FGD 25: No sleep ’til Brooklyn (5pm MT, SN West)


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(Brad Penner / USA Today Sports)

We love HOME games; have Liquor Depot deliver in under an hour. Click, pick, sit back and watch the game.

After nine days on the road – and five games – the Calgary Flames can finally put their longest road trip of the regular season firmly in their rear-view mirror after one last road game. Their final game of the trip is tonight at the Barclays Center in scenic Brooklyn, New York as they visit the New York Islanders. Best known for hipsters, beards and really good pizza, Brooklyn is now also home to some of the worst ice in the NHL and the inconsistent Islanders.

It will also be known as the place when Mark Jankowski made his NHL debut.

Tonight’s game kicks off at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

THE FLAMES

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

Matthew TkachukMikael BacklundMichael Frolik

Kris VersteegSean MonahanTroy Brouwer

Sam BennettMatt StajanAlex Chiasson
Micheal FerlandFreddie HamiltonGarnet Hathaway

Mark GiordanoDougie Hamilton

T.J. BrodieDennis Wideman
Brett KulakDeryk Engelland

The Flames don’t have a morning skate today because of the back-to-back games situation, so we have a lot of guessing to do:

  • Chad Johnson (7-4-1, .922 save percentage) faced over 40 shots last night. Brian Elliott slots in tonight in net, possibly simply because of Johnson’s workload against the Flyers.
  • Jyrki Jokipakka, Hunter Shinkaruk and Mark Jankowski were healthy scratches last night. Based on how awful the Flames were last night, it’s probable that all three slot in tonight just to provide some new energy to the line-up tonight.
  • Well, we know that Jankowski will slot in, we just don’t know WHERE. So we all get to be in suspense for the next couple of hours.

The Flames had good special teams last night, scoring a power play goal and two shorthanded goals while only giving up a single power play goal. By their standards, that’s an excellent night. They were just lousy at even strength. If they can keep that special teams mojo going and, y’know, not play absolutely porous defense in their own end, maybe they can salvage this trip and finish above .500 over their six game jaunt.

THE ISLANDERS

Lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:

Josh BaileyJohn TavaresAnthony Beauvillier
Nikolay KuleminBrock NelsonShane Prince
Anders LeeAlan QuineJason Chimera
Andrew LaddCasey CizikasCal Clutterbuck

Nick LeddyTravis Hamonic
Thomas HickeyJohnny Boychuk
Calvin de HaanAdam Pelech

Thomas Greiss starts tonight for the Islanders. He’s 3-4-0 with a .915 save percentage in seven starts. It’s a Johnson/Elliott situation there, as Greiss has better numbers (and the same number of wins) as Jaroslav Halak in fewer starts.

Beyond Greiss in goal, there aren’t any significant chances in the Isles’ line-up. They remain without Mikhail Grabovski, Ryan Pulock and Dennis Seidenberg due to injury. Like the Flames, they have a handful of offensive leaders (John Tavares, Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey and Nik Leddy), though none of them are anywhere close to a point-per-game and so they shouldn’t be considered a powerhouse or anything like that.

If the Flames can get back to basics and win some battles, this is a winnable game to cap off their road trip.

THE NUMBERS

FLAMES ISLANDERS
Wins 10 6
Points 21 16
Power Play 10.5% 13.8%
Penalty Kill 75.8% 79.7%
Score-Adjusted Corsi 49.6% 45.3%

HISTORY LESSON

The Flames are 44-46-22 all-time against the Islanders. Calgary lost both games against the Isles last year, once in regulation and once in overtime, and scored just one goal between those two games. They’ll play each other again in Calgary in early March.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Here are some Islanders accounts worth following for tonight:

SUM IT UP

If the Flames lose tonight, they’ll finish this trip at exactly .500 (3-3-0). If they can get a win, they’ll finish at 4-2-0, which is pretty good all things considered. If they want to claw closer to a Western Conference playoff spot, they need a win tonight.

  • everton fc

    Jankowski will most likely slot in for Hamilton. But can you imagine if he slotted in to replace a benched Monahan?

    No need to swap Jokipaaka w/Kulak, but they probably will.

    Shinkaruk won’t play. Who would he replace?

