FGD 55: Matinee Square Garden (noon MT, SN 360)


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(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.

It’s Super Bowl Sunday! A year ago, this date represented just how far off track the Calgary Flames were as a trio of the team’s youngsters were benched following some tardiness to practice. This season? The Flames are riding a three game winning streak into a rare matinee game, as the National Hockey League attempts to squeeze their Sunday schedule in before kickoff. They face a tough Eastern Conference opponent in the New York Rangers.

Puck drop is just after noon MT on Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

THE FLAMES

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

Johnny GaudreauSean MonahanTroy Brouwer
Matthew TkachukMikael BacklundMichael Frolik
Kris VersteegSam BennettAlex Chiasson
Lance BoumaMatt StajanMicheal Ferland

Mark GiordanoDougie Hamilton
T.J. BrodieDennis Wideman
Jyrki JokipakkaDeryk Engelland

Due to winning his last three appearances, Brian Elliott gets the nod for the Flames tonight. He’s 11-12-2 with a 2.80 goals against average and .896 save percentage in 26 appearances this season. Don’t look now, but after a really rough start to the season Elliott is almost back at .500. He’s been excellent for the Flames over the last few games, a couple rough goals aside.

Since the Flames are rolling right now, don’t expect any changes to their lineup. Ladislav Smid (neck) and Garnet Hathaway (upper body) are still out, though Hathaway should be back any game now. That’ll leave Brett Kulak and Freddie Hamilton as the healthy extras. The 3M Line has quieted down offensively of late, but Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau have woken up as many had hoped they would. Imagine what could happen if 3M can get going again and perhaps Sam Bennett manages to find his swagger? Scoring depth sounds crazy considering how this season has gone.

The Flames have scored power play goals in six of their last 10 games. That’s good. They’ve allowed power play goals in seven of their last 10 games. That’s bad.

THE RANGERS

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

Chris KreiderMika ZibanejadMats Zuccarello
Jimmy VeseyDerek StepanRick Nash
Michael GrabnerJ.T. MillerJesper Fast
Matt PuempelOscar LindbergPavel Buchnevich

Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi
Marc StaalNick Holden
Brady SkjeiKevin Klein

The most interesting man in the world, Henrik Lundqvist, starts for the Rangers tonight. He’s 22-13-1 with a 2.73 goals against average and .907 save percentage. He’s been pretty good this season, but backup Antti Raanta has been better. The Rangers remain without Kevin Hayes, though he’s expected back soon.

The Rangers’ third line – particularly Grabner and Fast – killed the Flames last time they faced each other. New York is a challenging team to face because of their depth. The Flames will need to be sharp tonight and avoid any unnecessary mistakes.

THE NUMBERS

FLAMES RANGERS
Wins 27 32
Points
(Pct.)
57
(.528)
65
(.637)
Power Play 21.2% 20.8%
Penalty Kill 80.5% 82.6%
Score-Adjusted Corsi 50.7% 48.2%

HISTORY LESSON

This is the 115th game between the Flames and Rangers in the regular
season. The Flames hold a 55-39-20 record in the all-time series. The Rangers beat Calgary at the Saddledome back in November. It wasn’t a good showing from the team in red.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Here are some Rangers follows for tonight:

SUM IT UP

It’s a rare matinee game! Wake up and have some bacon (or whatever your preferred brunch food is), then see if the Flames can inch closer to cementing a playoff spot. They’ve played quite well lately and will need to continue their consistency if they want to beat the Rangers.

  • freethe flames

    The Rangers are a Stanley Cup contender with cap space; they are also in a place to “win now”. Expect them to be buyers at the deadline; the question is can they be buyers without disrupting their team. They will likely look to add depth at D and if the best UFA’a are too costly to acquire they could end up looking for veteran depth on D. If there was ever a game for Wideman to play well in today is the day. Play well and stay in NYC as their 7th defender.

    The boys need to play well today. While I want a win; I would be happy with a loser point.

      • freethe flames

        You are probably right but I’m wishful thinking at a low level. If he was moved I would be happy with anything; one of BT biggest mistakes was not buying him out. There are few guys out there where I think of addition by subtraction but he is one. NY is also a possible landing place for Eng’s; the other teams out east that could absorb either of them w/o hurting their current team are Boston and Washington.

        • deantheraven

          Think the Caps would take him back? Nope.
          The only way he goes before his retirement at season’s end is if it’s for next to zip and we retain salary. Which I’d be fine with, too. Really wish we’d get to see some of next year’s line up this year. They can’t hurt us any more than Wideman.

        • Stu Cazz

          Help me understand your comment regarding NY as a possible landing spot for Engs??? Flames are well positioned to make a playoff run and you are talking about one of their top performing defenceman being traded…are Kulak and Kevin your alternatives as depth on defense? Perhaps the rookies in Stockton…scary.

          • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

            Well positioned for a playoff run? No, no they are not. They are in the mix but even if they win out before the 5 day break, they might come back from that on the outside looking in. I am hoping for the best, but BT is definitely planning for the worst, and Engs might bring us something useful back.

