina joined the NHL as the Hartford Whalers, the greatest team the world has ever known, before moving to North Carolina.
All-time, the Flames franchise is 24-22-7 against the Hurricanes. They split their two meetings last season.
KNOW THY ENEMY
Here are some Carolina-related accounts to follow for tonight:
SUM IT UP
Ramping up for their first terrifying stretch of the season (St. Louis, Chicago, St. Louis), the Flames can get back to .500 with a victory tonight over a non-conference opponent. With the Pacific Division an absolute horror show of chaos, confusion and unexpected losses by playoff contenders, every point the Flames can squirrel away will be huge for their playoff hopes come March and April when the games get real tough.