FGD 52: Venturing to the capital (5:30pm MT, SN West)


USATSI_9639169
(Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports)

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

The Calgary Flames have been rough since about January 13 when they lost to the New Jersey Devils. Including that game, they’ve played mediocre to poor hockey in their last seven games (and have gone 1-5-1 in that span). With the All-Star Break looming, the Flames are hoping to avoid dropping below .500 tonight when they close out their eastern road trip against the Ottawa Senators.

The puck drops tonight at 5:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

THE FLAMES

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

Matthew TkachukMikael BacklundAlex Chiasson
Johnny GaudreauSean MonahanMichael Frolik
Kris VersteegSam BennettTroy Brouwer
Lance BoumaMatt StajanFreddie Hamilton

Mark GiordanoDougie Hamilton
T.J. BrodieDennis Wideman
Brett KulakDeryk Engelland

After Chad Johnson gave up five goals against the Canadiens on Tuesday, Brian Elliott suits up in an effort to turn the tide. He’s 8-12-2 with a 2.92 goals against average and .891 save percentage this season. He hasn’t been great, but at this point the Flames will probably try anything to get a win.

The Flames remain without Ladislav Smid (LTIR) and Garnet Hathaway (upper body), while it appears that Jyrki Jokipakka and Micheal Ferland will be their healthy scratches for tonight. The biggest lineup news is that the Flames have broken up their best line: Alex Chiasson has now with Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk, while Michael Frolik joins Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau. Obviously the hope is they can get the expensive players going, but the fear is that now they’ll have two lines that don’t do anything of value rather than just the one.

The Flames are a fragile bunch right now. They’ve lost four in a row and six of their past seven. They have given up the first goal in nine consecutive games. They’ve generated next-to-nothing at even strength. And as of this morning, they’ve fallen out of a playoff spot. The Flames desperately need to generate some momentum, or at least throw the brakes on this runaway train of unimpressive, uninspired hockey.

Against the Oilers, the Flames were “embarrassing.” Against the Canadiens, they were “pathetic.” Let’s hope that Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan doesn’t have to dig into his bag of adjectives again after this one.

THE SENATORS

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

Ryan DzingelKyle TurrisBobby Ryan
 Mike HoffmanJean-Gabriel PageauTom Pyatt
 Zack SmithDerick BrassardMark Stone
 Chris KellyCurtis LazarTommy Wingels (Wingels)

Marc MethotErik Karlsson
Dion PhaneufCody Ceci
Fredrik ClaessonChris Wideman

Mike Condon likely gets the start for the Senators. He’s 14-7-4 with a 2.38 goals against average and .918 save percentage. He’s been huge for Ottawa since coming over in a trade with Pittsburgh, particularly since the Sens are missing a pair of netminders in Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond. Fun fact: former Calgary Hitmen goalie Chris Driedger is Condon’s backup.

The Senators have missed goalies and solid players like Clarke McArthur and Mike Hoffman as of late (though Hoffman’s back tonight), but they’ve kept chugging along. A lot of the credit has got to go to Condon, who hasn’t been a Vezina caliber goalie but has consistently been good enough to get Ottawa some points. His performances have varied from great shutouts to allowing seven goals in one game (but still getting an overtime point). Erik Karlsson leads the team in scoring, which is both a commentary on how good Karlsson is but also one on how hard-up these guys are for offensive firepower. Thankfully they’ve got a hot goalie.

THE NUMBERS

FLAMES SENATORS
Wins 24 26
Points
(Pct.)
51
(.500)
57
(.620)
Power Play 20.6% 17.8%
Penalty Kill 80.5% 82.2%
Score-Adjusted Corsi 50.2% 47.6%

HISTORY LESSON

This is the 39th regular season game between Ottawa and Calgary. The Flames are 18-13-7 all-time against the Senators. They met in the Saddledome in October, with the Flames winning 5-2.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Here are some Sens-related follows for this evening:

SUM IT UP

The Flames desperately need points.They even more desperately need a solid game so they can go into the All-Star Break with some semblance of confidence or momentum. Against a tough Ottawa club, that may be easier said than done.

  • MontanaMan

    Good to see some excitement and emotion from Gaudreau. And great to see the coaching staff smiling on the bench following the win. Still a long way to go to get a consistent effort but good to see the boys heading into the all star break with a win.

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    Johnny backlund frolik
    Thachuk monahan ferland
    Versteeg bennett brouwer
    Bouma stajan chiasson

    Gio hamilton
    Kulak brodie
    (Stockton) engelland

    ×Wideman× I bet ww likes him so sit him

  • freethe flames

    I missed most of the game; I watched the first 10 minutes and then caught the over time. I was impressed with the effort of the Stajan line. Glad to hear Ferland scored. How did my two favorite whipping boys play: Brouwer and Versteeg?

  • RKD

    Finally the Flames get the first goal and play with the lead, even if the Sens tied the game it makes a big difference. The players give a crap meter actually went up and they finally showed up for a change. Nice win by Elliott and nothing better going into all-star weekend with a win and beating Dion Phaneuf.

  • Not a First Tier Fan

    Hey Real Brodie and WW… did you catch that goal by Sekara with 6 seconds left in the first?

    Just asking cause you posted about the SJ goal but not the tying one… Figure you must just be busy or something..

    Arizona up 2-0 on the Canucks… maybe the desert dogs will do us all a favour tonight.

  • The Sultan

    Getting real tired of reading about the Oilers. Every. Single. Post. Seriously give it up, and you know what, it is the Flames fans/trolls on this page that’s causing it. Jesus Christ I don’t give two sh*ts about McDavid I care about the Flames.

    • Kevin R

      Agree. They’re having great year, good for them, they have suffered enough but I am getting fed up as well. Almost to the point that when the worm turns & in the NHL, the worm always turns, I plan on setting my account up on ON & pile on, something I have never done in previous years. I can’t wait until they have to renegotiate with their big guns. Quite frankly, I hope BT offer sheets McDavid a 7 year 12.0 mill per on July 1/2018. I would gladly give them 5 first round picks. If they think someone won’t do that while they try to get him to take a huge hometown discount, they’re fooling themselves. Until then, when the threads get inundated with these clowns, I just leave.

        • Kevin R

          Doesn’t have to get you the player, it just has to screw the team. Philly did it to Nashville with Weber & they weren’t even division rivals. In two years & the Sedins deals expiring, I can totally see Benning doing something like that to Edmonton. Either way, don’t be naive someone is going to take a run at scoring McDavid with an O/S & of course you guys will match no matter what. It’s a win win for any divisional rival GM. Karma can be a b#@*h & you clowns are stirring some “comes around” big time. So go ahead, keep hijacking our threads, won’t only be me flinging it back.