      • MontanaMan

        Monahan has looked lost out there this year, notably due to his lack of foot speed. He hasn’t looked good with Gaudreau, Brouwer, Ferland or anybody else for that matter. For a guy making $6MM plus, I expect more than blaming his wingers for his lack of production.

      • JBulls

        So Brouwer is to blame for Monahan being completely lost out there night after night, and being one of the worst forwards in the league, let alone on this team?

        Alrighty

    • ThisBigMouthIsRight

      Just my thoughts…
      (1) Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
      (2) Versteeg – Stajan – Brouwer
      (3) Ferland – Bennett – Chiasson
      (4) Shinkaruk – Jankowski – Hathaway

      (D1) Giordano – Hamilton
      (D2) Brodie – Jokipakka
      (D3) Kulak – Engelland

      Elliott

      So otherwise Pull-> Monahan, Wideman & F. Hamilton.
      Can’t really hurt? can it?

  • Arminius

    3rd backup faced in a row. Can’t believe they couldn’t manage a win against Stolarz. Opportunity lost there
    Hopefully finish 4-2 on the trip tonight

  • everton fc

    I think our frustrating boys bounce back this evening. I think Janko gets on the score sheet. Ferland-Jankowski-Hathaway would be 3rd line-B, and get similar minutes.

    Gotta add the line of Bennett-Stajan-Chiasson is beginning to look like something. Something decent.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    If your looking for a defender that plays a simple steady game then maybe they need to try Spoon again. Kulak has struggled during this road trip and seems to be relied on less and less.

    I hate to pile on Wideman but if he is unable to be a reliable defender and can’t keep up with the play or get his shot through…what value is he bringing. I saw him make one great poke check that lead to a goal during this road trip.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I would like to see Janko used in the top 6 but that likely is not going to happen. If he is playing on the 4th line with Hathaway and Ferland then that has the makings to be the second best line. If Monny is struggling then maybe they try him on the top line to get Bouwer going.

    I think people are still under estimating Janko. I expect he will be a similar player to Backland which I would take all day long. I can see him moving up and down the top 9. Get ready for tha Janko bump!!

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    New Update on Line combo’s Via-Dailyfaceoff.

    Matthew Tkachuk -Mikael Backlund -Michael Frolik…
    Kris Versteeg – Sean Monahan – Troy Brouwer…
    Sam Bennett – Mark Jankowski – Alex Chiasson…
    Micheal Ferland – Matt Stajan – Garnet Hathaway…

    • Tundradog

      Yup Not only does Brodie give it away but then chases the puck carrier that is already covered leaving Tavares wide open for the goal. You learn not to do that in Pee Wee? Compounding errors…

    • The GREAT WW

      Gallant got fired after 22 games with a winning record…..

      Let’s hire him to run our PP, then head coach for the remainder of the season as soon as GG is gone….

      WW

      • everton fc

        I like this post. Gallant running the PP. Pushing the kids. Brian Campbell said he was a “players’ coach”. He wanted the Panthers to be tougher. They got weaker, in many areas, with the new management group that came in.

        I think this was a brutal road trip for a team still searching to find itself, to learn a “system” that may not work with the players we have… a team w/a horrific PP, better PK, lots of young guys…

        GG will get more rope. I still feel we can come back when down, more than I did in October. They seem willing to give the kids in Stockton a chance to pass-or-fail. I like that.

        Still… I loved Gallant as a player. He was a warrior who could score. Played hard every shift. It’ll never happen, but to bring him here to run the PP…

        At least his influence on the team would be here.

        We think we have it bad! Look at the Panthers!! Crazy move.

  • The Last Big Bear

    I think this is actually a pretty entertaining game, between two fairy well matched teams.

    I’m not happy that the Flames are well-matched against the worst team in the NHL, but its still a good game.

  • MontanaMan

    Wouldn’t you love it if Hamilton had a bit of a mean streak in him? Like punish some of those small forwards in the corner? It irks me to see a 6’6″ d-man as timid as him.

  • Aadvarkian Abakeneezer

    At least I had time to change the channel and watch the last few minutes of the Raptors blowing out the 76ers.

    Felt a little strange to see a team I like win something after this weekend.