          • supra steve

            “one of their top performing defenceman”

            He’s is, at best, a 3rd pairing D-man on any playoff bound team. BT moved Glenncross on the way to a playoff spot 2 seasons ago, should he behave differently this year? I say no.

          • freethe flames

            We are a bubble team by February 28th we will have an idea exactly where we are; in all likelyhood we will still be a bubble team. Then BT has a decision to make do you keep UFA’s or do you trade them away; his MO has been to trade them. Eng’s is a #5 defender at best; if making the playoffs is dependent on him then it is unlikely we do. Who knows maybe BT adds a piece that upgrades our D. And yes I would be okay with Kulak getting more icetime, at the moment ahead of Wideman.

  • Prototype369

    Honestly, the NYR are one of the weirdest teams in the NHL. They’ll either play like like the 2009-2014 oilers, or like a team that has never heard of losing. Id be happy with a strong showing from Gaudreau, Monahan, Bennett and Tkachuk

  • RedMan

    Well six minutes in and it looks more like the October flames. Soft on the puck weak turnovers laxidasical hopefully this power play get some energy in their game because they’re going to lose this game big time if they keep playing like this.

  • flames2015

    Man i feel bad for brodie, wideman’s passes are crumb and in the danger zones. Why is he still not benched. We are not selling his case to be traded well right now.

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    Washington is helping us out. Let’s hope montreal can continue the oilers losing streak and the flames decide to help themselves. Go flames go

  • RedMan

    Wow, wideman is having a horrible game. I hope the refs recognize this and realize that he is the Flames own worst punishment and we no longer need to be punished for him.

  • The Sultan

    Get Dennis Wideman off the ice, off this team, and out of the NHL. My blind, deaf, and dead grandmother could have put together a better 20 minutes than he just did.

    If you’re wondering why the Flames have only won 1 Stanley Cup look no further than the Dennis Wideman situation. I understand this is a rebuilding year. I’m not expecting to compete in or even make the playoffs. What confuses me, though, is why they (ownership/management) refuse to ice the best team possible. That’s all. This team is better with Wideman in the pressbox. Every time he steps on the ice he’s a liability. He couldn’t hit the net if it was the broad side of a barn. The man embarrasses himself and his team every time he steps on the ice.

    If the Flames lose this game, it’ll be because of Dennis Wideman.

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    We need 2014 wideman for the rest of this season that was mostly gaudreau constantly feeding the puck back to wideman. But he atleast hit the net back then.

      • Kevin R

        Elliott & a 2nd for Bishop. Lets see what he’s got & then try to sign him or forever hold our peace & search for someone else.

        Over 22 g*&^amn minutes for Wideman again. WTF gives here!!! I have given up on trading him, he’s un-tradeable. Can we not try a few games with him in the press box FFS!! Or does his NMC include the fcking press box???………rant over……..

        • Stu Cazz

          Flames are in no position to give up assets and draft picks given the large amount of gaps that exist. Bishop is going to hit a huge payday and get ridiculous offers from his US of A…..

  • The Sultan

    If Treliving can unload Dennis Wideman at the trade deadline for future considerations it’ll go down as one of his greatest moves as GM of the Calgary Flames.

  • loudogYYC

    Gulutzan is one stubborn SOB, how Wideman continues to get ice time is completely baffling to me. He operates at Grossman speed while everyone else is flying out there.

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    Wondering why Versteeg got a game misconduct. Way to go Ferland. Keep wideman off the ice and we have a chance to win most games. Hope wideman redeems himself and get a goal or something I think we should park him in front of the Rangers goalie

      • Stu Cazz

        I certainly hope your wrong given that he was the Flames highest draft pick in history…have to admit I’m getting very uncomfortable about his lack of development this year…I would suggest a 2 year gap contract given the he is only 20 and lost a year because of his shoulder surgery….fingers crossed!

        • Kevin R

          He’s 20 years old. Some of these kids just don’t seem to click until they hit 22 or 23. Look at Turris. Cant give up on him, we will sorely regret it. Move him to the wing. I think a bridge deal like Brodie got will be in order.

          • BlueMoonNigel

            There are more Joe Colbornes than Kyle Turrises. Besides, Turris didn’t find success with the club that drafted him. Does Tre try and move Bennett by selling the potential much like Phoenix did with Turris?

            Little too early to be discounting him, but he should be on the clock next season.

  • Randaman

    Thanks Shames and [Misogynistic term for no apparent reason. Do it again and you’re gone – Ari] for the losses today. Big win for the Oil in Habs town.

    Carry on Gentlemen (I use that term loosely)

    Go Falcons

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Flames get done by very a beatable Rangers club. How many more “wins” can the Flames turn into losses before they are done for the year?

    A sure sign of a bad team is its inability to win consistently, especially games where they are the better club. This has been the drumbeat of your 2016-17 Flames.